Lens for birds

Discussion in 'Beginner Questions' started by Gerard Baron, Apr 24, 2017.

  1. Gerard Baron

    Gerard Baron New Member Site Supporter

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    can you give somes suggestions for an affordable lens for birding
     

  2. Phil

    Phil Administrator Staff Member Site Supporter

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    Location:
    Rochester, NY
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    Canon 7D - 50mm F1.8, 70-200mm F4, 17-70mm F2.8-4.5
    I have a 70-200mm F/4L that I would consider affordable. You could also get a range extender if the 200mm isn't enough.
     
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  3. eagle61

    eagle61 New Member Site Supporter

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    Canon 7D MK II, Canon 18-55, Canon 50mm, Canon 55-250 STM, Canon Canon 24-70 F/4, Canon 70-200 II f2.8, Tamron 150-600
    If cost and distance is important / issue, I have had great luck with the Tamron 150-600 F/5-6.3. A good used Gen 1 version is relatively inexpensive.
     
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  4. johnsey

    johnsey Site Moderator Staff Member Site Supporter

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    Fargo, ND
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    5dMk2, 20D, 70-200 2.8 L IS, 100mm 2.8 Macro USM, 50m 1.4, 85mm 1.8, 17-40mm 4.0 L, Rokinon 14mm 2.8; Pixma Pro-100
    I believe the 100-400 L Canon runs about the same of the Tamron if you get the Gen 1 version (1300 bucks). Gen 2 is about 2k Seems that the 100-400 is pretty popular for wildlife and birding.
    The Sigma 100-400 seems to have good reviews and is only about $800.

    You list 70-200 as a lens you own, do you have image stabilization? If you do, I'd say get the tele-converter to increase the reach. Otherwise Id say maybe consider the Sigma if your looking to stay under a grand, as you will want the option of stabilization.
     
  5. huibgeselschap

    huibgeselschap New Member Site Supporter

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    Equipment:
    EOS 100D
    Canon 10-22mm
    Zeiss Jena lenses:
    Flektogon 35mm 2.8
    Tessar 50mm 2.8
    Biotar 58mm 2.0
    Sonnar 135mm 4.0

    Pentacon 200mm 4.0
    Asahi super takumar 50mm 1.4 8 el.
    Helios 44M 58mm 2.0
    I have the EF 75-300mm and can say it is not worth the trouble, at 300mm (minimum for birds) it is not sharp, even not with tripod and Liveview (no mirror movement) I think I will go for a Pentacon 300mm f4.0 manual lens. I have the 200mm and it is sharp as h... at f5.6 It is more of a challenge to quickly focus though...
     
  6. Howard Moss

    Howard Moss New Member Site Supporter

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    Location:
    Farnborough, Hampshire
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    Canon 7D MkII
    Canon 100-400 Mkii
    Canon 17-85
    Canon 10-18
    I use the 100-400 MkII for any wildlife/aviation stuff. It is crisp, image stab is great. I know it is a bit expensive but it is worth every penny
     
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  7. Rod Wilson

    Rod Wilson New Member Site Supporter

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    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
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    Canon 1Ds Mk3 , Canon 7D Mk2 , 300mm F2.8 L , 100mm F2.8 L Macro, 24-105 F4 L , 70-200mm F2.8 L Mk2 ,100-400mm L Mk2 , 1.4X Converter mk2 , 2X Converter Mk2 ,
    I shoot with the Canon 100-400 L Mk2 lens and find it fantastic , If you then couple it with a 1.4X converter you have a 140-560mm F8 lens , On the 7 D Mk2 it will still auto focus quickly enough for most situations and retains its sharpness, a great combination for Wildlife \ Birding photography. You cant go wrong with L Glass.....
     
  8. denn

    denn . Site Supporter

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    Location:
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    canon 70d
    40mm 2.8 stm
    55-250 stm
    + some old manual focus optics :)
    I own the basic EF-S 55-250mm STM..stopped down to 6.3, it performs well in certain light conditions. The stabilize definitely helps a lot.
    Just last week i was given an old manual focus Koboron 75-300mm. Never imagined i would have so much fun with it !! Has a tad much of purple fringing for my liking but when stopped down 2 stops or more, it appears well controlled.
    Here's a few shots from the 2 mentioned lenses taken in the last 3-4 weeks. Straight off camera, only cropped or scaled down where relevant.

    55-250-stm-IMG_3607.jpg 55-250-stm-IMG_3621.jpg 55-250-stm-IMG_3624.jpg 55-250-stm-IMG_3696.jpg 55-250-stm-IMG_3734.jpg Koboron-70-300-IMG_4091.jpg Koboron-70-300-IMG_4093.jpg Koboron-70-300-IMG_4276.jpg Koboron-70-300-IMG_4314.jpg
     
  9. Chaos_Realm

    Chaos_Realm New Member Site Supporter

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    Pentax System
    I have personally found the sigma 150-500mm to be a really useful lens. I have an early version of the lens but it performs well and is (relatively) cheap
     
  10. kvoz123

    kvoz123 New Member Site Supporter

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    30D
    There is some old M42 lenses, like 3M-5A (600 mm/F6.3), MTO-500 (500 mm/F8). They are cheap (~200 USD) and good. You may use them with converters to Canon mount.
     
  11. David Pavlich

    David Pavlich New Member Site Supporter

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    Equipment:
    Canon 5DIII, Canon 70-200 f2.8 II, Canon 16-35 f4L, Tamron 35mm f1.8
    I agree with the first gen Tamron 150-600. I've seen good used versions for under $700. The best prime for the price is Canon's 400 f5.6.

    David
     
  12. Craig Sherriff

    Craig Sherriff Active Member Site Supporter

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    Location:
    Tasmania, Australia
    Equipment:
    60d, 10d, 1dmark3, t70 lenses ranging from 28mm to 600 mm, Mamaya C3 and 3 lens sets, Pentax MG and various lenses
    I use a 120-600mm F5.6-32 vivitar with a fd mount and a cheap fd to eos adapter, a fd mount 2 times extender with the camera set on Manual or av mode and they work fine. My other go to lens is a Tamron 500mm mirror lens. You have to be precise with the focus and you can have any aperture size you want as long as it F8. If you are patient and can work around these little annoyances you can get excellent photos for a low out-lay of money.
    And good tripod also helps a lot.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2017
  13. Wispfly

    Wispfly New Member Site Supporter

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    Equipment:
    Sony A7ii + Sigma MC-11
    Sigma 50 1.4
    Tamron 28-75 2.8
    Canon 70-300 IS USM
    The 70-300 IS USM 4-5.6 is also a good option, lightweight, image stabilize and around 200 buck. Tamron 70-300 VC USD which also have image stabilize is slightly cheaper is also a good choice.
     
  14. pcake

    pcake Active Member Site Supporter

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    Equipment:
    Canon SL1
    55-250 STM
    18-55 STM
    Yongnuo 50mm 1.8
    if the birds aren't too far away, i agree with denn on the 55-250 STM. i find that stopped down a bit, it delivers good shots.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    that being said, if the birds are far away, i'd suggest a minimum of 400mm, more if possible.
     
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  15. JimmyDranox

    JimmyDranox Member Site Supporter

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    Canon 60D, Canon EF-S 18-135 IS STM, Sigma 17-50/2.8 OS HSM, Tamron 70-200/2.8
    In my view there are two types of situations. Birds standing, and birds flying.

    For birds standing, a longer lens is neccesary, maybe 400mm or more. A stabilized lens is easyer to use, but some old prime lenses are also very good. But not all.

    For birds in flight, a faster lens is better, like a 70-200mm/2.8.

    When I was navigating in the Pentax waters, I have used both Tamron and Sigma 70-200mm/2.8 with good results for flying birds. I have tried the same with a Sigma 150-500mm, and it was very hard to keep the birds in the lens field, If they fly low, or fast.
     
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  16. pcake

    pcake Active Member Site Supporter

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    Equipment:
    Canon SL1
    55-250 STM
    18-55 STM
    Yongnuo 50mm 1.8
    200mm works for BIF if they're close enough. often for me, they aren't, and at 200mm, the bird is a tiny spec too small to crop with any detail at all. since i mostly shoot BIF in daylight, a faster lens isn't as useful for me as a longer lens. but i guess it all depends on where and what kind of birds in flight you shoot.

    i do better for far away birds not in flight with a nikon P610 or - even better - a nikon P900. no raw and small sensor, but you can't beat 2000 or 1440mm for getting far away subjects.
     
  17. JimmyDranox

    JimmyDranox Member Site Supporter

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    Canon 60D, Canon EF-S 18-135 IS STM, Sigma 17-50/2.8 OS HSM, Tamron 70-200/2.8
    I have a passion for swallows. But I also had troubles keeping other birds in the field when they fly low and close, with the longer lens.

    But for other situations, the longer the better.

    2000mm? I didn't try a bridge camera for a very long time, maybe 8 years, but what I have seen on youtube about those Nikon Pxxx and others like that is very interesting. Very high magnification, that you can get with a DSLR mounted on an astronomical telescope. But resolution with those bridges camera is still, ...how to say, so and so. Close, but not spot on. And I wonder what would be the results in a cloudy day, on a bird hidden in the branches.
     
  18. pcake

    pcake Active Member Site Supporter

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    Equipment:
    Canon SL1
    55-250 STM
    18-55 STM
    Yongnuo 50mm 1.8
    oh, there's no doubt that those cameras leave a lot to be desired. i did better with the nikons on cloudy days than i did with the canon SX50, but i mostly use my P610 on sunny days. that being said, some of the shots you can get with 1440mm or 2000mm you can't get otherwise except with a VERY heavy lens and a full frame camera and then cropped.

    here are a few shots i did with a rented P900
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/50019820@N03/albums/72157651709364692/

    and here's the flickr account for a dpreview buddy who should be the spokesman for the P900 - he rocks!
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/markbrigham/
     
  19. JimmyDranox

    JimmyDranox Member Site Supporter

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    Canon 60D, Canon EF-S 18-135 IS STM, Sigma 17-50/2.8 OS HSM, Tamron 70-200/2.8
    Impressive. Kudos. It could be a good choice for a reserve camera for me.

    And this reminds me another problem in shoting birds. They almost always moves. A little or more, they move. And this brings the need for a smaller exposure time. One think to be kept in regard for choosing a lens.
     
  20. pcake

    pcake Active Member Site Supporter

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    Canon SL1
    55-250 STM
    18-55 STM
    Yongnuo 50mm 1.8
    not just a lens - a camera's viewfinder. bigger or brighter viewfinders or viewfinders with an angle that works for you make it easier to catch pics of birds in flight. i also find it harder to shoot birds in flight if the viewfinder, whether EVF of OVF, isn't stabilized. it's why i didn't pull the trigger on a pentax - i shoot birds in flight one shot at a time. most people shoot them with burst mode, which makes the finder's stability not too important.
     

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