Birds: 450d+55-250 (not so good)

Started Dec 9, 2012 | Discussions
AnthonyL
Senior MemberPosts: 1,617Gear list
Like?
Birds: 450d+55-250 (not so good)
Dec 9, 2012

I've just been looking at the stunning photos on:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/50428988

I have the same lens but older camera and here below are a couple of mine.  Whilst I think they are 'nice' photos they don't seem to have the impact the Ziad's photos do.  Is there anything I can do to improve?



Waxwing

Goldfinch

Young Swallow

Dunnet

 AnthonyL's gear list:AnthonyL's gear list
Canon EOS 450D Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS +1 more
Canon EOS 450D (EOS Rebel XSi / EOS Kiss X2)
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
Lebiz Marc
New MemberPosts: 3
Like?
Re: Birds: 450d+55-250 (not so good)
In reply to AnthonyL, Dec 9, 2012

I think your shots are great, probably the only thing they need is a bit of work on your software, accentuation on saturation and/or contrast and lowering the gamma or luminosity a little bit to give them the extra ooomph you want !

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Swamp Duck
Regular MemberPosts: 332
Like?
Re: Birds: 450d+55-250 (not so good)
In reply to Lebiz Marc, Dec 9, 2012

I agree, a little PP would help make these pics pop...all but number 2, a little blurry

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Midwest
Forum ProPosts: 13,092
Like?
Re: Birds: 450d+55-250 (not so good)
In reply to AnthonyL, Dec 9, 2012

Did circumstances really require the use of aperture and/or shutter speed necessitating ISO640 or ISO800? The lower the ISO you can get away with - even on a DSLR - the better for IQ.

-- hide signature --

Do people really spend $700 on a camera so they can take a picture of a squirrel or a duck?

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
m85476585
New MemberPosts: 15
Like?
Re: Birds: 450d+55-250 (not so good)
In reply to AnthonyL, Dec 9, 2012

Are you cropping or downsizing the images? (I'm guessing these are cropped). If these are crops, you probably need to get closer; you are at the limit of the camera and lens's resolution. The bird should nearly fill the frame if possible. Even with a perfect lens, an image will still be just slightly soft at the pixel level because of the antialiasing filter over the sensor which prevents moire (see here: http://www.ottoschulzephotographers.com/blog/uncategorized/removing-the-aa-filter-from-your-dslr). If these images are downsized not cropped, try different downsampling techniques in your photo editor for sharper downdampling (Photoshop says Bicubic Sharper is best for reduction).

You might also want to try focusing manually or automatically in Live View zoomed in 10x (if you can get the birds to sit still long enough). You will get slightly more accurate results that way, compared to phase detection AF through the viewfinder.

-- hide signature --

Matt

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
happysnapper64
Senior MemberPosts: 4,121Gear list
Like?
Re: Birds: 450d+55-250 (not so good)
In reply to AnthonyL, Dec 9, 2012

I don't think they as bad as you think they are. No1 seems flat, & No4 a bit overexposed. As has been said, the ISO seems a little high for what looks like good light. The colours are there, they just don't seem to "pop". I have this lens also, & it is a very capable unit. You have done OK, keep at it.

-- hide signature --

lee uk.
There are old pilots, & there are bold pilots, but there are no old bold pilots.

 happysnapper64's gear list:happysnapper64's gear list
Canon EOS 7D Canon EOS 60D Olympus PEN E-PL5 Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS +8 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Digirame
Forum ProPosts: 28,994
Like?
Re: Birds: 450d+55-250 (not so good)
In reply to AnthonyL, Dec 9, 2012

Your bird photos look good, with the nice backgrounds.  If these are JPEGs perhaps you could adjust the settings in your camera.  Or you could change these a little with software.  Even though our older cameras often still take good pictures, you might consider upgrading your camera.  More megapixels give us extra to crop.  That helps with the relatively short range of the 55-250mm lens.  If you are patient, I think the rumored Canon T5i (700D) or Canon 70D are going to be a significant upgrade.  Wait for them to be released and reviewed.  Assuming it all turns out good, that could be something to start saving for now.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Olga Johnson
Forum ProPosts: 21,643Gear list
Like?
Re: Birds: 450d+55-250 (not so good)
In reply to AnthonyL, Dec 9, 2012

Considering the ISO you used, those are pretty good though not necessarily tack sharp.  Most of Ziad's images were at ISO 200 which means that he had better lighting than you did.

