Warming in the Sun

Filed in Digital Hunter, Hong Kong Wildlife, Photo of the DayTags: ,
Lizard Cooling Off

Pearly white teeth and a creamy-yellow tongue. Nice teeth!

My (relatively) new Canon 1D Mark III is in the shop getting a new focus mirror installed. You can read a lot about the problem on Rob Galbraith's page although it hasn't affected me as much as others. In addition, my Canon 70-300mm DO lense is getting a clean and recalibration, so I'm feeling orphaned and alone at the moment. Many of my photographs are of very small creatures usually shot at 300mm (x1.3=420mm for the 1D Mark III) and even at f16, the Depth of Field is extremely shallow, typically around 1/8". Manual focus is absolutely necessary to fine-tune the auto-focus and if the lense is not spot on, I return home with many non-ideal photos. 1/8" DoF means that I have to be very aware of my body movements while shooting because the slightest motion forward or backward will put the photo out of focus. The lense clean/recalibration will be very expensive but if you want great photographs, you cannot avoid these occasional expenses.

Before I handed the camera in, I had the opportunity to get these photographs. This young fellow was walking around just outside our yard, and once again, the pollution-filtered sunlight shining down from the South was fantastic.

Many of the photos I came back with were out of focus. I learned something important this day. Never try to take photos with your lense at the minimum limits of its focus range because the focus may very well be less than ideal (1.4m in this case). One day, I might experiment with an Extension Tube to get closer to the subject. I'd like to get the 400mm/4.0 DO lense but that will have to wait a while longer while I save a few more pennies ;-) That said, the less expensive 400mm/f5.6L might be the more ideal option for me because most of my telephoto photos require an aperture of f16 or smaller anyway. I'll think about it for a while.

Note. You really need to look at the larger version of the photo to fully appreciate it. Some of my photos look their best when printed to A3.

Sunning Lizard

This is my favourite photo from the set.

For a larger version, click here. For a different photo, click here.

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6 Responses to “Warming in the Sun”
  1. Alex 5毫子 says:

    Thanks for the direction, I found that shutter button!! Anyway, on a serious note, I wasn't too sure on what you said about having small Depth of Field when using f16 aperture. Am I right in saying the smaller the aperture, the bigger the Depth of Field? Because f16 is relatively small, so I would've thought it will have a reasonably big depth of field.

  2. 河國榮 says:

    glad to see you found the shutter button ;-)

    f16 is a small aperture and will indeed produce a relatively deeper DoF but when shooting a small object 8' away with a 300mm lens, the DoF is still only approx. 1/2". with the lizard above, he was only 5' away. photographed with a focal length of 300mm, the DoF on my camera with a sensor pixel pitch of 7 microns came to approx. 3/16"; not much to work with.

    in my efforts to get a grip on DoF, I searched for DoF calculator spreadsheets and found a few. I'm using one based on Jonathan Wienke's spreadsheet.

  3. sapphire says:

    河生,
    我都覺得你D相很有資格參賽, 順便可以show下你其他的才華. Hehe!

  4. Jenny says:

    我看不到Warming in the sun 的內容, 有個'網頁發生錯誤' 的提示, 我不知如何處理.
    P.S. 今晚在'仁心仁術' 聽到你唱歌, 很好聽, 你還記得嗎? 是在中環天星碼頭拍的.
    你的聲帶醫好了沒有?祝福你和你的狗狗們. 我也有一隻小狗叫Teddy.牠十二歲多,精神還很好.

  5. Eileen says:

    Tonight it showed your singing in HH3 again, I remember I started reading your blog last time I saw you singing on TV. Wish to see more of your performance!

  6. Sam says:

    Hi Greg,

    Your photos are fantastic. I usually shoot potrait (my energetic baby) but it is rather interesting to see pictures of animals/insects.

    Anyway, I wanted to ask if you would usually work with a zoom lens or a prime lens? And do you think much of the 3rd party lens?

    I'm asking because I am shooting a lot of photos of my son with a cheap EF 50mm F1.8 lens but it seems to return a much better result than my Sigma 24-60mm F2.8 lens. So I've sold my Sigma and now looking for a lens to replace it. What would you recommend?? I'm a 450D user.

    Regards,

    Sam