Which shutter speed

Re: Which shutter speed

Postby Wrexham Mackem on Tue 04 Jul 2017, 3:01 pm

You won't go far wrong there spellow - your 100-400 II + 7DII combo will focus like lightning.

Personally, I don't use high speed mode by default. I find it just rattles off too many big files, interrupts my view through the viewfinder as the mirror's up a lot and generally distracts me. I find standard continuous drive is perfect most of the time. If there's a particular circumstance, like opposition passes or a jet is generating a lot of vapour, then I move it into high speed mode.

I don't have all of my focus points active. That does risk the camera locking onto something on the periphery. I have centre dominant with the points around it as secondary focus points.

Final point is the 1/800 is a bit slow for me personally, I could still camera-shake that. But do try to watch your aperture - try to keep it around f8 or just either side. That's the sharpness sweet spot and also gives a little leeway with focus as there's some, albeit not much, depth of field.

Oh and IS can help in mode 2 on the prop stuff but off for the fast jets.

But that's all really. Just enjoy it and look for the shots that 'look right' through the viewfinder. You have a lovely piece of kit there.
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Re: Which shutter speed

Postby Droptank on Tue 04 Jul 2017, 3:53 pm

This response is for the benefit of Spellow really but feel free to adopt it if you feel fit.


I read with interest, the suggestions made regarding best practice for shooting at RIAT (primarily) and other air shows, I think
the question about shutter speeds has been covered but I shoot jets on 1/1000 @200ASA and props 1/250 @200ASA, which in
good sunny conditions gives me apertures of f8 and f16 respectively, if I am feeling very brave I may shoot the props at 1/125,
all values on my 300mm f2.8/1.4 converter.

To completely buck the trend about exposures, I use manual metering most of the time!

Using "evaluative" metering or its Nikon equivalent is OK a lot of the time, but when used to photograph any aircraft on a day
with clouds and blue sky your camera will produce differing apertures if in Tv mode, or different speeds if in Av mode, when
the background changes from cloud (i.e.generally white) to blue as it measure reflective light values and tries to achieve a pre-set
value.

Your camera will try to balance the light accordingly using the reflected value of ALL of the elements of the frame not just the
proportion of light reflected by the aircraft (i.e.subject).

The result of this is that the colour value of the aircraft will vary between frames, have a look at what you have shot in sequence
under conditions such as these, the camera settings will also vary between camouflaged or white/silver coloured aircraft but the
light illuminating them is exactly the same!

Using a light meter to obtain the light consistently falling/illuminating ON the subject will give a consistent value, but obviously
not if the light falling on the subject changes due to clouds obscuring the light source (sun usually!).

However.....

If the light is changing consistently and an aircraft is flying through sun and then shade your judgement may suggest using
evaluative metering to ensure you have at least a chance of capturing something when the light isn't perfectly illuminating the aircraft.

A lot of the guesswork has gone from photography with the advent of automation in every aspect of a camera's capability
and shooting RAW files can often get a photographer "out of jail" by adjusting light value adjustment at processing but aiming to get
the best light in the first place, or close to it, should be the aim.

As far as kit is concerned, my primary camera is a Canon 5DIII, 300mm f2.8/1.4 converter, 200mm f2.8/1.4 converter and I use a
Minolta Autometer IV light meter which reads light down to 1/10 of a stop.

OK it's not as easy as utilising the camera's evaluative (or spot) metering but I find it produces more accurate results....most of the time!!

As with anything, practice and variation can reap rewards.

Sorry if I have confused the issue even further!

Hope that helps.

Droptank.
Droptank

Re: Which shutter speed

Postby Darren50 on Tue 04 Jul 2017, 5:31 pm

LN Strike Eagle wrote:
Darren50 wrote:
LN Strike Eagle wrote:You don't need either of those things to produce good images. Is it definitely a 75-300, or a 70-300?


My mistake, its a 70- 300mm

Canon 70-300 IS?


Yeah thats the one. I have taken it to Clacton, Lowestoft and Southend in the past and between them have managed to get some ok- ish pics, Nothing like that you'd find on here though.
Darren50

Re: Which shutter speed

Postby neville on Tue 04 Jul 2017, 8:00 pm

All sound advice there and plenty of practice will also boost your confidence.

As an aside i once asked someone i was standing next to what exposure he was using (we were shooting trains on a dull day) and he replied

"Somewhere around f8 at a fortnight', never forgotten that...
neville

Re: Which shutter speed

Postby spellow3010 on Wed 05 Jul 2017, 9:12 am

Good information and discussion there folks - thanks :up:
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Re: Which shutter speed

Postby LN Strike Eagle on Thu 06 Jul 2017, 3:29 pm

Darren50 wrote:
LN Strike Eagle wrote:
Darren50 wrote:
LN Strike Eagle wrote:You don't need either of those things to produce good images. Is it definitely a 75-300, or a 70-300?


