Here's the Zuiko 300mm F/4.5 Auto-T with some 80% ~ 100% crops on the GH1 M4/3 body:
Here's the Zuiko 300mm F/4.5 Auto-T with some 80% ~ 100% crops on the GH1 M4/3 body:
I continue to be amazed at your ability to accurately focus long lenses on BIF. Those are some amazingly sharp images.
err .. what is BIF?
I had the OM 300 for a while, if I didn't have the FD 300 f4 (and was still using my EOS) I'd have kept it
birds in flight
well I don't know that species of Kingfisher, but if they're anything like the ones over here they move fast.
Manual focus of birds is not impossible, nor is changing gears and handling a clutch in a car ... but those brought up on "auto" seem to think its something special where as the older generation just had to do it.
All the same, nice work there T
Thought I'd toss in a Canon FD 300 ... I've posted it here before.
kuusiTintti by obakesan, on Flickr
quite small and man they don't sit still long either (especially when its cold)
Nice shot Chris
Yes the Tesselator shows it is possible. I shot manual everything for over 40 years but even with the enhanced EVF I find it a real challenge to nail BIF as consistently as Tesselator and some others do. I miss the split image focusing screens of the past.
It's actually much more difficult on a split prism. You need smooth ground glass with maybe an optional grid of thirds. The EVF in the GH1 is actually superior to ground glass too. It does this aliasing thing right when the sharpest focus is achieved.
It's not just "possible", it's downright fun! It changes photography from a pastime into a sport. One that doesn't require athletics thankfully! Kinda like skeet shooting but you can do it anywhere. And the flatter the lens the easier it is - as opposed to split-prism OVFs where it's just the opposite. LCDs are useless for MF unless of course you're shooting stabilized in low-light - like desk-top photomacrography, microscopy, and photomicrography, or even some kinds of studio portraiture I guess too.
Probably some of that is perception based but I dig it anyway... I'm having great fun with these MF lenses... much more than I ever had with the D2x or the other AF systems I've owned.
pellicle, yup, the ones here are really fast too. They dart. Definitely high-energy creatures! I dunno of an AF system that could catch them.
Cool pic BTW! Very wintery. Santa fisher?
Last edited by Tesselator; 24th January 2011 at 10:31.
just noticed I forgot to say thanks for clearing up BIF for me.
Also, birds are quite repeatable and often go back to exactly the same points ... so it can work in your favour.
Oh, well if you have an EVF for your GF1 I suggest trying MF that has a rep for being awesome and uber-cheap. That way you'll know what it's like at almost no cost. I think the Takumars fall into this category. Both the 55/1.8 and the 135/3.5 typically sell for under $50 with good to excellent quality elements and slightly scuffed up barrels, The M42 adapters are the very cheapest too - like $12. Be sure to get the flangeless kind for those particular lenses.
I bet you could get all three parts there for $75 or under. Also Takumars are buttery smooth to focus... Maybe the best of all lenses ever made.
Anyway, then you'll know what it's like on the GF1. From what I understand there's no beating the GH1/G1's EVF tho... not even the GH2 - when it comes to MF lenses.
the G1 has almost as good an area to look at as my EOS 630 ... pick up a G1 (or G2) and have a go with it.
its interesting to see how the concept evolved
Love the pics Tesselator, and have been impressed as well by your ability with MF. I'm using an E-PL1 with the VF2, and have a Vivitar Series 1 200mm F3 lens as my only telephoto at present. Getting there with it.....but a long way from being there!
Any broad hints? I want to handhold if possible, but open to a monopod/ tripod eventually. Mostly wanting to photograph/ video wildlife, and occasional stadium games (tennis & football).
This is the best I've got so far:
Last edited by DonTom; 25th January 2011 at 23:47. Reason: Photo issues......
Well, I have to preface this with the disclaimer that according to some I've "come on to this scene with a very aggressive attitude" so relax the mind, don't become uptight, drop any petty past grudges (!!), realize it's only a discussion and that people have different views and ways of expressing them before reading this.
Hand-hold a 200 (400mm equiv), Wow, OK... Well there's no magic to the focusing part - although I dunno what the VF2 looks like - how many pixels does it have?
