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Thread: help with camera settings....

  1. #1
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    Default help with camera settings....

    Hi all....just have a quick question...would LOVE some help

    I recently purchased a 7D and a 500mm lense (canon)
    This morning i was photographing Buff banded rail at Brunswick heads nsw
    I was using the 500mm and 7D+tripod and had it set pretty low to the ground...
    The rail stepped out into the clearing but i found that when i tried to focus on it...it kept focusing on the grass blades as i was pretty low to the ground and the rail was only a little taller than the grass..
    I had the camera on spot focus, central metering. It was early morning (9am) and not much light really..
    Just wondering should i have had it on a better setting so as i avoid focusing on grass so much or is that just how it is..what do you recommend???
    thanks
    kirri

  2. #2
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    Is that a Canon 500mm f/4L IS USM lens? Congrats! A great piece of glass!
    You should set a SINGLE AF point and point it at the head of the bird. Not easy, but certainly doable. Alternatively, quickly switching to manual focus will do the trick, especially if the bird is not frantically running around. Not sure how good the viewfinder is on a 7D. On my 1D it is easy and clear to use MF.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Maybe the mods/admins could move this thread to the technical section?

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    Yep, Akos has given some good advice but pretty much sounds like you were doing the right thing...a tough situation and after practice you will be able to focus on the bird amongst the grass with ease.

  5. #5
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    Even though you have a superb AF lens, there will often be times that manual focusing will be faster than AF; by the time you fiddle with changing AF points with the bird in front of you, the moment may be lost....what I do when using an AF lens is to previsualise as best I can what the bird will look like in the frame, and preset the appropriate AF point before moving in for the shot -aim for the eye, as that's the most important thing to get sharp...!!!

    John

  6. #6
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    Another thing you can do is try focusing on something that is on the same plane as the birds head. Not the most accurate way but sometimes helps me.

  7. #7
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    Check in the lens manual but you should also be able to manually tweak the focus too.
    Cheers,
    Geoff


    reposts welcome

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    The 500mm has full time manual focus, not sure what the 7D is like but most of the non 1 series Canons don't have viewfinders optimised for manual focus, so can be difficult, that is it will look like it's in focus but the focal point is not exactly where it appears to be.

    The problem you are having is likely that the sensitive part of the AF point often extends outside the red outline in the viewfinder. If anything with higher contrast falls on the sensor it will go for that. You can test for the edge of the sensitive area by focusing a test object against a plain BG, like blue sky or a white wall and noting where you need to place the object to grab focus. Here's an example I found posted:

    http://digital-photography-school.co...ht-appear.html

    Probably not the best subject matter to define the extent of the AF sensor but it shows what I'm talking about. I think in the case you talk about a slightly higher viewpoint would be the simplest solution, it may not be not eye level but at least it might be in focus. You should make sure you don't have AF point expansion enabled in the custom functions.
    Chris Ross
    Helensburgh NSW
    www.aus-natural.com
    Instagram: @ausnaturalimages

  9. The following user says thank you to ChrisRoss for their reply:

    Gillian Pitt (25-03-2012)

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