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  1. #11
    Senior Member
    BeegRhob's Avatar

    Re: How to capture this kind of photo in sharp focus?

    I am pretty sure it is your aperture, as Fred has mentioned. I am not sure how this forum works, but the shutter speed is off in all pictures, so your shutter speed is 1/2500, if I am right. So I am assuming your f stop is f2.5 in the second pic. I don't know if the ISO is off in the forum, but I think it is correct, so if you would, look at your EXIF data on your PC or in camera and see what your "exposure triangle" actually is. As Fred said, your aperture is small, number wise, so it would be better more open, larger number. If the f stop is actually f25, then it should have sharp focus nearer and farther, so aperture shouldn't be the issue. If it's f2.5, then switch to aperture priority (A) instead of shutter priority (S) and try F5.6, 8, and/or 11 and see how the sharpness turns out. The higher the number, the "deeper" the depth of field will be. Sooooo, if you do try these apertures, focus on the wildlife with autofocus, and switch to manual focus and don't bump the focus on the lens, lol. You have the (I think it's called) rangefinder in the view finder if you need it. At, let's say, f11, the depth of field should still be good to have sharp focus if it flies toward you. Now, see what your exposure triangle is (EXIF data), and if it has stopped the motion where you like it, you are good to go! If not, you can keep that aperture and switch to full manual, bump the shutter speed faster, and let the ISO go on auto. See how that works. Hopefully, this isn't TMI or tl;dr.

    Rob


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  2. #12
    Staff
    Super Mod
    hark's Avatar

    Re: How to capture this kind of photo in sharp focus?

    As Fred mentioned, you really don't need to shoot stopped down that far. Using my depth of field app, a 300mm lens on a DX body at f/28 and at 50 feet away (no idea how far you were so took a guess), your depth of field is 9.5+ feet. If further away, the depth of field would be even greater If you want to err on the side of caution, a setting of f/9 at that distance still yields a depth of field of 2' 11" - so almost 3 feet.

    You are experiencing the same problem I had when using my D500 with single point for birds. One of the biggest problems is the lack of contrast on the hawk. And because of that, I wound up with a lot of slightly out of focus birds. Try using a different focusing method such as dynamic, group, or 3-D tracking and see which one offers more keepers. Be sure to watch some videos on pros/cons of each focusing method so you are aware of any potential pitfalls. Everything is a give-and-take (meaning there isn't always one best way to achieve great results).

    I wonder if the hawk has a nest nearby that might cause it to fly at you.
    Cindy - D750, D500, D7200
    My 2021 Thread

    Where the Spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art
    -- Leonardo da Vinci



  3. #13
    Senior Member
    blackstar's Avatar

    Re: How to capture this kind of photo in sharp focus?

    Thanks, Rob. I double-checked all EXIF data and they are all as shown in the Forum. So no need to assume there is any deviation from the actual shooting condition.
    Thanks/Like BeegRhob Thanks/liked this post
     

  4. #14
    Senior Member
    blackstar's Avatar

    Re: How to capture this kind of photo in sharp focus?

    Thanks, Cindy. Are you suggesting a resetting to f/9 ~ f/11 while still in S mode to bring down iso, rather than turning off auto-iso and setting a lower iso to open the aperture?

    The focusing area (single-point vs 3D) issue in this case is not due simply for "birds", but the transition scenes from static to dynamic. If I haven't dumped all those stationary posting shots with 3D focusing area that have bird out of focus but tree branch or leaf in focus, it will be easier to show the situation. So I like to use single-point, yet it's impossible to change to 3D at the moment when the bird suddenly takes off.

    Oh, I didn't think about the bird's nest. I thought this one is kind of like to draw my attention and post for me. And the action of "preying on" me is just some show off. Now I think I maybe wrong? But no idea.

  5. #15
    Staff
    Super Mod
    hark's Avatar

    Re: How to capture this kind of photo in sharp focus?

