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10-22-2008, 01:49 PM   #1
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Long range lens suggestion

I feel myself going more and more to the extreme range in both wide end and the telephoto side, I am into nature landscape and always want to take pictures of wild animals.

Anyone could suggest some cheaper long telephoto lens? are TC a good solution?
And anyone could give me some pointer for shooting wildlife photography would be great

Thanks!

10-22-2008, 02:03 PM   #2
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define cheap?

How much do you want to spend?

I have many different ways to get to between 350 and 500mm.

Sigma APO 70-200 F2.8 EX plus 1.4x and 2X sigma TCs. Quality is excellent, price, while it is definitely not cheap.

SMC 300mm F4 plus Pentax 1.7x AF TC about 1/2 the cost of above, but not as good. Still capable of good shots but simply not as good as above, and sufferes from chromeric abborations in out of focus areas. ALso, this is a 500mm Combo, at F6.7

Vivitar Series 1 70-210 F3.5 plus the AF TC above. The lens is very sharp and focuses well with the AF TC, but it is F5.6 and only gets to 350mm.

Vivitar 400mm F5.6 Manual Focus, multi coated. These go cheap, $100-$200. Biggest drawbacks are minimum focus of 22 feet, which is not good for small birds, and is very slow to focus.

Look around the sigma is the best but you have to pay for it.
10-22-2008, 02:42 PM   #3
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If you want a modern lens, and want to keep things relatively inexensive, the Tamron and Sigma 70-20 are good options. The Bigma is of course anothe choice, at around 1k.
If you want to go into used and manual stuff, the Vivitar series 1 70-210 is an excellent alternative, and goes for less than 100$ if you don't want the version with the A mode. Otherwise, older FA* could be an option.
10-22-2008, 07:16 PM   #4
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In addition to the suggestions if you can find a used Tokina AT-X 400mm f/5.6 I highly recommend one. One just old on ebay the other day for $475 which is worth it IMO. If your interested in samples checkout my Birds and Alaska galleries on pbase (see link in sig).


John

10-22-2008, 07:37 PM   #5
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Sigma 100-300 with a Sigma TC
10-22-2008, 10:50 PM   #6
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Doh~ Thanks for everyone's reply I will keep my eyes on them. another question, anyone has some exp with Mitsuki 400mm?


QuoteOriginally posted by palmor Quote
In addition to the suggestions if you can find a used Tokina AT-X 400mm f/5.6 I highly recommend one. One just old on ebay the other day for $475 which is worth it IMO. If your interested in samples checkout my Birds and Alaska galleries on pbase (see link in sig).


John
10-23-2008, 03:55 AM   #7
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Another one - Pentax A 400mm F/5.6 - if you don't mind manual focus (but exposure is auto).
It's big (28cm long) and heavy (1.2kg), but still possible to use handheld (in good light).
IQ is great

In UK they go for 300-400 (mint condition). No idea how much they are in Canada.
10-23-2008, 07:43 AM   #8
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Thanks guys for all the great information. :0

I am thinking about $600.. 1k is too deep for me right now, but I guess I can keep saving hehe It is not like it is in rush or something

10-23-2008, 12:18 PM   #9
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Just remember, although technology has forced me through 5 bbodies to date, 3 film and 2 digital, I still have every lens I ever bought.

lenses tend to outlive cameras by a good margin, therefore things that look expensive now really are not that bad over their life, and it beats changing every few years.

If you want a good bargin, now that new HSM sigmas and tamrons are available the origonal sigma APO 70-200 F2.8 EX (which I won and works just fine thank you very much) might fall in price and be the best thing going.

Check the market place
10-23-2008, 06:58 PM   #10
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Thanks Lowell, that's very true indeed. I will keep that in mind, I guess it is better to get a better one than cheap out now, then end up using even more money.


QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Just remember, although technology has forced me through 5 bbodies to date, 3 film and 2 digital, I still have every lens I ever bought.

lenses tend to outlive cameras by a good margin, therefore things that look expensive now really are not that bad over their life, and it beats changing every few years.

If you want a good bargin, now that new HSM sigmas and tamrons are available the origonal sigma APO 70-200 F2.8 EX (which I won and works just fine thank you very much) might fall in price and be the best thing going.

Check the market place
10-23-2008, 08:20 PM   #11
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I'd agree with Lowell. Vic, another consideration is the FA*300mm f4.5 or the DA* 300mm f4. Both around the $1K range. Consider that we are coming to winter now and you'll feel less need for a long lens. Save over the winter and get one in March or April just as the birds are coming home. As you know I have the FA* and love the lens. Have a look at this weeks POTW to see what this lens can do. I use it with the Pentax 1.7 TC and the Tamron 1.4 TC and get excellent results.
10-24-2008, 02:51 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by vizjerei Quote
I feel myself going more and more to the extreme range in both wide end and the telephoto side, I am into nature landscape and always want to take pictures of wild animals.

Anyone could suggest some cheaper long telephoto lens? are TC a good solution?
And anyone could give me some pointer for shooting wildlife photography would be great

Thanks!
I do mostly pics of fast moving small passerines in their natural habitat.

Based on my experience I have found that about 15x (500mm FL) is the minimum and I often need much more. You may be able to get by with less if you were willing to restrict yourself to large raptors and waders relatively close in. I suppose you could set yourself up in a stationary blind and wait for something to come close by but I'm just not that patient.

I have found somewhere around 25x (800mm or more) is about right for my kind of photography.

Something to think about.
10-24-2008, 06:26 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
I'd agree with Lowell. Vic, another consideration is the FA*300mm f4.5 or the DA* 300mm f4. Both around the $1K range. Consider that we are coming to winter now and you'll feel less need for a long lens. Save over the winter and get one in March or April just as the birds are coming home. As you know I have the FA* and love the lens. Have a look at this weeks POTW to see what this lens can do. I use it with the Pentax 1.7 TC and the Tamron 1.4 TC and get excellent results.
Oh yes, I used it and I love it. Arg~ need more money~ So when it used the 1.7TC on it become f6.8, is it?

QuoteOriginally posted by wildman Quote
I do mostly pics of fast moving small passerines in their natural habitat.

Based on my experience I have found that about 15x (500mm FL) is the minimum and I often need much more. You may be able to get by with less if you were willing to restrict yourself to large raptors and waders relatively close in. I suppose you could set yourself up in a stationary blind and wait for something to come close by but I'm just not that patient.

I have found somewhere around 25x (800mm or more) is about right for my kind of photography.

Something to think about.
Oh boy.. 800mm how can you carry it around? actually I was thinking getting that Ameristep Chair Blind. But that of course comes only after the lens. btw, do you have some photos online, I would love to check them out
10-24-2008, 09:22 AM   #14
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"Oh boy.. 800mm how can you carry it around? actually I was thinking getting that Ameristep Chair Blind. But that of course comes only after the lens. btw, do you have some photos online, I would love to check them out "

At these powers I always use a tripod.

I added some pics to my photo gallery check it out

Wildman
10-24-2008, 10:19 AM   #15
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Wildman~ you are the one who use those Pentax spotter, correct? how do you connect those to DSLR? I see there is a Pentax Camera Adapter for those spotter and it gave a fixed aperture of F12, right?
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