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Extreme telephoto work


kye
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The other day I noticed the sunset and decided to have a go at filming the sunset at super-telephoto so that the sun fills a large section of the frame and you see all the atmospheric distortions and stuff.

First attempt was a write-off because I stuffed up the focus.  Second attempt was better as I was able to focus better, and then closed the aperture a few stops to make sure I got it.  I stuffed up the settings as I still had it on my normal auto-exposure and auto-WB, so that's why I'm only posting this still, however I think I'm getting closer..

Sunset2-1s.thumb.jpg.f541bad6627c3ad43b98b67fba0089d4.jpg

This was shot in 4K but I think next time I will do a normal time-lapse and get the benefits of RAW and a better ISO as there is quite a bit of grain in the file.

The setup seems to work though: GH5, Canon FD 70-210 F4 at 210mm F11, Canon FD 2x TC.  Setup on a packet of oats for stability in the breeze we had, and on top of a pillar on the fence.  I suspect that at 840mm equivalent that stability is one of the key factors here, and the oats seemed to do the trick.  Once I get it all setup then I can probably put a bag of pasta or something on the top to further damp it and deflect some of the wind.

IMG_4102.thumb.jpg.e6aae4208b8eab434442bc588b19908c.jpg

Yesterday was cloudy so no sunset, but hopefully tomorrow I'll get another go with fixed settings and in time-lapse mode and I'll be able to post a video instead of just a still :) 

Anyone else shooting longer than 600mm, or 800mm equivalents?

 

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3 hours ago, billdoubleu said:

I admire your desire to experiment and better learn the craft. Hopefully the neighbors don't think you're a creep!!

the jury is still out on that ?

I am curious at what point the sun becomes too much for the camera and damage is done. I know they tell us to get filters for eclipses regardless of viewing naked eye or telescope   and i have tried shooting the setting sun myself when there has been smoke around and the sun is really quite red and spectacular. Probably shouldn't be looking at the sun through the viewfinder with 2x converter and a 300mm however ?

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I've done a couple of 1000mm+ equivalent shots with the GH5 and FD 400mm lens. Mainly to capture the sunset and moon. I also use the Ex-tele conversion on the GH5 to gain another 1.4 crop (or shoot 6K mode and crop in post).

  • I got this system to hold the lens, it's much better than a regular tripod attached to a super front heavy GH5. The key is to balance the system and place your tripod right above the CG. https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/554350-REG/Manfrotto_293_293_Telephoto_Lens_Support.html
  • Then, you need a solid and rigid tripod. I tend to keep the legs relatively short to maintain the stiffness of the system.
  • In any case, I turned the IBIS off as it cannot stabilize that type of micro vibrations.
  • I also use a relatively high shutter speed, it allows to do a bit of post stabilization if necessary. 180 rule will turn any vibration in a blurry mess.
  • As for focusing, I focus directly on the subject or to something very far away, changing the ISO if necessary between the focus point and the real subject (eg, sunset).
  • Finally, you'll need a day with little or no wind

 

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19 hours ago, barefoot_dp said:

I regularly shoot surfing at about 1500mm equivalent (s35 + 500mm + 2x). A good tripod makes all the difference.
The hardest part is pulling focus on a moving object using photo lenses that have an increasingly tiny throw as you move towards infinity.

Yeah, the focus would be hard - for football season I shoot highlights at my kids games and so I spend a bit of time manually pulling focus at around 200-400mm equivalent, but you're in another whole league at 1500mm.

One challenge I have with my rig is that it's on a TC and also a dumb adapter but the lens doesn't have a hot shoe, so it's being supported by the camera (and I also hold the weight of the lens with the hand that's focusing) but getting some additional lens support would be ideal in future.

15 hours ago, Inazuma said:

I haven't done any extreme telephoto work but this is my favourite example of it in a music video

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/features/kendrick-lamar-kings-dead-music-video-zooms-black-panther-a8220841.html

That is a really cool video and awesome zooms.  Thanks for posting the article, some good tech talk in there and it makes sense they would have needed a robot - those focal lengths are really difficult to manage, especially with those fast transitions.  Luckily the sun doesn't require me to move the camera!!

11 hours ago, billdoubleu said:

I admire your desire to experiment and better learn the craft. Hopefully the neighbors don't think you're a creep!!

lol, let's hope!  One of our neighbours has a two storey house with a balcony and they're often out there so I'm not the only one.  Of course, I can't really see into other peoples backyards from that angle either, so there's that.

7 hours ago, leslie said:

the jury is still out on that ?

