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how do i get 2 birds in focus in the frame i can manage with one ok , but at this time of year the birds are pairing up and i will get the chance to get a pair. But i always seem to get one in focus and one out of focus thanks for your help
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Use Aperture Priority and a smaller setting, such as f11, or even f16 if there isn't too much movement in the subjects.
i use Aperture Priority but if i use F11 like you say im not going to get the shutter speed needed because birds are always moving
When you said one in focus and one out of focus, is the one OOF because of movement, or because of depth?
BTW, first thing to do is to make sure your perch is parallel to your camera.
A flash (or two) and a Better Beamer/Flash Xtendor (WHE sells these) would let you get some flash light onto birds at long focal lengths and thus use a smaller aperture without having exposure problems nor blur problems.
If your camera has the capability an option for depth of field and a fast shutter is to open up the ISO. I frequently use f8 at 1/4000 at around 6400 ISO for my sport, and lightroom can usually clean up that level of noise to an acceptable level for me.
Unfortunately there is no easy answer to this. If the birds are one behind the other, which I suspect is the case, then DOF is almost certainly the problem and the nearer the birds are to you, the bigger the problem.
We don't know your set-up Mike?
As has been said, with my 7D I can up the ISO to some crazy figure around 6400 thereby allowing me to use decent shutter speeds and small apertures. I also use a 300mm lens so I can get that bit further away and thereby further help the DOF.
To give you a better understanding of how the camera variables effect DOF, try entering different settings into the calculator and see the result:
My set up is a Canon 400D with Sigma 120 - 400 lens the camera ISO only goes up to 1600 and that is very noisy thank you all for your help though
Try noiseware it can clean up the images, a lot.
Another trick, which has been mentioned already, is to get a good flash unit. This will allow you to use a higher F stop with reduced shutter speed, typically 1/60 for good sync.
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