Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Zeiss - Always on the lookout for something special – Shop now

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

New to bird photography

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old Wednesday 7th September 2016, 16:47   #1
ScoobieDoo
Lookin' for a Scooby Snack

 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: North Dakota
Posts: 13
New to bird photography

I've been doing professional photography for several years now with food, weddings, and other commercial jobs, and with my recent move to the country I have been looking at getting more into nature and bird photography for fun.

This is my first crack at it, and I know the images have a long way to go, but I was hoping you guys could look at these and give me some tips on improving. Here are two photos, and the third is at 100% crop. They are both pretty soft at 100%.

I'm using a Canon 5D Mk II with a 70-200mm IS lens along with a 2x extender. I think the largest problem I had was getting a sharp focus since the hawk was flying straight toward me. Do you guys have to manually adjust the focus when they are coming at you?

These were shot at 1/1250, f/5.6, ISO 800
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_7771.jpg
Views:	315
Size:	181.5 KB
ID:	597568  Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_7772.jpg
Views:	274
Size:	120.0 KB
ID:	597569  Click image for larger version

Name:	100p-crop.jpg
Views:	345
Size:	33.7 KB
ID:	597570  
ScoobieDoo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 7th September 2016, 20:50   #2
Robin Edwards
Registered User

 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Bedfordshire
Posts: 1,441
I'm not familiar with the 5D or your lens but with my 7D with 100-400 IS there are settings that aim at tracking focus on a moving subject such as a bif.
I'm also not sure how a 2x performs with your lens? For me, converters have the effect of impacting image quality and on my lens, slowing the auto-focus.
__________________
Robin

Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
Robin Edwards is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Wednesday 7th September 2016, 20:57   #3
ScoobieDoo
Lookin' for a Scooby Snack

 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: North Dakota
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Edwards View Post
I'm not familiar with the 5D or your lens but with my 7D with 100-400 IS there are settings that aim at tracking focus on a moving subject such as a bif.
I'm also not sure how a 2x performs with your lens? For me, converters have the effect of impacting image quality and on my lens, slowing the auto-focus.
Hello Robin,
That's a great suggestion, I think I remember seeing something about that a while back now that you mention it, but I've never used it and kind of forgotten about that feature.

I haven't used the 2x extender much, but it does seem to make the lens feel a bit slower at focusing. I also notice a difference in the quality of the photo. I guess it's a bit of a trade off for getting a shot that's a bit closer up for the time being.

I would love a longer lens, and while I'm sure it's in my future, the recent move has drained most of our savings account! Gotta get a few more freelance projects to pay for such toys :)
ScoobieDoo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 9th September 2016, 10:39   #4
kitefarrago
Registered User
 
kitefarrago's Avatar

 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Cheshire
Posts: 2,412
I haven't used an extender myself, but the received wisdom is that a 2x converter often is just too much, in terms of image quality and slowing the auto-focus. A subject moving towards the camera is going to tax any auto-focus sytem, and using the extender on top may make this impossible. I think a 2x extender for birds in flight is going to be problematic on any system.

You may get a better quality by using you lens at 200mm and cropping after - it's worth experimenting with. Alternatively, try a 1.4 extender which gives less reach than your 2x, but will degrace image quality less, while you're saving up for a longer lens.

Bird photography is great fun - you've discovered a hobby that can be very rewarding!

Andrea
kitefarrago is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 9th September 2016, 14:48   #5
ScoobieDoo
Lookin' for a Scooby Snack

 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: North Dakota
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitefarrago View Post
I haven't used an extender myself, but the received wisdom is that a 2x converter often is just too much, in terms of image quality and slowing the auto-focus. A subject moving towards the camera is going to tax any auto-focus sytem, and using the extender on top may make this impossible. I think a 2x extender for birds in flight is going to be problematic on any system.

You may get a better quality by using you lens at 200mm and cropping after - it's worth experimenting with. Alternatively, try a 1.4 extender which gives less reach than your 2x, but will degrace image quality less, while you're saving up for a longer lens.

Bird photography is great fun - you've discovered a hobby that can be very rewarding!

Andrea
Ok that's great, I will give that a try as well. I can definitely see how it can be a very rewarding hobby. Thank you for the help!
ScoobieDoo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 11th September 2016, 17:36   #6
fenboy1969
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Norfolk
Posts: 8
A friend uses exactly the same outfit and I am often impressed with the high quality results she gets. If the light is good enough you should get much better results stopping down somewhere between f8 and f11 with a 2x converter.
fenboy1969 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 12th September 2016, 20:25   #7
ScoobieDoo
Lookin' for a Scooby Snack

 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: North Dakota
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by fenboy1969 View Post
A friend uses exactly the same outfit and I am often impressed with the high quality results she gets. If the light is good enough you should get much better results stopping down somewhere between f8 and f11 with a 2x converter.
That's great to know thanks. I've been shooting at f/5.6 with it to try and get the shutter speed as fast as I can to freeze them in motion. I'll take this into account and try to find the right balance between the shutter and the ISO.

