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  1. Gil Bev

    Gil Bev

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    I'm using the above Tamron lens (A mount) with the LAEA3 on my Sony A6300 but finding it very hard to get feather detail on stationary birds. To get a well enough exposed image I'm having to go to an ISO of 1600 with an f stop of 7.1 at 1/250. Rarely do I get light good enough for an ISO of 800 and below. It means I'm not really getting the detail I'm looking for. I also find that my best images are at 420mm

    I'm wondering if my adapter and non-native lens is resulting in lost light and performance. What kind of ISO are people looking at at this time of year on Nikon and Canon equivalents? I'm considering moving to Nikon as the images I've been seeing seem more detailed from the likes of the D500 with the same Nikon fit lens. They seem to have a lot more margin for adjusting for quicker shutter speed and lower ISOs

    Anybody moved away from Sony in the pursuit of a better wildlife combination?
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2017
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  2. Bobsyeruncle

    Bobsyeruncle

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    I use mines on a Nikon D7000 and get great results. I do find that I'm using ISO 1600 a fair bit though to get decent shutter speeds. I tend to shoot mostly at f6.7/f8, and I try to keep the shutter speed around 1/750 where possible.
     
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  3. Dave70D

    Dave70D

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    Fast Fingered Dave. THE SPAMMERS NEMESIS
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    When my one is on the Canon 70D, I have it on iso 800 through the winter and Aperture F/8, now we are slowly getting to summer I have dropped the iso to 640 and just manage to keep a good shutter speed :)
     
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  4. mikew

    mikew

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    If your hand holding at 1/250th that could be why your not getting feather detail,even on a tripod the way small birds move you need a higher shutter speed.
     
  5. Gil Bev

    Gil Bev

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    Using a tripod, and find at that slow shutter speed the bird has to be completely still. Going to a faster shutter speed means more ISO beyond ISO 1600. Although the pictures are acceptable, I find the detail isn't great due to the snow. Is there a way to get sharp images with a higher ISO - am I doing something wrong. I find that the higher the ISO the less feather detail I tend to get.

    Here's my best pictures so far

    [​IMG]FSC06405 by Gilbo B, on Flickr

    [​IMG]FSC05639 by Gilbo B, on Flickr
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2017
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  6. Faldrax

    Faldrax

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    You might find that just reducing ISO 1/3 stop (so down to 1250) may make a noticeable difference in noise, as these days it's often at the 1600 mark it starts to be a problem.

    You mention you get your best shots at 420 - three factors could be at work here,

    1) The shorter focal length means less susceptibility to camera shake, so a slower shutter can be used
    2) Most zooms are better when not at full zoom
    3) You are presumably close to the subject - are you actually comparing like for like (EG Are you comparing a bird that fills 50% of the frame at 420 with a bird that fills 50% of the frame at 600?)
     
  7. snerkler

    snerkler

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    I moved from Sony A-mount to Nikon but at the same moved from crop to FF. However, I didn't have the Tamron for the Sony so can't do a direct comparison.

    To get feather detail you ideally need good light. That being said I shot a Robin at 6400 ISO that had pretty decent feather detail considering.

    As for the Tamron my copy is good all the way up to 600mm, but up to 550mm it's really really good. It is better at f8, but most/all lenses are sharper when stopped down. I don't actually know how the Sony LAEA3 adapter works and whether it would cause a reduction in light or IQ.

    As mentioned above to get sharp small birds you want a fast shutter, although on saying that I watched a Tony Northrup video and he says he uses lower shutter speeds to keep ISO down and just uses burst shooting saying he'd rather get a lot of images he'll bin to get that one shot at low ISO that's sharp. I guess that's OK if you don't worry too much about shutter count and resale value ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2017
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  8. Gil Bev

    Gil Bev

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    That sounds likely - I must be on the cusp at 1/250, as many of my images are blurred ever so slightly due to shake, or rapid movement by the bird. Moving down the focal length as you say has meant more keepers and sharper images
    I have ben comparing my results from similar distance, and cropping to roughly the same size. The ones shot with a shorter focal length still seem better even after a much more agressive crop.

    I think I really need to see what people are able to do in person with different equipment. I'm not sure if I will get a stop of light advantage by losing my adaptor, and a stop of light advantage with IS.
     
  9. snerkler

    snerkler

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    I thought the Sony has IBIS?
     
  10. Gil Bev

    Gil Bev

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    Hi Toby, your pictures are incredibly sharp!! I think I found the robin you were talking about in your flickr collection. Superb detail at ISO 6400. All my pictures at that high an ISO look incredibly ugly.

