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  #11    Top
Old March 7th, 2009, 09:33 PM
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RogersDA RogersDA is offline
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Re: Early Spring Blossom

Quote:
Originally Posted by SFnativeGal View Post
I'm 30 miles south of San Francisco. Born in SF, raised in and still live in Redwood City. Did have a couple years in Nevada, but came back to roots, always. Where are you?
We reside on the opposite coast - Southern Maryland. Bah. Wife was born/raised in the Richmond district. If you get up that way stop by Fireside Camera on Chesnut ST. Ask for Jack Shim (wife's uncle) - he'll get up going if you need some one-on-one time in the shop. Tell him David sent ya'.
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Last edited by RogersDA; March 7th, 2009 at 09:45 PM.
  #12    Top
Old March 7th, 2009, 09:52 PM
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SFnativeGal SFnativeGal is offline
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Re: Early Spring Blossom

Hi, Rocky. So, what you mean (I need to make sure I understand) is that the lens I got is good for everything I like to shoot which has a good contrast weather it be a wild animal or wildlife or even my grandson's ice hockey team and yet is not great with clouds because of the no contrast? Or is there another reason. I really don't shoot a lot of clouds, but when I see some really magnificent one's I want to capture them... and not sunsets or sunrises, right?

I use to always shoot in Av, but someone told me it was best to shoot in manual because you'd have total control over everything. That's great for someone that knows what they are doing, I suppose.

I bet I was having trouble because there wasn't enough contrast... but then backing off on the zoom helped too. Are cameras kind of like computers where you have to trick them sometimes to get what you want?

Now, do you mean it could be the limitation of the camera or the lens? That's kind of an important thing to know. But, I think that even when I tried the manual focus it wouldn't shoot until I backed off the zoom.

I'm so glad tomorrow starts Daylight Savings time! Oh, one other question: Why is it so hard to take a picture of the full moon? I tried a couple times and even though it looked focused and had the details in the viewfinder, when I went to look at it in Bridge, it was just a white blur. Contrast again, even though I... me.... was able to see the oontrast.

Thanks always for your opinion and knowledge!
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  #13    Top
Old March 7th, 2009, 09:55 PM
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SFnativeGal SFnativeGal is offline
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Re: Early Spring Blossom

Well, that's certainly fairly close. Possibly when you guys come out next time we can meet. I hardly ever go over any of the bridges.... stay on the west side of the bay.... but I will keep the camera shop in my iphone and there might come a time when I can stop in and ask some questions. I'll be glad to tell him 'hi' for you.
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  #14    Top
Old March 7th, 2009, 10:14 PM
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squirl033 squirl033 is offline
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Re: Early Spring Blossom

Kathy,

the limitation is mainly with the camera. the AF will not work on your camera if the max aperture is smaller than f/5.6. at full zoom, that 200-500 is f/6.3 - the lens doesn't open wide enough at full zoom for AF to work with your camera. if it's any consolation, pretty much all Canon DSLRs up to their "pro" models have that limitation (the 1D series will autofocus with a max aperture of f/8 ). the reason you can't get a focus lock at full zoom is because the lens doesn't open wide enough. i'm not sure at what focal length the 200-500 changes from 5.6 to 6.3, but whatever that length is, make a note, and remember that beyond that, you'll have to use manual focus. also, if you focus manually, then try to take the shot with the lens still in AF mode, the AF will try to work as soon as you press the shutter, and your shot will be blurry. make sure to switch the lens (not the camera) to manual mode when using full zoom.

the control you get shooting in full manual mode is great, IF you need it! otherwise, it's usually faster and easier to shoot in Av or Tv. i usually shoot Av, because i like to control the DOF, but if i need to maintain a certain shutter speed, like for birds in flight, i sometimes shoot in Tv mode and let the camera pick the aperture.

