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12-23-2011, 05:15 PM   #31
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I don't disagree you can take bird shots with less than 300mm. This one was with a 28-105



The point is that these are rare, and it is the unusual catch that you get with something less than 300mm unless you have tame birds or spend a ton of time

12-23-2011, 06:42 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
it is the unusual catch that you get with something less than 300mm unless you have tame birds or spend a ton of time
True, I spend a great deal of time around the birds I photograph and that is one of the primary reasons why I am able to get so close to them. personally I think people do better wildlife photography when they have some understanding of the animals they are photographing. Instead of going through species like some hunters check-list, take your time get to know what they eat, their habits, the extent of their territories because you can use that knowledge to make the most of opportunities to capture imagery that tells a story.


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12-24-2011, 08:09 PM   #33
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My take on it is this, what Digitalis is saying about understanding bird behaviour is correct. Knowing what a bird is going to do is probably 70% of bird photography... The rest being camera settings and composition... However when you have limited time and opportunity then you need reach. Being that budgets are often restricted getting a good zoom is the most obvious choice... So having a zoom that allows you to get to 500mm is for me the easiest solution.
12-25-2011, 05:41 AM   #34
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I don't disagree with digitalis, but as Gordon correctly states many times you do not have the luxary of time. I agree that knowledge of behavior and habitat helps, but there are also physical limits that make a long lens a necessity. It is not a question of anything other than the optical formula I posted a few posts back. Unless you can get incredibly close there is no substitute for focal length.

When you look at my long options , at 2.7kg my tamron 200-500/5.6 is tripod bound. I like the lens and at 2.5 meter MFD it focuses very close for such a long lens. This is my take time lens. But I will, when using it have a second body with either a sigma 70-200/2.8 plus TC or my SMC 300/4 plus 1.7x AF. Converter both of which are hand holdae 400-500mm options, for what ever flys by.

12-25-2011, 12:19 PM   #35
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I could not agree more with Digitalis. Most of the time, I am in my back yard deck overlooking a small creek waiting for the birds to came to me. And they do. I found this way to me more relaxing to both birds and myself. Here an example taken yesterday, just in time for Christmas.



Merry Christmas everyone!

Demetri
12-26-2011, 07:07 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by demp10 Quote
I could not agree more with Digitalis. Most of the time, I am in my back yard deck overlooking a small creek waiting for the birds to came to me. And they do. I found this way to me more relaxing to both birds and myself. Here an example taken yesterday, just in time for Christmas.



Merry Christmas everyone!

Demetri
Happy holidays to you too.

The approach works for the common birds, and you do get great shots, but I find that it is much more challenging to get shots in nature, and eventually if you develop more interest, you want to get more species. That is where you start hunting. That is where length comes in. While the stalking can be frustrating in itself, I find that it he relaxation comes when you finish, because it is a means to forget everything else that is going on. You become so focused on what you are doing that you put everything else aside. The trek while stalking also does not hurt. I pack quite a lot when I go out, usually both long and medium teles because you never know what you get.
01-01-2012, 12:32 AM   #37
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It is also possible to use a 20mm lens to photograph birds....
Attached Images
 
01-01-2012, 02:39 PM   #38
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Yes and it's also possible with a 105mm but you don't start thinking luck

shot with the SMF FA 28-105 f4-5.6 (power zoom)



01-03-2012, 01:54 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
The approach works for the common birds, and you do get great shots, but I find that it is much more challenging to get shots in nature, and eventually if you develop more interest, you want to get more species. That is where you start hunting. That is where length comes in.
A bad hunter chases, a good hunter waits.
01-03-2012, 02:11 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
A bad hunter chases, a good hunter waits.
while that may be true, most opportunities generally happen by accident.

I could litterally wait years for something rare to come into my back yard.

you generally have to go out, and do a portion of stalking, and waiting.

Some times, you truely just happen upon things.

see the link below, taken this week

https://www.pentaxforums.com/gallery/images/1116/1__K5D0865a.JPG

this was the one and only shot I had at him, taken with a sigma 70-200/2.8 and 2x TC

he was at the end of my street, and while I have seen him (or another coopers hawk) in my yard once before, it is a very rare occasion. I do not know exactly where he lives relitive to hy house, and how far his range is, but clearly, I cannot set up and wait, in an urban area for him.

considering this is about 25% of the K5 frame, and is about as close as you can get, you can see the need for length. at the distance I shot, if this was a chickadee at 1/4 the height it would be an insignificant shot.

go back to my first post, and do the math.

image size = subject size x focal length / distance

this guy is about 400mm tall, compared to many smallbirds at 100 mm long.

while I often explain that getting close can be a low cost substitute for extreme focal length lenses, there is a practical limit
01-03-2012, 02:17 AM   #41
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QuoteQuote:
A bad hunter chases, a good hunter waits.
A bad hunter will chase, a good hunter will wait and a wise hunter will come prepared for every situation....

To the OP... as you can see there are lots of opinions and choices... my own choice with your budget is something like the Sigma 50-500 HSM... but ultimately get what you feel you are comfortable with and enjoy taking brilliant pictures with it!!
01-03-2012, 04:34 PM   #42
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Any focal length if you are familiar with birds or are just lucky (like me)

This was taken with a K20D and an old 200mm M42 manual Takumar

All sizes | Golden Eagle | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Last edited by fccwpe; 01-03-2012 at 04:34 PM. Reason: edited focal length
01-03-2012, 09:53 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
while that may be true, most opportunities generally happen by accident. I could litterally wait years for something rare to come into my back yard. you generally have to go out, and do a portion of stalking, and waiting. Some times, you truely just happen upon things. see the link below, taken this week
Nice image, but I personally do not consider that image sellable from a commercial standpoint - I have sold many of my images, because I planned them and if you will "designed" the image to appeal to my esthetic and hopefully the esthetic of the audience. My sigma 100-300mm f/4 has paid for itself several times over, how many of your lenses has done the same? The Nikkor 400mm f/2.8G ED VRII, Nikkor 200mm f/2G ED VR that I own have pretty much paid for themselves*, which is great considering I changed over from their Canon equivalents in 2009~08 - and in that short time I have practically recouped the expense of buying them in the first place. I know that recouping costs isn't exactly high on the list of priorities for the average hobbyist photographer, because they typically buy less expensive lenses** but for professionals it is very important.

*though I will admit the Nikkor 200mm f/2 ED VR is dragging its heels a bit, 200mm is a strange focal length on 35mm format its not too long and its not too short - but it does great for sports photography from the sidelines where the quick addition of a 2X teleconverter instantly changes it to a 400mm f/4, and the 400mm f/2.8 into a 800mm f/5.6 - with those two lenses I can almost cover the entire field, the nikkor 85mm f/1.4G fills in for the really close quarters work.

**though there are some overpaid morons that buy Leica cameras because they are "the best" and complain that lenses for rangefinders 135mm and longer are a basically non-existant.
01-04-2012, 05:53 AM   #44
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Digitalis planning images for reselling is a completely different topic. What we are discussing here is focal length needed to capture subjects of a certain size at a certain distance. As for the shot, I would never consider selling it, I w shooting back into the sun, at a low enough angle that the limited DOF has the center of the subject in focus but the head and tail are out of focus, the is purple fringing due to the lighting conditions, etc... The only way to get this bird any other way, would be a tree stand, which as I said is not a practical solution in an urban area.
01-05-2012, 11:29 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
I have sold many of my images
Tell us your secrets!
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