Lenses for wildlife shooting

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  • HarrybHarryb old and lazy Posts: 22,700Super Moderators moderator
    edited April 15, 2010
    B-gregs wrote:
    Thanks for the advice, which would i get better pictures with? (80-200 with TC or 80-400)

    Remember that the 80-200 will not work with the newer TCs. It will work with the older TCs taht aren't AF.

    Up to 200mm the 80-200 will give you slightly better IQ.

    Here are the reviews by Thom Hogan

    80-200 http://bythom.com/nikkor-80-200-lens.htm

    80-400 http://bythom.com/80400VRlens.htm
    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!"
  • B-gregsB-gregs Beginner grinner Posts: 8Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited April 16, 2010
    Harryb wrote:
    Remember that the 80-200 will not work with the newer TCs. It will work with the older TCs taht aren't AF.

    So the 80-200 can't autofocus with TCs?
  • HarrybHarryb old and lazy Posts: 22,700Super Moderators moderator
    edited April 16, 2010
    B-gregs wrote:
    So the 80-200 can't autofocus with TCs?

    nod.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!"
  • B-gregsB-gregs Beginner grinner Posts: 8Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited April 18, 2010
    Harryb wrote:
    nod.gif

    are the newer VR 80-200 able to?
  • HarrybHarryb old and lazy Posts: 22,700Super Moderators moderator
    edited April 18, 2010
    B-gregs wrote:
    are the newer VR 80-200 able to?

    yes
    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!"
  • B-gregsB-gregs Beginner grinner Posts: 8Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited May 1, 2010
    Hi again Harry,

    I went into a few camera shops today and said how I'd like a lens for wildlife photography that didn't break the bank. They recommended the Sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3 AF OS, i googled it when i got home and read so many different opinions, some say FANTASTIC, others say RUBBISH, any views?

    Thanks

    Bertie

    bertiegregoryphotography.com
  • HarrybHarryb old and lazy Posts: 22,700Super Moderators moderator
    edited May 1, 2010
    I have never used that lens Bertie but most of the user reviews I've seen have been favorable. Most users rate it higher than the Nikon 80-400. The value for the price seems to be outstanding.
    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!"
  • Simo70Simo70 Big grins Posts: 67Registered Users Big grins
    edited May 10, 2010
    Great photos...clap.gif
    Here is my contribution. I have two lenses for my wildlife photos: the nikon 80-200 f2.8 D and the Nikon AF-S 300mm f/4D IF-ED. They are both great lenses sharp and can be used without tripod although sometimes my shoots are not very sharp...It must be my shaking hands :D.
    I was thinking to get the TC-14E II to use with the 300mm and after watching your amazing photos it seems to work pretty well with this lens. I will probably rent it myself to test it and eventually buy it. Has anyone used the Sigma??

    Snowy Egret - Nikon D300s with Nikon AF-S 300mm f/4D IF-ED 1/2000s f8 ISO 800.
  • Simo70Simo70 Big grins Posts: 67Registered Users Big grins
    edited May 10, 2010
    Sorry but I wasn't able to add more than a photo to the posting.

    Red Tailed Hawk - Nikon D300s with Nikon AF 80-200mm f/2.8 at 200mm 1/750s f5.6 ISO 200.
  • DclickerDclicker Beginner grinner Posts: 2Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited May 10, 2010
    Canon 100-400L
    mushy wrote: »
    Anyone using the Canon 100-400 IS USM L ?? its possibly my next purchase so any comments positive or negative would be appreciatedthumb.gif

    Up to about 6 months ago, I was shooting with 10D, 24-105L, and a 100-400L. The idea was to cover a wide focal range with as little equipment possible. At first I was quite excited about the shots I was getting, but that soon faded when I realized that it was difficult to find the sweet spot and that the images were not as sharp as I expected when zoomed in and cropped. So I thought, well maybe I just don't have enough resolution with the 10D, so 6 months ago I picked up a new 7D, and after months of shooting, testing, etc., I've come to the conclusion that the 100-400 just can't seep to produce that "pin" sharpness all us bird or wildlife photographers strive for. And when you think about it, what is the point of having a "sweet spot" on a zoom if there is only a very narrow focal distance that produces excellent results, and the rest is only "good"?? Out of the thousands of images I have taken all over the world, I do have a handful of some excellent shots, however, very few that blow me out of the water. Consequently, I have decided to pickup a 70-200L as I have heard and seen nothing but amazing results from that lens. However, I now haven't decided whether the f4 of f2.8 is the way to go. the 2.8 is twice as heavy to carry on a long hike, and is the extra f stop (I know it's 4x the light) worth carrying the extra weight. If someone can shed some light (http://www.dgrin.com/images/smilies/rolleyes1.gif) on that, I would really appreciate it.

