By : Nikon School Blog | 10 Apr, 2018 |
For decades, Nikon has been associated with leading wildlife photographers around the world, providing state of the art optics and precision in their lenses and cameras to help leading wildlife photographers cope with the demanding conditions of the forests around the world.
Common perception is that wildlife photography involves expensive equipment. However, over the years, Nikon has introduced a number of cameras and lenses well-suited to wildlife photography that are much more affordable and easy to carry and use. Further, Nikon has continuously improved on frame rates and autofocus systems to provide optimum sharpness, even if the subject is moving fast and in unpredictable fashion.
Wildlife photography frequently involves using very fast shutter speeds and shooting in challenging light, requiring the use of high ISO settings. Nikon cameras have evolved to deliver great image quality even at high ISOs, which suits the wildlife photographer perfectly.
If you are new to wildlife photography, keep the following points in mind –
Zero in on what kind of images you are more excited about. This will help you decide on what equipment you should invest in. Many great wildlife images have been shot with wide angles or short zooms, showing animals in their habitats, rather than big close ups.
It’s as much about your knowledge of wildlife as the equipment. Read, watch, talk to experts; do anything that will make you more aware of the forests and their residents. A good wildlife photographer has a sound understanding of wildlife and environment.
Learn the dos and don’ts of the area where you plan to shoot. If there are restrictions and permits to be obtained, prepare for them well in advance so that last moment hassles don’t hamper your plans.
Developing your fitness to deal with the heat, cold or harsh terrain of the forest you plan to visit is also very important. Before heading for your trip, practice walking for long distances with the equipment you will be carrying on the trip.
Try to be different. Shooting images that have been shot thousands of times already may not give you the satisfaction you are looking for. Using techniques like panning with moving animals, or waiting for attractive moments can make your image stand out.
Most popular NIKKOR lenses for wildlife photography :
Prime telephotos :
The AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f2.8E FL ED VR, AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/4E FL ED VR, AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR and AF-S NIKKOR 800MM F/5.6E FL ED VR, are dedicated wildlife lenses offering superb image quality. The fluorite lens element (FL) makes these lenses lighter than their previous versions.
Telephoto zooms :
AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 200-400mm f/4G IF-ED, AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR, AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR are very popular, and the recently launched AF-S NIKKOR 180-400mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR, with built-in tele-converter (TC) is expected to fulfill great expectations. The budget AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED is the choice of many photographers for starting wildlife photography.
Popular Nikon DSLR cameras for wildlife photography
Any Nikon DSLR can be paired with the lenses mentioned above for getting into wildlife photography. However, some of them are specially equipped to tackle the needs of shooting wildlife. The D500 and D5 with their accurate and fast focusing, high shooting speed, and high ISO capabilities, lead the way. The D850 with its remarkable resolution and high ISO performance, and the D750 with a lightweight body, are also well-equipped for wildlife photography, while the D7500 offers a combination of compactness, speed, and agility.