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Thread: New to birding - couple of quick questions...

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    Default New to birding - couple of quick questions...

    First time try out BIF when at Hong Kong, I find it very challenging. Couple of quick questions.

    Do you normally spam shutter or is it one click one kill?

    Is it normal to zoom, focus, track n' shoot the bird all at the same time? Or simply use a fixed focal length and just track n' shoot.



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    Default Re: New to birding - couple of quick questions...


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    Member fmeeran's Avatar
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    Default Re: New to birding - couple of quick questions...

    BIF is one of the more difficult things to photograph.
    I usually prefer continuous shoot as the birds are very fast and it is very difficult to get keepers from single shots.
    It also means I can throw away the slightly out of focus / bird doing something weird / part of bird cut off type shots.

    Have used both zoom and track n shoot, and track n shoot with fixed focal length, it is very very difficult to do the former, especially as I don't use tripod/monopod. You can try.
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    Moderator rhino123's Avatar
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    Default Re: New to birding - couple of quick questions...

    I usually use my 300mm + 1.4x TC, zooming and stuff like that is too troublesome. I would set high speed continuous shoot and fired off a burst at the bird... out of ten photo, normally I have a spot on of 1 to 2 photo (I am not a very good shooter though)

  5. #5

    Default Re: New to birding - couple of quick questions...

    I think zoom and track is nice if you are skilled enough, because there are times whereby fixed focal length is too long or too short (if you can zoom further still). Zoom offers more versatility. I think it takes some practice and getting used to.

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    Default Re: New to birding - couple of quick questions...

    Im also interested to know how do people do it... Never tried before... maybe my lens too slow.. sigma 150-500mm... THe stupid lens not very responsive in low light...

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    Default Re: New to birding - couple of quick questions...

    Quote Originally Posted by currypok View Post
    Im also interested to know how do people do it... Never tried before... maybe my lens too slow.. sigma 150-500mm... THe stupid lens not very responsive in low light...
    Same here. My current solution is to bump ISO to keep shutter speed 1/1000 and above.

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    Moderator rhino123's Avatar
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    Default Re: New to birding - couple of quick questions...

    Quote Originally Posted by Cowseye View Post
    Same here. My current solution is to bump ISO to keep shutter speed 1/1000 and above.
    Er... with all due respect. You don't need a shutter speed of 1/1000 and above to take birds photo. Look into the web, there are plenty of wildlife photos that had shutter speed in the region of 1/500 or lesser.

  9. #9

    Default Re: New to birding - couple of quick questions...

    Quote Originally Posted by currypok View Post
    Im also interested to know how do people do it... Never tried before... maybe my lens too slow.. sigma 150-500mm... THe stupid lens not very responsive in low light...
    Erm what's your camera body? May not be the lens fault only. There are times on bright daylight with USM lens, my humble 500D cannot focus fast enough.

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    Member fmeeran's Avatar
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    Default Re: New to birding - couple of quick questions...

    Quote Originally Posted by currypok View Post
    Im also interested to know how do people do it... Never tried before... maybe my lens too slow.. sigma 150-500mm... THe stupid lens not very responsive in low light...
    Don't knock the lens bro. It is a very good lens for it's price and weight.
    You can very easily go up to 1/50 s on this lens with the OS on as long as you are braced well.
    Of course, if you have a tripod it is even better.
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rhino123

    Er... with all due respect. You don't need a shutter speed of 1/1000 and above to take birds photo. Look into the web, there are plenty of wildlife photos that had shutter speed in the region of 1/500 or lesser.
    Ah sorry, I need to add if it's birds in flight. Stationary birds will be fine at 1/500.
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    Default Re: New to birding - couple of quick questions...

    Quote Originally Posted by fmeeran View Post
    Don't knock the lens bro. It is a very good lens for it's price and weight.
    You can very easily go up to 1/50 s on this lens with the OS on as long as you are braced well.
    Of course, if you have a tripod it is even better.
    people talking about BIF, not still birds.

