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Calibansa333
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Shooting Technique... What Am I Doing Wrong?

Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:27 pm

Hey everybody,

I had the opportunity the other day to spend a couple hours in Munich at one of the spotting areas parallel to one of the runways. I snapped a ton of pictures, but after downloading the images to my computer and spending some time editing I've noticed that the sharpness of my photos is not near anything close to spectacular. I was actually kind of surprised since it was a beautiful day and the sun was in the perfect place to get some killer shots. I was also surprised since I was able to use relatively quick shutter speeds (up in the 600-800 range, sometimes higher) and an aperture between 8-10. I was dumbfounded to notice that my pictures were still not very sharp. They weren't even that blurry. I've posted an example for you.



That's the sharpest photo I could get and it's not even that blurry. I was using my 450D (Rebel XSi) with the EF-S 50-250 IS lens. IS was turned on.

Is there something wrong with my shooting technique... as far as I know the faster you can get your shutter speeds the sharper and less blurry your pictures should be, but that wasn't the case for me.

best regards,
Nick
 
wilco737
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RE: Shooting Technique... What Am I Doing Wrong?

Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:31 pm

Quoting calibansa333 (Thread starter):

The settings sounds about right to me. What ISO you are using? Usually 200 is max for such daylight shots.

For me the picture doesn't look too blurry. It is not crystal clear, but with some editing I guess you could sharpen it good enough.

Digital cameras have a tendency to produce less sharper images than the good old analog cameras. So a little sharpening is basically needed for every shot.

wilco737
  

P.S.: hope you enjoyed MUC, some nice spots around there.
 
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yerbol
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RE: Shooting Technique... What Am I Doing Wrong?

Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:38 pm

Nick,
I think the quality is not too bad. In my view this particular photo needs a little bit sharpening and contrast. Try to do these changes and post us new example. I also suggest you to double check camera settings. I've learned one thing. The more you shoot and work after in editing, the more you get from your photos.
Yerbol
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lgw340
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RE: Shooting Technique... What Am I Doing Wrong?

Fri Mar 11, 2011 2:16 pm

Looks although there is a bit of heat haze too?
Flight Dispatcher
 
JakTrax
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RE: Shooting Technique... What Am I Doing Wrong?

Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:03 pm

One thing no-one has asked yet is what focal length you were using. The 55-250 isn't great at its longer end so the soft results could be attributed to that. Also, as Chris says, atmospheric factors such as haze could also have been playing their role - heat haze from a runway surface can occur irrespective of how cold it is.

I doubt at the settings you were using there's much wrong with your technique. If anything it's the limitations of your lens and the general conditions of the day. Besides, I don't think it's soft enough that it can't be rescued by Photoshop.

Karl
 
ZakHH
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RE: Shooting Technique... What Am I Doing Wrong?

Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:17 pm

2 thoughts:

As Karl mentioned, the 55-250 isn't exactly the sharpest lens out there, so don't expect uber-crisp results on the long end of the range.

But more importantly - what focusing method do you use? It should be AI servo.

If you use one-shot focusing (you can easily tell that you do if your camera beeps upon focusing) you will lose some time between the camera determining the focal point (when you half-press the shutter button) and the shutter release (when you fully press it).

In that time, the aircraft will slightly move out of the focus area, resulting in a loss of sharpness.

In AI servo, the camera will focus continuously as long as you keep the shutter button pressed half way. That way, the aircraft won't escape from the focal area until you release the shutter.

Also, I'd recommend to set the camera to continuous shooting, and take series of 2-4 shots in a row. Autofocus isn't always 100% exact, and is usually circulating around the exact focal point. The more shots you take in a row, the better your chances that one of them exactly hit the focal point.
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stevemchey
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RE: Shooting Technique... What Am I Doing Wrong?

Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:49 pm

Quoting calibansa333 (Thread starter):
IS was turned on.

I generally do not recommend using IS on a moving object. IS is really helpful for the shaking motion of the camera itself, but can have the opposite effect when you follow an object. Look at it this way: When your hands shake, the IS's gyro is counteracting these movements and keeps the lens stable. However, when you move the camera over a significant distance, the gyro tries to counter the direction you are going, then runs out of space, "jumps" to readjust. If you keep going, this jumping will occur several times. Every time the IS jumps, you risk blurring.

Some lenses do have a IS "Mode 2", which limits the IS to vertical stabilization. This is really useful for panning action along the horizontal axis (as with aircrafts taking of or coming in for landing).
 
JakTrax
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RE: Shooting Technique... What Am I Doing Wrong?

Fri Mar 11, 2011 4:55 pm

Good point about the IS Steve - although I did think the 55-250 had 'mode 2'?

Karl
 
Calibansa333
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RE: Shooting Technique... What Am I Doing Wrong?

Fri Mar 11, 2011 6:38 pm

Quoting wilco737 (Reply 1):
What ISO you are using?
Quoting wilco737 (Reply 1):
P.S.: hope you enjoyed MUC, some nice spots around there.

For that particular day I was using ISO 100. Seemed like a sunny enough day to keep it at a low setting.
Munich is a great airport! I always enjoy spotting there even though it's tough to get a picture of a bird that's not in LH colors  
Quoting yerbol (Reply 2):
Try to do these changes and post us new example.

Alright I'll take another shot at it and post the re-edited image in a while!

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 4):
One thing no-one has asked yet is what focal length you were using.

I believe that particular shot was around 150 or so, definitely not any higher than 200. The amount of cropping I did in PS was minimal as 150 was close enough to leave a little play room for cropping and leveling.

Quoting ZakHH (Reply 5):
As Karl mentioned, the 55-250 isn't exactly the sharpest lens out there

Yea I kind of figured, but I'm trying to make it work with a limited budget, hopefully I can upgrade to something a little better in a few months time.

Quoting ZakHH (Reply 5):
Also, I'd recommend to set the camera to continuous shooting, and take series of 2-4 shots in a row.

Awesome piece of advice, I'll try this out the next time I get out there.

Quoting stevemchey (Reply 6):
I generally do not recommend using IS on a moving object. IS is really helpful for the shaking motion of the camera itself, but can have the opposite effect when you follow an object.

Wow, I've actually never thought about this. I have noticed without IS enabled it's much easier to pan with the aircraft but now that you bring it up it seems like the effect of IS would be negligible with a high shutter speed. Thanks!

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 7):
Good point about the IS Steve - although I did think the 55-250 had 'mode 2'?

As far as I know the 55-250 only has two IS settings, on and off. Maybe I'm wrong... but that would be kind of embarrasing since I actually own the lens   
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Shooting Technique... What Am I Doing Wrong?

Fri Mar 11, 2011 7:03 pm

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 7):
although I did think the 55-250 had 'mode 2'?
Quoting calibansa333 (Reply 8):

As far as I know the 55-250 only has two IS settings, on and off. Maybe I'm wrong... but that would be kind of embarrasing since I actually own the lens

You're not wrong. No IS modes on it - just on and off.

As others have stated, the 55-250 is quite soft above 180-200mm or so. I used it a bunch before getting a 70-300, and I never took shots above 200mm.

Quoting calibansa333 (Reply 8):
Yea I kind of figured, but I'm trying to make it work with a limited budget, hopefully I can upgrade to something a little better in a few months time.

There's nothing wrong with the lens per se. It's not the best out there by any means, but it's pretty good for $200! For photos you want to upload here, keep it under 200mm and you should be ok. A bunch of my photos here were taken with that lens. If you're looking to upgrade, I've found the 70-300 IS USM is significantly better, and not too expensive at around $500. Plus it has IS mode 2  
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JakTrax
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RE: Shooting Technique... What Am I Doing Wrong?

Fri Mar 11, 2011 7:23 pm

I'll put money on the fact that the IS hasn't helped here. I experimented a couple of weeks ago with my 24-105 (which also has only the one IS mode) and found that the images I took of moving aircraft (i.e. taxiing) turned out soft/slightly blurry. As someone above mentions IS mode 1 only tries to steady the frame, not the subject, so any slight sideways movement is immediately corrected, actually resulting in slight motion blur. I also tried mode 1 for fast panning, which was more effective - presumably because the IS doesn't have the time or coherence to make corrections at such speed.

Karl
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Shooting Technique... What Am I Doing Wrong?

Fri Mar 11, 2011 8:09 pm

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 10):
I'll put money on the fact that the IS hasn't helped here. I experimented a couple of weeks ago with my 24-105 (which also has only the one IS mode) and found that the images I took of moving aircraft (i.e. taxiing) turned out soft/slightly blurry.

That very well may be true. However, I will say that all of my images with the 55-250 were with IS on, and they weren't as soft as the OP's image (at 150mm, they'd be around that soft at full size (3888x2592), if I remember correctly).

