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Old Feb 19, 2010, 5:38 PM   #11
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I do want reach but I'm not prepared to spend alot at this juncture. I am open to ideas though and maybe could swing a little more cash but I prefer to stick in the $500 range.

With that said I will mostly shoot back yard birds and go walking in the woods looking for wildlife. Iím really leaning toward the cannon as I feel it will be a good start but at the same time I donít want to have to buy a longer reach in the future.

John... those are really nice shots. What distance were you from the surfer and the bird so I can gauge the reach you used?
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Old Feb 19, 2010, 6:00 PM   #12
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Simtech,

The lenses in your budget, the canon ef 70-300 will be the best, have not seen any reviews on the sigma 70-300 HSM OS. All other will be 3x as much. And allot heavier. Not suite for walking around with IMHO.

I think the back yard bird it will depend on the distance your subject is. Here is an example why the 300mm will be short for birds. It was taken with my ef 70-300 IS USM. At 300mm, the little feller was about 70-90 ft away up in the tree. So if bird are your big thing, you will want something like the Bigma. But if you are looking at deers and other wildlife that are much bigger, then the ef 70-300 range will be fine.
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Old Feb 19, 2010, 6:14 PM   #13
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Here is an example with a small guy much closer about 30 feet at 250mm. So it really depends on how far your subject is with a small bird.
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Old Feb 19, 2010, 6:26 PM   #14
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But there is another option, you can always add a TC down the line, a 1.4x or 2x form canon. You will lose a full f stop. But if you are shooting birds on a sunny day, it may not be an issue. It will give you the range of 600mm with the 2X. But I do not shoot TC, maybe some out there will have more info on TC shooting.
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Old Feb 19, 2010, 11:16 PM   #15
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Here is an example of the 300 at 300mm with a larger subject, it was about 200ft way.
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Old Feb 20, 2010, 4:18 AM   #16
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The thing that people don't realise with birds, is that it really doesn't matter how much money you spend, you still have to get CLOSE for small birds.

Now sometimes birds will be happy with you 5m away and scatter at 3m. So that's where a 500mm lens comes in handy. But some birds are equally skittish at 5m or 3m. At that point you need to get in a hide of some sort and the extra portability and smaller size of 300mm may in fact make it a better lens than a big 500mm. So it depends on a whole lot of factors. You need to speak to people who are taking pictures of the kind of animals, and sometimes even the species you are interested in.

But the obvious point is that a Moose or an Elephant is thousands of times bigger than a swallow. So there is not a single lens that is good for "wildlife".
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Old Feb 20, 2010, 4:36 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shoturtle View Post
But there is another option, you can always add a TC down the line, a 1.4x or 2x form canon. You will lose a full f stop. But if you are shooting birds on a sunny day, it may not be an issue. It will give you the range of 600mm with the 2X. ...
The problem with using a teleconverter is that autofocus systems stop working when the maximum aperture reaches f/8. When you put a 1.4X TC on a 70-300mm f4/.5-5.6 lens, it becomes a 100-420mm f/6.3-8.0, which means it will stop autofocusing when you zoom out past about 300mm. And with a 2X TC, it'll be a 140-600mm f/9-11, so it will never autofocus.
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Old Feb 20, 2010, 4:37 AM   #18
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Quote:
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But the obvious point is that a Moose or an Elephant is thousands of times bigger than a swallow. So there is not a single lens that is good for "wildlife".
I don't know Craig, I think the Sigma 200-500mm f2.8 should do the trick with its dedicated 2x TC so you have a lovely 1000mm f5.6

Hmmmm, what was the OPs budget again??
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Old Feb 20, 2010, 5:00 AM   #19
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But the problem is that you need a 50kg tripod to support it and 3 sherpas to help carry it. Sometimes that can disturb the local wildlife.
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Old Feb 20, 2010, 5:12 AM   #20
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Just strap it to onto a fixed tripod on the back or a landrover or similar, I imagine it a bit like a machine gun in the WW2 films LOL.

OK, so apart from the cost and the weight we have the perfect solution.
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