1. Liam_89

    Liam_89

    Messages:
    154
    Name:
    Liam
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Hi,
    I’ve had my D7500 for around 6 months now and I’m still undecided on which focus points I should be using for birds,
    I tend to do bird photography quite a lot and not many in flight,
    Mainly sat on branches etc..
    But would like advice on BIF if possible,
    I have been using single point focus and af-c with back button focus,
    When looking at my shots, most of them are unusable from what I can only think as not being in focus,
    Been reading about using the Group Focus mode on my camera ?,
    The lens I use is a Tamron 150-600 G2,
    Would I be better off with VR turned off too as I usually shoot at 1/800 - 1/1000
    I have a link to a couple of my shots that I’m not happy with,
    Which can be posted here on request,
    Any help would be greatly appreciated as I’m getting a tiny bit frustrated right now and don’t know what else I can try,
    Thank you
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2018
  2. Nostromo

    Nostromo

    Messages:
    2,392
    Name:
    Dominic
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    To be honest, if nothing is In focus then it's unlikely to be the selection of the single focus point that's the problem. More likely it's user error. Although 1/800 seems quite fast, I'm not sure it's fast enough for hand held at 600mm (taking into account the 1.5 crop factor of your camera) so i would keep the vr on, if it was me.
     
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  3. johnnypanic

    johnnypanic

    Messages:
    3,488
    Name:
    John
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Liam_89 and gcgraphs like this.
  4. Nostromo

    Nostromo

    Messages:
    2,392
    Name:
    Dominic
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Sorry that sounds a bit rude, it's not meant to be.
     
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  5. sk66

    sk66

    Messages:
    6,215
    Name:
    Steven
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    With birds in flight there's no simple answer. The smaller/faster/more erratic the bird is, the more you have to depend on the AF system, and the more control you have to give up. With the 51pt AF system I would often use d51, sometimes even auto.
    Depending more on the AF system is generally more successful the cleaner the BG is (more OOF or clear sky)... if you have a bird that is small/fast/erratic and a busy BG, then it will be extremely frustrating/difficult no matter what you do.
     
    Liam_89 likes this.
  6. Liam_89

    Liam_89

    Messages:
    154
    Name:
    Liam
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    No not at all,
    I prefer people are honest with me and it helps me know where I’m going wrong
     
  7. the black fox

    the black fox

    Messages:
    6,150
    Name:
    Jeff
    Edit My Images:
    No
    if your doing static birds then you really want single point focus and need to move this around your composition to get the point of focus as near to the eye as possible .depending on how steady your hands are then perhaps you need to up your shutter speed a tad I would suggest a minimum of 1/1250th hand held depending on the available light and useable iso values .a couple of sample shots would definetly help to see ,
    I did look at the g2 when I was changing rigs recently and its quite heavy ,do you use a monopod/tripod ? gimbal? ball-head? without being snotty I have seen so many people over the last couple of years that think that the solution to bird photography is to buy a 150-600 lens and there a expert ? without the years of honing that a lot of us have done to learn the craft
     
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  8. Liam_89

    Liam_89

    Messages:
    154
    Name:
    Liam
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Thanks for the input,
    I’m far from an expert by any means but see where you’re coming from,
    I just like to fit in bird photography in between a busy working week,
    So don’t really have much time to practice,
    The nature reserve i go to, the hides are pretty distant from the subjects so decided on a long lens,
    I have a neewer carbon tripod with a ball head,
    This is what I sometimes have the lens on,
    Other than that it’s hand held or rested on the hide window ledge with a bean bag,
    Some of my shots turn out what I think to be ok
    And others not so ok,
    If only I was consistent then I’d be happy,
    Mostly Im just lucky and get the shot,
    Cheers

    This is one of the shots I don’t think was too good
    Maybe I’m unsure,
    I couldn’t post it from my phone but here’s the link to my flickr to view the image
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/139967966@N04/41831940364/in/dateposted-public
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2018
  9. wave01

    wave01

    Messages:
    1,426
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Hi post some examples it will help
     
  10. PINNACLE

    PINNACLE

    Messages:
    1,669
    Name:
    Martin
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    To start I would suggest getting out of a hide and go somewhere with closer subjects just to practice for a bit. A pond or beach with ducks or guls is ideal. Starting at 600mm is also like jumping in at the deep end. 300-400 is a lot easier to pick up and track a BIF once you can do that start going longer.

