20 July 2017

Canon EOS 7D Mark II: Zone AF Manual Selection Cape Town

Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens
Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens
Canon EOS 7D Mark II / Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens - Birds In Flight AF Testing Woodbridge Island / Cape Town

Objective: Testing the Canon EOS 7D Mark II body / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens with AI Servo / Zone AF Manual Selection.

Autofocus: Zone AF Manual Selection
I've tried this a few times before, but this week I made an conscientious effort in giving the Zone AF Manual Selection more attention in terms of my Birds in Flight photography with this starling coming in for landing on a lamp post.

Over the last couple of months I've preferred the Canon EOS 7D Mark II's Large / Wide Zone AF Selection, but the Zone AF Manual Selection is a consideration for smaller / mid-size birds in flight. Please note that my AF interpretations / conclusions are based on my own experiences in a single birds in flight shooting environment - a specific AF selection may provide for different results in other environments (with other in-body settings). I have found that the Large / Wide Zone AF Selection to be effective for small birds in flight photography.

Canon EOS 7D Mark II :  Zone AF Manual Selection Cape Town
Canon EOS 7D Mark II : Zone AF Manual Selection 
Lightroom Post-Processing
All images processed in Adobe Lightroom 6. Converted from RAW to JPG. Lens profile correction. Minor colour correction. Some noise reduction

Cape Town Location
Milnerton Lagoon Woodbridge Island, Cape Town

Equipment (Birds In Flight / Action Photography) 
  • Canon EOS 7D Mark II DSLR camera body 
  • Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens 
  • Lexar Professional 800x / 120MB/s 32GB CF Card 

Manual Mode Settings 
  • Shutter speed: 1/5000s 
  • Aperture: f/6.3 
  • Focal length 400mm 
  • Auto-ISO (ISO 640) 
  • Continuous shooting mode (10 fps) 
  • AI Servo / AF Mode Option (Zone AF Manual Selection / Case 1) 
  • Lens AF On / No IS / Handheld 

(Click to Enlarge)
Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens (Wide Zone AF for Birds in Flight)
Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens (Zone AF Manual Selection - Starling in Flight) - Cape Town

Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens (Wide Zone AF for Birds in Flight)
Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens (Zone AF Manual Selection - Starling in Flight) - Cape Town

Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens (Wide Zone AF for Birds in Flight)
Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens (Zone AF Manual Selection - Starling in Flight) - Cape Town

Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens (Wide Zone AF for Birds in Flight)
Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens (Zone AF Manual Selection - Starling in Flight) - Cape Town

Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens (Wide Zone AF for Birds in Flight)
Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens (Zone AF Manual Selection - Starling in Flight) - Cape Town

Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town
Birds in flight Photography Cape Town

Canon EOS 7D Mark II - Birds in Flight Photo Gallery

Canon EOS 7D Mark II Info / Manual Downloads

Night Handheld ISO Test: V&A Waterfront Cape Town

Ferris Wheel V&A Waterfront Cape Town

Objective: Demonstrating the application of higher ISO settings at ISO 800 and ISO 1600 with the Canon EOS 700D / Rebel T5i DSLR camera and EF-S 10-18mm IS STM Ultra-wide lens.

Note: All images handheld in Av Mode. Images captured in RAW (conversion via Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5.4). With no other editing / correction except for Canon EF-S lens profile correction.

Canon Camera Equipment

  • Canon EOS 700D SLR camera body 
  • Canon EF-S 10-18mm IS STM lens 
  • Handheld 

Av Mode - Camera Settings
  • Aperture f/4.5 - 5.6 
  • ISO 800 - 1600 
  • Image Stabilization / Auto Focus 
  • Between 10 - 18mm focal length 
  • Shutter speed: Various

(Click to Enlarge / Slide Show)
Canon EOS 700D / EF-S 10-18mm IS STM Lens ISO 800 f/4.5

Canon EOS 700D / EF-S 10-18mm IS STM Lens ISO 1600 f/5.6

Canon EOS 700D / EF-S 10-18mm IS STM Lens ISO 1600 f/5.6

The Difference between Optical and Digital Zoom

The Difference between Optical and Digital Zoom (Compact Camera Zoom Demo)
The Difference between Optical and Digital Zoom (Compact Camera Zoom Demonstration Cape Town)

To bring far away subjects closer into the frame photographers have a choice to either use a telephoto zoom lens or to move closer to take the shot at a closer focal length. The latter is not always possible, and many photographers rely on a variety of zoom lens options for bringing a variety of subjects closer.

