1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. Blythman

    Blythman

    Messages:
    951
    Name:
    Alan
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Hi, been shooting wildlife for a few years with Pentax. I've built up a decent lens collection while bemoaned the AF tracking and slow FPS for all that time. I'm now at the stage where I'm daft enough to spend more money for little gains.

    So, I'm awaiting delivery of a D500. It will initially be used with a 200-500 which has already been delivered, as has a 3rd party grip. Look in time to add to this with long primes (but I figured a zoom never comes in wrong anyway).

    So, what I'm hoping for is that some of you Nikon guys can advise as to preferred settings. Primarily thinking AF, and metering, but maybe there are other things I need to change from the factory settings too, to get the best out of it.

    Hoping to have it in time to try the kites in Dumfries this weekend. If not it will be the rut at Studley Royal the following weekend.

    cheers
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
  2. tom24

    tom24

    Messages:
    1,884
    Name:
    Tom
    Edit My Images:
    No
    Up the sharpening and clarity a notch in settings, back button focus .
    Af-c, centre weighted, single point mainly for me.
    I use mine with the 200-500 too.
     
  3. Blythman

    Blythman

    Messages:
    951
    Name:
    Alan
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Much appreciated Tom ;)
     
  4. Jim_Tod

    Jim_Tod

    Messages:
    1,174
    Name:
    Jim
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    For bif i tend to set af on grp or d25 and then single point for slower shots, Af-c, bbf. I shoot raw so no comments on jpg settings
     
    Blythman likes this.
  5. happy haggis

    happy haggis

    Messages:
    1,271
    Name:
    Trevor
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Have a look on YouTube for Steve Perry. He is a wildlife photographer and has some tuts on shooting with the D500. He also has a couple of ebooks that are pretty good.
     
    chambeshi and Blythman like this.
  6. sk66

    sk66

    Messages:
    5,393
    Name:
    Steven
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    I use the D5, but it's essentially the same.
    My general rule for both AF and metering is to restrict it as much as feasible... I.e. if the subject is stationary then single point AF and spot metering is likely to give the best/most consistent results. As the subject becomes more demanding I need to loosen up the control to compensate for inabilities on my end (i.e. tracking).

    The D500's dynamic tracking is very fast, but it also demands better tracking by you. So with more demanding subjects I find it beneficial to max out the "focus delay with lock on" settings. And with *really* demanding subjects I find auto or 3D can work better.

    I usually start out with the camera set for more demanding subjects/situations (D153/matrix metering w/ EC), and then I'll change to more restrictive settings as the situation allows if I find it beneficial.
     
    Blythman likes this.
  7. Blythman

    Blythman

    Messages:
    951
    Name:
    Alan
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Thanks guys much appreciated. I'm using Grp AF by default, with the front Fn button customised to single point. Usually with matrix metering, shooting in manual with Auto ISO. The AF is lightning compared to what I'm used to, and I'm getting good shots at fast shutter speeds. The VR, which is supposed to be amazing on the 200-500 has been a disappointment compared to the in body stabilisation on my Pentax. The photos of perched birds just seem a bit soft between 1/100 and 1/500. I'd be fine shooting at 1/60 with the Pentax
     
  8. Mike.P

    Mike.P

    Messages:
    3,661
    Edit My Images:
    No
    Let me know what you think Alan, I have just ordered a new Canon 100-400mm MKII for my 7D and am on the verge of also getting a 7DII but was previously looking at the D500/200-500mm (it was the lens I was unsure about) Not too late for me to change my mind (again).:)
     
    Blythman likes this.
  9. Blythman

    Blythman

    Messages:
    951
    Name:
    Alan
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Early days Mike. Only been out a handful of times. You can see my pics and initial thought on my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/alan.wennington.7
     
    Mike.P likes this.
  10. Mike.P

    Mike.P

    Messages:
    3,661
    Edit My Images:
    No

    Slight problem, I don't have a facebook account :eek:
     
    Blythman likes this.
  11. holty

    holty

    Messages:
    3,774
    Edit My Images:
    No
    i also use the d500 nikon 200-500 set up absolutely brilliant

    bbf +afc +single point focus + manual with auto iso these settings seem the best for me

    i have found that grp af not that good for bif
    i
     
    tom24 and Blythman like this.
  12. the black fox

    the black fox

    Messages:
    4,202
    Name:
    Jeff
    Edit My Images:
    No
    That’s a ridiculous statement with a 500 mm lens ,even with Image stabilisation you should still be looking at a shutter speed that exceeds your focal length plus crop factor so a minimum of 1/750sec is the lowest I would go .
     