    Dclicker
  • urteurte Major grins Posts: 158Registered Users Major grins
    edited June 1, 2010
    Dclicker wrote: »
    Up to about 6 months ago, I was shooting with 10D, 24-105L, and a 100-400L. The idea was to cover a wide focal range with as little equipment possible. At first I was quite excited about the shots I was getting, but that soon faded when I realized that it was difficult to find the sweet spot and that the images were not as sharp as I expected when zoomed in and cropped. So I thought, well maybe I just don't have enough resolution with the 10D, so 6 months ago I picked up a new 7D, and after months of shooting, testing, etc., I've come to the conclusion that the 100-400 just can't seep to produce that "pin" sharpness all us bird or wildlife photographers strive for. And when you think about it, what is the point of having a "sweet spot" on a zoom if there is only a very narrow focal distance that produces excellent results, and the rest is only "good"?? Out of the thousands of images I have taken all over the world, I do have a handful of some excellent shots, however, very few that blow me out of the water. Consequently, I have decided to pickup a 70-200L as I have heard and seen nothing but amazing results from that lens. However, I now haven't decided whether the f4 of f2.8 is the way to go. the 2.8 is twice as heavy to carry on a long hike, and is the extra f stop (I know it's 4x the light) worth carrying the extra weight. If someone can shed some light (http://www.dgrin.com/images/smilies/rolleyes1.gif) on that, I would really appreciate it.

    Dclicker

    try to micro adjust it
  • HarrybHarryb old and lazy Posts: 22,700Super Moderators moderator
    edited June 4, 2010
    Simo70 wrote: »
    Great photos...clap.gif
    Here is my contribution. I have two lenses for my wildlife photos: the nikon 80-200 f2.8 D and the Nikon AF-S 300mm f/4D IF-ED. They are both great lenses sharp and can be used without tripod although sometimes my shoots are not very sharp...It must be my shaking hands :D.
    I was thinking to get the TC-14E II to use with the 300mm and after watching your amazing photos it seems to work pretty well with this lens. I will probably rent it myself to test it and eventually buy it. Has anyone used the Sigma??

    Snowy Egret - Nikon D300s with Nikon AF-S 300mm f/4D IF-ED 1/2000s f8 ISO 800.

    I've used a sigma TC and was much happier when I switched to a Nikon.
    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!"
  • me_minihahame_minihaha Big grins Posts: 62Registered Users Big grins
    edited June 22, 2010
    WOW, WOW, WOW!!! amazing stuff, dang I can't wait to get the right equipment for my camera....someday yes someday! I have a Nikon D70 with 2 lenses one is a Nikkor 18-70mm the other is a Quantaray 70-300mm. maybe it's just me cuz I'm new at this but I don't care for either lense. Does anyone have any suggestions what my next lense should be first? wow I scrolled through the pictures over and over in this thread and WOW y'all are amazing and exciting and I hope one day to take pictures like that!
    Victoria
    "It's awesome to be ALIVE!"
  • HarrybHarryb old and lazy Posts: 22,700Super Moderators moderator
    edited June 22, 2010
    Hey Victoria wave.gif

    Your next lens would depend on how much you want to spend on it and how what type of captures do you want to get (landscape,wildlife, flowers, etc).
    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!"
  • How about DonHow about Don Big grins Posts: 51Registered Users Big grins
    edited July 4, 2010
    B-gregs wrote: »
    Hi again Harry,

    I went into a few camera shops today and said how I'd like a lens for wildlife photography that didn't break the bank. They recommended the Sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3 AF OS, i googled it when i got home and read so many different opinions, some say FANTASTIC, others say RUBBISH, any views?

    Thanks

    Bertie

    bertiegregoryphotography.com

    I'd love to have a ten grand lens but I don't have the ten grand. What I do have is a one grand lens that I got new under $700 several years ago. It's the 170-500 Sigma and it takes photo's I'm not ashamed of.

    Taken w/D70 & 170-500 a week or so ago, Hand held.
    913916293_uQdRx-L.jpg

    Taken about 5 yrs ago, same set up, used tripod.
    914583859_Htenr-L.jpg

    I have found that the best lens for shooting wildlife is the longest I can afford. The question is not can a guy shooting a Nikon 500 f4 shoot a better photo than that with his lens but weather he can do better with your lens. You can't compare tools unless the same mechanic use's both.
  • fldspringerfldspringer Big grins Posts: 69Registered Users Big grins
    edited July 28, 2010
    I'm I the first with Olympus???
    Oly E-3/35-100 f2 (and wide open at 93mm f2)

