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Old Mar 1, 2006, 8:22 PM   #1
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For those of you who shoot birds regularly, what's the minimum focal length you would recommend, and what would be ideal. I'm using a 20D with the 1.6 crop factor and I have a 2x extender.
Ron

Edit to add I'm mostly interested in larger birds - raptors and "fishers" like herons.
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Old Mar 1, 2006, 10:10 PM   #2
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400mm: http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=11

600mm: http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=11


-> a 120mm would do it too (if you're discreet): :lol: :-) :G


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Old Mar 2, 2006, 10:56 AM   #3
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Forget the crop factor and forget the 2xTC unless you plan to shoot with expensive super-teles and even then I wouldn't recommend using 2xTC all the time.

You need min of 400mm unless you in florida.
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Old Mar 2, 2006, 11:27 AM   #4
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If you're into outdoor 'portrait' it's also a 300mm f/2.8 here in Maryland:




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Old Mar 2, 2006, 12:41 PM   #5
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I poke around with a 120-300 F2.8 and 1.4x & 2x matched teleconverters.
Gives me an 300 F2.8, a 420 F4 and 600 F5.6.

The 120-300 f2.8 makes a great portrait lens once you get used to it, and I can't justify spending the cash on a dedicated 400mm/500mm/600mm f4 for personal hobby use.

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Old Mar 2, 2006, 12:50 PM   #6
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PeterP wrote:
Quote:
I poke around with a 120-300 F2.8 and 1.4x & 2x matched teleconverters...
Me too, the 120-300 f/2.8 EX with a 2x extender @ 1/750s:








Quote:
I can't justify spending the cash on a dedicated 400mm/500mm/600mm f4 for personal hobby use
That's not my only issue - I can't handhold any them !!!
I need to workout at the gym first, and then I need to get a sturdy tripod... or may be some gymbal/ball head to track theses flying babies... It sounds more like work to me than a hobby! :?
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Old Mar 2, 2006, 2:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
The 120-300 f2.8 makes a great portrait lens once you get used to it
... I believe some other folk will agree with you as well: http://photo.net/photo/nikon/300-2.8.html

-> The DOF on a 300mm f/2.8 is shallower than my 85mm f/1.2L still! :shock:
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Old Mar 2, 2006, 8:06 PM   #8
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Thanx all for the responses. The reason I asked this question is that I'm planning on getting a long lens this spring. I'm looking at the Sigma 80-400, the "bigma", (50-500), and maybe the Canon 100-400L. The extra $400 may be a big problem with the Canon though. With the crop factor and the 2x converter, it looks like a lot of mm. :shock::G:?:blah:
I didn't mention the lenses I'm considering as they have all been discussed before, although I wouldn't mind comments now taking into consideration how I plan to use it.

Thanx,
Ron

PS: I wouldn't use the 2x all the time, but it could make some otherwise impossible shots possible.

Edit to add: great photos guys -I should have said so earlier, but thinking more about the topic. :roll:
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Old Mar 3, 2006, 12:59 AM   #9
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With a 20D and all of those lens choices you would be giving up autofocus with a 2x TC. The 20D firmware ends AF at F5.6.

The Bigma is a good lens, lot of people used it to get started in birding. :!:

Given the choice of Canon 100-400L IS and Sigma 80-400 OS I'd pick the Canon because the Sigma does not have the fast ultrasonic focus motor. IMHO Big mistake on Sigmas part on an otherwise very good lens.
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Old Mar 3, 2006, 6:40 AM   #10
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I probably get a Bigma if I don't already have the 120-300 f/2.8 EX which get me to 600mm with a 2x TC and sitll maintains focus: http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=11

1. You always want more reach
2. Your lens is never long enough... :-)
3. f/6.3 is only 1/3 stop off from f/5.6 - I bet you can't tell the difference (the camera can't) :G
4. The Bigma is light as compared to the alternative for this kind of reach :roll:
5. People 'want' IS/OS more than they really need <- It comes for free on my 100-400L but I seldom rely on it :idea:

How about a Sigmonster anyone up for it??? :ak47:

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