Autofocus Guide for Long Lens Bird in Flight Photography

GX2R2055 Edit 21 Autofocus Guide for Long Lens Bird in Flight Photography

My Autofocus Guide for Bird in Flight Photography is finished and available for download in my online store – here, priced £29.00

The download is in the no-frills .pdf format.

Screen Shot 2016 12 10 at 12.20.12 352x400 Autofocus Guide for Long Lens Bird in Flight Photography

This is my ‘real world’ guide to Canon & Nikon Autofocus which is specifically aimed at photographers using long lenses for Bird in Flight photography.

I sell my full resolution wildlife and natural history images every day via the various global image libraries to which I am a contributor.  The largest percentage of these sales are Birds in Flight.

Image libraries demand tack sharp, full resolution uploads from their contributors;  even marginal sharpness will result in an image being rejected by Quality Control.

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A large male White-tailed eagle, locally known as “Brutus”, carrying a very large Coalfish.

In this guide, I take you right back to the basics of subject speed and distance; and how this impacts on our choice of camera body and lens focal length and working aperture.

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A Red Kite in a fast dive against a blue sky.

You’ll learn how phase detection autofocus works – only by really understanding how your autofocus system works, and what its control settings actually do, will you truly be able to control it in the way you need to for the particular task at hand.

I give you exposure and autofocus control settings for both Canon and Nikon, based on ‘real world’ full resolution images – settings that actually work, and do the job you expect them to do.

We also discover the various ‘tips ‘n tricks’ we need to know to help the autofocus system do the job we are asking it to do.

We also look at the short-comings of both the Nikon and Canon systems, and how to work around them in order to produce tack sharp images of birds in flight – HAND HELD – forget that tripod; you can’t move fast enough with one!

Photographers who have read this guide as it was being written have called it ‘the definitive guide’.  I’m not going to be so big-headed as to promote it as such myself, but I will say that it’s taken a while to produce, is pretty darn thorough, and I have the shots to prove it!

Available for purchase in my online store right now.

Please Note: This document relates to LONG LENS continuous auto focus tracking in Nikon AFC and Canon AI Servo modes in conjunction with continuous shooting modes on Nikon D4/4S and Canon 1Dxbodies with v2 firmware or higher, and is primarily related to capturing Birds in Flight and other fast-paced wildlife action photography.
Canon 5DMk3/7DMk2 users will also find this guide very useful, as will non-wildlife shooters.

Lee SW150 Mk2 Filter Holder – Review

The Lee SW150 Mk2 Filter Holder

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PURE SEX – and I’ve bloody well paid for this! My new SW150 MkII filter system for the Nikon 14-24. Just look at those flashy red anodised parts – bound to make me a better photographer!

I’ve just finished part 1 of my video review of the Lee SW150 Filter holder system for super-wide lenses and uploaded it to my YouTube channel:

First off – please forgive the shirt folks!

The SW150 Mk 2 filter holder is designed to fit a list of different lenses:

  1. Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED

  2. Nikon 14mm f2.8 D AF ED

  3. Canon EF 14mm f2.8 L II USM

  4. Samyang 14mm f/2.8 ED AS IF UMC

  5. Sigma 12-24mm f4.5-5.6 DG HSM II

  6. Tokina AT-X 16-28mm f/2.8 PRO FX

and according to the Lee website, additional lenses will be catered for; as the need arises I presume.

I never subscribed to the original incarnation of the SW150, for two reasons:

  • It ‘leaked light’ at the rear surface of the filter (though that was fairly easy to correct with a home-made baffle mod).

But that was of no consequence to me because Lee always gave the impression that:

  • They would not produce the Big & Little Stopper filters in 150mm square format.

So I’ve always stuck with either the 100mm Lee system or used a B&W 77mm screw-in filter on the Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 or a wide angle prime; and I’ve shot many a well-selling image.

nik14 24 24 70 Lee SW150 Mk2 Filter Holder   Review

But, the Nikon 14-24mm f2.8 lens has more than one advantage over its sister lens:

  1. It’s sharper – by a country mile.
  2. It resolves more ‘line pairs per millimetre’ than the 24-70mm.
  3. Its focal length range is more ‘in keeping’ with landscape photography.

And, like all the other lenses in that list above, that vast front element collects SO MANY MORE photons during the exposure.

So, now that I’ve got the opportunity to use the advantages of the 14-24 f2.8 from behind high quality 10x and 6x ND filters – well, let’s say the purchase of the Lee SW150 Mk2 system is a bit of a ‘no-brainer’ really.

The main improvement to the holder itself is the inclusion of a new baffle or ‘lightshield’ as Lee call it – this can be purchased separately as an upgrade to the original Lee SW150 Mk 1.

But you’ll have to do without the sexy red anodised bits that come with the new Mk 2 version if you go that route – these have just got to make me a better photographer!

I’ll be doing part 2 of this video review in the near future, as and when time and weather permit; but for now, I hope you find this video useful folks.

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If you find this post useful and informative please could you help by making a small donation – it would really help me out a lot – whatever you can afford would be gratefully received.

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