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01-16-2010, 09:58 AM   #1
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Will the DA 55-300mm be enough for shooting birds

The DA L 50-200mm @ 200mm is just to short for shooting birds. Will the DA 55-300mm be enough?

heres a sample photo @ 200mm resized no crop
How much is the difference of 100mm be? what will it look like if the shot was taken at 300mm?



01-16-2010, 10:00 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by rustynail925 Quote
The DA L 50-200mm @ 200mm is just to short for shooting birds. Will the DA 55-300mm be enough?

heres a sample photo @ 200mm resized no crop
How much is the difference of 100mm be? what will it look like if the shot was taken at 300mm?
It may not be enough if you don't camouflage yourself. I like DA* 300 f/4, because the images are sharp enough to be cropped.

All About Birds : Blending into the background
01-16-2010, 10:13 AM   #3
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For me 300mm is too short. I'll buy (when?) 150-500mm
01-16-2010, 10:21 AM   #4
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I started shooting birds on digital with a sigma APO 70-200 F2.8 EX and a 1.4x TC.

300mm is OK for some things, large herons etc, and BIF because it is hard to get closer track and focus and frame all at the same time.

I shoot now days with one of 2 combos for smaller birds or less approchable birds,

the same Sigma APO 70-200 F2.8 ex and a 2x Sigma TC or an SMC 300mmF4 and Pentax SMC-F 1.7x AF TC (500mm F6.7 equivelent).

I also use flash with both combos, *istD and TTL flash with the 300F4 and TC and any of my bodies and P-TTL flash with the Sigma.

01-16-2010, 10:23 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by MariusCTM Quote
For me 300mm is too short. I'll buy (when?) 150-500mm
That will be to heavy to carry and shoot handeld. the lighter the better
01-16-2010, 10:23 AM   #6
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300mm would be 50% closer than 200mm.

So, it would be 1.5x closer. Something like this (approximately)
01-16-2010, 10:38 AM   #7
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Thx for the measurement!
01-16-2010, 10:39 AM   #8
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Thx for that site asdf

01-16-2010, 12:34 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by rustynail925 Quote
The DA L 50-200mm @ 200mm is just to short for shooting birds. Will the DA 55-300mm be enough?
A general purpose birding lens will never be long enough; there'll always be a hummingbird fighting with a bumblebee just a little bit too far away.

On the other hand I find longer than 300 impossible to hand-hold - I got a 500:6.3 mirror lens figuring it is light enough to hold.

Yes it is light enough, but I'm way too shakey for it.

I think best might be a lightweight 300:2.8 - the speed is important because exposure times must be short for a long lens near dawn and dusk - but I'm guessing I couldn't handle the weight of a 2.8.

All in all I think the DA 55-300 is long enough. The lens is so good at the long end that you can enlarge by a factor of maybe 2, thereby increasing its effective length.
01-16-2010, 12:58 PM   #10
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300mm is a good start, not the optimal focal length but decent enough for the amateur/casual birder.
Getting more serious would see you going for a longer prime like a 400/4 or longer zoom like Sigma's offerings of 50-500 (Bigma), 120-400 or 150-500. Need money an some muscle to cart these around...
01-16-2010, 01:21 PM   #11
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The Bigma isn't all that heavy and quite easy to use hand held. The tripod mount is also a convenient hand grip.
While the DA 55-300 does provide excellent results the likelihood you'll want more lens is very likely.
01-16-2010, 02:25 PM   #12
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Coupl'a useful tips

QuoteOriginally posted by rustynail925 Quote
...what will it look like if the shot was taken at 300mm?
Here's a trick I've found useful over time to envision the FOV of tele lenses.
With your hand held at arm's length, a given focal length has an approximate angle of coverage as follows:

90-100mm = fist/entire width including thumb
135mm = four fingers
180-200mm = three fingers
300mm = two fingers
500mm = be verycareful here!

This is easy to 'calibrate' for yourself using a 70-300mm zoom lens.
(And less ostentatious than a beret and film director's view finder/monocular.)

And I'm growin' real fond of a Jobo Gorilla-pod for hand holding long or heavy lenses.
With two legs spread against my chest (even hooked in a pocket) and the third positioned near/over
my shoulder I'm finding it more comfortable and stable than the gun stock type supports.
Works with a Mamiya 645 as well as all my SLR bodies.

H2
01-16-2010, 02:32 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by xjjohnno Quote
The Bigma isn't all that heavy and quite easy to use hand held. The tripod mount is also a convenient hand grip.
While the DA 55-300 does provide excellent results the likelihood you'll want more lens is very likely.

Agreed. I have wondered around airshows for 6 hours at a time wjth my 150-500, no problems.
01-16-2010, 04:36 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by MariusCTM Quote
For me 300mm is too short.
Me, too--but a good 300mm + TC combo can be very effective.
01-16-2010, 05:35 PM   #15
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Yes...

If you get close enough, have lots of light, and the bird stands still.

Cheers...
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