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Wildlife lens choice for R7

  
 
chez
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Wildlife lens choice for R7


molson wrote:
I think the rules here are the boats (Zodiacs) can't come any closer than 100m from the whales, so I assume a longer lens would be more useful.

I'll be taking my Z8 and 180-600mm zoom, but Nikon doesn't have anything like the R7 in their system.


Cliff, I believe it is 400 metres in the southern waters, anything south of Campbell River and Uclulet, and 200 metres everywhere else. This is for orcas.



Feb 11, 2024 at 08:18 PM
molson
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Wildlife lens choice for R7


chez wrote:
Cliff, I believe it is 400 metres in the southern waters, anything south of Campbell River and Uclulet, and 200 metres everywhere else. This is for orcas.


I've seen the whale watching boats out of Nanaimo get a lot closer than that. If the limit is really 400m, it would be pretty pointless to go out on the boat.

Edit: I see the new distance rules only came into effect last summer.



Feb 11, 2024 at 08:25 PM
Imagemaster
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Wildlife lens choice for R7


400m is just fine for photographing whales.

Stay 400 m away and do not position a vessel in the path of killer whales in all southern B.C. coastal waters between Campbell River and just north of Ucluelet as per the Interim Order enacted under the Canada Shipping Act. The Marine Mammal Regulations are in effect year-round.






  E-M1MarkIII    OLYMPUS M.100-400mm F5.0-6.3 lens    400mm    f/6.7    1/2000s    3200 ISO    +1.5 EV  




Feb 11, 2024 at 11:20 PM
StephenS_CP
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Wildlife lens choice for R7


And there's nothing that says the whale must stay a minimum distance from you.

EOS 5DSr+ EF 100-400 II, focal length 140mm, cropped to about 80% of the frame

Orca Up Close by Stephen Shoff, on Flickr



Feb 12, 2024 at 01:00 AM
jaredmizanin
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Wildlife lens choice for R7


There really are no options that tick all your boxes of low weight, fast aperture, and relatively inexpensive. Something has to give. If you can deal with the weight, a Canon EF 500/4 IS would take your photos to a new level. Works very well with a 1.4x II or III.

The 200-800 is a good compromise between weight, reach, and price. Not sure on IQ as I've never owned one...

Another 100-500? Maybe, but if she is willing to share (a big if!) I would get something else.

Someone mentioned a Canon 400 DO II- I own this lens and it works very well with the 1.4x III but it is about $1000 more expensive than the 500/4 with less reach. Not sure the size/weight savings are worth the loss of reach and extra $$$.

Other options to look at might include Canon 500/4.5 non-Is, Canon 400/5.6, 400 DO version I, or one of the third-party zooms.



Feb 12, 2024 at 08:02 AM
Jeff Nolten
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Wildlife lens choice for R7


molson wrote:
I think the rules here are the boats (Zodiacs) can't come any closer than 100m from the whales, so I assume a longer lens would be more useful.

I'll be taking my Z8 and 180-600mm zoom, but Nikon doesn't have anything like the R7 in their system.


Don't know the rules in Mexican waters, I assume Lindblad is pretty conservative. But again, there are no rules about how close the whales come to you. We had a "friendly" that visited four different pangas coming close enough and staying so we could all pet him/her. One of the panga drivers actually kissed the whale and was dancing and singing the rest of the outing. But we also spent hours just sitting there watching a few spouts in the distance. IM's orca shot is amazing and rare.

Reviewing our whale keepers, I used the full range of my 100-500 and my wife was between 100 and 150 (160-240) for her shots. She only briefly used the 100-400 saying it made her sea sick being zoomed in that far. Your 180-600 should give you ample coverage.

Edit: I'll add that I was disappointed that we stayed so far away from the orcas on our Alaska small ship cruise a few years back.

Edited on Feb 12, 2024 at 10:32 AM · View previous versions



Feb 12, 2024 at 10:27 AM
 


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molson
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Wildlife lens choice for R7


jaredmizanin wrote:
There really are no options that tick all your boxes of low weight, fast aperture, and relatively inexpensive. Something has to give. If you can deal with the weight, a Canon EF 500/4 IS would take your photos to a new level. Works very well with a 1.4x II or III.

The 200-800 is a good compromise between weight, reach, and price. Not sure on IQ as I've never owned one...

Another 100-500? Maybe, but if she is willing to share (a big if!) I would get something else.

Someone mentioned a Canon 400 DO II- I own this lens and it
...Show more

Thanks for the suggestions, but the RF 100-400 is already about as much weight as she's interested in carrying. Otherwise I would just pick up a Tamron 150-600 and put it on one of my Nikon bodies for her to use.



Feb 12, 2024 at 10:30 AM
molson
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Wildlife lens choice for R7


Imagemaster wrote:
400m is just fine for photographing whales.



Thanks, Tony. I was concerned about the distance more in terms of how much atmospheric distortion one might have to deal with. I suppose that depends a lot on the weather.



Feb 12, 2024 at 10:32 AM
molson
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Wildlife lens choice for R7


Jeff Nolten wrote:
Reviewing our whale keepers, I used the full range of my 100-500 and my wife was between 100 and 150 (160-240) for her shots. She only briefly used the 100-400 saying it made her sea sick being zoomed in that far.


I hadn't considered seasickness. It never bothers me, but she doesn't handle it very well, and I imagine riding in a Zodiac can potentially get a little bumpy.



Feb 12, 2024 at 10:37 AM
Jeff Nolten
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Wildlife lens choice for R7


Yes, the pangas certainly were since the grays were hanging out near the entrances to the protected bays. Still, except for the thunder shower, we stayed dry. We only used the Zodiacs in the mangroves, much calmer. In Mexico only licensed local panga drivers are allowed to approach whales, the ship's Zodiacs were used for other purposes.


Feb 12, 2024 at 10:53 AM
Imagemaster
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Wildlife lens choice for R7


I would never take a long prime lens on a whale-watching tour (in the Pacific Northwest) where you are in a Zodiac. Try holding a 500 f4 when the Zodiac is bobbing up and down in choppy water, and trying to get and keep the whale in your viewfinder with other passengers' heads in your way. Try getting any decent shot when a whale surfaces very close to your boat with a super-telephoto lens.

The most difficult part of getting 'the shot' is that you have no idea where a whale will surface. When it does surface, by the time you get it in your viewfinder it is already diving under. If you are lucky, you will see a pod that is playing on the surface rather than diving. Humpbacks are even harder to photograph breaching as once they dive, they can stay under water for five minutes and surface miles away from where you last saw them.

Local tours here also require you to wear one of their full-body survival suits. One should always check weather forecast first. You don't want a windy or wet day. An hour ride back to base in a Zodiac through high choppy water where you have to hold on with both hands and keep your head down is not pleasant and can be hard on your back.



Feb 12, 2024 at 11:04 AM
jaredmizanin
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Wildlife lens choice for R7


Thanks for the suggestions, but the RF 100-400 is already about as much weight as she's interested in carrying. Otherwise I would just pick up a Tamron 150-600 and put it on one of my Nikon bodies for her to use.

I was actually responding to the original poster @robbyphoto; it seems we have two separate inquiries going on here. I have no comment on whale-watching as I have no experience there.




Feb 12, 2024 at 07:47 PM
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