Tips for Sharper Bird Photography Images Using the Nikon 300mm f/4.0

Rainbow Bee Eater – Goodna

This image of a Rainbow Bee Eater has been captured at Goodna, near Brisbane. I went there to see the beautiful Jacaranda trees in flower but there were plenty of birds around to side track me.

The above image was captured at ISO500, f/11, 1/320 second exposuere time.

Images like this are very difficult to capture with great detail.

There are several tips which can be applied to help you get sharper bird images when using long lenses.

  • In general I find it easier to use a lens which is not too large or too heavy. I really like my 300mm f/4 lens for this reason. Some of the bigger lenses with more reach, are far more difficult to handle, for example 400, 500 and 600mm lenses.
  • I prefer to hand hold my lens and use a monopod, I find that hand holding, gives far more flexibility in being able to ┬ástalk and approach birds.
  • A monopod will give a big advantage in keeping your camera steady. My 300mm lens does not have vibration reduction, however with the monopod I have captured images at shutter speeds down to 1/60 second and still retained excellent sharpness.
  • If you get to know your camera at higher ISO levels, it will help you to get sharper images by using higher shutter speeds, so up the ISO as required.
  • Be careful in using low apertures, as at low apertures the depth of field can become very narrow. The depth of field will also get very narrow as you focus closer to the subject.
  • When operating the shutter button do not depress the button suddenly ,it is best to gradually roll the finger over the shutter button gradually as this will help avoid moving the camera.

Bird photography is one of the most difficult subjects to photograph so just practice and practice.

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