October 30, 2014, 08:25:07 AM

Author Topic: What could I do better?  (Read 5293 times)

tntwit

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Re: What could I do better?
« Reply #45 on: March 18, 2014, 02:34:22 AM »
No problem...this is a great article even though the pics don't upload it definitely explains in detail why you should use back button focusing.  https://www.clickinmoms.com/blog/how-to-use-back-button-focusing-tutorial/    take a look at it and let me know what you think  ;)

This was a great article, thank you.  It is late, so I will have to try it out tomorrow with active children. 

There was a debate in the comments that didn't get resolved/responded to, however. 

They (Richard) argued that in AI Servo (whether continuous shot mode or single shot) the camera would continue to focus even when the shutter button was fully depressed, negating the advantage of BBF. 

I thought once the shutter button was fully depressed the camera would NOT continue to focus, thus the advantage of BBF where it WOULD continuously focus.

If Richard is correct, then maybe I missed the advantage.

The Canon manual isn't clear, but it says if you use AI Servo the continuous shoot speed may be "slightly slower" depending on the lens and subject.  This would seem to indicate that the camera is continuing to focus.
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Re: What could I do better?
« Reply #45 on: March 18, 2014, 02:34:22 AM »

tntwit

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Re: What could I do better?
« Reply #46 on: March 18, 2014, 02:37:05 AM »
I believe Magic Lantern has a Micro AF adjustment feature on the 60D so that might be worth looking into.

I'll have to check, though I have some reservations about messing with firmware.  It makes me a bit uneasy, at least on a camera I just bought.
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tntwit

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Re: What could I do better?
« Reply #47 on: March 18, 2014, 02:55:05 AM »
from my viewing of the image, the camera has focused on the background rather than the deer, i would set your camera to point focus, focus on the deer's eyes and recompose and take the shoot.

i would also suggest a monopod it will give you a hell of a lot of stability for not much outlay.

Fats

The camera was set to center point focus.  I believe I focused on the nose and recomposed, but I cannot recall whether I focused and recomposed.  I know I did on some of the shots, but I took a ton of photos and I don't know if on this particular shot that was the method used.

I tried to use Canon Zoom Browser to figure it out, as it will show the focus point(s), but I realized that it will show the point(s), but it doesn't know if you recomposed or not.

This is why I think AI Servo mode would have been better as has been suggested by many posters and I think  something closer to F11 (as was suggested) along with focusing on the deer body instead of the nose (because the nose is too small - this was also suggested) all would contribute to better results.

The monopod is great tool.  I do have one and do not use it enough.  I tend to either use a tripod or go handheld, but the monopod gives a lot of the benefit with very little hassle or set up.  We have one at work and I don't use it enough there either, but I find it useful there as well when I do (we make large (up to 60 feet long) industrial furnaces and I take photos in our production facility mostly for the instruction manuals but sometimes for Marketing when they don't bring in a pro).  It seems to be produce a higher hit rate at slow shutter speeds as compared to just hand holding with IS.  I used it with IS still on, but now that I think about it, I'm not sure I should have.  But the results did seem better - more keepers in terms of sharp photos.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2014, 03:03:09 AM by tntwit »
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tntwit

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Re: What could I do better?
« Reply #48 on: March 18, 2014, 03:21:56 AM »
If you have a chance, setup the camera prior to stepping out the door. Even if you can't see the deer through a window if you can see an area with the same lighting that will work.

Due to circumstances similar to what you had, with varying amounts of snow (or water, or deep shade, or . . .) I tend to use spot metering and meter a known tone.  In this case I would have tried to meter off the snow or the white tail.  The meter will under expose this situation so I'll add 1-2/3 to 2 stops.  Again,  you could test this through a window.  Verify exposure with your histogram, expose to the right without clipping anything on the right side of the graph.

The camera was set to spot meter - but the metering was still going nuts.  This is still great advice.  I was just in to much of a nervous/hurry up state to slow down a bit and take a bit more time to set up.

How far away were the deer?  I'm guessing about 60 feet.  Check out the depth of field chart:
  http://www.dofmaster.com/doftable.html

Good eye - 60 feet is just about right.  Thanks for the link!

If you focus and recompose you have to keep the shutter release pressed half way which can be hard to do and even harder to realize if you slipped and re-focused.

