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Old Jul 17, 2006, 3:43 PM   #1
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Hello all.

these are my 1st pic posts here. I needed some advice and critique on how to get some better animal shots b/c these arent very good compared to some of the other posts i've seen here.

Please let me know of any tips you can give for improving these shots.

This one istDS taken with Petax SMC FA 28-200 f3.8-5.6
1/10 s @ f5.6 iso800 113mm


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Old Jul 17, 2006, 3:45 PM   #2
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This one istDS taken with Petax SMC FA 28-200 f3.8-5.6
1/8 s @ f5.6 iso1600 113mm
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Old Jul 17, 2006, 3:52 PM   #3
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This one istDS taken with Petax SMC FA 28-200 f3.8-5.6
1/30 s @ f5.6 iso1600 85mm

The expression on Sugar here amuses me more than the actual techincal photo itself. Kinda looks like he's saying, "what? me worry?"

The main reason i posted this pic was to ask how are you all able to focus accurately with you pentax dslrs? I had so much trouble getting manual focus on the eyes with Sugar here b/c in general i find it really difficult seeing the focal plane in the viewfinder. I mean, pinpoint accuracy is very hard for me to find, not b/c the viewfinder is out of focus, just that it seems so small. This is especially problemsome when i am trying to keep a narrow plane of focus.

I dont remember having this problem with my old pentax mz5n when i was shooting film so long ago. Comments? anyone have the same problem
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Old Jul 17, 2006, 5:44 PM   #4
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welcome to the board.
these all look just fine to me. the soft focus on sugar actually IMHO enhances the shot. for better focus you might try a higher f-stop to add some DOF. surely you shot these from a tri or monopod.

roy
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Old Jul 17, 2006, 9:16 PM   #5
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The first two are great...I would not change a thing! I think cats make great subjects, especially when you can zoom in close!

Jay
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Old Jul 17, 2006, 9:54 PM   #6
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That is impressive sharpness. I prefer the first two photos. They are excellent. That backlighting in the thirdI findis distracting. Perhaps it is just me.

MT
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Old Jul 18, 2006, 12:05 AM   #7
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I'm really impressed with the first one - you were shooting in somewhat difficult lighting conditions and you didn't lose either the shadows or blow out the light part. The focus is really sharp on the first 2.

The third one was really difficult with so much backlighting. I wonder if you used the flash (assuming you were within the flash's range) to lighten the face, would that have helped, by helping to equal out the light/dark range?

Manual focus takes practice. I use several manual lenses and at first depended on the beep/light to tell me when I had the focus right. I still use it as a guide, but now don't depend on it any more - I can usually tell when I have it right.All the practice I've had recently with a new macro lens has certainly helped me get used to it. I do have the dioper adjusted to my eyes when I'm wearing lenses corrected for long distances - if I try to use myuncorrected eye,computer or reading glasses I won't get it right (I'm one of those who would wear either progressive lenses or trifocals, but I do it by wearing contacts for distance, then bifocals for computer (top) and close (bottom). Works great!). I only run into problems if I'm outdoors with my back-up glasses. They are transition lenses and I'll check out the viewfinder without using them to see what the colors look like, but I can't focus that way.
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Old Jul 18, 2006, 6:32 PM   #8
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thanks for the positive comments.

yes. these three shots were all on a tripod. I tried the previous day doing some handheld but only resulted in about 2 or three steady shots out of about 15maybe.

here's one:
Petax SMC FA 28-200 f3.8-5.6 1/6 s @ f5.6 iso800 200mm handheld
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Old Jul 18, 2006, 6:53 PM   #9
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The Pentax 28-200mm seems like an impressive lens. However being on a tripod also helped with the sharpness.

MT
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Old Jul 18, 2006, 7:01 PM   #10
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and another.

Pentax SMC FA 28-200 f3.8-5.6 1/10 s @ f5.6 iso800 200mm handheld

this was really an exercise in shooting animals in preperation for going to the zoo but if 2 lazy cats are this difficult to get, i'm thnking about scrubbing the whole zoo trip.

I try to shoot at a wide open aperature 'cuz i like isolating the background and figured this would allow me a marginally faster shutter speed to counter hand shake. this didnt matter much since the shutter speeds i was getting was still wayyy below what i should be using for a 200mm. I was almost going for a fasion glamour shot, you know, the type where a model's eyes are the only thing that are in focus? so that's the main reason i didnt shoot at a higher fstop.
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