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Archive 2016 · D500 Settings for Birds in Flight ?
  
 
Christian H
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p.4 #1 · p.4 #1 · D500 Settings for Birds in Flight ?


I've been impressed by how reliably AF-C 25 nails the face, even in the dark!

f/5.6, 1/320, 350 mm, ISO 4500

red-tailed hawk by Christian Hunold, on Flickr



Jun 28, 2016 at 08:07 PM
arbitrage
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p.4 #2 · p.4 #2 · D500 Settings for Birds in Flight ?


So far I've settled with using D25 on the Af-On button, Group on the joystick (pushing it in) and single point on the Pv button. I have the shutter button disabled but may try adding another of the AF modes to the shutter button as some of you are doing. The only issue with using the shutter for me is that my habit is to keep the shutter half pressed while tracking and then sometimes I lift off the AF-On button or "pump" it and if I had the shutter button enabled then it would switch to that mode and refocus.

I have the other Af settings at 2 and mid-point as per Steve Perry's video. I haven't really played around with those settings much as I've been getting very good focus hit rate and consistently sharp shots so I've left things alone.

This camera is way better than my 7D2 for AF consistency. Using the 200-500 the AF drive is slower than I'm used to on my Canon bodies and lenses but still fast enough and being consistent trumps speed for me. The only things I miss from the 7D2 is the ease of which you can switch AF modes without taking your eye off the VF or using your left hand and that it has better customization of the back buttons for AF modes and other settings. There is no way I'd go back to a 7D2 after the D500 and would recommend the D500 over the 7D2 to anyone who asked.



Jun 28, 2016 at 08:36 PM
JediWebDude
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p.4 #3 · p.4 #3 · D500 Settings for Birds in Flight ?


This thread has been extremely helpful. I have a few additional questions:

My D500 settings for BIF:
- back button focus set to release
- AF-C
- d25
- A3 settings of 2; between steady and erratic

Am using a Nikon 500mm f/4E with VR set to Active.

Question 1: while holding down the AF-ON button to photograph a hawk flying in my general direction, does the A3 setting delay of 2 make it difficult to maintain focus?

Question 2: should I disable the lens VR? I was hand-holding, so thought Active VR would be helpful.

In the first shot below (Red-shoulder Hawk), this was a series of 5 rapid shots, all turned out like this. AF-ON button pressed entire time.

In the 2nd shot below (immature Mississippi Kite), this was a series of 15 shots. All of the first 14 were out of focus. It wasn't until this final shot that the camera/lens brought the subject into focus. AF-ON button pressed during entire sequence.





  NIKON D500    500.0 mm f/4.0 lens    500mm    f/6.3    1/400s    200 ISO    +1.7 EV  






  NIKON D500    500.0 mm f/4.0 lens    500mm    f/8.0    1/640s    140 ISO    0.0 EV  




Sep 04, 2016 at 02:00 AM
Steve Perry
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p.4 #4 · p.4 #4 · D500 Settings for Birds in Flight ?


JediWebDude wrote:
This thread has been extremely helpful. I have a few additional questions:

My D500 settings for BIF:
- back button focus set to release
- AF-C
- d25
- A3 settings of 2; between steady and erratic

Am using a Nikon 500mm f/4E with VR set to Active.

Question 1: while holding down the AF-ON button to photograph a hawk flying in my general direction, does the A3 setting delay of 2 make it difficult to maintain focus?

Question 2: should I disable the lens VR? I was hand-holding, so thought Active VR would be helpful.

In the first shot below (Red-shoulder Hawk), this was a series
...Show more

The first one is a victim of 1/400th of a second - way too slow for flying birds. No AF settings will help, you need more shutter speed. I like 1/3200th on my D500.

The second shot looks sharp, but 1/640th is still slow for birds. It looks like he may have slowed / hovered there for a sec and that's probably why that one is good.

