Monday, April 26, 2010

GVP 8, 9 and 10 - and focus plan



I've been on flickr now for so long I've been shooting and posting with it mind. Too much on my mind.

This Vertical project is one attempt to break that habit. Explorer doesn't "like" vertical shots, and I don't as much, and laptops, contacts, screens, all favor horizontal images.


Another thing I have gotten in to the habit of it posting one a day mostly. So tonight I decided to post 3 shots, all vertical.

Yesterday it was vertical video.


On a more technical note, I learned something about hand holding my 200-400mm.

My main pet peeve with the 200-400mm f/4 lens is that the manual override of focus cannot be turned off. Gripping the lens near the front very very often caused the focus ring to turn and then that causes the camera to stop trying to focus.

I thought about using some gaffer tape to lock down that ring. But tape on that lens, just didn't seem like the right thing to do. This weekend I had the idea to slide my neopreme camo back a bit to cover the edge of the focusing ring, to prevent it from moving at all. It seemed to work!

Two other things I've changed up to improve my focus tracking of moving birds is to use the focus button on the back of the camera. The general way is to focus with the shutter button or back button on a moving subject and then just keep the rear-focus button depressed all the time. Take shots, wait, continue to track, take more shots - doing it this way keeps the camera working on focus the entire time because the focus button on the back of the camera is still pressed...

The other thing I finally did and think I may just stick to is I've turned OFF the focus limiter. I've gotten better at getting close to birds, or hiding better, and I don't want to miss those closer chances. With the limiter on I've had the occasional very close fly-by not be shootable because the lens wasn't allowed to focus so close.

The focus limit trade off - allow the lens to focus faster for a far away subject and miss close shots. OR take far away shots after a little lag / hunting, but NOT being locked out of the chance to focus close - which on the 200-400mm is about 6 feet (minimum).

The other day I was out shooting in two spots and had an eagle (both times) spot me late and make a hard turn and bank away. I was hiding and dressed in some camo, but not in a blind at the time.

-50- / Jon