Nikon Lens for Photographing Birds

CSC_0106Lately, I’ve been on  the hunt for some Pelicans.  I know that sounds crazy, but heI live on the East Coast and the pelican is the coolest looking bird in my opinion.  I’ve tried so hard to get the shot but my lens won’t keep up with them.  I believe my settings are all wrong.  I’m stilling learning the digital camera. My frustration was getting to me so I did some research to find out what was going on and the finding is what I figured all along.  My lens is too slow, my settings are all over the place, and my lens is not auto-focusing fast enough to get the bird.

First, I thought I could get a teleconverter, but found they do not work with my 55-300mm 4-5.6 lens only with a 2.8 to get better results. So now I’m looking at the Nikon 70-200mm lens, which is approx $2,000 but you can get it cheaper.  As far as the teleconverter, Nikon has one that’s really good and if I’m not mistaken you can use auto-focus on it. It starts at 549.00 but refurbish are around 350.00.

What I found on settings – Shutter Speed – 1000+, Aperture – f4-f8, ISO 400 or higher. Also, put it in AL Servo, and continuous shooting,  Additionally, shooting in raw takes up too much space and as much shooting you do for birds – shooting in jpeg would be better.  I know this may not be how you shoot I’m going from what I read from some good photographers.

Settings – turn to continuous shooting, shutter speed 1000+, aperture F4-F8,  spot meter, ISO 400 and above.  It’s best to shoot in jpeg instead of raw with continuous shoot so you want to burn your card up.

I remember when I shot with a film camera I never had a problem deciding  on settings, and my photos were sharp most of the time.  It makes me think that I should buy a film camera.  The negative – the film itself and getting it developed.  I used to develop my own back in the 90’s.

NOTE: The photo above was taken with my 18-105mm,  f/10, 1/320 sec, ISO 100.  The F/10 could have been smaller, the shutter speed should have been faster and the ISO a little higher.  I needed more zoom too.

Wish List –

AF-S Nikkor, 70-200mm F/2.8 ED VR II

2x Teleconverter  AF-S TC-20E  111

Battery Pack


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