Does an IS gyro try to counteract accelerations, or movement? If it's accelerations, then if you're panning at a steady speed, the IS effect may be pretty negligible. But I don't know exactly how it works, so any insight would be great  
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
JakTrax
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RE: Shooting Technique... What Am I Doing Wrong?

Fri Mar 11, 2011 9:27 pm

IS counteracts the movement of your hands, so if it senses you going in one direction it will enforce appropriate counter-measures. It's amazing how many people put full faith in IS as some sort of tool that eliminates camera shake. It can go some way towards doing just that but a steady hand is still essential as IS works WITH you, not FOR you.

Mode 1 is essentially for shooting stills, where your subject is not moving. Mode 2 is for anything in motion (should your lens possess such a mode). Imagine you're photographing a plane that's turning but not actually moving from one edge of the frame to the other. Your IS is concentrating on keeping the scene as steady as possible but the aircraft is still actually moving, within the frame - so if your shutter is insufficient to freeze the action the turning aircraft will show motion blur.

Best way I can explain it really; but I've never been great at explaining stuff! Hope you understand.

Karl
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Shooting Technique... What Am I Doing Wrong?

Fri Mar 11, 2011 9:49 pm

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 12):

Thanks for the explanation, but I did know that stuff already  

I was more after how it works technically - whether it reacts to accelerations or velocities. So if your hand suddenly moves to the left, will it counteract only while your hand is accelerating? And then stop counteracting when your hand attains a steady-state speed?

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 12):
It can go some way towards doing just that but a steady hand is still essential as IS works WITH you, not FOR you.

I agree with that. It certainly has been helpful in some longer-shutter-speed shots for me, though, all the way out to 1/4s or so.
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
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stevemchey
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RE: Shooting Technique... What Am I Doing Wrong?

Fri Mar 11, 2011 10:28 pm

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 12):
Mode 1 is essentially for shooting stills, where your subject is not moving. Mode 2 is for anything in motion (should your lens possess such a mode).

Not to go too far off topic, but that is actually not quite correct. IS is _never_ about the subject moving or not, it is _always_ about the movement of the camera. There is no intelligence built into an IS system to figure out what the subject does. All the gyro is registering is the movement of the camera/lens (i.e. if your hand is shaking because of the cold weather in YYC, your heart beating because the 797 is rolling out for the first time, etc.). It then physically counteracts this small movement by changing the alignment of the glass in the lens. As a result, the image projected on the sensor does not move.

Mode 1 therefore can be used whenever you know you are holding the camera still. Mode 2 is used when you know you are panning horizontally, but you still want to prevent accidental shake in the vertical direction.

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 11):
Does an IS gyro try to counteract accelerations, or movement? If it's accelerations, then if you're panning at a steady speed, the IS effect may be pretty negligible. But I don't know exactly how it works, so any insight would be great

I would love to know the same questions, but there seems to be some heavy discussion on how the IS actually works. To the best of my knowledge, a gyro would react to/register movement (angular momentum) and therefore the IS would kick in even during a smooth panning motion. But I have also read that the IS actually uses an accelerometer, which (unlike a gyro) only registers changes in acceleration. If that's the case, a smooth motion would not mess with the IS. But honestly, I have not studied how the IS works well enough to have a smart answer for your question...  
 
XT6Wagon
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RE: Shooting Technique... What Am I Doing Wrong?

Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:15 am

the early canon IS seems to have a habit of making photos worse at times by running when it doesn't need to. I'd certainly turn it off when using high shutter speeds and definitely on a tripod. Later IS versions are far better, with the latest IS on the 70-300L being unbelivably effective.
 
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NZ107
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RE: Shooting Technique... What Am I Doing Wrong?

Sat Mar 12, 2011 6:51 am

Quoting ZakHH (Reply 5):
It should be AI servo.

I disagree with that statement. I hate AI Servo myself as a lot of the time it focuses on something else other than the plane (or even loses the plane when directed right at it). I found that AI Focus works the best for me. I press the trigger as soon as it's focused anyway.
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Calibansa333
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RE: Shooting Technique... What Am I Doing Wrong?

Sat Mar 12, 2011 7:36 am

Quoting yerbol (Reply 2):
In my view this particular photo needs a little bit sharpening and contrast. Try to do these changes and post us new example.


