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Micro Four-Thirds (1 Viewer)

DanC.Licks

AKA Daniel Bradley
Back from the North Sea. Lots to report a bit later.
I have found that the longer the focal length, the less useful silent shutter is. Distortion can happen VERY easily, so I quit using it except where silence is really necessary. I rely mostly on single anti-shock=0, or on bursts when shutter speeds over 1/320 are possible. BiF I use bursts anyway.
That smearing looks strange to me, and I would indeed report it to Olympus to at least see what they have to say about it. Have you been using IS? If so, I could see it as being caused by the weight of the scope causing the IS to malfunction, compounded with the very slow sensor read time (1/15th second) with silent shutter, though you seem to be having it with the 400/5.6 also. I myself have had no problems with IS using the 400/5.6, silent or normal shutter. I just have to remember to turn it off when I use the scope.
Definitely report it.
 

DanC.Licks

AKA Daniel Bradley
Hi Jules,
Nice puffins. I'm jealous!;)
This is the closest I have ever been able to get to them.
P6162269.jpg
People in Scotland go crazy to see them and spend a LOT of money on chartered boats to spend a couple of hours jammed in with 100 other tourists all trying to get the same picture. I would love to be able to see and photograph them, but not like that!

With your method, what you are doing is essentially S-AF bursts. The whole point of C-AF is to be able to track and focus at the same time, something Canon and Nikon excel at but where the Oly can't react fast enough. Improvements there are expected with the E-M1 Mark II. No chance at all for C-AF with the 400/5.6+Metabones, not even with v2.4, (v2.1 still best) but S-AF with short 9-10 FPS bursts works very well. The Metabones, combined with my home made action finder has meant a HUGE increase in my BiF keeper rate, like 10 to 1, compared to a year ago where I was still limited to MF. A detailed report will follow shortly.
 

DanC.Licks

AKA Daniel Bradley
To start with, here is the latest version of my Cheapee-1 (Mark III) action viewfinder.
P9114406.jpg P9114411.jpg P9114409.jpg
Mark II worked great, but it was flimsy and got broken or bent or both nearly every time out, so I had to do some re-thinking. I opted for a magnetic mount, that is, the base is the same as the last one, but I filed off the holder and glued a steel post on in its place. Then I took a small magnet from a bits holder (3mm thick, 6mm diameter) and glued it to a more stable frame. The tongue and groove insures that it stays aligned when in place. Now if it gets knocked, it just pops out of its holder and either sticks to the side or is held by the retaining string. There is a small piece of shrink tube around the post to act as a sort of socket for the frame.
The size is a little different also, that is about 13x17mm, which corresponds pretty close to the angle of view with the 400 on the E-M1. It is adjusted to about 25-30 meters, that is, anything closer I have to frame slightly below the cross hairs, and anything further away, slightly above. It is held in place with two Velcro straps, so it can easily be adjusted laterally. For the pictures I pulled the black cover back so you can see the underlying construction.
 

JGobeil

Nature Photographer
Hi Jules,
Nice puffins. I'm jealous!;)
This is the closest I have ever been able to get to them.
View attachment 597923
People in Scotland go crazy to see them and spend a LOT of money on chartered boats to spend a couple of hours jammed in with 100 other tourists all trying to get the same picture. I would love to be able to see and photograph them, but not like that!

With your method, what you are doing is essentially S-AF bursts. The whole point of C-AF is to be able to track and focus at the same time, something Canon and Nikon excel at but where the Oly can't react fast enough. Improvements there are expected with the E-M1 Mark II. No chance at all for C-AF with the 400/5.6+Metabones, not even with v2.4, (v2.1 still best) but S-AF with short 9-10 FPS bursts works very well. The Metabones, combined with my home made action finder has meant a HUGE increase in my BiF keeper rate, like 10 to 1, compared to a year ago where I was still limited to MF. A detailed report will follow shortly.

There are 6-800 Puffin couples nesting on l'Ile aux Perroquets in the Mingan Archipelago in Quebec Lower North Shore. Razorbills, Common Mures, Black Guillemots and Gulls are also nesting on the island. It is a National Park Reserve and access is controlled. It costs only 80$CDN to spend a day on the island, where there is not more than about 100 persons at the same time. We were about a dozen photographers on that day. Access is limited to areas where we cannot disturb the birds.

I agree that my BIF technique is somewhat similar to S-AF bursts but it works well for me and I came back from the island with the photos I wanted.

I also brought back some photos of uncommon "Ringed" Common Mures which have a white eye-ring and a white line extending backward from the eyes.
 

