1. Welcome to NikonCafe.com—a friendly Nikon camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

Green Heron in flight -which setting you are using for "focus tracking with lock on."

Discussion in 'Birds' started by cre8foru, Jul 19, 2008.

  1. cre8foru

    cre8foru

    Dec 1, 2007
    Atlanta GA
    I am determined to get better at BIF the next few months. Im still not sure about focus settings with my D300 though. Anyone care to share what focus settings they use? I would really like to know which setting you are using for "focus tracking with lock on." Mine is set to normal. The other options are short or long.

    Thanks, Rich

    original.gif
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 20, 2008
  2. Dave

    Dave

    Feb 7, 2007
    Suwanee, GA
    Nice attempt...these guys are tough. They are very fast and smaller than the GBH, so it's tough to get the focus to lock on them. Keep at it!
     
  3. I use normal, AF-C, 51 point and practice, practice and then somemore practice:smile::wink:. These guys are very tough to get in flight. You need to try to anticipate and just settle in at the place where they are perched and just be ready. Shutter speed needs to be at least 1/1000 at a minimum, but when you are learning try for higher. I noticed you are trying to do this with the tc attached. Try practicing without the tc, because handholding at that magnification is very, very tough for still objects, let alone BIF. This setup needs to be on a monopod at least or tripod at best. The only lens I use to handhold BIF's is the 70-300VR. When I use my 500 with BIF's my shutterspeeds are at least 1/2000 and that is with a tripod. Also, with that combination lens and TC, I would think you would need to close it down a bit to get the best, like f7.1 or f8.

    Nancy
     
  4. Dave

    Dave

    Feb 7, 2007
    Suwanee, GA
    I agree with Nancy, I use AF-C, 51 point and just let 'er rip. I normally snap off as many as I can get before they're either too far out of the frame or pass behind something to where I can't see them anymore.
     
  5. Hi Rich., I use single sensor in the center, unless the birds are consistently in a blue sky, then 9, 21, 51 point will work fine. It is tough when the bird has a background like trees, rocks, water etc, but these are the best shots when your done. I use focus lock on short, and I use the rear AF button to activate the af., also, I usually keep the VR off.

    Bif shooting is always a lot of fun, its the challenge that keeps you coming back.. much like Golf.

    take care!
     
  6. cre8foru

    cre8foru

    Dec 1, 2007
    Atlanta GA
    Thanks for the feedback and info guys. I always feel like I need more light though, even on the sunniest of days.
     
  7. Dave

    Dave

    Feb 7, 2007
    Suwanee, GA
    You always need more light...even on the sunniest of days. That's the beauty of having the D300 or the D3 (eventually the D700 too) you can always up the ISO a bit to give you a faster SS.
     
  8. I agree with what has been said, especially using a tripod. Also, try shooting without a tc to see if you get faster acquisition on your subject.
     
  9. cre8foru

    cre8foru

    Dec 1, 2007
    Atlanta GA
    Thanks again for all the help everyone. My focus is definitely faster without the TC but I hate to give up that length (300mm as opposed to 420mm). As for not having enough light, that kinda baffles me. I see guys shooting in "A" priority and they get readings in the 1000s or better for shutter speeds. Even when Im shooting wide open(5.6 with the TC) in bright sunlight I seldom get a shutter speed near 1/1000 unless I point at the sky. Im usually shooting ISO speed of 800 as well. This shot was ISO 800 in bright light at 1/1000 of a second in shutter priority and it was still underexposed and had to be lightened up in CS3.
    There's always a trade off in photography that makes it so challenging.
     
  10. Dave

    Dave

    Feb 7, 2007
    Suwanee, GA
    What metering mode are you using, matrix, cw, or spot? I use mostly center weighter and only switch to Matrix if it's a landscape shot (or the metering is completely off and I need to try something different). If you look at my green heron shots, some of them where the sun is behind me, I was able to keep the ISO in the 200's and the shutter speed up around the 1/2000s range while also keeping the f/stop up. The position of the sun is key...mornings and evenings are best, and position yourself with the sun behind you so it lights up your subject very well, and you'll see the SS's start to rise...
     
  11. cre8foru

    cre8foru

    Dec 1, 2007
    Atlanta GA
    Im usaully in matrix metering mode. I try to keep the sun behind when I can. I will try spot metering and see if that helps.
     
  12. I use matrix metering most all the time. This shot is when I first got the D300, iso 800, 1/3200 and matrix metering with -.33 ec at f 7.1 300mm with my 70-300VR lens. So, you see I could of gone lower on the iso. Oh focus lock was on normal.

    0_0_9117ab0a6a6af87fe7e0e69979e0d701_1.jpg
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


    All the best
    Nancy
     
  13. I would agree a good tripod and head will help quite a bit. It will give you a leg up on panning with the bird. After you have happy with those results, take on panning without the tripod, and practice alot! I keep focus tracking to short, as I don't want it making my decisions. If you can prefocus on the bird, do that. It will result in quicker focus acquisition once the bird takes flight.
     
  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.