Lenses for wildlife shooting

123578

Comments

  • miguelcandelamiguelcandela Beginner grinner Registered Users Posts: 7 Beginner grinner
    edited January 10, 2008
    The images are a little bit too big but they are great! nice work guys
  • GiphsubGiphsub Major grins Registered Users Posts: 2,662 Major grins
    edited January 10, 2008
    jehsom wrote:
    I was thinking about how cool it would be to have a 500mm prime, but I was caught wondering if it would ever put you too close to your subject. Has anyone ever slipped on their 500mm and then started tracking your subject only to find that it gets too close to you and you can no longer fit it in the frame??

    I have a Bigma on my 30D and I just had my first real outing with it last week in the Florida Everglades. I have to say I am vey disappointed with it. I think, however, that I may have a bad copy. It seems to back-focus. I focus with a fixed focus point, and many of my pictures end up being out of focus on the subject, but in-focus on something slightly behind.


    Are you using a sturdy tripod or monopod?
  • jehsomjehsom Beginner grinner Registered Users Posts: 7 Beginner grinner
    edited January 11, 2008
    Giphsub wrote:
    Are you using a sturdy tripod or monopod?

    I'm using a monopod, the Trekpod Go!, but I don't think it's enough. I did some controlled tests with the lens last night with a sturdy tripod, and was able to get reasonably sharp (not as sharp as I'd hope, but sharp enough to meet my expectations of the lens) images. Strangely, though. the DOF was different on the right side of the image vs. the left side. On one side, the focused range was farther back than the other side...
  • GiphsubGiphsub Major grins Registered Users Posts: 2,662 Major grins
    edited January 11, 2008
    It's certainly a hard lens to use at first. I still have entire outings where I am disappointed by all the results. Then I have others where I get great sharp pictures with it. I put it down to me, not the lens. You might want to post a few of the pictures and start a thread to get some advice from some of the clever people on here.
  • BigAlBigAl Major grins Registered Users Posts: 2,294 Major grins
    edited January 13, 2008
    jehsom wrote:
    I'm using a monopod, the Trekpod Go!, but I don't think it's enough. I did some controlled tests with the lens last night with a sturdy tripod, and was able to get reasonably sharp (not as sharp as I'd hope, but sharp enough to meet my expectations of the lens) images. Strangely, though. the DOF was different on the right side of the image vs. the left side. On one side, the focused range was farther back than the other side...
    Agree with Mike about the support. Most of the problems I've had with this lens (and seen from people complaing) is due to camera shake, rather than lens problems. Looking at the bg branches/reeds in your first two pics, it looks like a bit of camera shake (doubling of the branches/reeds). Keep on practising!
  • jehsomjehsom Beginner grinner Registered Users Posts: 7 Beginner grinner
    edited January 14, 2008
    BigAl wrote:
    Agree with Mike about the support. Most of the problems I've had with this lens (and seen from people complaing) is due to camera shake, rather than lens problems. Looking at the bg branches/reeds in your first two pics, it looks like a bit of camera shake (doubling of the branches/reeds). Keep on practising!

    It seems odd, though, because my shutter speed was 1/3200 sec on that first pic! I agree with you, it does look like shake. But is it possible at that shutter speed?

    Thanks!
  • GiphsubGiphsub Major grins Registered Users Posts: 2,662 Major grins
    edited January 14, 2008
    If the camera is not on a very sturdy tripod then my guess is yes. The shutter alone, with the added weight of the Bigma pulling down, is enough to give camera shake.
  • TelecorderTelecorder New Grinner Registered Users Posts: 73 Big grins
    edited January 15, 2008
    jehsom wrote:
    I'm using a monopod, the Trekpod Go!, but I don't think it's enough. I did some controlled tests with the lens last night with a sturdy tripod, and was able to get reasonably sharp (not as sharp as I'd hope, but sharp enough to meet my expectations of the lens) images. Strangely, though. the DOF was different on the right side of the image vs. the left side. On one side, the focused range was farther back than the other side...

