Olympus UK E-System User Group
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Looking for improvement This is the e-group critique board. If you post a picture here it will be assumed that you are looking for comprehensive technical feedback - both good and bad, but always respectful. Only post pictures here if you can deal with potentially negative constructive criticism. Anyone is qualified to comment and post feedback, and everyone is encouraged to do so. NB: "Looking for Improvement" is the place to post any pictures you would like advice on improving, no matter how bad you might think they are.

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  #1  
Old 13th October 2012
markthompson
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blurred!! me or settings

i like to take action pics like the one below but to me this just is not clear enough for me! some images come out amazing (to me they are) other's are like this, i'm not sure if its me rushing to get the good pic or my settings are way out. i use an e500 with either a 45-150 on af or a 70-300 on mf shutter speed 1/125 1/250 on shutter priority mode. Any suggestions would be greatly appreaciated
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  #2  
Old 13th October 2012
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Re: blurred!! me or settings

I've never shot moto, but if its anything like BIF shooting I'd crank the shutter speed up to 1/500 and let fly. If 1/500 is killing you on aperture, then up the ISO, or back it down to 1/400 and take a look at your aperture. It is a pretty good general rule of thumb that Olympus lens sharpness is at its best about two stops up from wide open. As both your lenses are f4.0/5.6 you would be looking at a preferred aperture of perhaps 7.1 or 8.0 assuming you are shooting at the longer end of the lens. All that being said, I'd run a progression of test series of maybe 20 shots each using a shutter speed progression of 1/250, 1/320, 1/400, 1/500 for - in succession - ISO 200, 320, 400 and 640. As your shooting conditions will remain essentially unchanged, the resultant images ought to give you a pretty good idea of where the "sweet spot" for your particular kit resides.


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  #3  
Old 13th October 2012
Ulfric M Douglas Ulfric M Douglas is offline
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Re: blurred!! me or settings

What if along with the panning (which looks good to me) you've got some other vertical 'shake'?
Another thing about solving softness in a moving picture : nothing at all is frozen so nothing can be sharp, so there's no way to detect back or front focus, or even totally missed autofocus.
There's a LOT of this type of picture on TalkPhotography forums, they even have a whole thread. Maybe you're already asking there, but that'd be the place to ask in my opinion.
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Old 13th October 2012
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Re: blurred!! me or settings

That's a pretty good photo as it is. If you are after really sharp pictures then I think it's not so much your camera settings but your technique. You have selected shutter priority, which is correct for this shot, and the speed is fine as the bike's wheels have just the right blur. The technique is to set manual focus (which you have) and pre-focus on the spot where the bike will be when you take the shot. Then you have to pan the camera with the subject, from the lead-in, through the action whilst taking the shot and keep on panning a little after. This takes practice.

I think you have a great shot here. I would be very pleased with this.

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Old 13th October 2012
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Re: blurred!! me or settings

As Steve says shutter speed is good, good sense of speed blurred wheels. Don't go as high as 500th far too fast for panning, it would freeze the action. But I think you worked that out. The technique described by Steve is a good one and will give good results. You maybe using C-AF which can also be used to good effect. Is this shot one of a sequence or the only shot you took of this bike? 70-300 is not the fastest focussing lens so if you take a sequence it doesn't always focus accurately on all the shots. Above all practice I have shot Motorsport for a number of years I still discard many shots after a days shotting. With what you have shown already you are getting some good results.
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Old 13th October 2012
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Re: blurred!! me or settings

Mark, I think you beat yourself up too much, this type of photography is not easy! By shooting at 1/125th you increase your chances of a really great shot if everything else works out perfectly, but decrease you chances of that happening. There is little room for the slightest error when panning fast moving bikes at that speed. You could give focus a bit more leeway by closing the aperture by one stop and increasing the ISO to compensate. Your panning technique is basically good (very good), you've already demonstarted that in other pictures, but you won't get it spot on all the time. It should help a little when you get a camera with IS, but it won't be a magic cure.

Here's one I was quite pleased with; it was part of my successful LRPS panel. Note, however, that it was taken at 1/200th @ f9 and I'm certain that your bike was travelling a heck of a lot faster than mine! Using 5 fps on my E-3, I also had a number of frames to choose from and the CAF is certainly more usable than on the E-500 (which I've also got). I was also using IS set for vertical movement correction only.

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Old 16th October 2012
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Re: blurred!! me or settings

Ulfric! Fancy redirecting someone to TP!!

Hi Mark, don't go increasing your shutter speed.....it will make the subjects looked parked on the track especially at 1/500, It is going to be your technique.

It appears that you want action shots with clear detail. This is going to result in a very low keep rate and some days you may get none, I recently went to goodwood revival and out of 500+ shots I had a dozen keepers because I was trying new things particularly low shutter stuff 1/10 to 1/80.

Practice your panning technique,
you should have a firm foothold,
have your feet at least shoulder width apart
only twist from the waist up.
Ensure you can turn around 180 degrees whilst following your subject.
The 70-300 is a heavy lens make sure it is supported underneath at its furthest part away from the body.

The hardest part is ensuring you pan with the exact same spot on the subject and don't stop moving with the subject once you have pressed the shutter.

Bikes are very hard because the bike and rider aren't always doing the same thing. Eg Bike is moving right to left whilst rider can be going up or down or side to side. Find a spot where the rider is going to make no adjustments, long straight or bang on the apex. In your shot above I think the rider has just cranked the bike over to power out of the turn resulting in the blur.

Start at 1/300th and work your way down. Your kit is more than capable, just practice turning with the subject, I used to practice on the side of the A5!!

I use an E400 and I also have a 70-300 which is one of my favourite lenses.


1/80th

SR8 Mini STAR Autograss Crudginton Pete Berry 1/80th by Tim J Preston, on Flickr

1/40th

Goodwood Revival 2012 15 1/40th Handheld by Tim J Preston, on Flickr

1/30th

Pirtek Racing 77 Andrew Jordan shot at 1 30th BTCC Media Day by Tim J Preston, on Flickr

1/15th

Motorbase Performance 6 Liam Griffin shot at 1 15th BTCC Media Day by Tim J Preston, on Flickr

These are just an idea of what to expect at various speeds. Remember though the lower you go the better your technique has to be, the lower I go I try and include more surroundings using lenses virtually closed right up. The surroundings then give you a sense of speed rather than just wheels.

Hope this is of help.
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Old 16th October 2012
markthompson
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Re: blurred!! me or settings

Quote:
Originally Posted by timmypreston View Post
Ulfric! Fancy redirecting someone to TP!!

Hi Mark, don't go increasing your shutter speed.....it will make the subjects looked parked on the track especially at 1/500, It is going to be your technique.

It appears that you want action shots with clear detail. This is going to result in a very low keep rate and some days you may get none, I recently went to goodwood revival and out of 500+ shots I had a dozen keepers because I was trying new things particularly low shutter stuff 1/10 to 1/80.

Practice your panning technique,
you should have a firm foothold,
have your feet at least shoulder width apart
only twist from the waist up.
Ensure you can turn around 180 degrees whilst following your subject.
The 70-300 is a heavy lens make sure it is supported underneath at its furthest part away from the body.

The hardest part is ensuring you pan with the exact same spot on the subject and don't stop moving with the subject once you have pressed the shutter.

Bikes are very hard because the bike and rider aren't always doing the same thing. Eg Bike is moving right to left whilst rider can be going up or down or side to side. Find a spot where the rider is going to make no adjustments, long straight or bang on the apex. In your shot above I think the rider has just cranked the bike over to power out of the turn resulting in the blur.

Start at 1/300th and work your way down. Your kit is more than capable, just practice turning with the subject, I used to practice on the side of the A5!!

I use an E400 and I also have a 70-300 which is one of my favourite lenses.


1/80th

SR8 Mini STAR Autograss Crudginton Pete Berry 1/80th by Tim J Preston, on Flickr

1/40th

Goodwood Revival 2012 15 1/40th Handheld by Tim J Preston, on Flickr

1/30th

Pirtek Racing 77 Andrew Jordan shot at 1 30th BTCC Media Day by Tim J Preston, on Flickr

1/15th

Motorbase Performance 6 Liam Griffin shot at 1 15th BTCC Media Day by Tim J Preston, on Flickr

These are just an idea of what to expect at various speeds. Remember though the lower you go the better your technique has to be, the lower I go I try and include more surroundings using lenses virtually closed right up. The surroundings then give you a sense of speed rather than just wheels.

Hope this is of help.
wow impressive im gonna try what you have suggested thank you
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Old 16th October 2012
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Re: blurred!! me or settings

Keep it up, nice to see another Motorsport fan on the forum!
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Old 16th October 2012
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Re: blurred!! me or settings

Tim, that's great advice, not just for Mark but for all of us. Thanks!
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Old 17th October 2012
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Re: blurred!! me or settings

Thanks John,

Mark, I have just spent 10 minutes going through your photostream on Flickr. You've got some stunning car and bike images on there!

You really shouldn't be so hard on yourself lol, even the pros put pics in the recycle bin!

Love the close up bike/rider images on your stream.
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Old 17th October 2012
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Re: blurred!! me or settings

Quote:
Originally Posted by timmypreston View Post
Thanks John,

Mark, I have just spent 10 minutes going through your photostream on Flickr. You've got some stunning car and bike images on there!

You really shouldn't be so hard on yourself lol, even the pros put pics in the recycle bin!

Love the close up bike/rider images on your stream.
Thanks mate i think the trouble is i was getting good pics when i first started but the do seem to be going downhill now. maybe i have played with too many settings on the camera. back at cadwell next weekend with the camera going through a reset then try just the basic settings again
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Old 17th October 2012
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Re: blurred!! me or settings

You seem to be getting your best results using

1/250th
F4.3
ISO 125 (depends on light)
Using focal length of 120mm ish

On the jump shots, over the brow, use 1/800th it will stay sharp and you don't need the sense of motion but you will retain masses of detail.

Do you have processing software?
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Old 17th October 2012
markthompson
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Re: blurred!! me or settings

hi tim thanks for the advise, i will try them again when i'm next at cadwell. no these are just as shot though i do sometimes try picasa but not overly impressed with it.

mark
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Old 17th October 2012
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Re: blurred!! me or settings

Invest in some processing software, a sharpen along with a saturation and contrast boost make all the difference. Cropping is also handy for improving composition.

I use this
Amazon Amazon



Nothing too fancy but it does everything needed and is cheap enough too.
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