I am curious at what point the sun becomes too much for the camera and damage is done. I know they tell us to get filters for eclipses regardless of viewing naked eye or telescope   and i have tried shooting the setting sun myself when there has been smoke around and the sun is really quite red and spectacular. Probably shouldn't be looking at the sun through the viewfinder with 2x converter and a 300mm however ?

well, not an optical viewfinder anyway!

I have no idea at what point the sun is too much, but I'm shooting without filters, although at F4 the lens is hardly super fast.

7 hours ago, OliKMIA said:

I've done a couple of 1000mm+ equivalent shots with the GH5 and FD 400mm lens. Mainly to capture the sunset and moon. I also use the Ex-tele conversion on the GH5 to gain another 1.4 crop (or shoot 6K mode and crop in post).

  • I got this system to hold the lens, it's much better than a regular tripod attached to a super front heavy GH5. The key is to balance the system and place your tripod right above the CG. https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/554350-REG/Manfrotto_293_293_Telephoto_Lens_Support.html
  • Then, you need a solid and rigid tripod. I tend to keep the legs relatively short to maintain the stiffness of the system.
  • In any case, I turned the IBIS off as it cannot stabilize that type of micro vibrations.
  • I also use a relatively high shutter speed, it allows to do a bit of post stabilization if necessary. 180 rule will turn any vibration in a blurry mess.
  • As for focusing, I focus directly on the subject or to something very far away, changing the ISO if necessary between the focus point and the real subject (eg, sunset).
  • Finally, you'll need a day with little or no wind

Thanks - interesting setup.  I went with the oats solution as it keeps the camera low to the ground so that air is only going to go over the top of it rather than around it with lots of turbulence, and the oats also provides multiple points of contact rather than there being a single point subject to flex and twists.  My tripod would have to be at eye-level (and I'm over 6 foot) to see the horizon, so at it's least stable configuration basically.

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I used to try anything for stills shooting at least....I would put a 300mm 2.8 lens with 1.4x,  2x and 3x convertors in various combinations on APSC DSLRs and even some combinations of that on a Pentax Q for ridiculous focal length equivalents....there gets a point it is just too much.   

These days, With ILCs I will use around 300 2.8 at most with APSC or FF and use clear zoom for up to 2x more in a pinch.      I also rarely use an old Tamron 70-350 4.5 as well.

If I need any longer I use a P&S Superzoom like the little Canon SX410IS (24-960mm equivalent)...it only has HD video but I love this little camera when I want something longer for day time use anyway.

I have also now got my late fathers Fuji HS30EXR (24-720mm equivalent) but still have to get a battery for it to use it....with full HD at least and some (small size) fast frame rates, it might be fun plus the EVF will be a godesnd in the harsh Australian sun (if the smoke ever dissapears).....so much more control and usability than the little Canon though the Canon is tiny and the Fuji is the size of a small DSLR with 50mm lens.

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I should also mention I have a little Sony hard disc drive camcorder that has a 48-1920mm equivalent optical zoom (with a 2000x digital one added) but I do not use it much because it is not stabilized and even when it was released years ago was only rated as barely passable video for a standard definition camera (HD cameras had been out for a little while by then anyway).    It cost me $5 Australian and I overpaid.

 

 

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On 12/20/2019 at 5:59 AM, noone said:

I used to try anything for stills shooting at least....I would put a 300mm 2.8 lens with 1.4x,  2x and 3x convertors in various combinations on APSC DSLRs and even some combinations of that on a Pentax Q for ridiculous focal length equivalents....there gets a point it is just too much.   

These days, With ILCs I will use around 300 2.8 at most with APSC or FF and use clear zoom for up to 2x more in a pinch.      I also rarely use an old Tamron 70-350 4.5 as well.

If I need any longer I use a P&S Superzoom like the little Canon SX410IS (24-960mm equivalent)...it only has HD video but I love this little camera when I want something longer for day time use anyway.

I have also now got my late fathers Fuji HS30EXR (24-720mm equivalent) but still have to get a battery for it to use it....with full HD at least and some (small size) fast frame rates, it might be fun plus the EVF will be a godesnd in the harsh Australian sun (if the smoke ever dissapears).....so much more control and usability than the little Canon though the Canon is tiny and the Fuji is the size of a small DSLR with 50mm lens.

smoke, what smoke ? pentax 300 f4 2x converter and add the crop from a canon 60d. i can get a nice pink sun. However its alot redder to my eyes, but whatever i do, i tend to maul it badly any suggestions to get it redder ?

smoke1.jpg

smoke2.jpg

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@leslie lots of ways..

