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Author Topic: Best lense for bird shots  (Read 3895 times)

CorteOnCamera

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Best lense for bird shots
« on: July 24, 2012, 05:21:42 AM »
I already have a canon 70-200EF L  1:4 IS USM which I love but lately I'm moving towards more bird photography and unless the bird is relatively close in the first place the above lense let's me down. So I'm now researching the best next lense up and will appreciate advise.  I have also the 1.4canon extender.
Hope to hear from you soon.
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Best lense for bird shots
« on: July 24, 2012, 05:21:42 AM »

danski0224

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Re: Best lense for bird shots
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2012, 05:52:51 AM »
I have the 300 f4 and a 1.4x, and unless the bird is large and close, that combo isn't enough.

The extender adds a focusing delay, which doesn't work out very well with moving subjects, plus f 4 now becomes f 5.6. If I understand it correctly, different camera AF points are used for different lenses and f stops.

I asked pretty much the same question you have, and the consensus was to get the lens focal length that works without an extender, and this is 400 to 500 mm range.



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CorteOnCamera

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Re: Best lense for bird shots
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2012, 06:23:31 AM »
thanks for your reply.  I suspected the exenders compromised the quality.
From the little research Ive done tonight I need to be considering the canon 100-400 without using an extender.
There is such a dramatic price difference between high quality but not quite professional to full professional.
I will continue to research before buying.
What did you end up buying? and was it a good buy for birds?


IIIHobbs

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Re: Best lense for bird shots
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2012, 06:39:06 AM »
On a crop body (7d) 400mm provides an effective focal length (1.6x) of 640mm, this is well within birding territory. The 100-400mm f4-5.6L gets you there, but you will be fully extended most of the time. Adding the 1.4x to the zoom will work, but soften your results and reduce focusing speed.
You may want to consider the 400mm f4 DO, or 500mm f4L as alternatives should budget allow. On a crop body (7d) 500mm provides an effective focal length (1.6x) of 800mm.
Look for these lenses used; there are many more 500mm f4L available since the version II was released.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2012, 06:42:34 AM by IIIHobbs »

Videoshooter

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Re: Best lense for bird shots
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2012, 09:06:50 AM »
When it comes to telephoto lenses, budget is often the deciding factor. Do you have $1200 or $12,000 to spend?

The 400mm 5.6L is a good starting point for telephoto primes - relatively cheap and very sharp. For 10x the price you can add 2 stops (400mm f/2.8 ) or double the focal length (800mm f/5.6). 
« Last Edit: July 24, 2012, 08:58:37 PM by Videoshooter »
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vlim

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Re: Best lense for bird shots
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2012, 09:22:39 AM »
it depends a lot on your budget ! a decent one (under 1500$) and you should target the 400 f/5.6 L. A very good one  (under 5000$) and you should think about a used 500 f/4 L IS and a great one (above 10k) buy the new 500 f/4 L IS II or the 800 f/5.6 L IS !

neuroanatomist

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Re: Best lense for bird shots
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2012, 09:31:31 AM »
The 100-400mm f4-5.6L gets you there, but you will be fully extended most of the time. Adding the 1.4x to the zoom will work, but soften your results and reduce focusing speed.

Adding the Canon 1.4x to the 100-400mm means no autofocus at all on the 7D.

From the little research Ive done tonight I need to be considering the canon 100-400 without using an extender.

The 7D + 100-400mm is an excellent combination for shooting birds.  Personally, I chose the 100-400 over the 400/5.6 for the IS (even the 2 stops really helps with perched birds) and the shorter length (when retracted) which makes it easier to transport.

Most of these were shot with the 7D + 100-400mm (info is in the description).
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Re: Best lense for bird shots
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2012, 09:31:31 AM »

danski0224

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Re: Best lense for bird shots
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2012, 11:00:43 AM »
What did you end up buying? and was it a good buy for birds?

I haven't bought anything yet. The 400 f2.8 is the one on my list.

Different AF points are used, depending on f stop.
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westr70

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Re: Best lense for bird shots
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2012, 02:30:54 PM »
"The 7D + 100-400mm is an excellent combination for shooting birds.  Personally, I chose the 100-400 over the 400/5.6 for the IS (even the 2 stops really helps with perched birds) and the shorter length (when retracted) which makes it easier to transport."

I use the same combo and have gotten great results with BIF.  The push/pull is easy to use with practice.  I haven't  tried the 400/5.6.   
5DIII; 600D; 7D; 100-400mm, f4.5-5.6; EFS-18-135, f3.5-5.6; 100mm, f2.8 IS; 70-200mm, F4 L IS; 17-40mm, f4 L USM; Sigma 50 mm, f2.8.
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CorteOnCamera

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Re: Best lense for bird shots
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2012, 06:28:06 PM »
Thanks everyone for your thoughts on this.
Budget will of course be the final decider.  I hadnt considered 2nd hand lenses before, this is something I may just do.
And overall weight could be problem - I may have to learn to use my monopod.
I will let you know what I chose.
Regards
 :)

wickidwombat

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Re: Best lense for bird shots
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2012, 07:18:45 PM »
I got a 600 fd f4.5 and edmika adapter shooting with a 5d mk2 is a great combo the fd lens takes full advantage of the 5d focus system :-) the lens was 1400 on ebay the adapter about 160
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drjlo

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Re: Best lense for bird shots
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2012, 07:23:37 PM »
I got a 600 fd f4.5 and edmika adapter shooting with a 5d mk2 is a great combo the fd lens takes full advantage of the 5d focus system :-) the lens was 1400 on ebay the adapter about 160

Could you post some shots with the FD 600/EdMika?

drjlo

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Re: Best lense for bird shots
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2012, 07:29:40 PM »
I already have a canon 70-200EF L  1:4 IS USM which I love but lately I'm moving towards more bird photography and unless the bird is relatively close in the first place the above lense let's me down. So I'm now researching the best next lense up and will appreciate advise.  I have also the 1.4canon extender.
Hope to hear from you soon.
Camera body 7D

Unfortunately, the Canon telephoto lens prices just take off beyond 300 mm, and it's difficult to justify $12,000 lenses for most folks. 

The new Canon 2x TC mkIII finally brings very sharp 2x TC to market, especially when stopped down a little, and I have personally settled on 400 mm (70-200 f/2.8 II + 2x TC III) and try my best to get closer to the birds instead of shelling out the $$. 


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Re: Best lense for bird shots
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2012, 07:29:40 PM »

rpt

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Re: Best lense for bird shots
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2012, 08:13:04 PM »
Like many have said, depends on your budget. 400mm on your 7D is a good length. I have a 100-400L and I love it. Now if you have a budget about 4 to 8 times that, you can go for the longer primes or wait for the 200-400 with the extender. Wombat's option is also one you can consider.

TexPhoto

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Re: Best lense for bird shots
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2012, 09:51:02 PM »
If the 70-200 is your main lens, the one on your camera 50% or more of the time, trade up to the 2.8 IS II.  If not, keep the f4.

Both are tremendous lenses.  The weight of the f2.8 is 50lbs if it's in your camera bag and not being used.  In your hands at the football game, shooting the model, its feather light.

For the cost of the upgrade you could probably buy the 8-15 fisheye zoom, or some other exotic glass, so choose carefully.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2012, 04:51:12 PM by TexPhoto »

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Re: Best lense for bird shots
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2012, 09:51:02 PM »