    I don’t use Nikon but I guess the method will be the same. Expanded focus points so a box of nine is a good starting point. Then you have to think DOF, f6.3 at 600mm gives a very narrow DOF so if you are taking pictures of a swan and your camera picks up a wing as the focus point the body will not be sharp so on big birds focus on the head, small fast birds say like a Hobby dart around so to get any focus points on is all you can really do but going to say f8 will give you and you camera some room for error. Shutter speed needs to be a quick as you can get it and this will be limited to where you are happy with the ISO noise on your camera. On a bright day you should be able to get 1/2500, f8 and ISO under 800 or higher shutter speed and lower ISO. When doing owls I would prefer to go to ISO 12,800 before lowering shutter speed and that’s on a7Dii crop camera.

    You are better off getting a noisy but sharp frozen action BIF shot using a higher shutter speed with enough depth of field. You can PP noise but you can do nothing about movement shake or out of focus blur or softness. Manual settings and auto ISO or full manual is the only way to get this though.

    I don’t use optical stabilisation for BIF, I will use it for static subjects or in panning mode if panning but not subjects moving in all directions such as birds.

    I can hand hold my Sigma150-600c for BIF and I know plenty of others who do but 2kg is still a fair chunk of weight so a gimbal head might also help but again it is a learning curve. I would steer clear of a monopod. They are great for horizontal panning but a pain for vertical. Loads on YouTube about gimbal use. The only downside with a zoom lens is you will need to keep at the same focal length or it will unbalance the set up.

    Don’t expect a massive hit rate, there are so many factors that can put a shot out. I must have take over a 1000 Hobby photos this year and have 1/2 dozen real proper keepers. But then other birds I might get 75% keeper rate.

    Good luck and enjoy
     
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  11. the black fox

    the black fox

    Messages:
    6,150
    Name:
    Jeff
    Edit My Images:
    No
    Good advise from Martin , dump the ball head get a decent gimbal . But having just had a quick look through your Flickr stream and taking into account you’ll only post the best there’s not much wrong ,the main gift of a high speed camera these days is you can take bursts of a bird as it appears then sit back in comfort and chose the best bin the rest ,it’s a numbers game ,I regularly shoot around 400-500 images on a good day keep 20 or 30 ish and post 1 or 2 that’s the way the game works ,my view is your over thinking it and expecting perfection every shot ,it doesn’t work like that .
    My only crit on your treecreeper shot is you have cropped to 16x9 whereas a tighter crop would give it more impact I.e 5x7 or even a square crop ,camera and lens is only half the battle processing is the more important bit ,don’t listen to the pundits who try to push you into doing it there way i.e twit on a stick clear background only ,develope your own style and be creative
     
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  12. Liam_89

    Liam_89

    Messages:
    154
    Name:
    Liam
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Cheers again for the input,
    Yeah I have a habit of cropping to 16x9 as they tend to look better on my iPad screen as I kinda prefer the black lines at the top and bottom rather than a full screen image,
    I also struggle when editing on my MacBook as the display is way brighter and vibrant than most other screens,
    And I tend not to be happy with the outcome and have to do again a few times as they’re under or over exposed,
    I’ll have another go at editing them and try a different format,
    After looking back That treecreeper was actually 27 shots and I got 2 useable,
    I just need more time to get more practice but it’s difficult lately,
    There’s a Neewer gimbal head on amazon for £43,
    I’m not sure if that’s would be any good to get me started,
    Don’t want to pump a good couple of hundred just yet into something more high end,
    Thanks all again for the input Great and very helpful place.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2018
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  13. woof woof

    woof woof

    Messages:
    18,326
    Name:
    Alan
    Edit My Images:
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    That makes me feel soooooo much better. Thanks :D

    It's certainly a step change from for example taking scenic or posed portrait type pictures with manual lenses, taking time to accurately compose and focus and expecting a near 100% keeper rate.
     
