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Archive 2012 · Wildlife Lens Choose
  
 
oldrattler
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Wildlife Lens Choose


uz2work wrote:
You are going to get a wide range of opinions on this one, and, because the choice depends on so many personal factors, any one of a number of choices could be very valid.

Among the factors that could influence the choice are what subjects you want to shoot, where you will be shooting, how close you are able to approach your subjects, and, very important, what kind of pictures, framing, and composition have visual appeal to you.

About a year ago, I posted an article on my website that speaks to some of these issues, and I regularly get
...Show more


Thank you for the link...



Sep 05, 2012 at 05:51 PM
uz2work
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Wildlife Lens Choose


galenapass wrote:
I've read a lot of Les's posts and I think that he likes the mobility of a smaller lens coupled with a crop camera. The combination is a balance between reach and portability. That's my impression but - of course - Les should speak for himself.



Your assessment of my situation, needs, and preferences is absolutely correct. As I said in my post above, I love being able to use the 400D with either body, and, even with the 7D, 400 mm still gives a fairly wide field of view with most subjects, but it allows me to put lots of pixels on the subject while still allowing me to use a lens that weighs half as much (or less) than the lens that I'd have to be using if I were shooting with a FF camera.

Les



Sep 05, 2012 at 05:56 PM
bipock
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Wildlife Lens Choose


I went for the 400 2.8 IS for the same shooting you are asking about. Coupled with a 1.4x, there is virtually no loss in IQ or AF that I can tell. With the 2x, AF slows and IQ takes a slight hit bu nothing you can't fix. Do the math and you have 400 2.8, 560 4.0 and 800 5.6 (without any sensor crop). Flexibility was key to me and I thikn this accomplished it.

Would be interested to know how you came up with your 100 yard limitation though. That's going to be alot of sitting and waiting. And is the one downfall of the 400 - weight. I'd still choose it though.



Sep 05, 2012 at 05:56 PM
thedutt
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Wildlife Lens Choose


Ultimate flexibility :400 f2.8 is ii + extenders
Value flexibility : 300 f2.8 is + extenders
Optimal useability :500 is ii

With canon super tele its hard to go wrong. Just be prepared to keep working on technique a d strategy on how to get what you want from wildlife and gear.



Sep 05, 2012 at 05:58 PM
oldrattler
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Wildlife Lens Choose


Lars Johnsson wrote:
How close to the animals are you most of the time when shooting? Are you using tripod and gimbal head? Or monopod, handheld?
How important is the cost of the lens?


Lars; I use a portable blind setup within 50 yards of a game trail, watering hole, wallow, etc... I use a gimbal, on a Feisol 3371... I frequently use a car blind in National / State Parks... I am a semi-pro, meaning I sell some... Frequently print at 20 X 30... Cost is a factor but not the most important... Thanks, Jim



Sep 05, 2012 at 05:58 PM
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Wildlife Lens Choose


Allan Bruce wrote:
To have the 400/5.6 and 800/5.6 in the same poll seems a bit odd. What is your budget?


From my understanding the 400 5.6 is an exceptional lens for BIF, hence, I assumed, acceptable for wildlife... My budget is secondary, Quality and performance are first... Jim



Sep 05, 2012 at 06:01 PM
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Wildlife Lens Choose


Psychic1 wrote:
Deer, Elk and Moose are active at dawn and dusk and the 400L 2.8 is the only logical choise even if you are shooting the 1DX.


I have rented the 400 2.8 and found it to be an amazing lens... Thank you, Jim



Sep 05, 2012 at 06:03 PM
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Wildlife Lens Choose


Gary Irwin wrote:
Without knowing more about your shooting environment it's hard to make a specific recommendation, but if I had to guess it sounds like ranges to wild beasts are long down your way (Texas), so I'd lean towards the 600...which isnt all that long on a 1.3 cropper, and the f4 will come in handy at dusk/dawn. If you can get closer the 500 or 400/2.8 might be good considerations...but nothing shorter.


