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Thread: Playing w/ birds at Merritt Island Refuge

  1. #1
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    Playing w/ birds at Merritt Island Refuge

    A cattle egret - I think - was working a pond pretty hard -

    Still learning how to do the focus & servo mode. Seemed like AF point didn't track and missed focus on several shots. Perhaps I am not using the right mode.

    Some of these are pretty good, tell a story, etc. Others not so much.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/77760916@N05/
    If you see me with a wrench, call 911

  2. #2
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    Lots of variables on the 1Dx/5D3/7D2 AF system:
    One shot or AI Servo
    Front-button or back-button (or my wacky combo, front-!back-button) focus triggering
    Point selection method (spot, single, single+4, single+8, zone, starter-then-auto-track)
    If AI Servo, 1st image priority and 2nd+ image priority
    AF tracking sensitivity/accel-decel tracking/point auto switching (75 possibilities, 6 covered in preprogrammed cases, 69 others you can dial up)

    Hopefully you were at least in AI Servo with focus active when the shots were taken.
    Probably want to select points using a method that keeps the highest number of points on the target (eye?) with the lowest number of points landing on contrasty things that are closer than the eye (wings?) - part of this is how well you can track the subject.
    Hard to say whether 1st/2nd image priority was set right: if the frame rate slowed down at all, the camera was definitely delaying the shot in the interest of focus, but it's impossible to know if the camera was happy with focus if the frame rate stayed at max (which requires a shutter speed of at least 1/250th, maybe even 1/1000th; check the manual).
    AF sensitivities: TS probably best at -1 or -2 to minimize the odds it'd jump to a wing. A/D tracking depends on VMG (velocity made good: "speed towards you" matters, speed perpendicular towards you doesn't) and proximity (300mph at a mile is no big deal, but 15mph at 5' is huge). Point auto switching probably just depends on how well you can track the subject.

    Would you say you had more success with birds that were front-lit than back-lit?
    We're a Canon/Profoto family: five cameras, sixteen lenses, fifteen Profoto lights, too many modifiers.

  3. #3
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    Peety - Exactly!!!!

    The way the birds set up 90% of them were back lit - I will look in detail.

    What I noticed is that I thought I had the focus on Servo - like 99% and the center point was the one used in just about every shot - having said this, I was using my Tamm 150-600 and most of the shots were 400+which means f6.3.

    In the tracking side, I think I slowed down during the view finder black out, 1st shot was good, 2nd etc was trailing, 3rd was in front practice??

    i think next time out I am going to try my 70-200 2.8

    Thanks for the note.
    If you see me with a wrench, call 911

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