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18 hours ago, Seanbirds said:

Can you take good quality photos with that lens? I mean something that regularly turns out more than three-star photos.

I've taken 5-star photos with point-and-shoots.  Good quality photos are more a function of the photographer than the hardware.  If you can't state explicitly how your current hardware is holding you back, replacing it may be spending money to have the same problems.

Edited by Charlie Spencer
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On 3/22/2021 at 10:54 AM, Charlie Spencer said:

Good quality photos are more a function of the photographer than the hardware. 

While I agree with your point, I've had a lot of trouble blowing up images to find they are blurry. What looks good 3x5 may look blurry 11x14. I've had more luck with the Nikon DX-7500 and Nikkor 18-200. I'm guessing it has better autofocus:

561919584_watershot.thumb.jpg.a463aae5d0cabab83afea9d3c726c062.jpg

As for birding, I like to take pics so I can identify them at home. When I took a birding class, I didn't get much out of it. It was over my head. So now I can study the pics, and try to get something out of it.

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9 hours ago, BirdManAndy said:

As for birding, I like to take pics so I can identify them at home.

Occasionally I go to Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com) when I have technical questions.  I realize the primary goal of those shutterbugs is to produce the 'best' image possible.  I have a hard time getting some of them to accept that for bird ID purposes, a grainy, blurred shot at 300 meters can be useful, and even worth retaining if it's a lifer.

As to the dog, well,

Who's a good puppy?  Get the ball!  WHO'S A GOOD PUPPY?  Yes, you are!!

561919584_watershot.thumb.jpg.a463aae5d0cabab83afea9d3c726c062.jpg

 

Edited by Charlie Spencer
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4 hours ago, Charlie Spencer said:

I realize the primary goal of those shutterbugs is to produce the 'best' image possible.  I have a hard time getting some of them to accept that for bird ID purposes, a grainy, blurred shot at 300 meters can be useful, and even worth retaining if it's a lifer.

You nailed me on that one. Back in my film days, one had to pay a great deal of attention to the technical aspects of shooting for your shots to come out. It is hard to move away from that perspective. I have learned that the pictures you shoot to put on your walls should be family shots like the dog shot. If you want to be Ansel Adams, you have to live in Yosemite for months to get the perfect shot. Your point about blurry shots for bird identification is well taken.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The tamaron lens is about 2 pounds lighter than the sigma, which weighs around 6 pounds. Not sure on the specs, but the weight was one of the reasons I did not look into the sigma lens any further and got my current lens. 

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  • 1 month later...
On 11/3/2020 at 12:44 AM, Colton V said:

My question is, do you have any suggestions for camera lenses that will work with my camera and help me get better photos of far-away birds?

I suggest a cloaking device and then getting closer.

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On 5/23/2021 at 5:17 PM, Tony Leukering said:

I suggest a cloaking device and then getting closer.

I absolutely hate it when posters on a photography forum ask, "Well, why didn't you get closer?"  Let's see, private property, the lake you don't see because I'm zoomed in, not wanting to flush / spook a notoriously nervous species or other birds between myself and the subject, etc.  They don't get the difference between artistic photography with birds as the subject, and photography as a tool for identification.

I realize that's not what Tony is saying; I just wanted to get that off my chest.

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16 hours ago, Colton V said:

Or should I say, would it be an improvement over the lens I'm using now? (Canon 75-300mm kit lens)

Yes, it would be an improvement on your 75-300mm kit lens, it would be comparable to a 18-400mm kit lens. It will give you slightly more reach, 400mm vs 300mm. It will give you a wider field of view on the short end, 18mm vs 75mm. It will give you more flexibility than you currently have, but it's quality is compared to that of longer kit lens. I have no experience with this lens, but what I have read about it so far has mixed reviews. If it's within your budget, I'd recommend Canon's 100-400mm mark 2 lens, even used. https://www.keh.com/shop/canon-100-400mm-f-4-5-5-6-l-is-ii-usm-lens-ef-mount-77-with-tripod-foot.html  It comes with a higher price tag but I don't think you'll be disappointed in the higher image quality. 

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18 hours ago, Colton V said:

Or should I say, would it be an improvement over the lens I'm using now? (Canon 75-300mm kit lens)

If you do decide on the Tamron 18-400mm, you might want to save some money and buy used. https://www.keh.com/shop/tamron-18-400mm-f-3-5-6-3-di-ii-vc-hld-b028-ef-mount-lens-for-canon-aps-c-sensor-dslrs-72-1.html  That way, if you find out that the lens doesn't quite satisfy you, you won't be hit too hard in the wallet.

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57 minutes ago, kansabirdguy said:

Is there a Sony version of this?

