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Thread: 550D 18-135mm lens suitable for Bird Photography?

  1. #1
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    Default 550D 18-135mm lens suitable for Bird Photography?

    Hello guys!
    Was wondering whether my 550D with a 18-135mm lens is suitable for Bird Photography.

    I know that in order for me to take a pic of the bird (which most prob is quite far), i have to zoom in. But then i won't have the Bokeh effect. And my zoom is not enough most of the time.

  2. #2

    Default Re: 550D 18-135mm lens suitable for Bird Photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by beebeeice View Post
    Hello guys!
    Was wondering whether my 550D with a 18-135mm lens is suitable for Bird Photography.

    I know that in order for me to take a pic of the bird (which most prob is quite far), i have to zoom in. But then i won't have the Bokeh effect. And my zoom is not enough most of the time.
    Why don't you get bokeh effect at longer focal range? it should be easier to get bokeh. Also, you answered your own question, you said the range is not enough most of the time, so do you think the 18-135 is sufficient? Nothing to do with the body though.

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    Default Re: 550D 18-135mm lens suitable for Bird Photography?

    At Jurong Bird Park---Yes

    At other places like CG or SBWR---No

  4. #4

    Default Re: 550D 18-135mm lens suitable for Bird Photography?

    Invest in a good telephoto lens. won't regret!

  5. #5

    Default Re: 550D 18-135mm lens suitable for Bird Photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by spree86 View Post
    Why don't you get bokeh effect at longer focal range? it should be easier to get bokeh. Also, you answered your own question, you said the range is not enough most of the time, so do you think the 18-135 is sufficient? Nothing to do with the body though.
    The most plausible explanation is that
    (1) At 135mm (at the tele end), the f-number is 5.6, which would increase the depth of field, and (2) The background that TS is shooting against is close to the bird itself.

    Quote Originally Posted by beebeeice View Post
    Hello guys!
    Was wondering whether my 550D with a 18-135mm lens is suitable for Bird Photography.

    I know that in order for me to take a pic of the bird (which most prob is quite far), i have to zoom in. But then i won't have the Bokeh effect. And my zoom is not enough most of the time.
    If your zoom is not enough for you, then an 18-135 probably not suitable, unless you are shooting relatively sedentary birds like pigeons.
    Olympian

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    Default Re: 550D 18-135mm lens suitable for Bird Photography?

    ahh.. i see.. cause most of the time, i cant get close enough to the birds.

    And one more thing. Is a tripod necessary?

  7. #7

    Default Re: 550D 18-135mm lens suitable for Bird Photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by beebeeice View Post
    ahh.. i see.. cause most of the time, i cant get close enough to the birds.

    And one more thing. Is a tripod necessary?
    Tripod is NOT a MUST. But if your lens has no stabiliser then a tripod will be very very helpful.

    I used to shoot some birds using a pns megazoom. Can get "half-decent" photos, but 10-20% of the time only. But now that i have tried out the tripod with my new dslr. I am likely to bring a tripod everytime. Even a 30 bucks tripod win your hand 95% of the time. The other 5% is when you have some to lean on :P

    I got the 18-135mm. But haven't used much. I would think 300mm is the minimum. As my friend put it " I think your lens (300mm) only good when the bird is near" near as in 5-10metres. Btw there are some decent lens in the 300mm range and not too expensive.
    Canon 550D - EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS / EF 50mm f1.8 II
    Sigma 70-300mm F/4-5.6 APO DG Macro

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    Member dingaroo's Avatar
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    Default Re: 550D 18-135mm lens suitable for Bird Photography?

    Depending on how far away is the bird, focal length of between 100 to 400mm might be a useful telezoom range for you.

    Also, a gimble head like this

    That's a Wimberley Gimbal Head with a Gitzo tripod.

    HTH.
    Last edited by dingaroo; 17th October 2010 at 01:44 PM.
    A picture a day keeps the blues away!

  9. #9

    Default Re: 550D 18-135mm lens suitable for Bird Photography?

    For a start I would recommend to save up for the 100-400L, or the upcoming 70-300L (we dont know its actual performance yet). Then you consider your need for prime lens (300mm up). To feel the lens like 100-400 you can go for the communical services offered section and look for some bros who can rent the lens. (ard $30 per day) before you invest in one.