Anyway most of the broad tips I could give are just the usual common sense ones. Assuming you're like me if you hand-hold a 200mm you'll get about one in five shots that are clear and without (too much) motion blur. With M-OIS you'll maybe get two out of five but probably more like 1.5 on average. I'm really picky though and more than about 1 pixel of motion blur and I press the delete key on it. The idea then is to increase this keeper ratio as much as possible.
For me the usual tips about planting the elbows have no affect or create the opposite affect by telescoping my heart-beat up through my arms. Kneeling with one knee up and placing the camera/lens on top of a knee is good. Pressing it up against a pole or a fence works. Rocks are fine but they will always scratch whatever they touch so unless you want your camera to look like one belonging to an embedded reporter in Iraq either carry a washcloth with you or shine on using rocks and boulders.
Doing one of these things will increase the keeper ratio from one in five to about three in five - better! But a tripod delivers 4 of 5 and more if you're careful - 9 of 10 maybe. The day I took these particular ones one other was there but on other days there's usually 3 to 6 other photogs shooting this kingfisher. Of them about half use a cable release in addition to a tripod and they're shooting shorter than me. 500mm on a FF is the typical down there, I'm at 600mm (equiv) with this lens and often I bring my 400mm or 500mm APO lenses which put me at 800mm and 1000mm (equiv) respectively.
That's stabilization. Focusing I think is a matter of only two issues. Well, two main ones anyway. One is getting to know the lens. Where is infinite? How far from MFD is it in radians - a quarter turn, half, other? Where is 10m and how much turning from either end is it? This takes about 15min. with the lens and that's about all usually.
The second is related to the first and it's just putting the above into practice with a little repetition. But you don't wanna do this with an actual bird at first or it's cause some unneeded frustration. I like cars for this. So with every new lens longer than 85mm I go out, set up on the street and practice following cars trying to keep them in focus. I also have to consciously tell myself to remember the information as I do it. I dunno maybe it's cause I play on-line games or something but if I don't then the exercise becomes one of futility and a waste of time.
When I set up on location ready to shoot some birds I have to look at and remember about the lens I'm using and then focus on a few things about bird distance to get it all coming back. But I'm an old fart too and don't remember having to be quite so conscientious about things when I was 20 and 30. So, this last bit may only apply to us old-timers, I dunno. But the familiarization and practice thing I've always done since I started shooting in the 60's.
Besides lighting and camera settings that's about it. For lighting you want the Sun behind you and illuminating your subject. For camera settings you want (ideally) twice the shutter speed as the equivalent length. So if you're shooting a 200mm lens which is 400mm equiv. then you want at least 1/800s on the shutter speed. You should use the fastest "sweet spot" of the lens you're using and then adjust the ISO until you can achieve the 1/800s or whatever it works out to in your case. Spot metering your subjects prior to the shoot will help. If the ISO needs to go above 800 for that to happen then you probably need to face that you need a faster lens or more light. I find that these M4/3 cameras can only deliver exceptional looking images from about ISO800 and under when you need to crop much. And if you're shooting a 200mm lens you'll likely be cropping considerably for most birds. Here's some such using a Rokkor 100/2.8 - I was on and off the pod that day and don't remember just now which ones were hand-held and which were tripod shots. All very near 100% crops:
Etc. There's more if you want here: http://tesselator.gpmod.com/Images/_...KOR_100mm_2.5/ and I've posted these here somewhere before too I think.
And of course finally there's post processing. Unless specifically noted all my images are processed and for extreme crops like this there is not "RAW Converter" that cuts the mustard. The very best one is CaptureOne and it's not what I uses when cropping like this. Photoshop will get you there though! The combo of Bridge, ACR, and PS is actually quite nice to work in for images like these. It's probably not needed if you're o a FF camera with great glass and not cropping much but otherwise it sure helps - even if you might spend a little longer per image. I could write a book (and have actually) on using PS and there are thousands of tutorials on the web that cover post processing images. So I'll leave that up to you to research.
