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Thread: frogs

  1. #1
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    frogs

    there have been little tree frogs all over my back yard for the last couple of days. i have tried getting some nice pics , but im not sure they are as sharp as they could be. i dont have a diffuser so i bounced the flash off some white paper. i used a tripod and settings are :
    T4i with 50mm 1.8
    f/8 , 1/40sec and iso 100
    is there something i should be doing different or am i being to picky ?

    IMG_9830 by sedwards679, on Flickr

    IMG_9826 by sedwards679, on Flickr
    Stuart Edwards
    1DX Mark II , 1DIV , Samyang 14mm f2.8 ,Sigma 85mm f1.4A , 24-105mm f/4L IS , 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II , 400mm f/5.6L , EF 1.4x III , 430EX II

  2. #2
    Senior Member conropl's Avatar
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    • Your focus is good, but not nessesarily where you intended. Use a single point if your are not already.
    • Your shutter speed for a 50mm on a cropped body and no IS is a little to low. If you are using a flash, then I do not see a reason for the shutter to be so slow. Rule of thumb is shutter speed w/o IS should be 1/(focal length), and on a croped body, that equates to 1/80 sec. But the faster the better.
    • Get low (camera resting on the surface the frog is on) and focus on the eyes. If other things are out of focus, but the eyes are good, then it still looks good.
    • Set up on a tripod if you can and the go to live view at 10x, manually focus, and shoot with a remote. That will get you the sharpest shot. To get as low as possible, flip the column to lower the camer upside down right to the ground.
    • The closer you get, the thinner the DOF. If your lens is back or front focusing, then it is going to be tough going. That is why Live View at 10x and manual focus is prefered (must be on tripod however).


    Here is an example of one on our front door window (I rotated in post). This was at night, so I used a 580 flash and hand held with 100mm macro IS. The eyes are in focus, but the rest is not, but it still looks OK. Eyes are very important... if they are not in focus, everything looks off.


    Treefrog -1001 by westmichigan, on Flickr

    Hope that helps.

    Pat
    5DS R, 1D X, 7D, Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6, 24mm f/1.4L II, 16-35mm f/4L IS, 24-105mm f/4L, 50mm f/1.8, 100mm Macro f/2.8L, 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L, 580EX-II
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  3. #3
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    that was exactly the pic i was trying to produce lol. do you set the flash directly on the frog ? i cant get as close as i would like , the min focus distance is about 18" so i have to crop quite a bit to get a decent size.
    Stuart Edwards
    1DX Mark II , 1DIV , Samyang 14mm f2.8 ,Sigma 85mm f1.4A , 24-105mm f/4L IS , 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II , 400mm f/5.6L , EF 1.4x III , 430EX II

  4. #4
    Senior Member conropl's Avatar
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    I put the flash on the camera and pointed it at the frog. It was too dark to try and bounce it. It was also so dark I had a real hard time get it to focus, and live view was out of the question. I did not have enough hands to hold the flash off camera, and I was contorted trying to get the right angle. Now that I think about it, I must have look like quite the fool getting this shot.

    I though the distance may be a problem with the 50mm. If you can get the shutter speed, you may want to try something longer (like the 75-300mm or 18-135mm) and stand back further, but I do not know what those lenses produce. Also, getting some cheap extension tubes would help you get closer.

    Pat
    5DS R, 1D X, 7D, Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6, 24mm f/1.4L II, 16-35mm f/4L IS, 24-105mm f/4L, 50mm f/1.8, 100mm Macro f/2.8L, 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L, 580EX-II
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    i had thought the 50mm 1.8 would give me better quality images but i was wrong lol. i tried the longer lenses like you sugested and upped the shutter speed with the flash directly on the frog. much better in my opinion but its still hard to get the eye perfectly in focus.
    the first 2 are with the 75-300 at 300mm f8 1/200 shutter and 100 iso. the last one is withthe 18-135 kit lens at 135 mm f8 1/200 shutter and 100 iso. thanks for the pointers Pat !


