First Bird Photo...Equipment, Technique, Processing or ALL Issues?

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
R2D2 Forum Pro • Posts: 19,074
Re: First Bird Photo...Equipment, Technique, Processing or ALL Issues?

Turbo0411 wrote:

R2D2 wrote:

Turbo0411 wrote:

I appreciate any help!

Do you keep a filter on the lens?


I don't have a filter I thought I read it can negatively impact sharpness, is that not true?

Thanks for getting back.

Right, a lower grade protective filter (esp on a telephoto lens) can cause loss of sharpness, autofocus issues, and be detrimental to the bokeh. Even some expensive ones have been known to cause problems in the right conditions. We needed to rule that out first thing.

I think that your images might be degraded a bit by the use of (fairly aggressive) noise reduction. They exhibit the telltales. With such fast shutter speeds, you would likely have had the leeway to cut your ISO in half (at least), and still have maintained enough handholding stability. That would have helped.

It's possible that your particular lens might not be ultra sharp (even when stopped down like yours was). Do some controlled tests to check for sharpness.

Also, one thing that might have softened the pelican image somewhat is the possibility that atmospherics interfered (softness caused by differences in air density between you and the subject). There are days when I've been out at the shore, and hours of shooting were all wasted!

So do some testing to check the limits of your lens (test using ultra-fast shutter speeds and shoot bursts, or a tripod and a remote or 10-second self-timer).

When out shooting keep your ISO as low as the light permits (you don't want camera shake to get into the equation). Shoot bursts (one frame will always be sharper than the rest). And whenever possible (for now) shoot with the sun at your back.

Best of luck!


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