Oh forgot about composition too. You might notice that very many of my images follow the rule of thirds at least. There's also the Golden Mean or Golden Ratio which is similar, also mathematical: http://cuip.uchicago.edu/~dlnarain/golden/ , but based on pi and hyperbolic tessellation. If you just get to know about them a little your brain can generally use them automatically while editing and cropping. For shot-time composition there's not much you can do with longer lenses on the X and Y. Just getting it in frame is a challenge. There is on the Z tho! YAY for Z! Simply put images will appear sharper if there is a contrasting BG. I mean if the background is not sharp, but blurry! The really helps to isolate the subject and even tricks the mind into thinking the FG object is sharper than it is. YAY for trickery!
Others may know more! And for those who perceive this as "aggressive" well, you can just bit me! LOL
Editor&Owner of Digital Outback Photo
Yeah, the saturated color contrasts make it kinda kewl/er.
Thanks, really for your reply. There is a lot of advice there, and I will be returning to it several times I'm sure.
I haven't found your posts overly aggressive, assertive maybe! But you have demonstrated that you know what you're talking about.
I have a lot to learn about photography in general, and have chosen to approach it as cheaply and manually as I can with m43 and legacy lenses. That's why I approached you for this advice. I'm sure I'll end up eventually with plenty of expensive AF gear though, but that will take several years.
So I'll pack myself a flannel and start working on where I photograph from. It is astonishing how easy it is to forget to think about where the sun is! The shutter speed advice is great too, I've been aiming for 1/200 so far.....
btw ... love this image ... was it raw?
would it be a good sample to try out photomatix on?
Wow, all this praise... Thanks! I hope it is't going to my head... Just slap me if you ever think that it is...
Yeah, I always shoot RAW unless I'm testing the camera or something. On a pro/semi-pro playing field we're in the back row of the farthest bleachers out with this M4/3 gear. So while JPegs have more latitude than they're generally given credit for I don't wanna sacrifice anything or leave anything up to the camera. There are some APS-C, APS-H and FF cameras that I could see trusting the JPegs from but not really from the M4/3's that I've seen.
I did notice that you mentioned video even tho I didn't touch on it in my reply. Since video shooting is so widely varied with regard to what the videographer is attempting to achieve it's hard to nail down a specific set of tips. Style enters into the formula in a very big way. Shooting different methods and with different settings yields different "looks" not generally considered "better" or "worse" from one another. For example using high frame rates and fast shutter speeds produces that crisp bright "Video on TV" look while 24fps at slow shutter speeds produces that cinematic "film camera look". Both are legitimate and can even be used in the same project - like maybe a cut-away from the film-look in a bedroom scene to a TV news flash about AIDs (or whatever).
So mostly it's just the equipment that people critique and focus on. There's a lot of options to choose from but generally speaking the pros agree on a few general points.
- MF is the way to go.
- A stoppless aperture is better than one with stops. (Simple restorable lens mods work here - ask for more detail if desired.)
- Zeiss Rocks, and sharpness rules (I guess that's the same as for still too yeah?)
- Bright is better. Here many times even F2.4 is too dark or too deep. Since video has a temporal latitude that stills do not sometimes focus racking effects fail at all but the most wide of apertures. The FD 85mm F/1.2 and other F/0.9, 1.0 and 1.1 lenses really come into their own in video for these kinds of things. If it's only the depth affects that are wanted ND filters are the solution.
- Shoulder mounting seems to be the current ideal solution for most forms of acquisition. I posted a few images here: http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showpo...&postcount=131 and there are lots more around on the web. On www.dvxuser.com especially perhaps. The home of PTool.exe firmware customizer.
And then well, there are lots of other stuff like lights, panels, reflectors, stands, and etc. but those are universally more general and there's lots of good info and critique about them already on-line.
- Focus pulling is needed or preferable with most unmodified lenses. The torque of focusing even a slightly stiff lens isn't ideal for many forms of acquisition and will cause distracting bumps and tilts in the footage.
- Typically the cameraman wants to view the scene normally with his own eyes and be able to monitor the recording at the same time. This usually means a separate 6 to 9 inch LCD as a 3" one is just too small mostly. The GH2 I hear has live monitoring, The GH1 does not AFAIK.
