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Old Tuesday 10th May 2016, 17:27   #1
HermitIbis
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Birds in Action at 15 fps, and more: Nikon 1

Am I the only one who loves the Nikon 1 system cameras for their ability to catch birds in action? The 1Nikkor 70-300 is a great lens, and my combo (with the Nikon V2) weighs less than 1kg. I've also got lots of attractive photos of sitting birds, but birds in movement is clearly a particular strength of Nikon 1 with its rate of 15 frames per second with AF-C (or even 20 fps with the Nikon V3). Ducks in flight quickly become a routine, smaller birds remain a challenge.
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Old Thursday 12th May 2016, 22:41   #2
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The 1Nikkor 70-300mm lens at 300mm has a minimum focusing distance of 1.59m. Sometimes you face a dipper at a distance of mere 2.50 meter, as I did in the case of the photo below. Many SLR combos would have trouble to deliver in such a moment - because of the focusing distance, or a low fps rate, or because the camera is noisy. The Nikon 1 system is silent.
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Old Friday 13th May 2016, 00:15   #3
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Excellent shots!

Interested to know what settings you are using for BIF - I have struggled with this on the V1 with my 300mm PF lens.
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Old Friday 13th May 2016, 04:37   #4
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Excellent shots!

Interested to know what settings you are using for BIF - I have struggled with this on the V1 with my 300mm PF lens.
If your 300pf works the same as my FX 70-300 via the FT-1 on the V2 you will struggle,i only get single center point focus and no AFC,with the CX 70-300 you get every thing to use.
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Old Friday 13th May 2016, 17:04   #5
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If your 300pf works the same as my FX 70-300 via the FT-1 on the V2 you will struggle,i only get single center point focus and no AFC,with the CX 70-300 you get every thing to use.
Single point AF is right, but you should get AF-C, provided you use the latest firmware for the FT.

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Old Saturday 14th May 2016, 06:35   #6
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Single point AF is right, but you should get AF-C, provided you use the latest firmware for the FT.

Hermann
Have not risked updating as i use it with my Sigma 50-500,Nikon have been known to be sneaky just to stop things working.
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Old Saturday 14th May 2016, 08:17   #7
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Excellent shots!

Interested to know what settings you are using for BIF - I have struggled with this on the V1 with my 300mm PF lens.
Thanks. - A major reason why I bought the V2/1Nikkor 70-300 and a source of inspiration has been Thomas Stirr's website. This professional photographer is using his V2 bodies mainly for video in his daily work, but for fun he uses and loves the Nikon 1 system. One of his latest posts has been about Swallows in Flight, have a look at the 15 consecutive photos at the end, an impressive AF-C run! Thomas Stirr mentions his settings with the swallows:

Quote:
I captured all of the images in this article hand-held with a Nikon 1 V2 and a 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 zoom lens. I used matrix metering, Manual settings with Auto-ISO 160-3200, AF-C at 15fps with subject tracking.
My own settings are the same, only instead of matrix metering I used center weighed. Maybe something I have to change (I strictly used center weighed with my Canon SX50 for years). I also chose 1/2500 sec.

By the way, among the 28 articles about BIF with 1Nikkor 70-300 on Thomas Stirr's site there is a piece titled Blackbird Chasing a Hawk - impressive shots (in particular the youtube link at the end), although the hawk actually may be a buzzard. For the sake of comparison, here is one photo that I had published in this forum, of a crow chasing a buzzard. I had been quite proud of my string of ten photos, all ten showing the buzzard and most of them the crow, which I took as a "burst" with the SX50. Stirr's 25 consecutive shots were so much better!

It is interesting to note that my "burst" with the SX50 had the flying objects in a 90 degree angle to me - a situation which offers the best chance for a BIF with the SX50 and probably many other cameras. In contrast, I find that the V2/1Nikkor 70-300 with its hybrid focus system does best in situations where the bird comes into the photographer's direction. This was exactly how the blackbird series began, btw, until the birds took a turn.

To take a series of 15 or 25 consecutive shots, as Thomas Stirr does here, is not an exception. I have had series of 45 consecutive shots of a swallow. The difference is that Stirr shoots RAW photos (and edits all of his photos with DxO Optics pro 10 and other top-notch software), and I presently shoot only JPEG large, so that it takes a little longer for me until the buffer is full. I've found that the buffer takes 55 or 56 photos shot in JPEG large. - I am not so sure, by the way, whether it is an advantage for BIF to own the Nikon V3 instead of the V2 - I understand that the V3 has 20 fps (vs 15 fps), but doesn't this mean only 3 seconds of action instead of 4?

