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What do you want to understand better about photography?

Discussion in 'Photography' started by JohnRice, Sep 24, 2017.

  1. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Man and Scott:

    Thanks for the follow-ups. You’ve both given me a lot to think about. It is much appreciated (Man: I can only imagine how much time you took analyzing those images and composing that post.).

    I’ll be back with a response when I get a few minutes—in the next day or so. I’m just knee deep in some stuff right now.

    I gotta admit—I’m getting pretty excited about the idea of the upgrade. It’s kind of like HT upgradeitis, right?!?

    One of the things about upgrading to the 80d would be that it’s sensors would likely allow me faster shutter speeds, right, given identical situations?

    When I was shooting film on my Olympus OM-10 I used shutter priority (if I understand that term correctly). I loved that.

    Since I’m still typing, I can tell you that my lenses IS have been set to on. Some of the other settings I’ll need to check on to respond.

    Thanks again. I’ll be back soon.
     
  2. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    Scott, seriously, I've run into situations where someone was shooting landscapes with a (for example) 20mm f/1.8 who refuse to shoot their landscapes at anything other than f/1.8. Even with a 20mm, the depth of field at f/1.8 is pretty slim. they tend to focus in the center of the frame, all the time, so the foreground and sky are out of focus. I've started calling these two related Nikon forums The Anti Depth of Field League.

    As far as manual exposure, if you always shoot with the lens wide open and just adjust your shutter speed to what the meter says, that's no different than shooting aperture priority. I know photography tends to be equipment centric, but it's a lot worse than I realized.
     
  3. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    Mike, I completely agree with Man that the main problem seems to be camera movement. It think it's the fourth dog pic in particular you can see a sort of double image, rather than just softness. That's camera movement. I'm learning that poor camera handling is the cause of most "focus" problems. That and the fast lens/shooting wide open dilemma I was talking about earlier. The higher resolution and better cameras get, the more poor handling shows up. Pressing the shutter should be so subtle that it's imperceptible. I think a lot of people punch the shutter.

    I don't know about anyone else, but on photo forums I see endless talk about focus corrections. I have NEVER come across a situation where a lens was demonstrably, repeatably focusing in the wrong place. Maybe it happens, but I have never seen it.
     
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  4. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Mike,

    A camera with a newer sensor will allow you to use a higher ISO in lower light situations without too much noise. That, in turn, will allow you to use a faster shutter speed in those situations.

    For example, my firs camera was a Rebel XT, and it's highest ISO setting was 1600, but anything over ISO 800 had more noise than I found acceptable. With my Canon 40D, I would push it to ISO 1600 without issues. With my current 5D3 and 7D2, I have no qualms about shooting at ISO 6400 if necessary.
     
  5. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    John,

    Yes, I see people in the Canon forums like that, too, who refuse to use their lenses at any aperture other than wide open. I always thought that was ridiculous, too. I'm attempting to tell a story with an image. Sometimes that story requires a great deal of the frame to be sharply in focus, while other times it requires very little depth of field. Same with shutter speeds -- sometimes I need a very fast shutter speed (birds in flight, whale watching, etc.), while other times I want a very slow speed (blurring moving water, etc.).
     
  6. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    Today I came across this Ted Talk by one of my favorite college professors, Andrew Davidhazy. For a total photo wonk like me, the stuff I learned from him was like play time, but it can be a little dry, if you don't find it interesting. Very techy and he's not a smooth public speaker. Most people probably aren't aware of cirkut/slit/moving film photography.



    It also brought me to this other video about his part in analyzing photos related to the JFK assassination. There's a brief mention of Dr. Leslie Stroebel, who was also one of my professors, and is the person who literally wrote the book on view camera technique.



    In case anyone's interested.
     
  7. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Shooting live subjects that won't likely stay (predictably enough) still definitely makes that more likely me thinks...

    But yeah, developing (and maintaining) better technique w/ the shutter button makes a big diff. That issue (of punching the shutter) definitely sticks out for me of what I remember of taking the occasional vacation snapshot w/ my father's old film rangefinder back during my early adolescent days... although I didn't get the benefit of immediately see the results as we can now w/ digital.


    Yeah, there does seem to be inordinate amount of automatically focusing on the automagic focusing issue online these days... :3dglasses: and the camera/lens makers aren't necessarily helping the situation either despite well intentions (w/ stuff like camera-to-lens calibration features/tools... which I still haven't actually found a realworld need to tweak so far)...

    Some of the AF issues were real to some extent back during the earlier days of DSLR tech, but not nearly so much nowadays (other than for tracking action/sports/fast-moving-wildlife w/ greater pro-level efficiency/effectiveness than before... and truly fanatical pixel-peeping). I still remember the back-focus issue of the Nikon D70 when Nikon first went mainstream to compete w/ Canon's first digital Rebel -- and people would regularly shoot rulers and brick walls back then (w/ both Canon and Nikon) as a result...

    At some point, human error and realworld shooting variances will trump any minute variances (or tweaks/improvements) in the tech, and people need to recognize/remember that reality and work on that instead... and maybe just enjoy the challenges and the "journey"...

