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Birdingn Lens?


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#1 candyK

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 01:13 PM

I have a canon 40d and instead of upgrading the body I'd like to get a lens that will make pictures of birds and wildlife possible for me. I have a 70-200mm zoom, but its just a frustration. I can only get sorta close. Appreciate advice from any birders.
Thanks,
candyK

#2 DaveUK

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 03:57 PM

Hi Candy!

To get decent "fill-the-frame" shots of birds is going to require at least a 300mm lens. A 400mm lens with a wide aperture of f2.8 would be the best and would certainly give you excellent results.

Unfortunately, they are not that cheap! (no pun). You can get 400mm lenses with a maximum F4 or F5.6 aperture. These are good, but you need good light to photograph in at these apertures.

Also, I would recommend a tripod or monopod with such long lenses as they are quite heavy!

You could look at getting a "teleconverter" which will increase the focal length of the lens you have by x1.6 or even x2, but again, these are not cheap, and they can degrade the quality of the image.

Unless you can get quite close to the birds, your 70-200 might be a little too "short", as it were.

Hope this helps!
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#3 michgirl

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 05:24 AM

Candy -

I do bird shooting with the 70 - 200mm L f/4 IS Canon lens with my 5d Mark II. I get beautiful shots, but at times I do wish for extra reach also. However, those bigger zooms are costly and heavy, as Dave said above. From everything I have researched, the only affordable (for me) alternative is the Canon 70 - 300 MM. Canon makes three models and they range from about $700 - $1600. The quality 400mm lens cost more. Sigma and Tamrom both make alternative lens that cost less than the Canons and they seems to be quite popular. There is a Tamrom version of this focal length for less than $500 on Amazon that has pretty good reviews.

It really depends on how much you are willing to spend and how much extra weight (and length) you want to add. Does your current zoom have IS? I find with IS on my zoom and large megapixels on my camera, I am able to crop and have decent shots. However, it is pretty frustrating when the birds (or deer) are so far off.

Am going to follow this thread and see what you end up with and if you are happy with the results. I would like to know if the extra 100mm gained on another lens makes a big difference in bird shooting or not.

Best of luck!
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#4 candyK

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 06:48 AM

Thanks for the input. I'm doing more research right now, but leaning toward a third party lens. 'candyK




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