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Advice please - Olympus E-510

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Old Thursday 26th June 2008, 17:40   #1
barontan2418
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Advice please - Olympus E-510

Just purchased the above complete with the two lens kit (14-42 and 40-150mm lenses). Although I have experience using SLR's I've never used an auto focus version. I want to practice flight shots using Gulls in my local park as my subjects, should be able to entice them reasonably close. My question is what auto focus setting should I use single or continuous for the best results? I realise I lack a long enough focal length lens but my pennies have run out for the moment and its practice I’m wishing to concentrate on, perfection can come later?? Any other tips would be gratefully accepted
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Old Thursday 26th June 2008, 18:08   #2
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Hi John. I am still on a steep learning curve with the E-510 myself but your idea of photographing gulls is an excellent way to start.

I would try both autofocusing modes and see which works best for you. If the bird is moving slowly from left to right the single autofocus should be all right if you can get a lock on the subject and shoot immediately. If it is moving quickly sideways or, especially, away from or towards you, then by the time you shoot, the bird will probably have moved out of focus. In this case the continuous mode should be better as you can lock onto the bird and keep the button half pressed as you follow it. The camera will keep refocusing until you press the button all the way.

It's easy enough to swop between the two modes, so keep experimenting and take lots of shots. What you will notice is how fast the birds appear to be moving and how hard it is to keep the target on them. I think it all comes down to experience. At least I hope it does.

Good luck.

Ron
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Old Thursday 26th June 2008, 18:17   #3
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For flight shots select the centre AF point, switch IS off and use continuous AF. I actually use C-AF+M which combines continuous and manual focus. What I do is turn the focus ring to get the bird roughly focused before half-pressing the shutter to engage the AF. I'd also advise setting the exposure manually.
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Old Thursday 26th June 2008, 20:09   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulthomas View Post
For flight shots select the centre AF point, switch IS off and use continuous AF. I actually use C-AF+M which combines continuous and manual focus. What I do is turn the focus ring to get the bird roughly focused before half-pressing the shutter to engage the AF. I'd also advise setting the exposure manually.
I haven't tried the C-AF+M mode yet but I might give it a go. I find the biggest problem is that, if I miss the bird when I half press the button, the camera will latch onto the sky and focus on infinity. It is then practically impossible to find the bird again so I have to focus on something nearer to reset it. It's all very frustrating when there are terns whizzing about everywhere. The C-AF+M mode might help here.

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Old Friday 27th June 2008, 07:55   #5
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I haven't tried the C-AF+M mode yet but I might give it a go. I find the biggest problem is that, if I miss the bird when I half press the button, the camera will latch onto the sky and focus on infinity. It is then practically impossible to find the bird again so I have to focus on something nearer to reset it. It's all very frustrating when there are terns whizzing about everywhere. The C-AF+M mode might help here.

Ron
I'm sure you'll find C-AF+M somewhat less frustrating. Terns aren't the easiest of birds to capture in flight though unless you can catch one hovering. Maybe practice on some BHGs first?
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Old Friday 27th June 2008, 12:01   #6
barontan2418
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Thanks for your advice Gents, all I need now is some decent weather and I'll be out practicing.

Mick.
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Old Saturday 28th June 2008, 07:18   #7
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One tip for you when taking panning shots of birds - don't forget to switch to image stabilisation mode 2...:) This turns off both horizontal and vertical IS, and just leaves vertical IS so you can catch those panning shots more easily.
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Old Saturday 28th June 2008, 11:42   #8
barontan2418
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One tip for you when taking panning shots of birds - don't forget to switch to image stabilisation mode 2...:) This turns off both horizontal and vertical IS, and just leaves vertical IS so you can catch those panning shots more easily.
Will do and thanks.
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All those who see me, and all who believe in me, share in the freedom I feel when I fly”

Written by John Denver.
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