    I remember/bookmarked a couple of posts on Bigma & Canon when I was doing my due diligence before buying my Non-DG for my D50...

    This one had Sigma tweak the lens-
    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1029&message=12605760&changemode=1

    This one, I believe, detailed how one can access the rear elements on a Canon mount-Bigma and tweak the focus...
    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1029&message=12833550

    From your initial post, I also wonder if the AF point may be a bit out of alignment causing it to be focused just out of where you think its focusing. Your quoted post about differing DOFs leads me to believe it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to talk w/Sigma...
    Telecorder (Dave)
    Apple Valley, CA
    D50-BIGMA-70-300VRII-35f2D-18-70DX-FZ30
    My SmugMug Image Galleries
    My Nikonian Image Galleries
  • largelylivinlargelylivin Blue-Dog Registered Users Posts: 561 Major grins
    edited January 31, 2008
    Different/second Camera for Birds
    I've got the fever. I was checking out bird and wildlife photography sites to survey print prices. All I really came away with is that depressed feeling of finding out how truely amateur you (I) are (is).

    I've been using a K10D for a year for on-the-water photography. I love it and it was and it is still the right choice for a DLSR that spends 90% of its time in a boat with the ever present risk of going for a swim, hence eliminating some "better" but very expensive alternatives. The only real bird lens that I have is the Sigma 50-500.

    I do not beleive that I can ever take high quality bird photos with this combination. While the Pentax autofocus it is quite reliable with Pentax lenses, I am developing the belief that it does not mate well with the Sigma. I am training myself to rely more on manual focus and trying to teach my digits and memory to transition quickly between auto and manual focus.

    While I really don't have any $$ to throw around, I must admit that I drool over the Canon lens selection and what seems to be a very high availability of used long lenses. My local dealer has used 300/2.8 in manual ($1200 looking well used) and autofocus ($2500 minty), plus a couple 400s and 500s but I didn't look at the details. He also has a wide selection of long Nikon lenses. One alternative is to buy a Pentax F* 300/2.8 from Japan, but those are over $3000 too and are supposed to be replaced - though it may not be THIS decade. Another is to hold out for an old Pentax 400 (?) f4 manual focus lens. This year I will be adding a another 1 or 2 Pentax K10D or K20D bodies to my stable.

    Should I bite the bullet and buy a different camera body and lens to feed my birding passion? Should I consider starting with non-autofocus equipment? How important is IS really for this app? What is the "cost aware" solution? It goes against my grain to have to different systems that are completely non-compatible.
    Brad Newby

    http://blue-dog.smugmug.com
    http://smile-123.smugmug.com
    http://vintage-photos.blogspot.com/

    Canon 7D, 100-400L, Mongoose 3.5, hoping for a 500L real soon.
  • tsk1979tsk1979 Major grins Registered Users Posts: 939 Major grins
    edited January 31, 2008
    If you have a 500mm or 600mm lens, then even with a tripod can you get steady shots?
    Even if the tripod is sturdy, there will be mirror slap, right?
    So I guess mirror lockup is a must.
    In bird shooting, speed and capturing the momemt is important, so isn't having mirror lock etc., going to "lose the shot".
    So a long lens must be stabilized, or you must have a stabilized body, right?
  • HarrybHarryb old and lazy Viera, FloridaRegistered Users, Retired Mod Posts: 22,708 Major grins
    edited January 31, 2008
    tsk1979 wrote:
    If you have a 500mm or 600mm lens, then even with a tripod can you get steady shots?
    Even if the tripod is sturdy, there will be mirror slap, right?
    So I guess mirror lockup is a must.
    In bird shooting, speed and capturing the momemt is important, so isn't having mirror lock etc., going to "lose the shot".
    So a long lens must be stabilized, or you must have a stabilized body, right?