I also suspect that your birds were not as close to you as Ziad's. Did you have to crop a lot of your images to come up with the frames you did or are these the out of camera full frame.

How about some post processing?  Some of these look like they could use some saturation and contrast adjustment.  Did you do any of that?

-- hide signature --

Olga

 Olga Johnson's gear list:Olga Johnson's gear list
Canon EOS 60D Canon EOS 650D Canon EOS M Canon EOS 100D Canon EF 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye +17 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
AnthonyL
Senior MemberPosts: 1,617Gear list
Like?
Re: Birds: 450d+55-250 (not so good)
In reply to Olga Johnson, Dec 9, 2012

Olga Johnson wrote:

Considering the ISO you used, those are pretty good though not necessarily tack sharp. Most of Ziad's images were at ISO 200 which means that he had better lighting than you did.

I also suspect that your birds were not as close to you as Ziad's. Did you have to crop a lot of your images to come up with the frames you did or are these the out of camera full frame.

How about some post processing? Some of these look like they could use some saturation and contrast adjustment. Did you do any of that?

Thank you and others for your encouragement.

I tend to start with a high ISO.  I'm in the UK and lighting can be variable.  The shot I took prior to the Waxwing was in much darker light, a bird within branches against the light - didn't come out and it flew away, and hence I upped the ISO.  The Waxwing was a surprise and it didn't stay very still.  I guess I was concentrating more on getting its crest having seen that I had at least a couple of stops down and good speed.

All of the images are 100% crops.  I don't resize.

All are shot RAW and I keep the originals so there is opportunity to redo as I improve.  At the moment the only PP I do is in DPP and it is on a laptop.  I use Faithful and on the Waxwing shot I moved the RAW histogram sliders in just a touch both ends, no brightness alteration, contrast +1, highlight -1, and unsharp mask Strength 9 with Fineness 7 and Threshold 5. I would estimate I was 15 metres away. Luminance noise reduction is set at 2 and Chrominance at 1 by default and I didn't change that.

A couple of the shots are probably through double glazing windows.  I suspect the Goldfinch.  I'm not sure about the Swallow as occasionally I've been lucky enough to be able to have the bedroom window ajar.  Certainly the Waxwing and Dunnock were direct.

Many of my shots are impulse.  I get a shot first then try and reposition and I guess I need to concentrate more on optimising image quality though I always try to stop down first.  By then usually then the bird has flown so maybe I need to train them more!  But PP is also a weakness and I don't really know what I'm doing.

I have in mind to make a bit of a hide in the porch as I get a lot of garden birds and maybe then I can try Live View but not many sit and pose for long.

 AnthonyL's gear list:AnthonyL's gear list
Canon EOS 450D Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS +1 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
R2D2
Forum ProPosts: 14,317Gear list
Like?
Some suggestions...
In reply to AnthonyL, Dec 9, 2012

AnthonyL wrote:

I tend to start with a high ISO.

That'll have detrimental effects right off the bat.  If you want to destroy feather detail, apply copious noise reduction to an image.

I'm in the UK and lighting can be variable.

Unfortunately the best path to nicely detailed bird shots is through shooting in good light.

All of the images are 100% crops. I don't resize.

You'll never get detailed images by cropping to 100%, especially at greater than base ISO.  No current DSLR I've seen is capable of that.  I wouldn't crop any further than 50% with the 450D.  The best way to increase detail is to fill the frame more (ie get closer).

All are shot RAW and I keep the originals so there is opportunity to redo as I improve.

Excellent move.  That also helps you squeeze the most out of every image.

At the moment the only PP I do is in DPP and it is on a laptop.

I like DPP quite a bit too.

I use Faithful

My own preference is Standard.

unsharp mask Strength 9 with Fineness 7 and Threshold 5.

Far too high.  Especially noticeable in the Cedar Waxwing image.

I would estimate I was 15 metres away.

You have to expect low image quality at that distance.

A couple of the shots are probably through double glazing windows.

Ouch.  That will degrade the image as well.

I'm not sure about the Swallow as occasionally I've been lucky enough to be able to have the bedroom window ajar.

The swallow was photographed perfectly.  Great light, ideal settings, and perfect execution!  Are you sure this is a 100% crop?  (100% crop meaning that you cut a 940x627 pixel section out of the whole image, and then displayed it as such without resizing).  This image is testament that the lens is indeed up to the task.

