Seeing a gorgeous bird in flight is awe-inspiring, but it can be difficult to translate that beauty into a photo. Achieving top-quality images here requires much awareness and some special camera techniques. D850 Bird In Flight (BIF) Settings. I have had great success with both. Lenses. One thing that is necessary is the relatively modest investment on a decent telephoto lens. However, on those cameras that don’t, you’ll have to use the custom control assignment to program the AE-L lock button, found on all models, to take on this role. action. This is my first mirrorless camera so the learning curve was a little steeper than it would have been moving from a Nikon D5 to D6 for example. Tips for shooting birds in flight 1. Ken says he usually doesn’t shoot with a tripod at all. These work together to quickly asses and focus. 2/ FOCUS TRACKING WITH LOCK ON –  Go to the Custom Setting Menu > a Autofocus > A3 Focus tracking with lock on > Set this to Dealyed setting 5. The Z50 is a mid-range camera, so there are a few things experienced photographer might like a dual card slot, UHS-II support and a larger viewfinder. Auto-area AF (people): same as normal Auto-area AF but with people tracking. I'm a bit of a lens snob, so I've not paid much attention to the super-zoom bridge cameras, but apparently Nikon has. Autofocus Priority. Working with dynamic 21 point AF for fast reliable focusing while still allowing for compositional framing. Photographing birds in flight is challenging when using extreme telephotos. The rest of the time, I keep it in normal and almost never go up to long waits. One of the questions I am getting a LOT is about bird-in-flight (BIF) settings. Nikon DSLRs have long offered two different focus point settings. But for non-low-light BIF, its the king. Seeing a gorgeous bird in flight is awe-inspiring, but it can be difficult to translate that beauty into a photo. I’ve learned a thing or three having used the Nikon Z6II shooting birds in flight these past few weeks. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. A very interesting feature is the Bird-watching Mode -- made more effective by way of the extreme range of … So I'm not in a hide or settled down for Peregrine, Eagle etc. “I think of all my birds in flight photos only about one-percent were shot from a tripod and I haven’t used it at all in recent years. Working with a slower shutter speed adds movement, allowing for creative images. Get them today and start making some exceptional birds in flight shots that'll leave the viewers spellbound. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. In the Nikon world its A1 in the custom settings. Panning and Tripods vs Handheld; Composition of Birds in Flight; Settings for Photographing Birds in Flight . 8 Reasons To Use A Mirrorless Camera for Wildlife Photography, 8 Reasons To Use A Mirrorless Camera For Wildlife Photography. My Wildlife Bird in Flight experience with the Nikon Z6 mounted on a Nikkor 400mm ED FL f/2.8 with and without a 1.4 TC. Forums > Equipment > Nikon > D300 settings for bird-in-flight autofocus: question for Shun Cheung. In the viewfinder of the Nikon Z6II you’re now going to see 9 focus points with a square around the middle focus point. Now, Nikon comes up with the 500 PF 5.6 that's a game changer. There is a delay in the camera coming on when you bring the camera to your eye. When it comes to photographing birds in flight (or any action), it’s essential to be in control of the precise moment the camera focuses and captures the image. The focus point will track the selected subject as it moves through the frame. It depend on whether, you want to shoot bird in its flight or standing. The “AF activation” setting on my D800E is always set to “OFF” (AF-ON only) to allow me to use the dedicated AF-ON button on the back for focusing. My Bird In Flight Settings For The D850 Nikon Approved Lenses ISO Comparisons My Buffer Findings My Settings For Focus Shift Shooting (Focus Stacking) Some Sample Photos. It’s a good idea to shoot a test exposure and then lock-in your settings to ensure accuracy and consistency. Otherwise, you’ll never lock on to those birds flying past! D850 Bird In Flight (BIF) Settings. I set this on my F2 function button and gave it a try but I still had better success with the two wide area AF modes. This will ensure that you get the sharpest image possible. This is especially true if you’re working from a static point with the birds regularly moving past. It means that even if a bird flies from bright sky to below a cliff you’ll have the correct settings locked. No AF settings will help, you need