  13. AdamSi

    AdamSi

    Messages:
    3,047
    Name:
    Adam
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Blythman likes this.
  14. rob-nikon

    rob-nikon

    Messages:
    4,048
    Name:
    Rob
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    There could be a few reasons for that. 500mm on a 1.5x crop D500 is quite a bit longer (effective focal length) than 450mm on a full frame Pentax K1. That could make quite a difference especially if your are hand holding because you have effectively moved from 450mm to 750mm). VR also won't help if you are on a tripod or similar support was there would be no movement to rectify. It would be interesting if you have a problems at 300mm as that would be equivalent effective focal length of your Pentax at 450mm. It could be the difference in lens (length, centre of gravity, hand holding points) is making a difference too as if you used the 150-450 on your Pentax a lot you would have subconsciously got used to hand holding that lens and the 200-500 feels alien to you. It may be worth starting with fast shutter speeds then slowly work downwards to see where you can get to as everyone is different when hand holding, my limit may not be your limit.

    I had a look through your Flickr and found one Kingerfisher taken at 1/30. I would say it's very good for the slow shutter speed but was lacking some sharpness because of the 1/30 shutter speed. I find when an animal looks like it's still to us they are still moving slightly. I also noticed on the kingfisher the ISO was 200 so I would hope there is some movement with the ISO performance on the D500 (possibly 3-4 stops up to ISO1600-3200 getting you up to 1/250/1/500. that shows the light wasn't great). I find I mainly shoot at a minimum shutter speed for the animal rather than the lens, I do go below that minimum when I reach the my limit for ISO and the lens limit for wide aperture but try t stick to as fast a shutter speed as I can.
     
    Blythman likes this.
  15. Blythman

    Blythman

    Messages:
    951
    Name:
    Alan
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    I wouldn't be using Image Stabilisation once I got faster than 1/750sec. Your statement suggests its worthless
     
  16. Blythman

    Blythman

    Messages:
    951
    Name:
    Alan
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Thanks for the feedback Rob, I have also used a crop camera. Here's one at 1/100 sec on my K-3 at 560mm, so longer again. Not pin sharp but much better than I'm currently getting with the Nikon
    _IMG8752.jpg

    I'm still not happy with the lens :(
     
  17. Blythman

    Blythman

    Messages:
    951
    Name:
    Alan
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    And one at 1/160 sec at 560mm with the Pentax K-3. Thought I was making a step up with the D500, but it seems like a retrograde step at the minute.
    _IMG8093.jpg
     
    arthurbikemad and Mike.P like this.
  18. Mike.P

    Mike.P

    Messages:
    3,661
    Edit My Images:
    No
    While doing research into the D500/200-500mm combo I did notice there were a few users mentioning lens sample variation possibly due to the relatively cheap cost. Could you not send it back for replacement?

    After seeing a lot of your bird shots over the years with Pentax I would highly doubt it is your technique at fault.
     
    Blythman likes this.
  19. rob-nikon

    rob-nikon

    Messages:
    4,048
    Name:
    Rob
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    It sounds like the D500 is a step up but maybe not the lens.

    @Mike.P could be right it could be sample variation. We are also talking about a lens that costs half the price of the Pentax lens you had so it's possible that it may not perform as well. Is there anyone with a similar setup who you could do some tests with and swap lenses for a few minutes?
     
    Blythman likes this.
  20. Blythman

    Blythman

    Messages:
    951
    Name:
    Alan
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Thanks Mike, glad you don't think I'm cracking up ;) And thanks Rob too. I just spent £70 on Focal Pro to check the AF adjustment. I'd already done it and got +10. Focal Pro gave me +9, so not enough difference for it to be significant. I nipped out for an hour this afternoon. Light wasn't great. I kept the shutter speed up, but still reliant on image stabilisation, and the aperture wide open. Woodpecker 1/400 sec at ISO 4000 and Blue Tit, 1/320 sec at ISO 1250. They are canny given the ISO (while there is a bit of movement in the head of the tit). Now with the Pentax I'd get the initial shot like these, then, I'd try and slow down to reduce ISO and get something cleaner. Birds when feeding, regularly lift their heads up to make sure they're safe. Pick the moment and you can get them regularly with a shutter speed of 1/100 or even slower.

