First try with a6000 and 55-210mm...a bit of wildlife

Started Jan 27, 2017 | Discussions
Liulai
Liulai New Member • Posts: 9
First try with a6000 and 55-210mm...a bit of wildlife
3

Hello everyone,

I long wanted a good camera and finally I received a Sony a6000 for present with the 16-50 kit lenses.

Since on my way to work I walk through a park, I was still feeling a bit frustrated of not being able to take decent pictures of the birds and animals that I meet sometimes. So I decided to buy the 55-210 zoom to see if I could get better results. I have seen nice pictures here taken with the a6000.

I am still learning, and every suggestion is very welcome.

I struggle a bit to have to subject on focus and with a good sharpness. What do you think?

I am not sure if that's because there is not enough light in Scotland in this period of the year or if I am using the wrong settings.

Here are some of the nicest shots that I managed to take. Most of them have been heavily cropped.

A squirrel in my back garden...210mm is probably not enough

A big tit

Something less wild but more still...easy catch

A bluetit that is not completely on focus...

And a little robin. That finally seems to be on focus, and I have lots of details. I would love to have this level of detail in all of my photos and I don't quite understand what I am doing wrong.

Any help?

 Liulai's gear list:Liulai's gear list
Sony a6000 Sony a6400 Sony E 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 PZ OSS Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN (Sony) +1 more
Sony a6000 Sony DT 55-200mm F4-5.6 SAM
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Camy Michel Regular Member • Posts: 120
Re: First try with a6000 and 55-210mm...a bit of wildlife

Liulai wrote:

Hello everyone,

I long wanted a good camera and finally I received a Sony a6000 for present with the 16-50 kit lenses.

Since on my way to work I walk through a park, I was still feeling a bit frustrated of not being able to take decent pictures of the birds and animals that I meet sometimes. So I decided to buy the 55-210 zoom to see if I could get better results. I have seen nice pictures here taken with the a6000.

I am still learning, and every suggestion is very welcome.

I struggle a bit to have to subject on focus and with a good sharpness. What do you think?

I am not sure if that's because there is not enough light in Scotland in this period of the year or if I am using the wrong settings.

Here are some of the nicest shots that I managed to take. Most of them have been heavily cropped.

A squirrel in my back garden...210mm is probably not enough

A big tit

Something less wild but more still...easy catch

A bluetit that is not completely on focus...

And a little robin. That finally seems to be on focus, and I have lots of details. I would love to have this level of detail in all of my photos and I don't quite understand what I am doing wrong.

Any help?

Very nice first Try
you will Get a good feel of your camera and lens
with the 55-210
Many of us get the the full 210 reach
its better to stop at 180 -200 range
as its a little bit softer
but most of the time the excitement of the moment
and subject that might fly away are difficult co control ....

Most important Have fun ... and get to know your Equipment

 Camy Michel's gear list:Camy Michel's gear list
Sony a6000 Sigma 150mm F2.8 EX DG Macro HSM Sony E 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 PZ OSS Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS Sony E 10-18mm F4 OSS +14 more
Sarker Regular Member • Posts: 204
Re: First try with a6000 and 55-210mm...a bit of wildlife

Great first attempts! Im not that experienced in wildlife photography but first question is whether you were in auto mode or a different mode. Personally, I use shutter priority or manual for wildlife. I like to keep the shutter speed at around 500th of a second or even up to a 1000th (1/1000) if I can. Additionally, I would switch the focus to continuous focus if you havent tried that.

Those are two things that I think may help. Unfortunately when you try to autofocus on squirrels and small birds its sometimes hard for the camera to pick up the squirrel with all the shrubbery and such around.

Most importantly, don't be discouraged! The sony a6000 and 55-210mm lens is a fine combo to take pictures with

P.S. I dunno how picky you are, but if you want to be 100% accurate then your gearlist has the wrong zoom lens You want the SEL 55-210mm and not the A-mount 55-200

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Follow me on Instagram - @nofocallimit (https://www.instagram.com/nofocallimit/)

 Sarker's gear list:Sarker's gear list
Sony a6000 Sony a7 II Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS Sony E 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 PZ OSS Rokinon 12mm F2.0 NCS CS +8 more
chironNYC Senior Member • Posts: 2,432
Re: First try with a6000 and 55-210mm...a bit of wildlife
1

Great first shots, nicely observed. The Hairy Coo and the birds are especially nice. On the Hairy Coo, try varying the angle and getting different effects of light. Early and late light are often best.

 chironNYC's gear list:chironNYC's gear list
Sony a9 Sony a7R IV Sony FE 50mm F1.4 ZA Sony 16-35mm F2.8 ZA SSM Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* Sony 24-70mm F2.8 ZA SSM Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* +10 more
techjedi
techjedi Veteran Member • Posts: 3,832
Re: First try with a6000 and 55-210mm...a bit of wildlife

Liulai wrote:

Hello everyone,

I long wanted a good camera and finally I received a Sony a6000 for present with the 16-50 kit lenses.

Since on my way to work I walk through a park, I was still feeling a bit frustrated of not being able to take decent pictures of the birds and animals that I meet sometimes. So I decided to buy the 55-210 zoom to see if I could get better results. I have seen nice pictures here taken with the a6000.

I am still learning, and every suggestion is very welcome.

I struggle a bit to have to subject on focus and with a good sharpness. What do you think?

I am not sure if that's because there is not enough light in Scotland in this period of the year or if I am using the wrong settings.

Here are some of the nicest shots that I managed to take. Most of them have been heavily cropped.

A squirrel in my back garden...210mm is probably not enough

A big tit

I like the images compositionally.