You can either do the whole image, I’d suggest playing with the Gamma or Gain wheels and see if you can get the sun and the smoke the right colours at the same time.

The other approach is to do a key of just the sun, and then you could try the same things, or try the Hue vs Hue and shift it towards red/orange and further away from pink/magenta.

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That is waaaay overexposed and is clipping. To get any more saturation from it you need to decrease exposure. Since the brighter the object the less saturation it can have and stay inside the color space. Think of it as a three sided pyramid with a base and with sides kinda bowing in.

So by decreasing exposure you can just up the saturation and it will be redder.

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17 hours ago, leslie said:

smoke, what smoke ? pentax 300 f4 2x converter and add the crop from a canon 60d. i can get a nice pink sun. However its alot redder to my eyes, but whatever i do, i tend to maul it badly any suggestions to get it redder ?

 

If using jpegs and video with Canon, set it to vivid  if the camera has that and if that is not enough, vivid red (my little point and shoot Canons are set to vivid....The sun has been really red here to last few days first thing and just before going down with all the smoke...even though I am hundreds of miles away from major fires, I woke up smelling a LOT of smoke a couple of days ago to the point I thought there was fire here or next door.

I was going to walk up a hill early yesterday to get a photo of the sun coming up with clouds and smoke but the forecast when I looked said no cloud...so I never went and then there was the most magnificent red sun with nice cloud that i missed (42 degree day).

This was one of the much better days last week and just after this the sun went really bright red but only when it got down to the far tree level.     With Sony I sometimes just underexpose a bit to bring out the cloud colour so maybe that might help with the suns colour....One thing i do like with Canon ...the colour is not realistic but it is nice using vivid settings.

 

DSC00431.jpg

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11 hours ago, no_connection said:

That is waaaay overexposed and is clipping. To get any more saturation from it you need to decrease exposure. Since the brighter the object the less saturation it can have and stay inside the color space. Think of it as a three sided pyramid with a base and with sides kinda bowing in.

So by decreasing exposure you can just up the saturation and it will be redder.

makes sense. I will try that next time. Today seems to be smoke free but if the wind comes up or changes direction i'll probably get another chance

3 hours ago, noone said:

If using jpegs and video with Canon, set it to vivid  if the camera has that and if that is not enough, vivid red (my little point and shoot Canons are set to vivid....The sun has been really red here to last few days first thing and just before going down with all the smoke...even though I am hundreds of miles away from major fires, I woke up smelling a LOT of smoke a couple of days ago to the point I thought there was fire here or next door.

I was going to walk up a hill early yesterday to get a photo of the sun coming up with clouds and smoke but the forecast when I looked said no cloud...so I never went and then there was the most magnificent red sun with nice cloud that i missed (42 degree day).

This was one of the much better days last week and just after this the sun went really bright red but only when it got down to the far tree level.     With Sony I sometimes just underexpose a bit to bring out the cloud colour so maybe that might help with the suns colour....One thing i do like with Canon ...the colour is not realistic but it is nice using vivid settings.

nice photo i like the reflection between the reeds, good placement ? Your pretty much guaranteed the one time you opt out of doing something is the day when you miss out.

I still feel  bit precious about the p4k :blush:  been playing with the canon mostly to experiment and save using the p4k. Stanthorpes about 900 meters above sea level. so most of the time we are about 4 degrees cooler than most areas,  i think our hottest day so far has been 36. However the job completion rate around the house has really dropped off  ?

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Finished processing the two timelapses I took.  Resolve doesn't read RW2 files from the GH5 so I had to have a couple of goes of processing them, but I discovered that the Adobe DNG Converter creates 16-bit DNG files so keeps the bit-depth and DR of the RAW files, which is useful when you're clipping things this hard.

Processing involved stabilisation, setting black and white point and a key of just the clipped areas which I pushed towards orange so it wasn't digital white.  I'm thinking I'll do one where I don't clip the sun and see how it looks, although I suspect that everything else will just be black, but I'd be happy to be proven wrong.

In both of them the edges of the sun appear to be blocky and horribly compressed, but it's actually due to the atmospheric effects, the RAW files are, well, RAW, and the pixel size is much smaller than the rather square-looking edges.  I suspect it would make more sense visually if I had a higher frame rate (the GH5 can't do a time-lapse interval smaller than 1s which is what these are).  I'd try video but I've zoomed in a bit on these, so the extra resolution seems to be quite useful.  Suggestions welcome..

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