Many of my shots are impulse.

It helps to set the camera up beforehand as much as possible.  I'm usually starting at ISO 400, max aperture (my 55-250 is pretty sharp there), and then I watch the shutter speed to see if I need to up the ISO (if blur becomes a problem).  For instance, the finch and the dunnet look like they suffer from some camera shake.

By then usually then the bird has flown so maybe I need to train them more!

LOL.  Birds are tough to photograph, and take a lot of practice (and no small amount of luck).  Optimize the other variables to increase your odds.

But PP is also a weakness and I don't really know what I'm doing.

Really simple actually.  Just adjust to what your eye likes.  You can never go wrong.

I have in mind to make a bit of a hide in the porch as I get a lot of garden birds

Great idea.  That'll get you out from behind the windows AND get you closer.  Keep in mind that if you ever shoot through an open window (esp in cold weather), you need to watch out for heat waves due to the temperature differential.  They'll soften an image terribly.

and maybe then I can try Live View but not many sit and pose for long.

I wouldn't even attempt CDAF.  Your camera's PDAF is the ideal tool.

Adjust your settings a bit.  Get closer.  Shoot in ideal light, and Practice.  Your keeper percentage will go waaay up.

R2

-- hide signature --

Good judgment comes from experience.
Experience comes from bad judgment.
http://www.pbase.com/jekyll_and_hyde/galleries

 R2D2's gear list:R2D2's gear list
Canon EOS 650D Canon EOS 70D
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
AnthonyL
Senior MemberPosts: 1,617Gear list
Like?
Re: Some suggestions...
In reply to R2D2, Dec 9, 2012

R2D2 wrote:

Thanks for your input - I read many of your posts.

AnthonyL wrote:

All of the images are 100% crops. I don't resize.

You'll never get detailed images by cropping to 100%, especially at greater than base ISO. No current DSLR I've seen is capable of that. I wouldn't crop any further than 50% with the 450D. The best way to increase detail is to fill the frame more (ie get closer).

That sure has confused me.  Yes 100% crop - I crop in DPP and you see the resulting output.  I thought the idea was to avoid resizing ie inventing or losing pixels.

For the avoidance of doubt this is how I crop:



(though unusually I did a bit more under Irfanview).

I'm not sure what you mean by 50% crop, and I'm not sure how I would resize.

I would estimate I was 15 metres away.

You have to expect low image quality at that distance.

A wall stopped me from trying to get nearer.

A couple of the shots are probably through double glazing windows.

Ouch. That will degrade the image as well.

I'm not sure about the Swallow as occasionally I've been lucky enough to be able to have the bedroom window ajar.

The swallow was photographed perfectly. Great light, ideal settings, and perfect execution! Are you sure this is a 100% crop? (100% crop meaning that you cut a 940x627 pixel section out of the whole image, and then displayed it as such without resizing). This image is testament that the lens is indeed up to the task.

Yes - see above.

and maybe then I can try Live View but not many sit and pose for long.

I wouldn't even attempt CDAF. Your camera's PDAF is the ideal tool.

It was a suggestion by another poster but I don't think birds sit still long enough.

 AnthonyL's gear list:AnthonyL's gear list
Canon EOS 450D Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS +1 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Olga Johnson
Forum ProPosts: 21,643Gear list
Like?
Re: Some suggestions...
In reply to AnthonyL, Dec 9, 2012

AnthonyL wrote:


R2D2 wrote:

Thanks for your input - I read many of your posts.

AnthonyL wrote:

All of the images are 100% crops. I don't resize.

You'll never get detailed images by cropping to 100%, especially at greater than base ISO. No current DSLR I've seen is capable of that. I wouldn't crop any further than 50% with the 450D. The best way to increase detail is to fill the frame more (ie get closer).

That sure has confused me. Yes 100% crop - I crop in DPP and you see the resulting output. I thought the idea was to avoid resizing ie inventing or losing pixels.

For the avoidance of doubt this is how I crop:



(though unusually I did a bit more under Irfanview).

I'm not sure what you mean by 50% crop, and I'm not sure how I would resize.

I would estimate I was 15 metres away.

You have to expect low image quality at that distance.

That is a cropped image.  It is not a full frame image. (I wasn't talking about resizing.) The bird was far away and was not covered by enough pixels to give you the detail you thought you should have.  You either need to be closer or you need more tele than the 55-250 can offer.

