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Forums Lobby MASTER YOUR VISION Wildlife (Public) topic #43195
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Subject: "Zoo Photography - Last Minute Tips" Previous topic | Next topic
longroad   AU  Registered since 27th Mar 2007 Mon 04-Jun-07 10:49 PM
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"Zoo Photography - Last Minute Tips"



Im heading to the zoo this weekend for the first time with my D80.

I've done a bit of research about zoo photography but havent picked up a whole lot of tips.

I dont know if I'll be shooting primarily through glass or whether it will mostly be fencing. I imagine it will be a bit of both.

I don't have a rubber hood which I know can be an advantage when shooting through glass enclosures.

I also dont have any filters or a tripod (yes, still alot of shopping left to do!).

The lenses I am taking:
70-300 VR
18-135mm
50mm 1.8

I envision I'll be leaving the 70-300 on most of the time. I'm worried about blur since I dont have a tripod.
I can get clear pictures with the VR obviously, but they are rarely perfectly sharp once I crop them in photoshop.

I imagine I'll be at 300mm for most shots since there will be alot of big cats and they usually sit as far away as they possible can. So I hope I can get some relatively sharp shots without a tripod.

I'll be shooting all day so midday sun will be an issue (assuming it will be sunny).

If anyone could offer any small bits of advice for shooting at the zoo, I'd be grateful


  

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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: Zoo Photography - Last Minute Tips nwcs Silver Member Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Landscape and Wildlife Photography
04th Jun 2007
1
Reply message RE: Zoo Photography - Last Minute Tips stanjan0
05th Jun 2007
2
Reply message RE: Zoo Photography - Last Minute Tips Dave C
05th Jun 2007
3
Reply message RE: Zoo Photography - Last Minute Tips cerrot
05th Jun 2007
4
Reply message RE: Zoo Photography - Last Minute Tips Photophil Awarded for his valuable contributions to the Resources, most notably in Wildlife Photography
07th Jun 2007
5
Reply message RE: Zoo Photography - Last Minute Tips longroad
08th Jun 2007
6
     Reply message RE: Zoo Photography - Last Minute Tips Rock Hopper
10th Jun 2007
7

nwcs Silver Member Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Landscape and Wildlife Photography   Knoxville, US  Nikonian since 15th Jan 2006 Mon 04-Jun-07 10:55 PM
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#1. "RE: Zoo Photography - Last Minute Tips"
In response to Reply # 0



I think the 70-300 is going to be the most useful of those three lenses. I wouldn't worry about a tripod, really. While I haven't run into a zoo that prohibits their use I just haven't seen enough settings where a tripod was called for. You'll definitely have visual distractions to contend with which is why zoom is useful.

Your sharpness issue with the 70-300 may be related to technique, too. I had disappointment with my early uses of VR until I realized that it was my technique that got in the way.

Most of the time, for the zoos I've been in, the sun wasn't much of a problem. More often it was the close mesh fences, animal position, and other people crowding around me that interfered.

  

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stanjan0   Boynton Beach, Florida, US  Basic Member Tue 05-Jun-07 03:24 PM
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#2. "RE: Zoo Photography - Last Minute Tips"
In response to Reply # 1



Don't worry about taking any other lens to the zoo, I think the good Lord designed the 70-300MM f/4.5-5.6 VR himself it is perfect for the zoo. I don't have trouble with the fences unless the sun is shinning on it, as to the glass put the lens right on the glass if you can find a clean spot. The only drawback is if it is not a fairly bright day. Shucks why did he not make it a f/2.8.

"Stan a Nikonian from South Florida"

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Dave C   Dunfermline, UK  Registered since 10th Mar 2002 Tue 05-Jun-07 04:06 PM
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#3. "RE: Zoo Photography - Last Minute Tips"
In response to Reply # 0



Hi,

"I can get clear pictures with the VR obviously, but they are rarely perfectly sharp once I crop them in photoshop."

This is probably technique.

You may just need some USM in post processing.

If that doesn't work try holding the focus for at least a second to let the VR settle before taking the shot.

Always look on the bright side of life de dum de dum...........
Dave C
Scottish Nikonian
My Gallery

  

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cerrot     Registered since 01st Mar 2007 Tue 05-Jun-07 05:05 PM
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#4. "RE: Zoo Photography - Last Minute Tips"
In response to Reply # 0



The 70-300 should be all you need. Bring a small sprayer of windex and some paper towels (don't laugh-small enough to fit in camera bag) to clean the glass before your shot (it is dirty from finger & hand prints, etc). Put the lens hood right on the glass straight on, not at an angle, and you should be fine. If you get real close to the fences, and focus on the eye of the animal, you will most likely not see any fence in your pic. Let the VR work (slowly press shutter-actually roll your finger after staying half presses to initiate autofocus and VR) but also play it safe with a fast enough shutter speed (watch your meter to assure proper exposure). Bracketing may not be a bad idea and I strongly suggest going during the week and not weekend - if possible, during the school year, as there wil be less peiople blocking your shot. Have a blast. I have shot at the Bronx Zoo and Belize Zoo and have a ton of keepers.

  

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Photophil Awarded for his valuable contributions to the Resources, most notably in Wildlife Photography   Gent, BE  Basic Member Thu 07-Jun-07 09:01 AM
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#5. "RE: Zoo Photography - Last Minute Tips"
In response to Reply # 0



If you'll have to shoot through glass, wear dark clothes. If you'd wear bright colors, you'll see your reflection more clearly.

Cheers,
Philippe

WILDEYES / ARTERRA
Before You Attempt To Beat The Odds. Be Sure You Could Survive The Odds Beating You.

  

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longroad   AU  Registered since 27th Mar 2007 Fri 08-Jun-07 02:28 AM
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#6. "RE: Zoo Photography - Last Minute Tips"
In response to Reply # 5



Thanks for the advice everyone!

The weather is looking terrible for the weekend.. I might not even be able to get the camera out if it doesn't stop raining.

I'll be sure to post some photos when I get back!

  

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Rock Hopper   Meridian, US  Registered since 23rd Dec 2006 Sun 10-Jun-07 02:27 AM
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#7. "RE: Zoo Photography - Last Minute Tips"
In response to Reply # 6



I wish I had seen this thread before I went to the zoo today. The windex tip would have helped.

<www.nikonians-images.org/galleries/showgallery.php/cat/500/ppuser/119559> My Nikonians Gallery

  

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