*D 300 F/11 diffraction too limited?*

Started May 16, 2008 | Discussions thread
OP Hide Takahashi Veteran Member • Posts: 4,234
Re: *D 300 F/11 diffraction too limited?*

Pupfish wrote:

Real world this diffraction is probably not a factor that will ever
be noticeable except in enlargements beyond 11x17.

What will likely be more of a factor for you with photographing
hummingbirds is that the D50 has an electronic shutter sync speed of
1/500 and perhaps well beyond, while the D300 has a focal plane
(moving slit) shutter that is limited to a single-pop flash sync
speed of 1/250. Though there is the FP sync mode on the SB-800 that
overcomes this to a degree, it's not necessarily the best or most
flexible choice with hummingbirds as it strobes multiple flashes to
overcome the physics of the moving slit. Images I've shot in FP mode
show a strangeness to this strobe effect with fast beating wings.

What's more, the faster sync speed of the D50 will allow you greater
flexibility in overcoming ambient light to use flash as the main
light-- and not just fill flash--to eliminate ghosting. Even stopped
down to f/11-16 with the minimum ISO of 100, the ambient light of
midday will be too close to the D300 top sync speed for this use in
full sunlight. (ND filters aren't a good solution, because they cut
flash power by the same factor).

Might also mention that in my experience, it's harder to get
hummingbirds to come to shaded flowers in the morning when there are
blooms in the sun nearby, since the nectar tends to flow better in
the sunshine. Flowers in the shade of evening don't shut down the
flow right away, so shooting in the shade can be better then.
Shooting exclusively at feeders, this may not apply.

For many years the gold-standard cameras used for hummingbird
photography were 2-1/4 with leaf shutter lenses that sync'd at 1/500
or 1/1000, and slow ISO Kodachrome 25 or Velvia 50 , (along with
rather specialized and powerful short duration flash packs no longer
available new) for largely the same reasons as above.

Ivan J. Eberle

Ivan,

Thanks for your good advices. When I use multiple flashes to photograph hummers,I always pick a shade area where I can put my setup. This way, the flash light will be the main source of light, not the ambient light and you can feeeze the hummer's wing motion. I usually put a flower on top of the feeder and I put a few drops of sugar water on some flower patals to attract hummers.

I usually use 1/200s-1/250s, f/13-16, with My D50/300 f4 AFS, plus 5 flashes.

When I get the D300, I'll start with 1/250s, f/13 to see how the image will come out.

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