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Wildlife

Discussion in 'Lens Matters' started by Loony, Nov 6, 2017.

  1. Loony

    Loony Member

    Hi,

    I'm fairly new to photography, just bought myself a canon 1300d, a 50mm lens and a sigma 17-50mm lens. I've decided I would like to do some wildlife photography as I live in the middle of nowhere and there are plenty of birds of prey and so forth in the area. I've been looking at the canon 300mm and 400mm lenses, but I don't really want to spend 700 quid on a used one, not to put on a 1300d anyway. So I was wondering if there were any suitable "budget" lenses I could look out for?

    Yours Sincerely
     
  2. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    Look out for a Sigma 400mm F5.6 APO Tele macro. There are usually some on eBay.
     
  3. Loony

    Loony Member

    Many thanks for your swift reply. :)
     
  4. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    There may be compatibility problems with these lenses on Canon cameras, a well-known issue with older Sigma lenses and Canon. They are decent optically but may not function on your camera, simply bringing up an error code, so if buying one ensure that it has been tried on a modern body. Sigma used to be able to re-chip them, but probably don't now.

    Alternatively consider a Tamron 70-300, the more expensive model with VC (image stabilisation). Good optically and the VC is a boon.
     
  5. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Hi, Good telephoto prime lenses tend to be expensive. The "cheapest" Canon lens is the 400 F5.6 L (which is how I started). A 300 is a bit too short for birds though you can put a teleconverter on a 300 F4 and gain stabilisation. Sigma and Tamron also offer telephoto zooms. There are a few variants on the market so be careful to check.
     
  6. Fishboy

    Fishboy Well-Known Member

    I once prospected £89 on the Tamron 70-300 f4-f5.6 Di LD Macro Zoom - the one without the image stabilisation. I wasn't expecting great things but when I used it I was pleasantly surprised.

    Back in the olden days before stabilised lenses, the idea was to use faster shutter speeds with longer lenses to negate the increased chance of camera shake and this worked perfectly well with the Tamron. Of course setting a shutter speed of 1/500th in order to get a clear shot isn't much good in poor light, but in normal daylight I was able to get some perfectly acceptable results out of it.

    Cheers, Jeff
     
  7. Loony

    Loony Member

    Probably a stupid question, but can you use a teleconverter on a zoom lens?
     
  8. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member


    It depends. Canon converters are matched to specific Canon lenses only. You have to check compatibility. Third party teleconverters I believe will generally fit - it depends if the teleconverter optics extend into the back of the lens or not and the amount of clearance. You lose 1 stop of light ŵith a x1.4 and 2 stops with a x2. You lose some quality with a TC so they work best on "good lenses" and many zoom lenses aren't best at the long end, they also tend to be slow ~F5.6 so focussing can be an issue.
     
  9. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    Short answer - yes. Long answer - Only where the effective aperture will be no less than f5.6. I can use a 2X converter on my 70-200 f2.8 because f2.8 + 2 stops = f5.6. I can't use it on my 28-300 f3.5 because the maximum aperture drops to f8. (most camera AF drops out above f5.6)
     
  10. Loony

    Loony Member

    So if I put a TC on an F4 prime lens, the aperture would also drop to f8?
     
  11. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    If you put a 2x TC on an F4 lens then the aperture drops to F8.
    If you put a 1.4x TC on an F4 lens then the aperture drops to F5.6.

    When we had only 6Mp sensors then TCs were definitely worth while. Any decent lens designed for use with film gave a resolution, near the centre of the field, which exceeded the resolution of the sensor.
    Now that I am using a 20Mp APS-C (and you are using an 18Mp sensor) I am not convinced that we benefit from the converter unless we have a very fine lens.

    Budget zoom lenses are often weak towards the long end. If we can see that weakness on our own cameras then we are already getting everything that the lens has to offer. The TC would just enlarge blur. I would prefer to keep the improved aperture of the lens alone (or drop the aperture 1 stop from maximum for better lens resolution).

    Cropping may be better than using a TC.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2017
  12. Loony

    Loony Member

    So I would be ok using a 300mm f4 lens and a 1.4 TC, which would give 420mm?
     
  13. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    Yes, but it is only worth doing so if thecentral lens resolution is significantly better than the resolution of the sensor.
     
  14. Loony

    Loony Member

    Sry. haven't got the faintest idea what you mean!
     
  15. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    He's talking about how sharp the lens is and how many pixels the sensor has. If the lens isn't very sharp to begin with you're simply magnifying the unsharpness. Plus the teleconverter itself will introduce some unsharpness - the more it magnifies the more unsharpness. There's an argument that if you have a good sharp lens and a high pixel count it's better just to crop the image. You can only balance the options when you know how good the lens and the converter are and you need to take some pictures to find out. Individual specimens of both will vary.
     
    ChrisNewman and Learning like this.
  16. Loony

    Loony Member

    Thanks for your answer. As I'm sure you know, the 1300d has 18 mp. The canon 300 lens seems to have a good reputation, and apparently, is often used with a TC. Still seems to me to be very expensive to be putting on a "cheap" body.
     
  17. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Lenses are the most expensive part of photography if you go the interchangeable lens route. The camera is only recording what the lens produces. Technology changes quite quick for the cameras but in good light you'd have quite some struggle to tell the difference between a picture taken on your 1300 and on a 1Dx using the same lens. Generally the lenses greatly outlast the camera bodies.
     
    Learning likes this.
  18. Loony

    Loony Member

    Okay! Thanks for that. I'm considering a Sigma 150-600 at the moment.
     
  19. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    When we used film everyone was using the same range of films whatever the price of bodies.When digital came in then the the expensive bodies tended to have better sensors than less expensive bodies, but over the last two or three years manufactures have started to use similar sensors over a range of cameras at different price points. A modestly priced camera can make images that are exactly as good as the expensive models. The extra cost is for things like build quality, sophistication of the AF system, sophistication of the exposure system, speed of processor, high frame rate and so on. Just like in the film days an inexpensive body can make as good images as the expensive camera. Pairing a very expensive lens with an inexpensive body makes perfect sense if you require exceptional image quality but not all the bells and whistles of a professional body.
    Just one thing to beware. The light bodies sometimes do not have lens mounts which are as strong as on the professional bodies. If you hang a light body off the back of a heavy lens then pick the combination up by the lens. This is good practice even if using a professional body but is especially important with the light bodies.
     
  20. Loony

    Loony Member

    Very usefull information, thanks.
     

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