Why Nikon Lenses Are Good For Bird Of Prey Photos

Why Nikon Lenses Are Good For Bird Of Prey Photos - Find out why Nikon lenses are ideal for taking bird of prey images.

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Owl in flight

Birds of prey, whether you head out into the wild and hope you get a glimpse of one or go to an organised display to capture images, can be an awkward subject to capture. They are fast and unpredictable, so as well as a good panning ability, you'll also need kit that's up to the job. 

Nikon provide a range of lenses that would be suited to this assignment but here we will be focusing in on the AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/4E FL ED, which should be the cream of the crop for the job. Here are some key reasons why this lens will be ideal for the job:

 

Good VR system

The VR system in the AF-S 500mm lens is lightning fast and should guarantee you a sharp image handheld at up to 4 stops slower than would be possible without the technology. When care is used, this will be an invaluable tool when capturing fast moving and swooping birds. Being able to shoot handheld will be a plus in this situation as it gives you much more flexibility in tracking the moving bird than restricting yourself to a tripod. 

 

Nano Crystal coating makes it resistant to flare

You never know where a bird will choose to fly and sometimes this can mean that they fly into the sun. In this situation some lenses would become susceptible to flare which can ruin images. Nikon's newer lenses offer Nano Crystal coating, specially designed to minimise unwanted flare. Even when shooting into the light at maximum aperture, the 500mm f/4 lens was able to hold up incredibly well against flare and also contrast, keeping images richly coloured.

 

Wide aperture for focal length

Often when photographing birds of prey there can be distractions in the background of the image that are best blurred out and the easiest way to do this is to use an open aperture to isolate the subject. For a 500mm lens, the f/4 constant aperture in this case is impressive and should enable you to create well-exposed images in even the worst lighting.

 

Fast focusing ability

Without fast focusing, those flitting birds are going to be blurred. Nikon's 500mm f/4 lens uses a silent wave motor, so not only is there minimal noise when trying to photograph birds, it's also lightning fast at locking on to your subject. You can also make manual focusing adjustments easily using the wide rubberised focusing ring, which is well damped and requires only a light touch to operate. 

 

Weather resistant

While this feature of the lens is not a technical aid to photographing birds of prey, it will mean that not matter what the weather conditions, as long as you are using a weatherproof body too, you'll be able to go on capturing images when others can't. 

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