Seeking ways of tracking birds in flight with 500mm lens

Started May 23, 2013 | Discussions thread
brandrx
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Re: Barry...
In reply to Barry Pearson, May 26, 2013

Barry Pearson wrote:

brandrx wrote:

Hi Barry,

I just received a Pentax K-5 II yesterday and it sure looks like the Expanded Area Auto Focus is the way to go when tracking birds in flight. I havn't actually tried it against birds yet but a couple of tests I made indicate to me that it should work like a charm. I think it tells about it on page 115 of the K-5 II manual. I don't know if the page number would be the same for the K-5 IIs though.

I am looking forward to giving mine a go against some BIFs soon.

I just checked. I've currently got my K-5IIs set to "Auto 5" and Expanded Area Auto Focus set to "on". So I think we are on the same wavelength!

But I wonder if "Auto 11" would be better? I guess I'll have to experiment.

Barry,

Auto 11 or Auto 5 does not matter when using Expanded Area AF. It still works the same no matter which you have selected.

Expanded Area AF only works when you have it selected in the menu, you have AF-C selected, and the switching dial is set to SEL. If you have all of those things selected then you can press the Info button once and in the lower right you will see the selected point in red and the expanded points in pink. If you do not see the 4 way arrows then press and hold the OK button for about one second (until you hear the beep). When you see the 4 way arrows you can then use your 4 way controller to select your main focus point (red spot) and the pink spots will be selected automatically as per whatever main focus point you have selected. Right now I just use the center point as my main focus point. I might do some experimenting with other main focus points later on.

Note #1: With the center point used as your main focus point then the number of Expanded Points are eight. One above the main focus point, one below, one to the left, one to the right, one at 45 degrees from the main focus point, one at 135 degrees, one at 225 degrees, and one at 315 degrees.

Note #2: When you see the 4 way arrows you can select the main focus point. Press the OK button for about one second (until you hear the beep) and then the 4 way controller will now be able to select Flash, WB, Shooting Mode, or Natural , Bright, or Etc.

Continue to press the Info button until the screen becomes blank and you are ready to begin shooting. Now, if I have figured right in how the Expanded Area AF works, the autofocus uses only your selected AF point until a target is aquired and locked. After that, if the target strays out of the main point area then the Expanded Points will keep tracking it until you can reposition to the main point again. This only happens if you keep the shutter button half-presed or you are shooting in Continuous Mode and are taking images with the shutter button fully pressed. Once you release the shutter button then the process will start all over again with the selected focus point used to aquire a target, etc.

I hope I have explained that in a way that folks can understand.

Cheers.

Ron

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Ron - 'We don't have time to go take pics this afternoon Carl.'
Carl - 'What do you mean? It will only take 1/1000s.'
'Keep your eyes looking forward. However, glance back now and then to see where you've come from. It will put a smile on your face.' ~ brandrx

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