    Looks like the VR with this lens isn't capable of that. Even though users apparently rave about the 4 stops that can be gained, to me its 2 stops at best, and that's resting on a hide window ledge. Once i got to 1/250 secs I was struggling. But as has been pointed out it is a budget lens, and familiarity might bring some improvement. Anyway, here's the shots
    _DSC1645.jpg

    _DSC1677.jpg
     
  21. Mike.P

    Mike.P

    Messages:
    3,661
    Edit My Images:
    No
  22. Blythman

    Blythman

    Messages:
    951
    Name:
    Alan
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Picked up by SRS yesterday Mike. See what they think
     
  23. Mike.P

    Mike.P

    Messages:
    3,661
    Edit My Images:
    No
    Camera or lens?

    Or both?
     
  24. Blythman

    Blythman

    Messages:
    951
    Name:
    Alan
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Just the lens
     
  25. Unlocker

    Unlocker

    Messages:
    338
    Name:
    Danny
    Edit My Images:
    No
    As you know Alan, I've done the same as you but for all of the examples posted here, there is no need for a change of kit. You can produce world class results with the kit you have, if you are shooting stationary subjects such as these, most people just won't know what a K-1 / 150-450 / 560 combination is capable of.

    To get the best out of adding the D500, you really need to be looking at a long prime instead of the 200-500, firstly because your 150-450 is a better lens and secondly because the primes let in more light. The f/4 lenses allow twice as much light in as the 200-500, my 400mm f/2.8 allows 4 times as much light in. This not only gives you higher shutter speeds in lower light but also improves the auto focussing quite a bit too due to the extra light to work with.

    When you have your choice of long prime, the trick then is to use the right tool for the job, especially if you are keeping your Pentax kit too. Keep the D500 setup specifically for moving targets and use the kit you probably prefer for the stationary stuff. Personally after using the D500, the Pentax kit just got sold off and I went all in with Nikon as the performance difference is just laughable, doesn't mean I don't miss my K-1 though. Don't forget a TC14-iii and if you get a 400mm, then the TC20-iii works surprisingly well.

    As for settings the main trick is setting up all the function buttons for different autofocus modes so you can quickly adapt to the action in front of you. Mine has back button focus, full auto as default (works surprisingly well) with single point and group on the front 2 buttons, manual mode with auto ISO (the pedantic in me wants TAV here!) and perhaps the most surprising thing, when using the grip, DO NOT use the grip to shoot with, keep your hand on the camera body as there are too many buttons missing on the grip (my most annoying Nikon downside), you will lose your quick switch focus buttons and one button from the top too.

    One example:- 400mm with 2x converter, 90 metre distance, in auto mode for focussing (tracking the heron flying in) 1/1600s, 3200ISO, F8. Leaving the focussing in full auto makes it very easy too change composition with a bird in flight, just move the camera to where you want the bird in the frame and it just stays in focus, totally impossible to do with the Pentax kit.

    DSC_7032.jpg
     
    Phiggys likes this.
  26. Blythman

    Blythman

    Messages:
    951
    Name:
    Alan
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    @Unlocker Thanks Danny. Some good pointers in AF tracking. I've got back button set to group and lower right front button set to spot. And like you, using "TAv". Much appreciated mate. I bought the 200-500 as an initial dip in the water. Thinking a zoom always comes in handy. If I was happy, I'd sell my long Pentax gear at a later date and get a nice long prime. The zoom would still have its uses. Also was happy enough with an f5.6 lens, as that's the best I've had for Pentax beyond the 30mm. So, where from here? Well hopefully I'll get a refund. After that its try another. Or a 2nd hand 300mm pre VR or 200-400. Alternatively, the D500 sits on the shelf for a few months until I can get a 300mm with VR.

    You start to doubt yourself, but I was out this morning with the K-1 and DA 560. Sitting in the same hide purposely for comparison. The light was crap, these were taken at 1/200 and f5.6 at ISO 2500 and 2000 respectively. So much better and that's just with LR default sharpening and no NR. Makes me reluctant to sell the Pentax lenses
    _IMG4346.jpg

    _IMG4401.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
    Phiggys likes this.
  27. Mike.P

    Mike.P

    Messages:
    3,661
    Edit My Images:
    No
    What about the Sigma 150-600mm Sport?

    I use one on the 7D which is nowhere near as good as the D500 for ISO/DR/AF but results from it seem pretty good OS wise.