Thanks!
ScoobieDoo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 7th November 2016, 18:54   #8
lmans66
Registered User
 
lmans66's Avatar

 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: South Jersey, USA and Tuscan AZ, USA
Posts: 1,888
Blog Entries: 12
If the bird was 'coming at you'....you are going to have a tough time anyhow, regardless of what lens or camera you have. With a bird flying right at you (as your third picture looks to be), you camera never has enough time to focus as focus is constantly changing.... jim
__________________
lmans
lmans66 is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Tuesday 8th November 2016, 14:32   #9
ScoobieDoo
Lookin' for a Scooby Snack

 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: North Dakota
Posts: 13
Makes good sense Jim. I'm going to try the servo focus where it's constantly focusing like someone else suggested and see if I have better luck with that.

As you've suggested, I've had much better luck with birds flying sideways rather than straight toward me, but I will keep practicing. I've seen some amazing photos of owls flying at the camera man and would love to get something like that someday. Although that is a full on pro with better gear and lots of knowledge/talent in this area, but lots of practice and a little luck goes a long way.

I haven't been out taking many photos lately but am looking forward to deer season being over when I can be a little more relaxed out in the wild.
Thanks,
Joel
ScoobieDoo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 9th November 2016, 01:40   #10
Neil
Registered User

 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Hong Kong (ex Sydney)
Posts: 10,176
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScoobieDoo View Post
I've been doing professional photography for several years now with food, weddings, and other commercial jobs, and with my recent move to the country I have been looking at getting more into nature and bird photography for fun.

This is my first crack at it, and I know the images have a long way to go, but I was hoping you guys could look at these and give me some tips on improving. Here are two photos, and the third is at 100% crop. They are both pretty soft at 100%.

I'm using a Canon 5D Mk II with a 70-200mm IS lens along with a 2x extender. I think the largest problem I had was getting a sharp focus since the hawk was flying straight toward me. Do you guys have to manually adjust the focus when they are coming at you?

These were shot at 1/1250, f/5.6, ISO 800
Welcome to the challenging hobby of bird photography. You picked one of the toughest tests to start with. A raptor coming straight at you. As mentioned by others the 2x could be the weak leak. Also the 1/1250th second is a bit slow for a fast approaching raptor.
For raptors and bigger (egrets/herons) I like a 300/4 plus 1.4x as my walk around choice.
Neil.
Neil is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 24th November 2016, 16:26   #11
CyPhil
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Nicosia
Posts: 34
Especially for birds in flight I never use a converter on the lens. Also I prefer to switch image stabilisation off, and set the autofocus on the lens to 10m+ (unless its abird I know I can have in a range of less than 10m).
CyPhil is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 6th December 2016, 22:46   #12
Jaime74
Registered User
 
Jaime74's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Almansa
Posts: 32
I had a converter, and after the first shots....I decided to keep it in the box, and get me a larger lens.

Anyhow the picture is very good, I wish I had the same hide that you have, I´ve never taken a front picture like that.
Jaime74 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 9th December 2016, 09:47   #13
dikkeduif
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Kfar Yona
Posts: 6
As fenboy said, I found that stopping down to f8 produces better results. Of course that means that in most cases you will have to increase ISO to get a fast enough shutter speed.

I know it's not ideal, but I'm adapting a tamron 150-600 lens on my sony and I have to use manual focus, since autofocus is just too slow. Luckily the camera has focus peaking, so after some practice you get the hang of it. Maybe give it a shot, might be faster for birds that are flying towards you. It certainly is a challenge! Good luck!
dikkeduif is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 9th December 2016, 13:55   #14
dave598
Getting Back Into the Zone.
 
dave598's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 966
Quote:
Originally Posted by fenboy1969 View Post
A friend uses exactly the same outfit and I am often impressed with the high quality results she gets. If the light is good enough you should get much better results stopping down somewhere between f8 and f11 with a 2x converter.
Thank you I will have to try that my time out with my X2 convertor.
dave598 is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2016 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
7D vs 70D for Bird photography pranab73 Canon 8 Tuesday 21st January 2014 12:06
Bird Photography Nature__lover Cameras And Photography 5 Wednesday 8th December 2010 15:09
Bird Art & Photography Sy V Books, Magazines, Publications, Video & DVD 2 Monday 18th October 2010 14:00
Bird photography in Goa Mike66 Birds & Birding 4 Sunday 24th September 2006 20:07
Bird Photography digi-birder Books, Magazines, Publications, Video & DVD 3 Thursday 17th June 2004 14:59

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.31603289 seconds with 27 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 19:49.