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Old Jan 2, 2008, 12:36 AM   #1
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Still learning how to use the 40D but having some focus trying to shoot birds in flight. Any suggestion on camera settings for these type of shots? The attached picture is untouch except for 100% crop.
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Old Jan 2, 2008, 8:28 AM   #2
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Your Exit says, 1/200 F/8

Thats a bit slow for BIF. It looks more or less like slow shutter speed. Keep the shutter around 1/500 atleast.
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Old Jan 2, 2008, 9:34 AM   #3
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EXIF also states 33mm was focal length. That bird would have to be about 5 feet away. You really want a bird in flight filling at least 1/3 preferably half the frame.

Also, you want to have only a single focus point selected and usually AI-Servo mode so you can track the bird. Place the focus point on the bird's head as you track it.
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Old Jan 2, 2008, 12:55 PM   #4
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Were you using Manual Focus?

Two different EXIF readers I've tried with it report no focus points were active for that shot.

From looks of it, it's backfocused (the bird's tail is sharper than it's head).

As others have already mentioned, your shutter speeds are also pretty slow. That was at ISO 100. So, I'd bump up the ISO speed a bit if you really want to shoot with the aperture stopped down to f/8.

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Old Jan 2, 2008, 1:12 PM   #5
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Zoombrowser does help here...here is the active fp

and yes the tail is supposed to be sharp here :G
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Old Jan 2, 2008, 1:18 PM   #6
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Interesting.

This is what one EXIF reader (EXIF Viewer 1.3 by Alan Raskin) is showing:

AF Points In Focus (Used) = none / manual focus / 0 available focus points (bits 15-12)

This is what an image editor (digiKam 0.92 Final) is showing from the Makernote section for AF:

AF Point Used : 0 focus points; none used

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Old Jan 2, 2008, 1:32 PM   #7
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Thanks for the tips, checked the camera settings and found I was not using AI-Servo mode. Hey my 35mm SLR didn't have things like that on them, I know excuses, excuses. Did have the camera set for the center focus point only but maybe should have use an ISO higher than 100 to get a faster shutter speed. The bird was about two hundred feet away (thanks for the distance tip), the picture is just cropped to 100%. Oh one tip to myself, next trip out pack the tripod.

Thanks,

Craig
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Old Jan 2, 2008, 1:38 PM   #8
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Thanks for the tips, checked the camera settings and found I was not using AI-Servo mode.

Hope NHL doesnt read this..if he does lets hope he doesnt post his BIF shot in One shot....:blah:...just kidding mate



I am sure u will shoot better next time. Its a learning curve and u will start to enjoy it more...specially BIF is a bit addictive as well as frustrating...wildlife on the whole is addictive and really frustrating..mostly frustrating....40D is a very good camera where i have seen great response about its AI-Servo capability.

U will get it next time..
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Old Jan 2, 2008, 1:50 PM   #9
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Calicajun wrote:
Quote:
The bird was about two hundred feet away (thanks for the distance tip), the picture is just cropped to 100%. Oh one tip to myself, next trip out pack the tripod.

Thanks,

Craig
That's the major problem right there. 33mm at a subject 200 feet away. You'd want about 500mm for that shot.

As far as:
Quote:
Hope NHL doesnt read this..if he does lets hope he doesnt post his BIF shot in One shot....:blah:...just kidding mate
I certainly won't argue NHL doesn't get great shots - he does. But, he is in the minority in regards to technique. I have yet to run across another birder who gets quality results and does NOT use AI-Servo for in-flight shots. Heck, there are people that use manual focus and get good results - that doesn't mean I'd recommend it.

In any event, 200 feet at 33mm it doesn't matter what focus mode you're using - you'll not get very good results.
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Old Jan 2, 2008, 1:52 PM   #10
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nymphetamine wrote:
Quote:
Hope NHL doesnt read this..if he does lets hope he doesnt post his BIF shot in One shot....:blah:...just kidding mate
I read it just fine
-> Just too early in the year to pick a fight :-):lol::G

IMO it's just depends on the size of the bird and how far it is... As long as you can keep the AF point(s) on the bird that's just fine but as the AF point(s) move in and out of the subject the lens shift its focus and you won't be able to "see" the subject you're tracking and it take a longer time for the lens to get a lock back on

Secondly I believe the AI-servo is just too jerky with large aperture lens - the AF just won't hold still on a narrow DOF subject!
-> Just try it - AI servo on something that does not move, the lens constantly adjusts its distance back and forth.

Also AI-servo and burst mode goes hand in hand - I time my shot one at a time :blah:
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