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Old Jun 5, 2011, 10:33 PM   #11
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Default Sorry for the delay everyone - very busy week

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Originally Posted by rhermans View Post
Great shots Marc,

getting that sharp at 1/100 - 600mm is not only SR but also you.

I only go below 1/focal length when I don't want the iso to go up any further and the lens isn't fast enough. Handheld going below 1/250sec with a 600mm isn't for me ... yet.

One extra thing I find funny, a lot of talk has been going over mirror slap resonance that causes unsharp photos around 1/100 sec what you don't have.

Cheers

Ronny


PS: Concerning the sr, a while ago I came across this
Study-of-the-Effectiveness-of-Shake-Reduction-in-the-Pentax- where they 'prove?' that the 4 stop advantage of SR really exists. - but that is up to 50mm.
Hi Ronny, thanks for the link and I'll try to give that a read asap.

I think SR does work quite well, assuming solid long lens technique. Hopefully these are good enough, but I'd not bet a huge amount of successful images - that's when the subject's movements, specifically motion blur and going outside the DOF (pretty narrow at 600mm and only 15-18 feet away.

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Originally Posted by Frogfish View Post
Looks like you put any question on that front to bed ! #3 is just lovely.
Thanks and very glad you enjoyed that image!

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Originally Posted by Goldwinger View Post
That's just outstanding!
More to come - honest! Thank you GW for the kind words.

Regards,
Marc
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Old Jun 5, 2011, 10:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhermans View Post
Great shots Marc,

getting that sharp at 1/100 - 600mm is not only SR but also you.

I only go below 1/focal length when I don't want the iso to go up any further and the lens isn't fast enough. Handheld going below 1/250sec with a 600mm isn't for me ... yet.

One extra thing I find funny, a lot of talk has been going over mirror slap resonance that causes unsharp photos around 1/100 sec what you don't have.

Cheers

Ronny


PS: Concerning the sr, a while ago I came across this
Study-of-the-Effectiveness-of-Shake-Reduction-in-the-Pentax- where they 'prove?' that the 4 stop advantage of SR really exists. - but that is up to 50mm.
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.Pattullo View Post
just a quick question/observation

why are you using shake reduction at all when using a tripod? the general consensus is that sr reduces image quality when used on a tripod not that it shows here

In certain situations it will be useful: windy conditions, other factors affecting your shutter speed, etc. Normally that size of lens is like a small sail in the wind - it does move. I was impressed with how well SR did, given the very blustery conditions! Sometimes the birds went completely out of focus if they were on a branch. It was challenging, to say the least. The bottom line is that it really depends on the light/weather conditions and the camera body used. Obviously the K10D does have a ceiling on ISO before it becomes too noisy to tackle in PP. I have found it's around ISO 500-640 at most.

More than a few Canon IS super telephotos have a tripod specific stabilization setting. It is useful in certain situations. Regarding long lens technique: I simply drape my left hand over the top of the lens, sometimes part of the forearm. My hand placed near the hood & then my face is placed against the back of the camera. I often shoot with both eyes open to see what's just outside the viewfinder's FOV - mainly when it's larger creatures. The hummingbirds are generally too small and too fast.

To clarify for those not familiar with the setup: a Gimbal head is simply a resting point for the gear - it's still able to move easily on the X/Y axis, a bit on the Z axis when the adjustment knobs are not tightened down. I always leave mine relatively free moving, so it's not just a typical setup on a tripod. I can easily move 15lbs of lens+camera+grip with my thumb and index finger - it's amazing how easily it moves. At 600mm, that effect of just putting my hands on the lens and camera body is noticeable.

This technique yields great results for me by dampening the movement created by pressing the shutter button - my left hand and face do much of that. AF function is disabled and is separated onto the back panel AF button instead. Then I (hopefully) don't create as much movement since I'm pushing against the back button, not the top when I need to engage AF - which is often with these subjects. The very narrow DOF at F/5.6 --> F/7.1 in dimmer light @ 600mm and 15-18 feet away is something I must be aware of. Often motion blur and being slightly out of the DOF is the most common issue at the wider apertures and lower shutter speeds. Birds just don't move slowly (unfortunately).