    I'm wondering if your D500 gives much better results at a higher ISO than my Sony A6300. It certainly looks that way unless there's another trick!! I use centre metering, and I use centre AF too. I do tend to underexpose a little to try and get a lower ISO setting - and bring it back up in PP.
     
  11. Gil Bev

    Gil Bev

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    P.S. Your Kestrel is superb. Even in perfect light I wouldn't get that detail!!
     
  12. Gil Bev

    Gil Bev

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    My A6300 doesn't, no - the A6500 does. The Sony fit Tamron 150 - 600 doesn't have IBIS either. Bumped into a fellow birder with the same lens, but Nikon fit, and it had IBIS. Gutted!!
     
  13. Gil Bev

    Gil Bev

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    My best result today - I got good detail at 1600 today. PP included boosting exposure to +0.45, and shadows +23

    [​IMG]FSC06860 by Gilbo B, on Flickr
     
  14. snerkler

    snerkler

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    Thanks for the comments, way too kind.

    The D500 is a cracking camera and the best noise handling crop sensor I've seen. However I sent it back as it didn't work as I'd like with my Tamron and could not try another to see if my D500 was faulty or whether the D500 doesn't work 100% with the Tamron. Tamron themselves didn't know either and Nikon just said they don't test with 3rd party lenses. So there's only a handful of pics with the D500, the rest are with the D750, including the robin.

    There's no 'tricks' per se, just light, reducing camera shake, reducing subject movement, getting close to the subject (the Robin was 8ft away, i.e. the Tamrons min focus distance) and finding the sweet spot of your lens.

    Underexposing an image and then boosting exposure in post processing will introduce more noise than using a higher ISO and exposing correctly in a lot of cameras, which is why it's so important to get exposure right if you want max feather detail. That being said there are cameras that seem to be ISO invariant (I think that's the term) which means that you can underexpose an image and bring it up in post without introducing more noise than if you'd shot it correctly in the first place. The D750 is one such camera,.... apparently.
     
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  15. snerkler

    snerkler

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    Ahh right, I'm surprised the A6300 doesn't have IBIS :eek: By the way Nikon's don't have IBIS as that stands for in body image stabilisation which no Nikon DSLR has. Nikon have to rely on lens image stabilisation which is VR on Nikon lenses, VC on Tamron and OS on Sigma.

    But no wonder you're having issue with camera shake if you've been trying to shoot at 1/250. The general rule to reduce camera shake is to shoot at 1/focal length, and don't forget on your Sony 600mm becomes 900mm therefore you want to be shooting at 1/900 (theoretically).

    I can't really see the image properly tbh as only in the phone at the mo. Looks good though.
     
  16. HoppyUK

    HoppyUK

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    This will make noise worse. The ISO setting is only a guide - what matters is how much light/photons the sensor receives, as that decides how much gain needs to be applied. More gain = more noise, regardless of ISO setting.

    Yes.

    Yes, but the same rules apply - less exposure (less light/photons) still means more gain and more noise, however or whenever that gain is applied. What ISO invariant means is that there is no additional noise penalty for adjusting in PP. (Just to be clear - I know that's actually what you said ;))
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2017
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  17. Coyon

    Coyon

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    Worth bearing in mind that aggressive noise reduction will also smooth away fur and feather detail. Try using noise reduction only on the oof areas, and sharpening only on your subject.
     
  18. Gil Bev

    Gil Bev

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    Ah so underexposing when using ISO is not the way to go. I guess I presumed that by using a lower setting I'd be closer to getting the results I loved when properly exposing without needing more than ISO 100.

    So by properly exposing, using a higher shutter speed and using a focal length of less than 600mm I should get better results? Will give these tips a go.

    Do you allow your camera to expose for you - via aperture priority? Or do you use manual settings? How do you use the histogram when your bird is only taking up such a small part of your frame even at longer a focal length?

    Out of curiosity what issues did you have Toby? I'm considering at some point changing to nikon, and the d500 does give the most impressive detail I've seen on a dx camera
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2017
  19. mikew

    mikew

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    Not advocating high ISO but most of the time a correctly exposed 3200 will be better than a 1 stop under exposed 1600,sometimes i get so fed up with the weather stopping me i go out anyway just for the fun of seeing birds and taking pictures not expecting keepers,i now use m4/3 due to haveing to keep the gear weight down,took this at 6400 ISO and just brushed NR on to the water.
    Are you shooting raw as any shadow recovery will work better from raw.

