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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 24 Apr 2013 (Wednesday) 11:45
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Lens for full frame & shooting birds...

Scott ­ M
3,255 posts
Gallery: 83 photos
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Joined May 2008
Location: Michigan
Apr 26, 2013 12:29 |  #31

CyberDyneSystems wrote in post #15866986 (external link)
Sorry Tom, and thanks for your clarification.

Honestly, I was not replying to you, but clearly my statement would be taken the same way by anyone that had made the same recommendation.

My feeling regarding the suggestion being silly, was based on a few factors, 1st the OPs question being asked.
"Lens for Full frame and shooting birds"
Posted in the EF lens forum.

I think we all (myself included) can get off base when we reply to that sort of question by completely flipping the paradigm, and suggesting that rather than find what was being looked for, suggest a totally different approach. There is merit in this sort of reply. I don't deny that, but at times, it feels a little heavy handed. A little too gear centric as well. EG: The same day I replied to this thread, I had just replied to a thread where someone was trying to find a lighter weight set up do to medical condition / pain, and was being told as a solution to buy a grip and that weight to the load.. ???
I believe that it may be that this is where my "silliness" comment truly came from.

Pixel density is a big advantage for birding. No question. Especially when cost of lenses is what it is. I would not deny it's importance. I do however contend that it is not the only thing one need to look at, and that it is not a magic bullet. (I don't imply that you said it was)

Part of the different view point may be due to differing experiences.

Some numbers to consider:
The 5D3 will put 14MP on the same "1.3x crop" as my 1D MkIII did with only 10MP and my 1DII did with only 8.5MP.
That to me, and to many 1D shooters, which were the majority of birders for some years, is a huge step up in pixel density.

The 7D puts 18MP on the same crop as the 5D3 puts only 9MP.
Tom is absolutely correct, thsi is DOUBLE the pixels on target at the same field of view.

So half the pixels compared to the 7D,.. but still more cropped to 1.6 than my long soldiering 1D MkII had for it's full field of view.

So yes, the 5D3 needs a longer lens to do a similar job re pixels on target compared with the 7D,.

But, I also know that 9MP is enough to print good solid 17" x 24" prints and sell them in an art gallery. I've done it with less (cropped 8.5MP images)

Anyway, I am sorry my choice of words ruffled feathers.


I am another poster who recommended considering a 7D (based on the original post suggesting it), but you didn't ruffle my feathers at all. In this case, you provided a very valid alternate viewpoint for the OP to consider. Both our suggestions came from our own experiences, and there is usually more than one way to solve a poster's issue (as this thread shows).

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Admin (type T-2000)
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Apr 27, 2013 19:35 |  #32

Thanks Scott, and indeed you are correct.

PS. my math was a little off, the 5D3 puts closer to 8.5MP into a 1.6 crop area.

Jake Hegnauer Photography (external link)

ed ­ rader
"I am not the final word"
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Joined May 2005
Location: silicon valley
Apr 27, 2013 19:49 |  #33

Inspeqtor wrote in post #15865403 (external link)
I am very surprised at your shutter lag comment about the 5D classic. I was not aware of this. I know all P&S cameras have shutter lag which is why I switched back to the DSLR (I own an older Canon Rebel SLR film version body).

it's true though the lag is in no way as bad as a point and shoot.​draderphotography/ (external link)
5D4, 80d, 16-35L F4 IS, 24-70L II, 70-200L F4 IS II, 100-400L II, sigma 15 FE, sigma 14 f1.8 art, tc 1.4 III, 430exII, gitzo 3542L + markins Q20, gitzo GT 1545T + markins Q3T, gitzo GM4562

124 posts
Joined Mar 2012
Location: SF Bay Area
Apr 28, 2013 11:12 |  #34

+1 for CyberDyneSystems and others who point out that this is mostly not a gear issue and primarily a distance issue. The bird isn't going to come closer because you're using a different lens or camera. And please no nitpicking that statement with comments re: camo'ed gear! :)

This is an issue with the photographer. Or, it's a birding issue, if that's easier to digest. :)

I'm not a great (or even good) birder, but I'll tell you I get better results with my 5D3 than my 7D. A better birder would get better results out of either camera than me, though. And the reason is that, like you, my biggest issue isn't my equipment.

5D Mark III | 7D | 30D | 10D | D30
10-22 | 16-35L | 35L | 24-105L | 24-70F2.8L II | 70-200F4L IS | 100-400L

1,937 posts
Joined Sep 2010
Location: NJ
Apr 28, 2013 17:08 as a reply to  @ post 15862421 |  #35

7D + 300 2.8 + 2x TC helps. Still can leave one short very often though. I had to sell my 7D and my 5D3 + 300 + 2x = 600mm is still usually very, very short.

400 f/5.6 won't give much more than the 70-300+1.4x TC unless you put the TC on it and the AF is workable with the new 5D3 firmware.

it can be rough if you try to shoot birds say in your backyard and its an old tall forest where the birds can stay far away or if none of the local ponds and lakes are super small and waterfowl can alway situate themselves on the far side. Easier in a city park with shrubs and young little trees and not much other habitat around. Probably sitting in blinds in good locations helps a lot. Some people who get constant good takes seem to live near the sea shore and shoot in marshes and such.

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Lens for full frame & shooting birds...
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