Summary: normally I don't use SR unless it's pretty bad conditions (high winds, dim lighting) or very low shutter speeds. Most of the time it seems to do the trick. It's good to know that in a pinch SR seems to a reasonable backup in such inclement weather conditions if your equipment and skill level with a long lens is there. I am not sure at what shutter speed and below to enable SR on a longer lens. Perhaps it pays to experiment and find out what works best for you.

I hope I do not confuse the matter in my replies - if it doesn't make sense, please let me know.

Regards,
Marc
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Old Jun 5, 2011, 10:45 PM   #13
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Default The lens used is the FA* 250-600/5.6

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Originally Posted by mtngal View Post
That's a fair question, though I can answer that partly. I have no experience shooting longer than 300 mm, but have discovered that there's degrees of steadiness. I've used a sturdy tripod in windy conditions and almost had my tripod blown over - that's not exactly what I would call "steady". I've had better results leaving SR on during those times. I can only imagine how difficult it would be to get a steady enough surface to turn off SR at those shutter speeds, at 600mm I would guess even a light wind could cause a certain amount of camera shake.

Marc - are you going to be going anywhere interesting this year? I sure wish I could have made your Utah trip last year.
Exactly - a big lens is akin to a sail in windy conditions - it resonates/vibrates a fair bit (eg. Sigma 500/4.5), although a heavier one 250-600/5.6 is less prone to it, assuming a solid support setup.

I'm working on a rather ambitious trip/workshop that goes through Utah and Arizona, but it might have wait until I get some other matters settled. I also committed to a lot of sports related work this year in Augusta, GA and Bend, OR so that cuts in to available time. Will keep you posted!

Quote:
Originally Posted by John.Pattullo View Post
another quick question - what lens are you using?
Scott has it right - the FA* 250-600/5.6.

Quote:
Originally Posted by snostorm View Post
If Marc doesn't get back quickly, I can guess that the most likely lens is his FA* 250-600 f5.6.

I've used SR with my FA* 300/2.8 with stacked 1.4xTC and 1.7x AFA for 715mm when mounted on a Wimberley Sidekick and a pretty steady but enexpensive Chinese CF tripod. Gimbals are not known as the steadiest support as they extend considerably above the mounting point to the tripod, and are usually not shot locked down, so there's going to be a little bearing play in even the best of them (at least that's the way I use mine). Their forte is allowing essentially effortless use of really heavy gear in situations where frequent repositioning is required, and in this, they excel.

To Marc -- Great work!!! . . . as always. . . I've got to get out and shoot some hummingbirds. . .

Scott
Hey, I don't even need to comment - Scott took care of it! I've expounded on the inquiry/comments by John and Ronnie in the post above this reply. Thank you sir for the kind words too.

Good for you Scott - look forward to seeing those hummer shots.

Regards,
Marc
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Last edited by Marc Langille; Jun 5, 2011 at 10:48 PM.
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Old Jun 5, 2011, 10:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mole View Post
Marc - as always from you, some amazing photos, photos which call us to go out and discover more of nature! Thanks for all you do to illustrate and protect!

John P - I have the "grandpa" of Marc's lens - the old K 135-600 f6.3. Have tried with and without SR, and see little difference. In my case, it is much more lack of good long lens technique than the effects of SR!
Usually will get the best results with 2 sec delay/mirror lockup, but that isn't usually an option for catching any action...

I've seen that lens - it's a tough customer to balance with the collar so far back!! Hopefully my post above on how I do my long lens technique will be of some help to everyone.

Thank you very much for the kind words!

Quote:
Originally Posted by John.Pattullo View Post
now if only they would produce a DA* 250-600mm f5.6 and either just feel generous to give me one or at least price it below £2000/$3000 so i can dream and save
I'd buy one. No question.
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