Swallows..some in flight and perched

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Went out with Brian today looking for waterfowl to capture in flight. Lots of midges and mallards but not much else so I decided to test out the focus acquisition ability of the D6 on one of my nemeses - Swallows in flight. I can't believe how quickly the camera paired with the 500 pf quickly locked onto the subject. Need some practice to get used to the pairing but hopefully it will come
Building a nest:
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This one was not too happy about my presence..though I thought I was a good distance away so as not to disturb them:
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So he decided to strafe me:
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You're too close...watch out for the lens!
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And while this was going on....
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This last one I want to show because in the original image the swallow was literally "speck size" in the distance flying like swallows typically do - all over the place. So I was surprised when I cropped to image down considerably and brought out the shadows in lightroom
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And this was not a one off..the focus consistently locked onto the subject with little trouble.
My other nemesis is locking on to a seagull that does a surprise fly by when you are not looking:
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Those image rock, and as you not, things will continue to improve. Hows it handle; it's considerable larger than what you have been using for a while.
It is larger then even the D850 and 500 pf...but the combo sits nice and comfortably in my hands - even with my arthritic shoulders going for hours is not a problem. I find that with the 70-200E the weight is more noticeable - front end heavy.
 
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Well done Bob...where did you find these? I found a perfect spot for you to shoot these guys, are these at the marina? i was there a little later are we separated, i seen you leave the marsh, i was about 30-45 minutes behind and then went to the marina, judging by the backgrounds i think maybe we were at the same spot?? the little pond at the marina?
 
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Well done Bob...where did you find these? I found a perfect spot for you to shoot these guys, are these at the marina? i was there a little later are we separated, i seen you leave the marsh, i was about 30-45 minutes behind and then went to the marina, judging by the backgrounds i think maybe we were at the same spot?? the little pond at the marina?
Some were at mission marsh parking lot..others at the Marina near the gate where the cruise ships come, and now the Alexander Henry is located. I'm ok with these name for the keeper rate...I would have preferred to have more eyes in focus. etc.
 
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Some were at mission marsh parking lot..others at the Marina near the gate where the cruise ships come, and now the Alexander Henry is located. I'm ok with these name for the keeper rate...I would have preferred to have more eyes in focus. etc.
Yes...that is where i was, i must of just missed you, i was parked pretty much on the culvert, was perfect, swallows came to me, with my sore knee i didn't have to walk anywhere except to get out of the car, and lots of swallows there to practice on...maybe one morning we can hook up there, with the sun at our backs, swallows are very active in the morning and best of all, no bugs LOL
 
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Good shooting with the new gear, Bob! I can attest that getting those erratic & swift little guys into the viewfinder with a long lens - let alone into focus - is a huge challenge. I'm not sure what type of swallow it is: VG? Rough-winged? Bank?
 
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Auto in continuous focus..suggestions?
always AFC
try Group AF, in the VF it will be 4 dots/sensors in a group. Get any part of the group over the bird's eye or as close as possible. You may miss the eye but even f/5.6 gets a sharp eye. The key is the group of 4 is way bigger than a single sensor so it makes acquiring initial focus at least 2x easier. This usually works great for BIF, I tend to use single point AFC for stationary birds
 
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always AFC
try Group AF, in the VF it will be 4 dots/sensors in a group. Get any part of the group over the bird's eye or as close as possible. You may miss the eye but even f/5.6 gets a sharp eye. The key is the group of 4 is way bigger than a single sensor so it makes acquiring initial focus at least 2x easier. This usually works great for BIF, I tend to use single point AFC for stationary birds
Thanks for the info. I was using group for ducks etc. For the swallows I wanted to try full auto in afc. Will go back and try a,gain
 
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Hi Bob, settings are pretty much dependent on the individual and how they like to shoot. For what it's worth, I pretty much always use GRP, AFC when shooting birds in flight. That's not to say Auto isn't good, I've just found that my hit rate is better with GRP. Shutter speed and tracking are the other two important factors effecting BIF shooting.
 
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Hi Bob, settings are pretty much dependent on the individual and how they like to shoot. For what it's worth, I pretty much always use GRP, AFC when shooting birds in flight. That's not to say Auto isn't good, I've just found that my hit rate is better with GRP. Shutter speed and tracking are the other two important factors effecting BIF shooting.
Thanks...it's tracking where I need more skill development and that comes with practice - hopefully.
 
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