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snowhiker

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You really should test it on a tripod. Don't you have a gimbal head of some sort?
I have a 3 lb. Manfrotto BeFree w/ball head. Hardly a serious support setup for any telephoto lens. It worked fine for (body)+(battery grip)+(50mm lens) for some time lapse shots but my (body)+(grip)+(200-500mm) is nearly 8 lbs. That would probably kill my lil BeFree tripod. But I could give it a shot.

I would suspect a decent tripod+gimbal head to be in the $500+ range for something I might not use that much. If I eventually need such a setup I'll buy one, but I'd like to eliminate all the possible no-cost solutions for my less-than-sharp photos first.

1) Try "cheap" tripod first to see if that helps.
2) Try turning VR off when shooting @ 1/500, 1/640, 1/800, 1/1000, etc.
3) Try focus fine-tune. Put camera/lens to tripod and check focus, then check LV and magnify image to see if it's really in focus.


As always much thanks for the feedback.

Edit: According to this DOF calculator, on a full-frame camera w/500mm lens set to f/8 and focused at 8 feet should yield 0.03 ft DOF or 9.1mm. If the focus is nailed that DOF should be enough for all my bee to be in focus, but if my lens is even slightly out-of-focus the DOF wouldn't be enough for my bee to be in focus?!?
 
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LunarMist

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Did you not calibrate the MFT for the lens on that camera when you bought it? :(
I use the original Lensalign or a startburst in the field.
 

LunarMist

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Edit: According to this DOF calculator, on a full-frame camera w/500mm lens set to f/8 and focused at 8 feet should yield 0.03 ft DOF or 9.1mm. If the focus is nailed that DOF should be enough for all my bee to be in focus, but if my lens is even slightly out-of-focus the DOF wouldn't be enough for my bee to be in focus?!?
That DOF calculator is difficult to use since it has no adjustable CoC. I get zero DOF assuming a very sharp lens and a reasonable print size for fine details (22"). Many people would print larger with 24MP and a sharp lens.
 

snowhiker

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Did you not calibrate the MFT for the lens on that camera when you bought it? :(
I use the original Lensalign or a startburst in the field.
I have not done any lens calibration. I should probably calibrate all of my lenses, just to eliminate front/back focus as a possible reason for un-sharp photos.

MFT? MFA?

Is it bad that I don't know what any of that means?
Nice to know it's not just me.

LensAlign is a target for adjusting the AF offset (MFA, MFT, etc.) in the camera.
Ah. OK. I've seen the "LensAlign" test target thingie before.

For reference the AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR MTF chart.

Edit: For shits and giggles, here's the Nikkor 500mm f/4E FL ED VR MTF chart. At $10,300 and 7.3x the cost of my 200-500 it better be sharp. ;)
 
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LunarMist

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I have not done any lens calibration. I should probably calibrate all of my lenses, just to eliminate front/back focus as a possible reason for un-sharp photos.

MFT? MFA?



Nice to know it's not just me.



Ah. OK. I've seen the "LensAlign" test target thingie before.

For reference the AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR MTF chart.
IIRC Nikon users use the Fine Tune or something terminology. It's the adjustment to get the AF focus accurate. You should check and calibrate if necessary each camera/lens combination prior to field trials and usage.

The theoretical MTF charts show substantial astigmatism at 500mm, but that is not an issue in the dead center.
 

snowhiker

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IIRC Nikon users use the Fine Tune or something terminology. It's the adjustment to get the AF focus accurate. You should check and calibrate if necessary each camera/lens combination prior to field trials and usage.

The theoretical MTF charts show substantial astigmatism at 500mm, but that is not an issue in the dead center.
My D610 has it as "AF fine-tune" under the setup menu. I understand what it is and what it does, I was just curious what "MFT" and "MFA" stood for. Canon abbreviations perhaps?

I'm only using the center AF point and that point is on the bird, so bird should be in the center of the lens for maximum sharpness.

Here is a shot of a hummer with VR turned off. Shooting skittish birds with VR turned off is a challange when hand-holding a 500mm lens and keeping AF point on the bird.

Again the exposure is 1/2000 @ f/8. But unfortunately shot was taken late afternoon without direct sunlight, hence ISO blew up to 5600.



