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Camera Settings in the Park

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shortcourse
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Camera Settings in the Park

Unread post by shortcourse » Mon Jan 28, 2008 2:52 pm

Don't know whether or not this has been asked before but what do you normally use in the park as your settings. Let's say there's an impala (for lack of a imagination) off the road....

Any help greatly appreciated! :)

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DuQues
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Unread post by DuQues » Mon Jan 28, 2008 3:01 pm

Portrait of it?
f/2.8 or as close as the lens will allow to that so you have as little background as possible.
Or if you want to place it in it's environment, f/8 or smaller (f/16 for instance) so you get as much background as possible.

It depends what you want to show / tell.

The shuttertime should be faster than your lenslenght, so with a 400 mm lens 1/500 seconds to insure a cracking sharp photo.
Not posting much here anymore, but the photo's you can follow here There is plenty there.

Feel free to use any of these additional letters to correct the spelling of words found in the above post: a-e-t-n-d-i-o-s-m-l-u-y-h-c

shortcourse
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Unread post by shortcourse » Mon Jan 28, 2008 3:15 pm

Was thinking more along the lines of TV versus AV. Have noticed in some of my pics when using AV that there is blur from the motion of the animal... :roll: Advice?!

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NightOwl
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Unread post by NightOwl » Mon Jan 28, 2008 3:23 pm

Shoot in 'M' rather and controll everything yourself.
Animal blurry is usually too low shutter speed, or in the case that something else is sharp, then your focus is in wrong place.

Shutter Speed, Aperture and ISO is tied in a love triangle.
You move the three of them so that your exposure meter stripe moves to the center in the viewfinder. When you want higher shutter speeds, you can either up the ISO or open the lens up to 2.8 (or 4 or 5.6, depends what the max is for your lens). If it's dark and you need more light, then you can reduce the Shutter Speed, up the ISO, or once again go for 2.8.

If you need greater depth in your focus, then you will need f8 - f16 and you will loose light, so you need to once again up the ISO or reduce the SS.
Problems:
Upping ISO increases noise.
Slower SS could cause blurry images from camera shake and animal movement.
Apperture controls how deep your focus is and you might not always want to go 2.8, especially not for scenery/landscape type shots.

It's really easy shooting in 'M'. YOU controll everything through those 3 settings. Try it.

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DuQues
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Unread post by DuQues » Mon Jan 28, 2008 3:24 pm

Blur from the motion of the animal means that your shuttertime is too slow. If you make that mistake often Tv is better yes, just set it to 1/500 or 1/250 and if your camera cant reach it up the iso one stop. (100 -> 200).
Not posting much here anymore, but the photo's you can follow here There is plenty there.

Feel free to use any of these additional letters to correct the spelling of words found in the above post: a-e-t-n-d-i-o-s-m-l-u-y-h-c

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NightOwl
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Unread post by NightOwl » Mon Jan 28, 2008 3:51 pm

Maybe I could elaborate a bit:

Aperture
f2.8 (Big Hole) Lets in LOTS of light small depth in focus
f5.6 - f8 (Meduim sized holes) Lets in less light Meduim depth in focus
f16 - f22 etc. (Small Holes) Lets in very little light Large depth in focus

Shutter Speed
1/10 Extremely slow - Lets in LOADS of light - Moving objects WILL be blurry - Good enough for landscapes and wide angle lenses
1/100 Meduim speed - Lets in fair amount of light - Usually good for human portrait shots - moving objects still blurry but less blurry than 1/10 - good for portrait lenses - 24 to 85 range
1/500, 1/1000 etc. Fast speeds - Lets in very little light - good for wildlife - freezes movement - good for wildlife lenses - 300 and beyond

Golden rule for Shutter Speed to avoid camera shake. Set SS to '1/mm of lens multiply by crop factor':
Lens is 100mm and camera is a 1.6x crop (Canon xxxD, xxD) Then it would be: 1/(100 x 1.6) = 1/160


ISO
ISO 100 - No noise, but you need more light as the sensor is not that sensitive to light - Bright Sunny day shots
ISO 400 - meduim noise, but you need less light, as the sensor is more sensitive to light - Cloudy dull days
ISO 800, ISO 1600 - Lots of noise, but sensor is extremely sensitive to light - Used for evening shots

How they relate:
Lets say on a sunny day I use ISO100 and I have an apperture of f8, then I would have a high shutter speed. Now if the clouds come in, I have less light so I have to adjust one or even two of these settings to keep my exposure correct. I try not to bring the SS down, as I might get either motion blur or camera shake. So I have a choice to go for less depth in focus by setting the aperture to f5.6 or f4.0 or f2.8 (Depending how bad the light gets and how much depth I'm willing to loose in the focus area.
Or if I don't want to loose any depth, then I can just up the ISO to 200, 400, 800 or 1600. But at ISO 1600, you're not going to get much detail or be printing A1 posters either, because the noise will just be too bad.

Hope that makes it clearer

shortcourse
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Unread post by shortcourse » Tue Jan 29, 2008 9:35 am

Thanks guys - that explains it very nicely. :dance: Will try use it in Manual (M) mode next time out!

