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Old Saturday 10th September 2005, 17:54   #1
LozSanders
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Disappointed-Advice Needed Desperately

I have a canon 350D plus the new sigma 50-500mm and I'm not getting results I'd hoped for! Very inexperienced and any advice greatly appreciated.
Also I'm stuck on what it is-Wheatear(juvenile/autumn adult)
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Old Saturday 10th September 2005, 19:53   #2
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The first question is how big was the bird in the view finder ? so that we gauge what size of crop this is. Ideally the bird should fill 1/4 to 1/3 of the frame. I saw your other post - raw setting would not of improved this shot.

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Old Saturday 10th September 2005, 20:07   #3
Tyler Vargo
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Do you use a tripod with that lens? Remember, you are shooting at 800mm when your lens is fully extended so you will need a shutter speed of around 1/800th of a second or (even better) a sturdy tripod.
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Old Saturday 10th September 2005, 20:31   #4
Adey Baker
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I'm off to work in couple of minutes so I won't see what comments follow 'til the morning but I think this looks like quite a small crop of just the centre of the field which shows the limits of the lens' defining power along with a bit of camera movement - not full camera-shake but just a bit of vibration, perhaps.
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Old Saturday 10th September 2005, 20:55   #5
Andy Bright
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Looking at the exif data in this image, it seems as if you really weren't taking any chances as far as camera shake... 1/4000 of a second. You took this shot with an ISO setting of 800, which will cause significant degradation of image. In this particular circumstance, I would've suggested lowering the ISO to 100 or 200, as this would still give you a shutter-speed fast enough to freeze any camera shake.

You will need fast shutter-speeds (maybe 1/1000) handholding this lens, and often you will need to up the ISO setting.

As someone mentioned, not sure how much of a crop this is, nor how good exposure was in the first place... did you brighten it up in photoshop?

The bird is indeed a female Wheatear.

Don't be too disillusioned...it's a pretty good start, big lenses are never easy. Try a monopod if you don't like a tripod?

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Old Sunday 11th September 2005, 00:36   #6
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Oh, that's just noise (ISO 800) and a bit of poor focusing...
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Old Sunday 11th September 2005, 06:06   #7
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Hadn't had time to check the exif data. Camera movement isn't likely at 1/4000th, then!

Have you actually used the unsharp mask on it? I've given it about 300% at 0.5 radius and it's still looking reasonable.

The 350D has, apparently, a more active noise-reduction system than, say the 20D which may soften the detail on an ISO800 shot more so dropping down a couple of notches on ISO and shutter-speed may help.

If you've got a good tripod, going down another shutter-speed in order to stop the lens down a bit from full aperture may also be beneficial.
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Old Sunday 11th September 2005, 11:29   #8
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Thanks for all the advice. Really I need a proper course I think, or some good books! and lots and lots of practice!!
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Old Monday 12th September 2005, 07:00   #9
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It looks like that has been cropped very heavily... the bird was probably very small in the frame. Even with the best equipment you need to "get lots of pixels on the bird" to get a decent quality shot capable of being shown at this size.
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Old Monday 12th September 2005, 07:57   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LozSanders
Thanks for all the advice. Really I need a proper course I think, or some good books! and lots and lots of practice!!
Save your money on the course and books - go for lots of practice! You can't beat learning from your own mistakes.
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Old Monday 12th September 2005, 08:32   #11
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Something else that might be of interest to you Loz is to check what resolution setting you have your camera set to. for birding I always take my photos on the highest setting. On the 350d it is 3456 X 2304 pixels.That way when you come to crop you get the highest number of pixels possible per photo so quality is held for longer.

On the 350d an iso of 800 at 1/4000 would not give noise like that. The only time you get bad noise at high iso is when the light is poor and it obviously wasnt the case here.
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