    I have shot with the 500mm f/4 (non VR lens) extensively and I am able to bet steady shots off a tripod, porpping it against my car and at times shooting handheld. As long as you use proper long lens technique you will be fine. I have never used mirror lock-up

    500mm + 1.7 TC, 1/400 sec using tripod
    115774040-L-2.jpg

    500mm + 1.4 TC 1/1500 sec propped against car roof
    125533223-L-2.jpg

    500mm + 1.7 TC 1/1250 sec handheld from my car window
    132611148-L.jpg
    Harry
    http://behret.smugmug.com/ NANPA member
    How many photographers does it take to change a light bulb? 50. One to change the bulb, and forty-nine to say, "I could have done that better!"
  • HarrybHarryb old and lazy Viera, FloridaRegistered Users, Retired Mod Posts: 22,708 Major grins
    edited January 31, 2008
    The uber lens for wildlife shooting.

    200-500mm at 2.8 and an attachment that take sit up to 400mm-1000mm at 5.6.

    I'll be glad to get one and test it for y'all if someone would volunteer to carry it for me. deal.gif
    Harry
    http://behret.smugmug.com/ NANPA member
    How many photographers does it take to change a light bulb? 50. One to change the bulb, and forty-nine to say, "I could have done that better!"
  • gluwatergluwater SmugMug Technical Account Manager Registered Users Posts: 3,599 Major grins
    edited February 1, 2008
    Harryb wrote:
    The uber lens for wildlife shooting.

    200-500mm at 2.8 and an attachment that take sit up to 400mm-1000mm at 5.6.

    I'll be glad to get one and test it for y'all if someone would volunteer to carry it for me. deal.gif
    I think you'd need a bigger beach rolly for that thing Harry.rolleyes1.gif
    Nick
    SmugMug Technical Account Manager
    Travel = good. Woo, shooting!
    nickwphoto
  • HarrybHarryb old and lazy Viera, FloridaRegistered Users, Retired Mod Posts: 22,708 Major grins
    edited February 1, 2008
    gluwater wrote:
    I think you'd need a bigger beach rolly for that thing Harry.rolleyes1.gif

    I'll need a strong, young feller. Somebody used to hardships such as Chicago winters. mwink.gif
    Harry
    http://behret.smugmug.com/ NANPA member
    How many photographers does it take to change a light bulb? 50. One to change the bulb, and forty-nine to say, "I could have done that better!"
  • gluwatergluwater SmugMug Technical Account Manager Registered Users Posts: 3,599 Major grins
    edited February 1, 2008
    Harryb wrote:
    I'll need a strong, young feller. Somebody used to hardships such as Chicago winters. mwink.gif
    Overnight it and I'll carry it for you if I can use it. I'll be there tomorrow!!
    Nick
    SmugMug Technical Account Manager
    Travel = good. Woo, shooting!
    nickwphoto
  • RBrogenRBrogen Digital Art Registered Users Posts: 1,518 Major grins
    edited February 20, 2008
    Dalantech wrote:
    ...deserves to be printed large and framed -composition, lighting, background, you really nailed it! clap.gif

    Absolutel 100% agree...perfect shot!!!:ivar
    Randy Brogen, CPP
    www.brogen.com

    Member: PPA , PPANE, PPAM & NAPP
  • jeff lapointjeff lapoint The dose makes the poison Registered Users Posts: 1,228 Major grins
    edited March 14, 2008
    tsk1979 wrote:
    If you have a 500mm or 600mm lens, then even with a tripod can you get steady shots?
    Even if the tripod is sturdy, there will be mirror slap, right?
    So I guess mirror lockup is a must.
    In bird shooting, speed and capturing the momemt is important, so isn't having mirror lock etc., going to "lose the shot".
    So a long lens must be stabilized, or you must have a stabilized body, right?

