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Old Aug 15, 2011, 2:57 PM   #1
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Default Birds in flight D90 + 70-200mm f2.8

I recently transitioned to a Nikon D90 plus a 70-200mm f2.8 VR lens. The purpose of which was to try to improve the percentage of acceptable images of birds in flight. Here are a few of the first images taken with this combination:







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Old Aug 15, 2011, 4:05 PM   #2
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Wow, these are beautiful! Obviously you made the right choice on equipment!
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Old Aug 15, 2011, 4:07 PM   #3
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These are great first BIF's with your new setup...!
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Old Aug 15, 2011, 7:01 PM   #4
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Beautiful shots, looking forward to some great shots from Florida this winter.

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Old Aug 16, 2011, 4:46 AM   #5
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Hi All,

Thanks for taking the time to look and to comment. Comments and critiques are always welcomed and appreciated.

Talk about the right tools for the the task at hand. The Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 is an outstanding lens. Quick to focus, very sharp wide open and doesn't hunt much, if at all in decent light. The auto focus system inside the D90 is a bit more sophisticated than the AF system found in my previous camera. The result is that once the lens locks onto a moving subject, it pretty much stays locked on.

There is some blur in a couple of the images as a result of operator error (setting the shutter too low). I have to work on that.

Thanks again,
Zig
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Old Aug 16, 2011, 8:38 AM   #6
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Zig, those are some awesome shots, Great detail and captures the feeling of flight.
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Old Aug 16, 2011, 9:13 PM   #7
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Hi Zig

These photos are really good. You wrote about focus, and I agree that is very important for birds in flight. Focus has a number of aspects (both camera body and lens come into play: fast focus, accurate and continual focus adjustment as well as depth of field eg on the eyes for closer birds). Glad that your Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 is doing well for you.

I also think your photos particularly effective at highlighting the importance of light direction and and exposure too. Iif birds are flying and the sky is brighter (as is often the case) - sufficient detail is lost in the 'shadows' or lack of dynamic range (particularly if the bird has very bright or dark feathers).

What I noticed about each of the 4 photos you've shared above is that there is sufficient light on the bird AND the background brightness matches the bird quite closely. This leads to the well exposed photos and achieving details without 'blowing out' highlights or details lost in shadows. Well done!

I agree with lorenww, you have captured the feeling of flight very well... in my opinion photo #3 above is magic in this regard. Are your photos crops, or is each the full image? If they aren't cropped, you must have been able to be close to the birds to achieve this.

Some months ago I bought a Canon 70-300mm L lens, which I'm very very happy with. In every sense it's a real upgrade to my previous Canon 100-300mm tele-zoom, especially in sharpness wide open (and having IS). Your photos are further inspiration for me to get out to the beach or a wildlife area / park and capture some more birds with it, particularly as the weather will be warming up from now on (here in Australia). I'm looking forward to sharing some via these forums too.

Thanks again Zig, for the photos. Looking forward to seeing more from you and others.

Regards

Paul
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Old Aug 17, 2011, 6:23 AM   #8
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Hi Loren,


Thank you for taking the time to look and the supportive comments.


Hi Paul,

Thanks. I appreciate your taking the time to really evaluate the images and provide such a detailed response.

You're right, I oversimplified the required components that produce an image that has the resolution and clarity necessary to show good wing and feather detail.

These were all taken from a boat. This is both good and bad. The good is that I can control the background by maneuvering the boat into position that allows for a clean uninterrupted background. Another important factor is the ability to position the boat so the sun is behind me and not the subjects.

The caveat is that the boat is usually bouncing up and down.


Looking forward to you posting some bird images from your part of the world as you folks have some incredibly beautiful birds not found in my neck of the woods.

Zig
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Old Aug 18, 2011, 7:07 AM   #9
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all stunning. super sharp and well framed. nothing more to be said!
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