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Tracking bird in view finder

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Old Saturday 28th June 2014, 06:34   #1
south banker
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Tracking bird in view finder after tips on trying to relocate the bird when taking your eye off him to move your eye to view finder..example..i was watching marsh harrier(huge so shouldnt lose) when he dissappeared but then from no where appeared above me so i couldnt track him..i moved to view finder & couldnt find him quick enough..ive lost so many images as a result of this..ive tried the one keeping both eyes open..any tips please!
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Old Monday 30th June 2014, 02:23   #2
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It's just practice, and more practice so your muscle memory comes into use.
You need to get to understand your camera so that you can be looking at a bird, bring the camera up to your eye without moving your head and the camera is automatically at the right angle and you just click.
Practise at home by having an eye on a door knob and bringing up the camera so the door knob is centre frame. Then keep practising this technique till it is second nature.

I just changed from a big camera to a smaller one and it took me some time to get my alignment right, so make sure you practise with the tool you'll be using, at the focal lengths you'll be using (it's tougher for longer focal lenghts).
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Now have a 300mm f4 PRO. My dream lens.
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Old Monday 30th June 2014, 02:41   #3
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Agree with GraemeS, takes a bit of practice. Consistency in how the camera is addressed to the face. An analogy are open 'v' sights on a firearm. It's important to visualize the "sight picture" on a target very consistently. I have a habit of peeking across top of the body, relative to the front end of the lens barrel, as the camera is brought up. Had an old 60's era 400mm lens equipped with a aiming bead. Could get on target in a jiffy, but getting focused was another struggle.
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Old Monday 30th June 2014, 08:35   #4
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Olympus have recently incorporated an external sight on their SP-100 as I guess this is a major problem for some of the less experienced superzoom users.

I used to use something similar clipped into my hotshoe, back in the days of film, pterodactyls and mirrors that locked up for 8fps motor drives, perhaps some manufacturer should think about reintroducing such a gadget?

Fortunately most slr users are not trying to shoot bif on a 1200mm equivalent lens!

Last edited by iveljay : Monday 30th June 2014 at 08:42.
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Old Monday 30th June 2014, 10:21   #5
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I too think it takes practice to get on a bird and then pick it up again if lost for a moment .
The more you do it the better you get .

Even then if you don't go out for say 2/3 weeks the practice part start's all over again but you pick it up a bit quicker .

"The LensMaster Gimbal"
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Old Monday 30th June 2014, 13:09   #6
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As others have mentioned, practice is key. If you have a R/C model airplane field nearby, I've found that to be a good way to practice flight shots.
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