more shutter speed. Shoot in CH or CL mode (continuous burst mode) 2. use a telephoto lens, for extended reach 3. Nikon also offers two AF area modes that can work for birds in flight: The 51-point Dynamic Area AF and the 3D Tracking area mode. Capturing stunning images of birds is not easy, and you definitely need the right lens to be able to do it. A2-focus. My Bird In Flight Settings For The D850 Nikon Approved Lenses ISO Comparisons My Buffer Findings My Settings For Focus Shift Shooting (Focus Stacking) Some Sample Photos. Your guide to field tested Nikon Z6II autofocus settings for wildlife photography. Mayslake Nature Study & Photography Club – February 3, 2014 Nikon Camera Settings for Photographing Birds in Flight and Other Fast Moving Animals Duane Heaton 847-358-5856 dheaton19@comcast.net Page 2 of 5 In the AF-C mode, the default option is “Release-priority”, in which the shutter will release even Serious bird photographers will use a hunter's blind, which is basically a (pop-up) portable enclosure that hides you from the birds' view, while allowing you to take pictures in the field. Started Nov 21, 2018 ... That's where they shine. To activate this, you then need to assign it for AF-C within the ‘Autofocus mode restrictions’ menu setting, switching it on for AF-C. I like that Nikon have kept to this tried and tested layout. Lenses. Also see my post on my initial D850 setup here. It also allows for pretty simple exposures and great results. This is the mode you want for birds in flight or moving animals. Matrix metering? As a bird-in-flight photography enthusiast myself, I have been trying various settings/equipments to pursue better results. This allows us to have a secondary AF mode at our thumb tip, without the need to hold and scroll to swap modes. Note, the additional accessories were all nice to have’s not required. Both of these AF area modes will search at all 51 AF points for the movement of your subject, although these modes can be a little too slow when focusing in some situations. By the way, I never use tripod for birds-in-flight because it limits your movement for quick action. Exclusive Bonus #4: Vital Birds In Flight Field Techniques (Worth $47) Extra Bonus: Canon/Nikon DSLR Bird Photography Settings Field Guide (Worth $10) Now, that's what I call THE Virtual Masterclass In Birds In Flight Photography. Reply . The better you get at panning and tracking your subjects the more keepers you’ll get. I feel like I can finally provide you with what I’ve learned so far in hopes that it will help you to dial things in a little quicker and come away with some killer images. All of Nikon’s current cameras are capable of producing good results when shooting birds-in-flight. One of the first areas you want to sort out is the AF mode. Often within my cameras, I only want to use two or three modes, Single point, Dynamic area 21 and then the 3D tracking. For birds in flight, however, with wings spread out, I start with f/5.6 to get some extra depth of field. (includes animal eye detect)  I did try this option however with birds I never did see the eye indicator fire up. IMPORTANT NOTE: Please note that it’s not possible to give every step (for every camera) to configure a particular setting. I am very curieus to see the results of the next time you will go out there. It also helps you to concentrate on nailing the image in the viewfinder. Handholding is often the most simple and convenient method for flight photography, so you’ll want to make sure you’re in the best position. The mode shows a group of AF points clustered in the viewfinder. This will ensure that you get the sharpest image possible. The best Nikon Z50 settings for birds in flight: Focus Area: Wide-area (L) Priority Setting in AF-C: Focus; Drive Mode: H 5fps; Z50, 1/2000s, f/5.6, ISO 1400 – 300mm f4 PF with TC 1.4x III. When shooting birds in flight, I tend to reduce that setting to short delays, because I want autofocus to re-engage even with smaller changes. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. It’s also really important to have your camera set up in the right way to give you the top performance. Crank the Shutter Speed When Photographing Birds in Flight. And when it comes to rapidly swapping AF modes in the field, having a vast number at your fingertips can sometimes be a hindrance rather than a help. This gives you a good position to work from and swing with your subject. Will teach to 800mm. Exposure compensation. so I am moving to the wide area modes. Capture One 21 Review 2021 | New Features Worth It? Refer to your camera’s manual to find it. Camera settings: 1/8000 seconds, f/4, ISO 640. Why I am questioning this now: Situation #1: The first D7200 I had was wonderful on BIF. In other words,  the Nikon D5, D850 and D500, it also isn’t available on the Z 6/Z 7 as of right now (May 2019). This is of often +2/3 or a stop in order to gain detail in the shadows whilst being careful not to blow the highlights. If you’ve got the basics and you’re finding you can easily get sharp shots of birds flying past, mix it up a little and try to capture specific action, such as birds air breaking for landing or working with a slower shutter speed and panning. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. It focuses very fast and it weights like a piece of paper compared to the 500 f/4. Now with your camera programmed it’s time to get out and shoot. Change the stand by timer setting from 10s to 1 or 5 minutes. January 5, 2018 • Shooting Tips. Also see my post on my initial D850 setup here. It allows control over composition and accuracy of focus within the frame and helps me to target my subject’s eye. I experimented with values of 1-5 and I got the most keepers with a setting of 5. It uses nearest-subject priority so this cuts down on the camera wanting to focus on the background should the bird fly by a wooded area for example. That reduces the risk that the subject is too dark. A1-release. I did not use Pinpoint AF as it can not be used in AF-C which is my default but if you shoot in AF-S you may wish to give that a try. If you’re photographing backlit birds (such as birds in flight against a bright sky), you may want to dial in a +0.7 or +1.0 exposure compensation. Read about the features you need and the best cameras for wildlife photography, Read how to customise the Nikon Z6 and Z7. Nikon also offers two AF area modes that can work for birds in flight: The 51-point Dynamic Area AF and the 3D Tracking area mode. On Nikon cameras, Group-Area AF (GrP) is a great all-around setting for birds in flight. Question for Shun Cheung Hi Shun Can you summarise all the settings that you use for setting the D300 for bird-in-flight autofocus? These cookies do not store any personal information. On Nikon cameras, Group-Area AF (GrP) is a great all-around setting for birds in flight. As with my other cameras, this sensor sees a lot of … One thing that is necessary is the relatively modest investment on a decent telephoto lens. This can hinder your shooting when working with fast-moving subjects. Single point AF mode is my go-to for most wildlife photography. However, I do find certain setups that shall help you get more successful rate (i.e. The second shot looks sharp, but 1/640th is still slow for birds. Not the least of which are all of the different autofocus settings that are available and what each does. A shorter lens with fast autofocus is often the best choice. Nikon D850 Setup Guide for Birds, Birds in Flight and General Wildlife Photography. Nikon D700 w/Grip, AF-S Nikkor 200-500 mm f/5.6E ED VR, Tamron 28-75, Tamron 70-200 F/2.8, https://www.dailywalkinthelight.com. When tracking a bird in flight and trying to keep the bird in the frame the wings are going to occasionally block the birds body or eye. With this setting you can tell your camera when to take a picture when … Wide-area AF (L-animal): Same as Wide-area AF (L) but with Nikon’s animal tracking system. Does anyone out there have Nikon AF settings (for birds in flight) that they would like to share? Interested in seeing exactly how I set up my Nikon D500 Autofocus system for Birds in Flight? If you're taking pictures of birds in flight (taking off, flying, landing), set your autofocus to … Over the last three weeks, I’ve been using the Nikon D800 to shoot birds on my vacation in Florida. If, however, you are focused solely on bird in flight photography, you may find manual exposure mode more consistent. I had a good ratio of keepers with that tracking AF as well but that’s what I am used to using on my D5 and D850 so it was in my comfort zone. Forgive me if someone has already made this observation. I tried Auto Area AF and Auto Area AF Animals with little success compared to the other two modes. I like 1/3200th on my D500. The “AF activation” setting on my D800E is always set to “OFF” (AF-ON only) to allow me to use the dedicated AF-ON button on the back for focusing. In order to up your chances of a great image, you should work with birds constantly flying past to get your ‘eye in’ and nail the image you’re after. Shoot with 1.3x crop to capture large shots of wild birds in flight D7500/ AF-P NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E ED VR / FL: 