Best ISO and aperture

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by fraserimagery, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. fraserimagery

    fraserimagery TPF Noob!

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    Camera: D200 nikon
    Lens: 300 mm ap: 4

    Hello,

    I have been shooting birds pretty strong for the past 6 months and constantly get out of focus shots. I have been shooting continuous high and learned that cont. low is better. I normally shoot at 5 or 5.6 ap. and hope I can be above 500 shutterspeed. Are these the right settings; what are better. I catch a lot of hawks taking off and want to miss less shots.

    Thank You
    Tyler Fraser
    www.fraserimagery.com
     
  2. Sideburns

    Sideburns TPF Noob!

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    Well, we can't really tell you what's better...
    Basically what you want is a high shutter speed...
    If you need to raise your ISO to get a faster shutter speed, then you gotta raise it...it's up to you.

    I'm not sure what is causing yoru out of focus shots...could be any number of things...
     
  3. Shibby!

    Shibby! TPF Noob!

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    At f4 you shouldn't be seeing DOF problems.

    As stated above, run the lowest ISO as possible yet still acheive the shutter speed you require to get a crisp shot.

    1/500 should be enough. Then again, I don't have a 300mm lens. haha.

    Are you using a tripod/monopod to stabilize your camera? Once over 200 mm it begins to be difficult with camera shake.
     
  4. TCimages

    TCimages TPF Noob!

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    Assuming it's a 300 mm prime, it probably isn't the lens. Some lower end zooms can be soft on the long end. So you're left with focus technique and/or shutter speed.
    At 500 you're shutter seems pretty good, but obviously faster is better almost always better. Have you ever used AI Servo Focus mode for moving subjects?

    Post an example of one you are unhappy with.
     
  5. Sandspur

    Sandspur TPF Noob!

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    May I suggest: ISO 400, manual focus set at infinity, f/5.6 or f/8, and whatever the shutter speed happens to be (as long as it's not below 1/500). In daylight none of this should be a problem.
     
  6. TCimages

    TCimages TPF Noob!

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    I'm not so sure infinity focus will be accurate on a subject that's in within 50 -100 yards. Maybe I don't understand the suggestion, but you have to focus on the subject.
     
  7. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    I agree, you have to focus on the subject. A 300 mm lens at f/8 on a D200 has a hyperfocal distance of about 560 metres (about 1800 ft), so if you focus at infinity, the near limit of acceptable sharpness is at 560 m, further if you crop the picture, closer if you are only going to display low resolution images on the web. Even though using the hyperfocal distance would be better than focusing at infinity, the near limit at the hyperfocal distance is around 280 m. (Focus calcs done with a CoC of 20 microns)

    How do you support the camera? What shutter speeds are you using on the problem photos? Though bad camera shake looks like camera shake, a small amount can look like a slight softening of details. Is ISO 800 acceptable quality for you? If so, use it.

    Best,
    Helen
     

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