moon shots are tricky. most people try to shoot using the readings the camera supplies, which usually result in a very slow shutter, and they wind up with a bright, blurry light in the sky. this is one of those times when you do have to "fool the computer". you need to shoot in manual mode, with settings depending on the phase of the moon. a full moon needs a shorter exposure than a half-moon. for full moon, start with about 1/250 at f/8-f/11, and vary the shutter speed till you get the exposure you want. for a half moon, slow the shutter down to maybe 1/125. if you're using AF, focus on the edge of the moon, not on the middle (that contrast thing again; for manual focus, it doesn't matter), and then take the picture.

cheers,

Rocky
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Last edited by squirl033; March 7th, 2009 at 10:24 PM.
  #15    Top
Old March 7th, 2009, 11:38 PM
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squirl033 squirl033 is offline
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Re: Early Spring Blossom

[quote=SFnativeGal;590764]Hi, Rocky. So, what you mean (I need to make sure I understand) is that the lens I got is good for everything I like to shoot which has a good contrast weather it be a wild animal or wildlife or even my grandson's ice hockey team and yet is not great with clouds because of the no contrast? Or is there another reason. I really don't shoot a lot of clouds, but when I see some really magnificent one's I want to capture them... and not sunsets or sunrises, right?]

Kathy, the telephoto will be wonderful for shots where you can't get close to your subject, whatever that subject is. the reason it's not great for clouds and skies, or sunsets, for that matter, is that the Tamron 200-500 has only a 12-degree field of view, even at the short end. at 500mm, it's only about 5 degrees. for skies, landscapes, or sunsets, that's nowhere near enough. you want something that will encompass the scope of what you're seeing, not just a little piece of it. that's what makes those shots Andy showed you so impressive... they take in a lot of the scene, and give the feeling of space.
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  #16    Top
Old March 8th, 2009, 01:21 AM
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SFnativeGal SFnativeGal is offline
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Re: Early Spring Blossom

Maybe one last question for the night or early morning. I'm going to be shooting some pictures of my grandson playing his high school ice hockey game tomorrow. I'll be up on a platform and will be able to use my tripod etc and I'd like to try my new lens. I thought action shots could only be taken using the 'sports' mode on the camera. That would make it fully automatic and jpeg.

Is there another way that I don't know about?

Thanks so much

Kathy
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  #17    Top
Old March 8th, 2009, 08:56 AM
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RogersDA RogersDA is offline
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Re: Early Spring Blossom

Kathy,

My feeling is that your XTi and that lens (the Tamron 200-500 f/5-f/6.3) will not get you a single good action shot. You will certainly be able to get your subject matter in the frame.

In order to "stop" movement you will need at least 1/320 sec. @ 200mm to 1/800 sec. @ 500mm. How will you get the camera/lens combination to do that? Well, there are two other settings on the camera that affect exposure, namely ISO and aperture.

ISO - film (sensor) sensitivity to light. Higher ISO settings mean a more sensitive sensor. Using ISO 100 will mean relatively longer shutter speeds as compared to ISO 1600. The tradeoff here is that as ISO increases you will see a lot more noise in the image.

Aperture - the "hole" through the lens through which all light passes to the sensor. Wider apertures allow for more light to pass in a short period of time. Wide aperture are denoted with a small "f number"; e.g., f/2.8. Small apertures are denoted with a larger "f number"; e.g., f/22.

We classify lenses with very wide aperture settings as "fast" or "fast glass as they allow one to set a fast shutter speed. Ever notice the photographers on the sidelines at sports event with their big lenses? Fast glass - probably at least f/2.8 (or better sometimes).

To capture moving sports shots you will probably need f/2.8 or f/3.5 @ ISO 800 or ISO 1600. Your lens will not open wide enough as it is limited to f/5 (@200mm) to f/6.3 (@500 mm). So, assuming you want 200mm @ f/5, your shutter speed will decrease from a theoretical 1/320 sec. to 1/80 sec. @ f/5. This is simply too slow to stop the movement on the court. The "sports" mode on the camera will try to do this, but it will be limited in its success by the physics of the lens.

