I am hoping for help in figuring out some settings, when it comes to having more speed I understand setting 1/200-1/2000 we will say. Now when it comes to the settings that are in fractions I have a problem, I am set up on a tripod in a blind taking pictures, when at 400mm I am set to 1/1200-1/1600 to capture the speed with which turkey and deer move but my images are darker than I would like. Is there a setting that will still allow me to capture the speed with which these animals move but give me cleaner/bright results? I am shooting anywhere from 10 yards to 200 (9144mm-182880mm) (9.144-182.88meters) yards out or more if larger animals like deer.
Camera is a Canon eos M50 and the lens is a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens
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So that the Community can help you better, we will need to know which model camera you have? Any other details you'd like to give will only help the Community better understand your issue.
What mode are you using? Manual? If so, as you increase the shutter, you need to compensate by widening your aperture and/or increasing ISO.
I recommend learning about the exposure triangle. Also, check out the Tv (Shutter Priority) mode on your camera which lets you specify the shutter speed and the camera will select an aperture and ISO. You can additionally fine tune things via exposure compensation.
I am normally shooting in Tv (Shutter Priority) mode or Manual Mode. I have had very poor luck using exposure compensation on wildlife though very good luck on landscapes. I have learned the exposure triangle, I do not like all the noise I get when adjusting the ISO for brightness though. I will let you know I have major problems with numbers, I have all my life, I have Dyscalculia which is basically Dyslexia with numbers so I have a very hard time with my settings and so many other things in life. This is why my landscapes look better than my wildlife shots, I can keep shooting landscape shots til I get it right but can't the wildlife.
Looking at your images, my first reaction would be that the camera is metering for the grass, which I would actually expect to be about 18% Greyscale, a sensor's "normal" value. If you want the birds to be a touch faster, then you want to try using exposure compensation to persuade the sensor to meter for a consistently brighter image. This is one area where the Canon M5 is IMHO showing its superiority as a stills camera, as it has a dial right on top of the camera body for this purpose, while the M50 does not. Still, one of the directional presses on the M50 control dial should bring up the option to change the EV value. If you do so, I would suggest trying about 1/3 or 2/3 + EV and see how you go.
Yes the grass bothers me, seems to come in rather oddly to me compared to how the old 70-300 I was using did. I have seemed to have problem with exposure compensation, I set for 1 stop over or two stops over but have not been happy with the images. I know a lot is learning the new lens and it will come in time, but Spring turkey season is only once a year and I was hoping I would be doing better with it. I have not had problems shooting geese at all, they seem to come in much better for me but they are not moving as quickly.
I struggle to understand why this is a lens issue. Yes, I understand you say that you got better exposures with the 70-300, but the 100-400L MkiI is an outstanding optic and should not degrade exposure. I don't have the M50, so I cannot attempt to replicate your issues, but I still suspect that you need to adapt how you are setting up metering with your camera. It is more challenging to get into more detail if I can't see exactly what the issue is with the images compared to your old system. What MAY be happening is that the optic is exposing weaknesses in the performance of the M50, which is not in the same league as regards performance, particularly as the most of the images you post are back-lit resulting in greater contrast. As I have said, given the blackness of the birds, and the fact that the images I am seeing are mostly back lit, my suspicion is that you have a lot of contrast to deal with and exposure compensation is likely to fix that, but it will cause the grass to be over-exposed. An alternative might be to bring the images into post-production software and use an increase and shadows and reduction of highlights to bring those contrasting extremes together.
I have not finished reading your comment but let me correct one thing before I go back to read the rest, it is NOT a problem with the lens, I have some wonderful images with the lens that I could never get with my old lens. What I mean is it is a ME learning the new lens and how to work it, not a problem with the lens at all.
Edit: Okay yes I agree, it could be it showing weaknesses in my camera though I do not understand why I have some images that are incredible and others that are not without much change?
One thing I wonder is if my camera simply is not very good in darker light? My pictures later in the day seem to be much better. I intend to upgrade to hopefully something in the R6 range but that will not happen until next year.
Now you have read my complete post, I hope you now understand that I see no problem with the lens per se, what I am trying to say is that the dynamic range of the camera, for the images where the subjects are dark and back lit by quite strong light, may not be up to the results you want.
You said "One thing I wonder is if my camera simply is not very good in darker light?" The images I see have plenty of light, but not much of it is lighting the subject from in front. Essentially, my first reaction is that you are shooting from the wrong location - if you were on the other side of the birds, with the sun shining from behind you, or slightly to one side, you might get much better results.
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