AF mode for shooting wildlife

Started Jan 23, 2013 | Discussions
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BILLY 0F THE NORTH Regular Member • Posts: 416
AF mode for shooting wildlife

I'm posting here because have not gotten a response from the Nikon forum.

I have a Nikon D7000 and would like to know what AF and Matrix mode to shoot stationary birds and wildlife in. I use AP most of the time and shoot in AF-S mode and also center weighted Matrix mode with 11 point focus. Are there any other suggestions for shooting birds and wildlife that is basically stationary?

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Bill Romer

 BILLY 0F THE NORTH's gear list:BILLY 0F THE NORTH's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED-IF Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D ED-IF Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro Sigma 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM +1 more
Nikon D7000
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bjake Regular Member • Posts: 327
Re: AF mode for shooting wildlife

For stationary birds and wildlife I use af-s and spot focus and metering

Rich Rosen Senior Member • Posts: 2,011
Re: AF mode for shooting wildlife

BILLY 0F THE NORTH wrote:

I'm posting here because have not gotten a response from the Nikon forum.

I have a Nikon D7000 and would like to know what AF and Matrix mode to shoot stationary birds and wildlife in. I use AP most of the time and shoot in AF-S mode and also center weighted Matrix mode with 11 point focus. Are there any other suggestions for shooting birds and wildlife that is basically stationary?

-- hide signature --

Bill Romer

The problem is that many birds fly. If that is the type of bird I am shooting, I would also use matrix metering, aperture priority, and AF-C . I am hoping the bird decides that at the moment I am taking the picture, it spreads his wings and flys. My Aperture is as large as possible, with idea that my shutter should be at 1/250th of a second and will adjust if the background is bright. But let me ask; if you already shot under your parameters, how successful have you been?

 Rich Rosen's gear list:Rich Rosen's gear list
Nikon D810 Nikon D1X Nikon D610 Nikon D500 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR +25 more
BILLY 0F THE NORTH OP Regular Member • Posts: 416
Re: AF mode for shooting wildlife

Seems to work ok but I am always experimenting on a better way. I have shot in AF-C also but I will try spot metering also

Bill Romer

 BILLY 0F THE NORTH's gear list:BILLY 0F THE NORTH's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED-IF Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D ED-IF Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro Sigma 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM +1 more
Rich Rosen Senior Member • Posts: 2,011
Re: AF mode for shooting wildlife

BILLY 0F THE NORTH wrote:

Seems to work ok but I am always experimenting on a better way. I have shot in AF-C also but I will try spot metering also

Bill Romer

Just be careful you don't blow out the backgrounds when you are spot metering.

 Rich Rosen's gear list:Rich Rosen's gear list
Nikon D810 Nikon D1X Nikon D610 Nikon D500 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR +25 more
corneaboy
corneaboy Contributing Member • Posts: 565
Re: AF mode for shooting wildlife

I suspect that one of the reasons you received little response is that it is difficult to give a  simple answer.  The key is that you said stationary and that is important because things are completely different if the animal is in motion.  Also birds present special problems that are different from most other animals.

Many good points have been presented already.  It should be added that no bird or other animal photo is considered to be good if the eyes are out of focus.  this usually requires that yoou use a spot focus.  If you are close to the animal, so that it fills a large part of the frame that may mean focusing on the eye and then locking focus while you recenter the camera.

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