Birds In Flight with D300/300mm f/4

Started Jan 22, 2013 | Discussions thread
jfriend00
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Re: Birds In Flight with D300/300mm f/4
In reply to TheronFamily, Jan 25, 2013

TheronFamily wrote:

jfriend00 wrote:

Jon Middleton wrote:

I had a pintail come into the dekes and land briefly yesterday. My AF was set to Focus, which makes sense to me. The camera didn't fire once. Not sure which is better, "Release", where you get OOF photos, or "Focus" where you get fewer captures but more of them are in focus. I even tried "Release + Focus", and got mixed results.

I'm not impressed with the photos I posted. The hawk, for instance, looks more like a watercolor than a photo. I think it's due to a number of factors, certainly a huge crop factor is a major contributor. The Greenwing Teal isn't cropped much, and looks much better on my home computer and larger files. But, that's not BIF, is it? All I can say is ducks are tough under hunting conditions. Park ducks are easy, but you won't find GWT or pintails on golf courses.

I use Release Priority for all action. This is not because I want out-of-focus shots, but because I don't want to wait/delay for the camera to confirm that the shot is in focus and I'll miss the shot, many of which ARE in focus. With proper tracking technique, a D300 is very, very good at predictive focus so >95% of shots will be in focus, even with release priority. But, if you put it in focus priority, you will miss many of these shots that are in perfect focus. So, I'd rather have an occasional shot out of focus than miss many shots that are in-focus because the camera hasn't yet confirmed that the shot is indeed in focus.

Further, if you want to shoot at max fps on a D300, it will stutter and not shoot at max fps in focus priority, but will shoot at max fps in release priority. With proper technique, all shots in a max fps burst in release priority will be in focus.

I've been shooting various action sports and BIF for nearly 6 years with the D300 and have never regretted using release priority.

Couple that with AF/ON and the odds are even higher

(But I suspect you know that)

Yeah, I only shoot with AF-ON for all types of photography and find it incredibly useful for action.  AF-ON has all types of shooting advantages (giving you so much more focus flexibility), but I don't think it actually affects this particular issue one way or the other.

On the other hand, if you use AF-ON for focus and recompose or for manual focus, you HAVE to use release priority because otherwise, the camera won't shoot after you've recomposed or focused manually on the desired target.  Separate from the issue of getting in-focus action shots, but relevant if you decide to use AF-ON.

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