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Old Mar 1, 2010, 12:31 AM   #1
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Default Extreme telephoto?



f1:5.6
510mm (Takumar 300mm f1:4 and Pentax AF adapter 1.7)
1/4000 sec
handheld.

I am generally unexcited with my telephoto efforts and wonder how this example (which is about average for me) compares?

Thanks
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Old Mar 1, 2010, 2:05 AM   #2
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Capturing "action," like a bird flying, isn't always easy with telephoto. In this case, which you obviously know, there is the light fixture in lower left that sort of got in the way. But this is still a GOOD shot. Thanks for sharing it. Ned
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Old Mar 1, 2010, 8:26 AM   #3
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Good timing and good luck as well as pre preparing for the shot. All of which can be done subconsciously by someone that shoots with one and has practiced enough to get some muscle memory to work. Sounds like YOU to me John!
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Old Mar 1, 2010, 8:38 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Hill View Post
I am generally unexcited with my telephoto efforts and wonder how this example (which is about average for me) compares?
Thanks
John - my first question is - how much was this cropped?

I would suggest with so much light that you stop down the lens a bit to f8 to get sharper results. Birds in flight are TOUGH to get. The first thing I look at is the EYES - same with any animal (and humans are animals too). The second thing I look at is feather detail. In this case the eye area just isn't sharp. Now, several things could be at play:
1. It could be the re-size. Does the eye look sharp on your original?
2. It could be the lens + tele combo just isn't sharp wide open and you need to stop down the lens to get better sharpness.
3. It could be overcropped. This is usually the biggest culprit from what I've seen. You pretty much want to get the shot framed this tightly in camera.

I'm not trying to put the shot down. But you stated you were generally unhappy and I think it's a disservice to your post to say there's nothing that couldn't be improved about the sharpness. Exposure is another matter (i.e. trade-off of black feathers vs. white - black is well exposed but white is blown out). But I don't think you were talking about that.
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Old Mar 1, 2010, 10:33 AM   #5
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I agree with John...picture could be sharper. I find getting BIF are difficult. The best way to get good shots is practice, practice, practice.

I also try to go for the eye of the bird, animal as that is the spot people gravitate of when looking at pix I find. Minimum of F8 as John says.

I also do a lot of practice on larger birds. Fortunately where I live we have a lot of White American Pelicans...I practice on them...more area of bird , slower flying and they don't seem to be as jittery as smaller birds.

For smaller birds, like Chickadees, other songbirds I use a spot where there are bird feeders and a park bench. I sit down, try to support my Pentax K10D and 55-300 as well as I can...F8, set ISO from 400 to 800, burst on multi...or motor drive as we used to say.

A lot of times I'm in forested areas and lean my body against a tree for added support...seems to work well...always keep shutter speed at a minimum of 1/500th with my 55-300...but I prefer 1/1500th and more, if the conditions will allow with F8.

Another thing I'm trying with these smaller birds that aren't too far away...is use my in camera flash...or my Pentax 360 flash. So far experimenting...but it seems to have potential for improving shots. Doesn't seem to bug the birds.

I also set my AF on Continuous focus and practice, practice.

I also 'pre-set' my focus...ie; I know they will be landing on a branch by the feeder...I focus on the branch...that way when a bird alights...my AF only has to work a short distance. I always set the lens at it's max of 300 mm...saves cropping...or most of the cropping anyways.

I shoot smaller birds in forested areas...mostly riverine or broeal forest where I live. Branches can get in the way...cause lens 'hunting' for focus. In that case I shut off my AF and use manual focus. I'm not bad with manual focus...did it for 37 years...this can work well..again practice.

I shoot a lot, not as if I'm wasting film...not all the shots are keepers...but some are.

Last edited by lesmore49; Mar 1, 2010 at 10:41 AM.
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Old Mar 1, 2010, 1:14 PM   #6
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Thanks for the comments everyone.

The picture is not cropped at all and I made no changes at all as this is straight from the camera.
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Old Mar 1, 2010, 3:18 PM   #7
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This is another telephoto, Sigma 420mm, manual focus and f1:5.6.

Hand held.

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Old Mar 4, 2010, 9:05 PM   #8
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John, this is a wonderfully pensive portrait - I really like it.

Some people like a soft portrait, but in this case, the eyes are so important to the expression, that I thought I would try to bring out more detail in them and the rest of the face. I also cropped it a bit to focus more on that marvelous face. Not much detail left in the nape hairs to recover, I'm afraid. This is not intended as a criticism; I just wanted to see what I could do with it. I hope you don't mind - I will remove it if you do.

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Old Mar 5, 2010, 1:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Hill View Post
This is another telephoto, Sigma 420mm, manual focus and f1:5.6.

Hand held.
Sure like the expression in the monkey's face. Nice shot!
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Old Mar 5, 2010, 5:40 AM   #10
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A nice 'un John!!
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