Birds in flight - disappointing. Technique?

Started 5 months ago | Questions thread
OP BenJN Junior Member • Posts: 31
Re: Birds in flight - disappointing. Technique?

The Chad wrote:

Bill gave some great advice. Here are my settings:

  • My default focus mode is AF-C with single point.
  • My Pv button is mapped to 25 points dynamic-area.
  • I use back-button auto-focus (mapped to AF-ON).
  • Blocked shot AF response is set to Quick.
  • Subject motion is set to the middle.
  • I usually keep my exposure compensation set to -1.7.
  • I shoot shutter priority.

Any time the camera is to my eye I'm holding down the AF-ON button. If I'm shooting a small bird I position the single auto focus point on its eye (or head). I can quickly pivot up to the sky for a larger bird and I'll squeeze the AF-ON with my thumb and the Pv button with my middle finger to quickly switch to 25 points.

I tend to not use VR. Some people think it can degrade image quality while others swear by it and leave it on all the time.

My other piece of advice is to remember not all of your pictures will be tact sharp. You can use third party tools to save a lot of pictures. I use Lightroom, DxO PureRAW 2, and Topaz Sharpen AI.

Here's an album filled with a lot of birds in flight and shore birds:

Here's some shots that have been processed with Lightroom but not sharpened by a third party tool, all taken with my D500 and 300mm f/4 PF w/1.4 tele:

Thank you, much food for thought (and action).

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MOD Mako2011
MOD Mako2011
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