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Old 22 February 2010, 03:59   #1
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Taking pictures from a Rib

After many trips to our local seal colony, I'm fed up with blurred pictures..I cant get too close so I have to use a telephoto lens. The motion of the sea, boat, and me just doesn't work.I use a Canon 40d with a 75-300 lens. Would it be better to try to use a tripod or mount the camera somewhere on the boat?
Any help or tips would be fantastic
Thanks
Tony
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Old 22 February 2010, 05:37   #2
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No expert Tony, but you might try resting the lens on a small bean bag, either draped over a guard rail, or on a free-held pole/monopod. I'm assuming you've already increased the ASA/ISO to the highest useable rating. Ditto "no-shake" button. I'd experiment with shutter speeds to establish the workable minimum speed for future serious shots.

I don't think fixing the camera to the boat or using a tripod will help, unless the boat is motionless.
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Old 22 February 2010, 06:10   #3
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pictures from rib

this is what i did
iso=400, f=4. speed 125/250/500 & all combination there of the only thing that gave crisp shots was a very sunny day ,no swell .

i then changed to sigma18/200 & 150/500 you must use these lenses hand held they dont work on a tripod they claim to drop to 1/30 ,i have used them at 125 ,100iso ,f8 and been amazed.
cannon & nikon make the same type of lense but cost more have a look on the web & may be hire one i think they are great
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Old 22 February 2010, 06:15   #4
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sorry forgot to say
sigma dc optical stabilizer 18/200 or 150/500
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Old 22 February 2010, 07:09   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paul holder View Post
this is what i did
iso=400, f=4. speed 125/250/500 & all combination there of the only thing that gave crisp shots was a very sunny day ,no swell .

i then changed to sigma18/200 & 150/500 you must use these lenses hand held they dont work on a tripod they claim to drop to 1/30 ,i have used them at 125 ,100iso ,f8 and been amazed.
cannon & nikon make the same type of lense but cost more have a look on the web & may be hire one i think they are great
Hi thanks for all your help
I have the Sigma 150-500 and had really dissapointing results from it. I have always used it on a tripod..
I will try the 150-500 hand held next time..
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Old 22 February 2010, 08:48   #6
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Hi thanks for all your help
I have the Sigma 150-500 and had really dissapointing results from it. I have always used it on a tripod..
I will try the 150-500 hand held next time..
Hi Tony, You have to turn to Vibration reduction off if you are going to use it on a tripod. It seems the the system starts to get confused and can induce vibration when there is none to compensate. The Sigma is a pretty good lens over most of it's focal length and you should get good results using the previously posted advice. Good luck and let us know how you get on.

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Old 22 February 2010, 13:18   #7
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General rule of thumb is to use the reciprocal of the focal length as the shutter speed. i.e. a 300mm lens needs 1/300 th of a second shutter speed to obtain a sharp picture. I'm not sure if your camera affects focal lenght by 1.5 or 2 times. In other words your 300 lens may be acting as a 450mm. In which case you need 1/450.

Might be worth trying it at 200mm. You may find the aperture is wider and allows a faster shutter speed to obtain correct exposure. The longer the zoom the 'slower' the lens (smaller aperture) and therefore the slower the shutter speed required. If you are really serious it would be worth picking up a prime lens with a fast aperture, say f2.8. Pricey though.
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Old 22 February 2010, 14:52   #8
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I'm no camera expert but I would suggest you're not getting enough light into the camera at the higher zoom levels and thus the camera is selecting a slower shutter speed.

To solve this you'll need one of those paparazzi lenses that cost the earth.
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Old 22 February 2010, 15:31   #9
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Good lens to use is Canon 70-200 F4 IS, or, better still, Canon 70-200 2.8 IS. Both cost! Canon 70-300 IS is a big improvement over 75-300. You will need a high shutter speed, with IS to combat boat motion. Maybe select TY(shutter speed) of about 800 with auto iso.I use a 50D plus 17-55 2.8 or 70-200 2.8 IS. Tripod or bean bag cannot beat knees and arms plus boat aligned with wave to give most regular(predictable) motion.
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Old 22 February 2010, 15:45   #10
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Quote:
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General rule of thumb is to use the reciprocal of the focal length as the shutter speed. i.e. a 300mm lens needs 1/300 th of a second shutter speed to obtain a sharp picture. I'm not sure if your camera affects focal lenght by 1.5 or 2 times. In other words your 300 lens may be acting as a 450mm. In which case you need 1/450.

Might be worth trying it at 200mm. You may find the aperture is wider and allows a faster shutter speed to obtain correct exposure. The longer the zoom the 'slower' the lens (smaller aperture) and therefore the slower the shutter speed required. If you are really serious it would be worth picking up a prime lens with a fast aperture, say f2.8. Pricey though.
Very good advice there.
The canon 40D has very good low light performance for it's spec. Even ISO1600 can give reasonable quality. Going along the rules erin pointed out your camera has a 1.6 crop factor to the sensor so your getting 480mm when you have it set at 300mm.

Try setting the camera to ISO800 and use the RAW format (not Jpeg), spot metering, set the widest (lowest f number i.e f2.8) aperture that your lens can go down to. Then in manual mode set the shutter speed so the camera slighty under exposes the shot by say 1.5 to 2 stops(metering to the left of the read out).
This will give you the fastest shutter speed, will make sure non of the whites of the water will burn out and when you put the RAW file through a good RAW converter on your computer (the one that came with your camera isn't too bad) you can then mess about with the exposure while retaining the high lights and shadows.

You 40D is a very capable camera

If your using an IS lens then check out what way it actually compensates. Some lenses only compensate left to right movement or up and down. Not both and could make matters allot worse at sea.
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