What a great site indeed. I really need help I have a d300s with a Nikkor 80-400 with it. I am trying to set the camera to shoot birds in flight. If you pardon the expression I have winged it and got some nice shots but lately the shots are blurred and dark and with little detail. I have no idea how to fix this if any body can help me It would be very appreciated.
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#1. "RE: Need Help" | In response to Reply # 0MEMcD Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007Sun 16-Sep-12 03:46 PM
Welcome to Nikonians!
Please answer the following questions:
What exposure mode are you using?
What AF mode are you using? Continuous (AF-C) mode?
What AF Area mode are you using? Dynamic Area AF?
What settings are you using for Custom Settings:
a1 AF-C Priority Selection
a3 Dynamic AF Area
a4 Focus Tracking with Lock-On
a5 AF Activation
What shutter speed or range of shutter speeds are you using?
Do you have VR On or Off?
Posting a sample image with the Exif data would also be hepful.
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
#2. "RE: Need Help" | In response to Reply # 0Enthus_Photo Registered since 15th May 2012Sun 16-Sep-12 07:16 PM
All good questions above, and the answers will help a lot.
One thing to note is that the 80-400 is moving a LOT of glass, and isn't known for speedy AF performance.
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#3. "RE: Need Help" | In response to Reply # 0glo Nikonian since 02nd Dec 2005Sun 16-Sep-12 10:13 PM | edited Sun 16-Sep-12 10:15 PM by glo
Please post a photo showing the “blurred and dark and with little detail”. Also, this photo needs to have the EXIF intact. Then I think you will receive some good information as to what may be the problem.
I shoot a D300 and 80-400VR. As has been stated, this lens can be pretty difficult to focus on a BIF. Try the following settings and see if they help with BIF against the sky.
Keep Shutter Speed as high as you can. At least 1/1000.
Set the Shutter release to CH Mode shooting speed.
Set the AF-Area Mode selector on Auto-Area AF (User Manual pg 64)
Set Focus Mode on Continuous-serve AF (User Manual pg 62)
Set Custom Settings Menu - a1: AF-C Priority Selection to Focus (User Manual pg 267)
Set the Focus Limit Switch on the lens.
The User Manual page numbers are for D300, so they may be different than the D300s.
#4. "RE: Need Help" | In response to Reply # 0Floridian Nikonian since 11th Feb 2007Sun 16-Sep-12 11:06 PM
My avatar to the left was shot with the 80-400. I don't shoot a lot of birds in flight, but when I do that's the lens I use. One thing you should do is shoot with the sun behind you, to get good light on the bird and good detail. Second, pre-focus the lens on something on the ground about the same distance as the bird, to limit focus hunting. Third, use the focus limiter on the lens. This lens has a bit of a learning curve, but after you get used to the way it acts, it becomes easier to get good shots.