    765860942_W3G5A-XL.jpg

    The 50-200 f2.8-3.5 (coupled with the EC-14 teleconverter) at 283mm f5.6

    563686456_q4psf-XL.jpg

    If you can get close and macro, 50mm f2 (here with the EC20 teleconverter)

    749928090_z8JoP-XL.jpg

    And the 300mm f2.8 (here with the EC-20 teleconverter for 600mm f5.6)

    915420799_ZqfLC-XL.jpg

    937848823_DNMGo-XL.jpg

    937840754_yEiPG-XL.jpg
  • InsuredDisasterInsuredDisaster White Ghost Posts: 1,132Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 27, 2010
    Dude, that's a sweet shot with three birds with the dragon flies. Do you see that often or was that just a piece of luck?
  • canoesailorcanoesailor Big grins Posts: 79Registered Users Big grins
    edited August 27, 2010
    mushy wrote: »
    Thanks all for the responses, I think I will go with the 100-400 just for the versatility. My camera shooting is too all over the shop to be tied down to one focal length and buying lots of lenses is a little on the not going to happen front!headscratch.gif

    I faced the same choice about a month ago and made the other decision, I bought a 400 5.6. I'm now selling it and have ordered a 100-400. So I'm sure you made the right decision.
  • fldspringerfldspringer Big grins Posts: 69Registered Users Big grins
    edited August 28, 2010
    Dude, that's a sweet shot with three birds with the dragon flies. Do you see that often or was that just a piece of luck?

    That was when the young were just about to leave the nest, so their demand for food was highest. The next weekend the young were out learning how to fly gracefully. Lots of dragonflies were being captured. There were otheer things being brought in too, but snail shells???

    915418448_Z7PQf-XL.jpg

    Greg
  • MntnKarieMntnKarie Big grins Posts: 51Registered Users Big grins
    edited October 3, 2010
    Great Capture of the turkey, LCD. Those are hard to get, especially sharp images.
    Just got the 100-400L myself, yesterday and am heading out tomorrow for some test
    images. I just jumped the Sony ship and so far love my 7D and 40D, but am looking
    forward to using some quality glass.
    Next purchase after paying off the new (to me) 400L zoom is the 24-105L. I shoot
    a lot of wildlife here in the Rockies, but get in some landscape as well.

    Thanks for the posted images, at least I know what the lens is capable of.
  • B-gregsB-gregs Beginner grinner Posts: 8Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited October 10, 2010
    Hi again all, many thanks for the advice on lenses, here's what i've managed to get. All nikon d300 with sigma 150-500. Many more at bertiegregoryphotography.com, comments welcome.

    998493340_qCz4T-L.jpg

    998479191_STnN6-L.jpg
  • angevin1angevin1 Performs as designed Posts: 3,403Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 20, 2010
    Harryb wrote: »
    I've used a sigma TC and was much happier when I switched to a Nikon.


    Why is that Harry? I have both right now, but am sitting on the fence about use of the Canon for Tele. So, what is your experience?

    The reason I am fence sitting is, the 5DMk2 seems to resolve so much better when cropped.

    thanks,
    tom wise
  • HarrybHarryb old and lazy Posts: 22,700Super Moderators moderator
    edited October 20, 2010
    angevin1 wrote: »
    Why is that Harry? I have both right now, but am sitting on the fence about use of the Canon for Tele. So, what is your experience?

    The reason I am fence sitting is, the 5DMk2 seems to resolve so much better when cropped.

    thanks,

    I just found the IQ to be better and the AF to be faster with the Nikon than the Sigma. I was shooting with a Nikon body and the Sigma 70-200 lens at the time.
    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!"
  • angevin1angevin1 Performs as designed Posts: 3,403Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 21, 2010
    Harryb wrote: »
    I just found the IQ to be better and the AF to be faster with the Nikon than the Sigma. I was shooting with a Nikon body and the Sigma 70-200 lens at the time.


    Got it!
    tom wise
  • David-StallardDavid-Stallard Major grins Posts: 252Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 27, 2010
    Not seen many thumbs up from the Sony guys (I cant be the only one)

    Sony 70-400G - I have used this glass for everything from distance to 'macro look' and everything in between and love it, it has great colours fast AF and is on my a900 90% of the time. Few sample shots for you:

    1/320, f/7.1, iso200, 300mm
    1062808600_8LTs9-L-1.jpg

    1/25, f/7.1, iso200, 400mm handheld through glass
    1062821074_EPMFo-L-1.jpg

    1/400, f/7.1, iso200, 400mm
    1062815301_QE95F-L-1.jpg

    1/250, f/5.6, iso200, 330mm
    1042879323_ENNTy-L-1.jpg

    1/500, f/5.6, iso1000, 400mm no flash, handheld (excuse the blur at the bottom - edge of the fruit dish it was sat in)
    615613741_PncBp-L-3.jpg

    .DAVID. in the corner waving the Sony flag ;)
    http://www.davidstallardphotography.com/

    Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints
  • djkraandjkraan Big grins Posts: 45Registered Users Big grins
    edited February 13, 2011
    Canon 400mm 5.6L
    My favorite lens for wildlife is the Canon 400mm 5.6L. It's easy to handle because the weight and is not as heavy as the IS version. Same for the price of this lens... ;)

    Tripod is welcome but during a summer day with enough light not neccesarry.

