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Which lens for Birding shots

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Riaanf31
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Which lens for Birding shots

Unread post by 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.

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Switchback
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Re: Which lens for Birding shots

Unread post by 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
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Massimo
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Re: Which lens for Birding shots

Unread post by 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 post by 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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Switchback
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Re: Which lens for Birding shots

Unread post by 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 post by 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:
:dance: First South to North KNP trip booked! :dance:
10-11 June 2017 - Lower Sabie
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Bushbuddies
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Re: Which lens for Birding shots

Unread post by 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...
:dance: First South to North KNP trip booked! :dance:
10-11 June 2017 - Lower Sabie
12-14 June 2017 - Talamati
15-17 June 2017 - Olifants
18-20 June 2017 - Mopani
21-22 June 2017 - Punda Maria
22-23 June 2017 - Pafuri Border Camp

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FlorisCathy
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Re: Which lens for Birding shots

Unread post by 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.
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Massimo
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Re: Which lens for Birding shots

Unread post by 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 post by 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...

brogan
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Re: Which lens for Birding shots

Unread post by brogan » Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:46 pm

look at getting either:

Canon 400mm f5.6 L (non IS)
Canon 300mm f4 L IS
Canon 100-400 L IS

If you are looking for pred. shooting birds go for 400 f5.6 as it is very fast AF.

300mm f4 with 1.4x tele converter is also a good combo, and you have the added benefit of IS where 400mm has non.

Canon 100-400 IS L is an amazing lens!! very versitile and image quality is very very good!!! not as good as primes but exceptional in its own right. (my father has had one for over a year)

personally Sigma and Tamron are not up to standard with Canon and it will be worth your while to wait a while and buy a canon lens.

Tamron 200-500 is coming on in age. Sigma...in my own opinion are doggie doo..I had the 70-300 APO DG, which was.....kak....to say the leased.

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DuQues
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Re: Which lens for Birding shots

Unread post by DuQues » Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:51 pm

The 100-400 L will be a very good choice. I bought it 7 years ago, and still haven't had one single moment of regret. The only thing it did teach me is that I really need a 4.5 kilo 600 mm f/4 for a lot of my shots. And that that same lens would wreck my back badly, even the 1600 grams of 100-400 weighs down after a few kilometers.
(Hint: you can hook the tripod ring into your back pocket, that works like a charm.)

So suffer for a while longer, borrow or hire a lens if you must, but get the more expensive one. You won't regret it.
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Re: Which lens for Birding shots

Unread post by brogan » Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:28 am

So I go the 300mm f4 (would have got the 400mm if not the 300mm) I didnt want to get the 100-400 as much because my father has it, and its pointless having to of the same lens.

I have no regrets in getting this lens. i love it. ANd I have not even put it through its paces yet. I still have to take it to kruger. My father and I went to Northern Farms on Sunday, but it was so overcast and not good lighting at all of the lens to work propoerly.

Cant wait to get into Kruger with my new lens.

if my @00 f2.8 is anything to go by, this 300mm f4 will be amazing!!

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Klystron
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Re: Which lens for Birding shots

Unread post by Klystron » Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:17 pm

I have just caught up on this thread.

I bought the 100 - 400 IS Canon lens which I use with a 450 body. When the shutter speed is too low you can also increase the ISO to 400 or so without sacrificing too much sharpness.

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Re: Which lens for Birding shots

Unread post by bigal-sa » Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:35 pm

Also late with a reply!

Folks often tend to knock the Bigma (Sigma 50-500), but it can take stunning pics. Here is my gallery of birds of southern Africa, and more than 99% of the birds in this gallery were taken with the Bigma:
http://bigal-sa.smugmug.com/Birds/Photo ... 0178_a6DZp

The advantage of the zoom range of the Bigma is you can take a picture of a giraffe, then zoom in to take a pic of the oxpeckers cleaning his ears ;)

I wouldn't go with the Tamron 200-500, the quality is not on par with the Bigma. Here, 100% crops with Bigma on left and Tamron on right (clickable):
Image

If zooming is not an issue, I would definitely go with the Canon 400 f/5.6.


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