Ok Yerbol, This ones been sharpened and I've also boosted the contrast a bit. Thoughts? I think this is an improvement for sure.

This was shot at just under 200mm... If I remember correctly 190.
 
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JohnKrist
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RE: Shooting Technique... What Am I Doing Wrong?

Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:09 am

Sharpness wise it is better, but also worse, you now have oversharpened the image, that's why the reg "pops out" and you get other artifacts around the aircraft, look around the wheels, and the leading edge is jagged.
It's a fine balance moving from soft to perfect and then oversharpen.
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JohnKrist
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RE: Shooting Technique... What Am I Doing Wrong?

Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:14 am

I just did a quick edit, not perfect as Lufthansa is still soft, but the sharpening is less destructive.
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atalanta89
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RE: Shooting Technique... What Am I Doing Wrong?

Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:16 am

now i've understood why my shot are a bit blurry. I will try to shot with mode 2 or without IS at all.
 
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yerbol
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RE: Shooting Technique... What Am I Doing Wrong?

Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:46 pm

Nick,
It is over-sharpened now. You have to find the right balance. Keep trying!
With best regards from Almaty
 
Geezer
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RE: Shooting Technique... What Am I Doing Wrong?

Sun Mar 13, 2011 5:07 am

A lot of good information in this thread, mostly about "technology"; read: "image stabilization", or "IS" for short. Everyone on here wants to take "sharp images"; it's always been like that; way before "AF", "IS", "zoom lenses", and all the rest of the great advances in camera gear that "technology" has brought us. One other thing all that great "stuff" has brought us;
Cameras that now cost more than fine cars "used" to cost us ! Don't misunderstand me, I love all this "stuff", just like everyone else, but I found out years ago; great ( sharp ) photographs are made with a firm understanding of BASIC PHOTOGRAPHIC PRINCIPLES, then you add the "gadgetry" to make them "easier".

You want "sharp" ? fast shutter speed, with a "rock-solid" camera; read: TRIPOD; ( or bean bag, copy stand, however you can get your the camera to remain perfectly motionless while the shutter is opening and closing.
"Sharp" has always required "perfect focus", and that used to be much harder to achieve than it is now, but then someone went a step farther and came up with......."AF" ! Now the camera does it for you ! But even that wasn't enough; ( no one likes to drag a big old tripod around, myself included. ) So, we get "IS" ; IS, VR, whatever you want to call it, is "extra complicated gadgetry", ( which I'm thinking few people outside camera designers and geniuses understand ), but all camera companies now have to offer it, or everyone would buy the competitor's cameras.
A few mere mortals on here explained it very well, much better than I ever could. I tend to try to understand things that I really need, that I MUST have; "IS" fits that criteria only rarely. I still try for "sharp" the "old fashioned" way........TRIPOD !
Big fat BALL HEAD ! ( up to about 400mm), above which I don't do a lot, but when I do, Gimbal head;

For some odd reason, I seem to always have my old 80-200 f / 2.8 AF ED (non VR) on my Nikon, and I think I just found a way to leave my Gitzo at home more often. I think it will afford "sharp" up to 200, 300, maybe even 400 mm. (I just posted a "thread" about it, so won't repeat myself here; ( New Way To Carry Your D SLR )

Listen people...........I'm not criticizing anyone here ! You're a smart bunch of fellows, and I love looking at all your fine airplane photos ! I'm just trying to point out what you already know; Ya gotta know the basics ! ( and don't forget to turn off the "IS" when you put your camera on your tripod ! )

O.K., now that I've said all of that.............I have a question, someone might know; I putter around on eBay a lot; the other day, I ran across a "gadget" that, A. I didn't know existed, and B. If they really "work", I need one bad ! Some "outfit" in Hong Kong ( or Taiwan ) sells an "adapter" , which has a Nikon mount on one end, and a Canon mount on the other end. I'm sure you would lose some light because it would get the lens a little farther away, but I could live with that; I shot with a grand old Canon F-1 for years, and I have a BUNCH of great Canon FD, manual focus lenses, all in "like new" condition that I sure would like to be able to mount on my 300s; has anyone ever used one of these "adapters", and if so, do they really work ? I used to do a lot of macro stuff, and I've still got a great bellows, bunch of ext.tubes, copy stand, etc etc. ( And a great 200 mm / f2.8 prime with a bunch of 77mm filters for ) It never even occurred to me that there may be a way to attach a Canon FD mount to a Nikon body.) ( My fingers are crossed! )

Charley
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yerbol
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RE: Shooting Technique... What Am I Doing Wrong?