-- hide signature --

Olga

 Olga Johnson's gear list:Olga Johnson's gear list
Canon EOS 60D Canon EOS 650D Canon EOS M Canon EOS 100D Canon EF 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye +17 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Oilman
Senior MemberPosts: 2,665Gear list
Like?
Olga is right
In reply to Olga Johnson, Dec 10, 2012

Your crop is way too high to get a decent image.  There are not enough pixels to adequately capture the image. Add in the extra noise you get at ISO 640 and these images are about the best you can expect. I own a 450 and the noise reduction technology, in contrast to later xxD models, is just not that good. Finally shooting through glass is a definate no-no.

The 55-250mm is capable of great images. But it can't do what you want at that distance and with that many constraints. This is probably the best you can do without a bigger lens, being outside having better light, or getting closer.

-- hide signature --

The first camera bag you buy is always too small
http://www.flickr.com/geofiz

 Oilman's gear list:Oilman's gear list
Canon EOS 7D Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
j2l3m7
Senior MemberPosts: 3,483Gear list
Like?
Re: Birds: 450d+55-250 (not so good)
In reply to Lebiz Marc, Dec 10, 2012

AnthonyL

You have taken some really nice photos with your 450D and the 55-250 lenses.  You have no problem, you shot in raw later when you develop better skills you can redo the photos.  You have good ideas and have received great instructions from everyone.  Each year the photo processing programs improve.

John

 j2l3m7's gear list:j2l3m7's gear list
Canon PowerShot G15 Canon PowerShot SX50 HS Canon EOS 70D Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM +17 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
AnthonyL
Senior MemberPosts: 1,617Gear list
Like?
Re: Some suggestions...
In reply to Olga Johnson, Dec 10, 2012

Olga Johnson wrote:

AnthonyL wrote:


R2D2 wrote:

Thanks for your input - I read many of your posts.

AnthonyL wrote:

All of the images are 100% crops. I don't resize.

You'll never get detailed images by cropping to 100%, especially at greater than base ISO. No current DSLR I've seen is capable of that. I wouldn't crop any further than 50% with the 450D. The best way to increase detail is to fill the frame more (ie get closer).

That sure has confused me. Yes 100% crop - I crop in DPP and you see the resulting output. I thought the idea was to avoid resizing ie inventing or losing pixels.


You have to expect low image quality at that distance.

That is a cropped image. It is not a full frame image. (I wasn't talking about resizing.) The bird was far away and was not covered by enough pixels to give you the detail you thought you should have. You either need to be closer or you need more tele than the 55-250 can offer.

Yes I understand it is a cropped image and as I said further up I never resize, but I was responding to my non-understanding of R2D2's comment about never cropping to 100%, which I always thought was the correct thing to do, and I don't understand how to "crop any further than 50%."  Unless he means that the image should fill at least half the frame in which case he possibily didn't phrase it quite right.

Are there any circumstances in which resizing gives better detail?

 AnthonyL's gear list:AnthonyL's gear list
Canon EOS 450D Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS +1 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
happysnapper64
Senior MemberPosts: 4,121Gear list
Like?
Re: Birds: 450d+55-250 (not so good)
In reply to AnthonyL, Dec 10, 2012

You seem to have things well under control. I am only in my 1st yr with my dslr, & you certainly are light years ahead of me in terms of understanding PP & shooting RAW.

-- hide signature --

lee uk.
There are old pilots, & there are bold pilots, but there are no old bold pilots.

 happysnapper64's gear list:happysnapper64's gear list
Canon EOS 7D Canon EOS 60D Olympus PEN E-PL5 Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS +8 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Olga Johnson
Forum ProPosts: 21,643Gear list
Like?
Re: Some suggestions...
In reply to AnthonyL, Dec 10, 2012

AnthonyL wrote:

Unless he means that the image should fill at least half the frame in which case he possibily didn't phrase it quite right.

That's exactly what he meant.  You don't want to cut off more than 50% of the image you took because then quality will suffer.

Are there any circumstances in which resizing gives better detail?

Cropping is not related to resizing.  Cropping means you cut off part of an image. A "100% crop", at least when used in this forum, means a piece of your image without any magnification or resizing.  Resizing means you alter the dimensions of the whole picture. It is usually used when it is not practical to show a full resolution picture.

