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Old May 8, 2010, 7:23 AM   #1
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Default Another trip, another disappointment

One issue that I've had in the past is to not take into account focal length and shutter speed. I've been caught at 300mm and having a shutter speed lower than 1/300.

So, before I headed out, I set the camera to shutter priority, set the shutter speed to 1/500 and set ISO to auto. This would enable me to shoot and not worry about shutter speed - the lazy man's approach

When I got home, I still had pictures that were blurry @ 300mm. It was windy that day so the camera was moving about slightly as well.

The pictures that I was most disappointed with was a butterfly that was stretching its wings on the ground and @300mm filed the frame nicely.

Is it simply that with the camera shake that I had 1/500 wasn't enough still?
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Old May 8, 2010, 7:58 AM   #2
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Sorry to hear about your less than satisfactory results.

Hand holding at a 300mm focal length, a shutter speed of 1/500sec. is fast enough that it shouldn't present an issue as far as camera shake is concerned.
That is, unless you cannot hand hold the camera fairly steadily.

Could it be more of an issue with the lens being slightly out of focus- or focusing on the wrong part of the image? If you had the AF on multi point instead of single point, that could very well be the issue.

I think it would be helpful if you posted the image in question. It would provide a start as to what the problem is.

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Old May 8, 2010, 8:37 AM   #3
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Sometimes we forget to think about how extreme a 300mm lens is. Back in the film days, that was considered a very long lens.

The fact that it is used on a 2x multiplier should not be forgotten. the formula of the rule of thumb is not 1/FL, its 1/EFL and by that rule shutter speed would need to be 1/600s.

What complicates things more is the limited DOF of long lenses at close working distances. Many times you need to stop down to get enough DOF to use in practical terms. That sometimes works against available light.

ISO can be a friend. Dim light works against us. Steady support is required when shutter speeds cannot be maintained. Hey, if it was easy, everyone would do it
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Old May 8, 2010, 9:20 AM   #4
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I agree with Greg you should be at least at 1/600 if your handholding, my best results with the 70-300mm have been in very bright light with exposures faster than 1/1000.I have had limited success with this lens on the long end, even on a tripod.
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Old May 8, 2010, 9:21 AM   #5
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Understand that the guideline is 1/(35mm equivalent focal length)...that means for 300mm it should be 1/600th or faster. However with practice you can shoot with much slower shutter speeds; I've managed handholding my E-300/330 with 500mm as long as 1/50th (instead of the 1/1000th suggested by the guideline).

You have to hold the camera and lens properly, position your feet so you're steady, not breathe (I shoot just after I've exhaled and taken in a little breath, but not a deep breath), and slowly squeeze the shutter release (don't jab at it or else the camera will move).

Now you didn't say which camera you use (whether or not you have IS), but personally I get steadier shots if I disable IS (when I use a camera that has it)...only because I've learned how to shoot without it, IS actually causes me to shake (just like if the camera was on a tripod with IS on).

Now this isn't for everybody...if you are shooting with an IS camera, is the IS in the right mode for the shooting you are doing?
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Old May 8, 2010, 9:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zig-123 View Post
Could it be more of an issue with the lens being slightly out of focus- or focusing on the wrong part of the image? If you had the AF on multi point instead of single point, that could very well be the issue.
I always have the camera on S-AF and manually select the AF point I want on the fly.

As for the AF point, it's on the butterfly, dead center of it's body. Is there a way to see where the AF point was using Olympus Master (I can see it by using the E-620 though)?

Should I upload the original image or just the EXIF data?
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Old May 8, 2010, 9:41 AM   #7
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also, if you are shooting butterflies, i am assuming you are working near the minimum focal distance. when you are shooting closeups and macros, camera shake blur is often more apparent, so you will often need even faster shutter speeds if no tripod is available. along with the other things about limited dof, keeping the 2x multiplier in midn that the other posters mentioned
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Old May 8, 2010, 10:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikefellh View Post
Understand that the guideline is 1/(35mm equivalent focal length)...that means for 300mm it should be 1/600th or faster. However with practice you can shoot with much slower shutter speeds; I've managed handholding my E-300/330 with 500mm as long as 1/50th (instead of the 1/1000th suggested by the guideline).

You have to hold the camera and lens properly, position your feet so you're steady, not breathe (I shoot just after I've exhaled and taken in a little breath, but not a deep breath), and slowly squeeze the shutter release (don't jab at it or else the camera will move).

Now you didn't say which camera you use (whether or not you have IS), but personally I get steadier shots if I disable IS (when I use a camera that has it)...only because I've learned how to shoot without it, IS actually causes me to shake (just like if the camera was on a tripod with IS on).

Now this isn't for everybody...if you are shooting with an IS camera, is the IS in the right mode for the shooting you are doing?
I also don't use IS very often. Its not because it ruins low shutterspeed still shot. Its because it screws up just about any panning shot, meaning any shot that the camera is in motion. It happens all the time in my regular use. Sharp ground, blurry subject.

When shutter speeds get slow, too slow, and the camera is not being panned, the IS goes on and it is not uncommon for it to be on when its on a tripod in bad light. It should be off if the tripod head is totally locked down (allowing no motion) but that is extremely rare for me.

I'd guess I use stabilization for one shot in twenty. Good light just doesn't require it.
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Old May 8, 2010, 12:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TekiusFanatikus View Post
I always have the camera on S-AF and manually select the AF point I want on the fly.

As for the AF point, it's on the butterfly, dead center of it's body. Is there a way to see where the AF point was using Olympus Master (I can see it by using the E-620 though)?

Should I upload the original image or just the EXIF data?
The original image would be best.

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Old May 8, 2010, 3:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fldspringer View Post
Its because it screws up just about any panning shot, meaning any shot that the camera is in motion.
Did you try the IS mode designed for panning?
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