    600mm, ISO800, f/5.7, 1/128 hand held ... so I imagine on a tripod with a D500 you could do a bit better ;)

    [​IMG]
    Nuthatch
    by Mike.Pursey, on Flickr
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
  28. Gil Bev

    Gil Bev

    Messages:
    857
    Name:
    Gil
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    I've heard there can be quite a bit of variance between one Nikon 200-500 and another. I have the Tamron 150-600 and although happy with the results I get, find that I don't get enough keepers, perhaps as my eye gets more critical. With the cost of a prime lens suitable for birding being a long way off from the cost of a zoom I am considering the 200-500 with the hope of finding a good copy and getting more consistent shots with regards focusing. I've heard its more consistent than the Tamron in the AF department.

    I wanted to bring your attention to one of the forum members on here - @tom24 . The feather detail he acheives IMO is phenominal with a zoom lens and what strikes me is he uses shutter speed of 1/100th and still gets tack sharp results. I can't understand how he does this.

    He gets lots of keepers with the D500 200-500 f5.6 combo going by the dates on his flickr. Perhaps your were unlucky and got a poor copy?
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
  29. Blythman

    Blythman

    Messages:
    951
    Name:
    Alan
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Thanks @Mike.P Think f5.6 is my minimum requirement. Cracking photo though.

    @Gil Bev Yeah, I think there seems to be an awful lot of sample variation. Just read through this thread https://www.talkphotography.co.uk/threads/nikkor-200-500.599619/ All who have bought the lens seem pleased, but there is an obvious variation in quality when looking at fur and feather detail. If I could get a copy like @tom24 seems to be making very good use of, then I'd be happy.

    As it is I'm not sure what my next step should be. Its doing my head in !!!
     
  30. Unlocker

    Unlocker

    Messages:
    338
    Name:
    Danny
    Edit My Images:
    No
    Easy. Stick with what you know if it’s stationary, use a Nikon with a fast prime if it moves. There’s no point doing it if you don’t do it properly! :):)
     
    Gil Bev and Blythman like this.
  31. Blythman

    Blythman

    Messages:
    951
    Name:
    Alan
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Well, I know you're talking sense Danny. But given the sample variation, I've decided to give it one more try. Waiting for another 200-500 to be delivered. If its no good the D500 is going back in the box for a few months until I can get a prime, without selling my long Pentax gear. That's not going until I'm completely happy
     
    Gil Bev likes this.
  32. Gil Bev

    Gil Bev

    Messages:
    857
    Name:
    Gil
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Let us know how you get!! For those of us considering a used 200-500 is a more daunting task as you don't have the same options to return if it's soft after AF calibration - compared with purchasing new from a reputable supplier.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
    Blythman likes this.
  33. Blythman

    Blythman

    Messages:
    951
    Name:
    Alan
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    I'll add some pictures to this thread. Good or bad. ;)
     
  34. welshwizard645

    welshwizard645

    Messages:
    856
    Name:
    Peter
    Edit My Images:
    No
    Who or what is focal pro? I have a D500 and use with the AF-S 80-400G? I'd like to check the focussing accuracy, as I am never sure if it's me or the camera.
     
  35. gramps

    gramps

    Messages:
    30,133
    Edit My Images:
    No
    Blythman likes this.
  36. Blythman

    Blythman

    Messages:
    951
    Name:
    Alan
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  37. chambeshi

    chambeshi

    Messages:
    10
    Name:
    Woody
    Edit My Images:
    No
    Fully endorse this link, as one who's benefited from his Auto-Focus book

    https://backcountrygallery.com/secrets-nikon-autofocus-system/

    His E-book is worth significantly more than the price he charges

    Mirror settings on the D500 and D850 with B-Button Focus set to either D25 or Group, and the Fn and Preview to Focus+Single-Point. As the vast majority agree, the D500 is a superb wildlife camera. I use the 300 f2.8G Nikkor with TC14 II and TC2 III - impressive IQ
     
    Blythman likes this.
  38. wezza13

    wezza13

    Messages:
    2,743
    Name:
    Wez
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    I totally agree, Steve Perry seems to be one of the only no-nonsense, straight to the point photographers with no hidden secrets.

    Well, apart from his PP-ing technique. I'd love to have a one-to-one with him to learn that side :)
     
    Blythman likes this.
  39. Blythman

    Blythman

    Messages:
    951
    Name:
    Alan
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Got the new 200-500 today. Massive difference to the last one. A shot from the bedroom window this afternoon. Will try it out properly over the weekend, but first impressions are good. Cropped to about 1/4 of the frame.

    _DSC3086.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
    Phiggys and tom24 like this.
  40. Mike.P

    Mike.P

    Messages:
    3,661
    Edit My Images:
    No
    I thought your problem was at slow shutter speeds? According to the exif that is 1/800th
     

Share This Page