Bird tracking with D200

Discussion in 'Birds' started by gugs, May 24, 2007.

  1. gugs

    gugs

    490
    Feb 24, 2006
    Belgium
    some recent experience with AF and a question.

    I have been for the first time in my life to an animal park very close to home... this is a fantastic place I had never seen before and I definitely have to go back because I couldn't see a third of it... I am a bit ashamed because I have visited lots of zoos and animal parks all over the world and I never took the time to go there...

    Back to the subject: D200.

    Among other things... there was a birds show (very classical, I have seen those in Vancouver, Singapore, ... very similar) and I tried to catch some flight shots.
    My experience is the following:
    - sometimes the D200 has problems to follow at all and ends up focusing on the background - all pics unusable
    - the closest subject mode doesn't really seem to work for birds flying very fast in your direction.
    - group dynamic with continuous AF, and lock on target before the flight started gave me excellent sequences (see hereunder for an example)
    - one series was totally wrong - AF completely lost and all pictures overexposed exactly the same way (example below) - anybody an idea of what happened ?

    I have been using the D200+70-200VR @2.8-3.5 Aperture priority for the following pictures (C-H mode 5 pics/sec)

    #1 target locked before take off
    503846267_dde671c3aa.
    #2 next one
    503846667_a542ce6ea4.
    #3 next one - higher resolution to show that it's still in focus
    503808550_e437ececbf_b.
    #4 next one in the sequence
    503847673_e6363445c5.
    #5 and so on... even with an obstacle (I programmed the "medium" delay before the AF jumps)
    503809360_8f6411c856.
    #6 the last one in the sequence I wanted to show here
    503848471_72d0755db6_b.

    the example of the missed sequence (10 pics like that)
    503845127_072394afa7.

    and by the way, the performance of the 70-200VR fully open @200mm falls in the category "reasonable" :D
    503805658_4a584e3f01_b.
    and another one...
    503831372_1c6a5b32cc_b.


    Last thing, there were a few other shooters, many P&S camera's, a few with a D50, D70, Rebel with kit lenses and two more serious photographers... one with the D2Xs+Sigma 120-300 2.8 (very impressive) and another one with Canon 1Ds+L Glass (the longest he had was a 300mm f4). There was the local pro-shooter, selling his pictures.... he shoots up to 5000 pics a day !, has two people full time to help him to process film (yes he is still using film), and is doing this with a Nikon F90. He was impressed by the stuff I had with me... Here is his pic (scanned on my crappy scanner).
    503746314_d3ae732de8.
    I had the D200+70-200VR, the F5+80-400OS and the D70+18-200VR and a number of other lenses in my backpack (to be honest, the D70 has been used by my wife, I didn't touch it... My wife is starting to get interested and has even talked about a D40x.... who knows :D

    Thanks for watching.

    Guy
     
  2. TimK

    TimK

    Apr 17, 2006
    Hong Kong, China
    The D200's AF is, IMO, reasonable good but definitely not as good as the D2x or F6. Usually if I take a flying sequence 1 out of every 3 or 4 will be off focused. Sometimes the AE is, as you experienced, totally wrong. That's why if the lighting is uniform I usually use the M mode.
     
  3. Chris_B

    Chris_B

    Mar 12, 2006
    Arlington, VA
    Hi Guy. I've had my best results with the D200 in Group Dynamic mode 2 with the center group. According to the CAM-1000 articles, this will be one of the faster modes since the camera is evaluating fewer focus points.

    Here is a very good article by Jason O'dell on the CAM-2000 focus engine on the D2 line. His discussion of focus modes applies to the CAM-1000 on the D200 I believe.

    http://www.luminescentphoto.com/articles/CAM2000/cam2000.html

    Nice shots by the way.
     
  4. gugs

    gugs

    490
    Feb 24, 2006
    Belgium
    thanks for the comments and thanks for the link, very clear article. There is also a very interesting article on the Nikonians site about the AF systems.
     
  5. very impressive....the d200 did a great job...and ya cant get them all anyway!
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.