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― Scapes ShowcaseDawn two years ago, and image quality

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LindaShorey
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Dawn two years ago, and image quality

Post by LindaShorey » Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:46 am

Looking at this early morning shot from December 2015 (Canon T3i with EF-S 18-135 mm lens), a couple of things occurred to me

1. How was I able to hold the camera steady at 1/40 sec in frigid weather??

2. I need to stop shooting in the near-dark with my mirrorless cameras (photo #2 below, which I also posted to critique forum - my second pink cloud experience)! I was thinking ISO was culprit 'til I compared with a few others, like the bighorn sheep from autumn.

3. If I can no longer hold a camera steady even at 1/500 second, it's time to buy a tripod!
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Charles Haacker
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Post by Charles Haacker » Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:04 am

LindaShorey wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:46 am
Looking at this dawn shot from December 2015 (Canon T3i with EF-S 18-135 mm lens), a couple of things occurred to me

1. How was I able to hold the camera steady at 1/40 sec in frigid weather??

2. I need to stop shooting at ISO 3200 in the near-dark with my mirrorless cameras (photo #2 below, which I also posted to critique forum - my second pink cloud experience)!

3. If I can no longer hold a camera steady even at 1/500 second, it's time to buy a tripod!
The first one is easy, I think. Your focal length was 21 mm and your shutter was 1/40, double your focal length. Also, your focal length was very short. Pretty generally we figure you can successfully hand-hold a lens provided the shutter is at least equal to the reciprocal of the actual (not virtual) focal length. Now of course in frigid weather or high wind or any of a number of other factors causing camera motion that's still probably pushing it, but double the focal length is usually pretty reasonable, and another factor (the short focal length) means the magnification isn't high, so even if you get your nose up on it you don't see much smearing. I don't think that camera has image stabilization but a shutter double the focal length should handle it fine. Don't forget that with shorter focal lengths and long distances you don't need to stop to f/11 or smaller. You should be able to shoot wherever your lens's sweet spot is (usually mid-range someplace). The further you are from the scene the greater the depth of field at any aperture. If your target is far enough away you can shoot wide open and not notice.

Your second pink cloud was made at 1/750 @ f/8, ISO 3200, focal length 164 with a 75-300 zoom, f/4.8-6.7. Halfway up its zoom range it may have been 5.6 wide open. At that range to target I don't think depth of field is an issue. Focus is essentially infinity. Your 1/750 shutter at ISO 3200 was still double the longest focal length of the lens. I think I'd try opening up and cutting the ISO in half. It is the kind of shot for which a tripod would be recommended but mine is usually well out of reach in the car so yeah, I shoot hand held. Your camera also has 5-axis image stabilization in the body so it is capable of damping motion if you cut your shutter even more. I don't hate tripods and will happily use them where needed, but lots of times I can't use one because of restrictions, they are a nuisance to carry, so I want to do my best without.

I was most (MOST!!!) impressed when just starting out with Nikon's BSS, a slightly unfortunate acronym for Best Shot Selector. Until I switched to all raw 3 years ago I used BSS a LOT (it only works with jpegs). It cracks off 10 rapid shots, selects the single sharpest and discards the rest. For a guy who would rather shoot available dark in a museum than eat it was perfect. Another mitigating factor was short lenses on small sensors, but once I started shooting raw, bigger sensor, still find myself in similar situations I started shooting in burst, 5 or 6 frames while doing all the other marksman-on-the-rifle range stuff, full breath, let out half, hold, and try to squeeze between heartbeats (yeah, right). I did a bunch in a very dark museum when I visited Madison, all available, all raw (I did use my stabilizing "stringpod"), and when in doubt I'd fire off 3 or 4 and pick the sharpest in post. I am a sharp freak (did anybody know that?) so if it ain't sharp I ain't happy.

You can hold a camera steadier than you think unless you have a physical issue, in which case yeah, a tripod is the answer, or at least a monopod (although there are still those stuffy places they get tense about things). I know all the arguments but I still avoid them. One more dratted thing to schlep.
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Post by LindaShorey » Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:34 pm

Thanks so much for your new info, reminders of some stuff stuck in the back of my head, and your suggestions and experiences. Funny, the lens I used with the Canon for that shot was so physically big compared to the Lumix's similar range, I hadn't thought about the reciprocal idea (and the lens was stabilized).

With the Olympus, I haven't taken the time to really figure out best settings. I hadn't intended to buy both an Olympus and Lumix at the same time; wanted two bodies the same, but then I bought the unstabilized lens and blah blah blah, here we are :)

OK, another New Year's Resolution!

Many, many thanks for your time and support, Chuck.
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Post by minniev » Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:03 pm

LindaShorey wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:46 am
Looking at this early morning shot from December 2015 (Canon T3i with EF-S 18-135 mm lens), a couple of things occurred to me

1. How was I able to hold the camera steady at 1/40 sec in frigid weather??

2. I need to stop shooting in the near-dark with my mirrorless cameras (photo #2 below, which I also posted to critique forum - my second pink cloud experience)! I was thinking ISO was culprit 'til I compared with a few others, like the bighorn sheep from autumn.

3. If I can no longer hold a camera steady even at 1/500 second, it's time to buy a tripod!
Love that 2015 photo, the colors and light are magnificent, I want it!