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Neil Crawford
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Unread post by Neil Crawford » Tue Jan 29, 2008 11:25 am

I'd humbly suggest putting it on Tv or Av. My wife uses a 100 macro lens and Tv set to 1/125, this gives her a baseline that always works. I do the same with my 400 lens except I use Av and f5.6 which is wide-open for that lens. This means I will always get some kind of photo, not always good but it makes a start. If we have time, we will adjust for better (or less) depth of focus. We also use ISO400 nearly all the time.
The problem in real life, especially on safari or shooting birds, is that everything happens so fast, that I for one, never have time to think, so many new impressions and photo opportunities, so for us it's important to have a simple setting that works, leaving the fancy work for later. Which reminds me if your camera and computer software is good enough, and you have storage space, use RAW, because it means you can fix up a lot of mistakes at home.
I meant to change lenses, but when I got home I found I'd had the 1.4X teleconverter on all the time, I never had time, or forgot to take it off.
So keep it simple, use whatever works for you
Some advice from a less than perfect photographer.
/Neil

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NightOwl
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Unread post by NightOwl » Tue Jan 29, 2008 11:49 am

Neil: Let me give you some advice for shooting manual, that we learned the hard way by shooting manual from the word go...

As soon as you drive through the gate, stop the car!
Point your camera at a general scene (NOT IN THE SHADE). Set the camera up with general depth, average speed and ISO related to weather conditions. Now if you shoot RAW, you are Gauranteed to get A shot everytime you forget to fiddle with settings and even if you get it wrong, you'll at least be able to recover from the RAW file to have a useable image.

With these general settings programmed, you are ready to shoot at the drop of a hat, or appearance of a leopard :D
Then if the scene is not that volatile and the animal does not jump/run away, you can fine tune the settings to get them perfect.

The more time you take to think about your image in terms of composition and settings, the better the end result will be.

But this method of pre setting the camera settings in M, gives you the flexibility to point and shoot, but also to fine tune with minor setting adjustments.

shortcourse
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Unread post by shortcourse » Tue Jan 29, 2008 12:41 pm

Great advice Nightowl - I had been doing the same as Neil and keeping my camera set on AV - naturally when the animal started moving I would get some blur as a result of my shutter speed being too slow.

Will definitely do as you suggest and see how it comes out! Thanks! :dance:

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Neil Crawford
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Unread post by Neil Crawford » Tue Jan 29, 2008 12:59 pm

[naturally when the animal started moving I would get some blur as a result of my shutter speed being too slow]


Not if you have Av set wide open, on my camera that is 1/2000 SEK in good sunshine. Depth of foucus loses out though. I'm going to follow NightOwls advice too, and at least set up M properly, because what often happens on my camera is that is that the twisty thingie gets knocked off Av and on to M, which is wrongly adjusted, and I miss the picture. I certainly need to learn how to use M, it's another trick in the book.
/Neil

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Impisi08
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Unread post by Impisi08 » Tue Jan 29, 2008 7:40 pm

DuQues wrote: The shuttertime should be faster than your lenslenght, so with a 400 mm lens 1/500 seconds to insure a cracking sharp photo.


That is when you shoot hand hold. This is not necessary when you use a bean bag (or tripod). Which I think you always should use.

In general I have my camera in AV mode and wide open (f/4), because most of the time I want the background soft when photographing an animal. Now I only have to adjust the exposure for non medium tones like the dark buffalo or white egret. But for a lot of animals this is usually not necessary.
When an animal is really close I close down the aperture a bit because of the dept of field.
Last edited by Impisi08 on Tue Jan 29, 2008 7:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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anne catherine
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Unread post by anne catherine » Tue Jan 29, 2008 7:43 pm

Does somebody uses modes C1,C2,C3 with pre settings on the camera ?
I think we can do that on the 350D and 40D , but still didn'nt tried that .

Thank you ,

Anne .

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anne catherine
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Unread post by anne catherine » Wed Jan 30, 2008 10:24 am

Oh , sorry , you have only pre- settings modes C1,C2,C3 on the 40D , not on the 350d ( on the upper wheel after P,TV,AV,M,A-DEP modes ).

Anne

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UKbadger
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Unread post by UKbadger » Wed Jan 30, 2008 10:05 pm

When I am in Kruger I am on the 100 – 400 [Jenny has the 24-105] so will almost always have the cam. on

ISO 400,
Av
aperture at max. 5.6.


this will ensure max shutter speed for that fleeting moment and if there is time, stop down the aperture to increase depth of focus.

A typical [ ish. ] scenario:-

Hardish on the brakes as Ellies are seen mating while hanging from large tree. :wink:

Beanbag up on window, camera follows quickly, Click, Click, Click.

Lots of light as they are also performing in a brightly lit spot, so a quick flick of the wheel and the aperture is down to f10 with the shutter speed at 1/500 , Click, Click, Click, and more Click.

Have got the initial shots, so go for a careful slow shutter speed and big depth,--- Ellies have disappeared into the bush!!!!! :cry:

But, I have the important shots and no movement blur!!!!!! :lol:

ps.

When not exhausted I’m always adjusting the settings in my mind. The what would I do if, sort of adjusting, so that if the Leopard suddenly appears crossing the road I’ve already got a plan of action as happened on our last trip 2 hours from entering at Phalborwa! Got two quick shots off but that was it, wouldn’t have got anything if I’d had to think first.
8)
Last edited by UKbadger on Wed Jan 30, 2008 11:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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