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Thread: Hooded Mergansers

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    Default Hooded Mergansers

    Attached Images Attached Images
     
     
    Hooded Mergansers
    NYC Central park reservoir 3/11/2020 10:14am
    Sony A9II f/5.6-6.3 200-600mm HH@600mm
    1/3200 sec @f/6.3 iso1250

    LR r9.2 Camera Raw r12.2

    crop
    6000 x 4000 to 5813 x 3087 {I think the 1st post had too much noise reduction applied}

    second image from same time and place. Shows more detail and more noise.
    1/3200 sec @ f/8.0 iso2000 fl 600mm
    crop 6000 x 4000 to 3892 x 2594
    Last edited by david spital; 04-07-2020 at 11:24 AM.

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    These are birds are tough to get close to. Nice to see the male and female together. The birds look soft.

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    Avian Moderator Randy Stout's Avatar
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    David:

    Agree about the pairing being nice. Male is very soft, female a bit better. Plenty of shutter speed, so probably DOF issue. The head of the male is wet, so sometimes that will make it look a bit slicked back, but that isn't the whole story here.

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    Super Moderator arash_hazeghi's Avatar
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    cool to get both in the same frame, but the mergansers have zero details...both are terribly soft and lacking beyond salvageable... I recently got a Sony A9II and the same lens you have, I cannot comprehend how it can give such a poor image quality even at ISO 10000 :O

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    That's a good question? Took a series of these, focus locked on and this was the result. ?? I figured it was a DOF issue, 600mm @ f6.3 but ? not convinced why the image is soft. I will post others from the same time. I've been trying different cameras so this particular Sony + lens isn't mine.
    Last edited by david spital; 04-07-2020 at 10:42 AM.

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    The second one is pretty bad too. It’s from poor processing and the bird being so far away ...huge crop.

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    Hi David, my guess would be post processing or lack there of. In the image of the two bird the female is mostly mid tones of brown, the male is pretty much black and white, each bird would have to be exposed differently both in the camera and in post processing. One bird is difficult to get sharp, exposed correctly and processed correctly, two adds much to the degree of difficulty.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Przybyla View Post
    Hi David, my guess would be post processing or lack there of. In the image of the two bird the female is mostly mid tones of brown, the male is pretty much black and white, each bird would have to be exposed differently both in the camera and in post processing. One bird is difficult to get sharp, exposed correctly and processed correctly, two adds much to the degree of difficulty.

    Good advice however I’d say it’s a piece of cake to get a floating bird Sharp with any camera let alone the Sony. This is is 1 out of 10 shot in terms of difficulty it’s very basic and simple.
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    The first image isn't a huge crop, I think what hurts it is probably depth of field @ f/6.3 600mm. The male merganser on the right is further away from the sensor plane and softer.
    There isn't anything unusual in the processing... straight Light Room simple corrections that has worked on many other images. Processing could be more extensive and more refined but how much it would improved this image I'm not sure.
    The second image is more of a crop (what qualifies as huge?) 6000x4000 to 3892x2594 I think that's about 65% of original size.
    Although I'm using a small lap top monitor (I'm away from my production monitor because of virus mitigation reasons) I do see more detail in the second image. Not as disturbing as the first. So I'm not convinced yet I've found the reason for the lack of quality. I'm wondering image stabilization? maybe ? Any other thoughts would be appreciated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by david spital View Post
    The first image isn't a huge crop, I think what hurts it is probably depth of field @ f/6.3 600mm. The male merganser on the right is further away from the sensor plane and softer.
    There isn't anything unusual in the processing... straight Light Room simple corrections that has worked on many other images. Processing could be more extensive and more refined but how much it would improved this image I'm not sure.
    The second image is more of a crop (what qualifies as huge?) 6000x4000 to 3892x2594 I think that's about 65% of original size.
    Although I'm using a small lap top monitor (I'm away from my production monitor because of virus mitigation reasons) I do see more detail in the second image. Not as disturbing as the first. So I'm not convinced yet I've found the reason for the lack of quality. I'm wondering image stabilization? maybe ? Any other thoughts would be appreciated.

    yes 65% of the FF is not a large crop by any means but you have to look at the size of the bird, that's what matters. it looks like the bird was about 10% of the original frame (put a box around the bird in PS and divide that area by the total image area).

    You are using the worst possible software to process the Sony RAW's and probably the wrong procedure on top of that has resulted in terrible cell-phone like IQ with lots of noise. Without the correct protrude the final result will be terrible like an overcooked steak or under cooked chicken :) Processing is just as important as the capture and mastering it is key to get the type of images you see posted on this site.

    in your original the right merganser is totally OOF but the other one should be in focus. the second one only shows more noise and not much more detail.

    Do you have the RAW file you can share? I can take a loot at it and tell you what went wrong here. (it has nothing to do with stabilization etc,). could be that the RAW isn't sharp to begin with also.... for various reasons
    Last edited by arash_hazeghi; 04-07-2020 at 01:53 PM.
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    Yes I'd be happy to share the RAW file and would appreciate your input. I've gotten some great results form Sony and I also got some disappointing results.
    How should I handle RAW file transfer?

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    I got Dave's raw files and look at the up close

    the issue with the first image is that the left merganser is not sharp. it seems the focus locked on the ripples behind the bird. the bird is soft and on top of that it is small in the frame therefore the poor IQ. What focus mode were you using? where was the focus area t the time of capture ?

    100% crop from RAW

    Name:  oof.jpg
Views: 88
Size:  551.9 KB

    the 2nd image isn't quite sharp either but the main issue is that it is a HUGE crop. you can see how small the merganser was in the frame, crops like this never make it

    Name:  tiny.jpg
Views: 87
Size:  347.2 KB

    hope this helps, since this thread has educational value I am sending it to the ETL forum to add to our resources
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    here you can see the results of another huge crop, different equipment but the same outcome

    http://www.birdphotographers.net/for...-much-cropping
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    Quote Originally Posted by arash_hazeghi View Post
    I got Dave's raw files and look at the up close

    the issue with the first image is that the left merganser is not sharp. it seems the focus locked on the ripples behind the bird. the bird is soft and on top of that it is small in the frame therefore the poor IQ. What focus mode were you using? where was the focus area t the time of capture ?

    100% crop from RAW

    Name:  oof.jpg
Views: 88
Size:  551.9 KB

    the 2nd image isn't quite sharp either but the main issue is that it is a HUGE crop. you can see how small the merganser was in the frame, crops like this never make it

    Name:  tiny.jpg
Views: 87
Size:  347.2 KB

    hope this helps, since this thread has educational value I am sending it to the ETL forum to add to our resources
    Thanks for looking at these files.! I think (since info not in the metadata) the focus mode at that time was Continuous AF medium Flexible Spot with tracking. The AF spot was placed on the mergansers head and the camera tracked as the bird swam to the right. I guess it missed, or didn't stay on the head as it tracked.
    I understand the crop issue. I need to get closer if possible, but that's not possible at the NYC central park reservoir. Shooting down doesn't help either.
    Arash thanks for your help, I really appreciate it.

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    Hi Dave in general when the subject is small in the frame camera also has more trouble focusing on it. In this case it probably identified and tracked the head but when it was trying to focus the contrast from the ripples forced it to grab those instead. If ithe merganser was a bit larger in the frame it wouldn’t have any issue staying locked on the head as it floated across the frame.

    it is tough to get close to the mergansers for sure. Gotta keep trying
    Last edited by arash_hazeghi; 04-09-2020 at 12:37 PM.
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