Vancouver Island Raptors – Nikon Z7 Nikkor 24-70 f/4 S – Owl close up

A Visit to Pacific Northwest Raptors

Last weekend, my wife and I visited The Raptors for an all-day raptor experience.  Located a short drive from Duncan on Vancouver Island and definitely worth a visit if you are in the area.  We enjoyed it so much we brought our kids and their grandparents the very next day so they could experience it as well.  Not only did we get to hold some awesome birds on our glove, we got to see the flying demo and participate in the Hawk Walk.  Overall, a great time and highly recommended if you want to get up close to some birds of prey.

Plenty of photo opportunities as well, here are a few of my shots.  All taken with my new combo of the Nikon Z7 and Nikkor Z 24-70 f/4 S.

Golden Eagle

Vancouver Island Raptors - Nikon Z7 Nikkor 24-70 f/4 S - Golden Eagle

 

Gyrfalcon, which was also in the flying demo.  Very cool.
Vancouver Island Raptors – Nikon Z7 Nikkor 24-70 f/4 S – Gyrfalcon head close up

 

Lindsay holding this beauty.
Vancouver Island Raptors - Nikon Z7 Nikkor 24-70 f/4 S - Gyrfalcon

Great Horned Owl, possibly my favorite.  During the flying demo he gets so close to the audience you can feel his wingtips on your head.Vancouver Island Raptors – Nikon Z7 Nikkor 24-70 f/4 S – Owl flying demo

Vancouver Island Raptors – Nikon Z7 Nikkor 24-70 f/4 S – Owl close up

Bald Eagle.  Just awesome to see such a beautiful bird up close.Vancouver Island Raptors – Nikon Z7 Nikkor 24-70 f/4 S – Bald Eagle flying demo

Vancouver Island Raptors – Nikon Z7 Nikkor 24-70 f/4 S – Bald Eagle flying demo

Boomer, the entertaining KookaburraVancouver Island Raptors - Nikon Z7 Nikkor 24-70 f/4 S - Kookaburra

Vancouver Island Raptors – Nikon Z7 Nikkor 24-70 f/4 S – Kookaburra

 

Spectacled Owl

Vancouver Island Raptors - Nikon Z7 Nikkor 24-70 f/4 S - Owl

Vancouver Island Raptors - Nikon Z7 Nikkor 24-70 f/4 S - Owl

 

Turkey VultureVancouver Island Raptors – Nikon Z7 Nikkor 24-70 f/4 S – Turkey Vulture flying demo

 

Red Tailed Hawk coming in for a landing during the Hawk Walk.
Vancouver Island Raptors – Nikon Z7 Nikkor 24-70 f/4 S – Hawk walk with Red Tailed Hawk

 

Saker FalconVancouver Island Raptors – Nikon Z7 Nikkor 24-70 f/4 S – Peregrine Falcon close up

 

American Kestrel

Vancouver Island Raptors - Nikon Z7 Nikkor 24-70 f/4 S - American Kestrel

 

 

 


Nikon Z7 Testing - IBIS, Peaking, High ISO - Red cap mushroom : 1/500s, f/5.6, ISO 3200 : Nikon Z7 w/ 105mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor and FTZ adapter

Nikon Z7 : High ISO, IBIS, Focus Peaking

I took a walk around my neighborhood with my kids to look for fall mushrooms and flowers. I wanted to test a few aspects of the Nikon Z7 including high ISO shots, ability of the in body image stabilization (IBIS) to steady shots at slower shutter speeds, and the focus peaking (which none of my previous cameras have offered).  To test, I mounted my 105mm f/2.8 VR Micro Nikkor lens on the FTZ adapter and headed out. It was late afternoon light with some heavy tree cover at times, I first tested focus tracking by trying to get some shots of my kids. I was quite disappointed with the performance of the Z7/105 combo, the tracking was terrible. The camera missed almost every shot, even with the kids just walking. The 105 was never a good performer in this regard and it continues it's poor performance on the Z7.

Regardless, I tested on some static subjects and the results were quite good.  Fairly clean output at ISO 3200.

Nikon Z7 Testing - IBIS, Peaking, High ISO - Red cap mushroom : 1/500s, f/5.6, ISO 3200 : Nikon Z7 w/ 105mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor and FTZ adapter
1/500s, f/5.6, ISO 3200 : Nikon Z7 w/ 105mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor and FTZ adapter

 

Test of manual focus with peaking, worked very well.

Nikon Z7 macro manual focus with focus peaking test : 1/500s, f/5.6, ISO 160 : Nikon Z7 w/ 105mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor and FTZ adapter
1/500s, f/5.6, ISO 160 : Nikon Z7 w/ 105mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor and FTZ adapter
Nikon Z7 macro manual focus with focus peaking test : 1/500s, f/5.6, ISO 200 : Nikon Z7 w/ 105mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor and FTZ adapter
1/500s, f/5.6, ISO 200 : Nikon Z7 w/ 105mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor and FTZ adapter

 

This squirrel was running around and I managed a shot.  It's acceptably sharp for web use but not ideal.

Nikon Z7 testing : 1/160s, f/3.2, ISO 200 : Nikon Z7 w/ 105mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor and FTZ adapter
1/160s, f/3.2, ISO 200 : Nikon Z7 w/ 105mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor and FTZ adapter

 

This girl was moving on the web and the web was also moving in the breeze.  Of 30 or so shots only two yielded results worth sharing.

Nikon Z7 testing of IBIS, peaking, and high ISO: 1/320s, f/6.5, ISO 1600 : Nikon Z7 w/ 105mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor and FTZ adapter
1/320s, f/6.5, ISO 1600 : Nikon Z7 w/ 105mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor and FTZ adapter

 

This shot was at 1/80s hand held but I tested as slow as 1/5s and could get reasonably sharp photos.  I don't think that would have been possible with my D810, even with a VR lens.

Nikon Z7 testing of IBIS, peaking, and high ISO: 1/80s, f/5.6, ISO 400 : Nikon Z7 w/ 105mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor and FTZ adapter
1/80s, f/5.6, ISO 400 : Nikon Z7 w/ 105mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor and FTZ adapter

 


Vancouver Aquarium - Blue Poison Dart Frog : 2018-10-05

Nikon Z7 First Shots

One of my favorite places to visit is the Vancouver Aquarium, and that is exactly where I went to test out the new Nikon Z7. I only had a short amount of time so only two test shots but more to come soon.

Vancouver Aquarium - Blue Poison Dart Frog : 2018-10-05
Vancouver Aquarium - Blue Poison Dart Frog
Vancouver Aquarium - Horned Frog : 2018-10-05
Vancouver Aquarium - Horned Frog