Before you try anything else, pick up the shutter speed and try it (and you can shut off VR well before 1/3200th - I usually try to cut mine down between 1/500th ~1/1000th - beyond that, it doesn't seem to do any good)

Hope that helps



Sep 04, 2016 at 02:15 AM
JediWebDude
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p.4 #5 · p.4 #5 · D500 Settings for Birds in Flight ?


Steve Perry wrote:
The first one is a victim of 1/400th of a second - way too slow for flying birds. No AF settings will help, you need more shutter speed. I like 1/3200th on my D500.

The second shot looks sharp, but 1/640th is still slow for birds. It looks like he may have slowed / hovered there for a sec and that's probably why that one is good.

Before you try anything else, pick up the shutter speed and try it (and you can shut off VR well before 1/3200th - I usually try to cut mine down between 1/500th
...Show more

Yes it does...thank you!




Sep 04, 2016 at 04:37 AM
trenchmonkey
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p.4 #6 · p.4 #6 · D500 Settings for Birds in Flight ?


I wish i could show you some of my photos, but i'm not intend to buy or sell anything, and therefor do not see any reason to pay membership here just to show off some photos.
It costs NOTHING to post pictures on FM



Sep 04, 2016 at 10:53 AM
butlerkid
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p.4 #7 · p.4 #7 · D500 Settings for Birds in Flight ?


Late to the party....just bought the D500! !

This thread has been a tremendous help! I'm now ready to set up my D500, shoot some, and tweak as necessary!

Thanks everyone!



Sep 18, 2016 at 08:08 PM
egosbar
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p.4 #8 · p.4 #8 · D500 Settings for Birds in Flight ?


is there benifit in shutting of vr over 1/1000 caputuring bif or just leave it on


Sep 22, 2016 at 09:16 AM
Christian H
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p.4 #9 · p.4 #9 · D500 Settings for Birds in Flight ?


egosbar wrote:
is there benifit in shutting of vr over 1/1000 caputuring bif or just leave it on


Not that I can tell, so I always leave it on. But I don't shoot from a tripod.

Christian



Sep 22, 2016 at 10:15 AM
egosbar
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p.4 #10 · p.4 #10 · D500 Settings for Birds in Flight ?


my d500 turns up next wednesday with 70-300 vr g fx version hope it works ok until i can afford the 200-500



Nov 13, 2016 at 01:52 PM
 

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ckcarr
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p.4 #11 · p.4 #11 · D500 Settings for Birds in Flight ?


egosbar wrote:
my d500 turns up next wednesday with 70-300 vr g fx version hope it works ok until i can afford the 200-500


I hope that lens holds up well with the D500. My experience with it was that the IQ was just not there when I'd use it on the D7100 due to the higher resolution. You might consider a used 300mm f/4 AF-S in it's place too, as they are a bargain in the used market. Still, I'd be saving for the 200-500mm. In other words, you are putting a dated $250 lens on a $2,000 body so I wouldn't expect the results of decent gear (not top level, but decent).




Nov 13, 2016 at 02:26 PM
egosbar
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p.4 #12 · p.4 #12 · D500 Settings for Birds in Flight ?


understand the lens isnt the best choice but i think the d7100 was just not good enough for bif , so the 500 was an obvious choice , the 70-300 was the best i could afford at the moment , ill see how it goes , im not worried how old a lens is it has good reviews at least up to 200mm ,i can always crop for the time being , its more expensive then 250 dollars , its 630 cheapest in australia grey market so im guessing around 400 plus in america , price doesnt worry me how i value a lens anyway , hopefully technique will get me enough keepers until i can get the 200-500

in any event it has to be a better combination then my d7100 and 55-300



Nov 14, 2016 at 08:10 AM
egosbar
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p.4 #13 · p.4 #13 · D500 Settings for Birds in Flight ?


marc2307 wrote:
For those that use back button AF, now by setting the sub selector centre button to AF mode with AF ON, one can now have 2 rear AF back buttons.