    Agree with Harry 100%

    Its not as easy, but with some common sense and some practice it is more than do-able

    Canon 600mm f4 non IS with 1.4 TC (840mm) hand held out of car using window for brace

    264785478_BNB7h-L.jpg
  • cyncyn Beginner grinner Registered Users Posts: 4 Beginner grinner
    edited March 21, 2008
    Heron
    Hi all,

    I wanted to share a heron photo I captured this January using the Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 VR with the Nikon 2.0 TC. It seems to work well giving me 400mm at f/5.6. I would love to have a 300mm f/2.8 so the 2.0 TC could extend my distance to 600mm at 5.6 except the weight would be a bit much.
    Has anyone attempted a TC on the Nikon 70-300 VR? I read a review on B&H Photo about it.
    Heron photo:
    http://cyndismith.smugmug.com/gallery/2278043_ZZgrV#241551713_CbNvg-A-LB

    Thanks for your time, Cyn
  • dbaker1221dbaker1221 dbaker Registered Users Posts: 4,482 Major grins
    edited March 22, 2008
    cyn wrote:
    Hi all,

    I wanted to share a heron photo I captured this January using the Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 VR with the Nikon 2.0 TC. It seems to work well giving me 400mm at f/5.6. I would love to have a 300mm f/2.8 so the 2.0 TC could extend my distance to 600mm at 5.6 except the weight would be a bit much.
    Has anyone attempted a TC on the Nikon 70-300 VR? I read a review on B&H Photo about it.
    Heron photo:
    http://cyndismith.smugmug.com/gallery/2278043_ZZgrV#241551713_CbNvg-A-LB

    Thanks for your time, Cyn
    excellent captures....how bout sticking one up here for us ..we tend to be a lazy lot.
    **If I keep shooting, I'm bound to hit something**
    Dave
  • largelylivinlargelylivin Blue-Dog Registered Users Posts: 561 Major grins
    edited April 8, 2008
    Really want to step-up from Sigma 50-500
    Pentax is finally coming out with something to consider. Is it good enough? They've shipped a 200/2.8 which is too short in my estimation and they are supposed to ship (any day) a 300/4. They are also listing a 1.4TC and 2.0TC but I cannot verify that these are new designs that will support the SDM in the new DA* lenses (weather-proof with SDM).

    Sure I'd rather have a 300/2.8 but if they made one, and they dont, it would be over $3000. The 300/f4 lists at $1200?

    IS a 300/4 with a 1.4TC a viable bird lens? What about with the 2.0TC which would make it 600/f6?
    Brad Newby

    http://blue-dog.smugmug.com
    http://smile-123.smugmug.com
    http://vintage-photos.blogspot.com/

    Canon 7D, 100-400L, Mongoose 3.5, hoping for a 500L real soon.
  • Ric GrupeRic Grupe Hampshire Prairie Registered Users Posts: 9,522 Major grins
    edited April 8, 2008
    Is a 300/4 with a 1.4TC a viable bird lens? What about with the 2.0TC which would make it 600/f6?

    Short answer...yes to the 300/1.4TC. 420mm+crop factor of the camera...of course you will always want more!:D

    Forget the 2.0 TC...you lose image quality and AF on all but the most expensive cameras.
  • Antonio CorreiaAntonio Correia Always learning Setubal - PortugalRegistered Users Posts: 6,169 Major grins
    edited April 11, 2008
    I am sure some of you know this lens...
    My son sent this link to me.
    I wonder how good is it regarding Canon similar equipment ne_nau.gif

    Sigma-200-500.jpg

    Click on the image to get the link please. :D
    All the best ! ... António Correia - Facebook
  • borderbraeborderbrae Major grins Registered Users Posts: 114 Major grins
    edited August 2, 2008
    Canon 70-300 Is usm
    Question here. I have been using a Sigma 28-300 f3.5-6.3zoom for just over 2 years now with some excellent results. But in some cases I have to sharpen once or twice and I would love to eliminate some of that.