Not any real change in sharpness but the crazy high ISO might be masking it a bit. I actually got quite a few hovering hummer shots, in fact, more in a 3 minute span of time than I've gotten in the last six months. I'll post more. Sucks it was late afternoon and the sun went behind the neighbors house causing ISO to blow up.

I'm also starting to think that you just can't get a really sharp hummingbird shot even @ 1/2000 sec. Many of the internet, "How to take pics of hummingbird" tutorials describe multiple flash setups with them set for 1/32 of their max power rating so the flash duration is like 1/20,000 sec.

I'm also having some issues with the lens not focusing continuously even when camera is in AF-C mode and AF-ON* button held down. Early versions of this lens were recalled for a firmware update and according to Nikon my lens is a later version "not effected" by the issue but I wonder.....





* Actually AE-L/AF-L button re-mapped to act as AF-ON.
 

LunarMist

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That actually looks a bit better to me, despite the NR.

You have good enough equipment. Now it's time to work on technique. Mainly you should get closer and use a tripod for smaller subjects.
Where possible, pull back a bit on the zoom.
 

snowhiker

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That actually looks a bit better to me, despite the NR.

You have good enough equipment. Now it's time to work on technique. Mainly you should get closer and use a tripod for smaller subjects.
Where possible, pull back a bit on the zoom.
I believe, as you pointed out above, that my technique is the last major obstacle between me and a nice sharp bird photo. My zoom's close focus is 7.2 ft. so I can't get closer than that. I'm usually 8-9 ft. away in cause the birds zips a few inches closer I can still focus. I'll zoom in from 500mm to 400mm to see if that helps. I hope the lens isn't crap after 400mm though. ;)

I'm probably going to pick up that LensAlign target and check the AF calibration of the lens just to be sure.

Thanks again for the feedback.
 

snowhiker

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Some more hummer BIF shots. Well more accurately Birds in Hover, not flight. ;) Taken last month, late in the afternoon. Unfortunately the hummer was in the shade. ISO between 2800-10000. Exposure 1/2000 @ f/8, VR=ON. And my sensor is dirty. :(

I haven't shot anything in a month. I need to get the LensAlign target and focus fine tune my tele lens, just to eliminate that as a reason for soft focus problems I'm having.

















 
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CougTek

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I'm in vacation this week and today, I improvised a trip to climb a moderate summit not too far from here. It culminates at 1048m and you have to climb around 800m to arrive there. It's quite windy at the top. Took me 4 hours overall to climb and get back.

There are 3 summits, the highest being the third. Here's a view of the first summit from the path to the second summit :

View_Summit1_before_Summit2.jpg

The path is quite close to the cliff. I'm not too fond of heights, so I was very careful. Here's the view of the canyon from the second summit :
Summit_No2.jpg

And here's one view of the second summit from the third :

Summit_No3.jpg

The photos look like shit because they were taken with a cheap Samsung phone and I'm no photography nut. Plus, there was a lot of wind at the top, so it was hard to maintain a stable grip (I was more focused on not tripping to my death down the cliff).

That place is called "L'Acropole des Draveurs", in the area of Charlevoix, in Québec.
 
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CougTek

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Thanks for the comments.

To mubs: I was quite relieved when I reached the top. I was not completely exhausted, but I thought I was the last person left on the mountain ( I crossed a group of 3 young men on the way down, but I didn't know that back when I was on the the summit). I was glad to have reached the top, but also worried that if I hurt myself, I was on my own to climb down. There is no cell signal back there and no one will hear you scream for help.

To Lunar: I crossed a few elders on my way to the top, so maybe you'd be able to reach it too with walking sticks and by progressing slowly. However, the way down the mountain is very hard on the knees. There are also many rocks and if your not careful, you can easily twist an ankle. Not sure you'd like to climb there and much less return. IMO, the path is so uneven that in case of an emergency, only a chopper could evacuate you. I don't think even the Eco Challenge's winning team could carry someone on a stretcher on that path.
 

LunarMist

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It sounds challenging. I'm not in such shape for serious, steep climbing, especially with a high load. I can move around on uneven and loose ground plenty quickly when there is motivation like a rapidly changing beam of light or pair of rare birds of which only 200 are left alive. My knees are still good fortunately, and I wear hard kneepads for shooting animals low. It's all about priority and I don't take it too hard if the probability of excellent opportunities is low. I don't go more than a mile or so each way with the big teles and a couple of pro bodies anymore. The 100-400 II on the 5DsR provides enough reach for many smaller subjects, so the big guns are less mandatory than a few years ago and smaller tripods will suffice. Of course the 5DsR is excellent for the landscapes as well.
 