    Quote Originally Posted by blackstar View Post
    Thanks, Cindy. Are you suggesting a resetting to f/9 ~ f/11 while still in S mode to bring down iso, rather than turning off auto-iso and setting a lower iso to open the aperture?
    If single point focus isn't working well (which it hasn't many times for me), change it to either Dynamic or Group and see if one of those offers more keepers. I'd still suggest using Auto-ISO. By opening up your aperture which allows in more light, your ISO will automatically be lowered. I keep my ISO capped at either ISO 4000 or ISO 5000. When I hit it (which I do early in the morning or on dark, overcast days), even dialing in more exposure with the EV button +/- won't increase the exposure any further. Then what's left is an underexposed file that needs to be worked on in Photoshop or Camera RAW. But using apertures in the f/7.1 to f/9 range will allow your ISO to be lower. Yes you might get a little blur on the far side of the bird, but with telephoto lenses, that is usually what happens due to them having a shallower depth of field than wide angle lenses.
    Cindy - D750, D500, D7200
    My 2021 Thread

    Where the Spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art
    -- Leonardo da Vinci



  6. #16
    Senior Member
    Needa's Avatar

    Re: How to capture this kind of photo in sharp focus?

    Maybe I'm missing some thing here but if you are using single point, center and continuations you don't have the bird under the focus point. In the second image it appears that only the wing of the bird drops into the focus area of the camera and not near the center point. Looked at the d3500 manual and it doesn't appear that you can show the focus point in play back.

  7. #17
    Senior Member
    blackstar's Avatar

    Re: How to capture this kind of photo in sharp focus?

    Thanks, Cindy. I'll give it a try capping iso to 6400 or 3200 next time. I was wrong earlier about choosing aperture setting in S mode -- can't be done.

  8. #18
    Senior Member
    blackstar's Avatar

    Re: How to capture this kind of photo in sharp focus?

    Quote Originally Posted by Needa View Post
    Maybe I'm missing some thing here but if you are using single point, center and continuations you don't have the bird under the focus point. In the second image it appears that only the wing of the bird drops into the focus area of the camera and not near the center point. Looked at the d3500 manual and it doesn't appear that you can show the focus point in play back.
    Thanks, Needa. You are right and didn't miss a thing here. I use single center point, AF-C, and S-mode. Both "out of focus" images all have focused point at the center of the frame. (I have explained a bit about why I didn't use 3D-multi-point.) I use Rawrightaway.app to view images with focus point/points (red square) shown.

  9. #19
    Staff
    Super Mod
    hark's Avatar

    Re: How to capture this kind of photo in sharp focus?

    Quote Originally Posted by blackstar View Post
    Thanks, Cindy. I'll give it a try capping iso to 6400 or 3200 next time. I was wrong earlier about choosing aperture setting in S mode -- can't be done.
    ISO 3200 is too low to cap it. 6400 is okay, but I wouldn't suggest going any higher. And oh...I misunderstood about your S mode. I was thinking single point while you were talking about Shutter Priority. I don't use that mode as I prefer Manual Mode with Auto ISO instead. Flying birds can have the shutter speed set for 1/1600" or a little faster. Birds that are just sitting there without moving can have a slower shutter speed which will also lower your ISO. If you are accustomed to Shutter Priority, then Manual Mode with Auto ISO is very similar. You just set your aperture and keep it there - only change it if you particularly want a shallower depth of field. You set your shutter speed, and the camera will adjust the ISO to balance out the exposure.
    Cindy - D750, D500, D7200
    My 2021 Thread

    Where the Spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art
    -- Leonardo da Vinci



  10. #20
    Senior Member
    blackstar's Avatar

    Re: How to capture this kind of photo in sharp focus?

    Hi Cindy, You have straightened me up a bit about M and S modes! Other than night-sky and moon shootings (add reverse macro), I seldom use M mode, until now when you clear up my mind to re-consider using it more. I think it may help in this case and I'll experiment. Thanks
    Thanks/Like hark Thanks/liked this post
     





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