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Geese, mallards, swans...500 F4 & Manfrotto 393 head

Discussion in 'Birds' started by Sandro Bravo, Jan 1, 2006.

  1. Sandro Bravo

    Sandro Bravo

    Nov 18, 2005
    For someone that's more used to shoot sports, mostly surf, i'm finding a whole new world while shooting nature...until now, just some ducks and geese in a pond nearby...:smile:

    I've been on a quest for sharpness since i bought a 500 F4 AFS and i owe big time to some of the folks in this forum for their sound advice, specially overhere ->https://www.nikoncafe.com/vforums/showthread.php?t=52767 :wink:

    I went to test a new tripod head, the Manfrott 393 gimbal and i'm amazed on what can be achieved with it...i can now shoot with a slower shutter and still get the shot, tracking a bird in flight was never so easy since the lense feels almost weightless and can be moved around just by holding the camera body....for 150 euro, it's a winner for sure...all of these were taken at F4, ISO 250 and a couple were with the 1.4 TC II, but i'm still learning to cope with the extra focal lenght....hope you like these, no post processing apart from resizing.

    You can check full-size here -> http://www.pbase.com/slbravo/500_f4__testing

    NIKON D70    ---    500mm    f/4.0    1/1600s   






    NIKON D70    ---    500mm    f/4.0    1/5000s   





    NIKON D70    ---    500mm    f/4.0    1/2500s   


    14 (just to show how the setup works for flight shots )

    100% CROP of shot Nº 14
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  2. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005
    Very nice series Sandro. Better watch out or you will get hooked like the rest of us. :smile:
  3. Sandro, all the shots are beautiful.
  4. Scotty_R


    Jan 1, 2006

    All of these images are stunning, but #7 is my favorite. The DOF is wonderful and the water drops falling from the swan's mouth and hitting the water is just frosting on the cake. Fabulous. I will look forward to much more out of your 500mm.
  5. Frank, Sandro is ALREADY hooked, even if he hasn't figured that out yet :biggrin:

    Hey, Sandro, getting better every day, eh? Isn't it fun trying to get that first focus-lock on a flying bird, especially with the 1.4 attached? That was one of the most difficult things for me, and it still isn't the easiest thing to "find" the little bird in the viewfinder, especially the smaller, faster flying ones. But it is a challenge, and we all love those don't we?
  6. I agree with Bill, it is too late, you are already hooked. It is a good thing as you have the equipment to make it happen. Very nice series and all the best for the new years.
  7. Sandro Bravo

    Sandro Bravo

    Nov 18, 2005
    I'm glad you liked it and you're absolutely right...i'm hooked to the point of loosing track of time while i'm at it....anyway, i'm already used to shoot surf for 8 hours straight, without eating or drinking...:biggrin:

    P.S: the flight shot was taken without TC, only photo nº 5 was taken with it. I tried to use it for a while but the sun was constantly getting blocked by clouds and i didn't want to shoot above ISO 250....anyway, from the few shots i took, the TC doesn't seem to affect sharpness shooting at F5.6 and i'll test the combo properly next time, under better conditions.
  8. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Good stuff,

    Gotta agree with Bill 100%
  9. Sandro Bravo

    Sandro Bravo

    Nov 18, 2005
    The only thing i'm missing now, is a new camera with better AF than the D70...i'll have to scratch my head meanwhile and figure out the pros and cons between a used D2H or a new D200 and how they'll fit my needs...anyway, i think that the D70 can still cut it....:smile:

    For those of you considering buying a good and relatively cheap tripod head, take this example of a flight shot taken at 1/320s with the Manfrotto 393 gimbal….though not as sharp as the other I posted earlier on this thread, I still think it’s good enough, considering the focal length and specially the low shutter speed.


    Full-size -> http://i.pbase.com/o4/04/561604/1/54280525.DSC_6672.JPG
  10. Sandro Bravo

    Sandro Bravo

    Nov 18, 2005
    I need a couple of tips on the D70's focus settings and posted where i'm supposed to post... -> https://www.nikoncafe.com/vforums/showthread.php?t=59826

    But since most of the experts that shoot action (it can't be harder that flying birds....:biggrin: ) are here, if you could give a quick look and give your feedback, i'd appreciate it. :smile:
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
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