    I am content with the 300 mm distance and my pocketbook prohibits lenses running close to $1000. I've been reading some nice reviews of the Canon 70-300 IS USM and am thinking about that lens. I use my Sigma lens exclusively (no changing lenses) and would probably do the same with the 70-300. I am really wondering if the 70-300 with IS would make a lot of difference as far as results go.

    I am debating renting a copy of the lens for a week to try it.

    You can see some of my photos at www.borderbrae.smugmug.com

    Any comments will be much appreciated.
    Jean
    Canon Rebel XT, Sigma 28-300 zoom
    Jean
    Canon 5D Mark III, 6D; Canon 17-40 F 4.0 L; Canon 24-105 f 4.0 IS L; Canon 70-200 f 4.0 IS L; Canon 100-400 IS L II; Samyang 14mm f 2.8; Samyang 24 mm f 1.4; Manfrotto tripod
    www.borderbraeimages.com
    http://www.borderbrae.wordpress.com
  • Jim TJim T Major grins Registered Users Posts: 211 Major grins
    edited August 5, 2008
    I've had my copy of the 70-300 is for almost a year and just love the lens. The IS is very impressive, and if you are looking for a lens you can use for just about everything without spending 1k this is a good choice.

    Hope this helps.

    Jim.


    borderbrae wrote:
    Question here. I have been using a Sigma 28-300 f3.5-6.3zoom for just over 2 years now with some excellent results. But in some cases I have to sharpen once or twice and I would love to eliminate some of that.

    I am content with the 300 mm distance and my pocketbook prohibits lenses running close to $1000. I've been reading some nice reviews of the Canon 70-300 IS USM and am thinking about that lens. I use my Sigma lens exclusively (no changing lenses) and would probably do the same with the 70-300. I am really wondering if the 70-300 with IS would make a lot of difference as far as results go.

    I am debating renting a copy of the lens for a week to try it.

    You can see some of my photos at www.borderbrae.smugmug.com

    Any comments will be much appreciated.
    Jean
    Canon Rebel XT, Sigma 28-300 zoom
  • borderbraeborderbrae Major grins Registered Users Posts: 114 Major grins
    edited August 6, 2008
    Thanks for your input, Jim. The reviews I've read and feedback have been pretty positive. There is a big pro photo convention down here later in August with 2 days open to the public. I plan on being there bright and early the first day to see if I can get a good deal on a copy of the lens.

    I've never had an IS lens so it will be a learning curve, but one I am looking forward to.

    Jean
    Jim T wrote:
    I've had my copy of the 70-300 is for almost a year and just love the lens. The IS is very impressive, and if you are looking for a lens you can use for just about everything without spending 1k this is a good choice.

    Hope this helps.

    Jim.
    Jean
    Canon 5D Mark III, 6D; Canon 17-40 F 4.0 L; Canon 24-105 f 4.0 IS L; Canon 70-200 f 4.0 IS L; Canon 100-400 IS L II; Samyang 14mm f 2.8; Samyang 24 mm f 1.4; Manfrotto tripod
    www.borderbraeimages.com
    http://www.borderbrae.wordpress.com
  • snowalkersnowalker Master in photography Registered Users Posts: 66 Big grins
    edited August 7, 2008
    wow, breathless!
    I'm very impressed! What can I say more than this? wild wild wild :)
  • snowalkersnowalker Master in photography Registered Users Posts: 66 Big grins
    edited August 7, 2008
    ebwest what kind of cameras/lenses are you using? wow, I'm stoned!
    So sharpen, the colors are perfect! wow!
  • JamforeJamfore Inglephoto Registered Users Posts: 55 Big grins
    edited October 3, 2008
    lense
    thanks for sharing. I am always wondering how to get those great shots. Mine just never seem to be that sharp
  • BiggszSRBiggszSR Mister B Registered Users Posts: 8 Beginner grinner
    edited October 9, 2008
    That 500 f4 is just sooooo sweet
    I gotta tell you Hawkman, these shots are just furthur evidence to me that that Canon 500 f4 L is a must have lens for me if I am to continue becoming more serious about birding. That one and the 600 f4 L my friend Neal Mishler uses are amongst my two favorites. I personally use a more budget friendly Sigma 50-500 f4.5-5.6 which provides me opportunities I otherwise would not have had. As much as I love that Sigma AKA Bigma, it just does not produce the same sharp results with that beautiful bokeh. I say this about the lens you use but I do not discount the fact that your skill and technique are certainly a factor in the great results you get.
    Hawkman wrote:
    I use mainly the 500/4L and 400/5.6L. I haven't used the 400/5.6L for a while mainly because I would feel guilt after spending the big bucks on the 500/4L :D I often use the 500 in conjunction with extension tubes to get closeups of small birds or other small subjects. I use a tripod with either whenever possible - a tripod will almost always give superior results.

