A Hawk at Publix

Started 1 month ago | Discussions thread
jodaco Forum Member • Posts: 98
Re: A Hawk at Publix

sherman_levine wrote:

AlwynS wrote:

Elliern wrote:

sherman_levine wrote:

AlwynS wrote:

Rodger1943 wrote:

Initially, I thought it was a great shot, but on closer examination I could see that the focus on the head was "soft". I too have encountered this many times, even on small birds, where the body is in focus and the head not so much. The easiest way round it I have found it not to use F4, but try F5.6. That gives you a greater depth of field and allows the head to be more like the body, this is especially true, when the bird has its back to you, as the back is closer than the head. The greater depth of field you get with F5.6 is enough to show the whole bird in focus. There are times when you really want to use F4, as it lets in a lot more light, you can then try manual focus on the head and then you can move the camera around for re-framing and still keep the focus on the head.

Sorry Rodger but, while it might be a matter of degree, I must disagree. It is generally accepted that the head/eye is the prime objective to be in focus. Increasing the DoF is a palliative measure. The fix is to focus on the head. In this case there is absolutely no reason why one could not comfortably have focused on the head/eye using Flexible Spot in the right position. If then you want the rest of the body in focus one could consider reducing the aperture for greater DoF.

How about using the lock on subject focus, locking on the eyes by moving the camera?

I was thinking the same thing, Sherm. Have been reading all the comments here, and White’s ebook and even some birding blogs on using the camera. But sometimes that’s information overload and I just get more confused. I made so many changes before that I just did a reset and started over.

As I said at the beginning: to each his own. I have absolutely no reason to change from my method because it simply works for me. I am 100% happy with both the process (because for me it is fast, intuitive and flexible) and the results. But obviously you should use whatever works for you.

FWIW I have just checked: I have about 87,000 shots on my RX10 IV, probably >60% birds. As mentioned before: bird photography is basically what I do.


Wasn't suggesting that you change. Indeed for the RX10, lock on subject is a particularly bad choice, because the lock appears to persist only for a single shot.

For the FZ1000, and I suspect the other Panasonics. the lock persists until canceled, so one can reposition, and change zoom while the tracked subject remains in focus.


The lock persists as long as auto focus is engaged. This is one of the benefits of back button focus. If focus is disassociated with shutter release then ending a burst of exposures (or a single shot) does not give up the object lock.

That being said I think this subject is still a bad candidate for locking the subject. The subject locking algorithms are sensitive to contrast and color and are usually not good at distinguishing a head from a body (unless it is a human or dog/cat face and those features are enabled). In this case if you had tired to lock the entire hawk would have been considered the subject and then the closest point of that subject would have been the focus point. This still would have likely been the belly.

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Sony RX10 IV
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