Sun Mar 27, 2011 1:01 pm

dear all,
I've loaded this photo twice and both times it was rejected. First time for over sharpness and second time for softness after it was unsharpened.Can you please advise what is wrong with it now? I am trying to find out right adjustment balance.
With best regards from Almaty
 
LGWflyer
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RE: Shooting Technique... What Am I Doing Wrong?

Tue Mar 29, 2011 7:25 pm

Quoting yerbol (Reply 23):
dear all,
I've loaded this photo twice and both times it was rejected. First time for over sharpness and second time for softness after it was unsharpened.Can you please advise what is wrong with it now? I am trying to find out right adjustment balance.

Thats a real shame, I love your 757 pic!
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ckw
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RE: Shooting Technique... What Am I Doing Wrong?

Tue Mar 29, 2011 10:46 pm

I was more after how it works technically - whether it reacts to accelerations or velocities. So if your hand suddenly moves to the left, will it counteract only while your hand is accelerating? And then stop counteracting when your hand attains a steady-state speed?

Canon uses piezoelectric angular velocity sensors which cause a floating lens element to move and correct the light path accordingly. Gyros aren't involved, though you can also get gyro mounts (at vast expense) which are a different kettle of fish altogether as they work by stablising the entire camera, not correcting the light path,

The sensors record vertical and horizontal movement. In the case of a mode 2 lens, only the relevant sensor is active. As I understand it, mode 2 can handle either vertical or horizontal panning and in fact both directions are stablised until one direction of movement exceeds a certain threshold. So, mode 2 works just like mode 1 until you start moving the lens. I'm not sure if there is any advantage to using mode 1 if you have a mode 2 option - possibly the shutdown threshold is lower.

This would explain Karl's experiance with mode 1 - pan slowly and the IS will try and fight you. Pan quickly and the IS gives up  .

Cheers,

Colin
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scopedude
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RE: Shooting Technique... What Am I Doing Wrong?

Wed Mar 30, 2011 1:28 am

My experience with IS:

With Canon 70-200/4 IS, when I set to mode 1, I got less sharp photos than mode 2, though not too many difference .

with Tamron 70-300VC- it's best to turn OFF the VC. With VC ON, you'll be in a very bad mood all day doing panning.

Then I swapped my Tammy for Canon's new 70-300L - just like 70-200/4 IS, I use mode 2 all the time when panning. With this lens, mode 1 gave me much less sharp photos.

Now I'm happy with both Canons  

Regards,

Winston
5DSR, 6D, X-T1, 70-200 IS II, 70-300 L, 18-55, 55-200
 
cpd
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RE: Shooting Technique... What Am I Doing Wrong?

Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:14 am

Quoting geezer (Reply 22):

You want "sharp" ? fast shutter speed, with a "rock-solid" camera; read: TRIPOD; ( or bean bag, copy stand, however you can get your the camera to remain perfectly motionless while the shutter is opening and closing.
Quoting geezer (Reply 22):
Big fat BALL HEAD ! ( up to about 400mm), above which I don't do a lot, but when I do, Gimbal head;

I'll bite - it's often not needed to use tripods or specialised devices even at 400mm if you are using 1/500sec or better on a typical consumer sized lens (eg, 100-400mm Canon, 80-400mm Nikon). It's down to your ability to track the subject nicely.

Even without IS/VR modes for tracking moving subjects (panning) it should be possible. A tripod might be handy for long shutter speeds or when using a very large and heavy lens (too heavy to hold for long amounts of time), but it's not the be all and end all of sharp photos. People with original Sigma 50-500mm "Bigma" lenses don't even get image-stabiliser features!

Sharp is not always about shutter speeds and tripods, it's about apertures and where the camera focused as well, and a great deal of learning the right technique of tracking the subject smoothly and pressing the shutter button the right way to avoid shake. You can take bursts of three images if you have problems with shake - one of the images in the sequence should be sharper.

Quoting geezer (Reply 22):
( and don't forget to turn off the "IS" when you put your camera on your tripod ! )

Some modern lenses detect when they are on a tripod and compensate accordingly - so you can leave VR/IS turned on in those cases. So this old recommendation doesn't apply as much as it used to. Check the manual that came with your lens, that will advise if you need to worry about this or not.
 
sulman
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RE: Shooting Technique... What Am I Doing Wrong?

Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:08 am

I've got better results just turning IS off, even on mode 2. It's great for still subjects, but I personally prefer to go without shooting aircraft. The one exception being shutter speeds below 1/125, where it does seem to help a bit.

Yerbol, your 757 is slightly blurry. That would be a 'quality' reject here. Sharpening will accentuate the image flaws.

Both the 757 and the original poster's images are atmospheric conditions, I think. Lighting is harsh on the LH aircraft, and the 757 has definite haze on the lower part of the frame. Look at the edges of the images, the titles and lettering. It's relatively poor resolution.

If you can, get to the airport first thing and try some shots just after dawn. You'll be surprised how much your lens loves that light. Failing that, evening.
It takes a big man to admit they are wrong, and I am not a big man.
 
JakTrax
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RE: Shooting Technique... What Am I Doing Wrong?

Wed Mar 30, 2011 12:30 pm

Quoting sulman (Reply 28):
If you can, get to the airport first thing and try some shots just after dawn. You'll be surprised how much your lens loves that light. Failing that, evening

Couldn't agree more! Heat haze (along with poor air quality) is a real killer, and doesn't always need to be seen to be present as it can play other tricks in determining the quality of your images. Additionally, the closer you can get to your subject the better (and this of course goes some way to minimising the effects of haze/poor air quality).

As for the IS discussion, I rarely use it on the 100-400, but I do use it quite often on the 24-105, simply because it's a pleasure to use the latest four-stop version. I took a photo a couple of weeks ago inside a museum at just 1/8th sec. and it's sharp!

Karl
 
sulman
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RE: Shooting Technique... What Am I Doing Wrong?

Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:13 pm

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 29):
Couldn't agree more!

We definitely expect too much of the kit. If you've anything less than professional glass, there is such temptation to think it'll solve all your problems. And yet, when I look through some shots from years back when I got my 70-200, I really do think that some of them were crap, to the extent where, if I saw them now, I'd assume optical flaws.

I've been to the airport on a summer's afternoon and not got one decent frame. You think it's a bad day, but in fact it can easily be the weather.

Light really is everything in this hobby.
It takes a big man to admit they are wrong, and I am not a big man.
 
JakTrax
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RE: Shooting Technique... What Am I Doing Wrong?

Wed Mar 30, 2011 6:23 pm

Quoting sulman (Reply 30):
We definitely expect too much of the kit. If you've anything less than professional glass, there is such temptation to think it'll solve all your problems. And yet, when I look through some shots from years back when I got my 70-200, I really do think that some of them were crap, to the extent where, if I saw them now, I'd assume optical flaws.

I've been to the airport on a summer's afternoon and not got one decent frame. You think it's a bad day, but in fact it can easily be the weather.

Light really is everything in this hobby

Some of the local MAN lads take the p*ss out of my 'fussy' photography habits, such as refusing to shoot from certain places at certain times of the day due to the potential of my worst enemy - heat haze (amongst other things). I'd rather get out to the runways ends when it's hot (or even just warm) and shoot boring, blue sky arrivals than get home to find every frame is marred by haze. There's also that horrible, harsh contrast issue around mid-day in summer - where the top of the fuselage is brilliantly bright, whereas anywhere below the window-line is shadowed and horrible.

I always tell them to shoot how they wish to shoot, and I'll do likewise. As you say, atmospheric conditions play a huge part in image quality, and it's easy to blame an inconsistency in a lens when in fact it's just the way the weather has decided to act.

So many people take their new 100-400s out on a hot summer's afternoon then moan that they must have a duff copy as the images are crap. I'm really not surprised, and I only tend to use the 100-400 either on icy cold winter days or for close-ups of a subject very near to me.

Karl
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Shooting Technique... What Am I Doing Wrong?

Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:37 pm

Quoting ckw (Reply 25):
Canon uses piezoelectric angular velocity sensors which cause a floating lens element to move and correct the light path accordingly. Gyros aren't involved, though you can also get gyro mounts (at vast expense) which are a different kettle of fish altogether as they work by stablising the entire camera, not correcting the light path,

The sensors record vertical and horizontal movement. In the case of a mode 2 lens, only the relevant sensor is active. As I understand it, mode 2 can handle either vertical or horizontal panning and in fact both directions are stablised until one direction of movement exceeds a certain threshold. So, mode 2 works just like mode 1 until you start moving the lens. I'm not sure if there is any advantage to using mode 1 if you have a mode 2 option - possibly the shutdown threshold is lower.

