Ok... I need a longer lens

My guess is Great Blue Heron. Ill take the 300 off your hands. :wink:


I thought it must be a Heron with the others in the same area, but from this angle the neck looked so much straighter which gives him an odd appearance.

Seriously, I'm close to giving up on bird pics, especially with a FF camera and a short lens (by birding standards). I thought I might like the challenge of it, but after 3 months with little success I'm starting to question my sanity.
Don't get too flustered. I started birding with an 80-200 on a crop sensor, which gives the same FOV as your 300, so I know your frustration first-hand. It takes a ton of patience, and it forces you to work on your fieldcraft of being able to get closer to your quarry.
In shots like this, where the bird is way out in the water, there is nothing you can really do other than sit really still and hope he walks toward you a little.
There are a few bird photogs I've seen recently on a restrictive budget enjoying adapting older 300-400mm manual lenses on the 2x crop m4/3rds body for a 600 to 800mm fov. The advantage of these lenses is their price, availability, and size. The disadvantage is manual focus and dated optics. I myself have had good results from a SMC Takumar 200mm although I haven't shot birds with it.

Now... I'm not saying this is a replacement for $10k USD of equipment, but for enjoyment its good enough. You just have to learn the glass and stay within its limits.. the results can be very surprising.



This was shot with my G1 + Tele-takumar 200 f/3.5 (1950s vintage). Its a very simple optical design with only single coated elements. As you can see.. still acceptable. There are other multicoated updated designs (canon, nikon.. almost any brand) that can be adapted to the m4/3rds format.

I have been thinking of trying the 120-400 Sigma for stuff like this. Seems like a area in photography that would be tons of fun, but I agree that Patience is going to be your most valuable gear you can bring. Even with that lens and a X2 (Though I usually only use 1.4 if I have to) birds still can keep there distance but hey I have seen birds come really close to me while I was just sitting in a park or a on a bench somewhere so it can be done if with less lenses. Just keep at it and I am sure you will get great shots once you learn the tricks of the trade and like anything it just takes time.
Thanks for the feedback guys. This is the hardest type of photography to pick up and I certainly have new respect for wildlife photogs. I'll likely keep at it, it's just that the rewards don't seem to outweigh the effort. I don't have anything yet that is print worthy, but I have spent lots of time finding locations, hiking, waiting etc... I think I might work on something easy today like the Scottish Festival that's on this weekend.
Instead of the 80-400, why not the 50-500 or 150-500? The 50-500 is about the same price used, though Im not 100% sure about the 150-500..


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