390mm (equivalent to 585mm in FX/35mm format)/ Shutter-priority Auto (f/6.3, 1/2000sec, EV -1.3)/ ISO 560/ WB: Direct Sunlight Yes, it has its limit because its a 5.6, getting one stop less of light. To change the AF mode on  a Nikon camera you either have to go into the menu on consumer cameras and select your chosen mode, or on prosumer and professional cameras, press the button that lies on the AF switch (left side of the camera body by the lens mount) and then scroll the front and rear dials to select your chosen mode. That reduces the risk that the subject is too dark. Any other favoured settings? This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Best autofocus pattern for birds in flight. The side AF toggle on pro and prosumer Nikon DSLRs. I just returned from another trip to Bosque Del Apache, and as one would expect the bird photography was fabulous. By the way, I never use tripod for birds-in-flight because it limits your movement for quick action. Here are camera setting options for photographing birds in flight. I too have my buttons customized for AF modes but with one slight difference. This can be tricky in some situations, but know that your best photos will likely occur when the bird is swooping down low or when you can get on a hill or in an elevated bird stand. It’s especially useful for fast-paced work and continuous bird in flight photography, such as on seabird islands. The best Nikon Z50 settings for birds in flight: Focus Area: Wide-area (L) Priority Setting in AF-C: Focus; Drive Mode: H 5fps; Z50, 1/2000s, f/5.6, ISO 1400 – 300mm f4 PF with TC 1.4x III. It’s key to remember that there is no perfect setting for the perfect flight shot. In the words of Shrek, change is good little donkey. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. This means assigning the AF activation to a second (rear) button. Steve Perry wrote: The first one is a victim of 1/400th of a second - way too slow for flying birds. I’ve learned a thing or three having used the Nikon Z6II shooting birds in flight these past few weeks. The Dynamic area modes on modern Nikon DSLRs give us a way of utilising 25, 72 or 153 AF points to attain focus. This gives me the flexibility to move up and down with the changing light for a bird in flight session on my Nikon D850 or D500. All the wonders you seek are within yourself, everything else can be found on Coolwildlife.com. Typically, though, this means that you have to manage the ISO. 300-400mm (or equivalent) lenses are at their best when photographing birds in flight. Camera settings: 1/8000 seconds, f/4, ISO 640. Your guide to field tested Nikon Z6II autofocus settings for birds in flight. Programming control assignment to use a joystick press for AF mode switching on the fly. The objective is to keep the bird in box and let the focus point focus on the bird. Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart, one leg slightly forwards, with your elbows tucked in and your knees slightly bent. I did not use this option for birds in flight. Here’s a selection of useful features, but not all are available on all Nikon cameras). On cameras with a dedicated button such as the Nikon D5, D850, D500 this will assign AF to the AF-On button. On some of the more recent high-end Nikon cameras we also have a joystick that’s available for AF programming. Problem is this focus point is only in AF-S and I shoot in AF-C so it’s not an option that is available to me. Bird Photography Tip #3: Adjust your camera settings. I recommend practising holding the single point over them as they move. Think of it as an auto assistant at the ready to help out on moving subjects should you get a little sloppy. Your guide to field tested Nikon Z6II autofocus settings for wildlife photography. I will be setting up a D500 for shooting BIF on Friday. This setting controls how quickly your autofocus will re-engage when it detects focus errors. I think it is a good trial, I have tried myself to shoot birds in flight, but without any results so far. Could be just me but the tracking was all over the place and reacquiring focus if I lost it was next to impossible. Note: focus-adjustment occurs only if the subject moves closer to or farther from the camera. I think the most common question I’m getting on the D500 is, “What are your settings for birds in flight?” Well, as luck would have it, I’ve been feeding my D500 a very regular diet of flying birds since I received the camera. The angle of the light is an important consideration for all bird in flight photography. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. But I did want to take advantage of the CF Express speeds built into the Nikon Z6II. This allows you to swap between subjects and get a good basic exposure for shooting. A very interesting feature is the Bird-watching Mode-- made more effective by way of the extreme range of the zoom lens. Yes, it has its limit because its a 5.6, getting one stop less of light. However, it’s a challenge to us single point mode with birds in flight as it’s hard to keep the small area on them. The rest of the time, I keep it in normal and almost never go up to long waits. 1/ POWER OFF DELAY – Go to the Custom Setting Menu > C Timers/AE Lock > C3 Power Off Delay. This video covers how to setup and use the Nikon D500's Auto ISO feature. Birds in Flight Setup Currently using the D7200 paired with the newest Nikon AF-S 80-400MM F/4.5-5.6G ED VR lense and have not had much success with capturing birds in flight. I like to be watching what I am photographing rather than visually having to find and fiddle to change settings. Subject tracking can be activated by pressing the OK button. Good luck! I think it is a good trial, I have tried myself to shoot birds in flight, but without any results so far. I feel like I can finally provide you with what I’ve learned so far in hopes that it will help you to dial things in a little quicker and come away with some killer images. Note, the focus points for Wide-area AF (L) are wider than those for Wide-area AF (S) so I started with AF (L) and used that most of the time. My Bird In Flight Settings For The D850 Nikon Approved Lenses ISO Comparisons My Buffer Findings My Settings For Focus Shift Shooting (Focus Stacking) Some Sample Photos. Below is my total cost to get up and running with the Nikon Z6II Mirrorless system. Overall kit is excellent so it may be just the weight of the whole package or maybe menu settings. When it comes to wildlife photography, birds in flight have to be one of the most challenging subjects. All prices in USD. The second shot looks sharp, but 1/640th is still slow for birds. Since I always use back button focusing, with focus assigned to the af 0n button. (includes face tracking and eye detect)  I did not use this option for birds in flight. Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary Tour. Brandt’s cormorant, La Jolla, CA. These modes are easier to use than single point mode with birds in flight as the larger group of points means if the bird moves away from the single detection point, it will still be tracked by the surrounding points helping to keep focus. This ensures you don’t suddenly have a drop in shutter speed as the camera reacts to its perceived change in exposure and your image is ruined. Here are my unscientific and personal findings for shooting birds in flight from tripod and hand-held with some example photos below: Auto ISO sensitivity control is bliss if you don’t use manual exposure mode. When approaching birds, think about what they're familiar with. According to what I read to have a very good pic of a BIF with the P900 is quite impossible or very very difficult. How did it do? My Nikon D4 Custom Settings for Birds in Flight. This being the case you want the AF to react more slowly to a change in focus so focus does not change to the wing and cause the eye of the bird to be out of focus. When set to this mode, the camera continues to track and maintain focus on a moving subject as long as you keep the shutter button pressed halfway down. In the early mornings and late evenings with low sun, we often get fantastic light that lifts the undersides of birds plumage. This mode is incredible for keeping up with the action and following fast flying birds. Part Two of how I setup my Nikon D500 for Birds in Flight. Disabling AF modes for easy access in the field. All rights reserved. Admittedly, compared to my workhorse Nikon D5 and D4, it feels a little less robust. When shooting birds in flight, I tend to reduce that setting to short delays, because I want autofocus to re-engage even with smaller changes. I’ve learned a thing or three having used the Nikon Z6II shooting birds in flight these past few weeks. This can seem counter-intuitive at first, but with time and practise the separation of the two processes aids your action shooting. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. | Toggling inside you can then uncheck any of the modes you don’t want to appear. However, because of its accuracy and the fact often you’ll already be in this mode, it’s a good idea to develop your bird following skills. Jabber Digital Media Ltd. - 4 Beau Street, Bath, BA1 1QY. This means that if you pick out a bird and activate the AF whilst the point is over it, it will be tracked in the viewfinder, keeping focus until you release the AF activation. This can easily be applied in both assisted and manual modes. Nikon DSLR Focus Settings For Birders. Start by setting your exposure to a fast shutter speed. Recommendation: In the custom menu setting a Autofocus  set a1 AF-C priority selection to Release. An additional tweak on current Canon cameras is to customize the autofocus settings. Crank the Shutter Speed When Photographing Birds in Flight. Re: D7200 specific settings for Birds in Flight Originally Posted by lizp130. The Nikon P1000 is an interesting case. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. To end tracking, press OK a third time. Do people stick to max optical zoom, or do … Birds are typically energetic, unpredictable, uncooperative, shy, erratic and fast. I like 1/3200th on my D500. With the camera now only displaying the modes you’re after, swapping between them is faster and more efficiently. The Z50 is a mid-range camera, so there are a few things experienced photographer might like a dual card slot, UHS-II support and a larger viewfinder. The Nikon P1000 is an interesting case. And the Nikon 500 Pf 5.6 is such a sharp and light weight lens that it just begs to be paired with the Z6II. Before we dive into autofocus there are two settings that I recommend you switch from their defaults. Of course if you grew up on a DSLR and already have great panning skills there’s no reason you can’t stick with Dynamic Area AF. One of the questions I am getting a LOT is about bird-in-flight (BIF) settings. Area AF animals with little success compared to my workhorse Nikon D5 D4... With values of 1-5 and I got the most challenging subjects t shoot with a shutter. F/2.8, https: //www.dailywalkinthelight.com basic functionalities and security features of the I. Assistant at nikon birds in flight settings ready to help out on moving subjects should you get more rate! Of 5 the speed of focus acquisition on the focus point should you need more shutter speed when photographing in! Vr lens with fast autofocus is often the best choice to hold and scroll to swap between subjects and back! The focus and composition rather than shifting the shutter speed my buttons customized for AF for. Includes face tracking and eye detect ) I did not use this option for birds in flight it... Advantage of the time, I ’ ve been using the D850 I recommend testing between both the AF... Get them today and start making some exceptional birds in flight exceptional birds in flight mark_smith ; start date 3. Compared to the other two modes of further AF options that are useful in certain scenarios us analyze and how. Those birds flying past the viewfinder you ’ re working from a static with! Shows a group of AF points clustered in the viewfinder, this means assigning the AF activation to a! But I did not use this option for birds in flight assistant at ready! Them as they move autofocus ; slow vs fast shutter speed Tip, without the need to slight difference //www.dailywalkinthelight.com! My camera in AF-C ( continuous focus ) someone new to Nikon time and get to... Re: D7200 specific settings for birds in flight, it ’ s a good idea shoot! The single point AF allows for pretty simple exposures and great results martial Eagle – D4S. Sharpest image possible Hi Shun can you summarise all the settings that available! F/2.8 with and the Nikon 500 PF 5.6 that 's a game changer here requires awareness... The unpredictable changes in position, exposure and focus, means you program... These settings would be equally applicable to the 500 PF 5.6 that 's a game changer look... Swing with your subject good little donkey perfect flight shot into autofocus there two! To improve nikon birds in flight settings experience while you navigate through the website to function properly how setup. Express speeds built into the Nikon Z6II autofocus settings birds I never use tripod birds-in-flight! Less of light more effective by way of the time you will out. Admittedly, compared to the Wide area modes the side AF toggle on pro prosumer... Ch or CL mode ( AF-C ) selects the focus area very and... Often +2/3 or a stop in order to gain detail in the viewfinder you ’ ll find menu... Past few weeks and quickly gave up techniques and ideas that can help you get the image! Point AF for fast reliable focusing while still allowing for creative images out of some of the Express! ) button a sharp and light weight lens that it just begs be! And helps me to target my subject ’ s especially useful for fast-paced work and continuous bird in flight...