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johnrsims43

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johnrsims43 last won the day on December 2 2018

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About johnrsims43

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    Sunnyvale, California

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  1. Hi Jim, I do have MR2 set up for "wildlife", or moving targets. Since I'm using the Sony FE 100-400 lens the switch to manual is easy, and fairly quick. It is a mechanical button on the lens itself, and does not require any menu access. Hence the tendency to switch to manual when auto focus has difficulty. Since I always shoot "wide open", this is the only change I make for birds, so only one MR location. I have the other two set for "Landscape" and 'Portrait", although these are just "starting points", since I commonly end up shooting manual mode (night shots in particular).
  2. Hi Jim, Yes, I also deselect expanded flexible spot. I "might" use expanded flexible spot if the bird is stationary and there are too many distractions (leaves moving in the wind for instance), that causes the focus to pick up (and focus on) movement from other than my intended target, but it is rare that I have time to make this change before the bird moves on. Quicker to just go to manual. Using "wide", If the bird is "In the air", the camera will pick it out, track it, and focus correctly. I do well to get the bird in the frame, without trying to also move the flexible spot to the bird:-) I also visit the SFO Bay Trail often. Nearly always cool, and normally several targets to capture. I'm still fairly new to birds, so just now beginning to realize how the seasonal changes affect the birds. Hope this helps. Regards, John
  3. sixzeiss, Thanks for your comments.. The original issue was that my camera blocked access to shooting mode via the left rocker button, and the only shooting mode available was 10 second delay. This, in turn, blocked access to BULB mode, so my shooting options were very limited. I eventually did go to the menu, and was able to change the shooting mode to 2 second delay (or any other mode as well), which solved that issue. A secondary issue (now primary for me) is that BULB mode limits the camera to 12 bit data. Since I am using a tracking device, I hope to get up to 60 second exposures without star trails. I would also expect to be taking over 60 exposures for stacking. This is mainly for astro photography (messier and nebula objects, milky way, etc....) where I would like to get improved differentiation of faint objects. I believe 14 bits would improve these results. Can you comment on this? Additionally, even for shorter exposures, BULB mode would be convenient since I could let the intervalometer control the shutter speed. I can workaround this by setting the camera to a specified shutter speed, and then setting the intervalometer to a couple of seconds higher. Thanks
  4. I've ask this question about 12 bit limitation on the Sony Community web site, and did get feedback from Zac, who indicated that as of now there is nothing expected in the next firmware release that will address this. He did indicate that he would note my concern for future developments. Oh sure"-)
  5. Hi Bokehbobo, Thanks very much for your input. I'm suspicious that this is unique to the camera/lens pairing. I also noticed the I cannot get "BULB" mode. Prior to updating the A7RM3 firmware (v2.10), this worked as expected. One other indirectly related comment: In "BULB" mode (according to the help guide) RAW images are only processed at 12 bits. This is also disappointing, but I can still shoot up to 30 seconds in Aperture preferred, and use exposure compensation to make some adjustments. I'm shooting multiple frames (50+) for stacking, so this is not ideal, as the shutter speed could change midway through the series. For the moment this is adequate, but as I improve my use of my Skyguider Pro I hope to get up to 60 second exposures, so from my point of view both of these issues need to get fixed. I will check the Sony site and see if I can request clarification from them. Thanks again. >>>>>>>>>>>>> Well, I finally did go to the menu to find "Drive Mode", and there was able to change the drive mode from 10 sec delay continous to single shot (or other options as well). That seemed to "unlock" the camera, and the left side rocker button now worked to access drive mode (previously "locked out"). I guess "all is well", except for the 12 bit limitation. Guess I will experiment with Aperture preferred at 30 seconds, and then compare with bulb mode 30 seconds and see what is lost. Thanks again,
  6. I've been using this camera and lens for a while now with am very pleased with both camera and lens. Last evening I wanted to shoot the super moon, needed to shoot manual due to brightness of the moon, and needed full control. However, with lens (or camera) set to manual focus, Exposure set to manual, I lost access to shooting mode. Only way the camera would take a picture was 10 second delay. I normally use 2 second delay, so was surprised at this. I have use this setup for night shots in the past, but not sure I was shooting "Full manual". I often use Aperture preferred and make corrections with exposure compensation, but with the bright moon I needed more than 3 stops of adjustment. Has anyone else seen this? Seems a bug in the firmware to me. Or, did I have some other setting at odds with this combination? Any help and or comments would be appreciated.
