7D : BIF Settings. Recommendations?

Started Apr 2, 2010 | Discussions
rndman
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7D : BIF Settings. Recommendations?
Apr 2, 2010

I am too far behind even from a newbie in the BIF. Just wanted to know with 7D + 100-400 the following settings are good/bad.

ISO : 400
Aperture : f7.1
Shutter : As light allows (At least 1/1600 ?)
Metering : Center weighted (or Should it be partial ?)
Focus : AI Servo. Slow Tracking
AF Points : Center Point with expansion
EV : +2/3
WB : Auto (Does not matter much for RAW)
AF Drive : Continuous (High)
IS : Off

I have now set this as my "C1".

Any suggestion are greatly appreciated.

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Jovo
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Re: 7D : BIF Settings. Recommendations?
In reply to rndman, Apr 2, 2010

My settings with the 7D and 400mm f/5.6L are similar, but use f/5.6 and 1/1200s and evaluative metering. I found evaluative to be much faster to focus compared to the spot. Only shoot RAW.

I also use Tv mode (set in C1) and auto ISO and have shot at ISO3200. The photos look great with a little noise reduction.

rndman wrote:

I am too far behind even from a newbie in the BIF. Just wanted to know with 7D + 100-400 the following settings are good/bad.

ISO : 400
Aperture : f7.1
Shutter : As light allows (At least 1/1600 ?)
Metering : Center weighted (or Should it be partial ?)
Focus : AI Servo. Slow Tracking
AF Points : Center Point with expansion
EV : +2/3
WB : Auto (Does not matter much for RAW)
AF Drive : Continuous (High)
IS : Off

I have now set this as my "C1".

Any suggestion are greatly appreciated.

 Jovo's gear list:Jovo's gear list
Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM
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rndman
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Re: 7D : BIF Settings. Recommendations?
In reply to Jovo, Apr 2, 2010

Thanks.

You seem to use Tv mode. 100-400 wide open is less sharp in comparison so I would like to shoot stopped down. Hence I preferred Av. But after experience I might change.

As for metering, I thought as everything is at the center (mostly), either partial or CW might work better. Evaluative may have the danger of under/over expose. IMHO.

Thanks for sharing your setup.

Jovo wrote:

My settings with the 7D and 400mm f/5.6L are similar, but use f/5.6 and 1/1200s and evaluative metering. I found evaluative to be much faster to focus compared to the spot. Only shoot RAW.

I also use Tv mode (set in C1) and auto ISO and have shot at ISO3200. The photos look great with a little noise reduction.

rndman wrote:

I am too far behind even from a newbie in the BIF. Just wanted to know with 7D + 100-400 the following settings are good/bad.

ISO : 400
Aperture : f7.1
Shutter : As light allows (At least 1/1600 ?)
Metering : Center weighted (or Should it be partial ?)
Focus : AI Servo. Slow Tracking
AF Points : Center Point with expansion
EV : +2/3
WB : Auto (Does not matter much for RAW)
AF Drive : Continuous (High)
IS : Off

I have now set this as my "C1".

Any suggestion are greatly appreciated.

 rndman's gear list:rndman's gear list
Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 IF ED MC Rokinon 8mm f/3.5 Aspherical Fisheye
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Jovo
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Re: 7D : BIF Settings. Recommendations?
In reply to rndman, Apr 2, 2010

With birds in flight (especially when they are not against clear sky) I find spot metering gives me far more over exposure problems. Not sure why, but that is why I have gone to evaluative.

rndman wrote:

As for metering, I thought as everything is at the center (mostly), either partial or CW might work better. Evaluative may have the danger of under/over expose. IMHO.

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Hans Bolte
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Re: 7D : BIF Settings. Recommendations?
In reply to rndman, Apr 2, 2010

What I use:

rndman wrote:

I am too far behind even from a newbie in the BIF. Just wanted to know with 7D + 100-400 the following settings are good/bad.

ISO : 400 Or as low as I can
Aperture : f7.1 5.6-6.3
Shutter : As light allows (At least 1/1600 ?)
Metering : Center weighted (or Should it be partial ?) Evaluative
Focus : AI Servo. Slow Tracking
AF Points : Center Point with expansion Center spot
EV : +2/3 Let the subject dictate
WB : Auto (Does not matter much for RAW)
AF Drive : Continuous (High)
IS : Off On

All subject to change due to conditions.

A sample using these

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Chris R-UK
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Re: 7D : BIF Settings. Recommendations?
In reply to rndman, Apr 2, 2010

If I am shooting birds against a changing background, e.g. one moment against the sky, the next against trees, the next against fields, I tend to use M to fix the exposure for the bird. I find that this works well provided the bird isn't moving from sunlight into shade all the time.

I select a reference area, normally a patch of grass, and set the exposure for that using M mode. I then take a few shots of birds and adjust the metering if I need a higher or lower exposure for the birds, e.g. grass -2/3EV. While I am shooting I recheck the exposure against the patch of grass and adjust as necessary.
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Hans Bolte
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Re: 7D : BIF Settings. Recommendations?
In reply to Chris R-UK, Apr 2, 2010

Good advice.

Chris R-UK wrote:

If I am shooting birds against a changing background, e.g. one moment against the sky, the next against trees, the next against fields, I tend to use M to fix the exposure for the bird. I find that this works well provided the bird isn't moving from sunlight into shade all the time.

