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Barn Owl

By BurntOut  
Wanted to show a bit of movement in the wingtips. About 20 shots in total but only one close to sharp.

1/160 at f5.6 ISO 800. AI Focus.

Tags: Wildlife and nature

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emmaA 12 1 United Kingdom
12 Mar 2009 7:51PM
conrad 16 10.9k 116
12 Mar 2009 7:56PM
Hi Neil, I'm not exactly an expert on bird shots, but I can see a few things that have gone wrong here. Most obvious is the shutter speed. When you're using a long lens on a crop camera like your 50D, you want to have a shutter speed that matches about the following: longest focal length x 1.6. So 1/640 would be the minimum, and faster is safer. AI Servo, I think you mean, is the right setting to use. But did you use Av, Tv or ... ? I'm trying to think why your sky looks like this. Was it completely without any definition?

Very difficult to get this kind of shot right, I know from experience. Tried it several times, and from 4GB of shots there were only a few that I more or less liked.
BurntOut 14 321 2 England
12 Mar 2009 8:03PM
Sorry Conrad, it was manual, metered off the grass and set at -2/3. IS on the lens was on panning mode, so I thought I might get away with about 1/200 or thereabouts.
Thanks for the info. Didn't really give enough detail first time round.
motorsportpictures 12 289 23 United Kingdom
12 Mar 2009 8:07PM
Love the shot, but agree with above, its all been said.
banehawi Plus
16 2.4k 4217 Canada
12 Mar 2009 8:13PM
AI Servo is the better mode to use here, - in fact Ai doesnt really work as advertised at all most of the time.
Apart from that, - all the tips Conrad has provided will get you going. Use Tv (shutter priority) and set it as Conrad described. The camera will select the right aperture as long as you have the ISO set high enough to allow it to do so without "flashing" the aperture value in the viewfinder.


BurntOut 14 321 2 England
12 Mar 2009 8:36PM
Thanks guys.

Must be shutter speed. The active focus point is about where the wing joins the body.

Focal length x 1.6? Is it necessary to use the crop factor?
conrad 16 10.9k 116
12 Mar 2009 9:16PM
Well, yes, because that's the effect the crop factor has on what your lens and camera combination 'sees', so to be safe, take it into account.
banehawi Plus
16 2.4k 4217 Canada
12 Mar 2009 10:15PM
Always take the crop factor into account, and leave IS on for the lens.
The lens will detect panning and use the correct mode. Your 100-400 lens is in fact a 160 - 680mm lens on this camera. This is the MINIMUM for hand holding, shooting a static subject. If your panning skills are excellent, and the bird is gliding, you may get away with the minimum, but I would suggest going faster than minimum if you have the light. IS will allow you to save one or two stops hopefully.
So at 400mm its 1/680, which means you have to use 1/1000 for safety. You might squeeze by with 1/800 with IS on.

BurntOut 14 321 2 England
13 Mar 2009 10:49AM
Nope. Still don't follow that. The sensor remains in the same plane to the front element, regardless of it's size. The factor causing the shake is the distance that the front of lens moves relative to the subject in the time that the shutter is open. That distance won't change just because the sensor size changes.

Or am I missing something......?
banehawi Plus
16 2.4k 4217 Canada
13 Mar 2009 9:36PM
See PM


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