Tamron does have lenses for some Sony cameras, but I didn't see anything about this particular model for Sony. That doesn't mean that this model isn't available for Sony, I just couldn't find any info on it. They do have a 150-600mm lens for Sony full frame mirrorless cameras, so they may have more Sony mount lenses. An adapter might be an option for different mount lenses, I have never used adapters, but they're designed to put one brand of lens on a different brand of camera. Some camera/lens combinations are compatible with adapters but some camera/lens combinations just can't be mixed. I'm not sure what different brand lenses your Sony camera might be compatible with, but an adapter MIGHT open up some different options for you.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, lonestranger said:

If you do decide on the Tamron 18-400mm, you might want to save some money and buy used

I am definitely planning on buying used, no matter what I get. And yes, it's a pretty cheap lens, which is what makes me wonder if it's any good.

Edited by Colton V
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8 hours ago, Colton V said:

I am definitely planning on buying used, no matter what I get. And yes, it's a pretty cheap lens, which is what makes me wonder if it's any good.

I don't want to sound discouraging, but my gut feeling makes me think you'll be disappointed with the 18-400mm lens. At first you'll probably love the extra 100mm of zoom but after a while I suspect you'll be less and less impressed with the lens and be looking for a better lens down the road. I suspect that the lens will have trouble focusing in less than ideal lighting, especially at maximum zoom. I look at this lens as a stepping stone lens, it'll make you happy for a while, but I think you'll want to move on to the L series lenses sooner than later. What you have to ask yourself is, do you want to buy this lens now AND buy a better lens down the road, or do you want to skip the stepping stone lens and save money in the long run by going straight to the better glass. I wasted a lot of money on stepping stone lenses and don't want to see others make the same mistakes I did.

My advice to anyone looking for a new lens, buy quality glass and skip the kit lenses. Starter lenses are just that, great for starting into photography but those lenses probably won't finish the race if you're in it for the long run. Just my 2 cents worth.

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Just my 2 cents but...

I shoot a Canon 5D Mark IV and purchased the 100-400 IS USM V1 lens several years ago.  It works very well for me.  At one point, I purchased the Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM prime lens thinking it would give me sharper pics.  I found very little difference in quality so I returned it.  Photographers are always looking for more "reach" I recently I added a 1.4X teleconverter knowing that I would lose a few stops of light.  I can use this set-up in bright light, but forget about anything in low light.    A teleconverter may not work with your current camera/lens system so that option may be off the table.

I would echo lonestranger and buy a good quality lens.  The 18-400 may not be very sharp at full zoom.  Oh - and buy from a reliable company (not ebay).  I like B&H but KEH and Adorama are also good.

 

This is an American Coot with my teleconverter set-up.  This was close to mid-day at f/8 and 560 mM 

american coot2

 

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On 4/5/2021 at 1:41 PM, Aaron said:

The tamaron lens is about 2 pounds lighter than the sigma, which weighs around 6 pounds. Not sure on the specs, but the weight was one of the reasons I did not look into the sigma lens any further and got my current lens. 

I think you're comparing the Tamron to the Sigma Sport as opposed to the Sigma Contemporary. The Contemporary is actually slightly lighter (1830g vs. 2010g) then the Tamron. For what it's worth also I use Sigma Contemporary as my main lens & I'm very happy with it. The auto-focus does tend to hunt in some situations but other then that I really like it. B&H Photo actually has it on sale now too ( https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1082154-REG/sigma_150_600mm_f_5_6_3_dg_os.html ) but it is on back-order.

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  • 1 month later...

@Colton V. I found some good budget options for you that might work.

1. Sigma 150-600 5.6-6.3 contemporary. Around $900

2. Sigma 100-400. Around 850. 
3. tamron 100-400

4. Canon ef 400mmf/5.6L prime. It’s discontinued, however you can find one used for around $850. I hear it’s incredibly light and sharp, the only downside is the minimum focusing distance and the lack of image stabilization. 
5. Canon ef 100-4004.5-5.6L IS usm lens. This is the original version of the canon 100 -400 lens that @lonestrangerwas talking about a while back. It’s around $900 bucks used. Just because it’s th original version, doesn’t mean it’s bad. @Jefferson Shankuses this lens, I believe. Maybe he could give some info on the performance. 
Here’s the 100-400 canon original version. https://www.dpreview.com/products/canon/lenses/canon_100-400_4p5-5p6_is
and here’s the 400 prime

https://www.dpreview.com/products/canon/lenses/canon_400_5p6
here’s the sigma contemporary 150-600

https://www.dpreview.com/products/sigma/lenses/sigma_150-600_5p0-6p3_dg_os_hsm_c
here’s the  sigma 100-400

https://www.dpreview.com/products/sigma/lenses/sigma_100-400_5-6p3_dg_os_hsm

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