My mistake, its a 70- 300mm

Canon 70-300 IS?


Yeah thats the one. I have taken it to Clacton, Lowestoft and Southend in the past and between them have managed to get some ok- ish pics, Nothing like that you'd find on here though.

Ok. I used that lens for a number of years. A lot of my photo threads will contain photographs taken with that lens mounted onto either an EOS 20D (8.2MP), or an EOS 50D (15.6MP). They don't compete with the best photographers on here, but I think you're underselling what your current gear is capable of...
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Re: Which shutter speed

Postby Mantog on Mon 10 Jul 2017, 1:17 pm

Wrexham Mackem wrote:Oh and IS can help in mode 2 on the prop stuff but off for the fast jets.

But that's all really. Just enjoy it and look for the shots that 'look right' through the viewfinder. You have a lovely piece of kit there.


Hi

What's the benefit of turning off IS for fast jets?

Bob
Mantog

Re: Which shutter speed

Postby LN Strike Eagle on Mon 10 Jul 2017, 1:50 pm

I turn IS off for everything that isn't static. I don't seem to be able to get along with it and I feel it induces softness, especially for props - I don't know if the IS is detecting the rotation of the prop or something?
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Re: Which shutter speed

Postby Wrexham Mackem on Mon 10 Jul 2017, 3:49 pm

Mantog wrote:
Wrexham Mackem wrote:Oh and IS can help in mode 2 on the prop stuff but off for the fast jets.

But that's all really. Just enjoy it and look for the shots that 'look right' through the viewfinder. You have a lovely piece of kit there.


Hi

What's the benefit of turning off IS for fast jets?

Bob


You'll be shooting with a fast shutter speed which eliminates motion blur, so there is no benefit from leaving IS on. Further to that, IS comes at a price - it takes a little while to spool up and consumes battery power, as well as only operating on side to side panning.

Unless of course you're shooting jets with a low shutter speed, say to get panning blur on the runway.

LN Strike Eagle wrote:I turn IS off for everything that isn't static. I don't seem to be able to get along with it and I feel it induces softness, especially for props - I don't know if the IS is detecting the rotation of the prop or something?


Interesting theory - I thought it worked by detecting motion in the camera itself rather than in the image - in which case it couldn't know a prop was rotating.
Last edited by Wrexham Mackem on Mon 10 Jul 2017, 4:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Which shutter speed

Postby LN Strike Eagle on Mon 10 Jul 2017, 4:04 pm

Don't know. Maybe it's just me, but I can never seem to make use of it unless it's on a static subject. I'll post some examples/comparisons up later.
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Re: Which shutter speed

Postby coanda on Mon 10 Jul 2017, 5:10 pm

LN, I know what you kean regarding image stabilisation and softness.

My Sigma 120-300 f2.8 OS lens with the 1.4x convertor seems to have quite a slow OS. I generally take 5 shots in a row and only one is actually truly sharp when panning aircraft across a range of shutter speeds. The lens appears to be moving in and out of focus and suffering vibration even during a smooth pan. The OS is in mode 2 which is supposed to suit horizontal panning.

It is better without the TC (to be expected) but thats a bit of a problem for the modern airshow scene!
coanda

Re: Which shutter speed

Postby Canon on Mon 10 Jul 2017, 5:13 pm

I could not live without the IS on my Sigma 150-600mm. Interesting that some people seem to hate it

As for settings I use shutter priority (Tv) at 1/320 for most propeller aircraft (switch it up to either 1/400th or 1/500th when they are diving back down from a climb or coming head on and I'm using my lens at full zoom). 1/160th or lower for helicopters. Panning on take offs i use anything between 1/80th to 1/200th depending on how much I want to be guaranteed a shot of the aircraft.
As for jets I used to use aperture priority (Av) f/9. However this year I'm going to use manual to make sure I get at least 1/800th shutter speed.
I always use auto ISO and evaluative metering with centre point focusing
Canon 80D
Canon 600D
Sigma 150-600mm C
Canon 70-300mm L
Sigma 18-300mm C
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Re: Which shutter speed

Postby LN Strike Eagle on Mon 10 Jul 2017, 6:56 pm

Image

OK, couple of 100% crops attached. Both taken on the same day and are broadly similar shots - cockpit/nose close-ups from a rear 3/4 angle, at very comfortable mid-range focal lengths around 130mm. Hurricane on the left was parked with IS set to Mode 1. Mustang on the right was engine running with IS set to Mode 2. Both are on an EF 70-300mm L.

