setagate wrote in post #18461357
I‘m thinking about buying a long telephoto lens, maybe a Tamron SP 150-600 f 5.6-6.3, for photos of birds and other distant objects. I have a Canon 6D full frame camera and wondered if it would be a good idea to buy a used crop frame camera like a Canon 40D so that I would get a longer range. Apparently, with a 1.6 crop factor the range would convert to 240-960mm. Or, can I get photos that would be just as large, and maybe of better quality, by shooting with my Canon 6D and enlarging the photos in Photoshop or Lightroom and then cropping so that the image of the bird fills the frame? I would appreciate any advice.
Stay with the 6D for a while.
Later, if you feel the need to have higher pixel density, greater FPS, etc, then explore something else maybe. But glass comes first if you want to get into birds. You're already on a good budget track for getting reach, as reach is important depending on your subject and how you approach them. A 150-600 of any flavor will do you very well starting out (excellent for all stationary birds of all sizes, great for birds in flight in good light). On a full frame, you'll spend a lot of time at 400~600mm on that lens most likely. I found myself living at 600mm on mine no matter the sensor size, because unless I could get close, they were always distant. Once you get used to having a long lens and you feel you need other things from the camera body, then explore a new body. But don't go from a 6D to a 40D, that's backwards for your purposes. The 6D is totally fine for birding. And the high ISO performance and decent low ISO dynamic range will be very useful with a long slower lens like this.
Ultimately it depends on what birds, where, how you approach them, what kind of light, what kind of look you want etc. I've changed my birding setup many times. But I don't regret starting with a 600mm out of the gate. I still use it. I've done it full frame, APS-C, APS-H, etc. I actually am totally happy on an APS-C when it comes to wildlife/birding. I found my happy medium was APS-H for right now, both with a 150-600 and with my 300 F4L IS (plus TC's if I need it). If I were shopping a new body today, for birds, it would likely be the 7D2 or 80D. But I would again stress to have glass before a new body. The 6D is totally great for birding! Especially big birds, or small ones up close.
But I'd start with what you have first. Stay with the 6D. It focuses fine, it is great for this. Get a long piece of glass first and practice.