This article features some sample images of ducks in flight captured hand-held with a Nikon 1 V3 and 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 zoom lens.
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
I recently purchased a Nikon 1 V3 to serve as my primary nature and birding camera body. Even though it’s been a bit hectic lately with work I’ve been trying to fit in some practice time photographing birds-in-flight.
Last week we were blessed with some nice sunny weather so I took a break and headed out to Grimsby Harbour and La Salle Park in Burlington to see if the birds would cooperate.
Even though I have been shooting with Nikon 1 gear for a number of years I’ve found it takes a bit of time to get used to how a different body performs.
When photographing birds-in-flight I typically shoot in Manual mode and let my ISO float by using Auto-ISO 160-3200. I’ve maintained this with my V3.
Like most photographers I capture birds-in-flight using AF-C with subject tracking.
Depending on the overall lighting I typically set my metering to either matrix or center-weighted. I still haven’t determined if one of these settings will end up being my favourite.
One recent change is that I only turn on the VR on my 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 lens when needed because of a slower shutter speed.
For birds-in-flight, even when shooting AF-C bursts, I keep the VR turned off as long as my shutter speed is at 1/1250 or higher. This means that the VR is virtually never on for birds-in-flight as I typically photograph these types of subjects at a minimum shutter speed of 1/1600.
There are two reasons for my decision on the use of VR. The first is that I’m finding I get better framing control of my images with the VR turned off when shooting birds-in-flight.
The second reason is that after two VR warranty repairs on my CX 70-300mm zoom I’ve decided to only use that feature when I actually need it.
I’m at the point that I’m very comfortable using my newly acquired V3 for all of my still photography needs when it comes to nature and birding subjects.
I’m also using my V3 a bit more when shooting with extension tubes at slower shutter speeds. Having a third anchor point allows me to shoot at a little bit slower shutter speeds which does come in handy at times.
All images were captured hand-held in available light using a Nikon 1 V3, 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR zoom len. All images were produced from RAW files using my standard process of DxO OpticsPro 11, CS6 and the Nik Collection.
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