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Old Jun 8, 2003, 6:14 PM   #11
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Hi Eric, I'm not sure what to say here. Generally do most of my shooting in aperture priority mode, as you know the camera body sets the shutter speed to match the selected aperture. I generally use center weighted metering and, at least for this body, I find that -.3 exposure comp. usually results in a good catch. I've got no special knowledge of lens design or anything but I was thinking that perhaps the fact that the 600 has a much larger front element that it might have some bearing on the amount of light admitted, kind of like telescope or binocular optics hence the high shutter speed selected by the camera body, but after consulting with a few folks whose knowledge in that arena is far greater than mine the consensus is no it doesn't. I generally try to shoot when the subject is well lit by natural light..maybe that's the reason for the higher shutter speeds. Have you tried going in shutter priority and getting a feel for how much light has to be on your subject to ensure a good exposure when using your chosen shutter speed?
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Old Jun 8, 2003, 11:08 PM   #12
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Thanks for the info. I haven't use aperture priority yet. I do understand what it does, but I'm still getting comfortable with the 400mm and things like good composition and anticipation of what the bird will do. Now if it would only stop raining I might get out and use it!

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Originally Posted by Kevin G
I was thinking that perhaps the fact that the 600 has a much larger front element
My undestanding is that the fact that it has a larger front element is a sign that it has a decent maximum aperture compared to its focal length. And of course, a larger max aperture means that you get more light (and can therefor use a faster shutter speed.) But "a larger front element" is a relative thing. It's already a large lens.

I was taking pictures on a bright sunny day (80 degrees, no clouds) in the mid-day sun and I still wasn't able to crack 1/350'th at f5.6 at 400mm (x 1.6 sensor crop factor) at ISO 100. That doesn't come anywhere *near* what you were able to achieve with an f4 lens. But maybe this is because I was in Program AE mode. I'll try messing with both of the priority modes. I was assuming it was picking its fastest reasonable shutter speed, but maybe not. Time to read more about that mode.

Why does the long glass have to be so expensive and heavy? :lol: I could afford it, but do I really want to spend 7K on a lens?
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Old Jun 9, 2003, 4:16 AM   #13
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Now if it would only stop raining I might get out and use it!

Same here...are you on the East Coast?

:idea: OK now I've got it!! Put the dunce cap on me..never thought to ask what ISO you were shooting at. The Nikon's lowest setting is 200. Try bumping up the ISO, actually from the shots I've seen posted around the 'net, the Canon bodies are capable of producing images with much less noise than the Nikon bodies (Not trolling here guys, just a personal observation from a Nikon user).

Why does the long glass have to be so expensive and heavy? I could afford it, but do I really want to spend 7K on a lens?

I felt the same way until someone let me borrow a 600 F4 AND a 400 F2.8 for an extended period of time
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Old Jun 9, 2003, 8:51 AM   #14
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About a hour into my trip I switched to 200ISO. That let me switch from 1/250 to 1/350. Not a lot, but it helped. I was wondering if Program AE was being too conservitive in its settings... but I doubt that because that would have lead to improper exposure. If you were using 1/800 at 600mm F5.6 on a good sunny day, I should be able to do the same thing at 400mm. But I wasn't able to on Friday. Weird.

I'm going to have to do some testing during lunch. Try out both Aperture and Shutter Priority modes. Unfortunately, it will have to be indoors because it's raining again!!! AAAHHHH!!!!! :evil: :evil:

I came close to buying a D100, so I have no problem with Nikon stuff. If they had VR in more long lenses, it would have been a tougher choice (well, and other small nits, like their longer glass being 10% more expensive than Canon.) The 10D does hold back the noise demons quite well, but I assume the next Nikon bodies will be even better.

Have you ever used NeatImage? Great software for removing noise. They demo version only works on 8-bit color files, but it's good to demonstrate what it can do. I'll get the Pro version eventually.

I'd love to borrow a 600 F4. But then I know I'd go and buy one, and a tripod and Wimbley to match it. But I feel I should get used to what I have, first. I just spent 4K on my new body and lenses... I should be responsible and hold off for a bit. But my fall trip to Maine is just calling out for either a Swarovski for digiscoping or some bigger glass.

Yes, I'm up near Boston, Ma. The weather sure has sucked. I don't mind rain some times... water is a good thing. But I want to get out every now and then. The "Saturday afternoon" rain started here at 10am, just as I went out the door to hike!

On Friday I took the day off because it was so nice here and went to Plum Island/Parker River NWR (great place, I recommend it!) When I came back, I had some question which have paralleled my posts to this thread. I wrote them up in a post on the canon DSLR forum, but they really are not cannon specific. Could you take a look? It looks like you might have the experience to answer them. This is the thread:
http://www.stevesforums.com/phpBB2/v...ic.php?t=10694

I'd greatly appreciate it.
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Old Jun 9, 2003, 1:49 PM   #15
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Hi again Eric, I had a look through the thread you posted on the Canon and I'm wondering if you rfocus problems are because you are set to one-focusing. The Nikon has a single or a continous focus option, on the Canon I beleive it's called "servo"?

The better beamer not only extends your reach by a good bit but also has the added benefit of greatly reducing your flash recycle times as it takes a lot less from the caps to put out a given amount of flash. The shorter recycle time even applies when using an extyernal power pack. From what I've read around the 10D's auto focus is supposed to be very good, not quite as the 1D or 1D'S but hey, look at the price difference. It seems to me that I remember in either a Canon or Nikin catalog entry concerning thier various TC's that AF operation was "unreliable" beyond F5.6. Have you considered a 400 2.8 with a 1.4TC, that would be a real sweet setup!! Without the TC you'd have a 600+ @ F2.8..wow
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Old Jun 9, 2003, 10:01 PM   #16
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Thanks for taking a look. I appreciate it.

Canon has an AF Servo and an AI Servo (which decides if it should use single shot or AF Servo.) What this does is focus lock and then tracks the movement of the subject and keeps them in focus. I assume itís the same with Nikon. Weird name, but useful feature. I blew a really good Snowy Egret shot because I hadn't used this. The egret was jumping between two spots (to long to walk, I guess.) So it has its wings out and its feet entirely out of the water and it moved directly towards me. Good looking picture... if it was only sharp. But that time, it was definitely me, and not the camera that missed that shot.

Do you have any idea how far the better beamer can reach with a good, powerful flash? Does it lend enough light to help stop action on a bright day, or is it really just an extended fill flash?

What I read was that the AF just shuts down beyond F5.6. I had to play a trick on the lens to convince it to even try.

I just look at these prices (all with IS. All US, not gray.):
400mm f2.8 = $6,500
400mm f4 DO = $5,300
500mm f4 = $5,500

And I wonder, why get the 400 f2.8 when I could get the 500 f4 for a hell of a lot less. I guess I could still get AF with the 2xTC on the 400 f2.8 (well, the f-stop would allow it, I assume it would still work.) And without the TC, I could use it in lower light. In my very limited experience, reach seems key. But do I need it more than a larger aperture? I donít know yetÖ. I sure could have used a better aperture on that last trip. A hard and expensive question.
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