Birds and Dolphins in flight with Nikon Z7 & 70-300 AF-P

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Moderator: Stany Buyle

Birds and Dolphins in flight with Nikon Z7 & 70-300 AF-P

Postby Stany Buyle » Thu 16 May 2019 16:05

An incredible bunch of negative nonsense has been spread on the internet about Nikon Z' autofocus, more specific about Z' AF on moving subjects and for action photography. Those Nikon' Z bashers are simply wrong...
TMHO Nikon Z' AF is excellent but very different in use compared to DSLR 'AF. Thom Hogan is one of the very capable reviewers who conclude Z' AF is very good. I agree.

I am using both Nikon Z6 and Z7 since they were available and I dare to write that the Nikon Z' AF is simply excellent. Please notice that these findings and attached sample of "birds and dolphins in flight" are based on experiences and pictures taken with both Z6 & Z7 BEFORE install of the important 2.0 firmware.

You can find some of my earlier findings on Z'AF in underneath topics on this website:

I sold my D850 shortly after using it next to my Z7 because the small advantage D850 has in AF locking speed and AF in very tricky AF situations doesn't outweigh the enormous advantage Z has while the AF points cover the whole frame and while I could still recuperate some money I spend on that DSLR which I felt that, -after acquisition of my Z7 and the first couple of hundred pictures-, just would collect dust…

In practice and with AF set to "auto" Z simply does a much better job for BIFs against a clear sky than my D850 with its small AF coverage did.
The only modern DSLR I kept for very tricky AF situations and/or very fast/erratic moving subjects like a kingfisher catching a fish at high speed is my D500 while it simply has the best AF system of all actual Nikon DSLRs, including D5 which I had as well. D500' AF advantage vs D5 is the much bigger AF field coverage at an approximately equal AF locking speed. € 6000 vs € 2000 makes it no brainer for nature photography unless you do everything in the rain and/or complete darkness… The D500' crop factor is reason number 1 in my D500 vs D5 consideration, AF field coverage number 2.

I did kingfishers in flight with Z though, and they look fine...

For predictable AF scenes I prefer AF-C "wide L" as you can see on underneath screen shot:
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If I would write that I was doing predator birds in flight with a "perfectly in focus" rate of approx 80% without some evidence, some radical DSLR owners might react with silly nonsense as "one out of 10 in focus..."
So I made a screenshot with file numbers of the whole shoot of which all shown images were perfectly in focus:
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Some samples, resized to 1000px longest side to fit on my forum:
Underneath images as they come straight out of the camera. From NEF converted to my taste (vivid; +1 quick sharpening, +0.25 saturation and +0.25 hue and active D-lighting set to normal or high (depending on shadows), with Nikon Capture NX-D to jpeg. No additional post processing or sharpening.

About the lens I used: Underneath images are taken during my recent trip to Kyoto-Japan, and while I wanted to travel light I only took my 24-70 F4 S, the 70-300 AF-P and a 50 mm F1.4 which I finally never used…
About the AF-P NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E ED VR I am extremely positive. This lens is simply INCREDIBLE in relation to its price. In another topic I posted an image as it came straight OOC taken with Z7 & 70-300-AF-P of a bird swallowing a little fish. Next to the outstanding sharpness and overall IQ it is very light to carry around, even with a FTZ adapter permanently attached.

( :idea: If you click on the image of the first two pictures, you will open the full size crop)

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During my stay in Kyoto I visited the Kyoto aquarium with a nice dolphin and seal show and again I was pleasantly surprised how easy Z7 with the 70-300 AF-P lock on a partly unforeseeable dolphin' jumps:

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And a 100% crop:
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The next picture is what I would call a typical "tricky AF situation" with the background. Z7 & 70-300 AF-P managed flawless...
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and a 100% crop:
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related topic :arrow: I love the AF-P NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E ED VR

Thanks for your attention and kindest regards,
Stany
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Stany Buyle
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Re: Birds and Dolphins in flight with Nikon Z7 & 70-300 AF-P

Postby ritaB » Fri 31 May 2019 18:27

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Joined: Fri 17 Apr 2009 22:05


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