Thank you Gary... I seldom photograph wild animals in Texas as most land is private... Owners are not shy in asking "Trespass fee's"... Usually shoot in State and National parks where game is more accustom to human traffic... I have used the 300 2.8, 400 2.8 and the 500 4... All are amazing... Thank you, Jim



Sep 05, 2012 at 06:09 PM
uz2work
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Wildlife Lens Choose


I'll add one more point to what I've already said. I find that, virtually every time I go out to shoot and regardless of which lens and which camera body I am using, there are going to be some times during the shooting session when a bit more focal length would be nice and other times when a bit less focal length would be nice. If I'm using my 400 DO on the 1D Mark IV with an effective field of view of 520 mm, I'll still get some very close up shot opportunities. On the other hand, if I'm using my 500 with a 1.4x on the 7D with an effective field of view of 1120 mm there will still be times when the subject will be very small in the frame.

Since I know that I'm going to get opportunities that range from very tight shots to ones with a very wide field of view regardless of which lens I use, that is why other factors, such as size, weight, maximum aperture, etc. tend to weigh heavier on my decisions as to which equipment I choose to use.

Les



Sep 05, 2012 at 06:13 PM
oldrattler
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Wildlife Lens Choose


galenapass wrote:
I've read a lot of Les's posts and I think that he likes the mobility of a smaller lens coupled with a crop camera. The combination is a balance between reach and portability. That's my impression but - of course - Les should speak for himself.

in answer to the OP's question, having tried a lot of different long lenses I have settled on the 500mm f/4 IS but I also shoot birds primarily. You could start with a 400mm f/5.6 and if that is too short move up. Regardless the 400mm is a good lens to have on hand to
...Show more


Thank you Mike... I had the 400 5.6 for a while and it was very nice... Got and opportunity to trade for 2 lens I wanted and it was gone... I have since used the 300 2.8, 400 2.8, and the 500 4... It seems most prefer the 500 over the larger, more expensive 600 / 800... I will probably go that way... Jim



Sep 05, 2012 at 06:15 PM
 

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oldrattler
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Wildlife Lens Choose


mco_970 wrote:
I picked 400/2.8 because you have chosen larger wildlife, and f/2.8 gives you a lot of options for shooting at wider aperture, adding a TC, etc. It is the lens I wish I had for that type of shooting.


Michelle, I have spent a lot of time around Pagosa Springs, & Cortez so I envy your home-base... The 400 was one of the best I have ever tried, but left me wanting more... In close I loved it, but at longer distances I was doing a lot of cropping... My choses are down to the 400 2.8 and the 500 4 (as of this point in time) thanks, Jim



Sep 05, 2012 at 06:20 PM
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Wildlife Lens Choose


JEFFERY Z71 wrote:
500 f4 is a good all round wildlife lens. The 400 f5.6 is a small wonder if their is enough light.

Thank you...



Sep 05, 2012 at 06:21 PM
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Wildlife Lens Choose


abqnmusa wrote:
Given lens pricing; you have to be rich these days to be a wildlife shooter.

all of the Canon L super-teles are not affordable.
the 400 f5.6 & 100-400 zoom are the only affordable lenses on the list.

I use a 400mm F5.6 & 300mm F4 IS with success.
Most of my nature shooting is done hiking so smaller package and weight works out well.

I use non-reporting tele-converters with the 5D III
300mm f4 IS with 2X
400mm F5.6 with 1.4X
results have been good when light is sufficient.

related link:
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1138371/0?keyword=f8#10865045


Thank you for the feedback...



Sep 05, 2012 at 06:23 PM
oldrattler
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Wildlife Lens Choose


mco_970 wrote:
500/4.5 is affordable. It's older, but I think that just makes it 'distinguished'. (Hey, it works for Clooney).


I have never tried a 500 4.5... How does it compare IQ wise ??



Sep 05, 2012 at 06:24 PM
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Wildlife Lens Choose


jasonsim wrote:
I think on a 7D the 300mm f/2.8L II will be enough. Especially coupled with 1.4x III and 2x III (if needed). Like others have said, it depends on how close you can get to your subjects. The only reason I have a 500mm and now an 800mm is for birds and I want to start using my 5D III for that too.