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    Default Re: New to birding - couple of quick questions...

    okay... for bird in flight, this is one of the hardest..... Fast body (Pro body) and fast lens.... and your reflex has to be fast, therefore most probably you have to handheld your lens most of the time., of course you need plenty of luck as you need to bird to fly near toward you. Practice as much as possible.

    Handheld Nikon fast lens - 300 F2.8 VRII.
    Handheld Canon fast lens - 300 F2.8L IS USM, 400mm F5.6L USM.

    Pro body is the best. Even i try handheld 500mm F4 II without TC on my D700, i still find the speed is not there.

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    Default Re: New to birding - couple of quick questions...

    Quote Originally Posted by Cowseye View Post
    Ah sorry, I need to add if it's birds in flight. Stationary birds will be fine at 1/500.
    Quote Originally Posted by sukhoi37 View Post
    people talking about BIF, not still birds.
    Sorry. My bad.

    As Reno said, 300mm f/2.8 should be the best lens for that.
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    Default Re: New to birding - couple of quick questions...

    Quote Originally Posted by fmeeran View Post
    Sorry. My bad.

    As Reno said, 300mm f/2.8 should be the best lens for that.
    Actually, 300mm f2.8 might not have enough reach unless you get pretty close to the bird that are about to take off or land. by adding a 1.4x TC (420mm) might give you just enough reach, but for certain circumstances, you might still find it pretty short. If you have a 300mm f2.8, you might want to think of getting a 2x TC, it will give you a 600mm reach, which is a good reach for birding.

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    Default Re: New to birding - couple of quick questions...

    Quote Originally Posted by rhino123 View Post
    Actually, 300mm f2.8 might not have enough reach unless you get pretty close to the bird that are about to take off or land. by adding a 1.4x TC (420mm) might give you just enough reach, but for certain circumstances, you might still find it pretty short. If you have a 300mm f2.8, you might want to think of getting a 2x TC, it will give you a 600mm reach, which is a good reach for birding.
    Note. We are refer to BIF.... when birds are flying, their wing is fully spread. Their total should be about to covered at least 1/4 - 1/2 of the sensor. With 300mm F2.8 lens, not only they are very fast, the optics quality are top notch that even you crop the photo to 100%, you should be able to get very good and usable quality photos. For BIF, people are interested in the birds' action rather than feather details, however if you are able to get the details along, it would be a bonus.

    300mm F2.8 however if you were to go for stationary shots, it would be still too short even you mount a 2xTC. Thats why people go for 500mm F4 x 1.4xTC or 600mm F4 x 1.4xTC or even 800mm F5.6 L. It is not surprised that hardcore bird photographers owns both 600mm F4 and a 300mm F2.8 lens.

    That is why birding is a very expensive hobby.

  17. #17

    Default Re: New to birding - couple of quick questions...

    Thanks to all who reply. Keep the comments coming in.

    Being beginners that we all once were and still is (for me), I think I'll have to make do with my slow and "short" lens at 300mm f/5.6 before committing further to this genre of photography. Brush up the techniques first. For folks who used it before, does the push-pull design (eg.100-400 L) make things easier for framing BIF compared to conventional twist design? That's probably about the longest lens I'll be considering for a long time to come.

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    Default Re: New to birding - couple of quick questions...

    Quote Originally Posted by CamInit View Post
    Thanks to all who reply. Keep the comments coming in.

    Being beginners that we all once were and still is (for me), I think I'll have to make do with my slow and "short" lens at 300mm f/5.6 before committing further to this genre of photography. Brush up the techniques first. For folks who used it before, does the push-pull design (eg.100-400 L) make things easier for framing BIF compared to conventional twist design? That's probably about the longest lens I'll be considering for a long time to come.
    For bif u should go for 400f5.6. The af speed is way faster than the 100-400.
    Most of the pro still using as a bif lens even they already have big bazookas.

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