long range lens

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by kcon, Jul 28, 2008.

  1. kcon

    kcon TPF Noob!

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    Can anyone recommend me a lens suited for wildlife? I've been looking at the Nikon 55-200 vr, but would this have enough zoom? Also i've been looking at the Nikon 70-300 vr which looks quite good but a bit expensive.
    Also Is the Vibration reduction technology worth getting?
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    VR is a great technology and would be pretty good for wildlife shooting. It allows you to get sharper shots while shooting a lower shutter speeds...which would usually give you blur from camera shake.

    If you shoot on a tripod, then it's not needed. Also, if your subject is moving faster than the shutter speed can freeze, VR will not help with that. It only combats camera shake, but it does that very well.
     
  3. seamus14

    seamus14 TPF Noob!

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    If you going with something as short as 200 you might want to get something you can put a tele-converter on. That would be more expensive than the 70-300 though. I have a 70-200 and will be getting a converter as I find 200 to be a bit short for wildlife.
     
  4. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    What kind of wildlife? 200mm isn't very long as wildlife lenses go. Big beasts obviously are easier to see than smaller ones ... serious bird photographers traditionally use much longer lenses and can spend gobs of $$ to get fast ones.

    My Sigma 100-300 f4 is pretty good, but I wish I could afford faster and longer. When coupled with the 1.4X TC it becomes a 420mm f5.6 which is a respectable length, but again not the speediest. Works fine in the zoo, but not so great at dusk.

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    Last edited: Jul 28, 2008
  5. Mystwalker

    Mystwalker TPF Noob!

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    Sigma 150-500? A little over $1000. Has Sigma's version of "VR".
    I believe it comes in a Nikon mount.
     
  6. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    Sigma's 150-500mm is f5.6-6.3, making it not outrageously fast either. It does have stabilization, but not sure how much that will help with wildlife. The Sigma 50-500mm (the "Bigma"), although not optically stabilized, is f4-6.3 and is frequently available on the used market. I debated long and hard between that one and my 100-300mm f4 and have been happy with this one.

    Sigma also now has a stabilized 120-400mm f4.5-5.6 for $833 on Amazon. It is not their "EX" series (Sigma's high-end), however, and I don't know much about the IQ.
     
  7. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    It would help to know what your definition of wildlife is. If we are talking about zoo wildlife then the 70-200 f2.8 VR from Nikon would be an outstanding choice.

    If you are talking about true, back woods, rocky mountain wildlife then the general consensus is a 400mm lens as the minimum. 500-600 or longer would obviously be better. Also, a long prime is preferable to a zoom for both potential speed and image quality. Wildlife is a secondary thing for me with sports being my main focus. My prime field sports lens is Canons 400mm f2.8. (not cheap) Fast and tack sharp. It is on the short side of the range for wildlife, but with Canons overpiced 1.4 teleconverter it does just fine and my image quality is as good as any zoom I have ever seen. That is with the teleconverter.

    Now with that in mind I would suggest that you look at what it is you really want to shoot and then at your budget. Try to get the best you can afford in the way of optics. I always shoot wildlife from a tripod so IS is a moot point. The 400mm f2.8 at 11+ pounds is not really in that hand held catagory. This is one of those give and take issues unless you just have the money to spend. Figure out your must haves and your would like to haves and go from there. Good luck.
     

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