Help on focusing at a distance

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by mrjackphoto, Mar 17, 2008.

  1. mrjackphoto

    mrjackphoto TPF Noob!

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    I'm pretty new to photography. There is an eagle on the outskirts of my hometown. I've been wanting to photograph it but find it hard to get in close without it seeing me. If I could get to the spot I want to without him taking off it would be an awesome picture but that hasn't happened yet. So I decided to shoot it from a long ways away. I bought a Nikkor 70-300 4-5.6 to shoot it. I know not a great lens but I thought it would do ok for shooting the eagle. The problem is trying to shoot and eagle at this distance is hard to focus in on such a small subject in the viewfinder. Just looking for advice. Thanks in advance. I'm zoomed in all the way too.

    Jack
     
  2. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    Put your camera into tracking mode (with Canon it's called AI Servo not sure about Nikon). All you do is keep your focus button pressed and the camera will track the movement trying to keep the subject in focus.

    This is tough to get used to especially with birds.
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    How far away are you? After a certain distance, the lens will be at 'infinity' focus, which means that anything at that distance or farther away, will be in focus.

    Either way, you might not need to focus exactly on the eagle. You just need to focus on something that is the same distance away as the eagle...so a tree or branch that it might be sitting on etc.
     
  4. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

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    Actually, the hyperfocal distance would be ideal but nowadays it's really tough finding it.

    To the OP --- When you focus, the depth of field extends in front of the focus point AND behind it (actually most of the DoF is behind the focus point). If you focus on infinity, you're wasting most of the DoF because there's nothing beyond infinity. The "hyperfocal" distance is the distance where the DoF ranges from some finite value to infinity, but no further. In the "good old days," we could figure it out by the focus markings on the lens.
     
  5. mrjackphoto

    mrjackphoto TPF Noob!

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    I'm almost 1/4 of a mile. Not quite though. And I'm zoomed in completely which maybe that is why it's not focused infinity. Here are a couple of the pics I took today http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/ind...dID=87379592&albumID=1465416&imageID=23028473

    http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/ind...dID=87379592&albumID=1465416&imageID=23028469

    Thanks for all the advice.
     
  6. alabama1980

    alabama1980 TPF Noob!

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    Im not an expert, but just throwing this out there...

    Are you using a tripod? They look out of focus, but the second one looks like a little camera shake as well...tripod may help to obtain the correct focus.

    A
     
  7. mrjackphoto

    mrjackphoto TPF Noob!

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    Yes it was on a tripod but it was a bit windy out plus I was curious about the mirror slap maybe even. I was cold too and maybe shaking when I pressed the shutter. Thanks for the reply.

    Jack
     
  8. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

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    Aha! Said I.

    When there's reason to use a tripod (and there was), there is also reason to use a cable or remote release. Even if it weren't cold, you will shake the camera when you push the shutter button.
     
  9. sultan

    sultan TPF Noob!

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    I suggest turn the focusing ring to infinity, then get a very tiny bit closer than that.
     
  10. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

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    Why don't I see your pics when I click on the links? Your link flashes in the address bar for a second and then my browser simply goes to the MySpace home page.
     
  11. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

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    Actually, I'd back off from infinity and guesstimate the hyperfocal distance.
     
  12. Joves

    Joves No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    For eagle shots I try to get out there before sunrise. Especially if your eagle loves to sit on one particualar tree. I also have some of those temporary blinds that I use as, cammo. But getting in before they can see you is the way to go.
     

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