Yesterday morning I went out to photograph some ducks in flight. I decided to use a Nikon 1 V3 fitted with a 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 zoom lens. This article features a selection of Nikon 1 V3 ducks in flight images captured handheld.
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
It was quite a cold morning with the windchill temperature down to -13 Celsius (~9 degrees Fahrenheit). Suffice to say that I wasn’t out for a protracted length of time.
Since I hadn’t been out with my Nikon 1 gear photographing birds-in-flight for a while, I needed to remind myself to adjust my shooting style.
This included regularly pre-focusing my zoom lens and being more diligent managing the buffer on my Nikon 1 V3. As a small, lightweight system with good reach and solid continuous auto-focusing performance, Nikon 1 is still an excellent system.
I managed to photograph a few ducks taking off from the surface of Lake Ontario. The image above, and the following eight photographs are all from the same AF-C run. I used an auto-focus frame rate of 20 fps. They are not necessarily all consecutive images.
As is my standard practice I had my Nikon 1 V3 set to Manual mode and used an Auto ISO setting. This created some slight ISO variances between individual frames.
I positioned myself at the end of a concrete pier that protrudes out into Lake Ontario near the Burlington Lift Bridge. This vantage point gave me the best opportunity to photograph the incoming ducks at relatively short range.
The trade-off was the fast flying speed of the ducks, which was accelerated by strong winds. Ducks approaching from the east were initially flying towards me with strong back lighting. I waited until they banked around the cement pier before capturing my images. I had to react quickly to capture these V3 ducks in flight images. The Nikon 1 V3’s auto-focusing system acquired focus well given the conditions.
Photographing birds-in-fight using the 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 is one of the main reasons that many people bought into the Nikon 1 system. And, its one of the reasons that folks keep their Nikon 1 equipment. The system provides a great balance of size, weight and performance. The Nikon 1 V3 ducks in flight images in this article are representative of the system’s capability.
If you are looking for a lightweight birding kit, buying some used Nikon 1 gear could be a great solution. Nikon discontinued the Nikon 1 system back in July 2018, so used equipment is your primary option.
If you enjoyed this article and would like to read more about the Nikon 1 camera system you may like our eBook. The Little Camera That Could is available for purchase and download. It is priced at $9.99 Canadian. Readers interested in purchasing a copy can use the link below.
Photographs were captured hand-held using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. All images were produced from RAW files using my standard process.
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Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-800
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