Photographing birds/small animals

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Mystwalker, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. Mystwalker

    Mystwalker TPF Noob!

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    I currently use 70-200. Closest I can get to bird is 5-10ft. This is not close enough to get a real nice close up.

    Am thinking, even with a x2 extender, I can maybe be 10-20ft back to get same picture or 10-15ft for better close up. I prefer the x1.5 extender because I read that picture quality is better, but not sure if I can get good enough close up with it.

    What kind of lens are you guys using? I see some amazing close ups with beautiful blur in background. Any recommendations for "non-L" lens of 400mm or higher? With a x2, that gives 800mm which should be plenty good. But am concerned about price - wife not going to let me get away with buying another "L" priced lens :meh:
     
  2. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    [​IMG]

    6 feet away, uncropped, 80-200.

    If I used a TC, i would not have been able to freeze it's wings.
     
  3. GC Jr

    GC Jr TPF Noob!

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    I would stick to the lens you're using right now. Just stick a tripod onto your camera and stick around the places birds hang out. That's what I would do.

    SwitchFX, awesome pic!!
     
  4. mstephens

    mstephens TPF Noob!

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    FX great shot. i agree though, keep using the lens you have. Just take as many pictures as you can. high speed continuous preferrably because you are likely to get some good shots.
     
  5. Mystwalker

    Mystwalker TPF Noob!

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    VERY NICE!
    That's the kind of picture I'm hoping to get.
    Will try a tripod with remote - maybe birds will not care about camera if I'm not there.

    Thanks.
     
  6. soylentgreen

    soylentgreen TPF Noob!

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    Your lens is fine. Is it the f/4 or f/2.8 version. I use the 1.4x with my f/2.8 when I have plenty of light and need zoom over speed. It look slike you are looking for more zoom, since I doubt you can get much closer to the subject without spooking them. As usual, it depends on your budget and the type of image quality you want. The only non-L that i hear anything about is the Bigma. Which does get mixed reviews but still hovers around L-price. I have a 300 f/4 L IS that is phenomenal. With a 1.4x TC it is a 420 f/5.6 L IS. The EF 100-400 L is also a good performer if you really want to go into debt. :mrgreen:
     
  7. r-brian

    r-brian TPF Noob!

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    When I lived in SW Florida and went to Ding Darling, Corkscrew and Anhinga Trail, even with habituated birds, and large 4 foot tall herons, I still needed a 400mm and sometimes with a 1.5x extender. I've shot both the Tokina and Sigma 400mm f5.6 without trouble. Never had a problem with sharpness, of course, they were always on a tripod. Don't under estimate these lenses.
     
  8. MarcusM

    MarcusM TPF Noob!

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    Switch, that is a sweet shot! It looks like it could win some photo contests, have you entered any with it?

    BTW, I'm guessing you used max. shutter speed? Because I know hummingbirds' wings are super fast.
     
  9. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    Thanks!

    Tripod and remote won't work well because the creatures will move, and you need to be able to point your camera in the right direction.
     
  10. osirus

    osirus TPF Noob!

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    the 2x extender will up your f-stop too, so you may get closer, but closer and blurry pics isnt better..

    i say Find some birds that are used to having people around em
    usually they will let you get pretty close without being spooked.


    for other birds, just dont pay attention to them and stick around for a while getting closer and closer to em taking pictures as you go.
    sometimes if they dont think your a threat you can get pretty close to em.



    a few pics in thumbnail ver.

    50mm
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]


    70- 300mm

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  11. adolan20

    adolan20 TPF Noob!

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    This was done with a 70-300mm:

    [​IMG]
     
  12. skipper34

    skipper34 TPF Noob!

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    Get one of those pop-up blinds used by hunters. Set it up and allow the birds to get used to its presense. Then after a couple of days, quietly enter the blind and go to work. You will be delighted at how close the birds will come to the blind as long as you keep relatively still while inside it.
     

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