Taking pictures of wildlife....300mm a must?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Xander, Dec 29, 2008.

  1. Xander

    Xander TPF Noob!

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    We've been taking TONS of pics of wildlife, especially deer. It seems that our 200mm isn't cutting it. Would a 70-300mm zoom be something that would be better? We would like to have VR since we are on the move and not stationary. But would the extra 100mm be worth the money and what lens would be best?
     
  2. tsaraleksi

    tsaraleksi TPF Noob!

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    What 200mm lens are you currently using?
     
  3. Xander

    Xander TPF Noob!

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    Nikon 55-200 VR on my D40
     
  4. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The generally accepted minimum for true wildlife, not zoo or captive animal stuff, is 400mm with 500mm to 800mm being preferred. It is easier to stay a little farther away from wildlife than to get too close.

    Since you mentioned VR I am going to make a guess that you are a Nikon shooter. I don't have any real experience with Nikon longer glass with the exception of the 400mm f2.8 which is an outstanding performer at an equally outstanding price. My Canon 400mm f2.8 is the same in both regards.

    You might see if Nikon has something similar to Canon's 100-400mm 4.5-5.6L. It is a bit on the slow side but a lot cheaper than the $7000.00 I paid for my 400 prime and is a well regarded lens in the Canon lineup.



    Edit: Ok, no fair posting you gear while I am typing a response.:lol: Now I know for sure you shoot Nikon.
     
  5. anubis404

    anubis404 TPF Noob!

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    For wildlife, I would recommend the Nikkor 300mm F2.8 VR. Its fast, long, and sharp.
     
  6. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You can use a 50mm if you are vewwwwwwwy vewwwwwwwwy quiet...huhuhuhuhuh...

    Sorry, couldn't resist. :)

    I've heard a lot of nature boys say that a 400mm is pretty much critical in nature shots, and I believe it. Animals go way out of their way to avoid people crashing through the woods (though generally avoiding crashing through the woods would be good... see earlier Elmer Fudd reference) :)

    If you have time and patience setting up as a hunter would is pretty much going to be your best way to get shots. Basically camoflaging you and your scent, sitting in an area where animals are likely to roam by, and waiting.

    Watch out for red
     
  7. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I've got the 300mm f/4 and can add Nikon's 1.7TC to reach 510mm. It has to be bright conditions, mounted on a tripod and the subject remain still. The max aperture turns into f/6.7.
     
  8. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Roadkill no longer counts as wildlife. Just game for dinner. :lmao::lmao::lmao::lmao:
     
  9. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You can use a 50mm if you are veewwwwwwwwwwy vewwwwwwy quiet! huhuhhuh...

    Sorry, couldn't resist. :)

    I've heard 400mms are pretty key for getting animal shots. I've also heard the best way to get shots of animals with a camera is to use many of the same principles used by hunters who are trying to get shots with a gun. Such as camoflaging yourself and your scent and waiting in an area where animals are likely to walk by.

    Watch out for red squirrels though. A hunter friend of mine always tells me stories about the occasional one that figures out that he is not, in fact, just a large bush with eyes and then proceeds to bark at him and drop things on him in an attempt to either scare him off or alert other animals to his presence. I guess they're unrelenting. Quite funny, actually.
     
  10. davebmck

    davebmck TPF Noob!

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    I agree. I think 400mm is the minimum needed to do wildlife shots. I wish I could afford a 500 or 600mm prime lens. Use standard hunting techniques like camo clothing and blinds to get the best shots.
     
  11. Xander

    Xander TPF Noob!

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    We are on a budget, so that kinda sucks. Here are some that we have taken at 200mm....

    [​IMG]

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  12. BTilson

    BTilson TPF Noob!

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    I've compared a 200mm lens to a 300mm side by side, and while the 300 is obviously longer, I found it surprising just how little the difference really was. I'd say that for good wildlife shots you'd wanna go on up to 500mm or more, or if you've got good light, maybe attach a 2x TC to your 200mm.
     

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