    _Man_
     
  8. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    I have not felt the need to adjust the micro focus setting of any of my lenses with either of my bodies that have the feature, either. I know some people on the forums are obsessed with dialing in the micro focus parameters, but my lenses seem to be fine.
     
  9. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    This is some tough stuff to hear, fellas. I won't deny it.

    But, honestly, I am thrilled...because I just want to get better.

    When I was a teen, my dad often took me to sight-in the family's hunting rifles. I learned then about the concept of softly squeezing a trigger. It kills me to think I'm the one directly responsible for screwing up so many images lately. It seems like more of a recent phenomenon for me...but maybe I'm getting careless. I don't know.

    Man asked me, in his big post, about shooting in Full Auto. I'm not. I've been shooting in P mode. Among the settings:

    ISO: Auto
    AF: One Shot
    Picture Style: Standard
    Drive mode: Continuous Shooting
    Metering: Evaluative
    Format: Raw

    Would it help me to change the AF setting to AI Servo (or AI Focus)?

    I still am damn excited about the idea of an 80D. I've already looked at books on Amazon about the camera--figuring I'll get one and force myself to learn and understand its features. I've already downloaded the owner's manual, too.
     
  10. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    Mike, I expect you don't want to combine One Shot AF and continuous shooting. That might actually be part of the problem.

    You've probably had this suggested, and it takes some adjusting to, but once I tried it, I was hooked on back-button focus. Separating the shutter from the focus eliminates most of the things that always annoyed me about AF. It's awkward at first, but I took right to it in a short time.

    Don't feel bad. When I look at photos on these Nikon forums, I swear 90% or more of the "my pictures aren't sharp" problems are due to camera handling. I've been doing it so long, it's second nature.
     
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  11. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    Plus, it's always possible the problem is something with the camera.
     
  12. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    I just moved my AF to my AE/Lock button on the back of my Rebel XS.

    I don't use continuous shooting hardly at all, so I don't think the AE being moved to the Half-shutter function will have any impact on me.
     
  13. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    Mike, just a suggestion, but if you are using back button focus, I'd set the AF to continuous. Then when you want it to stop focusing, you just let go of the AF button. Maybe you have it that way already.
     
  14. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    John:

    I had to find an online article about how to set the back-button focus.

    Here are the options the article gave me:

    I set my camera to Option #1. Do you see what you are suggesting in one of the other options?

    Should I switch to AI Servo for my AF?
     
  15. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    Mike, personally I would choose #3. The focus mode is a separate option. You would set that to continuous (on Nikon it's AF-S for single, and AF-C for continuous) so, servo sounds like an option. Then you probably also have an entirely separate option for the focus area. What's complicated about that? ;)

    I never liked single focus, because what that does is once it decides the photo is in focus, it stops focusing. That never made any sense to me. With back button focus, you probably don't want it to do that. Once your subject is in focus, you either take the photo, or shut off AF by releasing the button. If you want to follow a moving subject, you just keep holding it down.

    I kind of just rephrased the final sentence in what you quoted. You'll notice that last sentence is passively saying you always use back button focus with servo focus mode.
     
  16. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Mike,

    Give back button focus a try, but don't be too worried if it feels cumbersome. I have tried it a few times, but still prefer the traditional half-press of the shutter release to set focus. I use my thumb on the joystick (your Rebel doesn't have one) to move the focus point, and it's ackward for me to use it for back button focus, too.

    Oh, and P mode isn't much different than auto mode. The camera is still choosing your aperture, shutter speed and ISO for you. You really should move to a mode where you are controlling your exposure settings instead of letting the camera make the choices.

    I have mentioned it before, but I really recommend the book "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson. It's available on Amazon. The book does an excellent job explaining the three legs of the exposure triangle and how each affects your photo.
     
  17. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Back button focus against the world!
     
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  18. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    It is now in my Amazon cart, Scott. Thanks for the suggestion.

    My wife has written some books, so I know a little something about book blurbs. But I LOVE this comment in a blurb about Peterson's book:

     
  19. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Gulp.

    [​IMG]

    Trigger pulled.



    [​IMG]

    LOTS of research. Lots of shopping. Lots of reading.

    Merry Christmas (and Happy Birthday--in March) to me! :D
     
  20. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Niiiice! And congrats, Mike! :rock:


    Did you go w/ that 18-135 IS USM as well?

    Now... you didn't follow up on my original comment about this before (probably because it was buried at the end), but you might soon need to consider upgrading some computing hardware to handle those much larger files (~2.4x as large as your Rebel)... ;):D

    Don't know what's your current PC config, but if you don't already use an SSD, you might consider getting one amidst all the sales now. I just picked up 2x 1TB SSDs (one each of WD 3D-NAND and Samsung Evo) from Newegg last week to go w/ smaller, older Samsung ones I already used... so I don't have to manually move stuff back-and-forth (or directly access) as often to/from my slow networked RAID storage (that I mainly use for near-line archiving and such). And with prices dropping, seems most people are probably better off just going w/ such SSDs instead of dealing w/ RAID storage (to save a few bucks and get standalone networked access)...

    You might also find a need for new bigger, faster SD card depending on what you already have.

    Anyway, ENJOY!!!

    _Man_
     

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