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Focus Advice

D500 wildlife

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#1 MrWild

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 07:14 PM

So focus question.. The pelican in the first pic is out of camera not cropping and the second one is basically a 1:1 crop.  I want to know if you can tell me why I have good focus on shoulder and eye, but end of beak is not in focus.  Or am I not seeing it right?  IDK .. lol  sometimes I just feel so ignorant...  just cropped to much?  aperture?  

 

 

D500 with 200-500 f/5.6

 

1/3200 sec at f/5.6 570mm ISO 720 0 EV 

 

35806040295_934a9777c5_b.jpgDSC_2404 by edward Perry, on Flickr

 

34995958143_3fcc7fa8c3_b.jpgDSC_2404-2 by edward Perry, on Flickr



#2 Kerry Gordon

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 07:57 PM

I'm not a wildlife guy myself so maybe I'm not the best to comment but this is what I'm imagining.  I notice that the feather on the far wing and the feathers on the near wing are obviously not in focus.  That's not necessarily a problem but what that tells me is that your depth of field is quite narrow.  Given that you're zooming (you said to 570 mm but you must mean 470 mm since the lens only goes to 500 mm) and setting your aperture at f/5.6 that would be what I'd expect.  With such an narrow depth of field if the pelican's head is turned even slightly away the tip of the beak could well be a bit out of focus.  If you want a greater depth of field why not push the ISO a bit more and set your aperture to f/8 or even f/11?  From what I've heard the D500 can handle it.


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#3 MrWild

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 08:29 PM

I'm not a wildlife guy myself so maybe I'm not the best to comment but this is what I'm imagining.  I notice that the feather on the far wing and the feathers on the near wing are obviously not in focus.  That's not necessarily a problem but what that tells me is that your depth of field is quite narrow.  Given that you're zooming (you said to 570 mm but you must mean 470 mm since the lens only goes to 500 mm) and setting your aperture at f/5.6 that would be what I'd expect.  With such an narrow depth of field if the pelican's head is turned even slightly away the tip of the beak could well be a bit out of focus.  If you want a greater depth of field why not push the ISO a bit more and set your aperture to f/8 or even f/11?  From what I've heard the D500 can handle it.

sorry about that. The focal length is 380mm ( 570mm is the 35mm equivalent account for cameras crop factor)  this picture is when I was still using shutter priority.  I am now just starting to use manual so I can adjust for depth of field.  I think you are right.. looking at the picture now again I can see that the pelican head is slightly turned. If the depth of field is that narrow at f/5.6 then I am think to get the entire bird in focus I would even be looking at f/11 or higher.  I will go out on Monday morning (tomorrow night if its not raining) and play with aperture. I know at work there are always White Ibis to shoot.     Thank you Kerry !!    



#4 elcab18

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 08:57 PM

I think the shoulder is more in focus than the eye, eye is same as end of bill from what I can see, I think you missed it by a hair.


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#5 MrWild

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 09:02 PM

I think the shoulder is more in focus than the eye, eye is same as end of bill from what I can see, I think you missed it by a hair.

 

In your viewpoint would it help to have a smaller aperture to get more depth of field, more focus points active to cover more of the frame (I was using group), or just do a better job of acquiring my focal point?  



#6 John W

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Posted 09 July 2017 - 06:05 AM

In my experience use the fewest view points you can and still get focus. I think Doug shoots single center point and I shoot single center point enhanced ( +4 ) for birds in flight. For stationary, I use single center point focus. When you activate more points you have less control because you don't know which point is grabbing focus. As you decrease the aperture you get greater depth of field and better iq up to f8+-. The trade off is that you lose shutter speed and sharp focus is the most important aspect of a wildlife image. Most wildlife photographers I follow shoot one click down from wide open +- 6.3 with your lens, unless there is a reason for greater dof. The bokeh is best wide open but you generally lose a bit of iq wide open. When you use an extender you really lose IQ at wide open ( in my case 5.6 ).
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#7 elcab18

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Posted 09 July 2017 - 12:23 PM

Like John mentioned I use single point focus almost all of the time, very easy to move that point around with the D500.  I will switch to the enhanced (+4 group) on occasion if I'm having focus issues in certain situations.  If the subject blends in with the background for instance, quick focusing can get tough, it's not always the shooter, sometimes even the best gear can be outsmarted. It's not a matter of depth of field, I love having as much of the subject as possible in focus (BIF's), don't be afraid to try F 9, F 11 sometimes if there's bright light. Early early morning is usually my best time to get out and shoot so I rarely get to go there, my iso is mostly higher than I'd like.  If you have a cooperative stationary subject shoot it at 5.6, a quarter rotation of the command dial gets you to f 11, try that.  I know you know all this but sometimes we get stuck doing things the same way all the time, I know I do.


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#8 grimlock361

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Posted 09 July 2017 - 02:53 PM

Stopping down will help.  I always shoot BIF at least F8 light permitting.  Not only does this increase DOF a bit it usually is the sharpest point on most lenses with a max aperture of around 4-5.6.  As already said a single point on the eye will yeild the most accurate focus but it can be frustratingly diffiuclt.  A happy medium is to use group center and just aim for the head.  However, just getting out and practicing will make the most difference.  Don't forget to practice sharpening in post as well.


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#9 MrWild

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Posted 09 July 2017 - 06:07 PM

Wow!  such great information everyone talking about great key points, but this stuff is just to damn hard.. I am just going to go buy the new Samsung Galaxy 8.5 with triple action thinga mabob :-o    

 

In all seriousness..  I really really do appreciate your input and patience with me.. you all are just too kind..   I mean that. :)   I do shoot with single point on stationary and the + 4 group.  I tried single point with birds in flight ( this is going to sound funny) early on in my career when I had my GH5( so 1 month ago  :rolleyes: )  I know that I follow quite a bit better now with the camera for birds in flight.  If it is the best way to get focus or maybe better said the way to get the best focus possible then that is what I will do.  I am not in this to be mediocre, I want to achieve the best possible pics I can. I will go back out to Circle B preserve tomorrow and work on it and play around with my aperture.  Tomorrow morning and afternoon will be good light.. the preserver is about 1.5 hrs away, but everything within 60 minutes will be rained from 8am till well who knows  lol     this is what it looked like the first time I went and then the last time I went.. you know from heaven to what? I got body odor where is everyone?   

 

34814467703_c1d43cd128_c.jpgDSC_0904-2 by edward Perry, on Flickr

 

35623214405_047afac51e_c.jpgDSC_9605-2 by edward Perry, on Flickr

 

 

 

35693361251_9d8fe7f75a_c.jpg_IMG9740 by edward Perry, on Flickr

 

35015728753_f3a8164a02_c.jpg_IMG9745 by edward Perry, on Flickr







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