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snowhiker

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I'm in vacation this week and today, I improvised a trip to climb a moderate summit not too far from here. It culminates at 1048m and you have to climb around 800m to arrive there. It's quite windy at the top. Took me 4 hours overall to climb and get back.

There are 3 summits, the highest being the third. Here's a view of the first summit from the path to the second summit :

View attachment 1104

The path is quite close to the cliff. I'm not too fond of heights, so I was very careful. Here's the view of the canyon from the second summit :
View attachment 1105

And here's one view of the second summit from the third :

View attachment 1106

The photos look like shit because they were taken with a cheap Samsung phone and I'm no photography nut. Plus, there was a lot of wind at the top, so it was hard to maintain a stable grip (I was more focused on not tripping to my death down the cliff).

That place is called "L'Acropole des Draveurs", in the area of Charlevoix, in Québec.
Great pics Coug. The complete green "blanket" of vegetation and grass is amazing. Most of the places I've been in SoCal, Yosemite, AZ, Utah, etc has green trees/shrubs, etc but simply does not have the blanket of that lovely green you have up north. Incredible. Makes me want to get outside and climb something.

800 meters (2624') of elevation gain is a _serious_ climb. And yes the downhill and pounding on the knees is worse than the uphill cardiovascular workout. IMHO.

Coug goes on holiday? No kidding! Nice place and nice pics, Coug. Must have been lovely and invigorating.
I too had to double check the posters name too. :wink:

That place looks awesome.
Wow, Coug takes holiday, also takes pictures, and climbs mountains! Nice view there.
I wish I were there.
Yep. Great view. Agree 100%.

It sounds challenging. I'm not in such shape for serious, steep climbing, especially with a high load.
Lunar you need some Sherpas to carry your gear. Probably a bunch of amateur photographers out there willing to soak up some of your wisdom while schlepping you 5DSr, 500/4 & Tripod/Gumbel-head up a mountain for you.
 

snowhiker

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Contrary to the thread title, this is NOT my photograph. But it is a photograph my friend took of me at Four Corners.



More vacation photos to come next weekend, hopefully.
 

snowhiker

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Cheer up. You looked so serious. :)
That's about all the smile you are going to get out of me Lunar.

Here's another pic of me taken by my friend. This one is even better because my face is hidden! LOL.



Toward the end of the "Balcony House" tour you have to crawl through an 8 foot tunnel. 2m:5s mark on the youtube video for the tunnel. Our tour had five times the number of people on it. It as so crowded you could barely turn around without bumping into somebody.

As luck would have it, we went on the tour the last day of the season so we almost missed out.
 

snowhiker

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Thread back from the dead.

My imagehost, Postimages.org, performed an upgrade a while back and changed their base URL so all my linked images earlier in this thread don't show up anymore. So here is a new one.


crop_5228.jpg
 

LunarMist

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I see you are getting closer the subject. :)
What are you using for PP? There is too much chroma noise, especially for ISO 400.
 

LunarMist

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It's very basic, not big words. The D610 is an older camera, but with a decent 24MP sensor. EXIF indicates that the image was RAW.
The sensor produces more chroma noise than luminance noise due to the color reconstruction needed from the Bayer pattern.
The amount of chroma NR and luminance NR may vary with sensor and viewer taste, but it seems to be neglected. I'd like to see the RAW file.

File: crop_5228.jpg
File size: 4,860KB
Image counter: 31471
Camera Model: NIKON D610
Camera serial number: 3025870
Firmware: Version 2.10
Date/Time: 2019:05:12 16:28:49
Shutter speed: 1/2000 sec
Aperture: 8
Exposure mode: Manual
Flash: Off
Metering mode: Spot
ISO: 400
Lens: VR 200-500mm f/5.6G
Focal length: 500mm
Focal length: 500mm (in 35mm film)
AF mode: AF-C
Image size: 4011 x 2673
Rotation: none
Image quality: RAW
White balance: SUNNY
Active D-Lighting: Off
Picture control: NEUTRAL
Color space: sRGB
Saturation: Normal
Sharpness: Normal
Contrast: Normal
 

LunarMist

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Nothing good would come from that. I think the last time was over ten years ago, depending on which forum was involved.
 
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