DSLR and Compact Zoom Options
A DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) camera system consists primarily of a camera body and one / variety of removable lenses, covering various focal lengths, for different photography genres. One lens category is zoom (standard / telephoto) lenses to capture distant subjects such as certain landscapes, wildlife and / or sporting activities. 


Canon standard zoom versus telephoto zoom lenses
DSLR zoom lenses cover different focal lengths ie 18-55mm and telephoto zoom lenses are zoom lenses with longer focal lengths ie. 55-250mm (see table below).

Typical focal zoom lengths of standard / telephoto zoom lenses as categorized by some of Canon's EF-S (standard / telephoto) / EF lens (telephoto) ranges:

  • Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM (standard) 
  • Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-6 IS STM (standard) 
  • Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS (standard) 
  • Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4- 5.6 IS STM (telephoto) 
  • Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L IS USM (telephoto) 
  • Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM (telephoto) 
  • Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS USM (telephoto) 

A compact zoom camera facilitates a fix lens capable of wide-angle to very far reaching focal lengths ranging from 18mm to a whopping 1200mm+ optical (and digital) super zoom (ie. 50x zoom on the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS). For many enthusiast photographers this is a very cost-effective and all round solution with good all-round image quality.

This beckons the question: why do photographers require DSLR-type telephoto zoom lenses between 100-400mm (ie. the Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS USM lens) if a compact camera offers more optical zoom? 

A DSLR camera system is by [optical] design superior / more versatile ito:
  • Compatibility with purpose-designed (Macro / Ultra-Wide / Prime / Zoom) lenses.
  • Superior optical lens design and quality multiple lens elements.
  • Faster Auto-Focusing (AF) / Optical Image Stabilization (IS) systems.
  • Larger image sensors capable of much higher image quality (in various lighting conditions) than advanced / super-zoom compact cameras.

Difference between Optical and Digital zoom (demo)

Optical Zoom
Optical zoom uses the actual lens optics to transmit and magnify light via various lens elements to the camera's image sensor. It works similar to a binoculars and use various ratios of magnification to zoom in or out to subjects of what the photographer will see in the camera's viewfinder and / or LCD screen. This is also refereed to as true zoom.


Example: Images 1-3 with the Canon PowerShot SX40 HS (35x optical zoom covering a focal length range of 24-840mm)

Digital Zoom

Digital zoom is generally added 'at the end' of the optical zoom range (on most compact cameras) and will enlarge the optical framed image at the maximum optical range similar to cropping in software post-processing. It retains the aspect ratio, but with the lack of optical resolution may see an increase in digital noise (as cropping is applied), 

Example: Images 4 / 5 with the Canon PowerShot SX40 HS (140x zoom - including 35x optical zoom).  Both images are at 840mm with extended digital zoom applied to 1700mm and 3497mm.

Cape Town Shooting Location
From Arnhem, Milnerton Cape town (over Table Bay)

(Click to Enlarge)
The Difference between Optical and Digital Zoom (Compact Camera Zoom Demo)
Image 1:  Optical Zoom +- 24mm (35mm eqv)  f/8  ISO 100

The Difference between Optical and Digital Zoom (Compact Camera Zoom Demo)
Image 2:  Optical Zoom +- 133mm (35mm eqv)  f/8  ISO 100

The Difference between Optical and Digital Zoom (Compact Camera Zoom Demo)
Image 3:  Optical Zoom +- 840mm (35mm eqv)  f/8  ISO 100

The Difference between Optical and Digital Zoom (Compact Camera Zoom Demo)
Image 4:  Digital Zoom +- 1700mm  (35mm eqv) f/8  ISO 100

The Difference between Optical and Digital Zoom (Compact Camera Zoom Demo)
Image 5:  Digital Zoom +- 3497mm (35mm eqv)  f/8 ISO 100

Canon EOS 6D / EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Lens - Zoom Test
Canon EOS 6D / EF 70-300mm f/4--5.6L IS USM Lens - Zoom Test

Zoom Test: Canon EOS 7D Mark II / EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5,6L IS II USM Lens
Zoom Test: Canon EOS 7D Mark II / EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5,6L IS II USM Lens 

10 July 2017

Macro Bee Photography - Woodbridge Island, Cape Town

More busy bees, but this time with a true 1:1 Canon EF macro lens. Woodbridge Island / Milnerton Cape Town. Photos by Vernon Chalmers with Canon EOS 700D and Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens. Lens Aperture f/11 Auto ISO 1/125 / 1/125s & 180s shutter speeds. All photos handheld.


