What to buy for a Newbie


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SeetohYW

New Member
Dec 22, 2009
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Singapore
#1
Hi

I am an active birder and would like to expand my hobby into bird photography also.

I had shortlisted the Nikon D90 w/18-105mm VR lens and would like the advices of you 师傅 (masters) out there on the following:

1) Nikon is currently having an offer for the above camera at S$1,988. Where would you recommend me to buy the camera in Singapore that may give me a better deal?

2) What other additional len should I get for birding purpose? My budget for the D90 kit, tripod, remote and one additional len is not more than S$4,000.

3) Could you recommend a decent tripod model also?

4) Are there any other accesories to purchase?

Your assistance on the above is greatly appreciated.

Regards

See Toh aka Wesing
 

ZerocoolAstra

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2008
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rainy Singapore
#2
Hi

I am an active birder and would like to expand my hobby into bird photography also.

I had shortlisted the Nikon D90 w/18-105mm VR lens and would like the advices of you 师傅 (masters) out there on the following:

1) Nikon is currently having an offer for the above camera at S$1,988. Where would you recommend me to buy the camera in Singapore that may give me a better deal?

2) What other additional len should I get for birding purpose? My budget for the D90 kit, tripod, remote and one additional len is not more than S$4,000.

3) Could you recommend a decent tripod model also?

4) Are there any other accesories to purchase?

Your assistance on the above is greatly appreciated.

Regards

See Toh aka Wesing
Welcome to Clubsnap.

Check the prices HERE to have a rough idea what sort of prices to expect. They may not necessarily be the latest, but just give you a general guideline.

As you can see, the D90 kit (18-105 VR lens) is NOT $1988.
Call/email the shops to get updated prices.

$4000 is quite a decent budget.
Quality telephoto lenses are rather expensive though, as are the gimbal heads that most birders tend to use when mounting such lenses... Probably will burst the budget! :)

taken from luminous-landscape.com/images-54/Test%20Pentax%2067II%20800mm%20ED(IF)_img_1.jpg
 

daredevil123

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 25, 2005
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lil red dot
#4
For birding, $4000 is probably not enough if you want good long lenses.

Even without a Gimbel, $4000 will be very tight for you, as longer lenses should run around 1.5-3k. You will need a good set of legs (I mean tripod) that can support the weight, and if you are one to go on the move, you will also need a good strong monopod.

And with big lenses, you will need big dry cabs. We are not even talking about other accessories here, like off camera flash brackets, powerful flashes, tele convertors, lens collars, lens coat, wet weather gear, camera bags, slings... etc...

And if you want to go that extra length with bazookas like 400-600mm, prepare to shell out anywhere from 5 to 12k a piece for that reach.
 

daredevil123

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Oct 25, 2005
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lil red dot
#5
Wow, I salute people with huge telephoto lens.
Must be darn heavy to bring around..:think:
Respect, respect..:thumbsup:
Not hard to spot in singapore also. One of my buddies once spotted a dude carrying a 600mm bazooka lens handheld. I wonder how his pictures turned out, with such a long focal length with no support at all. ;) I'll save my respect for their final product...
 

Leong23

Senior Member
Oct 18, 2007
3,186
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#6
The street price of a D90 kit is around S$1650.

So you left only $2350.....for a tripod + head + flash + flash bracket + tele-lens.......:sweat:

If you really serious wanting to go into birding.....

For tripod and head, simple version will be a 2 series tripod + good ballhead + sidekick.....will cost slightly less than S$2k......

For 3 series tripod + wimberley II head will cost slightly more than $2K.......

For flash, a used SB800 will cost S$400, new SB900 will cost S$680 and better beamer will cost S$70.

A wimberley F-1 flash bracket will cost around S$500. Even a lens plate will cost more than S$100.

D90 AF don't really able to catch up with the birds.........and we haven't talk about lens........
 

Leong23

Senior Member
Oct 18, 2007
3,186
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#7
And if you want to go that extra length with bazookas like 400-600mm, prepare to shell out anywhere from 5 to 12k a piece for that reach.
For my little birding setup.....it cost me more than $14K......
 

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CS TAN

Senior Member
Sep 3, 2007
3,663
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Hong Kong
#8
For birding, you should at least be looking at 400mm or longer telephoto lens.

For tripod, a really sturdy one is required since you are going to mount heavy telephoto lenses. Using Gitzo as an example, you should be looking at least the 3 series tripods GT3xxx. A good ball head + sidekick or a good gimbal head will be the next item for your setup. These two alone can already consume half of your $4k budget...