This is a resized image:

That was the full frame image of a picture that I resized for inserting here.  I can use a different size, if I so wish:

I did not crop this image, I did not cut off any portion of it.  It is the full frame as I captured it.

This is a 100% crop of the image, before I post processed it.

Note: As I am typing this message and inserting images, images look fuzzy.  Hopefully they won't end up this way.  

-- hide signature --

Olga

 Olga Johnson's gear list:Olga Johnson's gear list
Canon EOS 60D Canon EOS 650D Canon EOS M Canon EOS 100D Canon EF 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye +17 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Olga Johnson
Forum ProPosts: 21,643Gear list
Like?
Re: Birds: 450d+55-250 (not so good)
In reply to AnthonyL, Dec 10, 2012

I have to stress something R2D2 also mentioned to you.  Taking pictures through any glass will almost always contribute to quality deterioration.  Our eyes are trained to ignore the glass so that we think we see a clear picture through a glass, but the camera is not forgiving of any hint of lack of clarity. I can see through a not so clean windshield when I drive, but the camera will pick up every speck and mark on the windshield.

-- hide signature --

Olga

 Olga Johnson's gear list:Olga Johnson's gear list
Canon EOS 60D Canon EOS 650D Canon EOS M Canon EOS 100D Canon EF 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye +17 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Ziad joseph
Regular MemberPosts: 227Gear list
Like?
Good foundation with potential for great results
In reply to AnthonyL, Dec 10, 2012

AnthonyL,

I found this thread very interesting as though alot of good feedback from seasoned veterans was provided already i thought I would chip in with my bit. Your start product is by no means bad at all, only the first image with the over zealous crop would not be a keeper and the last which is overexposed could pass with some PP especially as you shoot in RAW. The others only really need a little basic PP, with some adjustment of levels and some more vibrance etc etc.

I also wondered if you shoot in manual mode or aperture priority etc and what settings you use. For my attempts I always select the lowest possible ISO if during the daytime and I use aperture priority mostly, unless it was a BIF I would go for manual mode, just my personal preference.

What I would definitely say and mention as per my experiences is that getting that keeper or shot that you are most pleased with requires alot of patience and maybe at times a few attempts, as I tend to have alot of various angles, poses and perspectives of the same bird. I literally stalked the birds taken from my last post with the attempts from the same lens as you. I do try to get as close as possible as the shots with the most telephoto are not the best based on the lens' capabilities, also I try to stop down where possible (though not all the time).

Get to know your lens and use its strengths to your benefits, try shots with various apertures and whatnot, try various focal lengths and make some attempts to get close enough to find the sweet spot. Getting the best background possible also maybe helps though to have the subject standout I dont always get it, maybe seldom get it, but I try. Whether or not you are successful in all these or not at least keeping them in mind while snapping away helps you aim for the stars and at least i eventually get to the treetops or clouds when all is said and done.

Just for the record my attempts in that thread are a compilation of about 2 - 3 days after persistently snapping away  at various birds in the backyard, I could have sworn i was in a national park or a nature tour or something when I was in the backyard. So considering all things your efforts are quite good and have potential maybe with some more attention to fine details you will have some winners. Nice birds though BTW.

Ziad

 Ziad joseph's gear list:Ziad joseph's gear list
Canon EOS 550D Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
R2D2
Forum ProPosts: 14,317Gear list
Like?
Re: Some suggestions...
In reply to Olga Johnson, Dec 11, 2012

Olga Johnson wrote:

AnthonyL wrote:

Unless he means that the image should fill at least half the frame in which case he possibily didn't phrase it quite right.

That's exactly what he meant. You don't want to cut off more than 50% of the image you took because then quality will suffer.

Thanks Olga for the clarification.  I hadn't gotten back to this thread 'till now.

To the OP, pay close attention to EVERYTHING Olga posts.  In the years that I've been on DPReview she has always been dead on, no lie.  A true resource.

Are there any circumstances in which resizing gives better detail?

Cropping is not related to resizing. Cropping means you cut off part of an image. A "100% crop", at least when used in this forum, means a piece of your image without any magnification or resizing. Resizing means you alter the dimensions of the whole picture. It is usually used when it is not practical to show a full resolution picture.

R2

-- hide signature --

Good judgment comes from experience.
Experience comes from bad judgment.
http://www.pbase.com/jekyll_and_hyde/galleries

 R2D2's gear list:R2D2's gear list
Canon EOS 650D Canon EOS 70D
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads