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Olympus OM-D E-M5 The first Micro Four Thirds camera from Olympus with an integrated Electronic Viewfinder

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Old 30th July 2013
Maczero Maczero is offline
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Re: Using the Olympus OM-D to shoot birds in flight

OK

Here goes. First chance to try this since this conversation last week. The only one I am really happy with is the Mute Swan. This was the one which was the most instinctive point-swing-shoot and I guess the most predictable trajectory.



I would value critique on the images of the gulls, since these seem to be regarded as "BIF 101" by some. They seem to be anything but simple to me where I shoot them - quite tight turns and a cluttered background.










I have to say that I find tracking really quite hard, especially as the lens racks in and out trying to find focus (e.g. when I am 'pumping' the trigger release. Compared to the Nikon V1, which snapped into focus quite quickly this took a lot more work. If the V1 had a 600mm equivalent lens I would be very tempted to use it for birds in flight.

I have been using centre-weighted metering and 4 fps, but I saw a post on another website which advocated using 9 fps in case the wing beat obscured the head. Any advice on this?

Andrew
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Old 30th July 2013
davidfarquhar davidfarquhar is offline
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Re: Using the Olympus OM-D to shoot birds in flight

The main issue with 9fps is you lose image stabilisation and the ability to continuously focus. So if shutter speed is high enough and you are using single shot focus you will be fine. I use it occasionally for action for precisely the reason you suggest
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Old 30th July 2013
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Re: Using the Olympus OM-D to shoot birds in flight

Its not straightforward is it Andrew but you haven't done too badly here, as you say "Airbrakes" looks the best focused.

Part of the "hutning" with the focusing may well be that you look to have quite busy backgrounds in most of the shots which may not be helping, how many focus points were you using for these shots? (for the "busy backgrounds" I tend to stick with single point and even then its not always stable - but neither was it with most of my early DSLR + 300mm+ lenses - until I got to the 7D + "L" glass)

9fps will probably do OK if you are constantly working the shutter button and only firing burst of 3 or so, but it stops refocusing the moment you close the button, whereas at 4fps it will continue to refocus between shots, I do tend to stick with 4fps most of the time
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Re: Using the Olympus OM-D to shoot birds in flight

Thanks Brian. One thing, I didn't know that S-AF refocused between shots at 4 fps. I thought that C-AF did that. I know that it doesn't focus between shots at 9 fps. I was using the centre focus point at normal size. Is it worth minimising it (but then the tracking had better be spot on!)?.

Andrew
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Old 30th July 2013
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Re: Using the Olympus OM-D to shoot birds in flight

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I was using the centre focus point at normal size
that's my usual setting too

All I can suggest is practise and getting used to the idea that AF isn't going to work in some situations (have you tried using the manual focus tweak to help the focus system to grab the image, working with SAF + MF setting? I find it can help some times)
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Old 30th July 2013
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Re: Using the Olympus OM-D to shoot birds in flight

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Originally Posted by Maczero View Post
Thanks Brian. One thing, I didn't know that S-AF refocused between shots at 4 fps. I thought that C-AF did that. I know that it doesn't focus between shots at 9 fps.

Andrew
The S-AF refocuses between shots at 4fps every time the shutter is pressed. What it doesn't do is continuously adjust as you track a moving subject with the shutter half pressed, as the C-AF (allegedly) does. To achieve tracking in this situation using S-AF you need to continuously half press and release the shutter button (or dedicated focus button). Of course, this is not true continuous focus tracking but the sheer speed of the S-AF makes it viable and through practice Brian does seem to have developed it to a fine art.
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Re: Using the Olympus OM-D to shoot birds in flight

That's what I thought. Maybe more coffee to get my trigger finger twitching fast enough?
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Re: Using the Olympus OM-D to shoot birds in flight

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That's what I thought. Maybe more coffee to get my trigger finger twitching fast enough?
Haha, I have a problem with my shutter finger twitching involuntarily and sometimes I inadvertantly achieve about 5fps when I didn't even mean to take a picture! Glad I'm not using film!
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Re: Using the Olympus OM-D to shoot birds in flight

I'm finding my 300mm f/4.5 OM very nice for BIF now I seem to have killed the fungus in it by baking it in the oven.

It was my BIF lens in my OM using days (often with a 1.4x) but haven't used it much in the past decade or two.
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Re: Using the Olympus OM-D to shoot birds in flight

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Originally Posted by David M View Post
I'm finding my 300mm f/4.5 OM very nice for BIF now I seem to have killed the fungus in it by baking it in the oven.

It was my BIF lens in my OM using days (often with a 1.4x) but haven't used it much in the past decade or two.
Is that recomended by Olympus?
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Re: Using the Olympus OM-D to shoot birds in flight

John, the 300mm hadn't been out of my equipment cabinet since I tested it on my E-1 in 2006 or 2007. Having resurrected all my legacy manual focus primes I discovered fungus in the 300mm so I baked it in the oven for a few days to try to dry out and kill the fungus.
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Re: Using the Olympus OM-D to shoot birds in flight

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Originally Posted by David M View Post
John, the 300mm hadn't been out of my equipment cabinet since I tested it on my E-1 in 2006 or 2007. Having resurrected all my legacy manual focus primes I discovered fungus in the 300mm so I baked it in the oven for a few days to try to dry out and kill the fungus.
Let's hope the lens didn't develop any hot spots.
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Re: Using the Olympus OM-D to shoot birds in flight

I rotated all my other legacy glass through the oven after the 300mm. Well apart from my 350mm which would probably break the shelf in the oven!
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Old 31st July 2013
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Re: Using the Olympus OM-D to shoot birds in flight

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I rotated all my other legacy glass through the oven after the 300mm. Well apart from my 350mm which would probably break the shelf in the oven!
That would make you popular.

The things our wives have to put up with - film in the fridge (OK not for a while) and now lenses in the oven. I suppose the next thing will be camera bodies in the freezer to cure hot pixels and Benedict putting his tripod head in the washing machine to get the sand out!
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Old 31st July 2013
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Re: Using the Olympus OM-D to shoot birds in flight

Quote:
Originally Posted by David M View Post
I'm finding my 300mm f/4.5 OM very nice for BIF now I seem to have killed the fungus in it by baking it in the oven.

It was my BIF lens in my OM using days (often with a 1.4x) but haven't used it much in the past decade or two.
Sounds interesting (not the "Lens Baking" part ) is that lens capable of AF through an adapter or are you shooting in manual focus?
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