(Click to Enlarge / Slideshow)
Woodbridge Island Bee - Canon EOS / 100mm Macro lens
Woodbridge Island Bee - Canon EOS / EF 100mm Macro lens

Woodbridge Island Bee - Canon EOS / 100mm Macro lens
Woodbridge Island Bee - Canon EOS / EF 100mm Macro lens

Woodbridge Island Bee - Canon EOS / 100mm Macro lens
Woodbridge Island Bee - Canon EOS / EF 100mm Macro lens

Canon EOS 70D / EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro Lens - Macro Photos Cape Town>> 

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Vernon Chalmers Photography Private Training / Workshops Cape Town
  • Canon EOS Autofocus / AI Servo Master Class Cape Town More
  • Birds in Flight Photography Workshop Cape Town More
  • Canon Speedlite / Ring Lite Flash Photography Workshop Cape Town More
  • Macro / Close-Up Photography Workshop Cape Town More
  • Landscape / Long Exposure Photography Workshop Cape Town More
  • Digital Workflow / Lightroom Post-Processing Workshop Cape Town More

Tiny Butterfly with a Zoom Lens - Woodbridge Island, Cape Town

This tiny Gatekeeper butterfly (Pyronia tithonus) was captured close to Woodbridge Island with a Canon telephoto zoom lens. All photos by Vernon Chalmers with Canon EOS 6D / EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens (Av Mode / Handheld @ 300mm).

I would normally use a dedicated macro lens (Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM) for these close-up shots (for image quality and 1:1 magnification), but did not have it on any of my bodies at the time. A 70-300mm zoom lens (due to its long focal length) comes in handy most times.


 The quick moving / small butterfly will in anyway be quite challenging with a 60 or 100mm macro lens (mainly due to the limited focus distance of the macro lens versus the zoomed-in reach of the zoom lens). For bees captured with a macro lens go here Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM lens.


(Click To Enlarge / Slideshow)
Tiny Butterfly with a Zoom Lens - Woodbridge Island 01
Canon EOS 6D / Woodbridge Island Cape Town

Tiny Butterfly with a Zoom Lens - Woodbridge Island 02
Canon EOS 6D / Woodbridge Island Cape Town

Tiny Butterfly with a Zoom Lens - Woodbridge Island 03
Canon EOS 6D / Woodbridge Island Cape Town

Tiny Butterfly with a Zoom Lens - Woodbridge Island, Cape Town
Canon EOS 6D / Woodbridge Island Cape Town

Vernon Chalmers Photography Private Training / Workshops Cape Town

  • Canon EOS Autofocus / AI Servo Master Class Cape Town More
  • Birds in Flight Photography Workshop Cape Town More
  • Canon Speedlite / Ring Lite Flash Photography Workshop Cape Town More
  • Macro / Close-Up Photography Workshop Cape Town More
  • Landscape / Long Exposure Photography Workshop Cape Town More
  • Digital Workflow / Lightroom Post-Processing Workshop Cape Town More

08 July 2017

Small butterfly photography with Birds In Flight Setup

The small butterfly was captured while I was out doing some birds in flight shooting around Woodbridge Island, Milnerton Cape Town this morning.

This is exactly the same camera / lens setup that I use for capturing birds in flight around the island. Normally, I would use a macro lens / or a zoom lens with an extended tube, but I was keen to see how this setup could work. 


Advantages for close-up photography with this setup are very good image quality and fast Autofocus (AF) of the Canon EOS 7D Mark II / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens combination.

A disadvantage of the 400mm lens is the Minimum Focus Distance (MFD) when capturing close-up subjects. the MFD is 3.5 meter, but the lens can be used with extension tubes and / or close-up lens filters. Filter thread is 77mm.