    Example photos:

    1136209260_FDTSF-L-1.jpg
    1. Wild fox at Oostvaardersplassen.

    1137442301_Zsy74-L.jpg
    2. Friendship Lions, Ouwehands Dierenpark in Rhenen.

    1136359000_KJeYe-L-1.jpg
    3. Kingfisher bird on a stick, Oostvaardersplassen in The Netherlands.
  • vegaguyvegaguy Major grins Posts: 230Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 24, 2011
    zoom or prime for wildlife?
    So many great shots here from so many different pieces of equipment. Lemme ask for a tally here... zoom or prime lens' for wildlife? I am considering a 200-500mm 5.6 or a 300mm 2.8 (both manual lens). Any insight? I have used my 70-200mm 2.8 alone and with a 1.4 t.c. but feel i need a bit more reach and i don't care for the final product with the teleconverter. Lemme know, looking forward to hearing ur thoughts/suggestions.
  • kdogkdog artistically challenged San Jose, CAPosts: 11,082Administrators moderator
    edited February 24, 2011
    vegaguy wrote: »
    (both manual lens)
    What's a manual lens? headscratch.gif

    You didn't mention the brand, but all the 300 F2.8 lenses I know of are stunning, and would blow away any zoom lens at that focal length. That being said, 300mm is pretty short for most wildlife, especially birds. Although it would work for shooting in zoos, or say buffalo at Yellowstone that will let you get pretty close. Otherwise, you will be fooling around with TC's a lot, and then negating the point of that fast glass. But it is one way to go.

    As for the 200-500, there are only two I know of. The Tamron AF 200-500mm f/5.0-6.3 which is so inexpensive that I doubt it's any good, or the Sigma 200-500 F2.8 which would be fanastic, but a bit pricey at $25K, and hard to hand hold. http://www.kenrockwell.com/sigma/200-500mm.htm

    So maybe you could give a bit more information about exactly which lenses you're looking at, and what kind of wildlife interests you most.
  • vegaguyvegaguy Major grins Posts: 230Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 24, 2011
    kdog wrote: »
    What's a manual lens? headscratch.gif

    You didn't mention the brand, but all the 300 F2.8 lenses I know of are stunning, and would blow away any zoom lens at that focal length. That being said, 300mm is pretty short for most wildlife, especially birds. Although it would work for shooting in zoos, or say buffalo at Yellowstone that will let you get pretty close. Otherwise, you will be fooling around with TC's a lot, and then negating the point of that fast glass. But it is one way to go.

    As for the 200-500, there are only two I know of. The Tamron AF 200-500mm f/5.0-6.3 which is so inexpensive that I doubt it's any good, or the Sigma 200-500 F2.8 which would be fanastic, but a bit pricey at $25K, and hard to hand hold. http://www.kenrockwell.com/sigma/200-500mm.htm

    So maybe you could give a bit more information about exactly which lenses you're looking at, and what kind of wildlife interests you most.

    Ha! Whats' manual.?. My bad! It's some older Tamron Adaptall glass. Not in the market for $25k either. The 300mm is 2.8 and the 200-500mm is 5.6 all the way thru. How much more would a 1.4x and a 2x slow things down ya think? I have heard decent reviews on both.

    p.s. Hawkers!?! Is that legal!?! :)
  • nixpixnixpix Beginner grinner Posts: 4Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited May 9, 2011
    mushy wrote: »
    Anyone using the Canon 100-400 IS USM L ?? its possibly my next purchase so any comments positive or negative would be appreciatedthumb.gif

    I bought this lens before I went to Africa. I can see I need a lot more practice with it. I have trouble with exposure. Granted, I have not been in to photography very long, and have a lot to learn. I really like it, and can see there is great potential. Attached are some of my better shots this month. I also did quite a bit of research and this is the best quality lens for my budget. The next step up was also a leap in price. With more time, I think I would be able to recomend this lens with confidence.

    tom-1.jpg
    owlbaby.jpg
    sable.jpg
    giraffe.jpg
    capebuff.jpg
    There was no opportunities for a tripod with this big boy wanting to charge us.
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