I think you're right - we tend to move around more than we realize and where the AI Servo may be the better answer.

Not sure if these are country deer or city deer.  City deer are more used to people being around.  Country deer are more used to being shot at by people.  I'm in the city and I've found that I can get really close to the deer.  Move slowly and look away from the deer, act like you're not interested in them.  I also tend to talk as I'm moving around, predators are usually very quiet while hunting.  Sitting down in plain view can also help them relax.


We have hunting in and around this area so they are nervous.  But your advice is interesting none the less.


I think the grainy look you mentioned is noise due to the 400 ISO, shade on the deer, and under exposure.  It is pretty easy to deal with post processing and there are lots of tutorials about this.  One tool I'm trying to learn to control noise is to use Canon DPP to read the RAW file and convert it to a TIF file.  DPP does a better job of processing the RAW file and produces finer noise which is easier to correct.  LR can import and work with the TIF files.

Good to know, thanks!

Don't worry about hardware, what you have is able to make wonderful images.

Yes, I definitely can improve my part of the equation more.  Thanks for all your great advice!

 
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FTb-n

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Re: What could I do better?
« Reply #49 on: March 18, 2014, 09:45:30 AM »
I have the 60D and the 70-300 non-L.  I upgraded to the 70-200 f2.8L II a couple years ago and it is considerably sharper.  I feared that I would miss the extra reach of the 300, but I did some testing by shooting the 70-300 at 300 and then shooting 70-200 at 200 and cropping to get the same field of view as the 300.  In my findings, the cropped 70-200 is still sharper than the 70-300.

Note that focusing the 70-200 may be more accurate because it can better leverage the 60D's center focus point which is more sensitive with 2.8 lenses.

I also highly recommend back-button-focusing. 

Regarding AI Servo, it helps to understand that this is a predictive focusing mode.  The camera tracks the subject's movement and predicts where the subject will be when the shutter is actually released.  Part of this is to keep the subject in focus during its movement while shooting at max burst mode.  With the 70-300, this may not be a big deal because the smaller aperture and the larger DOF gives you a greater margin of error.  But, with the 2.8 lens, the small DOF, and a fast moving subject; the subject could move out of focus during that very short window between firing the shutter button and releasing the shutter or during burst shots.

Because AI Servo is predictive, focusing is more accurate if you give the camera a second to record the subject movement before firing the shutter.  Try to press the focus button a second or so before you anticipate firing the shutter.

Also, note that AI Servo is more accurate while subject movement is in the same direction.  If the subject suddenly changes direction, AI Servo can take a second to detect and track the change.  I've learned this first hand with figure skating.  This is where the 7D is great asset because it has a processor dedication to focusing and it responds much quicker to erratic movement.  With the 60D, it helps to get in the habit of momentarily lifting your finger off the focus button when the subject changes direction.  This forces the system to start tracking all over and ignore the data from the subject's previous movement.
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mackguyver

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Re: What could I do better?
« Reply #50 on: March 18, 2014, 09:50:01 AM »
I have the 60D and the 70-300 non-L.  I upgraded to the 70-200 f2.8L II a couple years ago and it is considerably sharper.  I feared that I would miss the extra reach of the 300, but I did some testing by shooting the 70-300 at 300 and then shooting 70-200 at 200 and cropping to get the same field of view as the 300.  In my findings, the cropped 70-200 is still sharper than the 70-300.
I upgraded to the 70-200 f/4 IS + 1.4x extender - here's why.  I eventually got the 70-200 2.8 IS II, but that combo served me well for many years.

Also, +1 on learning to use back button AF.  Once you get the hang of it, you'll never go back.

Lurker

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Re: What could I do better?
« Reply #51 on: March 18, 2014, 01:27:04 PM »
As to the back button focus questions . . .

Once BBF is setup the focus is not connected to the shutter release at all.

If you press the focus button the focus will engage according to the rules for the focus mode selected.  If you release the focus button the focus will not change, not in any of the focus modes.

So, in a situation like yours you would BBF and release, recompose, press the shutter release.  This is essentially the same as single shot mode but you don't have to hold the shutter release half way down while recomposing.