Also - when you shoot indoor sports, you images will be highly overcast with orange/yellow light as a result of the gym lighting. You will have to correct that, too.
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  #18    Top
Old March 8th, 2009, 10:22 AM
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SFnativeGal SFnativeGal is offline
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Re: Early Spring Blossom

Okay. I do understand. That's almost more important than trying to take the shot today. I'll just go to the game and enjoy watching it. I looked at a lens, yesterday, that would take the action shot and decided on the one I have. I think that lens was 1500.00. I'll stick with my little home movies!

Thanks for all your help and your explanation was very clear for one who only learns through experience/hands on.

Have a great Sunday

Kathy
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  #19    Top
Old March 8th, 2009, 11:14 AM
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squirl033 squirl033 is offline
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Re: Early Spring Blossom

to make matters worse, as i noted earlier, you won't have AF with that lens beyond somewhere in the middle of its range, since your XTi won't autofocus with an aperture smaller than f/5.6. it's almost impossible to keep up with action such as ice hockey using manual focus, though with practice you might get close. even if you can keep the focal length within the range where AF works, i'm not sure if that Tamron lens AF is fast enough for AI Servo to track moving subjects effectively. i know the Tamron 24-135 i have is not; i tried using it to shoot near-sideline action at a rugby match recently, and it just can't change focus fast enough in AI Servo mode to keep running players in sharp focus, and they move a lot slower than guys on ice skates! (i've since relegated it to shooting landscapes and other subjects that don't move very fast... ) plus that 200-500 has a lot of glass to move, meaning the AF has to work even harder to change focus quickly.

to stop action that fast, you'll need a shutter speed faster than 1/500. i would use 1/800 or 1/1000 as a working minimum. to get that speed, you'd probably have to shoot wide open, and also jack up the ISO, as David mentioned. i'm not sure if you could get the shutter speeds you need even at high ISO settings, but you could try, and see what you come up with. you could possibly get the shutter speed you need at, say, ISO 1250 or 1600, but the noise would likely be quite noticeable. there is software available to reduce or "clean up" that noise, but it can sometimes degrade image quality in the process.

the lighting in the hockey rink might cause issues as well. most hockey rinks i've been to are brightly lit, but the lighting often requires adjusting your white balance to compensate for the "kind" of light. you've probably seen how shooting under fluorescent lights gives photos a greenish cast, and incandescent bulbs make pictures yellow? depending on the lighting in the hockey rink, you might have some issues with color.

long story short, there's a penalty to be paid for all that zoom range. most "affordable" long telephoto lenses are not "fast" enough to be really good for sports unless you're outdoors on a sunny day. the "fast" f/2.8 lenses that work well indoors, or outside on dull, cloudy days, are very expensive, in the range of $2500-$3000 or more.

Rocky
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  #20    Top
Old March 8th, 2009, 09:17 PM
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SFnativeGal SFnativeGal is offline
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Re: Early Spring Blossom

Wow! As long as I can still use my new lens for something... fun

Now I know why so many lens are attached to photographers... I'll skip the sports thing for now. I love landscape and wildlife photography the most. I had a few minutes late this afternoon (after ice skating with my 2 grandsons.. they talked me into it) to go up the canyon and shoot a few of the flowers, etc, that were giving me some grief, yesterday. Yikes.... yeah, I do have to fudge a bit, but I do like the results a whole lot more than with my 75-300.

To make sure I understand, if I can't get an autofocus to latch onto a point of focus, that means there is too much in the frame to focus on? But, then, could I switch from the center focus to the five point focus? Or would that make it worse?

What I'm really getting a handle of is the fact that I can't capture everything I see... the way I see it. At least with what I have. I'm learning the 'whys' which is important. I just need to get in my car and go out to the country and shoot different than I have been here around my neighborhood. Or back to Half Moon Bay.

Well, I'm rambling.... I really need to learn 'f stop' function. I thought I had and then I went to DOF... and got all confused.

Thanks always for listening and sending me your thoughts.

Kathy
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