Nikon 18-200 VR for hummingbirds

Started May 14, 2007 | Discussions
Guy M Wong Senior Member • Posts: 1,276
Nikon 18-200 VR for hummingbirds

When I started shooting hummingbirds last year, I used my Bigma, then switched to my Sigma 100-300 f/4. But lately, I have been using my Nikkor 18-200 VR, shooting at 200 mm with my D70 and an SB-800. The feeder is hung outside my kitchen window and with the short minimum focusing distance of 1.6 feet, I can shoot the hummers at about 3 feet away. The only bad thing about my set up is that I cannot open my kitchen window.

Here are a few samples:

You can locate the exif info at http://www.flickr.com/photos/guywong/ as all three pictures are on my front page on flickr.

C&C are welcome.
Guy

prodesma Senior Member • Posts: 1,727
Re: Nikon 18-200 VR for hummingbirds

Very nice captures! I think the first two are much stronger compositions, but that is just my opinion. Your focus is sharp and spot on.

I also think that since I started using Noiseware, I find it indispensable. It would be able to reduce the noise in all these to help add a more buttery soft background. I swear, it adds that 'pop' that makes for clean, more 'pro-like' images IMHO.

These are great shots from your 18-200. Well done. Cheers.

David
my flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/prodesma/

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genece Forum Pro • Posts: 15,439
Re: Nikon 18-200 VR for hummingbirds

I think the photos are wonderful......but can you explain why you used such a small aperture.......I would not have thought of that and can not help wondering if that made the photos or not.
--
------------------------------------------------------------
Gene
From Western PA.

Panasonic FZ 20 and FZ30
D50 and lenses.

http://imageevent.com/grc6

Just trying to learn and it's slow going!

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MBoatner
MBoatner Senior Member • Posts: 1,492
Re: Nikon 18-200 VR for hummingbirds

You have a great opportunity to practice - with a hummer setup. Have fun. Live in southern lousiana - no bees or hummers yet.
--
Mike

OP Guy M Wong Senior Member • Posts: 1,276
Re: Nikon 18-200 VR for hummingbirds

Gene:

I used a small aperture because I pre-set my manual focus to 1 meter or roughly 3 feet. The hummers fly so fast, the 18-200 VR is not the fastest lens, so there is no way I could have gotten the shots I wanted. This way, I just have to wait until the SB-800 refreshes without having to worry about focusing.

I am glad you found my EXIF, I should have written in my initial post how to view the EXIF, go to my Flickr site, click on the photo and then "More properties" in blue on the lower right hand side. thanks for looking.
Guy
http://www.flickr.com/photos/guywong/

OP Guy M Wong Senior Member • Posts: 1,276
Re: Nikon 18-200 VR for hummingbirds

Thanks, David. I have Neat Image and I probably should have used them. They were shot at ISO 400 or 500.
Guy
http://www.flickr.com/photos/guywong/

OP Guy M Wong Senior Member • Posts: 1,276
Re: Nikon 18-200 VR for hummingbirds

Thanks, Mike. You probably something over there that we don't have in Northern CA.
Guy
http://www.flickr.com/photos/guywong/

BRJR Forum Pro • Posts: 13,641
Re: Nikon 18-200 VR for hummingbirds

Guy M Wong:

1. They're excellent images and again show the versatility and usefulness of the Nikkor 18-200mm VR lens and why so many of us consider it such a valuable addition to our Nikon lens collections.

2. Thanks, for posting and sharing these images.

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BRJR....(My cameras & lenses are listed in my profile)

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Geomaticsman Senior Member • Posts: 2,990
Re: Nikon 18-200 VR for hummingbirds

Guy, I see no hint of reflection in the window so I presume the camera lens is tight to the glass? Are you using a rubber hood?

Great pics BTW, thanks for posting!

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Gary; Casual hobbyist - equipment listed in profile

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Andre Teshler Regular Member • Posts: 202
Re: Nikon 18-200 VR for hummingbirds

great shots!

probably I have to invest in kitchen window glasses
instead of Nikon lens glass...

OP Guy M Wong Senior Member • Posts: 1,276
Re: Nikon 18-200 VR for hummingbirds

Thanks, Gary. Yes, my lens is quite close to the window. I simply use the lens hood that comes with the lens, not a rubber one. For most of the hummer photos I move the flash head up a click and use a flip-it bouncer.
Guy
http://www.flickr.com/photos/guywong/

OP Guy M Wong Senior Member • Posts: 1,276
Re: Nikon 18-200 VR for hummingbirds

Funny, Andre. I think the window added noise to the pictures. I wish I could open the window. Thanks for looking.
Guy
http://www.flickr.com/photos/guywong/

Andre Teshler wrote:

great shots!

probably I have to invest in kitchen window glasses
instead of Nikon lens glass...

OP Guy M Wong Senior Member • Posts: 1,276
Re: Nikon 18-200 VR for hummingbirds

Thanks, BRJR. Yes, the 18-200 VR is really versatile. I especially like the close minimum focus distance. This is my third Nikkor lens and I think I will use this one a lot. Shooting a lot of wildlife, I generally grab my longer lenses. But the 18-200 VR has a unique feature none of my other lenses have.
Guy
http://www.flickr.com/photos/guywong/

Geomaticsman Senior Member • Posts: 2,990
Re: Nikon 18-200 VR for hummingbirds

Guy M Wong wrote:

Thanks, Gary. Yes, my lens is quite close to the window. I simply
use the lens hood that comes with the lens, not a rubber one. For
most of the hummer photos I move the flash head up a click and use
a flip-it bouncer.
Guy
http://www.flickr.com/photos/guywong/

I was thinking of ordering a flip-it - you just convinced me!

Thanks!

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Gary; Casual hobbyist - equipment listed in profile

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msnikon Forum Member • Posts: 69
Re: Nikon 18-200 VR for hummingbirds

My dad has the 18-200 on his d200. It is very versitile. I am deciding between that and the 70-300. I am amazed be the reach you got on those pics. How far away were you. And did you use a feeder.

Is the 200mm's Usually eneough range to shoot birds and other nature or do you usually use a longer lense

Hide Takahashi Veteran Member • Posts: 4,234
Re: Nikon 18-200 VR for hummingbirds

Hi Guy,

You got some nice hummer shots! I'm a big hummer fan and I learned a lot of things about hummer shooings.

First of all, you'll need a fast lens. Fast Af speed is a must for hummer shootings. Among the lenses you own, Sigma 100-300 f/4 will do the job but I guess it's heavy. This is the lens I want to get in the future.

If you want to freeze the wings, then you'll need to use 1/800 sec. and higher. If you don't get a good light, then you'll need to use an external flash. I believe that D70 has a flash synch overide. My D 50 doesn't,so if I use the flash, it's set to 1/500 sec. automatically. But I found a way to fool the camera to overide it.

The hummer image is below was shot by the D50+ Nikon 70-210 f/4-5.6 AFD + SB600

I recently purchased a 70-300 VR but it's not cut out for hummer shootings. But the lens produces a better image/color than the 70-210, so I'll keep it.

Hide
http://www.pbase.com/coffee/hummingbirds_by_d50

http://www.pbase/coffee.com

RAL Veteran Member • Posts: 6,377
A couple more 18-200vr hummers

I was at my daughters house on Sunday and only had my D40 and 18-200 lens with me and found she had quite a crop of hummers around, so I had a go at trying to capture in-air shots while I had nothing else to do. I usually use my D1H for my hummers at home, sometimes with flash, but I thought I'd give flying hummers a shot with the D40-18-200 combo. Didn't stop any wings, but they weren't too bad I suppose.

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