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Old May 24, 2008, 11:39 AM   #1
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I really need to know what settings I should have used to get this shot properly. this was taken with my 100-500mm Phoenix lens. 1/15, f:5.6 shutter priority mode iso 200. manual focus. I seem to be having trouble with my long lens getting decent shots no matter what I try. :? all critiques wellcome!
thanks
-John
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Old May 24, 2008, 12:19 PM   #2
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I think this is a pretty bird picture. What could improve the picture a bit:

- Move the camera lower to take more of the wood onto which the bird is standing into the pic.

- the end of the bird feather is not focused...i think you focused about at the area of the birds neck not? from the point onto which you focus... the depth of field is 1/3 in front of your focus point and 2/3 will behind your focus point. In this area the focus will be perfect. My suggestion: focus onto a point of the bird which puts the bird right into the depth of field, making everything of the birdsharp. I was thinking about the area just above the legs...focus there with the shutter button pressed halfway..then move the viewer towards the right spot and take the picture.

Good suggestions?
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Old May 24, 2008, 3:03 PM   #3
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hello Goldwingeri hope u d'not mind
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Old May 24, 2008, 3:48 PM   #4
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feetjai wrote:
Quote:

I think this is a pretty bird picture. What could improve the picture a bit:

- Move the camera lower to take more of the wood onto which the bird is standing into the pic.

- the end of the bird feather is not focused...i think you focused about at the area of the birds neck not? from the point onto which you focus... the depth of field is 1/3 in front of your focus point and 2/3 will behind your focus point. In this area the focus will be perfect. My suggestion: focus onto a point of the bird which puts the bird right into the depth of field, making everything of the birdsharp. I was thinking about the area just above the legs...focus there with the shutter button pressed halfway..then move the viewer towards the right spot and take the picture.

Good suggestions?
feetjai,
thank you. those are great suggestions. I have no education on composing my subjects and I'm learning as I go. I have heard of the rule of thirds but, yours is the first it was explained like that. I have been just focusing on center of my subject. I think in this case though, the reason the tail feathers and his plume are blurred is because it was rather windy that day and the shutter speed was slow. In the photo below I used 1/90 f:8. The image is much sharper (better comp too?)But, way to dark! My biggest problem is I can't tell from the LCD view how well my settings will produce a photo. What looks good on screen, looks bad on the computer and vice versa.
Thanks,
John

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Old May 24, 2008, 3:56 PM   #5
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jollyr wrote:
Quote:
hello Goldwingeri hope u d'not mind
hello Jolly!
no, I don't mind at all, you did good. but, the reason I posted it as shot, was so others could see what I was getting with curent settings and make suggestions as to what I could do to get better results in-camera.
thanks,
John
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Old May 25, 2008, 1:01 AM   #6
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Goldwinger wrote:
Quote:
jollyr wrote:
Quote:
hello Goldwingeri hope u d'not mind
hello Jolly!
no, I don't mind at all, you did good. but, the reason I posted it as shot, was so others could see what I was getting with curent settings and make suggestions as to what I could do to get better results in-camera.
thanks,
John

Aah yes. I did not view the Exif info. I can see that the shutter speed was 1/15

That is indeed too slow to have a 'stoned' bird :?. Moving subjects like leaves in the wind...feathers in this thread could be stopped with a shutter time around 1/125. Your diafragma was f/5.6 I think you zoomed al they way in already so we cannot change the diafragma to a bigger hole. so that leaves you with only one option to lower the have a faster shutter time: the ISO value. You used 200 as I can see with Exif program or use vista to browse the pictures and Exif info is displayed beneath the screen. ISO 400 will help you. ISO 400 is more light sensitive, but depending on the camera it will eventually make the picture very grainy.. I see that your camera can goto ISO 1600 as max. (google) So try a higher ISO value. until the moment you see the picture becoming too gtainy for your taste..then if the picture is still too dark..no problem: change the lighting with program..presto good still picture...

I am an amateur as well. I picked up my Sony alpha weeks ago, but have been reading ever since. So i am learning as well

Your welcome John

regards, cw

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Old May 25, 2008, 6:59 AM   #7
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Goldwinger wrote:
Quote:
feetjai wrote:
Quote:

I think this is a pretty bird picture. What could improve the picture a bit:

- Move the camera lower to take more of the wood onto which the bird is standing into the pic.