  10. #10

    Default Re: 550D 18-135mm lens suitable for Bird Photography?

    Just another suggestion. You can try out with a cheap tripod. Maybe borrow trpod from a friend. See whether you really need it and is comfortable with using it. This may work.
    Canon 550D - EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS / EF 50mm f1.8 II
    Sigma 70-300mm F/4-5.6 APO DG Macro

  11. #11

    Default Re: 550D 18-135mm lens suitable for Bird Photography?

    I have not done bird photography extensively, but I'm not entirely sure if a tripod is the best thing for you, because it hinders movement quite a bit and can be quite cumbersome to handle. Maybe a monopod instead?
    Olympian

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    Default Re: 550D 18-135mm lens suitable for Bird Photography?

    Thanks for the input guys.

    I already have a tripod that came with the DSLR. So right now, i am trying out various disciplines to see which area i prefer.

    Any locations around Serangoon where i can take some good pics of birds?

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    Default Re: 550D 18-135mm lens suitable for Bird Photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by beebeeice View Post
    Thanks for the input guys.

    I already have a tripod that came with the DSLR. So right now, i am trying out various disciplines to see which area i prefer.

    Any locations around Serangoon where i can take some good pics of birds?
    Birding locations are more or less the same locations.Look into the World Of Nature photo gallery and you'll see where most of them got their pictures from...

  14. #14

    Default Re: 550D 18-135mm lens suitable for Bird Photography?

    Birding is one of the more expensive genres of photography. You need big-ass glass, big-ass tripod to support said big-ass glass and top-of-the range body to make full use of said big-ass glass. Most of the birders I've met are either old, retired with money and time to spare or young but loaded.

    Or you can do like me: birding with no tripod, low-end body (450D) and short tele (70-200). Need to super-crop a lot of pics.
    Last edited by cks2k2; 17th October 2010 at 11:47 PM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: 550D 18-135mm lens suitable for Bird Photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by cks2k2 View Post
    Birding is one of the more expensive genres of photography. You need big-ass glass, big-ass tripod to support said big-ass glass and top-of-the range body to make full use of said big-ass glass. Most of the birders I've met are either old, retired with money and time to spare or young but loaded.

    Or you can do like me: birding with no tripod, low-end body (450D) and short tele (70-200). Need to super-crop a lot of pics.
    lol...fully agree. I only went to wetlands twice and already feel equipment is very important there. First round with a 100-400, second round with a 500mm mirror. While both visit also given me some wonderful shots. But when it comes to range. Even 500mm is not enough. The place is just too big and the birds can be very far away from the hunts. Sometimes I just feel a super zoom camera + a mid range zoom DSLR can do better there. ^_^|||

    I would suggest you can go to bird park to try out, since most of the birds can be reach within a 200mm range. (on 1.6x).

  16. #16

    Default Re: 550D 18-135mm lens suitable for Bird Photography?

    If FF body want to really go into Bird Photography, I guess need at least a 500mm lens with a 2X teleconvertor.

  17. #17
    Senior Member ovaltinemilo's Avatar
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    Default Re: 550D 18-135mm lens suitable for Bird Photography?

    Birding involves really good equipment I feel. Good Iso performance + lens like a 400mm f2.8 IS USM

    135mm is rather short for shooting wild birds. 600mm(35mm eqv) should be a start. check out te nature thread where many have posted nice shots and decide what you need.
    Last edited by ovaltinemilo; 18th October 2010 at 09:28 AM.
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  18. #18

    Default Re: 550D 18-135mm lens suitable for Bird Photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy1 View Post
    If FF body want to really go into Bird Photography, I guess need at least a 500mm lens with a 2X teleconvertor.
    A teleconverter's very useful, even on a crop body. But u sacrifice 1-2 arperture stops, some IQ n sharpness. And I heard it makes the AF less accurate some dont support at all. Still its the best budget solution around.

  19. #19

    Default Re: 550D 18-135mm lens suitable for Bird Photography?

    @TS abit off topic but i was wondering when u place ur 18-135mm lens facedown at 18mm do the lens creep?

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