Getting ready for another day.

blauwe.reiger.pp3 (16.4 KB) RawTherapee 5.8 Development (+Krita to remove an eyesore from the background)
blauwe.reiger.nef (43.3 MB)

Spring is in full swing here at the moment so I spend this long weekend taken some long early morning walks. Decided to take my 70-200mm (+ 2xTC) this time around and have a serious look at the animal auto focus options that the Nikon Z6ii offers. Bit of a mixed bag to be honest.

I already knew that cats and dogs aren’t a problem and eyes are easily found (except dogs with droopy eyes), but I do believe that the algorithms where tuned towards these two. Horses, cows, sheep and goats are found but not always specifically one of the eyes (the head is found, some hides and plumage give false hits due to their patterns). Auto focusing birds, especially when they are in motion, is a bit of a hit-and-miss.

I do hope that some of the Nikon Z9 AF technology finds its way into the future firmware upgrades for the Nikon Z5/6/7.

Using pin/single point, continuous focus seems to be the more reliable option for faster moving, small animals like birds, at least for me at the moment.

Bit of a luxury problem in the end: I’m old enough to have shot with camera’s without autofocus and/or body/lens stabilization :wink: It is a really nice to have, though!

Anyway, this is one of the shots I made that I do not mind sharing as a Play Raw. Using the Auto-area AF (animals) in its default setting did not find the eye in this one. I switched and used Subject-Tracking AF in Auto-area AF animals mode instead to focus on the head area. Worked, this time around.

EDIT: If your editor does not find the correct lens it is this one: AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II (with a 2xTC)

This work by Jacques Dekker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)


Amazing shot, great composition! It’s amazing the amount of detail even with the 2x TC.

blauwe.reiger.nef.xmp (13.5 KB)

1 Like

Yeah, I have this lens/TC combo for about 12 years now (when it first came out) and am still amazed at how good it is. It outlived my D700 and is now in use on my D750 and Z6.

The new version of this one, for the Z series Nikon is supposed to be even better. Not sure about the converter, though, haven’t heard/seen any results of that combo.

In general a 2xTC degrades the quality of the lens too much (1.4, max 1.7 is generally seen as acceptable). But this lens, without the TC, is incredible and works very well in combination with this specific Tele Converter (Nikon’s TC-20E III). The images without are even sharper/crispier, though.

1 Like

Yep, I guess it helps to have great glass in front of the TC to begin with, a great investment, seems like it payed itself off over those 13 years.

My version GIMP space Lab


Did you get that new 2.0 Nikon firmware…I thought it was for Z9 but also came to the Z6 and Z7…I think there were supposed to be autofocus improvements?? I could be wrong…

EDIT you likely have it…but if not

The 2.0 firmware update is for the Z9 only. There is an update to 1.4 for the Z6ii/Z7ii in the pipeline (not sure about the other Z’s). These are minor updates and I do not expect anything too drastic on the AF front (Hope I’m wrong about that, though…). I am curious if there is going to be a major update anytime soon.

The link you posted still points to the old 1.3 firmware (Checked for the Z6ii). I do believe it will be available tomorrow (not sure which time-zone this “tomorrow” will be in).

blauwe.reiger-4.jpg.out.pp3 (14,4 KB)


I see that now….that is a bit of a misleading link…I don’t really follow that but there was a swath of video’s lately and more than one YT mentioned incorrectly that the earlier Z’s were getting similar big improvements….makes sense that this is not true given the hardware…

My version…

blauwe.reiger.nef.xmp (17.6 KB)


blauwe.reiger.nef.xmp (8.1 KB)


blauwe.reiger.nef.xmp (14.2 KB)

blauwe.reiger_03.nef.xmp (15.2 KB)


Thank you for this great picture. My play in GIMP - only very slight changes.

blauwe.reiger.nef.xmp (13.5 KB)

1 Like

blauwe.reiger.nef.pp3 (22.2 KB)


blauwe.reiger.nef.xmp (15.1 KB)


Thanks for posting
darktable 3.8.1

blauwe.reiger_01.nef.xmp (22.9 KB)

1 Like

Thanks for sharing this beautiful photo!
RT 5.8 dev, here I used Fuji X Astia LUT

blauwe.reiger_RT-1.jpg.out.pp3 (15.0 KB)


My version with darktable 3.8.1

blauwe.reiger.nef.xmp (13.6 KB)


@Jade_NL I looked at this image many times but forgot to like it. I also instinctively pull up my shoulders to my ears whenever I go back to it. :rofl: