CHARLESTON 1979 wrote:
I live in northern Oregon. Much of the fall and winter months have overcast/rainy conditions. I use a Nikon 7500 with a 200-500mm lens. Getting the right settings for shooting birds, particularly small ones that flit around, stumps me. Suggestions for settings?
Thanks for your help.
Small nervous birds are a challenge. So is poor lighting. Open overcast is actually preferable, but if you are looking for little guys in the brush and bushes on such days, it can be frustrating.
My advice would be to borrow or rent a camera that is known to be good in high ISO situations, like a D3S, D4, D5, Df, D750 - and if you don't mind downsampling, a D800/810/850. All of these will produce good images at ISO 3200 and higher - up to 12800.
You may want to consider renting a lens with a max aperture of F4 - like a 200-400mm, 500mm, 600mm, or a lens that is faster that works well with a 1.4 TC, like a 300mm F2.8 or a 400mm F2.8.
The D7500 (and the D500 and D7200) is as good as it gets for APS-C cameras in the noise department - but no match for a good full frame camera.
No tripod, monopod, body pod, etc is going to help you if your shutter speed is too slow and your subject is active.
Now the disclaimer:
The first shot below was taken with a D300, 600mmF4, 1.4 TC, and on a tripod. I used 1/10 sec, F8 and ISO 400 - which you can get away with if your subject is static (or mostly static)
The second was taken with a D800 and the same lens, no TC, on a tripod, 1/200, F4 ISO 1600. Twitchier bird, but I got lucky.
Both images were taken on heavily overcast days in NYC.
Using artificial light often provides artificial results, unless you use it for fill. Then you have to watch out for twigs and branches that are in the light of sight of the camera and closer - they will light up like a christmas tree, and will be nearly impossible to remove in post processing.