What settings for safari at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Under Water, Over Land

Under Water, Over Land
Tools & Techniques for Nature, Outdoors, Wildlife & Underwater Videography.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old November 19th, 2007, 01:07 PM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 938
What settings for safari

Soon I'll spend a week in 2 hides beside lofty "restaurants" for Eagles and buzzards. This is a chance of a lifetime. My Canon XM2(GL2) is rarin' to go. Unfortunately my XM2 is depending on me to know how to make good use of this chance. I know I don't know. There's a 50/50 chance I'll mess it up.

Here's one of the hides and a shot of 2 eagles 35metres (36yards) from the hide. I accept that no 2 Canons are the same but I would appreciate informed opinion on the precise settings you would expect to use with YOUR Canon cam.; please assume that sunlight will not be strong (time of year in Europe)and that there will be some cloud at 2000metres.
Attached Thumbnails
What settings for safari-hide.jpg   What settings for safari-golden-eagles.jpg  

Brendan Marnell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 19th, 2007, 06:23 PM   #2
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Oppland, Norway
Posts: 1,394
Hi Brendan, those where beautiful pics of the eagles!

I'm not sure if I understand your question Brendan. Are you going to use the XM2 or any other Canon camcorder. If that the case I will definitive recommend either the XL2 or XLH1 for interchangeable lenses!
The H1 would be the state of the art in this place! I have been myself in a hide approx in this distance from Eagles and Ravens and beside the 20x lens for totals and close-up I used the 300mm a lot, which gives you 2100mm focal length on the XL-series. Then you could have extreme close-ups of the Eagles head!
Beside recommend camcorders and lenses, there will be impossible to tell you any further settings to use without being there. The light will of course change during the day, for me early morning and late evening are the very best to shoot in. I also use a polarization filter often even in overcast weather to emphasize the colors.
__________________
- Per Johan
Per Johan Naesje is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 19th, 2007, 06:33 PM   #3
Trustee
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Kent UK
Posts: 1,397
I have wanted to see and film golden eagles for years....I tried to see some in the French alps this Summer but no luck. Managed to see an Osprey though which was a close second. Where is it your going? As Per said I'm not quite sure what your asking for help on ???
Mat Thompson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 19th, 2007, 11:50 PM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Fairfield, Dunedin, New Zealand
Posts: 3,634
Images: 18
Hi Brendan.........

I too am unsure what you are exactly asking, but I can comment on the picture of the Eagles (very good BTW).

Your statement that they were 35 metres (36 yards) isn't entirely accurate, well, not from what showed on my screen, anyway.

The picture "falls off" on the LHS due to it being either closer or further away from the plane of focus, which on the RHS appears to be nearly perfect.

This has happened to me on numerous occasions, till I finally got sick to death of it and found a solution.

With any such shot, I first use my Nikon 1200s laser rangefinder to ascertain just what distances each side of the prospective frame actually are from the camera, and, depending on whereabouts in the frame the chosen targets are, use that distance measurement to accurately focus the lens.

In the frame you posted, a focus distance midway between the extremes of the LHS & RHS may have just about done it, BUT, depending on the difference of the two measurements, it may have been necessary to stop the lens down to unacceptable levels in order to get the required DOF.

The downside of the Nikon is it's resolution is to .5 metres and it does not work below 10 metres. It's up side is it works to beyond the XH A1's (accurate) focus distance limit of about 950 metres.

There is a Leica unit much more accurate (to 20mm or less up to about 500 metres I think) that may be a better bet for you. Worth checking out, especially in a static hide situation.

The beauty of this system is you are not relying on your eye resolution with the diddy LCD to get the focus right, as long as you check the camera measurements against the LRF beforehand in case the camera is out (could well be) in which case you can work out "offsets" to allow for that.

Need any more tips, just ask.


CS
Chris Soucy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 20th, 2007, 12:55 AM   #5
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Yaad, Galilee
Posts: 117
Hi Brendan, I bet you are going to have great fun.
I don't have a Canon xm2 so i can't help with presets or the kind.
I think it is a great opportunity. Would you care to explain the situation more thoroughly, (some of it for the sake of my curiosity) I think the more we know the better we can advice.
Please let us know what would be the distance from the Eagles (oops 35m...),
What hours are you going to be there (are you going to be stuck there all day ?), will you share the hide with other photographers ?
That is my advice...be prepared!
Try in your backyard a target (object) the same size of the Eagles and same distance, see how it looks in the widest setting of the lens and how it would look if you zoom all the way in (ok, just to give you some confidence).
The exposure would be good anyway I would try to go as close to 1/50 f4 when the birds are on the ground (use the two built in ND filters) but when gliding go to 1/250 or 1/500 and close the iris a bit (for more DOF), be prepared to do it fast enough.
Considering the above, write down (for me it would be the best way) What shots would you like to have and what are you going to get.
You will have only one angle to shoot (bad) but you'll have few settings on the zoom ( one of which will be default). Remember to take some shoots of the surround without the Eagles and with them (try on different hours).
The spacial situation would be when the birds go down, take of or glide.
Try to predict as well (directions etc. ), because of the close ranges follow focus would be difficult, I think it would be better to shoot this wide with a minimal pan and not try zoom in or follow focus.
If the birds are gliding at longer ranges try both a wide view of the scenery with the eagles and also some tight views.
For audio, if you can then borrow a directional mic (put a dead cat on it) ,some of the audio might tern up useful.
Last, from my short experience, no matter how good would your footage tern up , if you'll have a second chance the footage will be much better , so if you can I recommend a second opportunity.
Sassi
Sassi Haham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 20th, 2007, 07:59 AM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 938
Quote:
Originally Posted by Per Johan Naesje View Post
... will be impossible to tell you any further settings to use without being there. The light will of course change during the day, for me early morning and late evening are the very best to shoot in. I also use a polarization filter often even in overcast weather to emphasize the colors.
Thank you Per Johan. I do not have filters on my XM2 or EF 100-400 and I will get polarisers for both. I wish I had XLH1 but XM2 is all I can afford.
Brendan Marnell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 20th, 2007, 08:09 AM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 938
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mat Thompson View Post
.......... Where is it your going? As Per said I'm not quite sure what your asking for help on ???
Sofia is the nearest international airport, Mat. I'll tell more when I know more.

I'm hoping to get tips on being ready to respond rapidly and silently to the few brief chances I get. There are so many ways of making a balls of this ... on my last venture in Crete I managed to mistake the "tungsten" setting for the "sunshine" setting [for a whole week, I still weep at the memory] using SLR + 100-400.
Brendan Marnell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 20th, 2007, 08:30 AM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 938
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Soucy View Post
I too am unsure what you are exactly asking,

........Your statement that they were 35 metres (36 yards) isn't entirely accurate, well, not from what showed on my screen, anyway.

The picture "falls off" on the LHS due to it being either closer or further away from the plane of focus, which on the RHS appears to be nearly perfect.
.........
In the frame you posted, a focus distance midway between the extremes of the LHS & RHS may have just about done it, BUT, depending on the difference of the two measurements, it may have been necessary to stop the lens down to unacceptable levels in order to get the required DOF. .......

Need any more tips, just ask. CS
Thank you Chris. You're right that the LHS is not as sharp as RHS and that DOF, if I could get it, might solve the problem. I think I'll rely on autofocus to pinpoint the eagles after landing and then switch to manual so that I don't lose them while they're stationary ...
Brendan Marnell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 20th, 2007, 08:45 AM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 938
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sassi Haham View Post
... What hours are you going to be there (are you going to be stuck there all day ?), will you share the hide with other photographers ?
That is my advice...be prepared!
Try in your backyard a target (object) the same size of the Eagles and same distance, see how it looks in the widest setting of the lens and how it would look if you zoom all the way in (ok, just to give you some confidence).
The exposure would be good anyway I would try to go as close to 1/50 f4 when the birds are on the ground (use the two built in ND filters) but when gliding go to 1/250 or 1/500 and close the iris a bit (for more DOF), be prepared to do it fast enough.
Considering the above, write down (for me it would be the best way) What shots would you like to have and what are you going to get.
You will have only one angle to shoot (bad) but you'll have few settings on the zoom ( one of which will be default). Remember to take some shoots of the surround without the Eagles and with them (try on different hours).
The spacial situation would be when the birds go down, take of or glide.
Try to predict as well (directions etc. ), because of the close ranges follow focus would be difficult, I think it would be better to shoot this wide with a minimal pan and not try zoom in or follow focus.
If the birds are gliding at longer ranges try both a wide view of the scenery with the eagles and also some tight views.
For audio, if you can then borrow a directional mic (put a dead cat on it) ,some of the audio might tern up useful.
Last, from my short experience, no matter how good would your footage tern up , if you'll have a second chance the footage will be much better , so if you can I recommend a second opportunity.
Sassi
This is very helpful Sassi. You do have the skill of getting into and visualising situations in detail. 'Sounds like the voice of birdflight-shooting experience and I'll probably get back to you when I've begun to understand ND filters. There is an ND switch, I know that, and there's s bloody blinker that appears in sunny weather ... which, so far, I have learned blinks to tell me I'm on holidays in the Med ... after that !!! The combo of 1/50 f4 is clever. I have found that f7.1 gives me up to 1/1200 for action shots with SLR in bright autumn sunshine but I really have not worked out what to do with XM2 in this regard. The main thing is you have raised the questions, suggested useful practice and I'm just about able to understand their importance to my trip ... now where's the manual ... I love the idea of a second trip already but life's getting shorter ...
Brendan Marnell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 26th, 2007, 09:28 PM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Saskatchewan
Posts: 3,004
Brendan,

First have a great time on your trip.

Sassi offers some good advice.

Definitely put the nd filter on and forget that it is blinking at you when you are shooting, unless you have low light conditions of course.

I like to use the TV mode alot. I prefer the 1/60 as you know and then that gives me a smaller aperature that then gives me better depth of field so that my flying images have better opportunity to stay in focus.

If you have a change in light the aperature will automaticly change and that can be a problem if you are in the middle of a good shot.

I would use manual set the way I want and then leave it ready to manually change the aperature when needed.

Presets are always different depending on the richness of the colors available. That is where doing as sassi recomended of shooting footage without the birds is a great idea. Panning across the bright sky and then infront of a dark cliff is always going to be tuff

Definitely take your white card and set your white balance!! you will get better color on your gl2. xm2's and gl2's take beautiful footage if given half a chance.


shoot shoot shoot. If you do some tests talk to your mic so later you will know the settings and such!!!

Again, Have a great trip!! I wait eagerly to see your footage!!
__________________
DATS ALL FOLKS
Dale W. Guthormsen
Dale Guthormsen is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Under Water, Over Land

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:49 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network