BIF shooters, please help

Started 5 months ago | Questions thread
seeker moc
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Re: BIF shooters, please help
In reply to dzba, 5 months ago

A local pro advised me to shoot to open up my lens to 5.6 and bump the ISO up to attain a minimum of 1/2000 shutter speed. He feels that even though the sweet spot on the lens is between f7 and f10 I'd be better off opening up the lens so I can gain shutter speed. In the past, when I've used ISO over 200 I start to see noise and don't like what I'm seeing above 400.

Fast shutter speed is a good idea when trying to shoot something moving that fast. It should freeze movement both from camera + telephoto lens-hand holding and subject movement. Also, if you have unintended motion blur in the pictures, sharpness and everything else is irrelevant, so I would consider freezing movement more important that using your preferred aperture/ISO. Though from what I've read, 1/1000 should be fast enough for eagles and other large birds.

That said, in my (quite amateur) opinion, the problem in the pics you posted looks more like focus is slightly off than motion blur.

It occurred to me that I could gain a lot more in the way of sharpness if I went into the picture style editor. I've been shooting in Faithful style and had the sharpness set at 1+ out of a possible 7+ max setting.

AFAIK, if you're shooting RAW, this is irrelevant. Picture styles are only applied to out-of-camera JPEGs. Any thing you can do w/ picture styles you can do in PP.

I've been shooting in raw format and continuous burst when I can keep the subject in the frame. I get green confirmation dot after pre focusing for a couple of seconds and then shoot.

I switched from continuous focus because I had trouble locating the bird in the viewfinder when the focus was way off. They can, and do, change directions on a dime, and give you 5 cents change. I'm too slow to capture their sudden moves. When I can anticipate, I have a chance.

All have been hand held attempts at this point. I have a good tripod, with a ball head and intend to try using that in spite of their quick movements. Since the location is 10 away and I have plenty of time, I go a lot. I'm a glutton for frustration at this point.:-(

With shutter speeds high enough, a tripod shouldn't matter. If anything, I would think a tripod would hinder your ability to easily track your subject (though I've never used a really good tripod before, so I don't know for sure).

I would welcome suggestions and ideas on how I can get my efforts much sharper before I attempt any post processing. Thanks, Mike

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