But on to your questions. Chuck has pretty much answered the tech stuff, which he's much more adept at than I am. So I'll move along. Yes, there is a huge difference in 40 mm on your old camera/lens combo and 164 on the m43 combo. A real chasm. Yes, you'd think that 750 shutter would fix that, but there are physical and sensor properties at work too, and the lightness of m43 equipment doesn't actually help with steadying, just with hauling it around. Some people feel it is a hindrance in steadying, though it's usually offset by the great stabilization functions. First, be sure you've got stabilization on, I've sometimes accidentally turned it off and found out when I looked at the pictures. For my birds, I usually shoot at 1/1000 or higher when using the 75-300 unless I don't have it extended at all. And- The 75-300 is not a stellar performer in challenging conditions, either. You may want to try both approaches - raising ISO to where the camera wants it, and underexposing horribly to get the higher shutter then raising exposure in post with appropriate noise removal. Sometimes one works better than another. Then there are a couple of in-camera noise controls to experiment with. It's a process of figuring out what the best compromise is for that camera/lens/lighting.
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Post by LindaShorey » Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:20 pm

minniev wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:03 pm
Love that 2015 photo, the colors and light are magnificent, I want it!

But on to your questions. Chuck has pretty much answered the tech stuff, which he's much more adept at than I am. So I'll move along. Yes, there is a huge difference in 40 mm on your old camera/lens combo and 164 on the m43 combo. A real chasm. Yes, you'd think that 750 shutter would fix that, but there are physical and sensor properties at work too, and the lightness of m43 equipment doesn't actually help with steadying, just with hauling it around. Some people feel it is a hindrance in steadying, though it's usually offset by the great stabilization functions. First, be sure you've got stabilization on, I've sometimes accidentally turned it off and found out when I looked at the pictures. For my birds, I usually shoot at 1/1000 or higher when using the 75-300 unless I don't have it extended at all. And- The 75-300 is not a stellar performer in challenging conditions, either. You may want to try both approaches - raising ISO to where the camera wants it, and underexposing horribly to get the higher shutter then raising exposure in post with appropriate noise removal. Sometimes one works better than another. Then there are a couple of in-camera noise controls to experiment with. It's a process of figuring out what the best compromise is for that camera/lens/lighting.
Thank you so much, Minnie! The conditions and my right time/right place style of shooting did come together beautifully for that shot. The past two years I've become torn between wanting warmer temps for dry, safe walking Trixie and wanting WEATHER for photo ops .

I'm very grateful for your information and suggestions on the Oly and 75-300 mm lens. I will get on it, gray featureless skies or not :D
"What's important in a photograph and what isn't." http://photographylife.com/whats-import ... -what-isnt

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Post by St3v3M » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:30 am

LindaShorey wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:46 am
Looking at this early morning shot from December 2015 (Canon T3i with EF-S 18-135 mm lens), a couple of things occurred to me

1. How was I able to hold the camera steady at 1/40 sec in frigid weather??

2. I need to stop shooting in the near-dark with my mirrorless cameras (photo #2 below, which I also posted to critique forum - my second pink cloud experience)! I was thinking ISO was culprit 'til I compared with a few others, like the bighorn sheep from autumn.

3. If I can no longer hold a camera steady even at 1/500 second, it's time to buy a tripod!
Wow, I keep scrolling back to the first! I really love this and am glad you braved the cold! Two years, it feels like a lifetime especially when I see where you are now! I see this on metal or glass, it's really beautiful!

And ya, I haven't been too steady lately so I've been working with the tripod when I can. It feels like it slows me down a little but maybe that's good, maybe I take a few extra seconds to think about the story. It doesn't have to be expensive.

Such a beautiful scene! S-
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Post by St3v3M » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:33 am

Charles Haacker wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:04 am
The first one is easy, I think. Your focal length was 21 mm and your shutter was 1/40, double your focal length. Also, your focal length was very short. Pretty generally we figure you can successfully hand-hold a lens provided the shutter is at least equal to the reciprocal of the actual (not virtual) focal length. ...
Is it 21mm actual and 21x1.6(canon)=34mm virtual? I've always wondered about that. S-
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Post by St3v3M » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:36 am

LindaShorey wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:20 pm
Thank you so much, Minnie! The conditions and my right time/right place style of shooting did come together beautifully for that shot. The past two years I've become torn between wanting warmer temps for dry, safe walking Trixie and wanting WEATHER for photo ops .

I'm very grateful for your information and suggestions on the Oly and 75-300 mm lens. I will get on it, gray featureless skies or not :D
You should add Trixie in your foregrounds when you can. I know we'd all love that! S-
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Post by LindaShorey » Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:19 pm

St3v3M wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:36 am
You should add Trixie in your foregrounds when you can. I know we'd all love that! S-
Great idea! I actually took shots of her peering through my dirty car window during last week's sunny day shoot :)
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Post by davechinn » Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:39 pm

LindaShorey wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:46 am
Looking at this early morning shot from December 2015 (Canon T3i with EF-S 18-135 mm lens), a couple of things occurred to me

1. How was I able to hold the camera steady at 1/40 sec in frigid weather??

2. I need to stop shooting in the near-dark with my mirrorless cameras (photo #2 below, which I also posted to critique forum - my second pink cloud experience)! I was thinking ISO was culprit 'til I compared with a few others, like the bighorn sheep from autumn.

3. If I can no longer hold a camera steady even at 1/500 second, it's time to buy a tripod!

Love the first image Linda !!! I don't have all the answers, but do think a tripod would be a benefit for the fact you can have more control with the shutter speed, ISO and aperture. Although, a tripod can be a pain at times, but also necessary sometimes.
Dave

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