Sunset in Kruger

by MrFrench

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As a bird photographer (I was founder of the bird photography group on G+) I have to say that photographing birds is hard. The areas around birds tend to be clutters (leaves, branches, etc) and this can confuse the autofocus. Light is normally marginal so you need the large apertures, which narrows depth of field, so any auto focus mistake kills the image. ...


Back in the days when the Earth was cooling and I was in high school we never had these problems. Focusing on wildlife in the trees was very simple - look at it, turn the ring until the creature was in focus, press the button. So if the autofocus system can't make up it's mind just flip the switch on the side of the lens and do it the old-fashioned way. ...


When you use a larger sensored camera, you're going to be working with a thinner depth of field either due to using a longer lens, or from being closer to the subject to get the same framing. The reason the Fuji and Nikon bridge cameras don't have as much trouble focusing is that with a smaller 1/2.3"-format sensor and a superzoom lens that has 500mm or so ...


A macro lens' maximum magnification can only be achieved at minimum focus. So to get maximum magnification you must move the camera towards or away from the subject to focus a specific area of it. That is the main advantage of using a focus rail. In the case of stacking images, though, maximum magnification in every frame is probably of secondary ...


A lot would depend on whether you need continuous focus through the scene or have more discrete points of interest. A micrometer (geared) rail can make it very fast and easy to make sure that you have complete coverage of the depth of a scene with greater precision than manual focus simply because the adjusting mechanism is finer and the scale is linear. ...


A macro rail will let you perform fine compositional adjustments, rather than either moving the subject or camera and support - both of which are rather clumsy methods of adjusting composition when considering macro photography...

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