Beautiful, thanks!

Although if I remember correctly, I've found that in Mode 2 on the 70-300 (non-L), the horizontal stabilization isn't active even when I'm photographing a still subject.

[Edited 2011-03-30 13:38:45]
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ZakHH
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RE: Shooting Technique... What Am I Doing Wrong?

Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:49 pm

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 16):
Quoting ZakHH (Reply 5):
It should be AI servo.

I disagree with that statement. I hate AI Servo myself as a lot of the time it focuses on something else other than the plane (or even loses the plane when directed right at it). I found that AI Focus works the best for me. I press the trigger as soon as it's focused anyway.

I guess we have to agree that we disagree here, then. As far as I am concerned, using anything other than AI Servo in spotting simply doesn't make sense - static aircraft excluded.

If your camera focuses on the wrong object, then you're focusing wrong. In AI Servo, you should focus on the aircraft with the center focusing spot for about a second. After that, the camera knows which object to follow and locks on it.

Usually, AI Servo won't get distracted if another object (light post, bird etc.) briefly passes through the focusing field. With the Eos 7D, you can even configure how fast or slow the camera switches to another object in AI Servo.

As for AI Focus - that mode is actually for static objects that may start moving after you started focusing (like an animal that's standing still, but could start running any second). The mode basically works like one-shot, until the object starts moving - then it works exactly like AI Servo.

So if you shoot moving aircraft with AI Focus, it is just the same as AI Servo, the only difference being that the camera will need slightly longer before it realizes the object is moving, and switches to Servo.
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ckw
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RE: Shooting Technique... What Am I Doing Wrong?

Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:31 pm

Although if I remember correctly, I've found that in Mode 2 on the 70-300 (non-L), the horizontal stabilization isn't active even when I'm photographing a still subject.

Do you mean the 75-300? I thought that only had one mode - but I don't have one to check. I've just had a look in EF Lens Work III and there it says of Mode 2

" if a large movement such as panning continues for a preset time then stabalization in the direction of the motion is shut off"

By the way, the EF Lens Work book is the bible for Canon lens users - more than just a list of lenses, it gives you loads of info on how they actually work. Its pricey new, but keep an eye out for a 2nd hand copy - I got mine in Oxfam for £5.00.

Oh, a final word on keeping the lens steady - I use a SideKick gimble mount with my 500f4. It's big, awkward, and expensive, but it really does the job. I've had successful panned helicopter shots down to 1/8th ... though I find at this speed its the vibration of the aircraft that causes problems!

And another thought on panning at very slow shutter speeds - if the aircraft is small, turbulence can cause sufficient vertical motion to induce blur. Similarly, if the aircraft is climbing or descending through the frame during the duration of the pan, this too can cause blur.

All good fun - as you keep trying to push the boundaries, new problems emerge!


Cheers,

Colin
Colin K. Work, Pixstel
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Shooting Technique... What Am I Doing Wrong?

Thu Mar 31, 2011 2:47 am

Quoting ckw (Reply 34):
Do you mean the 75-300? I thought that only had one mode - but I don't have one to check. I've just had a look in EF Lens Work III and there it says of Mode 2

Nope, 70-300 (and yes it has Modes 1 and 2):

http://www.amazon.com/Canon-70-300mm...hoto&ie=UTF8&qid=1301539488&sr=1-6

Quoting ckw (Reply 34):
Similarly, if the aircraft is climbing or descending through the frame during the duration of the pan, this too can cause blur.

Indeed, I have a hell of a time shooting from Imperial Hill at sunset, as the aircraft are climbing. Even disregarding the lens, it's very awkward for me to pan consistently in an upward diagonal!
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ckw
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RE: Shooting Technique... What Am I Doing Wrong?

Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:25 pm

Nope, 70-300 (and yes it has Modes 1 and 2):

Can't keep track of all the lenses Canon has in this zoom range!

Cheers,

Colin
Colin K. Work, Pixstel
 
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yerbol
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RE: Shooting Technique... What Am I Doing Wrong?

Thu Mar 31, 2011 2:58 pm

Quoting sulman (Reply 28):
Yerbol, your 757 is slightly blurry. That would be a 'quality' reject here. Sharpening will accentuate the image flaws.

Thanks Sulman. I'll try to make same with different light condition.
With best regards from Almaty

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