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Dec 4, 2020 11:22:54   #
RedBaron4730
 
Hello All,
Issue: Focus on moving wildlife
Using a Nikon D500 with F70-300mm lens

I would appreciate if I may have additional suggestions on getting sharp images of birds in flight. Currently, I've set up my D500 Nikon using a vidio as seen on YOUTUBE 'Nikon D500 Bird In Flight Autofocus System Setup'.

The Nighthawk in the attached picture was taken at 10:00 AM CST about 40 yards from me. The pic was taken with a setting of F/10, 1/640 and an ISO of 8000. Besides getting closer (which is highly unlikely), what else may one do.

I do thank you for your valuable responses.

Best Regards,
RedBaron



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Dec 4, 2020 11:44:42   #
larryzplace Loc: Elk Grove Village Illinois
 
Seeing that the fence is pretty much in focus and fairly clear I have to assume that you were not following the bird but remained stationary when you pressed the shutter?

640 is probably not fast enough to stop the motion.

Usually single point focus works best while following the motion...

I don't know if you use bbf (Back Button Focus) if not look up bbf on youtube... The best video I have seen to date was done by Steve Perry who is also a member here... He also does various videos on shooting wild life on youtube...

Finally when asking for this type of assistance it is best to check the box to Store Original...

Best of luck in your future shooting

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Dec 4, 2020 11:54:29   #
Ched49 Loc: Pittsburgh, Pa.
 
Looks like you didn't pan the bird as it was flying to your left, The fence is pretty much in focus except for the bird.
Why did you use iso 8000 on a sunny day? Try again using a faster shutter speed. Good luck.

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Dec 4, 2020 11:55:41   #
Ched49 Loc: Pittsburgh, Pa.
 
How did you know that was a night hawk?

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Dec 4, 2020 12:51:08   #
RedBaron4730
 
Thank you all for your suggestions.
Ched49 - The ISO is set to 'AUTO ISO' on the camera. I was and usually do shoot in MANUAL mode and I did pan the Nighthawk as it flew to the left. But I do agree, I need to do better.

Larryplace - I do use the bbf on the D500. And the D500 has a second focus button allowing me to perform a GROUPing Continuous focus which is great. Obviously, I need to practice more. Again, thanks for your suggestions.

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Dec 4, 2020 13:48:54   #
RedBaron4730
 
And Ched49 - I knew it was a night hawk for I saw that is had 'white' band near each wing tip. Though it looks like similar to a Mockingbird in this picture, I saw this bird fan out its tail feathers where a s mockingbird has more of a pointed tail. Too, this bird has long pointed wings such that you can see the white bands near each wing tip.

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Dec 4, 2020 16:16:50   #
robertjerl Loc: Corona, California
 
1/640 is definitely not fast enough for just about any bird in flight except a few very large slow flyers.

You say you are at about 40 yards. What lens were you using? Do you have any longer lenses? You need to get closer someway.
From the fence it seems you are in a large yard, yes or no?
I have what for So California (at least in town) is a fairly large lot and I would have to be on the street shooting toward the back fence to be that far away.

If this bird or others you want to photograph come here regularly and it is your property where you can do so I would suggest a pop-up blind pegged down to shoot from. When I put mine in the back yard I put it out a day or two ahead of time so the birds get used to it. And they do, they even perch on top of it at times.

My blind has zippered windows with zippered screens on three sides and a zippered door that can be partly opened to act as another window on the 4th. I place a 4x4' piece of 3/4" plywood in the middle and an old office swivel chair on that with a little plastic table for camera gear in the corner. An hour or so before I plan to take pictures I go out and put my gear on the table then I start to water all the flower beds and potted plants in the yard and refill the bird feeders. The birds are used to seeing me working around the yard and many of them will come back and fairly close since "The old guy is busy so we are safe." "Besides, that food is fresh, even the meal worms!" Then when I am done, instead of going back in the house I go in the blind, sit on the chair and maybe even read on an e-reader for long enough they forget I went in. I have the windows on the sides towards the feeders unzipped but keep the ones on the side the light is coming from closed so I am inside in the dark/shadows from the point of view of anything or anyone outside the blind. The birds start to come to the feeders. Even the neighborhood hawks will cruise by to check the potential menu - I know when that happens since all the other birds get lost in a hurry. Sometimes I can bend down and look up out a window and see the hawk in the top of the big tree next door waiting for his/her chance for a meal.