Postscript. After taking tons of photos with the Canon SX50 I still love this camera. Superzooms like the SX50, SX60 or the Nikon P900 offer much value for our money. But sometimes you are eager to try out something new, and I find the somewhat different Nikon colours refreshing - sample photos below.
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Old Monday 16th May 2016, 01:38   #8
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I've found that the buffer takes 55 or 56 photos shot in JPEG large.
The buffer can "officially" hold 45 JPEG Large shots. I use a fast card which has 80MB/s writing speed, de facto increasing the possible AF-C run by 11-12 photos. - Below: more samples from the Swallow brigade.
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Old Monday 16th May 2016, 08:09   #9
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To take a series of 15 or 25 consecutive shots, as Thomas Stirr does here, is not an exception. I have had series of 45 consecutive shots of a swallow. The difference is that Stirr shoots RAW photos (and edits all of his photos with DxO Optics pro 10 and other top-notch software), and I presently shoot only JPEG large, so that it takes a little longer for me until the buffer is full. I've found that the buffer takes 55 or 56 photos shot in JPEG large.
I would definitely shoot in RAW. The difference in what you can do in PP is quite something.

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Old Monday 16th May 2016, 14:46   #10
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I would definitely shoot in RAW. The difference in what you can do in PP is quite something.

Hermann
Thanks for your advice, much appreciated. I had already considered to get DxO Optics pro, because of Thomas Stirr's continued praise. Your additional hint is a welcome encouragement. I'll probably bite very soon - and report back if there are really more details visible in the swallow's feet, as compared to my photo below with my present PP process (Photoshop Elements). Fortunately I had taken this and a few other photos in JPEG + RAW.

Apparently using RAW does not even reduce the number of photos - 45 fit into the buffer. I had also believed that this software didn't cooperate with my older PC, but nope - according to the DxO website Windows 7.1 64-bit and mere 8 GB Ram are still supported.
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Old Monday 16th May 2016, 15:15   #11
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I must admit i find the 70-300 FX a bit slow on focus i bet the CX 70-300 is another world,i do manage to get the odd one with the V2 though.
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Old Monday 16th May 2016, 22:39   #12
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I must admit i find the 70-300 FX a bit slow on focus i bet the CX 70-300 is another world,i do manage to get the odd one with the V2 though.
Great photo, with the bird nicely separated from the background. I've read that hybrid autofocus systems (as in the Nikon 1) are doing better in such situations (bird + background) than other mirrorless cameras with pure contrast detection AF. However, most sources claim that even the best hybrid AF systems are not as good as the DSLR's phase detection AF for shooting birds in flight.

I've bought the V2/CX 70-300 only 5 weeks ago, so am still exploring it. However, what you say about your lens seems true for the CX 70-300 as well: it doesn't focus as quickly and reliably on a flying bird as my Canon 450D does. It may have to do with the optical viewfinder or maybe phase detection AF is simply better in this respect than the V2's hybrid AF. Once the V2 has got a focus on the bird, I am quite satisfied with the camera's results though.

Below: two consecutive images from a longer AF-C run of a dipper.
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Old Tuesday 17th May 2016, 04:50   #13
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Great photo, with the bird nicely separated from the background. I've read that hybrid autofocus systems (as in the Nikon 1) are doing better in such situations (bird + background) than other mirrorless cameras with pure contrast detection AF. However, most sources claim that even the best hybrid AF systems are not as good as the DSLR's phase detection AF for shooting birds in flight.

I've bought the V2/CX 70-300 only 5 weeks ago, so am still exploring it. However, what you say about your lens seems true for the CX 70-300 as well: it doesn't focus as quickly and reliably on a flying bird as my Canon 450D does. It may have to do with the optical viewfinder or maybe phase detection AF is simply better in this respect than the V2's hybrid AF. Once the V2 has got a focus on the bird, I am quite satisfied with the camera's results though.


Below: two consecutive images from a longer AF-C run of a dipper.
Thanks,ime hoping the mirrorless is going to work,ime at the point where my DX gear is too heavy for me,to this end its going and ime waiting for a Panasonic GX8 and the 100-400 to arrive
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Old Tuesday 17th May 2016, 21:40   #14
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Thanks for your advice, much appreciated. I had already considered to get DxO Optics pro, because of Thomas Stirr's continued praise.
If you want to keep the cost down, get the free Nikon software (Capture NX-D) from the Nikon website. It works extremely well with Nikon NEFs. It also understands the Nikon Picture controls. If you want to, you can do some editing as well and then export the images as TIFFs that you can process in any other software.

NX-D runs on my old Thinkpad with 4 GB RAM no problem. OK, it's a bit slow, but it's not too bad.

BTW, I do all my editing in NX-D nowadays. No problem.

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Old Wednesday 18th May 2016, 11:54   #15
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I must admit i find the 70-300 FX a bit slow on focus i bet the CX 70-300 is another world,i do manage to get the odd one with the V2 though.
Good job on this one.
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Old Thursday 19th May 2016, 13:45   #16
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If you want to keep the cost down, get the free Nikon software (Capture NX-D) from the Nikon website. It works extremely well with Nikon NEFs. [...] BTW, I do all my editing in NX-D nowadays. No problem.
Hermann
I've already ordered the DxO software. According to some reviews the processes are more automated, requiring less knowledge than other RAW software. What convinced me was another article from Stirr, which made RAW editing look easy ("Before - After").