- External micing is preferred over the camera's mic due to vibrations telescoped through the camera body.
- Spot and subject micing is preferable to shoe-mounted camera central micing. The spacial separation affects that multiple spot mics can create is dramatic and fun to play with. Probably not needed for sports but can you imagine the sound if you were to place 6 MP3 recorders around a football field? Like, one at the centerline, and one at each 20 yard line on both sides of the field. Or for a more direct mix just the 20-yard lines. Merge the two sides to create your two channel stereo and wowza! etc. etc. A lapel mic will almost always sound better and record more than something tied to the camera's location.
- Since video is a temporal medium and cameras pan and tilt, hoods (BIG ARSE HOODS!) are needed or highly prized. Home-made works fine on a budget and a little flat dark gray or black primer paint or some felt/flocking material can increase it's affect and make it look more "pro" too.
- Whatever kind of shoulder mounts you go for or build it should be quick-release ready so you can get it on and off a pod quickly. Arca-swiss seems to have the rep and standards points on it's side. I'm using Velbon QRA-6L just cuz I got a deal on them. I think you can see one in that macro thread I posted in: http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showpo...6&postcount=47
- Rails for balancing the rig when on a pod. Make or buy.
One rule I've found that seems to apply in almost are areas of gadgetry is that price is not the determining factor. Often the cheapest stuff is actually better than the expensive counterparts. Good luck convincing the average consumer of this tho. It's SOP to equate quality with price and visa-versa. Adapters for example are one area where this is especially true.
Anyway those are some of the issues I know about. Others will know more for sure. That www.dvxuser.com site I mentioned is a great resource for video+GH1/2 info and comparisons!
The first image is the ACR conversion and my process script applied. The Second one is the Photomatrix image I created with the intention of mixing the two back in PS. The last one (far right) is a Color Blend 100% mix of the two and a little Curves+Shadow/Highlights tweaking.
Not bad! Thanks for the tip!
Final Before and After:
Worth considering is to go for a lower gamma than you may otherwise find pleasing, dial back the colour saturation (which seems to ramp up in a Newtonian conservation of energy reaction) and save as TIF, then in photoshop apply some unsharp mask radius 70pixels or so threshold 1 (or 0) and at about 10% (give or take)
ends up looking quite good
Perhaps you missed it but in a previous thread I suggested he try photomatix for working with problem files. I mentioned my blog post where I described what I did (here).
Essentially you can take the RAW data and load it into Photomatix to make this:
out of what the camera would have made with the same data into this:
I wasn't sitting looking over his shoulder but I'm assuming he pasted one into another layer and altered the blending between the layers (no?)
Have you downloaded it and tried anything? I suggest you do, you learn by doing. Confucius used to promulgate the concept that the teacher provided 10% and the student followed through with the remaining 90%.
Sorry I missed your link. Your point is well taken. Thanks
Yeah, layers and blending modes is how I used the PM Pro output. I used the Color blending mode. So when I used PMPro I just moved the sliders around to maximize color and small detail contrast in the bird and BG clouds. I spent about 10 to 15min in PMPro trying different slider relationships. Which is the bummer about Photomatrix. There are a few sliders that can throw the affect of all the other sliders completely out of practicality. So you end up jockeying those two or three and then readjusting the other 8 or 10 sliders to refit. And every image likes it different. There are preset saves tho so after you get one set to look about right you can save it, then save it the other way too and finally load the two (or three) back and fourth to see which which is best.
In my case I ended up getting more out of the PS Shadows/Highlights tool than I did the PMPro modification - but the PMPro mod helped too. I also lightened the eye by hand - which I didn't mention before. PMPro is a fun toy if you have lots of time on your hands or are trying to tweak every little bit of goodness out of the image for a paying single image project image. I'd end an insane and very old man trying to use it as a standard processing tool tho.
Also you can get almost the exact same result using Photoshop's "HDR Toning" tool. And it's a little faster and more versatile at the same time too as then you have access to the history brush, or can fit the procedure into a script and then fade that with the same blending modes.
Last edited by Tesselator; 30th January 2011 at 16:04.