The first two seem noisy for the ISO and shutter speed. Were these underexposed and pushed brighter in post?

 techjedi's gear list:techjedi's gear list
Sony a7R III Sony FE 90mm F2.8 macro Sony FE 70-200 F4 Sony RX100 Sony a6500 +18 more
Liulai
OP Liulai New Member • Posts: 9
Re: First try with a6000 and 55-210mm...a bit of wildlife

Thank you very much for your comments!

I have just updated my gear! Well spotted guys, I don't have the A-mount lens unfortunately.

And you are right, I have tried to play a bit with white/black/highlight in lightroom to see if I could get anything out of the underexposed photos.

I don't know why but when I download my photos, they tend to look much darker than when I shot them. For example, this is the jpg straight out of the camera of photo n.2. The photo has been taken during the day, overcast, but there is not much light in Scotland in this period even when sunny.

Do you think is the light that is affecting a bit the quality?

I used shutter priority, with shutter speed between 1/100 and 1/1000. But I have noticed that the iso tends to go pretty high, and the resulting photo quality is not the best.

About the focus, I tried different settings. I started with using wide focus area, APS-C. I have also tried to lock on subject to see if it was giving me better results when the subject is behind tree branches. Then recently I am trying using central focus area, so I can put the bird in the centre that should be on focus.

The issue with using the wide focus is that sometimes the camera decide to focus on something completely irrelevant. Any way to direct the focus better in a quick manner?

This is the original photo n.2

 Liulai's gear list:Liulai's gear list
Sony a6000 Sony a6400 Sony E 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 PZ OSS Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN (Sony) +1 more
techjedi
techjedi Veteran Member • Posts: 3,832
Re: First try with a6000 and 55-210mm...a bit of wildlife

Liulai wrote:

Thank you very much for your comments!

I have just updated my gear! Well spotted guys, I don't have the A-mount lens unfortunately.

And you are right, I have tried to play a bit with white/black/highlight in lightroom to see if I could get anything out of the underexposed photos.

I don't know why but when I download my photos, they tend to look much darker than when I shot them. For example, this is the jpg straight out of the camera of photo n.2. The photo has been taken during the day, overcast, but there is not much light in Scotland in this period even when sunny.

Do you think is the light that is affecting a bit the quality?

I used shutter priority, with shutter speed between 1/100 and 1/1000. But I have noticed that the iso tends to go pretty high, and the resulting photo quality is not the best.

About the focus, I tried different settings. I started with using wide focus area, APS-C. I have also tried to lock on subject to see if it was giving me better results when the subject is behind tree branches. Then recently I am trying using central focus area, so I can put the bird in the centre that should be on focus.

The issue with using the wide focus is that sometimes the camera decide to focus on something completely irrelevant. Any way to direct the focus better in a quick manner?

This is the original photo n.2

First, let me say that my comment wasn't meant to say that your technique was wrong. I think the photo turned out great regardless. I have used a6000 and know what the shadow noise looks like. I was asking if you pushed in post not because the noise spoils the picture, just because I was pretty sure it was a darker exposure and wanted to know how you set it up.

I would recommend that if you push the exposure up in post that you mention it. Sometimes people will judge a camera by pictures they see without knowing what processing was done. They might conclude that the ISO 125 performance was really bad on the camera, when in reality it just was underexposed to start with, etc.

Regarding focus mode, I would use AF-S if the subjects aren't constantly moving. Then you can focus/recompose. I agree that AF-C wide can be difficult. You could do AF-C spot to get it on the subject as well.

 techjedi's gear list:techjedi's gear list
Sony a7R III Sony FE 90mm F2.8 macro Sony FE 70-200 F4 Sony RX100 Sony a6500 +18 more
Off The Mark Senior Member • Posts: 3,460
Re: First try with a6000 and 55-210mm...a bit of wildlife

The issue with using the wide focus is that sometimes the camera decide to focus on something completely irrelevant. Any way to direct the focus better in a quick manner?

Firstly, as others have said, you did well for your first attempts shooting wildlife.

Yes, I think you are going to need a more narrow focus area.

https://youtu.be/c18PHEa5cUo

Also, just so you know, here is a short video by someone who used similar equipment to yours. I think it can show the potential - and the limitations - of the gear you have.

https://youtu.be/BOB8zhIu4u4

I say limitations because a lot of the shots are kind of blurry (that might be due to the photographers settings or post processing or youtubes compression).

Here's another nice video from that same photographer:

https://youtu.be/4HfPWDmRZ8s

Darn... the 1080p footage from his a6000 definitely looks better than the 1080p coming from my a6300. How much is due to the camera and how much is due to the photographer, I am not sure.

 Off The Mark's gear list:Off The Mark's gear list
Sony a6500 Sony a6000 Sony a5100 Sony a6300 Sony E 10-18mm F4 OSS +7 more
FuzzyQball
FuzzyQball Senior Member • Posts: 1,643
Re: First try with a6000 and 55-210mm...a bit of wildlife

Nice phots.  How are you getting focus?   Try centre focus, or flexible spot focus.

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Glenn

 FuzzyQball's gear list:FuzzyQball's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-5N Sony a6000 Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Sony E 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 PZ OSS +1 more
FuzzyQball
FuzzyQball Senior Member • Posts: 1,643
Re: First try with a6000 and 55-210mm...a bit of wildlife

Well you have the little tiny bird that is darker against a light sky.  The camera will have trouble with this.  Use exposure compensation to over expose, but get the bird right.

-- hide signature --

Glenn

 FuzzyQball's gear list:FuzzyQball's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-5N Sony a6000 Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Sony E 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 PZ OSS +1 more
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