- the end of the bird feather is not focused...i think you focused about at the area of the birds neck not? from the point onto which you focus... the depth of field is 1/3 in front of your focus point and 2/3 will behind your focus point. In this area the focus will be perfect. My suggestion: focus onto a point of the bird which puts the bird right into the depth of field, making everything of the birdsharp. I was thinking about the area just above the legs...focus there with the shutter button pressed halfway..then move the viewer towards the right spot and take the picture.

Good suggestions?
feetjai,
thank you. those are great suggestions. I have no education on composing my subjects and I'm learning as I go. I have heard of the rule of thirds but, yours is the first it was explained like that. I have been just focusing on center of my subject. I think in this case though, the reason the tail feathers and his plume are blurred is because it was rather windy that day and the shutter speed was slow. In the photo below I used 1/90 f:8. The image is much sharper (better comp too?)But, way to dark! My biggest problem is I can't tell from the LCD view how well my settings will produce a photo. What looks good on screen, looks bad on the computer and vice versa.
Thanks,
John


I am not sure what your camera is capable of but what i do is:

- always select a camera mode that is important for me for a given picture. For instance If i shoot a person on a bicycle then i am sure that i need at least 1/125 - 1/250 shutter speed to freeze my subject. So on my Sony alpha I Choose "S mode' which let's me select shutter speed only. The other important parameter like Diafragma, ISO and white balance are most times on auto. The camera will select them as needed.

If I need more DoF (depth of field) then I choose Mode A (let's me select diafragma size only) f/4 will have less DoF then f/8. The higher the number the smaller the hole in your lens , thus the less light.

2nd - are there factors that will change the picture results: Think about light, if your subject is darker then the surroundings then your subject will be darker then the srurrounding space around it. For example a person standing in the sun. Or for instance a person standing in front of avery well litwindow. In this 2nd example you can have 2 radical pictures. A) the subject is dark and the sky is normal. B) the subject is normal lit but the sky is very very bright. A way to deal with this is too use a flash device together with the example A..then both person and sky are normal lighted.

So learn your camera first, know what it can do and when you need it.

And: learn what diafragma, shutterspeed, ISO and what they have in common.

Learn to see what happens under certain circumstances...after making test pics you will know how your camera will make the picture...practise makes perfect as many say.

If you want to know more..just ask...so many camera men / women here. :-)
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Old May 25, 2008, 9:19 AM   #8
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Yes, I think I'm starting to understand my camera and lenses a little better now. I think I was expecting too much from them. My 500mm has a max aperture of f:5.6 so if I'm shooting a subject at 100 meters away a flash is no help and I have a choice of either using a slower shutter or higher iso. One is going to blur due to movement and the other is going to give a lot of noise. Guess I need a different lens!:sad::sad::sad:
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Old May 25, 2008, 9:41 AM   #9
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This is more for anyone asking questions which really shouldnt be answered. Asking what settings to use is a bit silly since you are in the situation and not us. All the different kinds of light, shade, bright sunlight, overcast, partially cloudy, rain, snow, sleet and hail. My advice to you is to spend a day from morning to sundown and shoot the same scene over and over under all the different lighting conditions. Get to know your camera before we do. Then come back and ask some good questions which can easily be answered. This is the age of digital so taking pictures all day and seeing instant results will cost nothing but the time spent and it will be time well spent. I recommend this to anyone new to photography or having a new camera. Learn its limitations and what to expect and stay in that boundary so there is no disappointment. As a final note, anyone serious about their photos should learn photoshop because 99% of all bad pics can be fixed to some degree.
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Old May 25, 2008, 10:10 AM   #10
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just noticed that you actualy mention the make of the lens in this thread

if this is what your using all the time on long shots, in other messages too, then thats where your problem with sharpness etc is, i did a search because i had not heard of "phoenix lens" and im affraid to say you get what you pay for with a lens.

as you say your having probs no matter what you try

id go for a proper brand lens for your camera, i know itll be more expensive, but this is because the optics will be miles better

Gary
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