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2 Feb 2013 4:58AM
Hi guys. I'm using a Nikon D5100 with 70-300mm manual zoom wanting to photograph model planes which are a moving target. The subject can be approx 100 metres away
The problem I'm having using a monopod or a braced personal stance, I am unable to get sharp focus when using Nikon Sport setup / multiple shots per second. Very frustrated. What am I doing wrong? Any suggestions please?
Typical photo as attached:1-27-.jpg

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2 Feb 2013 9:12AM
Forget the monopod, shoot manual mode, shutter speed around 1/500th, raise iso as needed. Try af rather than manual focusing.
thewilliam 6 5.1k
2 Feb 2013 11:13AM
With many lenses, you could just set the lens to infinity or hyperfocal distance and not bother with focussing. The modest aperture of your zoom lens should give enough depth of field for acceptable pictures so the lack of sharpness might not be a focus issue.

The landing-gear spar looks sharp in your example pic.
3 Feb 2013 12:31PM
The rear of the model plane is a little sharper than the front.
If you used manual focus you missed accurate focus little bit.
If you use autofocus it is probable the autofocus could not detect the dark low contrast detail at the front of the plane and focused on the much better autofocus target at the rear of the plane.
Model planes at 100 yards fly extremely fast relative to image magnification. Ideally you need a high shutter speed of 1/1000 or faster.
oldblokeh 3 986 United Kingdom
3 Feb 2013 12:49PM
This is probably obvious, but something that will help is to shoot on the upwind leg when there's a reasonable wind. You don't then need to worry quite so much about accuracy of panning and you have a little more time to get it right. Some of my best model shots have been with the model on finals or doing a touch and go.
brian1208 Plus
11 10.7k 12 United Kingdom
3 Feb 2013 1:13PM
Another thing to consider is that when shooting a darkish object against a brighter sky you may need at add a bit of positive exposure compensation to get the best detail out of the aircraft, I would have tried +1 in this case I think (unless you already had, in which case I would up it further)
User_Removed 5 4.6k 1 Scotland
3 Feb 2013 4:14PM

Quote:Another thing to consider is that when shooting a darkish object against a brighter sky you may need at add a bit of positive exposure compensation to get the best detail out of the aircraft, I would have tried +1 in this case I think (unless you already had, in which case I would up it further)


Good advice, as is Oldbokeh's. Len's AF comment also very valid.
User_Removed 11 3.3k 4 United Kingdom
5 Feb 2013 10:15PM

Quote:using a monopod or a braced personal stance, I am unable to get sharp focus when using Nikon Sport setup / multiple shots per second


Agree with advice above. I do wonder if a better technique would be to pan with the plane and rather than machine gun shooting shoot less shots in single shot drive mode but get sharper shots?

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