Day 108 – The Cat

I am lucky enough to be taking part in a photography experience day shortly, which will involve me working with different shutter speeds and my Sigma 150-500mm lens, so today I took the opportunity to practice by capturing some shots of my mum’s black cat.

I only used shutter priority mode (Tv), I adjusted the ISO – so that it was on auto, and allowed it to go to the maximum of the camera (ISO6400), choose Alservo so that if the cat moved so would my focus,  I felt that the speed of the shot would be important than the noise, especially as I will only be using the images on the web.

ISO100, 1/1000 sec - 186mm focal length, F5.6 - Watching!
ISO1000, 1/1000 sec – 186mm focal length, F5.6 – Watching!
ISO1600, 1/2000 sec, F5.6, 289mm focal length
ISO1600, 1/2000 sec, F5.6, 289mm focal length

In the above shots, the cat was perched on a shed roof above my head, it makes for a really interesting angle as you can see the roof of the building behind, but neither of these used the full focal length of the lens

ISO6400, 1/2000 sec, F6.3, 500mm focal length.
ISO6400, 1/2000 sec, F6.3, 500mm focal length.

The above shot, the cat was on the move, this time at full focal length and the full ISO of the camera, the face and eyes are sharp, the depth of field is the shallowest the lens can provide, yet I don’t fill that there is too much noise, I have not ended the picture to remove noise at all or increased its sharpness and I am delighted when I think I was hand holding this shot – the heavy lens makes camera movement more likely, but the whiskers have come out crisp and sharp.

ISO3200, 1/2000 sec, F6.3, 500mm focal length
ISO3200, 1/2000 sec, F6.3, 500mm focal length

Half the ISO, the same shutter speed, focal length and aperture and the shot works. I don’t think I focused quite on the eye, but I like the composition.

ISO2500, 1/2000sec, F6.3 - 500mm focal length
ISO2500, 1/2000sec, F6.3 – 500mm focal length

The bird is not a sharp, but it was further away and I am shooting at in through a tree which has almost completely disappeared. The ISO seems to be the first variation that changes in shutter priority, the shallow depth of field blurs the back ground quite quickly, and it is worth being aware that I don’t want the depth of field to drop off too soon.

I need to have a refresh though:

  • on focusing in Alservo
  • check what exposure metering would be best.
  • what the two stablising buttons mean on the 150-500mm lens if I am using a tripod…  1 is for the vertical and horizontal plane when on a tripod, 2 is for vertical only so useful for panning!
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