    32379707051_046b54224b_o.jpg
     
  20. snerkler

    snerkler

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    With the Tamron when I went above 520mm only the minimal AF points worked on the D500. I'm not sure if you're aware, but in many cameras all the AF points 'only' work to a maximum of f5.6 lenses, but if your effective aperture drops below this such as when using teleconverters then some cameras still can autofocus but with a reduced number of AF points, see below. The arrow shows which AF points worked on the D500 above 520mm
    Screen Shot 2017-04-05 at 13.56.10.png




    Now at first I assumed it was because the Tamron is f6.3 at the long end, which is a reasonable assumption. However, the Tamron stops down to f6.3 just after 400mm so you would have thought if it was due to aperture/light limitations then the D500 would reduce to the minimum AF points just after 400mm but it doesn't, it's fine until 520mm. The Tamron works fine on my D750. Now it could be a crop body vs FF issue, but the Tamron worked fine on my friends D7200 although I can't be 100% certain that I tried all the AF points. I will hopefully be borrowing it again in the next week or so. Between myself, the store I bought the camera from, Nikon and Tamron it could not be determined whether this is normal behaviour for the D500 with the Tamron, or whether my D500 was defective and the AF points were not as sensitive as they should be for whatever reason. I did contact about a dozen Flickr users with the D500/Tamron Combo and of the 6 that replied none reported having the issue, although one did say he'd never used anything other than the centre AF point. One member id specifically say he'd tried all the AF points. I would like to get my hands on another D500 at some stage to check it for myself.

    Going back to your point above, yes properly exposing will give you better results, but just using a higher shutter speed won't necessarily. It's always a balancing act as to what exposure settings you should use to get the best results, but you should always make sure exposure is 'correct'. As to how you know whether it's exposed correctly or no according to the histogram I don't think that you can really when the bird is so small in the frame, I've not found a way yet to determine which bit of the histogram refers to the bird. You can use spot metering, but unless you're completely au fait with spot metering you can get some wildly different results.

    When shooting wildlife I use one of two settings. It's always manual mode (so that I control both aperture and shutter speed) but if the animal/bird is moving about I will use auto ISO so that exposure can constantly change as the animal is moving from lighter to darker areas. If the animal is pretty static I will use spot metering and use a set ISO to a specific value. I will then view in the LCD and check the histograms and adjust exposure settings if necessary. Be aware though, that simply viewing in the LCD is not entirely reliable as if viewing in bright light the image will look dark and you will think it's underexposed. It's always best to view the LCD in a darker environment if you can, such as in a well shaded area. Over time you will get a better feel of whether exposure is correct or not.

    My general settings for wildlife using the Tamron are 1/1000, f8 and then whatever the ISO needs to be to expose correctly. If light's poor I will lower the shutter speed if possible. With the tamron try and stick to 550mm at the longest length, the difference in framing between 550mm and 600mm is negligible, at least it is on FF ;) At 550mm f8 you should get some very sharp results.
     
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  21. Gil Bev

    Gil Bev

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    Nice picture, and without the noise I'm so used to at that setting. How do you paint on NR? I tend to use the slider on Lightroom affecting my whole composition, which results in a lot of lost detail on the bird - particularly if it's been cropped down a lot. Do you use Photoshop to paint it on? I need to practise with Photoshop - so much more control over what you want to do with a photo. I had a play with it recently adding a lens flare and some rays of light. Excellent fun, but takes for ever when you don't know how!!
     
  22. mikew

    mikew

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    I have the Adobe CC subscription and in Adobe Camera Raw you can do localised editing using brushes.
    if your using Elements some times you can select the bird using the selection tool or focus select,then inverse the selection and your only working on the background, or if you dont inverse it you can work on the bird with out effecting the back ground,you just have to be careful you don't creat a halo around the bird.
     
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  23. snerkler

    snerkler

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    There are many different bits of software to reduce noise, and arguably some plug-ins for photoshop offer the best NR. However, I'm still a novice with photoshop and do most of my editing in lightroom and am 'happy' with this most of the time. I sometimes brush in NR (Mike just used the term paint rather than brush but it's the same thing) rather than using the global slider so that I can remove noise from the background without affecting detail on the subject. Do you know how to use brushes in lightroom?
     
