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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:54 am 
Hey, I've been having some trouble with my birds in flight shots...

The pictures are still coming out soft and I was just wondering if there is a fast lens that is recommended.

I'm assuming I'm going to be told the 70-200mm VR f2.8 is going to be suggested but I just don't have $2500 to spend on a lens.

I was wondering about how the Tamron 70-200 f2.8 is compared to the Nikon?


I'm currently using the 16-85mm VR 3.5 - 5.6 and for some reason the picture is coming out soft.

Some of my pictures were actually completely focused on the background somehow...

I was using the AF-C Setting on my camera, I THOUGHT I was focused on the bird, LOL...but then I looked at the picture and it focused on the background.

Is there something I can do to focus more on the foreground and not the background??? Probably manually focus, I'm not sure.

Any hints and tips would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 8:23 am 
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I'm not familiar with the details of Nikon AF, but certainly every camera I've owned often finds the background more interesting than the subject at times.

If you're using a multipoint AF then make sure it has lock on the subject as it tracks. If you're good at tracking the subject yourself, I find single point AF to work quite well. Obviously that is limited more to subjects that fly more predictably or slowly. If they're in the same kind of area all the time, manual pre-focus can be useful too.

What shutter speeds are you using? A fast shutter helps to prevent motion blur.

Conversely, you might want to stop down the lens a bit. I find the DoF can be very shallow, and increasing the DoF can help cover any focus errors.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:13 am 
Shutter speeds ranging from 1/1000 to 1/5000

ISO 200 (because there is a lot of light)

Aperture, I try to keep as large as possible to blur the background...So for my lens it's 5.6


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 10:25 am 
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popo wrote:
Conversely, you might want to stop down the lens a bit. I find the DoF can be very shallow, and increasing the DoF can help cover any focus errors.


I try to shoot at around f/8 for bif for the reason popo stated above.
You may very well have to crank up your iso to get your shutter speeds up.

Try using 21-point AF, and for myself I avoid using a tripod for all my wildlife shooting as to me anyway, is a pain in the ass and have missed some great photo opps.

Not sure what birds you intend on shooting, but the 70-200 in most cases you will find too short. Unless you are after local ducks and gulls.

For the money you would spend on the Tamron 70-200 I would instead look at the Sigma 120-400 or the 150-500. Not fast lenses but you will get the reach. For the money the Nikon afs70-300vr is a great lense.

Practice on your panning very important, try moving your hips only to pan not your arms or upper body.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 10:44 am 
I was using the 51 point AF with 3D tracking.

Used AF-C so it doesn't lock the focus and keeps tracking the subject.

I don't think I'm going to need to bump up the ISO's just because there is a lot of light outside, but I will surely try up to about 500 next time I go out.

Do you have any experience with the Sigma lenses quality wise? I'm all for saving money but at the same time I don't want to buy a lens that I'm going to regret because the Optics and build quality is crap.

Cheers


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 10:58 am 
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I myself never use the 3D tracking as I find it loses the subject often especially in the trees.

Next time yout out try these settings for bif. AF-C, 21-point, Aperture priorty f8, auto iso.

I have never used a Sigma lense so can't comment on it.
Have a look at some KPR's photo's as he uses the 50-500.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 11:06 am 
I'll try those out and see what happens and post the results as soon as I can.

I can't choose auto ISO btw...Doesn't look like my camera has it


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 11:39 am 
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With my D90 it's under (Shooting Menu) then look for (ISO Sensetivity settings)


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:30 pm 
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These were shot with the D90 and kit 18-105 lens

Image

Image

Image

AF-C with Dynamic AF-Area mode and the camera set to sports mode and continuous shutter release.

The other thing is the autofocus will track whatever is in the centre of the focus point when you first hold down the shutter button (half way) so if your subject is not within the focus point and your background is you track the background.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:23 pm 
Quote:
With my D90 it's under (Shooting Menu) then look for (ISO Sensetivity settings)


Found it....Thanks for that, I'll with Auto ISO and see if that helps out any.


Keystrokesuk:

Nice pictures, but do you think you can get a larger size and make the water mark smaller on them just so I can see the amount of detail in the picture.

Cheers


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 7:15 pm 
Hey guys..I posted up my most recent pictures of Birds in Flight


Birds in flight recent


Enjoy and please C+C on them. Any hints or tips that can help me get better are greatly appreciated.

Cheers


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 10:07 am 
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Here is a link to a larger version of the last image
http://www.keystrokesukimages.com/Anima ... y-X2-2.jpg

The other shots are already crops so not much more detail and as I was standing on a cliff top I wasn't taking any steps forward to get closer to my subject :)

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 1:06 pm 
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Pete,

I'm quite happy with results from both my Sigma's.
They aren't overly expensive which is great for me and they seem to produce well enough for my liking at this time.
I have no experience with better lenses (yet) so have no comparison.
You can have a look at some of my stuff throughout the wildlife forum here,the 500mm is almost always attached to my cam...
Whitetail deer
Birds
Duck of the day
Marine mammals

I "try" to do as little post processing as possible so what you see for the most part is what comes from both the camera and lens.
The 300mm is a good start but I have found the 500 to take a better pic.
I got the 300 (less than $300) to start before jumping up just to know if I would get the use from the 500 ($1200) to justify the purchase.

I'm by far no pro and I learn something new every time out and each time I come on Cameralabs.
I think maybe I haven't drawn the full potential from this lens yet but I can certainly say I've got my monies worth from it :wink:

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 6:20 pm 
Keystrokesuk:

Great shot and awesome detail...Thanks for sharing.



KPR:

Thank you for the information, I'm definitely going to try and invest in a nicer bird lens because 85mm just doesn't get you close enough unless your about 20 feet from them


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