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Which lens for Birding shots

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Riaanf31
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Which lens for Birding shots

Unread postby Riaanf31 » Sun Jul 31, 2011 10:10 am

Hi All,

My camera body is a Canon 450D and I've got a 70-300 lens, which is a very decent lens in itself. Sadly I know that it comes up a bit short when trying to take bird pcitures. So the time has come for a new lens.

The lens search has has been narrowed down to 2 options, sadly my budget doens't allow for the Canon telephoto so I would appreciate any feedback on the below two lenses:
1. Sigma 15-500mm f5-6.3
2. Tamron 200-500mm f5-6.3

All comments welcome.
To see a sunrise in KNP is to see magic.

Skukuza 18-20 April
Lower Sabie 21-24 April
Satara 25-29 April

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Switchback
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Re: Which lens for Birding shots

Unread postby Switchback » Sun Jul 31, 2011 4:53 pm

Hi Riaan,

You probably mean the 150 - 500mm Sigma lens? :thumbs_up:

I have that lens on my Nikon D90 and have had great results so far. You have to get used to using a telephoto lens and I found that on an aperture of F8 I get the best reults (obviosly keeping in mind a minimum shutter speed of 1/500 on a 500mm focal lenght.) Pro lenses will be faster of course, but for the budget it doesn't hunt around much and is still fast enough not to be frustrating. :thumbs_up:
KNP: 14 June: Skukuza Camping
15 -21 June: Letaba Camping

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Massimo
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Re: Which lens for Birding shots

Unread postby Massimo » Sun Jul 31, 2011 9:12 pm

save a few more months and get the 400 f5.6 prime lens. You wont be sorry. They say its one of the best for BIF and birding shots! :tongue:
Canon 5D MK III :) :), Canon 7D , Canon 450D | Canon 400 F5.6 L | Canon 70-200 F2.8 L IS|Sigma 10-200 EX DG OS F4-5.6 & goodies :)
Runner up wildlife photographer of the year 2012-sunday times & winner-Canon S.A. reflection category

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Caracal
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Re: Which lens for Birding shots

Unread postby Caracal » Sun Jul 31, 2011 9:45 pm

I have to agree with Massimo :thumbs_up:
I had the Sigma 150-500mm and yes I did get some awesome shots with it but the 400mm 5.6 is way better. Yes it does cost more and it is not a zoom. I have two camera bodies and in the park situation I have a 70-200mm on one body and the 400 mm on the other so I do not really need the zoom.

Some of my pics taken with the 400 mm.

Image

Image

Image

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Massimo
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Re: Which lens for Birding shots

Unread postby Massimo » Sun Jul 31, 2011 9:53 pm

Great mines think alike Caracal i do the exact same thing. I have a 7d With the 400 prime and the 450D with the 70-200 :)
Canon 5D MK III :) :), Canon 7D , Canon 450D | Canon 400 F5.6 L | Canon 70-200 F2.8 L IS|Sigma 10-200 EX DG OS F4-5.6 & goodies :)
Runner up wildlife photographer of the year 2012-sunday times & winner-Canon S.A. reflection category

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Riaanf31
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Re: Which lens for Birding shots

Unread postby Riaanf31 » Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:02 am

Hmmm, now I have a conundrum. Those pictures look awesome.

I only get to KNP once a year so I'll have to think about this a little more. The 400mm 5.6 is a good lens, but will my nerve hold.

I'm getting just a little bit excited for the flight out of London back to mother Africa at the end of October.
To see a sunrise in KNP is to see magic.

Skukuza 18-20 April
Lower Sabie 21-24 April
Satara 25-29 April

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Re: Which lens for Birding shots

Unread postby EOS_User » Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:45 am

Hello Riaanf31;

Looks like you're based in the UK, so here's another option for you to consider; one that might be a better bet for you right now, rather than settle on a 'compromise'... Hire a lens!

Check-out Lenses for Hire; http://www.lensesforhire.co.uk/index.asp They have an excellent reputation...

If you do that; I'd look at the Canon 100-400. IMO - it has to be one of the most versatile 'all-round' lenses you could have. It will be my default lens, and will be surgically attached to my 40D while we're in Kruger in October!

Cheers...

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Switchback
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Re: Which lens for Birding shots

Unread postby Switchback » Tue Aug 02, 2011 10:48 am

These pics were taken wit the 150 - 500mm Sigma, you make your choice:

Image

Image

Image

Image
KNP: 14 June: Skukuza Camping
15 -21 June: Letaba Camping

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Bushbuddies
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Re: Which lens for Birding shots

Unread postby Bushbuddies » Fri Aug 05, 2011 12:18 pm

I also have a 450D - and faced the same dilemma about a year ago. I first used my uncle's old 150-500mm Sigma (without OS) and later rented a Canon 100-400. Unfortunately I could not find a place in PTA renting out Sigma's or Tamrons. I was really happy with the 100-400mm, and searched around for the best prices. The difference in the end was something like R3000. I decided this was a long term investment, and on that price - maybe worth the extra bucks...

Some of my pictures with the 450D and 100-400mm Canon L:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Now I'm itching to improve the quality more... By getting a 7D body... :hmz: But my bank balance still has to recover from the 100-400mm lens! :doh:
13-19 June 2015 - Lower Sabie
20-23 June 2015 - Satara
24-25 June 2015 - Olifants
26-28 June 2015 - Letaba


13 Dec 2015 - Nossob
14-15 Dec 2015 - Grootkolk
16 Dec 2015 - Nossob
17-18 Dec 2015 - Mata Mata
19 Dec 2015 - Twee Rivieren

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Bushbuddies
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Re: Which lens for Birding shots

Unread postby Bushbuddies » Fri Aug 05, 2011 12:32 pm

One of the biggest things that made me decide to give out the extra $ - the Sigma and Tamron are both f5-6.3. The Canon 100-400mm is f4.5-5.6. This translates to faster, and sharper pics. I could really feel the difference in speed when I compared them...
13-19 June 2015 - Lower Sabie
20-23 June 2015 - Satara
24-25 June 2015 - Olifants
26-28 June 2015 - Letaba


13 Dec 2015 - Nossob
14-15 Dec 2015 - Grootkolk
16 Dec 2015 - Nossob
17-18 Dec 2015 - Mata Mata
19 Dec 2015 - Twee Rivieren

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Riaanf31
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Re: Which lens for Birding shots

Unread postby Riaanf31 » Sat Aug 06, 2011 3:57 pm

Thank you for your comments and advice. Not to mention the pictures to make me restless for the pending Nov trip to KNP. I think I'll have to arrange a beer for bank manager and then see what we can agree on.
To see a sunrise in KNP is to see magic.

Skukuza 18-20 April
Lower Sabie 21-24 April
Satara 25-29 April

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FlorisCathy
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Re: Which lens for Birding shots

Unread postby FlorisCathy » Sun Aug 07, 2011 12:44 pm

We have a Sigma zoom ... - 400, but please consider that you do need a lot of light for a good picture. All pics posted above are on a cloudless day with the sun burning high at the sky. With those circumstances it's a good lens. But our experience is that if there are some clouds, that lens is useless if your aim is to make very sharp pics.

Next thing I would consider when I would buy a new lens is the speed. Our Sigma hasn't got a silent speed motor, so most flying birds are not sharp, as the lens focusses to slow. Besides that, the motor is very noise, so sitting birds will be disturbed and fly away.

You know dyxum.com? All kind of lenses are reviewed and compared with each other.

Good luck with your choice and have a nice trip.
I am a heartless person,
Not because I am cruel.
No, it's because I am in The Netherlands right now,
And my heart is still in South Africa

http://sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=54927

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Bushbuddies
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Re: Which lens for Birding shots

Unread postby Bushbuddies » Sun Aug 07, 2011 3:07 pm

FlorisCathy wrote:please consider that you do need a lot of light for a good picture. All pics posted above are on a cloudless day with the sun burning high at the sky.


That is very true! I thought I'm going to be taking BRILLIANT shots with my lens ALL THE TIME after getting it...Unfortunately - you still need good light, and with the birds - especially the small jobs - will actually have to be quite close! :wall:

But it will be much better than your 70-300mm... :wink:
13-19 June 2015 - Lower Sabie
20-23 June 2015 - Satara
24-25 June 2015 - Olifants
26-28 June 2015 - Letaba


13 Dec 2015 - Nossob
14-15 Dec 2015 - Grootkolk
16 Dec 2015 - Nossob
17-18 Dec 2015 - Mata Mata
19 Dec 2015 - Twee Rivieren

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Massimo
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Re: Which lens for Birding shots

Unread postby Massimo » Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:15 am

Regardless if it was / is a cloudless day, You need to know your gear. If you know your gear well you will get good shots regardless if there is clouds in the sky. What ever lens you get go outside and practice, practice and practice and when you think you know it practice some more :) :thumbs_up:

lets us know what lens you get (if we managed to change your mind and join the white lens family :) ) :tongue:
Canon 5D MK III :) :), Canon 7D , Canon 450D | Canon 400 F5.6 L | Canon 70-200 F2.8 L IS|Sigma 10-200 EX DG OS F4-5.6 & goodies :)
Runner up wildlife photographer of the year 2012-sunday times & winner-Canon S.A. reflection category

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Morkel777
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Re: Which lens for Birding shots

Unread postby Morkel777 » Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:42 am

I would go for a good 2nd-hand copy of the Canon 100-400mm L IS USM. I used that lens for most of my wildlife shooting pre-2011...and it never let me down. If you find a 'soft' copy just take it in for calibration and Bob's your uncle.

A 400mm f5.6 USM prime is also great, a lot sharper than the 100-400 but you won't be able to zoom - yet this forces you to become creative with your compositions... :D

If you can't find either of these in your price range the Sigma 150-500 is much better than the Tamron 200-500 from what I've seen and read.

Switchback wrote:I found that on an aperture of F8 I get the best reults (obviosly keeping in mind a minimum shutter speed of 1/500 on a 500mm focal lenght.) Pro lenses will be faster of course, but for the budget it doesn't hunt around much and is still fast enough not to be frustrating. :thumbs_up:


A bit off-topic, but just a (possible) correction :lol: - as far as my knowledge goes the rule for minimum acceptable shutter speed is actually 1/(effective focal length), which means that when using your 150-500mm on a Nikon DX camera (1.5x crop factor) you actually need to try and stick to a minimum shutter speed of 1/750 as the effective focal length is then 750mm. This equation does not take into account the effect of OS/VR/IS (stabilisers)... :hmz:
Planning the next trip already...


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