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  24. Gil Bev

    Gil Bev

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    You would have thought Nikon would have been able to clear this up for you - as no doubt they will get questions from others in the same predicament. Hope you get to the bottom of it - let me know if you do - dependant on how high the ISO is on my setup in the best light, I may pursue switching to Nikon in order be able to take shots with a lower ISO. I have a feeling that at 1/1000 I'm going to be in the ISO 3600 area even in sunny weather.

    It's really interesting reading, as I am understanding from your experience things that affect me with my setup . I find AF continuous pretty poor at 600mm with many of my shots being soft. I wondered why AF performance was so poor, and why it was better at lower focal lengths - my AF also hunted a lot when I was underexposed - which led me to use MF. Your explanation regarding reduced AF points probably applies to my setup too and that coupled with my drive to get a lower ISO probably was why my results were soft and snowy. I tried calibrating my lens thinking it was because it required micro adjustment, however found that it wasn't possible given that I was using an adapted lens - the feature was 'unavailable with this lens' in the menu settings.

    Will definitely give your advice a shot on next week when I get back. Thanks very much!!
     
  25. Gil Bev

    Gil Bev

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    Will need to give that a go - I have been pretty basic with my PP - with just adjustments to the exposure and the shadows and highlights. I've a whole lot to learn!! Watch this space and I'll try your recommendations and see how I get on. Again your advice mucho appreciated.
     
  26. Gil Bev

    Gil Bev

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    I have to say, it's not something I've tried yet - I have tended to just use the global settings - and the healing tool to remove unwanted objects in my landscapes and a little bit of experimentation with the graduated filter tool. My skills are very limited in the PP department. I do shoot in RAW which I understand is important when recovering detail in the shadows etc. I'm going experiment with the photos I took yesterday with the recommendations both yourself and Mike have given me, and see what I can do with reducing noise and graininess in the background
     
  27. snerkler

    snerkler

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    No camera will help you shoot at a lower ISO, the correct exposure is the correct exposure no matter what you're shooting with. However, some cameras will give you cleaner less noisy images when the ISO starts to creep up. On sunny days you should be able to keep ISO low, take this for example shot at 1/1000 and f8 ISO was only 400

    [​IMG]
    DSC_9073-Edit
    by TDG-77, on Flickr

    As for Nikon, their standard statement is that they don't test 3rd party lenses and I don't think they will ever move from that standpoint. I believe their slowest lenses are f5.6 so they don't have to worry about it. I will reserve judgement until I've tried my mate's D7200 again, but it would seem odd/poor if the new all singing all dancing AF system doesn't work as well as an older system with slower 3rd party lenses. If I every manage to try another D500 and that behaves the same it would then be interesting to try the D5 to see if that has the same issue and therefore a limitation of the new AF system, or whether it's a limitation of the D500 have a smaller mirror and wider AF spread.


    I think your AF issues may be more a limitation of using mirrorless and/or the adapter rather than a similar issue to mine tbh, but without trying it I can't be sure obviously. I didn't realise that mirrorless needed fine tuning/lens calibration, I guess it's something to do with the hybrid AF not finalising the focus with contrast detect then in some situations?

    Brushes in LR are your best friend ;)
     
  28. Gil Bev

    Gil Bev

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    I'm just keen to see whether using my adaptor and having no IBIS put me at a disadvantage and by how much. I know that without IBIS I can't shoot at as slow a shutter speed as somebody with IBIS without suffering from blurred images. Also by looking at the settings on Flickr that people with Canon and Nikons use to get their shots, I feel like trying to mimic those settings, my ISO would be much higher with my combination in order to expose correctly - even in the brightest of days. Ideally I want to get together with somebody with the same Tamron lens (but nikon or canon fit), and shoot the same subject, and compare ISO settings when using the same apperture and shutter speed. I've a feeling my combination will require a much higher ISO - and I think my image quality might as a result suffer.

    Of course moving from Sony to Nikon or Canon will be costly, so I'm much keener to try getting better results as much as I can with what I have got. I'm going to try out these recommendations and see how I get on.
    Yes, The adaptor doesn't help things, as it brings in a further involvement of another component which stands in between body and lens, so is likely only to slow things down if anything. I'm not sure if the thickness of the adaptor brings in a possible factor too - so that's why I thought it be beneficial to calibrate - but alas it's not possible with this combination. That being said, my shots seem sharp at 420, I guess it's finding the sweet spot in order to maximise the chances of a nice image worth keeping.