Eg: I have my designated AF button to AF focus only using Single Pt and my Sub selector (centre press) to Group AF, one can now switch modes on the fly with just a single finger press (& hold). With both buttons so close to each other, it becomes second nature now for me to switch easily when the situation arises.

I have set up both my D5 & D500 with
...Show more

would be nice if it were press and release to change the modes wouldnt it , even better press and release to change through modes as you could deselect all the ones you dont want so id have single group and 153, how do we get nikon to do this



Nov 23, 2016 at 07:53 PM
stevefinmd
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p.4 #14 · p.4 #14 · D500 Settings for Birds in Flight ?


I have studied the manual for information about how to set the Sub-selector for AF on without success. Could someone explain the procedure, please?


Nov 27, 2016 at 04:33 PM
rick2906
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p.4 #15 · p.4 #15 · D500 Settings for Birds in Flight ?


You have to go to custom setting, F1. you have to choose sub selector center to set it to af on. the last item in the f1 section. the sub selector has only 2 functions. I wish they will give us full options for every button we can customize.

Edited on Nov 27, 2016 at 10:01 PM · View previous versions



Nov 27, 2016 at 05:09 PM
stevefinmd
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p.4 #16 · p.4 #16 · D500 Settings for Birds in Flight ?


Thank you. I will try that.


Nov 27, 2016 at 07:31 PM
stevefinmd
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p.4 #17 · p.4 #17 · D500 Settings for Birds in Flight ?


It seems that one must have the optional battery pack to set the sub-selector to "AF-ON".

Oops. Yes it can be done without the battery pack but it is not obvious.



Nov 27, 2016 at 09:53 PM
ElmerD
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p.4 #18 · p.4 #18 · D500 Settings for Birds in Flight ?


Hi, are you guys using A-priority or Manual or Shutter-priority for these BIF shots? Thank you for these tips from everyone on this thread!


Mar 01, 2017 at 02:31 AM
arbitrage
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p.4 #19 · p.4 #19 · D500 Settings for Birds in Flight ?


ElmerD wrote:
Hi, are you guys using A-priority or Manual or Shutter-priority for these BIF shots? Thank you for these tips from everyone on this thread!


I switched over to M mode about 2-3 years ago...I basically forced myself to only shoot M and now I can't shoot without being in M.

The benefits to shooting M are realized as long as your light is fairly stable/constant. Then once you have a proper exposure for your subject the stupid camera metering systems won't interfere in your final exposure. Remember that metering will change as your subject changes size in the frame (like flying towards you) and will change as the background behind it changes. If you aren't in M mode you will get missed exposures.

There are times to use Av or Tv mode but those are more in changing light conditions and even then you are still having to change EV so instead you can stay in M and change either SS or ISO instead...I usually find I leave my lenses wide open so don't bother with changing aperture. One time Av does help if you are walking through a forest not knowing what you may find and there is sunlight and shade and having it in Av or M with Auto ISO may let you react faster and get a decent exposure without too much fiddling with settings and checking the histogram to get the right exposure.

A good article on this subject is by Artie Morris....worth a read... .http://www.birdsasart-blog.com/2016/04/21/working-in-manual-mode-re-visited-2/



Mar 01, 2017 at 02:46 AM
protikh
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p.4 #20 · p.4 #20 · D500 Settings for Birds in Flight ?


ElmerD wrote:
Hi, are you guys using A-priority or Manual or Shutter-priority for these BIF shots? Thank you for these tips from everyone on this thread!


I use Manual with Auto-ISO. I choose shutter speed depending on:
1. the species of the bird - as some bird flies faster than the others.
2. distance of the bird - higher shutter speed if it is flying close.
3. light level - when light level is too low to push the auto-iso intolerably high, i switch the VR on and reduce the shutter speed.

I choose aperture depending on:
1. the amount of area i want in-focus and the distance to the subject.
2. light level.

Living in WA state with low light level, my auto-ISO never results in blown out images as it never reaches ISO100 or ISO64 etc.

ps: I shoot with a D500 or D810.



Mar 01, 2017 at 06:35 AM
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