The rest is up to (AF) tracking and framing requirements. I've captured all three images with lens AF on.

Canon EOS 7D Mark II /  EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens (Handheld). Manual mode: ISO 1000 / f/6.3 1/5000s. Wide Zone AF / 10 fps. Handheld.


(Click to enlarge)
Butterfly Woodbridge Island : Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens
Butterfly Woodbridge Island : Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens

Butterfly Woodbridge Island : Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens
Butterfly Woodbridge Island : Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens

Butterfly Woodbridge Island : Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens
Butterfly Woodbridge Island : Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens


Vernon Chalmers Photography Workshops Cape Town
  • Canon EOS Autofocus / AI Servo Master Class Cape Town More
  • Birds in Flight Photography Workshop Cape Town More
  • Canon Speedlite / Ring Lite Flash Photography Workshop Cape Town More
  • Macro / Close-Up Photography Workshop Cape Town More
  • Landscape / Long Exposure Photography Workshop Cape Town More
  • Digital Workflow / Lightroom Post-Processing Workshop Cape Town More

01 July 2017

Sunset over Woodbridge Island, Cape Town

After sunset over Woodbridge Island, Cape Town
Woodbridge Island Sunset with Canon EOS 700D DSLR Camera : From Arnhem Milnerton Cape Town

Objective: Demonstrating application of long sunset exposures with the Canon SX40 HS compact and Canon EOS 700D / Rebel T5i DSLR camera with EF-S 18-135mm IS STM lens (without lens filters) over Woodbridge Island Milnerton. 

Note: All photos on Manfrotto tripod in Av mode. DSLR images captured in RAW (conversion via Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5.4). With no other editing / correction except for Canon EF-S lens profile correction. Canon Powershot SX40 HS image captured in JPG.

 Canon Camera Equipment

  • Canon PowerShot SX40 HS compact camera
  • Canon EOS 700D SLR camera body
  • Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens
  • Manfrotto Compact tripod

Av Mode - Aperture Priority Settings

  • f/22 / ISO 100 / Shutter: .30 - 1/15s
  • Autofocus / Manual focus
  • RAW / JPG conversion (lens profile correction only)
  • PowerShot SX40 HS: f/5.8 / ISO 100 / 15 seconds

(Click to enlarge / Slide Show)
Canon PowerShot SX40 HS : Cape Town


After sunset over Woodbridge Island, Cape Town
Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens : Cape Town


After sunset over Woodbridge Island, Cape Town
Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens : Cape Town


After sunset over Woodbridge Island, Cape Town
Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens : Cape Town


After sunset over Woodbridge Island, Cape Town
Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens : Cape Town


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Vernon Chalmers Photography Private Training / Workshops Cape Town
  • Canon EOS Autofocus / AI Servo Master Class Cape Town More
  • Birds in Flight Photography Workshop Cape Town More
  • Canon Speedlite / Ring Lite Flash Photography Workshop Cape Town More
  • Macro / Close-Up Photography Workshop Cape Town More
  • Landscape / Long Exposure Photography Workshop Cape Town More
  • Digital Workflow / Lightroom Post-Processing Workshop Cape Town More

Action Photography Milnerton Beach Cape Town

A couple of casual surfing snapshots during the final morning of a private Canon EOS 7D Mark II / Canon EOS 5D Mark III workshop at Milnerton Beach off Woodbridge Island, Cape Town. All photos by Vernon Chalmers with Canon EOS 7D Mark II / Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens (M Mode / Handheld). Minor image cropping / post-processing in Adobe Lightroom.

Action Photography / Manual Mode Settings

  • Shutter speed: 1/3200s 
  • Aperture: f/6.3
  • ISO 640 
  • Focal length 400mm (Canon prime lens)
  • Continuous shooting (10 fps / AI Servo) 
  • Extended Zone Autofocus / Lens AF on

(Click To Enlarge)
Action Photography Cape Town: Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm lens

Action Photography Cape Town: Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm lens

Action Photography Cape Town : Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm lens

Action Photography Cape Town: Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm lens

For other photography workshops visit Vernon Chalmers Photography Workshops

Canon Aperture / Depth of Field Samples - Cape Town

Aperture / Depth of Field Image Samples - Cape Town
With Canon EF-S 18-135mm IS STM lens
Aperture / Depth of Field Flower Image Samples
Close-up photos in / around Constantia, Century City, Durbanville and Milnerton Cape Town. (All images by Vernon Chalmers)

Objective: Demonstrating Depth of Field application and quality / level of background blur (bokeh) using different lenses with the Canon EOS 700D / Rebel T5i DSLR camera body.

