Capturing hummingbirds in flight - Pointers Needed

Started Jul 30, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Chefski
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Capturing hummingbirds in flight - Pointers Needed
Jul 30, 2012

I have taken photos of hummingbirds as they are perched on the feeder - no problems there. Now I want to capture photos of them in flight as they hover momentarily before they land on the feeder.

I've used spot focus but the camera does not detect the hummingbird (even when it is squarely behind the focus box) and focuses on whatever is behind it.

I've used area focus and the camera focuses on the feeder body; occasionally that is fine (if the bird is in the same plane as the feeder) but more often than not, it is slightly in front or back of the feeder and is out of the DOF (I try for as high an aperture number as I can get and still keep at least 1/500 shutter speed). I have also tried increasing the ISO to get faster shutter speeds.

I have not tried manual focus because they are never in one place long enough to focus manually, at least not for me to do so.

I use a Sony SLT-a55 with either a 100mm or a 70-400G and have shot at both ends of the zoom range hand-held, with a monopod and with a tripod. I am open to any suggestions for increasing the chances of getting a photo with the hummer in focus. Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

 Chefski's gear list:Chefski's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS15 Sony RX100 Sony SLT-A57 Sony a77 II Sony 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM +3 more
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