You might also think about the framing of your subjects. Do you want more environment showing, full bodies, or tight portraits (faces).

My choices, purely because you have crop bodies and shooting big game:

1. 300mm f/2.8L II IS
Just
...Show more

Jason; thank you... I have a 300 2.8 I keep mounted on the 7D while working with the "Rented" lens... Your summary is very helpful... Jim



Sep 05, 2012 at 06:27 PM
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Wildlife Lens Choose


PetKal wrote:
1DMkIV + 500 f/4 IS MkI (and 1.4xTC MkIII in your bag), that seems to be universally acclaimed set up, well priced compared to the MkII lenses, and tolerably heavy for many folks.

You could go with a lighter lens and/or camera, but you will lose quality and/or keeper rate.
If you go longer, the price goes up and the set portability becomes a concern.

Whatever you do, I'd suggest avoiding 400 DO unless (a) easy handholding is a paramount concern of yours and (b) your targets are close and large.


That seems to be the consensus... Thank you...



Sep 05, 2012 at 06:29 PM
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · Wildlife Lens Choose


Tenn.Jer wrote:
I currently own two of your choices, and have owned and sold two others.
I use the 500 f/4 I for birds, for most shooting from the vehicle, and for almost all my winter time work from camo blinds. You just can't beat it for sharpness, reach, convenience...on and on...
In the warmer months, I do more wandering in the woods, and a lot of paddling in a kayak. Then, I usually shoot with a 400 DO; it is smaller and weighs less than the 300 2.8, so is easily carried (on a Cotton Carrier, sometimes hooked into my belt by the
...Show more

Thanks Jerry... I own the 300 2.8 and love it... I have rented the 400 2.8 and currently the 500 4... I absolutely fell in love with the 400 2.8... I then fell in love with the 500 4... I thought about renting the 600 but there is only so much love to share... My wife suggest jumping the rental of the 600 and get the 800... She believes that one will break my back and I will be done with "Big Lust"... Thank you, Jim



Sep 05, 2012 at 06:37 PM
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · Wildlife Lens Choose


bipock wrote:
I went for the 400 2.8 IS for the same shooting you are asking about. Coupled with a 1.4x, there is virtually no loss in IQ or AF that I can tell. With the 2x, AF slows and IQ takes a slight hit bu nothing you can't fix. Do the math and you have 400 2.8, 560 4.0 and 800 5.6 (without any sensor crop). Flexibility was key to me and I thikn this accomplished it.

Would be interested to know how you came up with your 100 yard limitation though. That's going to be alot of sitting and waiting. And
...Show more

Thank you... That is an arbitrary number that is extremely flexible... This week I have been so close to game I can not focus the 500 4 and so far away that a Deer looks like a small dog... I normally scout the area before taking the camera out, or I go to areas previously scouted... This saves a bunch of sore muscles... I am considering the 400 2.8 strongly... Jim



Sep 05, 2012 at 06:43 PM
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · Wildlife Lens Choose


oldrattler wrote:
I have never tried a 500 4.5... How does it compare IQ wise ??


IMO 500 is sharper wide open, and at 4.5, with things evening out beyond that, IMO IMO IMO.

If you have budget for the 500/4 I or II, I'd go that route for sure.



Sep 05, 2012 at 06:45 PM
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · Wildlife Lens Choose


uz2work wrote:
I'll add one more point to what I've already said. I find that, virtually every time I go out to shoot and regardless of which lens and which camera body I am using, there are going to be some times during the shooting session when a bit more focal length would be nice and other times when a bit less focal length would be nice. If I'm using my 400 DO on the 1D Mark IV with an effective field of view of 520 mm, I'll still get some very close up shot opportunities. On the other hand, if I'm
...Show more

Les, your post have made a lot of sense... Thank you for joining the discussion... Jim



Sep 05, 2012 at 06:46 PM
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