I find this to be very typical of my images whenever there's movement in the frame - it's the same with panning shots on the runway or shots of aircraft in the flying display. I switched the IS off completely at the June evening display and had a better than average keep-rate. I had similar experiences with my old non-L series lens too, but assumed that a more modern L series would have had a better IS system.

What am I doing wrong with the IS?
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Re: Which shutter speed

Postby Big_Gareth on Mon 10 Jul 2017, 7:10 pm

What shutter speed was used for each of these images? Was the one on the right at a slower speed? Don't forget that even if the aircraft was stationary it will still be vibrating slightly if the engine is running.

The IS definitely cannot detect movement in the image.

Also if the aircraft on the right was stationary you would have been best to use IS mode 1
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Re: Which shutter speed

Postby LN Strike Eagle on Mon 10 Jul 2017, 7:23 pm

Mustang 1/125th, Hurricane 1/800th. Mode 2 because although it wasn't moving in this frame, it was about to move off from parking and taxi to the runway. I didn't get a single image that was satisfactorily sharp in this whole burst, even when it had moved away and I was shooting side-on images.

I could give you examples in all kinds of scenarios - jets on taxiways, things landing or taking off etc, even motorsports. I consistently find that is the kind of image I obtain if either IS mode is used on any kind of subject that is moving, or has movement in the frame, and have come to the conclusion that I'm better off without it.
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Re: Which shutter speed

Postby Big_Gareth on Mon 10 Jul 2017, 7:53 pm

I honestly think that the degradation in sharpness is due to the slower shutter speed. I understand completely why you would opt for 1/125 and mode II but there is a big difference between 1/125 and 1/800. I'm not criticising your ability to shoot hand held but I have suffered the same problem over the years. Despite wanting to shoot at slower speeds and thinking that I should be able to achieve 1/125 etc I just don't have a steady enough hand.
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Re: Which shutter speed

Postby LN Strike Eagle on Mon 10 Jul 2017, 10:15 pm

I thought that but I'm not convinced any longer - I've done a lot of experimenting with IS and I just think I get better results when it's off. I was thinking not too long ago that I'd completely lost my ability to shoot stuff at slow speeds - this was at 1/80th without any IS:

ImageHawker Hurricane Mk.I R4118 (G-HUPW) - Hurricane Heritage - Old Warden, June 2017 by Dan B, on Flickr

And these were both 1/50th:

Image
North American Harvard T6 FE511 (G-CIUW) - Hurricane Heritage - Old Warden, June 2017 by Dan B, on Flickr

Image
North American Harvard T6 FE511 (G-CIUW) - Hurricane Heritage - Old Warden, June 2017 by Dan B, on Flickr

All are more technically difficult to achieve - slower shutters at longer focal lengths and panning too. I don't think I'm that bad with a camera that I can't obtain a single sharp shot at relatively close quarters to a stationary/slow moving warbird, even at 1/125th, and that kind of softness is consistent with what I regularly experience when using IS.
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Re: Which shutter speed

Postby Big_Gareth on Tue 11 Jul 2017, 9:02 am

Yes... cracking images and clearly no issues with sharpness there. :clap: Just highlights how frustrating this photography game can be, doesn't it?

Personally I would want to try and prove to myself one way or another whether it was better to turn IS on or off. From this (admittedly tiny) sample it would appear that your results are better without it, but of course you can't tell for sure unless you test the lens with the exact same settings and under the exact same circumstances. It might be that you just 'lucked out' and caught 1 sharp shot from your bursts at Old Warden and then got unlucky with your bursts of the Mustang.

I would go out in the garden and shoot something stationary. Fire a burst of 10 or so shots with IS off and then try to shoot the same thing with exactly the same camera settings apart from turning the lens to IS Mode 1. Then at your next show (or local Motorway etc) repeat again with something like a display team taxiing past (more than one aircraft the same). Try panning with the lens and IS off and then on the next aircraft try IS in mode 2. But you must keep the shutter speed, exposure and length of the burst the same. Do this a few times, compare the results at 100% and then compare. Would be very interested to see your results.
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Re: Which shutter speed

Postby Mantog on Tue 11 Jul 2017, 11:30 am

Big_Gareth wrote:... Do this a few times, compare the results at 100% and then compare. Would be very interested to see your results.


Yes I am genuinely interested to either see the results of this or try it myself if I get chance. I have always (naively?) believed that IS is an advantage when shooting aircraft. Mode 1 when something is static, coming towards me or in the hover, Mode 2 when panning with something flying across my field of vision. The Canon 'infobank' mentions Mode 2 for panning and shows a racing car as an example of usage

"When panning the camera to follow a moving subject, use Mode 2, if available. This switches off the Image Stabilizer in the direction of camera movement to avoid confusing the image stabilisation system. Image stabilisation for movement at right angles to the direction of panning is not affected"

Bob
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