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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 25 Feb 2013 (Monday) 12:09
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a budget option for Birds Photography?

 
ekfaysal
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Feb 25, 2013 12:09 |  #1

well, i was thinking of getting a Tamron 17-50 2.8 to do some landscape
My gear is listed in my signature
But now i'm getting more involved in Birds. Love shooting em .
Finding 250mm short to shoot birds. untill the bird sits too close to me :D which rarely happens
So thinking of getting something of more range
have no idea what should i go for.
as Extenders dont work with 55-250.
So what would u guys suggest ?
Budget could be under 1K


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nellyle
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Feb 25, 2013 12:12 |  #2

What's the budget?


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ekfaysal
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Feb 25, 2013 12:37 |  #3

nellyle wrote in post #15650279 (external link)
What's the budget?

it could be something under a thousand bucks


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gabebalazs
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Feb 25, 2013 12:52 |  #4

1. Sigma 150-500 OS
2. Canon 400L 5.6 (especially if birds in flight is important)
3. If you're lucky price-wise, 100-400L


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kram
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Feb 25, 2013 12:57 |  #5

A used 100-400 should be very close to a thousand, maybe just a little more?


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amfoto1
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Feb 25, 2013 13:22 |  #6

1K or 1000 in what currency? You didn't say and your profile doesn't tell us where in the world you are, but looking at your Flickr it appears it's not the U.S. Still, I'm going to use U.S. currency for some suggestions... you might need to convert.

- The Sigma 120-400 OS sells new for just under $1000 U.S.

- The Siggy 150-500 OS sells new for just over $1000, but you might be able to find it on sale or used for close or under $1000. (In the U.S. it is currently on sale new for $1020, until Feb. 28.)

- Canon 400/5.6 sells new for well over $1000 ($1340 US)... maybe you could find a used one for under $1000. It's sharp, but lacks IS (or OS), which is very nice to have on such a long lens, especially when using it on a crop sensor camera.

- The Canon 300/4 IS has stabilization... sells new for well over $1000 ($1450), but can be found used at times for $850-900. Add a 1.4X teleconverter... a used Canon Mark II or a new Kenko 1.4X MC4 DGX might be found for around $150. This gives you two focal lengths (300mm and 420mm), plus it has very useful IS.

The 300/4 and 400/5.6 probably offer some of the best AF performance, which can be an important consideration shooting fast moving birds. The Canon 100-400 is pretty darned good, too... It's popular with airshow photographers and you can't get much faster moving subjects than that. I honestly have used the Sigmas, so can't really compare their AF performance. They do have HSM, which is Sigma's version of Canon USM and should help them give good performance... but I can't say from personal experience. I use the 300/4 IS and Canon 1.4X II combo myself and can vouch for it. I've used it with birds, larger wildlife, and sports, including pretty fast moving motor sports. As my longest handheld lens (or lens + TC) I currently use it mostly with 7D cameras, but have used it successfully with 50Ds in the past, which have virtually the same AF system as your 60D.

With f5.6 lenses (including an f4 lens with a 1.4X teleconvter added), you will likely be restricted to using only the center AF point of your 60D. Two of the Sigmas go to f6.3 at their longest focal length, but they "pretend" to be f5.6 and that allows AF to work. There is a work-around, but in general 1.4X teleconverters aren't as useful with f5.6 and slower lenses. (2X TCs pretty much need an f2.8 lens to be able to focus normally on a 60D. Plus 2X TCs "cost" a lot more image quality, need to be more carefully matched up with superior lenses.)

The camera is not supposed to be able to AF and if the camera detects the TC, it will turn off AF automatically. However, you can tape up a couple pins on the TC so that the camera doesn't know it's there and "fool" the camera into trying to AF. Don't expect the AF to work as well as it does when no TC is present... It will be slower and hunt more, especially in less than ideal light and/or lower contrast subjects.

- Canon 100-400 IS is normally well over $1000 used or new.

- Sigma 50-500 OS is also normally well over $1000 used or new.

The prices go up from there.


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watt100
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Feb 25, 2013 13:25 |  #7

ekfaysal wrote in post #15650273 (external link)
well, i was thinking of getting a Tamron 17-50 2.8 to do some landscape
My gear is listed in my signature
But now i'm getting more involved in Birds. Love shooting em .
Finding 250mm short to shoot birds. untill the bird sits too close to me :D which rarely happens
So thinking of getting something of more range
have no idea what should i go for.
as Extenders dont work with 55-250.
So what would u guys suggest ?
Budget could be under 1K

if you're into birds the 400 5.6 prime is the best "budget" bird lens. A little over $1k but you can find used for under




  
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ekfaysal
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Feb 25, 2013 17:01 |  #8

amfoto1 wrote in post #15650520 (external link)
1K or 1000 in what currency? You didn't say and your profile doesn't tell us where in the world you are, but looking at your Flickr it appears it's not the U.S. Still, I'm going to use U.S. currency for some suggestions... you might need to convert.

- The Sigma 120-400 OS sells new for just under $1000 U.S.

- The Siggy 150-500 OS sells new for just over $1000, but you might be able to find it on sale or used for close or under $1000. (In the U.S. it is currently on sale new for $1020, until Feb. 28.)

- Canon 400/5.6 sells new for well over $1000 ($1340 US)... maybe you could find a used one for under $1000. It's sharp, but lacks IS (or OS), which is very nice to have on such a long lens, especially when using it on a crop sensor camera.

