Seeking ways of tracking birds in flight with 500mm lens

Started May 23, 2013 | Discussions thread
Chris Mak Senior Member • Posts: 1,971
Re: Seeking ways of tracking birds in flight with 500mm lens

Hello Barry,

Congratulations on the sigma 500/4.5. I've had it for five months now, shoot it also on the stellar K5IIs and it really is a wonderful lens, allowing quite a bit of growth in quality of images, by getting better at handling it (I shoot it handheld exclusively, mostly with the 1.4tc on). My experience so far is that you simply get better results step by step, by using it a lot. I only recently started on BIF, because I leave the 1.4tc on except when approaching birds is an option, then I take it off. You can simply point the lens towards the flying bird and track it, but with the very small depth of field you won't see much at all, and the lens will only hunt focussing forwards and backwards, while you try to keep the lens aimed precisely at the object. With mostly white cloudy skies surrounding the bird there isn't anything to focus on. Mostly I try to focus on something stationary on land at approximately the distance the bird is flying at to have some sort of pre-focus. Perhaps some have golden suggestions after lots of experience, but I take it for granted that it's mostly just trial and error.

Here is on example of the results possible with the 1.4tc on. Bar tailed godwits. Focus of course is on the godwit in the centre

 Chris Mak's gear list:Chris Mak's gear list
Sony Alpha a7R II Pentax KP Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 2/25 Pentax HD DA 560mm F5.6 ED AW HD Pentax DA AF 1.4X AW Rear Converter +1 more
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