Pelican

One of the faster focussing Nikon cameras will be required for this type of photography, as fast acquisition of focus is essential due to the fast movement of the bird. Some of the ideal cameras in order of preference are the Nikon D3, D700, D300s and the D7000. The image above has been captured with the Nikon D700 camera.

It is a great challenge attempting to freeze the action of a moving bird, but I love the challenge in getting sharp images.

Summarising some of the following will assist in getting better images;

  • Fast focussing lens,
  • Lens focal length in the range 300-400mm,
  • I prefer a light weight lens for this type of photography, I use a 300mm f/4 and I feel that a 300mm f/2.8 lens would be much heavier and consequently more difficult to manage,
  • Vibration Reduction (VR) can be very useful to reduce the effect of camera movement, but VR does not assist in stopping the subject movement,
  • Low aperture lenses are very useful to aid in using higher shutter speeds,
  • High shutter speed is required to freeze any camera and shutter movement,
  • High ISO settings are very useful, to enable higher shutter speeds, Due to the high ISO needed sometimes it may be useful to have some noise reduction software to help reduce any noise in the image,
  • I find that the image in the viewfinder of an FX camera is brighter and easier to follow the subject compared to an DX camera,
  • The DX cameras do have some advantage, as there is a 1.5 times multiplication factor in the effective focal length,
  • A monopod is very useful for birds in flight as it makes the outfit very manoverable and fast to achieve focus, it is very easy to spin around to follow the bird as it moves around,
  • A tripod is not so useful due to lack of manoverablity,
  • Above all some fast reflexes are required to track the subject.

Some reviews of  suitable cameras are covered in the following links, Nikon Camera Reviews and Nikon Lens Reviews.

 Nikon Super Telephoto Lenses

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