Flip Flop

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by swampduck, Jun 19, 2013.

  1. swampduck

    swampduck Mu-43 Veteran

    335
    Mar 29, 2013
    Taneytown , MD
    Dan
    I was able to get out and shoot some birds with my 100-300 this weekend, and after all was said and done, I took about 100 shots. Out of 100 shots I got two keepers. I used all the focus points and High shutter, and that helped out to a small degree. The one thing that was a recurring theme was missed shots...birds half out of frame, birds in frame but OOF. I am considering buying a DSLR since these are the types of shots I love doing, but my growing love of street phototgrpahy has me teetering. I would definitely do more street with :43:, and less BIF.
    I love the :43:, and was seriously hoping that the AF tracking thing wasn't going to be an issue for me. I love the compactness of the system, the "affordable" long lenses, this community. But unless I am missing something, I think I need to go back to DSLR, most likely a 7D, for the 8 FPS and AF tracking ability. Does anyone have any suggestions for birding and action shots?
     
  2. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    Midwest
    Paul
    Well, rather than buying a whole other system again, why not try something like this?

    New Pentax red dot finder on Q with DA*300- img. - PentaxForums.com

    A red dot scope/finder mounted to the hot shoe will allow you to constantly frame/center the birds without losing them due to shutter blackout. If you read through that thread you'll find a couple different links to hotshoe - weaver rail adapters, they run about $25 and a red dot scope is about $25-40 to start. If it will work with a 300mm lens with 5.5x crop on the Q, I'm sure it would be even more beneficial to just 300mm X2 crop.

    you can find them at photosolve.com or a cheaper version at bh and amazon by searching 'firefield weaver hotshoe'.
     
  3. ThomD

    ThomD Mu-43 Veteran

    428
    Jun 1, 2013
    SF Bay Area
    One thing I've notice that did not work for me was trying to frame in tight on the BIF. Planning for some cropping left me more margin of error in the framing. I'v got all those pixels; I can afford to give up a few.
     
  4. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
  5. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    Hey Dan,

    Sorry to hear that the first outing with the 100-300 wasn't a rousing success. As ThomD suggested, maybe zoom out a bit to give yourself more room to work. I'm not a birder myself, but I'd also consider stopping down a bit to get more DOF, turning up the ISO if necessary to maintain a good shutter speed. And experiment with the different AF modes. The AF Tracking on my GH2 is useless for anything faster than a turtle; I've had more luck with AF.S on moving subjects. And if the BIF is against a featureless sky, maybe even try letting the camera choose the focus point.

    Ultimately, a DSLR may be the easier solution, but I think with some practice and technique you can do BIF with M43.
     
  6. swampduck

    swampduck Mu-43 Veteran

    335
    Mar 29, 2013
    Taneytown , MD
    Dan
    John,

    I was using all the focus points as you suggested and auto iso...I will try zooming out a bit to see if that helps.
     
  7. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    There's your problem. Doesn't make any difference if you're shooting on a Non-Reflex or a DSLR, if you're just going to let the camera pick a target out of the entire frame, you will get many shots focused on a different target. AF Tracking (the only advantage PDAF on a DSLR has) is irrelevant. The only way you're going to get usable AF Tracking using ALL points in the frame is with face detect on a human target, or if there's really nothing else at all in the background.

    If your camera has a diamond pattern, (ie, about 9 focus point spread) then that's often the easiest to use with C-AF. Otherwise, single point works too. If you're still having problems, you can either switch to S-AF or turn Release Priority off with C-AF, which is the default for S-AF but not C-AF. That will prevent the camera from taking the shot until it has locked focus. That won't help you get better shots, but it'll help your keeper rate with less frames shot. Also keep in mind that C-AF is really not so all-important as it's made out to be. S-AF is often all you need, and the S-AF of the m4/3 system is awesome. Before spending a bunch of money under the myth that you need better C-AF, try just changing your technique.
     
  8. swampduck

    swampduck Mu-43 Veteran

    335
    Mar 29, 2013
    Taneytown , MD
    Dan
    Hmm, ok, I will turn off all focus points and use the "cross" style focus points. I do have Release Priority off. I was under the assumption since I was doing BIF, that the multiple focus points would pick the subject up against the sky, or water. These are some good tips
     
  9. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    It's possible to use all focus points when against a sky, but you're still making the camera do more work when I'm sure you can easily pick out where your target is yourself. The more work you save the camera and take on yourself, the faster your camera will work.
     
  10. swampduck

    swampduck Mu-43 Veteran

    335
    Mar 29, 2013
    Taneytown , MD
    Dan
    I just ordered this set up...fingers crossed
     
  11. uci2ci

    uci2ci Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 22, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Sam
    I've been using the 100-300mm with relatively good success, but i feel your pain. Many times it focuses on somethings behind the subject, even when using the smallest focus point. This is why I always magnify to check the focus. Im not sure about the g5, but the gf3 has spot focusing that zooms in on the subject while its focusing so you see the accuracy of the focus. Definitely use that focus mode. As for BIF, its just not practical with mu43 imo. Its very luck dependent for me. Its just a weakness of the system. You got to take the good with the bad. I've actually been thinking about getting a smallish dslr like the k-5 IIs for bird shots, but I get beads of sweat on my forehead when I see long lens prices.
     