    IMG_9849 by sedwards679, on Flickr

    IMG_9854 by sedwards679, on Flickr

    IMG_9859 by sedwards679, on Flickr
    Stuart Edwards
    1DX Mark II , 1DIV , Samyang 14mm f2.8 ,Sigma 85mm f1.4A , 24-105mm f/4L IS , 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II , 400mm f/5.6L , EF 1.4x III , 430EX II

  6. #6
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    Hmmm, they have large eyes compared to the rest of their body - kinda funky that if the outer rim of the eye is in focus but the iris is not - is that because it is behind the lens of the eye? just pondering
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  7. #7
    Senior Member conropl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sedwards View Post
    i had thought the 50mm 1.8 would give me better quality images but i was wrong lol. i tried the longer lenses like you sugested and upped the shutter speed with the flash directly on the frog. much better in my opinion but its still hard to get the eye perfectly in focus.
    the first 2 are with the 75-300 at 300mm f8 1/200 shutter and 100 iso. the last one is withthe 18-135 kit lens at 135 mm f8 1/200 shutter and 100 iso. thanks for the pointers Pat !
    Better

    I would Up the ISO to 200 and then push the aperture to f/11 to get a little more DOF. If your lens/camera combo can handle ISO400 without significant noise, then I think I would do that and push the aperture even further. 300mm and 135mm that close makes for a thin DOF.

    Are you using a release and a tripod?

    How many shots did you take? Some times it takes quite a few tries. Take lots of shots, and liberally throw them away. As you get better, more steady, and get better glass; then you do not need as many shots (I still take a lot, but it is reducing).

    If you are hand holding, then a little body sway after getting the focus can really throw you off focus. It does look like the front of the eye is in focus, but the back side is not. What I try to do is get a good profile so if it focuses on anything near the eye, then it is still in focus. Then do not try to push the shutter release half way to focus and then take a picture... you can get to much movement between AF and capture. Right or wrong, I push the shutter button all the way so that as soon as AF is achieved, it takes a picture right away - I get more keepers that way.

    In PP, zoom in 100% on the eye you were focusing on, and pick the one with the best focus. Throw everything else.
    5DS R, 1D X, 7D, Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6, 24mm f/1.4L II, 16-35mm f/4L IS, 24-105mm f/4L, 50mm f/1.8, 100mm Macro f/2.8L, 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L, 580EX-II
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  8. #8
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    well the 75-300 has been bugging me for quite a while now. noisy focus motor and doesnt seem as sharp as i would like. today i went and picked up a 70-200 f4L but wouldnt ya know it , the frogs arent there tonight lol.
    Stuart Edwards
    1DX Mark II , 1DIV , Samyang 14mm f2.8 ,Sigma 85mm f1.4A , 24-105mm f/4L IS , 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II , 400mm f/5.6L , EF 1.4x III , 430EX II

  9. #9
    Senior Member Jayson's Avatar
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    Some quick tips other than the great stuff people have given already...

    Don't be afraid to use your ISO. Unless your blowing that picture up large, your photos should be able to handle ISO 1600 or higher if you expose to the right. Noise cleans up will with the T4i sensor. I have used the 70-200 f4L IS for frog pictures, but usually have a 1.4x TC to increase the distance and magnification. If you don't think your getting the right spot in focus, try snapping off lots of shots with your body sway. You can focus stack it later. In all seriousness, don't be afraid to experiment. Brace yourself on something so you have a little stability and snap away. I tend to not get higher than f/8 when shooting macro. I prefer to focus stack.

    For diffusion, this might be something quick to make if you didn't want to spring for diffusers. Pringles Can Diffuser or Coke Can Diffuser. I made one out of a styrofoam cup and it works pretty well. I would set your flash to manual mode and set it to something like 1/4 power. That way you get the same output every time.

    I haven't photographed frogs at night, but have photographed people in pitch black. Use the illumination from the IR on the flash to make sure you have the right area, use the center focus point (crop later), and fire away. Let the flash work for you.

    Hope some of that helped.

  10. #10
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    well i tried the new lens , and i think its much better . idealy i should be using a macro lens though caus i cant get as close as i would like. i still had a bit of trouble getting the eye in focus . it almost looks like it focuses a little closser than where the red dot lights up. if i focus on the eye , thenose is sharp . in this pic i focused slightly behind the eye. just my luck , there is no focus adjustment on the t4i lol.

    IMG_0082 by sedwards679, on Flickr
    Stuart Edwards
    1DX Mark II , 1DIV , Samyang 14mm f2.8 ,Sigma 85mm f1.4A , 24-105mm f/4L IS , 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II , 400mm f/5.6L , EF 1.4x III , 430EX II

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