Birding with the Nikon Df

Copyright © Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

As I mentioned the other day I’m renting the Nikon Df for a week. I wanted to try the new lighter, smaller Full Frame camera while hiking, shooting landscapes, and night/low light photography.  Just to see how it handled I took it out birding yesterday morning. I was pleasantly surprised with how well it did.

This camera isn’t thought of as a Sports or Action camera, but I think it can handle itself with good timing, and technique in these venues.

Colors are truer with this camera. See how turquoise the Male Lazuli Bunting looks in the images below. This is how he really looks.

Lazuli Bunting-MaleCompare this top image to one I took of the Lazuli Bunting Male with my Nikon D700.

Lazuli Bunting-1st yr MaleThe sensor isn’t picking up the greens as well in the D700.

Here’s an image I captured of the Male Lazuli Bunting taking off from the snag using the Nikon Df.

The Dart Take off!Here’s one of a Violet-green Swallow Female taking off from its perch. She was fun to watch. She’s building a nest nearby this snag. She would fly around and around before landing on this perch or flying to the nest. She even buzzed just above my head a few times! I didn’t get too close, and tried to be still so not to upset her.

Violet-green Swallow-FemaleSwallows are so fast that I haven’t been able to capture one in flight. This take off shot really excited me. It’s a first for me.

The little House Wren made an appearance too.  Here it is singing its morning song.

House WrenDay 1 with the Nikon Df- I’m finding the camera responsive and fast enough. I’m the one that is slow. My index finger can’t find the shutter button without looking for it. The button is not where my finger is used to going, and the front wheel rotates in a completely different direction than what I’m used to as well so, I’m slower finding it and turning it, and of course I’m turning it in the wrong direction. Right now I have to take my eye off the viewfinder to find the dials I used the most, and it takes two hands to change the ISO dial. I wonder if one can do that one handed while looking through the viewfinder after having the camera for awhile?

A bigger issue for me is; I think my Auto-focus motor is going out in my 300mm f4 lens. For several months now while using it the Auto-Focus will just stop working. It’s done it on 3 cameras, and it’s getting harder to get to it to work doing the usual fixes- What usually works is turning off the camera and reseating the lens, but that isn’t always working now, and didn’t work at all yesterday.  I switched off Auto-Focus and shot in full manual. It’s tough to shoot Birds manually focusing. I missed a lot of shots!

I bought this lens used just about a year ago. I don’t know how old it is, but I have an idea based on the serial number. It’s probably close to 10 yrs old. If the previous owner used this lens as often as I do then it’s not surprising to me to have the Focus motor go out on the lens.

I packed up the lens this morning and shipped it to Nikon Service for repair.  I’m hoping it’s not too terribly expensive to repair. I would love to have it back in top shape in plenty of time for Fall/Winter birding.

I’ll leave you today with a Violet-green Swallow-Male saying, “I’m outta here!” 🙂 I believe he’s the mate to the female pictured above.

Violet-green Swallow-Male

More to come!

Nikon Df| AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4| Induro Tripod










A penny for your thoughts...

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.