Birds in flight with the Nikon D800

Birds in flight with the Nikon D800 6
"Birds in flight with the Nikon D800" is by Simon Speich (click on images for larger view):

The Nikon D800 is really a fantastic camera, not only for landscape and architecture. I think it's also a wonderful wildlife or action camera thanks to the super fast and smart autofocus Multi-CAM 3500FX, which gives you sharp results even for flying birds. Paired with a 300mm f/2.8 VR II it makes a great combo to catch birds in flight without a tripod. The low number of frames per second (fps) is unfortunate, but not as problematic as some people say.
When I took the following pictures, the weather wasn't too sunny, which was an advantage in terms of contrast, but forced me to use high ISO settings between 800 and 1250 to get exposure times above 1600 s.

Eurasian Eagle-Owl

Birds in flight with the Nikon D800 8

Eurasian Eagle-Owl (Bubo bubo) taking off. Nikon D800 with 300mm f/2.8. Exposure 1/2500 s at f/4.5, ISO 800.

Birds in flight with the Nikon D800 5

Eurasian Eagle-Owl in Flight (Bubo bubo). Nikon D800 with 300mm f/2.8. Exposure 1/2500 s at f/4.5, ISO 800.

Birds in flight with the Nikon D800 9

Falconer with a Eurasian Eagle-Owl (Bubo bubo). Nikon D800 with 300mm f/2.8. Exposure 1/2500 s at f/4.5, ISO 800.

Griffon Vulture

Birds in flight with the Nikon D800 7

Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus) in flight. Nikon D800 with 300mm f/2.8. Exposure 1/3200 s at f/4.5, ISO 800.

Birds in flight with the Nikon D800 3

Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus) in flight. Nikon D800 with 300mm f/2.8. Exposure 1/3200 s at f/4.5, ISO 1250.

Birds in flight with the Nikon D800

Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus) taking off. Nikon D800 with 300mm f/2.8. Exposure 1/3200 s at f/4.5, ISO 800.

Red Kite

Birds in flight with the Nikon D800 6

Red Kite (Milvus milvus) in flight. Nikon D800 with 300mm f/2.8. Exposure 1/3200 s at f/5, ISO 800.

Birds in flight with the Nikon D800 2

Red Kite (Milvus milvus) in flight. Nikon D800 with 300mm f/2.8. Exposure 1/3200 s at f/5, ISO 800.

Birds in flight with the Nikon D800 4

Red Kite (Milvus milvus) in flight. Nikon D800 with 300mm f/2.8. Exposure 1/3200 s at f/4.5, ISO 800.

Birds in flight with the Nikon D800 1

Falconer feeding a Red Kite (Milvus milvus). Nikon D800 with 300mm f/2.8. Exposure 1/3200 s at f/4.5, ISO 800.

The D800 shoots only with a maximum of 4 frames per second (fps) without the battery grip. This is much lower than the 11fps of its sister the D4, but the same as the Nikon F4 from the long gone analog times. But the advantage of the higher resolution sensor outweighs the lower speed IMHO.

All photos are cropped and shot handheld. The exposure was set to manual and to cope with backgrounds changing quickly from bright sky to dark forest behind the moving birds. The location was a bird show given by falconers at the The Eagle Observatory, on the Pfänder in Austria.

You can find more bird photos in my photo database on www.speich.net or read more about bird photography.

If you have an interesting idea for a guest post, you can contact me here.

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