Quote:
Originally Posted by nikonmike View Post
Thanks,ime hoping the mirrorless is going to work,ime at the point where my DX gear is too heavy for me,to this end its going and ime waiting for a Panasonic GX8 and the 100-400 to arrive
Good luck with the Panasonic GX8 and the 100-400mm lens, I am sure you will love it. Same here, the weight of the camera is a key factor. I love my Canon 450D, Tamron 70-300 and Kenko 1.4x TC, a focal length not far behind of the 810mm of my 1Nikkor, but a lot heavier! I tried out a 400mm prime for a day, in the evening I knew that handholding a Sigma 150-600mm Contemporary would kill all the fun for me. - And who knows, I might still get a lightweight 600mm lens in the distant future... In the comment section to one of his articles Thomas Stirr speculated:

Quote:
Nikon has filed patents for some interesting lenses including [...] a 10-600mm f/4-6.7 (efov 27-1,620mm). Whether these lenses will actually get produced is anyone’s guess.
I've met my local Dipper often enough. The 15fps of the Nikon 1 still makes a difference, these shots always show a pose that looks fresh and new.
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Old Thursday 19th May 2016, 22:32   #17
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I've already ordered the DxO software. According to some reviews the processes are more automated, requiring less knowledge than other RAW software. What convinced me was another article from Stirr, which made RAW editing look easy ("Before - After").
I'd still give NX-D a try. Very straightforward user interface, and the software understands Nikon's Picture Controls. If I'm in a hurry I can get pretty good results in a few minutes.

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Old Thursday 19th May 2016, 23:38   #18
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I'd still give NX-D a try. Very straightforward user interface, and the software understands Nikon's Picture Controls. If I'm in a hurry I can get pretty good results in a few minutes.

Hermann
Thanks, I'll gladly try it.
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Old Saturday 21st May 2016, 18:54   #19
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[...] I'll probably bite very soon - and report back if there are really more details visible in the swallow's feet, as compared to my photo below with my present PP process (Photoshop Elements). Fortunately I had taken this and a few other photos in JPEG + RAW.
I guess shooting in RAW has its points ... a first, quick result from a novice in raw editing (see reply #10).
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Old Thursday 26th May 2016, 21:03   #20
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Did I mention that I like the Nikon colours?
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Old Friday 27th May 2016, 13:01   #21
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The Nikon 1 - I have found the sensor to be noisy if you crop at anything over ISO 400 - just too noisy for me

If you can fill the frame, i.e. with a Dragonfly it is good at ISO 400

It is extremely easy to blow the whites in harsh sunlight

(but I found the D7200 too noisy at ISO 800 over 50% of the time)
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Old Friday 27th May 2016, 13:54   #22
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The Nikon 1 - I have found the sensor to be noisy if you crop at anything over ISO 400 - just too noisy for me

If you can fill the frame, i.e. with a Dragonfly it is good at ISO 400

It is extremely easy to blow the whites in harsh sunlight.
Since I come from years of practice with the Canon SX50, I can (still) bear the noise level of the V2. In many respects the Nikon 1 stands between the DSLR and the superzooms, for me it is a significant step up. True, "noise" isn't a strength of this 1'' sensor system, and many still hope for an improved V4. The Nikon J5 (with the new sensor) seems to be nice for Macro work (with the 1Nikkor 30-110).

In one of his articles (shooting gulls, no blown highlights!) Stirr described his PP workflow in some detail (see his comment 4.1 below the article) . I am planning to imitate this strategy to control flaws of the 1 system - as good as I can.

Edit: Still a novice in raw editing, but I have fun. A photo from today, in three versions: (a) jpeg ooc, (b) unedited, cropped, (c) RAW edited, cropped.
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Old Sunday 29th May 2016, 20:49   #23
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Back to BIF - typically shot at 1/1600 sec or less, as in the first two photos below: Marsh harrier and a Black kite. The third bird was a surprise for me, in more than one sense, apparently a Red-footed falcon. With 1/640 sec (as in this image) you can sometimes get away for a gliding raptor, for small birds it's clearly too slow.
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Old Thursday 2nd June 2016, 15:38   #24
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How useful is the rate of 30 fps without AF-C for birds? Thomas Stirr has recently explored using 30 fps and even 60 fps when shooting birds in flight. I keep trying it, with mixed results. Such a fast frame rate can be helpful in many circumstances, not only BIF. The following 15 photos are a selection from about 100 images taken within a few seconds, at 30 fps, 1/2500 sec, iso 280 - courtship among White wagtails. - A focal length of 810 mm may seem "too short" for anybody who owns a superzoom. Imo the V2 / CX 70-300 compensates for this "defect" very well, e.g. the EVF is clearly superior to the SX50's EVF. The bird in the EVF is smaller, but you see rather more than less with the V2.
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Old Thursday 2nd June 2016, 17:26   #25
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Back to BIF - typically shot at 1/1600 sec or less, as in the first two photos below: Marsh harrier and a Black kite. The third bird was a surprise for me, in more than one sense, apparently a Red-footed falcon. With 1/640 sec (as in this image) you can sometimes get away for a gliding raptor, for small birds it's clearly too slow.

nice pictures. I struggle with the V1 for birds in flight - as much due to the 800mm equivalent magnification with the 300mm PF !

Also I'm afraid that your falcon in a Kestrel, rather than a red-foot.
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