A Conundrum - Advise most appreciated

Started Jun 21, 2013 | Discussions thread
Michael Fritzen
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Re: A Conundrum - Advise most appreciated
In reply to myosotis, Jun 21, 2013

myosotis wrote:

Hi Again Everyone,

I have A77 + 70-300mm.

After lots of testing I have found that i like

1)ISO no higher than 400 (otherwise a bit noisy)

2)At 300mm which I am shooting mostly I think image sharpest at F8

3)I always use tripod

4)I like to use shutter speed 1/320 or quicker for sharpest image.

This is fine (when taking nature - birds in the main) if light sufficient.

But what can I do if light not sufficient and Ii want to keep above parameters

Must I use flash (I don't really like taking birds with flash, as it scares them)

Is there any other way?

All help most appreciated

Chris

Hi,

some thoughts:

1) From what can be gathered from reviews and many user comments the A77 may not be a high ISO monster but up to ISO1600 it should produce pretty good results. Perhaps you're pixel peeping a bit too much on screen. The look on the screen does not represent what the shot would look like when printed.

2) A limiting factor for better high(er) ISO performance on most Sony cams is the mostly mediocre in-camera JPG engine. So processing yourself yor shots from RAW and when needed some additional noise reduction is an option for getting better results at higher ISO levels.

3) Perhaps you should realize some testing with your lens comparing HOW MUCH better/sharper is your lens at f/8 against a wider opening. Shooting under less light means a stretch, getting closer to the limits and I'd suggest to include the lens in this process. When the whole shooting situation is less than ideal then there's no point in keeping the lens at its sharpest f-stop. Same for the exposure time given that you shoot with tripod support. At some point subject movement may become the relevant factor so again no point in keeping the f-stop when it means a too long exposure time.

4) A faster lens would be a way to improve things - or a lens which provides acceptable sharpness fully open. Again, stopping down in order to possibly work at max sharpness only makes sense if other factors allow for such optimized shooting parameters.

5) You could add light, of course. If this is doable in practise is another question. And for flash usage you have to consider its limited range. Again you could set up multiple flashes but if this is a practical way is not sure. BTW in overall low lighting conditions a single flash most probably won't produce a pleasant lighting for bird shots.

I'd suggest some experimenting to find your work around. Good luck.

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Cheers,
Michael Fritzen

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