Birds... Fast Birds... Focus Help Needed w/7D 70-200 f2.8 USM IS II

Started Jan 22, 2013 | Discussions thread
Sudipto Roy Junior Member • Posts: 44
Re: Birds... Fast Birds... Focus Help Needed w/7D 70-200 f2.8 USM IS II

tvstaff wrote:

I'm trying to capture FAST birds in flight and feel like I'm skeet shooting and shooting blanks

7D with 70-200 f2.8 USM IS II

Need some advice on optimal 7D setting for focus on really fast moving objects.

For two days I've been sitting on the edge of the FDR Drive in NYC trying to get a shot of a seagull up close in flight with the 59th Street Bridge in the background.

The 7D keeps focusing on everything but the birds. I know it's my fault. HELP!

Happy New Year all,


Gulls and terns aren't so fast (as compared to swifts, swallows or martins) and are suitable for in flight shots. Set your focusing mode to "AI Servo" (page 86 on the manual) and select AF area as "Auto Select 19 point AF" (page 87 on manual). Back-button focusing is an option but not as important as these two.

If the scene lacks contrast it will take time to focus. It is easier to shoot BIF against a clear blue sky than against buildings or greenish hills or buildings or bridges etc.

I use 7D with 400 mm F 5.6. It's a lightning fast combination when it comes to focusing a BIF. I use spot metering and do some exposure compensation (generally +2/3) when I sense a BIF opportunity. But then, I shoot under very sunny conditions which may not be relevant to you in Manhattan Island.

All the best

 Sudipto Roy's gear list:Sudipto Roy's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark II Canon EOS 450D Canon EOS 7D Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM +1 more
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