- The Canon 300/4 IS has stabilization... sells new for well over $1000 ($1450), but can be found used at times for $850-900. Add a 1.4X teleconverter... a used Canon Mark II or a new Kenko 1.4X MC4 DGX might be found for around $150. This gives you two focal lengths (300mm and 420mm), plus it has very useful IS.

The 300/4 and 400/5.6 probably offer some of the best AF performance, which can be an important consideration shooting fast moving birds. The Canon 100-400 is pretty darned good, too... It's popular with airshow photographers and you can't get much faster moving subjects than that. I honestly have used the Sigmas, so can't really compare their AF performance. They do have HSM, which is Sigma's version of Canon USM and should help them give good performance... but I can't say from personal experience. I use the 300/4 IS and Canon 1.4X II combo myself and can vouch for it. I've used it with birds, larger wildlife, and sports, including pretty fast moving motor sports. As my longest handheld lens (or lens + TC) I currently use it mostly with 7D cameras, but have used it successfully with 50Ds in the past, which have virtually the same AF system as your 60D.

With f5.6 lenses (including an f4 lens with a 1.4X teleconvter added), you will likely be restricted to using only the center AF point of your 60D. Two of the Sigmas go to f6.3 at their longest focal length, but they "pretend" to be f5.6 and that allows AF to work. There is a work-around, but in general 1.4X teleconverters aren't as useful with f5.6 and slower lenses. (2X TCs pretty much need an f2.8 lens to be able to focus normally on a 60D. Plus 2X TCs "cost" a lot more image quality, need to be more carefully matched up with superior lenses.)

The camera is not supposed to be able to AF and if the camera detects the TC, it will turn off AF automatically. However, you can tape up a couple pins on the TC so that the camera doesn't know it's there and "fool" the camera into trying to AF. Don't expect the AF to work as well as it does when no TC is present... It will be slower and hunt more, especially in less than ideal light and/or lower contrast subjects.

- Canon 100-400 IS is normally well over $1000 used or new.

- Sigma 50-500 OS is also normally well over $1000 used or new.

The prices go up from there.

Thanks so much for such brief reply
Yes the curruncy is USD :D Sorry i dint mention it .
really appreciated (Y)


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maverick75
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Feb 25, 2013 17:13 |  #9

If you think 250 is short then you'll think 400mm is short also, at least I did.


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Feb 25, 2013 17:53 |  #10

sigma 150-500OS is a good option...it's a bit heavy, and needs some good light to get a fast shutter to freeze bird movement...but it's certainly capable of some good shots...and it's the cheapest way to go long..

and i disagree with maverick...if you think 250mm is short...you're right...400mm isn't really short in comparison...you do still need to work on getting close to your subject though, you can't be lazy about it just cause you have a longer lens


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Feb 25, 2013 18:08 |  #11

Exactly what DreDaze is saying. Getting close with right light and angle is just as important as a good lens.
Take this shot for example. I shot this a long time ago with my first DSLR (40D) and a 55-250 IS:

IMAGE: http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3249/3158572736_77f2d68b8f_b.jpg
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Hummingbird with Canon 55-250 IS (external link) by gabebalazs (external link), on Flickr

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artyman
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Feb 25, 2013 18:09 |  #12

Another vote for the Sigma 150-500, great lens for the money, and for birds it can never be long enough focal length.


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Causeway ­ Coasteering.Matt
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Feb 25, 2013 18:27 |  #13

Still a bit of a novice but I've really enjoyed the Sigma 150-500 [See stonechat pair at my local beach]. Couldn't exactly call it cheap but compared to so many other lens options, it seems like a great deal.
I've been really happy with the image quality etc, certainly for what it cost...it'd be rude to complain ;)

Hope you thoroughly enjoy whatever lens you get and as someone pointed out, the lens won't do all the hard work for you, still gotta stalk those wee suckers and get your exposure right...on the fly [get it?!]

Matt


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Pepe ­ Guitarra
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Feb 25, 2013 18:59 as a reply to  @ Causeway Coasteering.Matt's post |  #14

I have taken great shots of bird in flight with my 5D2 and my Sigma EX 100-300mm f4 Non-OS (sometimes with the Sigma DG 1.4xTC). I have since then moved to the 7D and the 400mm f5.6, and love it.
And yes, once you are into birding, you will learn to recognize the bird habits, calls, and flight pattern. Then, you can work your way quietly into them, or using a hide, or a good camuflage suit. Remember that birds are afraid of movement, specially, sudden movements. I have approached birds very close by walking slowly backwards. Yes, many of them, would not be worried unless you have eye contact. They feel safe hiding behind a leave. I have noticed that when I am behind my monopod or tripod, they feel more comfortable and do not move. You need a large dose of patience. If you are dealing with hummingbirds, you can get as close as you can (sometimes six feet from the feeding place), they are so territorial, that will try to scare you into leaving the place. They will come close to your ear or face and produce a weird noise like they are attacking you (and they may be). After you do not move and keep your camera on your eye, they will drink freely and you can shoot them at close range. I have used a 100mm lens as close as 4 feet.


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Pepe ­ Guitarra
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Feb 25, 2013 19:02 as a reply to  @ Pepe Guitarra's post |  #15

Beware of the phrase: "...good for the price". It usually means, it is good, but not that good.


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