  12. battleaxe

    battleaxe Mu-43 Top Veteran

    I never had the 100-300mm so I can't really comment on BIF and AF m4/3 lenses. But, when I did shoot birds in flight I was using a G2 + 70-210mm Vivitar Series 1 lens and with a bit of practice, I was getting about 1 keepers out of every 3-4 shots. If you don't mind I would suggest trying to manual focus with the 100-300mm and see how that turns out. You could prefocus on where the bird, or animal is going to be(with some animals it is easy to tell, while others it takes practice).

    On a side note, I moved to a Sony SLT system specifically for wildlife. From what I read and was told here, that even a entry-level-ish DSLR/SLT with PDAF would be a little better at tracking than the CDAF offered on most mirrorless cameras. Not sure what the G5 can shoot at, but with my A57 I get, if I'm not mistaken 7fps with AF(in all modes), 10 without(or limited) AF(in a mostly auto mode) and 12fps crop mode(same as the 10fps, but cropped), which so far has worked better than expected for BIF. That all said I would stick with the G5 & try the tips mentioned here. And if you still don't find it to your liking, or are hitting the cameras limits, then that would maybe the time to look at another system. Good luck.
     
  13. swampduck

    swampduck Mu-43 Veteran

    335
    Mar 29, 2013
    Taneytown , MD
    Dan
    I am pretty confused at the moment. In thinking about this while researching and trying to sell my current gear, I have had some interesting epiphanies.
    Am I asking way too much of my gear and or skill level? Skill level being even if I had a DSLR like the D7100 or 7D, would I still be able to capture BIF. My success level would go up, but how much?
    Looking at my older pics, back when I had a DSLR, a Canon 1D to be specific, I came to a realize, that my keeper level isn't as high as I had thought. Sure, they were keepers to me at the time, but after second look, not as many. My hit rate looked to be about 5 out of 50, still better then I got recently, but still low.

    In conclusion, I have come to some realizations, Throwing a $2k body, plus $3-4K lens at some birds isn't financially smart. Also, personal history has already proven this. Then there is GAS, my stomach started rumbling when my friend told me she had just bought a D7100. Even though I had just bought a 100-300, and had a much better system then her, I still had the feeling I wanted to make a purchase. And that started a case HUNT He's Using New Toys syndrome, or in this case sHUNT

    In conclusion, while I still may buy a 7D, my internal Immodium kicked in a little, Fast acting TUMS would have had me cured by now, but I need to get that one good BIF to settle my tummy. So, I am going out this weekend, G5 in hand and my 100-300 and fire away.
     
  14. slothead

    slothead Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 14, 2012
    Frederick, MD
    Dan,
    I don't know anything about the G5, can it not do 5 or 6 FPS? That is my method for BIF. The OM-D can do 8 or 9 FPS (I can't remember the exact spec), and that is only after focusing once for the first frame - so you have to use a wide aperture or make sure the flight is crossing in front of you (not uncommon). When I take a series of several fast shots I get most of them with the bird half in and half out of the frame, but usually a couple (out of 7 or 8) that are usable. Big birds are pretty easy but their lazy flight isn't always an exciting/interesting subject. Small birds can be really hard to track they are so fast.
     
  15. swampduck

    swampduck Mu-43 Veteran

    335
    Mar 29, 2013
    Taneytown , MD
    Dan
    It will shoot 6fps in full res...my problem is actually tracking them to get in my frame...and yeah, I am shooting smaller shore birds...no GBH's yet
     
  16. battleaxe

    battleaxe Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Best answer is, practice, practice and tests out new ways to work with your current equipment, like MF. I plan to try MF and different AF points sometime in the coming days with my newer equipment and see how what will affect my keeper rates.
     
  17. swampduck

    swampduck Mu-43 Veteran

    335
    Mar 29, 2013
    Taneytown , MD
    Dan
    I have come to terms with myself and my equipment. The G5 is incredible at a lot of things, BIF isn't one of them, at least not reliably. I will use the m4/3 in situations where it will shine, and not worry about its drawbacks.
     
  18. battleaxe

    battleaxe Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Would that mean you would be getting supplemental system for BIF? I personally think one can do BIF reasonably well, especially with a little practice, and knowing that really small and fast birds are going to a real challenge(even with DSLR with PDAF).
     
  19. fsuscotphoto

    fsuscotphoto Mu-43 Top Veteran

    819
    Feb 15, 2013
    St. Cloud, FL
    Ron
    Air shows are why I'm keeping my 7D, and the occasional BIF outing. I've got a lot of lenses for that camera. IF Oly can get the focus right at a later date then I'll consider selling off my Canon stuff. Even then it would be hard, as I enjoy my big DSLR with all of the buttons in the right places and not a raft of menues.

    I'm sure Oly is going to get this all fixed at some point, there are too many of us telling them what we want.


    Sent from my iPad using Mu-43 mobile app
     
  20. swampduck

    swampduck Mu-43 Veteran

    335
    Mar 29, 2013
    Taneytown , MD
    Dan
    Yes that is what it means, I am considering purchasing a 7D or Nikon 7100. I was an avid bird and wildlife photographer at one time and just had to come to grips with myself, and the need for fast focusing. The :43: is awesome, and I decided I couldn't give that up.
    In the end, I need to evaluate if purchasing a second system is worth it. I decided I just can't give up my :43: system, as evidenced by my behavior in the FS/FT forum.