D-5 Focus

Started May 10, 2016 | Discussions thread
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dgluckman Regular Member • Posts: 178
D-5 Focus

I took my D-5 out to test its focus ability on flying birds with the following results. My reaction was similar to a few others I've seen reported. I've shot almost birds exclusively for the last 4 years with D-4's after the previous 3 years with D300's using the same 600mm Nikkor f/4 lens, with an added Nikon 1.4 tc with the D-4's. The below images were taken with the same lens/tc  combination I used on the D-4's. Shooting conditions were bright sun (a bit too bright), temp in the lower 60's. Camera mounted on a Gitzo tripod and Wimberly gimbaled head.

Results - (1) almost 90% of my 250 or so shots were in sharp focus compared to 50% with the D-4's shooting similar birds in open blue sky.  I found myself following and shooting after quick focusing on auto-focus continuous high (8 shot per second), 27 points. The Caspian Terns were often fighting each other and diving with little hover time. When the Terns passed in front of a wooded bank, the in-focus shots dropped to 50% (though at a greater distance from the camera).

I took the Great Blue Herons to test slower movement and much larger birds at about the same distance and same settings. I was very impressed with the overall focus on the whole bird. Even at f/11, to have this focus range from wing tip to wing tip at this distance (100+ yards) was very unusual.

My next tests will be on 3-d focus using back button focusing.

Caspian Tern

Great Blue Heron

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Nikon D300
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