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NEX-7 full Manual Mode field trials on a Downy Woodpecker

Discussion in 'Nature' started by roundball, Jul 8, 2014.

  1. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    Really liking the full “Manual Mode” approach on my NEX-7.

    Up at 5:00am for my weekly trip to a small private rifle range I use out in the country…got there at 6:30 and it was deserted as usual on a weekday that early.
    Finished my range session at 8:30 and was taking down targets when I heard a woodpecker hammering a dead tree nearby…searched around and spotted him about 30 feet up a dead pine.

    Got my camera out of the car (had a Canon 300/4.0-L on it) and found a spot at about a 60* angle that would be about a 45' shot to the small bird.
    Aiming up into the bright sky with other colors also in the scene, I thought it would be a good opportunity to not only try out full ‘Manual Mode’ but to experiment with center weighted metering as it seemed like it would fit this scene OK. I only had a monopod so for the FD 300 I set shutter at 1/320 and ISO at 400...controlled exposure with Aperture settings, which in this case, gave me excellent DOF as I had to stop down so much for the bright sky.

    The full ‘Manual Mode’ with that ‘MM’ exposure scale across the bottom of the viewfinder is really very workable. Here are 3 shots, each with the original scene, followed by the woodpecker in that scene cropped way up…very pleased with 'MM' results so far.


    A-ORIGINAL



    A-CROPPED




    B-ORIGINAL



    B-CROPPED




    C-ORIGINAL




    C-CROPPED

     
    • Like Like x 4
  2. José De Bardi

    José De Bardi Assistant in Virtue

    Aug 31, 2013
    Dorset, UK
    José
    LOLz at the title!

    Amazing cropping ability on the NEX.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    Absolutely incredible...we can't even begin to "see" that kind of detail with the naked eye while taking the shot...but a good lens pulls it right into that big sensor and it all gets captured...and that was a small bird at quite a distance.
     
  4. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    Yeah, probably doesn't convey what I meant very well.
    :)

    I only just began trying the full Manual Mode on my NEX-7 a couple days ago.....and those few test shots were in my back yard where I already knew the various exposure issues that could occur with the typical lighting that I'd have out there during the course of a day.

    My wording of 'field trials' was trying to convey that it was the beginning of actually using full Manual Mode under new / different / changing field conditions...maybe I thought full Manual Mode was going to be more difficult than it seems to be or something, dunno.

    But for the moment, full Manual Mode with Canon FD lenses on an NEX-7 body seems to be a great option that I'm going to use now.
    That, coupled with my recent experiments using 'Spot' or 'Center Weighted' metering, I have a whole new set of approaches to experiment with.
     
  5. José De Bardi

    José De Bardi Assistant in Virtue

    Aug 31, 2013
    Dorset, UK
    José
    I presumed it was a reaction to the last thread you did on Spot Metering which wondered off topic...
     
  6. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    LOL...individuals on public Internet forums are interesting, and cover the full range of personalities / egos / attitudes / agendas.
    What's difficult to do on the Internet is to decide if someone really is only a 12 year old or someone just acting that way.
     
  7. José De Bardi

    José De Bardi Assistant in Virtue

    Aug 31, 2013
    Dorset, UK
    José
    Indeed - the main issue is people often do not come over in writing the same as in person. And many people do not think about this and what might seem like a funny remark, just comes over as rude for example.
    Ad to that the commonality of a 2nd language as the internet shrinks our world and you are right up sh*** creek! :)

    NB I have nothing against native English speakers, simply pointing out that it makes online communication tricker...
     
  8. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    I just continue to be amazed at how great it is using full Manual Mode with my Canon FD lenses. My discard rate has gone way down the past few days and I now see they were mostly from shutter speeds being to slow when I was using Aperture mode.
    Now, I set ISO, then lock in a minimum shutter speed for the lens & conditions...(usually much higher than what the camera was selecting when I was using Aperture mode)...and I just manipulate the Aperture settings to control exposure based on that 'MM' scale across the bottom of the EVF.
    For the first time I really feel like I'm in full control of the process now...still need to refine and will keep at it / learning my way along
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    Just realized it's been about 3 weeks since I started experimenting with Manual Mode...haven't gone back to Aperture Mode or any form of automation yet. The way it looks now...unless I discover something unexpected...Manual Mode has become my default with Canon FD lenses.

    Be interesting to hear about experiences from anyone who uses Manual Mode with legacy lenses...
     
  10. fractal

    fractal TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 17, 2014
    Southeastern PA
    Chris
    I also shoot full manual with legacy lenses. The Tri-Nav controls on the NEX-7 are great for this. Focusing is the biggest challenge but after awhile I've found my focusing technique, although not as fast as AF, is much more accurate. It's also challenging and fun!
     
  11. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    Don't know if you've tried it yet, but I've also expanded into using Manual Focus Assist for the tough shots and it works great !!
     
  12. fractal

    fractal TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 17, 2014
    Southeastern PA
    Chris
    I just started using it - I think I picked it up from reading one of your posts. When I shoot AF I always use peaking and DMF which allows you to make small adjustments manually on an enlarged view, so the Manual Focus Assist came naturally to me.

    thanks!