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My Quest...Dragon Flies In Flight.

Discussion in 'Macro, Flowers, Insects, and Greenery' started by stealthman_1, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. I've been experimenting a lot these days with the best rig for shooting these. The many threads here and beautiful dragons have pushed me to head back out to try more. I used to spend hours with the 70-200 VR and had little success. This year there's bigger glass in the bag and much better results, but the best lens so far might surprise some. My main efforts this year have been with the;
    400 f2.8 AFS-I with 1.4TC - no success, I will try again though
    400 f2.8 AFS-I - little success and nothing to that made it to post. I think there is potential here, but the lens is just to unwieldly and tripod work is tedious with Dragons. I'm going to give it one more shot tomorrow and just work in the 7 to 21 foot range.
    200 f2 +1.4TC - Good success, 50%+ in focus rate, but not a blistering sharp image yet. DOF issues are tough for the AF, often times better success manually focusing.
    200 f2 - best yet, 60% in focus rate using mostly AF, some clearly sharp shots and the lens is very maneuverable, makes up for the smaller focal length. I've also found setting the focus memory to 15 feet and learning to use it helps a lot, preventing a focus aquire attempt from either the near or far limit.
    Todays fare...All are very near 100% crops shot with a D3.
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    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 1, 2008
  2. Spectre


    Feb 20, 2008
    Wow, very impressive.... #1 looks pretty darn good!
  3. Those are good, Tim!

    DIF shots are difficult... I don´t usually even bother to shoot them except those certain species that hovers still a lot.
  4. Pretty good shooting. I have enough trouble when they are sitting still (LOL).
    Thanks for sharing them.
  5. I wish these guys would hover!:smile: I'm generally shooting in open grassy areas near Folsom Lake (large). There are a lot of swallows that are constantly harassing the hatch, the numbers are going down over the last week. There flights are very erratic, but sometimes I get lucky and get into a bunch who are generally just cruising, only changing direction every 5 seconds or so...Though my in focus rate has increased dramatically, getting focus to lock is still challenging and many opportunities are missed...and focus tracking is very spotty as you might expect. So far 21point AF with the center cross sensor selected has been most effective. 51 point Dynamic AF is worthless. Keeping focus with any background other than blue sky is only possible manually, they just aren't big enough for the sensor to have any chance of staying on them, but I struggle there with BIFs as well!
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