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Old January 23rd, 2004, 05:15 PM   #16
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My easiest (and cheapest) option will be just expose for the birds and ignore everything else. The Canon XL1 does have AE Shift - if I set it to "-1" (or whatever value that eliminates the "zebra" pattern on the birds), will that be as good as using it on manual setting? Framing a moving bird is already hard enough (at 16X with 1.6 teleconvertor). Framing and adjusting the aperature (on manul mode) is too hard for me - if possible, I rather let the camera handle those stuff. (Of course, if the light don't change that much, manual exposure will be the best). However, I will try out Norm's suggestion ("switch to manual aperature and close 1 - 2 stops").

I use B+W multi-coated Cir-POL filters. I think it is one of the best available. BUT, as Jeff points out, a PL or GRAD filter won't help when the subject is white (and the meter is over-exposing) against an average gray background (mangrove swamp).

Kevin, I took a look at the Tiffen Ultra Contrast filters - but I don't think it works for my situation. I am not shooting in shadows, and having a bright morning sun didn't help.

Brian, thanks for the offer. I rather test it out what I state in the first paragraph and if it works for me - so much the better, rather than bothering you to host the pictures in your website.

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Old January 23rd, 2004, 06:33 PM   #17
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Norm, a C-POL will not reduce or eliminate flare.

TS, set the gain to -3db and use the built in ND. I try not to shout above F8 or F11 unless I really need the great DOF. Use the zebra bars to judge your exposure on the highlights (white birds) and maybe go 1/2 stop lower to be on the safe side.

When your budget permits get the XL-EF EOS adapter so that you can use Canon 35mm lenses on the XL1. The adapter will allow you to zoom much closer to your subjects. Getting closer will help control the dynamic range to some degree by the subject occupying a greater portion of the image. I hope this helps.
Jeff Donald
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Old January 26th, 2004, 08:46 AM   #18
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I wrote flare, but I meant GLARE!

(English is my 2nd language. Pardon me)
Norm :)
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Old January 31st, 2004, 08:13 AM   #19
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Hi everybody,

I pushed the GAIN down to -3db, put a PL-CIR filter in front, and also, occassionally, set the AE to -0.5 to -1.0 to eliminate the zebra on the bird's feathers. Problem is solved. Thanks for the help.
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