But, baring the hawks, the other birds, even the skittish ones like finches, jays and doves will come back and often get less than 10 feet from the blind. I have even had them land on top of the blind while I am in it and walk around on the canvas.

Keep at it, getting birds up close takes practice and has a learning curve. But like many other skills, once you do develop it, it seems to be natural and easy (well, relatively easy).

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Dec 4, 2020 23:39:55   #
RedBaron4730
 
Hello RobertJerl,
What a wonderful suggestion. Yes, we have about 1/2 acre to spread out and never thought of putting up a blind in the middle of the yard. But that is certainly doable an will have one setup first thing in the morning. Getting 10 Ft from your subject is great if they will only co-operate.
Thanks Robert for your support.

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Dec 5, 2020 07:06:27   #
nimbushopper Loc: Tampa, FL
 
For a proper critique you need to check the box to store original, so we can see the full size photo. I keep my D500 set to GRP focus, and continuous af with back button focus for BIF. I also set it to auto ISO because as I'm panning the light is constantly changing.

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Dec 5, 2020 08:48:59   #
RedBaron4730
 
Thanks nimbushopper. I was not aware of putting pics in the 'Store Original' would cause the pic to be full size. Good to know. Thanks

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Dec 5, 2020 09:51:08   #
Bultaco Loc: Aiken, SC
 
Shooting BIF on my D500 have had good results with BBF single point, joy stick 25 focus point with AFC, SS 2000 or higher, lens the longer the better.

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Dec 5, 2020 10:23:51   #
tcthome Loc: Keansburg , NJ
 
https://www.youtube.com/user/backcountrygallery/videos

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Mark+Smith

With Mark Smith, look at some of his older vids. He you to list the settings with the photos. You might be surprised at the shutter speeds he uses.

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Dec 5, 2020 11:17:26   #
Stephan G
 
RedBaron4730 wrote:
Hello All,
Issue: Focus on moving wildlife
Using a Nikon D500 with F70-300mm lens

I would appreciate if I may have additional suggestions on getting sharp images of birds in flight. Currently, I've set up my D500 Nikon using a vidio as seen on YOUTUBE 'Nikon D500 Bird In Flight Autofocus System Setup'.

The Nighthawk in the attached picture was taken at 10:00 AM CST about 40 yards from me. The pic was taken with a setting of F/10, 1/640 and an ISO of 8000. Besides getting closer (which is highly unlikely), what else may one do.

I do thank you for your valuable responses.

Best Regards,
RedBaron
Hello All, br Issue: Focus on moving wildlife br ... (show quote)


Look up some videos about panning and shooting race cars. There is a crossover skill-set that will give you means to practice and fine tune your methods.

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Dec 5, 2020 15:02:52   #
robertjerl Loc: Corona, California
 
RedBaron4730 wrote:
Hello RobertJerl,
What a wonderful suggestion. Yes, we have about 1/2 acre to spread out and never thought of putting up a blind in the middle of the yard. But that is certainly doable an will have one setup first thing in the morning. Getting 10 Ft from your subject is great if they will only co-operate.
Thanks Robert for your support.


They are coming to feeders and of course in the case of hummingbirds they will come even closer. I have put a lawn chair near (8' or so) nectar feeders and then sit quietly and still with my camera in my lap and after a while they come back to the feeder. When two or more are fussing over whose feeder it is they have used my head for a racing pylon when they play "Chase the Birdie". One pair got so close they were under my hat brim and I felt the air from their wings on my ear. No pictures of that of course, just enjoyed it.

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Dec 5, 2020 16:28:02   #
maryo Loc: Santa fe
 
please attach the download.

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