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What's a good camera/lens setup for photographing birds?

Discussion in 'Through-the-Lens Club' started by AngerManagement, Jun 29, 2004.

  1. AngerManagement

    AngerManagement Hillary!!!!!!!!

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    I'd really like to get into nature photography. Any help appreciated, especially for photographing birds from a distance.
     
  2. DigitalPhotog

    DigitalPhotog

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    Do you already have a camera? what is your budget? it is very easy to spend A LOT of money on long lenses. Do you want a digital? Point and shoot?
     

  3. CheesyD

    CheesyD Nyet to Marxism

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    I've always been told the glass is far more important than the camera body. You'll need long, fast lenses (which means expensive), and a solid tripod won't hurt. I would think a 400mm lens at a minimum, preferably 600mm or more if you can afford it. You could also get a 200-400mm and add a teleconverter to extend the range of the lens, although you may suffer a bit on the quality of the image. I had a 300mm with no teleconverter and it wasn't nearly long enough for reaching out to wild birds, unless they were on my bird feeder in the back yard.

    Check out www.photo.net . It's a great site with tons of info on all kinds of photogrpahy. Everyone there seems friendly and more than willing to help out.
     
  4. hwyhobo

    hwyhobo

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    Here is a specialized setup for you: Kowa Prominar. For its designated function, as long you shoot from a tripod (or at least a sturdy monopod), it will be hard to beat.
     
  5. Aaron S

    Aaron S

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    CheesyD has it right. It is all in the glass. The best way to do it is to get a 500mm or 600mm fast lens and you will still probably need a teleconverter. The big lenses also require a sturdy tripod.
    Aaron.
     
  6. noway

    noway

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    Yep the lens makes the difference. The longer the better and getting good shutter speed and fast-lens helps.

    FL is one of the best areas in the lower 48states to bird watch since we have 100s of local species and 100s of migratory birds. Most are easy to film and don't spook that much so a good 100-300mm zoom works fine others need 600mm plus or doubler ( i.e the "black neck Stilt " ) shooting a local dove or robbin in the park is not the same as shooting a migratory duck or black neck stilt that might never have seen a person, so learn the species and then determine what you need.
     
  7. General Sherman

    General Sherman

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    See www.dpreview.com for examples of bird photos in the forum sections.
    See especially the Nikon D70 section and the Canon 300D section.
    On the digital SLRs the 300mm lens becomes an equal to a 600mm lens and some remarkable bird photos are being taken.
    Digital SLRs look like the way to go.
     
  8. nipperwolf

    nipperwolf

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    the focal gain on MOST digital SLRs is actually only 1.5 -1.6.
    making a 300mm the equivalent of a 450mm lens.

    on the 11mp canon and the 14mp kodak, there is no gain in focal length, due to the larger sensor.