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Thread: Bird Photography

  1. #1

    Default Bird Photography

    Plan to take up bird photography. Tried using the D7000 with the 70-200mm F4 at the Bird Park. Though this set up was very sharp but found the focal range too restrictive for small birds in the trees. Did some "googling" and am considering the following options:

    a. add a 1.4 converter, but not sure 300mm is sufficient
    b. use a Nikon 300mm f4 with a 1.4 converter, but no VR
    c. use a Sigma 120-400mm or 150-500mm

    Request comments on the above options and any other lenses that I should consider. Hope to keep the purchase within $2K. Thanks

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Bird Photography

    Hi there.

    I think the answer that you are looking for is in page 6 of this thread.

    http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showt...1242874&page=6

    70-200mm f/4 + 1.4TC = 300mm f/5.6 is a little short, unless you can get within 2-3m of these small birds e.g sunbirds & kingfishers. 70-200mm f/4 + 1.4TC image quality is still very sharp.

    300mm f/4 + 1.4TC = 420mm f/5.6 is fine if you can live without VR. The 300mm f/4 is a sharp lens, not much loss in mage quality with the 1.4TC. You will need to shoot it at a high shutter speed when handheld or else you will need to use a tripod, monopod or bean bag if you are shooting at a slower shutter speed.

    No comments on the two Sigma lenses.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Bird Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Stormy08 View Post
    Plan to take up bird photography. Tried using the D7000 with the 70-200mm F4 at the Bird Park. Though this set up was very sharp but found the focal range too restrictive for small birds in the trees. Did some "googling" and am considering the following options:

    a. add a 1.4 converter, but not sure 300mm is sufficient
    b. use a Nikon 300mm f4 with a 1.4 converter, but no VR
    c. use a Sigma 120-400mm or 150-500mm

    Request comments on the above options and any other lenses that I should consider. Hope to keep the purchase within $2K. Thanks
    Depends just how happy you are with the pic. If you are the type who is happy as long can take the picture, the canon superzoom SX50 is a 1200mm budget option. Next would be the Sigma 50-500/150-500 lens which have slower AF imo but price is still not too crazy for the reach.

    If you dont mind manual focus, another budget option is the use of very slow mirror lens that is only good for very sunny days. On the other hand, can also get the Pentax Q with adapter to use their 55-300 lens because the Q gives 5.6 crop factor so basically 300x5.6 gives almost 1700mm for not too much money.
    You wont see me much less remember me but i am the guy who makes you look good.

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Reportage View Post

    Depends just how happy you are with the pic. If you are the type who is happy as long can take the picture, the canon superzoom SX50 is a 1200mm budget option. Next would be the Sigma 50-500/150-500 lens which have slower AF imo but price is still not too crazy for the reach.

    If you dont mind manual focus, another budget option is the use of very slow mirror lens that is only good for very sunny days. On the other hand, can also get the Pentax Q with adapter to use their 55-300 lens because the Q gives 5.6 crop factor so basically 300x5.6 gives almost 1700mm for not too much money.
    TS is asking about lens options, not a complete system change

  5. #5

    Default Re: Bird Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by kei1309 View Post
    TS is asking about lens options, not a complete system change
    TS is willing to spend 2k, just laying out the choices that ts may or may not know.
    You wont see me much less remember me but i am the guy who makes you look good.

  6. #6
    Senior Member giantcanopy's Avatar
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    Default

    You could alternatively get one of those old manual focusing nikon 500mm or 600mm telephoto AIS lenses.

    The other cheap tele option being mirror lenses. But there are downsides to mirror lenses.

    Ryan

  7. #7
    Moderator rhino123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bird Photography

    I would not really recommend the mirror lens. Not the easiest lens to use and there will be donut shaped OOF blur, plus paper thin DOF.

    Unless TS is very experienced or skilled with manual focusing, using a manual lens for birding is very difficult. I would still recommend the 300mm f4 with a 1.4xTC. TS could also looked into getting the Siggy 300mm f2.8 or 120-300mm f2.8 for his/her birding shoot, coupled with 1.4xTC, he/she will still get sharp images and decent speed.
    I am not a photographer, just someone who happened to have a couple of cameras.
    My lousy shots

  8. #8

    Default Re: Bird Photography

    for birding usually... just get the 1 with the most reach that your budget allows.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Bird Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Stormy08 View Post
    Hope to keep the purchase within $2K. Thanks
    For about 2k you can consider this.
    http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showt...&highlight=500

    Else you can also consider what Reportage suggested.
    Another way is the 300mm with a 1.7 tc. Sigma lenses also cheap, long and good.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Bird Photography

    Hey TS, talk to me It is still available. The 500mm lens is very good for birding and is much better than the options above. It will take a while to get used to manual focusing but after a while I am sure you will get the hang of it. Besides, the f4 aperture is very bright and the "bokeh" is just amazing.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Bird Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by mphil View Post
    Hey TS, talk to me It is still available. The 500mm lens is very good for birding and is much better than the options above. It will take a while to get used to manual focusing but after a while I am sure you will get the hang of it. Besides, the f4 aperture is very bright and the "bokeh" is just amazing.
    Give TS a discount lah since slightly above his budget.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Bird Photography

    Second hand 300mm f4 with nikon v1 plus adapter. V1 grey set could probably cost roughly the same as a teleconverter. Just carry a monopod. Search for 'Uncle Fai' 's thread on good photos taken with this setup. I would suggest getting AF system especially when it comes to small birds hopping around.

    My second option would be sigma 150-500.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Bird Photography

    Thanks all for the sharing. I do not think I am up to speed to use manual lens. The V1 with adapter and teleconverter is most interesting. But I understand that AF-C will not be available in such a set up. Will the lack of AF-C be a challenge for a novice? Cheers.

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Stormy08 View Post
    Thanks all for the sharing. I do not think I am up to speed to use manual lens. The V1 with adapter and teleconverter is most interesting. But I understand that AF-C will not be available in such a set up. Will the lack of AF-C be a challenge for a novice? Cheers.
    Only if you need af-c
    Alpha

  15. #15
    Member snowver's Avatar
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    Default

    Thought there was a update that solved the lack of af-c
    https://nikoneurope-en.custhelp.com/...re-update-1.10

  16. #16

    Default Re: Bird Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Stormy08 View Post
    Thanks all for the sharing. I do not think I am up to speed to use manual lens. The V1 with adapter and teleconverter is most interesting. But I understand that AF-C will not be available in such a set up. Will the lack of AF-C be a challenge for a novice? Cheers.
    the set up of the V1 with adapter and TC may sound interesting.
    but I highly advise u to try it out before u commit into buying because the result may not be what u see and expect.
    one man's meat is another man's poison.
    Last edited by Turbonetics; 21st September 2013 at 12:34 PM.

  17. #17
    Moderator rhino123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bird Photography

    Actually for very long focal range shots, no matter how good your VC or VR is... I would still recommend at least a monopod. So if you are using a V1 or V2 (selling pretty cheaply these days), with adapter then the lens, I think you will need the extra support to accurately capture your subject. So do factor in the price of a good monopod or good tripod if you haven't have one yet.
    I am not a photographer, just someone who happened to have a couple of cameras.
    My lousy shots

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