    Trying this out now :)
     
  29. snerkler

    snerkler

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    Just been reading up on this adapter and it's inconclusive as to whether there is any light loss. Some reports say none, some suggest about 1/3-1/2 stop, not huge amounts but could be significant at higher ISOs.

    It does appear that phase detection AF (PDAF) doesn't work on the A6000 when using this adapter, so I would assume that it doesn't on the A6300 either which is why it tells you you can't calibrate this lens as you do not need calibration for contrast detection AF (CDAF). CDAF isn't great with moving subjects, and isn't great with telephoto lenses, especially ones with at 900mm eq. There's no wonder you're struggling :eek:
     
  30. Gil Bev

    Gil Bev

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    That would explain why I can see the lens focusing in and out and missing the subject sometimes, and going back again. Then adjusting in smaller steps before settling down - often by which time the bird has gone.
     
  31. Gil Bev

    Gil Bev

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    I did find this - so it does look like PDAF is possible with the LAEA3 on the a6300 - still I would say focus is slow at 600mm. I'll need to double check that PDAF is activated next time I mount my 150-600 just in case it's defaulting to contrast detection AF.
     
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  32. Gil Bev

    Gil Bev

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    I found reducing noise easiest in Photoshop using the quick selection tool, and then the inverse selection. Its a bit better but I still need some practise!!

    [​IMG]FSC06860-Edit-2 by Gilbo B, on Flickr
     
  33. mikew

    mikew

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    I didn't do any editing as you have no for edit but if you have focus select in your select drop down mine did this in seconds,then with the selection tool you can set to add or subtract to selection,the good thing is if making the background lighter introduces noise you can do NR without effecting your subject,hwve you looked at the blur menu,with the selection inverted you can introduce lens blur to thre back ground if its too detailed,but go easy on that one.

    Nice though especially for a first try

    Capture.JPG
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2017
  34. wezza13

    wezza13

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    For static birds, I try to stay above 1/800 with a Nikon D500 on CH burst mode, taking 2-3 images per press. Anything below that tends to show the small birds movements.

    Think how fine, some of the downy feathers are on small birds like Robins, Sparrows etc, even the slightest tiny bit of breeze will blow them about and make your images appear soft.

    The highest SS the better, Id use 1/2000 if I could, but in UK it's not always possible! :)
     
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  35. Gil Bev

    Gil Bev

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    Boy do I find selecting difficult in Photoshop. I tried the focus select and found that although it would select mostly correctly with some adjustment to the slider - I had to use the 'minus' to take out the space from in-between the perch which protrudes from the bottom of the feeder, followed by some 'plus' when I went too far. I found myself going backwards and forward with the plus and minus - and then had quite a lot of trouble separating the background from the foreground into layers. My results weren't great - I'm so bad with photoshop!! Looks like i need to persevere some more.....
     
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  36. mikew

    mikew

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    I dont use the plus and minus i let it focus select then use the selection tool to add or remove selected areas.
     
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  37. Gil Bev

    Gil Bev

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    Will have another bash tonight
     
  38. Gil Bev

    Gil Bev

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    Here are photos taken this morning - light was good - nice bright morning. This time I went for shutter speed of 1/000 at 500mmThe second picture was taken in a spot of direct sunlight - however i find in direct sunlight my images suffer - maybe i need a filter. Do these ISO's look about relative to my settings, or do they seem a bit high. I don't know if there would ever be a situation where light would be better than in the second picture meaning I won't really get much of a chance of shots with an ISO lower than 1250 which is a bit disappointing.

    [​IMG]FSC07024.jpg by Gilbo B, on Flickr

    [​IMG]FSC07019.jpg by Gilbo B, on Flickr
     
  39. OldCarlos

    OldCarlos

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    Is pic #2 a crop? How many focus points are you using?

    If not a crop & you were using single, or 9 centre points, the image looks slightly sharper on the right hand side, so could be front focusing ? (or even de-centred)
     
  40. snerkler

    snerkler

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    It's really difficult to comment on whether ISO is unusually high or not without having anything alongside to compare with. What we perceive as good light might not be what the camera perceives as good light. On a bright sunny day if you're shooting in the shadows for example ISO might be a lot higher than expected. On the 2nd picture it doesn't strike me as one where it would necessarily give the lowest ISO reading, but if you're concerned about it then I would suggest that if you have a friend or family member with a camera then to try it alongside. This in itself is not full proof though as it will depending on framing, metering, lens etc. (not all f2.8 lenses, or all f1.4 lenses etc let the same amount of light in even though they are marked/rated at f2.8, f1.4 etc).
     

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