Autofocus for Long Lens Bird in Flight Photography

auto focus settings for bird in flight photography

This is my “REAL WORLD” guide to Canon & Nikon auto focus, aimed specifically at photographing birds in flight with long telephoto lenses.

auto focus settings for bird in flight photography

This hunting eagle is scanning the water looking for a fish to catch.

auto focus settings for bird in flight photography

A large male White-tailed eagle, locally known as “Brutus”, carrying a very large Coal fish which he has just caught.

The classic “money shot” will always be that super-close,head-on shot; straight into the subjects face.  But for the shot to work it needs to be in PERFECT focus.

auto focus settings for bird in flight photography

A close up view of a White-tailed Eagle catching its prey.

Autofocus Guide to Long Lens Bird in Flight Photography

A Red Kite in a fast dive against a blue sky.

auto focus settings for bird in flight photography

A White-tailed eagle performs a high speed aerobatic rolling dive as it swoops down onto its target.

Awkwardly though, this is always the shot that causes the highest failure rate for photographers; because it’s the shot that puts the biggest strain and highest work-load on your cameras autofocus system.

auto focus settings for bird in flight photography

A male White-tailed Eagle reaches below the surface of the water to grab its next meal of fish.

auto focus settings for bird in flight photography

As close as you want to get! Less than 12 meters at 250mm focal length and a HUGE strain on the camera auto focus system unless set up properly.

But learning how your autofocus system works, and understanding precisely what your ‘control tools’ do, and how they relate to each other, will make this most demanding photographic discipline a lot easier!
My  simple PDF-format guide will teach you exactly how your autofocus system works, and how you can tailor it perform the way you need it to so that you too can produce these technically and aesthetically pleasing images of fast-paced action.

AND…….It’s not just about the birds you know!

The same knowledge and techniques allow you to get the most out of ALL your action photography.

auto focus settings for bird in flight photography

A pair of Golden Retrievers play in a garden in the rain.

auto focus settings for bird in flight photography

A Springer Spaniel dog playing and running towards the camera in a field of very wet grass.

This guide is aimed at users of high-end lenses 200mm and longer, and covers settings and techniques for all modern dSLR cameras by Canon and Nikon using the 61 point Reticular AF (and Canon 7DMk2 system) and 51 point Multi-Cam 3500 FX systems.

If you own a high-end dSLR and ‘big glass’ and you want to take consistently sharp images at the extremes of your cameras’ performance potential, then the information in this guide is critical.  It will save you time and money by explaining just what is going on inside your camera, and how to make best use of your auto focus controls.

“I’ve found Andy’s Autofocus manual to provide a really good insight into how the autofocus systems work and what thought processes to go through in order to use them to better advantage. Time will tell if I can put this into practice, but Andy’s guide has given me the information I need to head out and make a start.”…..Callum Aitken

“A very good ‘Step by Step’ and informative piece of literature. It cuts out a lot of BS that is often written with these guides and is delivered with ease and understanding.
However, if anyone is worried that it’s going to be pure text, boring and highly technical, then Uncle Andy has peppered/accompanied the whole story with some nice, colourful images too, that helps explain achieving the best from your AF system. Don’t wait till Xmas, buy it now before the light goes.”…..Steve Kaluski, Untamed Images