Note: All garden and nature photos hand-held in Av mode (Aperture Priority) with or without external hot shoe flash. ISO's between ISO 100 - 400. Shutter speeds all automatically selected by camera. Some photos with Canon Extension Tube EF25 II or Canon 500D close-up lens.

Canon Equipment
  • Canon EOS 700D SLR camera body
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II prime lens
  • Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens
  • Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens 
  • Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.5-5.6 IS II zoom lens
  • Canon Extension Tube EF25 II
  • Canon 500D close-up lens
  • Canon Speedlite 430EX II flash (TTL Mode)

Av Mode - Aperture Priority Settings
  • 50mm lens f/2.8-f/4.0
  • 18-135mm lens f./5.6
  • 55-250mm lens f/5.6
  • ISO 100 - 400
  • Shutter speed: various (automatic)
  • Image stabilsation on (EF-S lenses)
  • Zero post-processing (just crops)

(Click to Enlarge)
Av Mode: f/8 / ISO 400 Canon Close-Up Filter / EF-S 55-250mm IS II Lens
Av Mode: f/8 / ISO 400 Canon Close-Up Filter / EF-S 55-250mm IS II Lens

Canon EF-S  18-135mm IS STM Lens f/5.6 ISO 400 (Flash)
Canon EF-S  18-135mm IS STM Lens f/5.6 ISO 400 (Flash)

Canon EOS 700D / EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens  f/16 ISO 400 (Flash)
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens  f/16 ISO 400 (Flash)

Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS II lens f/5.6 ISO 120
Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS II lens f/5.6 ISO 120

Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS II lens / 500D Close-up lens / 5.6 ISO 100
Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS II lens / 500D Close-up lens / 5.6 ISO 100

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens f/8 ISO 400 (Flash)
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens f/8 ISO 400 (Flash)

Canon EF-S 18-55 IS STM Lens f/11 ISO 200 (Flash)
Canon EF-S 18-55 IS STM Lens f/11 ISO 200 (Flash)

Canon EF-S 18-135mm IS STM lens / Extension Tube f/5.6 ISO 100
Canon EF-S 18-135mm IS STM lens / Extension Tube f/5.6 ISO 100

Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS II lens f/5.6 ISO 100
Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS II lens f/5.6 ISO 100 

Canon EF-S 18-135mm IS STM lens / Extension Tube f/5.6 ISO 100
Canon EF-S 18-135mm IS STM lens / Extension Tube f/5.6 ISO 100

Canon EF 50mm f/1/8 II lens f/4.0 ISO 400
Canon EF 50mm f/1/8 II lens f/4.0 ISO 400 

Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS II lens / Extension Tube f/5.6 ISO 100
Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS II lens / Extension Tube f/5.6 ISO 100 

Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS II lens / Extension Tube f/5.6 ISO 100
Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS II lens / Extension Tube f/5.6 ISO 100

Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS II lens / Extension Tube f/5.6 ISO 100
Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS II lens / Extension Tube f/5.6 ISO 100

Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS II lens / Extension Tube f/5.6 ISO 100
Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS II lens / Extension Tube f/5.6 ISO 100

Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS II lens / Extension Tube f/5.6 ISO 100
Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS II lens / Extension Tube f/5.6 ISO 100 

Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS II lens / Extension Tube f/5.6 ISO 400 (Flash)
Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS II lens / Extension Tube f/5.6 ISO 400 (Flash)

With Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS II lens / 500D Close-up lens / 5.6 ISO 100
With Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS II lens / 500D Close-up lens / 5.6 ISO 100

Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS II lens / 500D Close-up lens / f/6.7 ISO 100
Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS II lens / 500D Close-up lens / f/6.7 ISO 100 

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens f/4.0 ISO 400 (Flash)
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens f/4.0 ISO 400 (Flash)