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!

    Pls let me know how i could post my photos here. i need the experts advice to improve my photography talents
     
  2. OldClicker

    OldClicker TPF Noob!

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    At the top of this forum is a sticky post with photo posting instructions.

    For wildlife, you have three choices (in order of the best results last):

    1 - Big, fast, expensive lenses.

    2 - Learn to get close - real close.

    3 - Big, fast, expensive lenses real close.

    What lens you start with depends on your budget and whether you want to also use it for other things.

    TF
     
  3. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

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  4. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    A discussion has been started recently on this topic.

    Chances are that most of your questions have already been discussed. I don't want to suggest for you to not ask questions by any means, just use the search function first to see if your query has been discussed.
     
  5. DavidElliot

    DavidElliot TPF Noob!

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    you don't need to repost or start a new thread with the same name to edit posts. i'm pretty sure there is an edit post button. it'll help keep the forums free from clutter
     
  6. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I agree - read the thread that Kundalini linked to -- much that needs to be said has been said there.
    One thing though is that small birds are definatly not easy to shoot - a 400mm lens is really the minimum range you can expect to be able to use and get decent closer results.

    Also don't ignor the advantages of setting up a hide and feeding stations in your back garden - setup the hide and the feeding stations a good week or more before you intend to shoot to let the birds get used to them. Also place twigs and small branches around the feed stations for the birds to land on that way you can get natural looking photos rather than birds just on the feeder - also note the angle of light as well (where the sun is) idealy you want the sun to light up your subjects rather than be behind them *unless you want backlit birds of course)
     
  7. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

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  8. OldClicker

    OldClicker TPF Noob!

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    I disagree. I think it's much better to get close than carry the big gun. This one is with 130mm and I have a number of them this close. - TF

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I am not going to disagree that shorter focal lengths are possible to use - however in general the bird photographers that I have spoken to have mostly agreed that 400mm or greater (400mm is often considered the best for handholding as many longer lenes are much heavier - though with new lens technology and better IS this is changing slowly) is the ideal birding length that most of them reach for when going out to shoot birds.
    With a smaller focal length I would think more use of hides and feeding stations would be needed to get the shots. It also presents a far greater challenge to shoot birds closer than it is to shoot them from further off for many iit might just be too far into the deep end of the pool for a starting point.
     
  10. OldClicker

    OldClicker TPF Noob!

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    Of course a 400 would be great and you can't get them all with something shorter (can't get them all with a 400 either; or an 800). But the OP said, "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." To tell them that a 400 is the minimum is crazy. Get what you can get (even what you already have) and work on your 'hunting'. Read the posts of some of the good wildlife shooters. The talk about poke boats, belly in the mud and cover so thick that they can't use anything longer than a 200. It seems to me that the 'hunting' will get you some great shots now and, when you can afford the big gun, some really great shots. - TF
     
  11. AlexColeman

    AlexColeman TPF Noob!

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    READ THE TOP OF THE POSTS, IT IS STICKIED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    On that note, look for something comparable to the 70-300 VR from nikon.
     
  12. WTF?

    WTF? TPF Noob!

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    the canon 70-200 f/4 L should be a good start, the non IS model i believe is canon's cheapest L lens, and from what ive heard is excellent quality and value for money.
     

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