I select a reference area, normally a patch of grass, and set the exposure for that using M mode. I then take a few shots of birds and adjust the metering if I need a higher or lower exposure for the birds, e.g. grass -2/3EV. While I am shooting I recheck the exposure against the patch of grass and adjust as necessary.
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Chris R

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rndman
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Re: 7D : BIF Settings. Recommendations?
In reply to rndman, Apr 4, 2010

These are my "first" BIFs. There is a lot of learning. Withe this experience I can do better next time..

These birds were way too far. Most of them could not even cover the spot meter circle in my VF.

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Hans Bolte
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Re: 7D : BIF Settings. Recommendations?
In reply to rndman, Apr 4, 2010

Very good first BIF's!!
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POTD's

http://www.pbase.com/hb1840/potd

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rndman
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Re: 7D : BIF Settings. Recommendations?
In reply to Hans Bolte, Apr 4, 2010

Thanks.

I realized that when Sun starts to go down, it becomes tougher to maintain the proper exposure with adequate shutter speed for blur free image and enough f to maintain DOF.

So I thought may be the better beamer may come to the rescue and hence pulled the trigger. I am not sure how far it would be helpful for the BIFs.

BTW naturscapes.net is running a promotion by throwing in an additional replacement lens in the same order. Thought I would share if anyone is looking to purchase one.

Hans Bolte wrote:

Very good first BIF's!!
--
POTD's

http://www.pbase.com/hb1840/potd

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TimR32225
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Re: Better Beamer
In reply to rndman, Apr 4, 2010

The Better Beamer is very effective, and it can spoil you. But you need to pay attention to several things when using it. Since it redirects the output of your flash output into a more concentrated beam of light, you will get lots more distance when using it and in many cases you'll have to tone down your flash output a but (- FEC). If you are close to the subject, you will need to also tone down the flash to prevent blowout from the short distance.

Be sure to set the zoom on your flash to 50mm, in order to get the best results from the beamer. Also, the beamer is not effective at focal lengths under 300mm.

You should hold on to that extra fresnel lens you got. They break very easily and that's probably the biggest complaint you'll hear about them.

Just about all these shots were made using a better beamer:
http://timrucciphotography.blogspot.com/2010/04/birds-in-flight.html

Have fun...
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Photoblog at: http://timrucciphotography.blogspot.com/

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rndman
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Re: Better Beamer
In reply to TimR32225, Apr 4, 2010

Wow. You have some very nice pictures of those birds.

Thanks for the detailed info about better beamer. I hope it works out for me.

Thanks again.

TimR32225 wrote:

The Better Beamer is very effective, and it can spoil you. But you need to pay attention to several things when using it. Since it redirects the output of your flash output into a more concentrated beam of light, you will get lots more distance when using it and in many cases you'll have to tone down your flash output a but (- FEC). If you are close to the subject, you will need to also tone down the flash to prevent blowout from the short distance.

Be sure to set the zoom on your flash to 50mm, in order to get the best results from the beamer. Also, the beamer is not effective at focal lengths under 300mm.

You should hold on to that extra fresnel lens you got. They break very easily and that's probably the biggest complaint you'll hear about them.

Just about all these shots were made using a better beamer:
http://timrucciphotography.blogspot.com/2010/04/birds-in-flight.html

Have fun...
--
Gallery at: http://www.pbase.com/tim32225
Photoblog at: http://timrucciphotography.blogspot.com/

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mmullen
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Re: Better Beamer
In reply to TimR32225, Apr 4, 2010

TimR32225 wrote:

The Better Beamer is very effective, and it can spoil you. But you need to pay attention to several things when using it. Since it redirects the output of your flash output into a more concentrated beam of light, you will get lots more distance when using it and in many cases you'll have to tone down your flash output a but (- FEC). If you are close to the subject, you will need to also tone down the flash to prevent blowout from the short distance.

Beautiful bird images Tim!

I assume you are using the flash in high shutter speed (HSS) mode and the camera in Single Frame mode? Thanks.

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TimR32225
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Re: Better Beamer
In reply to mmullen, Apr 4, 2010

mmullen wrote:

TimR32225 wrote:

The Better Beamer is very effective, and it can spoil you. But you need to pay attention to several things when using it. Since it redirects the output of your flash output into a more concentrated beam of light, you will get lots more distance when using it and in many cases you'll have to tone down your flash output a bit (- FEC). If you are close to the subject, you will need to also tone down the flash to prevent blowout from the short distance.

Beautiful bird images Tim!

I assume you are using the flash in high shutter speed (HSS) mode and the camera in Single Frame mode? Thanks.

Mike,

For Birds in Flight, I use AI Servo focus and burst mode rather than single shot. But I typically only fire one or two frames (maybe 3 at most) at the opportune time. I almost always shoot full manual exposure, rather than Av or Tv, because that way it doesn't matter if the background is a bright sky or a dark foliage. And the flash is set to HSS, since shutter speeds are always above the x-synch speed of the camera. Even in that mode, the better beamer will throw off enough light to hit the subject. This may or maynot be the case if you shoot Av or Tv because in those modes the camera is metering for ambient light and the flash automatically acts as fill. The goal is balancing the flash power to the ambient light using flash exposure compensation, so you can light up the underside of the birds wings, but without overdoing it.

Keep in mind that when firing bursts, your flash usually cannot recycle fast enough to fire on consecutive shots unless you have it attached to an external quantum turbo battery, so your first shot needs to be the keeper in most cases.

Those same images (and a few more) are posted on my pbase site with exif data below them if you care to see any camera settings: http://www.pbase.com/tim32225/birding_2010

Just bare in mind that on pbase, manual exposure mode is listed as 'program (1)' and due to a bug at pbase, flash mode is always listed as "off" even if flash was used in the photo. You can assume I used flash for all the flyers on that page.

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