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Focus Settings For Whale Watching?

Jazz1

DPRF-Patron Gold
Hello all. I had some great equipment advice regarding my XH-1 and XPro3 with 100-400mm over on the original DPReview. Now it occurs to me that I need advice regarding focus modes to use from a moving 136ft saleboat Also should I use the electronic shutter? I’ll probably attempt short videos, so any advice on XH-1 setting would be most helpful!

PS. I hope this forum takes off! :daumenhoch:
 
Hello all. I had some great equipment advice regarding my XH-1 and XPro3 with 100-400mm over on the original DPReview. Now it occurs to me that I need advice regarding focus modes to use from a moving 136ft saleboat Also should I use the electronic shutter? I’ll probably attempt short videos, so any advice on XH-1 setting would be most helpful!

PS. I hope this forum takes off! :daumenhoch:
Hi,
To be honest I have never had H-X1 or X-Pro3, but I have X-T20 and X-T3 so the same sensors and tech, so I wouldn't afraid of ES. I use ES in 95% cases with no significant issues (the only one might be rolling shutter) - so you need to check if X-Trans3 is fast enough for your subjects. XF100-400 has great OIS, so it should help a little on the boat even when the sea is calm (otherwise it may be a challenge - depending on the weather). I was shooting BIF even with X-T20 + XF100-400, but X-T3 is much better for this (better AF), so I suppose you should manage with both. Regarding AF, I would use zone 3x3 or Single Point and rather S-AF, but It would depend on the situation. On longer distances S-AF can be enough especially if your subject moves perpendicular to the line of sight. In more dynamic situations C-AF may help.
Cheers,
Artur
 
Hi,
To be honest I have never had H-X1 or X-Pro3, but I have X-T20 and X-T3 so the same sensors and tech, so I wouldn't afraid of ES. I use ES in 95% cases with no significant issues (the only one might be rolling shutter) - so you need to check if X-Trans3 is fast enough for your subjects. XF100-400 has great OIS, so it should help a little on the boat even when the sea is calm (otherwise it may be a challenge - depending on the weather). I was shooting BIF even with X-T20 + XF100-400, but X-T3 is much better for this (better AF), so I suppose you should manage with both. Regarding AF, I would use zone 3x3 or Single Point and rather S-AF, but It would depend on the situation. On longer distances S-AF can be enough especially if your subject moves perpendicular to the line of sight. In more dynamic situations C-AF may help.
Cheers,
Artur
Love the advice. Ugh! I just loaded up my ThinkTank Retrospective backpack with my camera gear for a little run through. I'm no spring chicken and the gear is pretty heavy for me. This brought to mind Hen David Thoreau's quote:

Simplify your life. Don't waste the years struggling for things that are unimportant. Don't burden yourself with possessions. Keep your needs and wants simple and enjoy what you have. Don't destroy your peace of mind by looking back, worrying about the past. Live in the present. Simplify!

Maybe I should keep the camera gear to a bare minimum and just enjoy the four hour sailboat cruise! So maybe just the XPro3 (not the XH-1 with batter grip) and just backpack the 50-140mm w/1.4 teleconverter and a prime for street photography? I'll be solo on the cruise, so no assistance in equipment carry from the spouse. Like that was going to happen anyway! :LOL:
 
Well... I've done a bit of whale watching over the years, most recently a few weeks ago in Hawaii. If it were me, I'd probably avoid using ES because of the potential for unwanted artifacts where motion is involved. It may not be an issue in most cases, however, if you are fortunate enough to photograph a whale while breaching, then there is always the risk of motion related artifacts from using ES. Since this sort of an opportunity isn't exactly an every day experience, I would tend towards being conservative and eliminating the possibility of this spoiling some otherwise excellent shots. I realize this is a very conservative approach, but I can't see the advantage of using ES outweighing the risk, even if it's fairly small.
 
Well... I've done a bit of whale watching over the years, most recently a few weeks ago in Hawaii. If it were me, I'd probably avoid using ES because of the potential for unwanted artifacts where motion is involved. It may not be an issue in most cases, however, if you are fortunate enough to photograph a whale while breaching, then there is always the risk of motion related artifacts from using ES. Since this sort of an opportunity isn't exactly an every day experience, I would tend towards being conservative and eliminating the possibility of this spoiling some otherwise excellent shots. I realize this is a very conservative approach, but I can't see the advantage of using ES outweighing the risk, even if it's fairly small.
I truly appreciate the advice. This trip no whales. :sneaky: But pelicans, dolphins, and seals, and of course US Navy vessels and yachts of clearly the rich and probably famous. Well worth the 4 hour round trip on a 137" sailboat. I met people from all over the world and the USA. That was fun!
 
Jazz1, sorry to hear you didn't get any whales this time. I have a trip to South Africa later in the year and part of it is a whale tour so looking forward to that.
Like you I have no experience with whales and who knows if we get to see any anyway, but there's always the experience.
The cruising on a sailing boat would have been nice in itself.

I have the xh2s (if I end up taking it otherwise the XT4) so will be comfortable using ES.

Jerry-Astro - Just curious as to whether the ES on my XT4 would be a problem with a subject like a whale which I thought would be a slow moving subject anyway?

Cheers
Paul
 
Paul, to answer your question... it depends. If the whales are fairly static and there isn't a lot of movement, then I suspect that ES might not be an issue. However, very often, you'll be catching whales while breaching and with a fair amount of movement. In those situations, motion artifacts absolutely have the potential of ruining a shot when using ES. TBH, I don't see enough of an advantage to using ES in any situation where motion might be involved to risk motion artifacts. And, given that risk, I'd honestly much rather be conservative and avoid the possibility of ruining that once-in-a-lifetime shot, particularly when ES really offers no real advantage near as I can tell.
 
Paul, to answer your question... it depends. If the whales are fairly static and there isn't a lot of movement, then I suspect that ES might not be an issue. However, very often, you'll be catching whales while breaching and with a fair amount of movement. In those situations, motion artifacts absolutely have the potential of ruining a shot when using ES. TBH, I don't see enough of an advantage to using ES in any situation where motion might be involved to risk motion artifacts. And, given that risk, I'd honestly much rather be conservative and avoid the possibility of ruining that once-in-a-lifetime shot, particularly when ES really offers no real advantage near as I can tell.
Thanks for your reply Jerry and the explanation.

I guess the Xh2s would be somewhat immune from ES artefacts due to its highest speed sensor readout but not so the xt4. Still at 15fps it would be very effective.

But I do recall a nice image I took with an Olympus em1 mk2 using ES where 2 egrets crossed necks but the reflection was behind so kinda ruined the shot a little. Ah found the pic and included it to illustrate the issue with a slower sensor readout (apologies it's not a Fujifilm photo).
Cheers
Paul

P3121822.jpg
 
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