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So yeah, I'm a little slow

ChuckcChuckc Posts: 4,398 Captain
How you you guys handle exposure when bird shooting? I usually use aperture priority at 1 stop over wide open and set the ISO to the lowest I can get away with. I typically forget to adjust the metering and leave it on Matrix, I have tried spot metering and got some odd halo results so I may try center weighted next time.

I've got a D7000 and the 70-300 AF-S VR lens so some better and faster glass would help no doubt.

What's your suggested approach sagacious bird shooters of the forum?


  • WaterEngineerWaterEngineer Posts: 24,415 AG
    "A" is OK. Sometimes matrix, active -d or spot. You have to bump the ASA to get the shutter to around 1/1000 or 1/800 minimum for BIF.

    If the light is weird then "S" with the speed set at 1/1000 and Auto ASA. I don't like to this way because is usually creates too much DOF, because I really like to isolate the beast from the background - the best I can. Thus, I like to dial in a big fat hole in the end of the lens using "A".

    OK, you have been threatening to get a lens for a while. I will step up and say - yes you have to do that.

    Not the ideal lens but do this deal, compared to where you re at now you will be Happy, Happy, Happy.

  • mississippi macmississippi mac Posts: 4,222 Captain
    my $.02....
    I always shoot in shutter priority....no exceptions...
    i'll bump the iso up or down, depending on light but i'm going to be shooting at least 1/600 with my IS (VR) glass and pushing 1/1000 most of the time....
    I'd rather work with a slightly off exposure than a perfectly exposed blur....you can't fix blur....my 40d is so clean at iso 400 so i usually start there and work down if i can...
    if i can get into a situation where my subjects aren't skittish, and are reatively static, i'll take my time and change my shutter speed if i'm trying to get a lot of dof...
    i will also bracket if time allows....
    i also use use my center focus spot and make sure the eyes are sharp...same for metering, i spot meter.....
    white egrets are about the hardest to get right, especially with a dark background or shadows...


    ps a 100-400mmm zoom with is (vr) makes a big difference...i also have a 500mm which is a big help...
    The Real White Dog

    if you can't catch a fish...catch a buzz....
    #12976, joined 8-17-2002
  • ChuckcChuckc Posts: 4,398 Captain
    Yes, I'm definitely in need of glass and that 300 f4 would be a great affordable option at the right price for sure. My job situation has me stashing away every free penny I can as we're under a LEAN initiative and that seems to mean Lose Every Anglo Now. I guess Nikon glass bought well isn't a bad investment but I need to buy cheap enough to turn loose of it in a hurry if I need to pay bills.

    I'm not a wanna-be bird shooter really, just a guy who might like to improve the occasional bird shot. I really need to get out and play around more than I have so far. I had wondered if anyone was trying to shoot birds in M which to me seems pretty close to impossible unless the birds are totally lazy.

    Thankfully I have never used any fast pro-level long glass so the NAS isn't fully kicked in.
  • ChuckcChuckc Posts: 4,398 Captain
    OK I'm now the owner of a Nikkor 300 f4 ED-IF lens complete with drop in l37c filter, pleather hood and case. The only mark on it is a barely noticable ding on the sunshield. Now I need to find a manual to explain the proper use of the focus limiter and if it makes any difference which way the drop in filter is inserted.

    I paid very close to what KEH would give me for it so I think I did OK.
  • WaterEngineerWaterEngineer Posts: 24,415 AG
    You will soon be a happy camper (as if you aren't all ready.) IMHO, the Nikon 300mm is outrageously sharp if I do my part. In fact, I will be so bold as to say there isn't a bad 300mm.
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