Newbie! Which lens to choose for wildlife/bird photography

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by vellalar, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. vellalar

    vellalar TPF Noob!

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    Dear Frenz,

    I'm a newbie to photography. I was motivated to photography, as i do a lot of trekking. I have a Canon 450D with 18-55mm lens. I need advice on the best lens for wildlife/bird photography. I'm more concerned about the prices too, i hope to start with some low rage lenses and then switch over to a high end model later.

    Cheers!
     
  2. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    At least 300mm in focal length.
    A wide aperture is also an advantage.

    Many wildlife photographers use lenses like ... 400mm F2.8 ... but most of us cannot afford it.

    We use a Sigma 400mm f/5.6 APO and a Sigma 300mm f/4.0 APO lens (+1.4x PRO teleconverter).

    You will find non-Canon lenses of these types that may be affordable.
     
  3. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

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    How much are you willing to spend?
    My advice is to skip over the real cheap Canon lenses (the ones with the silver ring on the body) and get their mid-range lenses instead...they cost more but the image quality (especially with their longer reach telephoto and telephoto zoom lenses) will be so much better. Their cheap telephoto zoom lenses tend to have a lot of CA (chromatic aberration) when zoomed all the way out and are slow to focus.

    Resist the urge to get the cheap EF 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 III lens...the CA can be pretty bad.

    I haven't heard bad things about the EF 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM lens.

    I heard some people say the EF 70-300 f/4.0-5.6 IS USM lens is pretty good for wildlife photography.
     
  4. patrickt

    patrickt TPF Noob!

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    I don't do Canon but I believe for the longer telephotos you would want image stabilization. I'm not really a bird guy, either, but my Pentax 55-300 works okay for birds. My brother-in-law is a bird nut and at least half his joy is in stalking the elusive prey and getting close enough to get his shot.
     
  5. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The 400mmF5.6L is a great lens or 300mmF4L but you really need more than 400mm for birds
     
  6. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    As mentioned above, the longer and faster the better. I can't afford the really long ones, but have been relatively happy with my Sigma EX 100-300mm f4. I don't think you'd be happy with anything shorter or slower for bird photography. The Sigma EX series is their high-end and the optics are excellent -- I just wish it were a little longer and faster (it becomes a 420mm f5.6 with the EX series 1.4X Teleconverter which is OK for daylight, but not great at dawn or dusk which is when the best birding seems to be). The lens cost me about $500 on e-bay in pristine condition (it runs about $1K new). This is an image from the aviary at the San Diego Wild Animal Park which I took with this lens without the TC.


    Remember that if it's for occasional use (or if you are thinking of shelling out alot of $$), you could rent first.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2009
  7. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The Sigma 100-300F4 is a very sharp and good lens
     

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