    The 400/5.6L is a super nice lens for the money and especially shines for flight shots but is not, as some would claim, a "specialty" lens for just flight IMO. I have used it quite often for stills and I believe my hand-held/tripod use of this lens is 80%/20% on stills. It is as sharp or sharper wide open than any other aperature.

    The 500/4L is difficult to hand-hold for flight except for short periods. For longer durations, like when shooting eagles all day, it gets mounted on a gitzo 1325+AS-b1+sidkick - i.e. is gimbal mounted.

    I try to avoid using teleconverters to maintain a high image quality. I'd rather try to get closer to the subject and use extension tubes if necessary.

    Barnswallow fledgling. 500/4L @ f4.5 with 68mm of extension tubes:


    67050837-O-1.jpg

    Adult Barnswallow: 500/4L with 68mm extenstion tubes, f8 1/90s:

    67050892-O-1.jpg

    Black-capped Chickadee 500/4L, extension tubes, f8 1/500s

    67050935-O.jpg

    Snowey Egret, 400/5.6L f6.7 1/3000s

    67067772-O.jpg


    Black-crowned Night Heron, 400/5.6L f5.6, 1/200s

    67067466-O.jpg
  • aphoto4youaphoto4you Where am I,when not here? Registered Users Posts: 71 Big grins
    edited October 14, 2008
    BEAUTIFUL images
    2862985_ATkus#390413038_Y7eBpBeautiful images...I tend to agree beauty is in the lens you carry...
    I shoot my wildlife with 600 mm Nikon no TC's

    Hawkman wrote:
    I use mainly the 500/4L and 400/5.6L. I haven't used the 400/5.6L for a while mainly because I would feel guilt after spending the big bucks on the 500/4L :D I often use the 500 in conjunction with extension tubes to get closeups of small birds or other small subjects. I use a tripod with either whenever possible - a tripod will almost always give superior results.

    The 400/5.6L is a super nice lens for the money and especially shines for flight shots but is not, as some would claim, a "specialty" lens for just flight IMO. I have used it quite often for stills and I believe my hand-held/tripod use of this lens is 80%/20% on stills. It is as sharp or sharper wide open than any other aperature.

    The 500/4L is difficult to hand-hold for flight except for short periods. For longer durations, like when shooting eagles all day, it gets mounted on a gitzo 1325+AS-b1+sidkick - i.e. is gimbal mounted.

    I try to avoid using teleconverters to maintain a high image quality. I'd rather try to get closer to the subject and use extension tubes if necessary.

    Barnswallow fledgling. 500/4L @ f4.5 with 68mm of extension tubes:

    67050837-O-1.jpg

    Adult Barnswallow: 500/4L with 68mm extenstion tubes, f8 1/90s:

    67050892-O-1.jpg

    Black-capped Chickadee 500/4L, extension tubes, f8 1/500s

    67050935-O.jpg

    Snowey Egret, 400/5.6L f6.7 1/3000s

    67067772-O.jpg


    Black-crowned Night Heron, 400/5.6L f5.6, 1/200s

    67067466-O.jpg
    :rofl Ask Questions and dont question Answers
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