Have I ever mentioned how much I like the focus system on the D7000? (probably)
I'm always amazed at how well it can pick out a subject in a cluttered frame. It just seems to nail the focus effortlessly. A couple from today's backyard birding session. A few others are posted in the wildlife forum.
Just curious on your settings and lens. I've tried to capture similar, but only can do at my feeder with the camera set to interval every second, spot and on manual with ISO varying to catch the sun and shade exposures. They would never let me get this close. I set up the tripod/camera about 25 feet away with 18-200mm at 200mm and f/5.6 and 1/500s or so. THey're fidgety little things. I keep a tripod in place to get the birds used to it.
I found that I don't get what I think is truly acceptable sharpness from my 18-200 unless I'm at f8. Wrecks bokeh, but at least the subject is nice n' tight! Lens doesn't have wonderful bokeh, anyhow. Just have to push ISO up a pinch higher to compensate, or keep dreaming of a 300 f2!!!!! ; )
Your crop came out very nicely. These little guys can be very frustrating. They demand long glass or a camera positioned closely with a remote release - but then you're locked down to a specific position - which can still produce some very nice images.
Chris - the first shot is stunning. Wonderful composition - almost whimsical colors. Terrific and quite different from the usual bird portraits. I love the air/space in the first composition as well. Enter the shot in a competition - seriously.
Yes, I have to agree with Howard. Getting the shot of a bird in it's natural habitat makes the image that much better in terms of esthetics. Unlike mine on a feeder, yours is much more natural and the focus - just great. Just curious, what percentage of keepers out of this bunch - I'm assuming this wasn't just out of a couple of shots? - or maybe it was?? I'll have to save up for my 50-500mm Sigma, but the 18-200mm is so-o-o convenient/versatile!!
BTW for those who are following the backfocus threads, I was having the green focus dot not appearing at infinity at 18mm on the 18-200mm. The subject was not anywhere like the "difficult" scenes described in the owners manual or Darrels manual. Also the LV AF-F was working very innaccurately or not at all. So I sent it in to Nikon with a detailed letter and image samples on the memory card describing my issues and a very few days later picked it up (Toronto). The misfocussing that I have been ranting about for a few months seems to be "fixed" now in that they did say they made some AF adjustments. Maybe it was only the AF-F they fixed, I don't know. Anyway, I still have that issue with the green dot not appearing most of the time, although the image appears to be sharp in ViewNX and does have the red square showing the focus point. There is an arrow pointing to the right showing that I should have to turn the focussing ring that way, more towards infininty to achieve focus. Anyone have any input on this phenomenon? I don't believe that when I got the camera in Nov 2011, I had this occur.
I have the 18-200 and think it is very good all around lens, so long there is adequate light. I did have problems getting it to focus on my D40, but nary a problem with the D7000. I am going to Hawaii in May and I am seriously considering taking it and leaving the 17-50 f 2.8 and 70-200 lenses home.
If I recall correctly, (and I am getting to the age when one is never sure) 18mm and 200mm areas are its weakest spots. You might try shooting at 20-22mm. You could also fine tune the camera's AF for this lens at 18mm, but then you may have focusing problems at 200mm.
BTW-I also have the Sigma BigMa and consider it the best value in long telephoto lens. Now, if we could only get around the laws of physics and get a f 2.8 lens without hauling around 20 pounds of glass.
just great. Just curious, what percentage of keepers out of this bunch - I'm assuming this wasn't just out of a couple of shots? - or maybe it was?
The percentage of keepers was very high. I probably took 25 - 30 shots, and only tossed about four for focus. The ones I posted here had the most cluttered frame. A few with more compelling poses were posted in the wildlife forum.
I was practicing again yesterday, but with the Bigma this time. The birds were more shy, not sure why - perhaps I wasn't hidden as well behind the Bigma setup as I was behind the 800mm. They were really trying to hide from me and my keeper rate was lower - maybe 60% - I didn't count. Here's an example of what I was contending with. I was still quite happy with the D7000 performance.
Sun 04-Mar-12 01:13 PM | edited Sun 04-Mar-12 01:14 PM by elec164
Great shots Chris.
Little birds by nature tend to be skittish little creatures. In my case I'm not sure if it's the Bigma swinging up at them, or the 95 pound German Shepherd attached to my waist with a 15 foot longe line!
>Have I ever mentioned how much I like the focus system on the >D7000? (probably)
I am wondering if we really can credit the D7000 for correctly obtaining focus on these shots. How did it do it? It certainly has face recognition but not bird recognition! So how did it choose the bird to focus on rather than the leaves and branches? Some of the leaves and branches look like better AF targets to me. Was the bird moving and you were in some dynamic tracking AF mode?
I was in dynamic, 21 point, but in this case, I put the focus point on the beak and it was able to snap in and old it. As the bird moved it would hunt for a second and then snap back in pretty quickly. Nonetheless, I did have to discard a fair number.