Birds!


GrumpyGrandPa

Link Posted 06/10/2021 - 19:41
Not sure if the troubleshooting section is the right area of the forum BUT I am struggling with bird photography.

Twas a cloudy, overcast day with poor light - my settings were 1600 ISO, 1/1000 sec and f6.3 using the Sigma 50-500mm lens at the 500mm end.
I tried to use the spot meter for exposure and the lake/water background was, obviously, very bright.
Also used the centre spot for the focussing today.

Obviously the kingfisher is a very small, and fast, bird in the scene.
There are 5 perching posts the kingfisher can choose and so it is not possible to use a tripod and a prefocussed and exposed test shot as it moves from one to the other/s.

Would I be better using the more general multi-segment auto-focus points and a more general exposure cluster point setting rather than the spot functions?

At least we don't have to worry about the cost of film and developing nowadays!

Any tips please?



Grumpy GrandPa, Recently Retired.
K-S2 and suffering from a relapse and so now buying digital camera kit - started with a little Lumix TZ80 and now LBA has re-occured for my K-S2. Not sure where it will lead!
Previous addiction has resulted in using Zeniths, Yashicamat, Chinons, Minoltas, Samsungs, Fujis, Cosina, Lumix, Canon, Nikon and Pentax etc etc - have tried most makes in the past 40 years. Love cameras - love taking photos even more

pschlute

Link Posted 06/10/2021 - 20:22
I would suggest exposure is the easiest thing to get right. Is the light falling on each of the 5 perches the same ? If so, then work out in advance what exposure is required by using spot metering to get the branch correctly exposed. This seems to equate well with the bird being exposed right too. having established that you then use manual exposure and do not change it. If the background is going to be overexposed with these settings then underexpose by 1 or 2 stops. You can brighten the bird later in pp. Use the histogram to evaluate your test shots before the bird even appears.
Peter



My Flickr page

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pschlute

Link Posted 06/10/2021 - 20:26
For autofocus, i doubt single AF point will work unless the bird sits still for more than a few seconds. Can you set your camera to 9 central AF points ? In AFC mode this should work best.

I guess you are unable to pre-focus if the 5 perches are all different distances from you.
Peter



My Flickr page

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GrumpyGrandPa

Link Posted 06/10/2021 - 21:55
Thanks. So, I'll try and use the multiple central AF points in AFC mode and I'll work on the manual exposure testing and settings.

Was going back tomorrow morning BUT smells like the slider on the front left brake caliper is sticking and the disk brake was very hot after a 10 mile journey.
Looks like that will have to be my priotiy tomorrow
Grumpy GrandPa, Recently Retired.
K-S2 and suffering from a relapse and so now buying digital camera kit - started with a little Lumix TZ80 and now LBA has re-occured for my K-S2. Not sure where it will lead!
Previous addiction has resulted in using Zeniths, Yashicamat, Chinons, Minoltas, Samsungs, Fujis, Cosina, Lumix, Canon, Nikon and Pentax etc etc - have tried most makes in the past 40 years. Love cameras - love taking photos even more

pschlute

Link Posted 06/10/2021 - 22:39
Yes safety first.
Peter



My Flickr page

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Mike-P

Link Posted 07/10/2021 - 10:17
Up until the K3 (3) imo Pentax autofocus/tracking has been pretty average at best and that's putting it politely and as far as I am concerned the jury is still out on the newest camera.

When shooting birds with my K-1 i use back button focus, single af point, average exposure and AF.C, multiple point is next to useless.
If you use spot exposure you will nearly always get a blown sky in the UK (same with airshows) but at the end of the day it's the detail in the bird you are after not the sky but using average normally enables you to pull more in PP.

I would also be shooting wide open and a faster shutter speed with Kingfishers, they are twitchy little buggers.

Also turn OS/SR off at those shutter speeds if you have it on.
. My Flickr
Last Edited by Mike-P on 07/10/2021 - 10:18

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