Sigma 150-600mm lens

edited January 2017 Posted in » Nikon D3100 Forum
I have a 150-600mm lens. I am going to try photographing wildlife/Motorsport, and any advice on the settings to use for this would be very welcome as I am relatively new to DSLR cameras.



  • edited January 2017
    General advice only on super tele for such purposes.

    First, make sure your AF is set to C, and either single point or dynamic, so that you can nail a moving subject. Multi-area is not likely to work best. You get no choices of focal point in Auto exposure mode, so try to avoid that.

    It's a big lens, but made to be hand held for this kind of work, so practice panning with it. You want to hit focus on your subject and then follow it. If your subject is standing still, it can be difficult to hold your position. You'll have to experiment a little to find the most comfortable way to hold steady.

    If you're not comfortable with user settings, Sport mode should work fairly well.

    Remember that it can be hard to zero in on a subject when the lens is at its maximum focal length, because the field of view is so narrow. If you're going after a bird in flight, or the like, start at a wider angle until you've got it in your focus point, and then zoom in if you can. Some things can simply be impossible to nail at the longest setting. Settle for a wider view if you have to.

    Make sure you keep track of where the focus point is. It's very easy, especially with a big lens owing to the way one holds it, to disturb the control and end up with the focal point off in the sky somewhere. Use the [OK] button to recenter it.

    Experiment with the effectiveness of the vibration control. Some of those lenses have gotten very good at this, allowing hand holding where once it would have been impossible. But still, a very long lens may need a fast shutter speed to avoid blur. What can be done will depend both on the lens and the operator. Without VR you'd expect to need a shutter speed of about 1/1000 to get steady results at 600mm. If your quarry is moving, you'll need a fast speed anyway to stop its motion, but if you're panning, a slower speed can work well, giving a sharp subject and a blurred background. You'll need to do a lot of experimenting to see what compromises work, as you may sometimes have to jack the ISO way up, and settle for the noise, but if the vibration control works well, you may be able to shoot at lower shutter speeds than you'd expect.

    In any case, expect to have spotty results for a while as you get comfortable with it. Even the best nature photographers often expect to toss a high percentage of shots. Set your shutter mode at continuous if you can, and take short bursts, as the middle shot in a sequence will often be the sharpest.
  • Thanks for the advice Bruto, I hope to get out this weekend and use the lens.
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