If you hold the focus button then the camera will continue to refocus.  This is where some confusion comes in. What I've read, but the author stated that canon would not confirm or deny, is that the camera will continue to track focus even while the shutter button is pressed.  With the focus and shutter on the same button focus tracking stops when the shutter is activated.  This is a small differance but it has some important implications when working with narrow depth of field or fast moving objects.  We are all naturally unstable and we sway.  Holding the focus button in AI Servo allows the camera to continuously adjust focus to compensate for our movements, even while taking pictures.  Again, based on your results, BBF and AI Servo would not have solved the focus issue you had.  It's hard (impossilbe) to say exactly what happened and why the focus was on the bushes.

In your situation, where you wanted to recompose, holding the focus button would not work.  The focus would be reset as you recomposed.  In order to use BBF continuously, in AI Servo mode, you'd have to select a different focus point and put that point where you wanted to focus.  In this situation you were shooting in full sun so you'd be fine using any of the focus points.  The additional capability of the center point really comes into play in low light/low contrast situations. 

Also know, it is 100% ok to shoot a bullseye shot and then crop it to give the desired composition.  I used to think all those other photogs were so lucky or so skilled they always ended up in exactly the right place and time to get that perfect photo.  Now I know better.  Not that there isn't a lot of skill, knowledge, time, and hard work involved but there are also a lot of setup and post processing "tricks" to help capture those perfect shots.

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Re: What could I do better?
« Reply #51 on: March 18, 2014, 01:27:04 PM »

Ripley

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Re: What could I do better?
« Reply #52 on: March 18, 2014, 01:41:47 PM »
I don't have time to read through this whole thread right now but I did see a few things you said relative to your skill level influencing the quality of that picture. I just want to encourage you that if your photography interest continues to grow, so will your skills - and so should your equipment. Don't underestimate the difference between pro gear and consumer gear. Check out this link as food for thought... it's the difference between a crop sensor camera and the 70-300, and a full frame sensor camera and the 70-300L:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=358&Camera=736&Sample=0&FLI=4&API=1&LensComp=738&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=4&APIComp=1

BTW, awesome photo! I'm sure you'll be a little better prepared next time...    ;)
« Last Edit: March 18, 2014, 01:45:14 PM by Ripley »
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tntwit

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Re: What could I do better?
« Reply #53 on: March 18, 2014, 11:56:03 PM »

If you hold the focus button then the camera will continue to refocus.  This is where some confusion comes in. What I've read, but the author stated that canon would not confirm or deny, is that the camera will continue to track focus even while the shutter button is pressed.

This may be why it doesn't seem clear in the manual, it just says that it may slow down (continuous shooting speed).


It's hard (impossilbe) to say exactly what happened and why the focus was on the bushes.

I think trying to focus on the nose at 60 feet away was probably unrealistic.  I think either I moved or there was just enough error in where it focuses to miss the deer and either way it focused on what does appear to be the bushes.
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tntwit

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Re: What could I do better?
« Reply #54 on: March 19, 2014, 12:04:08 AM »
I don't have time to read through this whole thread right now but I did see a few things you said relative to your skill level influencing the quality of that picture. I just want to encourage you that if your photography interest continues to grow, so will your skills - and so should your equipment. Don't underestimate the difference between pro gear and consumer gear. Check out this link as food for thought... it's the difference between a crop sensor camera and the 70-300, and a full frame sensor camera and the 70-300L:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=358&Camera=736&Sample=0&FLI=4&API=1&LensComp=738&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=4&APIComp=1

BTW, awesome photo! I'm sure you'll be a little better prepared next time...    ;)

I've played around with that site before.  What I would like to see is what a 6D looks like with the 70-200 f4 IS.  I wasn't able to find that, just the 1D and I don't know if that would be anything like a 6D. 

However, I could pit the 70-300 non L mounted on a 60D against the 70-200 F4 IS mounted to both a 60D and the 1D.  Either way the L glass was cleaner at 200, but the 1D seemed to make a much bigger difference, which is why I am curious how the 6D would compare since the 1D is way too expensive for a hobby.
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mackguyver

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Re: What could I do better?
« Reply #55 on: March 19, 2014, 10:33:59 AM »
I've played around with that site before.  What I would like to see is what a 6D looks like with the 70-200 f4 IS.  I wasn't able to find that, just the 1D and I don't know if that would be anything like a 6D. 