EDIT:
For me little birding setup.....it cost me more than $14K......
just saw your post after I have type up mine...
 

Last edited:
Dec 10, 2008
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Pasir Ris
#9
If you want to bird on the cheap, I'd suggest you go for a Canon setup instead.

2nd hand 40D - about $900-$1000
400mm f5.6L - $1790

Leaves you with about $1.2k to spend on a decent tripod setup.
 

ZerocoolAstra

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2008
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#11
The other brands don't have mid-range telephoto lenses (eg. 400mm f/4 or f/5.6)?

I'm not familiar with these lenses as I'm not a birder. Just surprising to learn that Canon monopolizes the budget-telephoto market...
 

Leong23

Senior Member
Oct 18, 2007
3,186
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#12
If you really want to stick on to Nikon......

Get a AFS 300mmf/4......this is what i start off.....cost around S$2K new and $1.5K 2nd hand. Plus a 1.4TC to maintain AF.

Using 300mmf/4 + 1.7xTC




 

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daredevil123

Moderator
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Oct 25, 2005
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lil red dot
#13
The other brands don't have mid-range telephoto lenses (eg. 400mm f/4 or f/5.6)?

I'm not familiar with these lenses as I'm not a birder. Just surprising to learn that Canon monopolizes the budget-telephoto market...
Can always go the Sigma route for those long lenses and save some dough. Nikon bazookas are just too expensive.
 

SeetohYW

New Member
Dec 22, 2009
46
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Singapore
#14
Thank you guys for your quick responses and precious advices.

Just like to add that I am not going fanatically into bird photography. The S$4K is just to allow me to take fairly decent record shots of birds (around 13-20 cm) I sight in the field at a fairly close distance of less than 7 metres or so.

As such, I am not considering the hulky telephoto lens or a super sturdy tripod to hold them together.

Would a 55-300mm VR len meet my need above? Or put it in another, which len will best meet my need with a budget not exceeding S$2K. Also, could you recommend a decent tripod to go with the proposed len?
 

Emiah

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Apr 24, 2009
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#17
If you saying budget no more than 2k, I would say a 150-500mm sigma is a good choice . Used it before.. Bought it new for about 1.8k+gst have HSM and OS.. Very fast focussing no good light. Picture quality is reasonably superb and sharp. NOt heavy and can be use handheld.
 

SeetohYW

New Member
Dec 22, 2009
46
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0
Singapore
#18
Thanks for all the advices given. Just some last questions before I firm up my shopping list. Which of the 2 len options would be more suitable for bird photography:

Option 1 - Sigma 150-500mm len
Option 2 - Nikkor AF-S 300mm f/4D IF-ED len with 1.7X TC

Would the use of TC compromise image quality of the AF-S 300mm len as compared to that of a Sigma 150-500mm len? In other words, would the image taken with the AF-S 300mm with 1.7X TC be inferior to a image taken with the Sigma 15-500mm len?

I also understand that use of TC may require a slower shutter speed to compensate for less light entering the camera. Would that make it less suitable for taking birds?

Regards
 

ZerocoolAstra

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2008
9,522
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rainy Singapore
#19
Thanks for all the advices given. Just some last questions before I firm up my shopping list. Which of the 2 len options would be more suitable for bird photography:

Option 1 - Sigma 150-500mm len
Option 2 - Nikkor AF-S 300mm f/4D IF-ED len with 1.7X TC

Would the use of TC compromise image quality of the AF-S 300mm len as compared to that of a Sigma 150-500mm len? In other words, would the image taken with the AF-S 300mm with 1.7X TC be inferior to a image taken with the Sigma 15-500mm len?

I also understand that use of TC may require a slower shutter speed to compensate for less light entering the camera. Would that make it less suitable for taking birds?

Regards
If you're shooting birds outdoors, the amount of available light should be sufficient to not worry about slow shutter speed.
I've seen some photos taken with 1.7x TC. They look pretty darn good.

btw, it's Lens (singular) and Lenses (plural),
 

SeetohYW

New Member
Dec 22, 2009
46
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0
Singapore
#20
If you're shooting birds outdoors, the amount of available light should be sufficient to not worry about slow shutter speed.
I've seen some photos taken with 1.7x TC. They look pretty darn good.

btw, it's Lens (singular) and Lenses (plural),
Pardon me for my lousy English again.

And I take it that you preferred Option 2.
 

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