  14. the black fox

    the black fox

    Messages:
    6,150
    Name:
    Jeff
    Edit My Images:
    No

    first off dont get the neewer gimbal its filled with some sort of silicone to dampen it and it leaks and is sticky ,I think they do a movo on amazon thats far better but more expensive ,personally I use a jobu junior its pricey but works well ,buy once and buy properly (speaking from experience after having 5 ) and remember with birds there active even when you think there there static ,high shutter speed is order of the day, heres one of mine you can link to my flickr stream from it lots of different cameras /lenses /brands etc no exif data is hidden so you can work it out for yourself .
    [​IMG]last night of the proms by jeff and jan cohen, on Flickr
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2018
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  15. Liam_89

    Liam_89

    Messages:
    154
    Name:
    Liam
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Some excellent photos Jeff,
    I’m noticing 1/1000 and above on your shots,
    Ok I I’ll keep clear of the neewer gimbal,
    Is the movo one you mentioned the GH700 ?
    I don’t mind paying £90 if that will be any good,
    I can get better if needs be but I really want to start out and see how I get on with one before I buy more higher end,
    Cheers again
     
  16. Kodiak Qc

    Kodiak Qc Suspended / Banned

    Messages:
    20,425
    Name:
    French Canadian living in Europe since 1989!
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    I didn't mind paying 600 € for each of my
    Black Window II Canadian made gimbals.
    Please, Ian, save yourself money, frustrations
    and time and go for a very decent gimbal — it
    is a life time investment… just like a tripod.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2018
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  17. the black fox

    the black fox

    Messages:
    6,150
    Name:
    Jeff
    Edit My Images:
    No
    yes thats the one a friend has one and its extremely good for the price bracket ,and with amazon you have there no quibble guarantee .but thats if you feel you need one .I would practice a bit more first 99% of my shots were taken hand held or utilising whats available i.e walls ,posts ,hide shelves ,a decent bean bag can be classed as just as good at times .and btw your car is the most comfortable hide you can think of simply wind the window down and put a cushion/pillow on the door frame
     
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  18. Bigfungun

    Bigfungun

    Messages:
    237
    Name:
    Chris
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    If the birds are not in flight then do not use AF-C.
    I use AF-S with back focus button and never have and issue.
    Also have it on Continuous High.
     
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  19. johnnypanic

    johnnypanic

    Messages:
    3,488
    Name:
    John
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    I assume you mean, you use AF-C, with back button focus :confused: That way, you can have access to single and continuous focus, by using the back button.
     
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  20. Bigfungun

    Bigfungun

    Messages:
    237
    Name:
    Chris
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    No.
    I meant AF-S with Back Focus. That way i dont have continuous AF interrupting my compositions. Give it a try and after a little practice you will see what i mean.
     
  21. kingo15

    kingo15

    Messages:
    1,880
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    I had that head. It's not the lightest but very good easy to use. For the money can't fault it.
    I use a lot of bird hides at reserves and have made a skimmer pod to sit on the shelf.
     
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  22. johnnypanic

    johnnypanic

    Messages:
    3,488
    Name:
    John
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Confused.com :confused: One of the major advantages, of BBF, is that you can set to AF-C, but that will only be operational when pressing the back button, i.e. press to focus, release and you have AF-S, until you press it again. Saves having to change between AF-C and AF-S. Surely, if you have it set to AF-S, BBF only uses AF-S and you have lost the ability to AF-C (unless you have assigned that to the shutter button?).
     
    Monkeyhanger likes this.
  23. Bigfungun

    Bigfungun

    Messages:
    237
    Name:
    Chris
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Yeh...I hear exactly where you are coming from but i just keep tapping as i personally find its more accurate.
    Dare say it wont work for everyone and to be honest it was by accident i found i preferred it that way.
     

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