However, I could pit the 70-300 non L mounted on a 60D against the 70-200 F4 IS mounted to both a 60D and the 1D.  Either way the L glass was cleaner at 200, but the 1D seemed to make a much bigger difference, which is why I am curious how the 6D would compare since the 1D is way too expensive for a hobby.
The 6D & 1D results should match up fairly well, particularly in terms of full frame vs. crop, but these test crops can be a bit deceiving because the size doesn't match.  The jump in sharpness and overall image quality from crop to FF sensor is noticeable, but the benefits of FF are mostly in high ISO shots and the ability to use lenses at their native focal lengths.  Lens quality is typically more important and if you really want to get into wildlife photography, your money is best spent on the Canon 70-300L or the Tamron 150-600 vs. upgrading your 60D.  Both of those lenses are considerably sharper than the 70-300 non-L is at 300mm and will make the most difference.  I think the Tamron is a steal and unless you are really good at getting close to wildlife, the 600mm (960mm on a crop sensor) would make a massive difference in the type of photos you can take.

tntwit

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Re: What could I do better?
« Reply #56 on: March 19, 2014, 01:02:01 PM »
Lens quality is typically more important and if you really want to get into wildlife photography, your money is best spent on the Canon 70-300L or the Tamron 150-600 vs. upgrading your 60D.  Both of those lenses are considerably sharper than the 70-300 non-L is at 300mm and will make the most difference.  I think the Tamron is a steal and unless you are really good at getting close to wildlife, the 600mm (960mm on a crop sensor) would make a massive difference in the type of photos you can take.

Wildlife is more of a secondary interest...kids, soccer games, indoor school events where low light is an issue (and why I eventually want FF) are more typical at this point. 

I have been targeting the 70-200 F4 IS as a purchase, but I was wondering about the 70-300L as it gets many positive comments here and now I was curious as to what the minimum F stop is at 200 mm.  If it is F4 (probably not) it would give up nothing to the 70-200 F4 IS in terms of performance.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2014, 06:39:03 PM by tntwit »
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mackguyver

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Re: What could I do better?
« Reply #57 on: March 19, 2014, 01:16:33 PM »
Lens quality is typically more important and if you really want to get into wildlife photography, your money is best spent on the Canon 70-300L or the Tamron 150-600 vs. upgrading your 60D.  Both of those lenses are considerably sharper than the 70-300 non-L is at 300mm and will make the most difference.  I think the Tamron is a steal and unless you are really good at getting close to wildlife, the 600mm (960mm on a crop sensor) would make a massive difference in the type of photos you can take.

Wildlife is more of a secondary interest...kids, soccer games, indoor school events where low light is an issue (and why I eventually want FF) are more typical at this point. 

I have been targeting the 70-200 F4 IS as a purchase, but I was wondering about the 70-300L as it gets many positive comments here and now I was curious as to what the minimum F stop is at 200 mm.  If it is F4 (probably not) it would give up nothing to the 70-200 F4 IS in terms of performance.
If that's the case, the 70-200 f/4 IS or 70-300L should both work well, and according to table in The Digital Picture Review it's at f/5 from 155-228mm. 

I had and loved the 70-200 f/4 IS for years, but have never tried the 70-300L, but I hear great things about it.  The decision is going to come down to the extra 100mm vs. the faster speed, but remember you can always add an extender to get to 280.  With a crop sensor, 200mm is likely enough for most of the purposes you describe above, short of shooting from the opposite end of the field or back of the auditorium.  Remember that f/4 won't be enough (without a FF body at least) to shoot fast moving subjects in low light without reaching to ISO 3200 or above.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2014, 01:18:22 PM by mackguyver »

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Re: What could I do better?
« Reply #57 on: March 19, 2014, 01:16:33 PM »

tntwit

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Re: What could I do better?
« Reply #58 on: March 19, 2014, 07:06:25 PM »
Remember that f/4 won't be enough (without a FF body at least) to shoot fast moving subjects in low light without reaching to ISO 3200 or above.

Yes, I'm aware, but ultimately I want to pair it (or the 70-300 L) to the 6D which should be a nice combination that would be roughly 2 stops ahead of what I have now at 200.  And on the 60D (the 70-200) it'll still be 2/3 faster at 200 along with all the other benefits of the L.
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Re: What could I do better?
« Reply #58 on: March 19, 2014, 07:06:25 PM »