I would like to know how to correct for the problem of capturing moving (or even stationary) birds amid foliage.
Too often I end up with a blur even when I use a fast shutter under bright sunlight.
I don't want the look of shallow depth of field for zoomed-in images, but it tends to be the case that if there is too much complexity to the scene (branches), focus becomes uneven. I want to achieve better focus —— or to control for depth of field —— in such conditions but even at the end of the zoom where the aperture is small I'm not achieving focus uniformity.
I have an 18-55mm VR and 55-200mm ED Nikkor kit lens paired to a Nikon D3300. It seems like I have the most problem using the 55-200mm ED lens. For almost all types of shooting I select center-point AF or I use Sports mode if there is adequate light and I expect the subject to move. However, keeping even a stationary subject in the center of the frame doesn't guarantee that I can get it to focus where I wish. My understanding is that the Nikon D3300 has only one cross link AF point. How much of a factor could this be, if any, to focusing on the correct target in a complex scene?
With my current telephoto lens, it seems as if when I zoom in (or near) 200mm I can't achieve adequate focus, even at the center of the frame, unless I am within a shorter distance than I would expect —— less than 14' —— even in full sun (not backlit). By contrast, I can use a super zoom point & shoot camera at greater distances with less blur.
How can I tell if the settings I am using are to blame —— I often make use of Sports mode for birds in bright light —— as opposed to whether or not image stabilization or some other aspect of the lens is faulty? Finally, can I improve upon my success rate by investing in another lens? If so what should I look for?