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JGobeil

Nature Photographer
To start with, here is the latest version of my Cheapee-1 (Mark III) action viewfinder.
View attachment 597941 View attachment 597942 View attachment 597943
Mark II worked great, but it was flimsy and got broken or bent or both nearly every time out, so I had to do some re-thinking. I opted for a magnetic mount, that is, the base is the same as the last one, but I filed off the holder and glued a steel post on in its place. Then I took a small magnet from a bits holder (3mm thick, 6mm diameter) and glued it to a more stable frame. The tongue and groove insures that it stays aligned when in place. Now if it gets knocked, it just pops out of its holder and either sticks to the side or is held by the retaining string. There is a small piece of shrink tube around the post to act as a sort of socket for the frame.
The size is a little different also, that is about 13x17mm, which corresponds pretty close to the angle of view with the 400 on the E-M1. It is adjusted to about 25-30 meters, that is, anything closer I have to frame slightly below the cross hairs, and anything further away, slightly above. It is held in place with two Velcro straps, so it can easily be adjusted laterally. For the pictures I pulled the black cover back so you can see the underlying construction.

Clever !
 

DanC.Licks

AKA Daniel Bradley
Ringed Common Mures... wow! Very interesting looking birds. I love Razorbills and Guillemots and the like.
I have often wondered why so many sea birds are just black and white. OK, they don't "need" camouflage like so many other birds, though their young are often camouflaged, but still, it just strikes me that most are either black, white or mixed. Must be an evolutionary reason...
 

DanC.Licks

AKA Daniel Bradley
North Sea 2016

Some BiFs for a start, first with the Canon 400/5.6 alone with the Metabones SmartAdapter, firmware v2.10. For all BiF shots I used 37 focus points, 10 FPS, S-AF, release priority off (if the camera can't lock on it won't fire, which is fine. OOF shots land in the bin anyway;) ), center weighted exposure with anywhere from +.3 to +1 EV against the sky. I have the focus limiter on the lens set to 8.5 meters to infinity, very important! When I see something coming, I follow it with the action finder, tapping the shutter button half way to get a head start in focusing, and when it comes within range I try to fire off short bursts of 4 or 5 shots, sort of modified "spray and pray".
So these are with the 400 alone:
29316469990_a1166eb5dd_h.jpg 29496626062_3f78438d58_h.jpg 29526207641_decc4e1321_h.jpg 28981426994_5fa42c3549_h.jpg 29316566220_f0274a7f10_h.jpg
 

DanC.Licks

AKA Daniel Bradley
And here are some with the 1.4x Extender III attached to the 400/5.6.
28983462193_2aa18d38df_h.jpg 29607147675_b2a20cea96_h.jpg 29525935951_61da9d8bad_h.jpg 29316411740_6d2383f315_o.jpg 29572531516_c842f80491_h.jpg

Sandwich Tern with offering was on a very hot and windy day. No chance of much clarity...
Juv. Shelduck just before sunset.

I had the Extender attached most of the time, but I did take it off when I knew I needed faster focus and higher shutter speeds.
 

DanC.Licks

AKA Daniel Bradley
I have had the best luck with firmware v 2.10. I have tried v2.40 several times, but keep going back to the faster and more reliable v2.10. I had my laptop with me, and one day for "fun" I loaded 2.40 again to give it a try in the field. I stepped outside the caravan we stayed in and saw something rapidly approaching. No time to set anything, just aimed and after a few agonizing seconds of the camera not focusing, finally it locked on and I just held the button down until the bird went behind some trees, never to be seen again. I got 6 shots out of it, and all 6 were bang on, and the real treat was, it turned out to be an Osprey, something we have never seen there.:t:
29316639930_d0dc4dd73c_b.jpg 29626561275_d933d49aca_b.jpg 29000526934_4bd035600c_b.jpg 29606922535_fe89cfede3_b.jpg 29515580092_b8962218a9_b.jpg

All without the TC, and wide open. I usually try to stop down to f/8 or so to get a tad more DoF, but here I just didn't have time to think!
 

DanC.Licks

AKA Daniel Bradley
... and number 6, including a photo bomber!o:D
29626552035_fb2c7282cc_h.jpg

I spent the rest of the day with v2.40 loaded, but went back to 2.10 as soon as we got back. 2.40 missed too many times and sometimes simply refused to focus. It "seems" quicker and more direct, but it actually misses and hunts more. 2.10 may feel a touch slower, but it gets there.

I also had the scope with me (more on that later) and every once in a while it is possible to get a shot of some fast fliers, in this case, a flock of Golden Plovers.
28983383793_2d2858e2b4_h.jpg

One real weakness in the system is the fact that the Oly autofocus LOVES far away things. As I understand it, where Canon and Nikon try to find a closer focus target, Olympus looks for far away things first. The net result is, that if the subject is too small and there is anything detailed in the background, the camera will focus on that in stead if the subject. Against the sky there is no problem, and it can pick out very small and even very low contrast objects, but put some trees in the background and you have no chance, unless the subject is pretty big and the focus hasn't been tricked before hand and has locked onto the background. Real, working C-AF would be great, but I fear it ain't gonna happen. I can live without it....

In general I must say that my setup now has made BiF shooting a LOT more fun and satisfying that it was before Metabones came along. No comparison, really....
 
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DanC.Licks

AKA Daniel Bradley
BiF of a different sort...
Last year our farmer friend (where we stay) and I noticed a seemingly unmarked small jet passing back and forth a few times for a few days. We were never able to see any sort of identification markings on it, in fact we were not even sure it was manned. I tried a number of times to get a shot of it, and this is the best I was able to do:
P9038608.jpg
So this year we were on the lookout for it, though Claus hadn't seen it again since last summer. On the second day there, sure enough, it showed up, but this time I was ready for it, and armed with my 400+1.4x, I was able to get this as it passed through a gap in the clouds.
P8188994.jpg

Mystery solved. It is a Learjet 35a air ambulance. My guess is it was doing training flights as it always flew exactly the same route, albeit at different altitudes.
 

Tord

Well-known member
Back from the North Sea. Lots to report a bit later.
I have found that the longer the focal length, the less useful silent shutter is. Distortion can happen VERY easily, so I quit using it except where silence is really necessary. I rely mostly on single anti-shock=0, or on bursts when shutter speeds over 1/320 are possible. BiF I use bursts anyway.
That smearing looks strange to me, and I would indeed report it to Olympus to at least see what they have to say about it. Have you been using IS? If so, I could see it as being caused by the weight of the scope causing the IS to malfunction, compounded with the very slow sensor read time (1/15th second) with silent shutter, though you seem to be having it with the 400/5.6 also. I myself have had no problems with IS using the 400/5.6, silent or normal shutter. I just have to remember to turn it off when I use the scope.
Definitely report it.
Yes I use IS.1. The smearing has been seen only with the metabones and 400/5.6. Not seen with the scope, yet.
 

DanC.Licks

AKA Daniel Bradley
On the far western tip of Eiderstedt lies the Westerhaver sand, a beautiful stretch of usually pristine sand that is barely a sand bar at high tide, and a huge expanse of clean sand and tidal pools when it is low. It is not overrun with people, and there are some interesting birds, but not many. Large flocks of resting gulls and terns, and in early fall, huge flocks of Golden Plover, Dunlin, Ringed Plover etc, on the green land between the dike and the sand. It takes about an hour to walk out from the parking lot and is more for just enjoying the sun and the fresh air than photographing birds. We had good weather this year, and made it out 5 times. Twice I couldn't resist and took my camera just to get the little guys racing around on the sand. Best to be there at high tide when the ocean pushes them in closer to the sand bar that usually stays above the water.
These are Sanderlings.
29599805936_3d361aaf20_b.jpg 29599257686_bf8a414f39_b.jpg 29553200091_87b218751f_b.jpg 29634349305_d98ca63ebd_b.jpg 29553177261_ea76215d19_b.jpg
They race around like mice and are quite hard to capture. I would spot them working their way up the waterline, into the wind and into the light, and lie in the usually still wet sand, 400 +1.4x and SILENT SHUTTER! They would be so involved in what they were doing that they wouldn't spot me until they were quite close.

Getting the timing right is not so easy with the wind, the light, and the tide having to be advantageous for good results. This time we were lucky with everything, except that high tide was around noon and the air and sand was much too warm. Afraid I am not as dedicated as Tord to force myself to be out there just after sunrise! ;)
 
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DanC.Licks

AKA Daniel Bradley
There was even a single Turnstone who had joined a small group of Sanderlings.
29553265391_21f5a27f99_b.jpg 29343620060_9448c59587_b.jpg 29599267306_4f351650a8_b.jpg

On the way back in the afternoon we met a well healed and well fed German guy and his wife who were very nice and knew a good bit about birds. He had also been photographing the Sanderlings, but.....
He had a Canon 7DII (€1400) mounted on a Canon 500/4 Mark II (€11,000) with a 1.4x Extender III (€450) + a Berlabach tripod, a backpack for the lens, and a cart for the whole business which he and his wife took turns pushing. So he had about 10kg of gear for 1120mm of reach compared to my 2.4kg/€2000 of gear and 1120mm of reach, which I carried slung over my shoulder! Somehow I don't think he was lying in the wet sand hand holding his 1200mm worth to get the Sanderlings. ;)
 
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njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
Re Puffins: very easy to get close to on the Faeroe Islands when I visited 30 years ago, don't know about today.

Niels
 
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