Nikon D810: A sport photographer's impressions
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Nikon D810: A sport photographer's impressions

I took the new Nikkor 80-400mm along to the velodrome as an experiment. I had my trusty 70-200mm in my bag and was pretty sure I would be switching to that after a few quick shots with the 80-400mm. In the end, the shorter lens didn’t come out of the bag until the mountain bike races, almost a week later.

This indoor shot demonstrates the AF performance in Group AF mode. It may look a fairly straight forward image but it’s actually shot from a very restricted photo position on the entry to the first bend and between the solid wooden fence and a steel rail. The gap is about 30cm, but you have to shoot down at an angle through it and there is a curved 'upright' joining the rail to the fence just to the rear of the rider in the shot.

Getting the shot here involved picking up the focus on the rider's head to the left of the upright – virtually head on – and panning 'through' the upright and following the rider as they transition on to the bend the D810 had no trouble locking and holding focus even in the relatively low light of the velodrome.

I took this shot at 1/400sec (ISO 800, F4.8) to allow for some blur on the wheels but give a good chance of a sharp image.