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Old Apr 26, 2008, 1:48 PM   #1
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Hi all,

Learned something today regarding the use of IS when a camera is mounted on a tripod that I thought I'd pass onto those who might be interested.

There has been a pair of Osprey nesting in the saltmarsh near my home. I thought I'd see ifI could take a few shots with the E-510/70-300mmlens combo. The nest is a bit too far away from anyplace I can comfortably walk to and use a lens with a shorter focal length.

I planned on using a 70-300mm on a tripod and just shut down the IS feature in the E-510. Everything i've read about dealing with a tripod always mentioned to disable IS whenever the camera is mounted on one. When I set up the tripod, I noticed that the wind , which was steady but not overbearing, was actually causing the tripod to vibrate. I took a few shots with the IS shutdown and was surprised to see the resulting blur was very noticable. Activated the IS1 mode and Voila! the images were much sharper.

The following link will let you view the 2 shots i took today. Nothing earth shattering. as I've a lot to learn about photographing birds in flight.

Actually, I would appreciate any info that you may provide relative to the techniques used to photograph birds in flight. My first attempts at that were in Florida a couple of weeks ago and the results were awful.

http://www.pbase.com/zig123/image/96173767



:|

thanks,

Zig


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Old Apr 26, 2008, 3:57 PM   #2
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Hi Zig

Now that bit of advice goes against everythign that they say about IS and tripods but lookign athe shots I'm impressed! Well done with getting thos shots they look just awesome. The 70-300 is a mighty fine lens and the E510 a mighty fine camera from Oly.

Cheers

Harj

:? :O


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Old Apr 26, 2008, 4:26 PM   #3
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Hi, Zig

I've read what you have about tripods, but I tend to use monopods with my long lenses. Monopods are not as stable as tripods and FWIW I've found that using IS with them does improve the images.

Ted
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Old Apr 26, 2008, 4:51 PM   #4
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Hi Harj-Ted,

Thanks for the kind words and monopod info.

Harj,

I agree, everything I've read says simply not to use IS with a tripod. All I can figure is that the general assumption is the tripod is rock solid and doesn't move-such as in studio work. In this case, my tripod -a Manfrotto 3221, was clearly shaking because of the wind. Something I didn't notice at first. I just wanted to pass the experience along. Just goes to show that you never can tell until you try it.

BTW, I looked at you shots from the Model shoot. Judging from the shots, you look like a leg man. I also took the liberty of scanning some of your galleries. You certainly have a talent for composition. A lot of really fine photographs.

Ted,

You're right, a monopod is the way to go. I wish I could use a monopod as they are just so much more convenient to carry and less obtrusive. People always tend to stare when they see you bring out a tripod. My right hand just shakes too much these days to make it practical. Thank goodness for IS.

:|

Zig






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Old Apr 26, 2008, 11:35 PM   #5
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Hi zig:Impressive shots; that is a honey of a lens.

I can't tell you how jealous I am of those Osprey shots. I have been trying to get an Osprey shot for ages. I haven't got one yet. I'll be setting on my lanai, and suddenly hear a big splash in the lake, and look up in time to see an osprey flying away with a fish in it's claws. I keep one of my cameras on the bar, but itflys into the woods in a flash. By the time I grab the camera it's gone. So I'm batting a big zero on osprey shots.

I currently have a great blue heron nest with 2 chicks in a tree about 75 yards from the house, and last year I had a hawks nest, but no Osprey nest so far.

Steve R.
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Old Apr 27, 2008, 6:38 AM   #6
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Hey Steven good morning,

I'm really having a lot of fun:G using the 70-300mm. It does have it's limitations in low light however. Which leads me into thinking about getting the Oly 300mm F2.8. But at around 6K, that's just too rich for me unless I hit the lottery.

I certainly know how you feel about getting a shot of an Osprey or any bird, for that matter of a bird in flight. When I was in your state a couple of weeks ago, we went on a air boat tour of the Malakka River, near Bradenton. There were lots of Great Blue Heron, Hawks, Osprey as well as other birds flying around. I just couldn't get the lens focused in time to get a shot off. I know there are techniques in doing so along with the use of fast lenses. It just something that I've got to work on....one of many actually.

As for the Osprey I shot. They were actually quite good "Models" to work with(grin). They kept flying off away from the nest every 5 or so minutes than return with some grass, twigs or other stuff with which to improve the nest. After about 30 attempts, I finally got 2 that I was satisfied with. I admire the National Geographic togs that spend countless hours in the field waiting for just theright moment to take the perfect shot. I have neither the equipment nor the patience for that.

Keep on trying and get that perfect Osprey shot!

:|

zig




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Old Apr 27, 2008, 4:59 PM   #7
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hi zig: you're so right about the cost of the 2.8 lens. for that kind of money I could buy a lot of new cameras. (hallelujah for the many legacy OM lenses available for cheap money.)


As far as birds in flight, have you tried to use manual focus, and pre-focus to infinity? I use that technique for shooting performing aircraft at air shows and I get a high percentage of keepers. I also use that technique when shooting seagulls at the beach.


C-ya.

Steve

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Old Apr 28, 2008, 6:26 AM   #8
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Steven R wrote:
Quote:
As far as birds in flight, have you tried to use manual focus, and pre-focus to infinity? I use that technique for shooting performing aircraft at air shows and I get a high percentage of keepers. I also use that technique when shooting seagulls at the beach.
Hi Steven,

In the inimitable words of Homer Simpson: Duohhh!!!

Thanks for the suggestions. In a senior moment I totally forgot about that....... I'll give it a try next sunny day we get. It's been cloudy and rainy the last couple of days which doesn't generate much enthusiasm for going out at sun up.


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Old Apr 28, 2008, 12:18 PM   #9
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Looking at 'your' osprey makes me realize I really have to make the effort myself. We have many bald eagles on the island here and last year I notice that we had a pair of Osprey that had moved into one of the bays. The herons think my fish pond is a feeding bowl..!!!

Like you pointed out, in these days of instant gratification who can give up a day to set up and shoot boids..! Well it's something I need to do.

Really nice shots you have there Ted, really encouraging.

When I was taking shots of the Hummers I cheated a bit (If you can call it that) I had the camera on auto with a sport setting. (Faster shutter,wider f) Metered to center spot and AF on center spot. Then tried to track the little buggers, spotting on the coloured headsand fired bursts.
I got several 'keepers. But I was very close to them with the 150, which helped.
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Old Apr 28, 2008, 8:37 PM   #10
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Hi gang: This has been a good discussion on bird shots. Since we're on that subject, I'll share some with you. We had lunch down at the beach today, and were joined by some interesting characters.

"Send in the Clowns"
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