Bird and wildlife photographer from Indiana and I just bought a Canon 7d mk ii and a Tamron 150-600 mm g2 lens from MPB>COM. I am coming from a Canon 90d and Sigma 150-600 mm contemporary lens set up and now that I have the Canon 7dmk ii I don't really know how to set it up for the best sharp resutls when shooting birds and birds in flight.
Does anyone have any tips or suggestions for when the light is relatively good outside? as I know neither this camera or lens does well in lower light conditions.
I am struggling to get decent in focus shots. I use higher shutter speeds and not wide open aperture hoping that would help but it does not seem to. I use adobe lightroom and Topaz sharpen AI to help some in post processing but I would love to be able to get sharper images right out of camera.
Thanks for any tips and or tricks that may be helpful in advance.
I haven't used that particular camera and lens setup but I have shot a lot of sports and a few birds in flight and the most salient advice I can provide is always remember that it is a partnership between you and your camera. The more you rely on using multiple AF points and the tracking system, the more your are relying upon the camera and are putting more overhead on its processing capabilities.
I shoot sports, often under some trying conditions, with Canon's best 1DX series bodies. There are times when I rely upon its multipoint AF tracking system to save me but the camera and I work best together when I am using a single point and doing a good job of keeping it on the subject of interest. As your skills and experience with the camera improve, you will likely find that to get to the best in terms of sharpness then you will have to share more of the overall workload with your camera. Birds in flight are a tough subject for both you and the camera as you have found and for every sharp capture, you will get a lot that aren't.
Can you post some examples with the EXIF information included in the image? A combination of high shutter speed with a f5.6-6.3 lens closed down further means you are probably pushing the ISO pretty high unless conditions are extremely bright and that will further hurt your sharpness so you will need to find the right combination for your lens and lighting conditions through some experiments.
I have the 7DII and the Sigma 150-600c lens combination. I have used them for bird photography for some time, and must say I AM curious as to why you replaced the Sigma with the Tamron - nothing against the Tramron, but the Sigma is a great lens too, and I assume the switch cost you some money.
Anyway, I shoot with single-point autofocus, servo and tracking and it seems to work for me. Frankly, it's not a one-size-fits-all situation: much depends on the birds that are your subjects, and the conditions under which you are shooting. There is a big difference between shooting birds in wide-open spaces, compared to in forest or bush settings; then again, there is the type of bird - some make swooping curves and others flit continuously.
Here are a couple of examples: the first is of gannets that live in a large colony within easy commute of my home in NZ. They live on the coast in an open area, but they are fast and can be hard to track. It should be noted that both of these are downgraded from much larger files, so they don't look as sharp as the originals, but I hope they help.
Settings: Canon EOS 7DII, Sigma 150-600c @ 286mm, f/8, 1/640sec, ISO-200
Canon EOS 7DII, Sigma 150-600c @ 160mm, f/7.1, 1/2500sec, ISO-320
I hope this gives you some idea of the capabilities of the unit. Still curious why you replaced the Sigma though...
Wow, those are some awesome bird shots.
Well, today for instance I was out shooting over a corn field and clear blue skies and got some shots of a red tailed hawk that was being chased by some crows. It was a bit further away but figured I would try anyway. I had my shutter speed at 1/2000 , aperture at f 9.0 and my iso was at 400. I do all my bird photography handheld. All my shots came out blurry. I used Ai servo , high speed continuous mode, with 1pt AF auto focus selection.
As far as me switching from sigma 150-600mm Contemporary lens to the Tamron 150-600mm g2 lens its because in order for me to get enough money to get my new camera I had to sell it and all my other lenses that I had and I figured that I would give tamron a try. I just had enough money after buying the camera because I just got a paycheck to get the tamron lens with the canon 7dmk ii. The sigma lens did ok, I had it for a while and figured I'd give another super telephoto lens a go.
I'm glad you like the photos! I understand your logic and I have nothing against the Tamron - as I understand it, it is very similar in performance to the Sigma. So much more is up to the photographer when it comes down to it.
There is a sort of bedding-in process that one must go through with any camera or lens, even more so with that combination, so I would say it's early days at the present. Still, assuming that the camera was purchased used, I would try some static shots to make sure that the camera and lens are working correctly. I suggest downloading the manual and devouring it. that will help you to get more of a handle on how you configure and use it.
I rarely shoot in anything but hand-held mode. Since my early days (back in the early 1980's) I was shooting for extended periods in one kind of wilderness or another, so I had to be very stingy with anything that weighed. The tripod was a loser in that and I got used to shooting without one - but I was taught to be a marksman, so the techniques were similar!
All I can suggest is my own methodology: I do a lot of research into the camera reviews from those I trust - try Justin Abbot and Cameralabs on Youtube or their own web pages for detailed reviews and configuration guides. There are some good specialist avian photographers out there too. The rest is set up a configuration, shoot with it for a while and then tweak as you think you need. Just shoot a lot and review mercilessly!
I am going through the same process with my newly-acquired R5 body. It is a much more complicated beast with a much greater range of features than many legacy units, but I am simply using those features that I have used before to get the feel of the beast. Sadly, we are in full COVID lock-down at present, so straying far from home is not on the cards. I must say that the animal eye tracking in both the R5 and R6 is a game-changer. Still, I continue to use my DSLR's, including my trusty 7DII - I am hoping for an equivalent R7 to be released at some stage, but right now the R5 is going to be a good unit to work with. So, we are both in that stage of creating a comfort zone with our gear!