  7. As Steve mentioned, the Sony FE 13-35 f2.8 GM Lens is (by all accounts) an excellent lens, and should give you the range you will likely need in these two parks. This would be a candidate for "rental", as the price is in excess of $2K. I'm "lusting" for this lens, but so far have resisted. I mostly use Zeiss 25mm but you can also get by with 35mm, 55mm, or even 85mm if you are willing to stitch multiple shots together. Example can be seen at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnrsims43/albums/72157655169480695 I recommend Flickr as a good resource to search for photos at your intended destination, and see what others are using in those locations. John
  8. Because I'm starting to play with video, I've been changing some settings that normally are left alone. ZEBRA for instance. I've selected movie on the mode selector (top of camera), and turned ZEBRA "on". Confirmed that it worked as expected. Then, selected Memory 2 (set up for action photography), and imported settings, but ZEBRA was still "on". Does anyone know if there is a list of items NOT available/stored for memory? Thanks, John
  9. I originally had a problem getting quick accurate focus with my Sony a7RM3, but through this board figured out the settings that produce very good results with this camera/lens combination. More can be found at: My revelation was that it was just as important to turn stuff off, as it was to turn stuff on. For instance: face recognition, Lock On, and "expand flexible spot" should all be turned off, or not used. Just actions that cause the camera to be distracted from its main objective. Depending on how you have set your drive mode the camera may be trying to take these tasks into consideration 8 or 10 times/second, while also calculating exposure and focus. A bit much to ask. Also, more light is good. Shoot wide open. I'm very happy with the results.
  10. Oops, double post. I see "edit", but I do not see "delete"?
  11. sixzeiss and Jaf, Thanks for your guidance. As mentioned earlier I had opened aperture to "max", but also made other changes as well, so not possible for me to attribute improvements to which change. Using AF-C Wide, while turning off: face recognition, Lock On, and "expand flexible spot" seemed to really improve the speed of focus capture, and these three items plus wide open aperture taken in total have made a big difference to the speed of acquisition, and sharpness of focus. I like the idea of manual focus for stationary birds, but do find the "flexible spot (s)" to allow me to isolate the bird to the extend that auto focus works very well. Manual is certainly a "back up" that will deal with problematic situations, and I have taken your advice to turn peaking down to low, and color red. I've also customized a button to magnify, and find that very useful. Great forum - very helpful. Thanks!
  12. Thanks Jaf. I did search around a bit for the "Stop down focus" issue, but mostly found discussions from 2016. This seems to have been a problem for studio settings (not sure if it still is), and I've not noticed the camera stopping down to focus, but not sure if I would notice since I "guess" ISO would kick in to lighten the EVF. I'll "stay tuned" for this issue, but for now I'm a happy camper. Thanks again. John
  13. OSS (I'm taking this to mean both the lens and in camera image stabilization) was established immediately when the shutter button was partially depressed, so guess it would be fully engaged upon full depression. As a side note, I discovered today that in Continuous Auto Focus - Wide, the back button does engage the OSS. I've not gone back to see what settings I had when this did not work, but I would "guess" it was with "Lock on - Expanded Flexible spot", since that was what I was using primarily prior to my previous post looking for help with focus settings. In any case, my problems have been solved (I think). I'm a happy camper:-) Thanks for your help.
  14. Jaf-Photo, I went back out today to test my strategy, and am now leaning more toward "AF-C Wide", unless the bird lands or takes a perch. I might even change from "center" to "Flexible spot " for those situation where there are nearby leaves/branches/etc.... For what it's worth, I believe turning off face recognition and "lock on" did improve the speed (and accuracy) of focus capture. However, there was one more variable I through into the pot, just to confuse the issues - I opened the aperture to max. I went back and reviewed the images that I felt were "soft", and most were in low(ish) light situations - overcast, no direct sunlight, with low contrast. I had set aperture to f7.1 or f8 thinking improved DOF would be an advantage, but am now guessing that may not be the case. In any case I have found the "AF-C Wide" does work really well for birds in flight, and as you suggested holding target in the center of the frame at 400MM may not be realistic. Thanks again, John
  15. Jaf-Photo, Thanks much for your comments. I had not considered face recognition. I do have my "bird settings" programmed into on of the memory slots, and would not have thought to turn it off when storing those settings. I would have turned in on for the "general case" prior to customizing for birds, so it would have been left that way prior to storing in memory. At this point I think I have tried most combinations of the various settings, and for now (as you recommend) will settle on either "AF-C Wide" or "AF-C Center". It's easy enough to switch since this option is programmed into one of the custom buttons. Thanks again for sharing your perspective.
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