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Old Jul 28, 2007, 9:21 PM   #31
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Hi fldspringer
Knowing a few birders I think I can answer for peripatetic, at least partially.
You can see the results of people using the equipment I list below at
http://www.naturescapes.net/phpBB2/index.php

The equipment many of these serious birders use include a
500 f/4 IS ( about 7500$us) or a 600 f/4 IS ( about 9300$us) lens for both canon and nikon.
Very fast pro bodies like the 1d-mkIII (5400$us body)
A tripod like the Gitzo Mountaineer (780$us)
with a wimberly head (590$us)
1.4x and 2x teleconverters (about 400$us each)

The basic pro level birding kit totals 15000$ to 17000$ depending on the lens chosen, and this only includes 1 body. I don't know anyone who goes into the field without backups.

Admittedly this kind of equipment is mainly only for the pros or very serious armatures who can somehow justify this kind of cash outlay.

:?I also don't know anyone using the Canon EF 1200 f/5.6, that lens clocks in at around 75,000$us if you can find it. :?

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Old Jul 29, 2007, 12:30 PM   #32
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Wow, something is wacked out about the reply function. I erased the whole reply and will try later to see if they get it straightened out.
[quote]Sorry
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Old Jul 29, 2007, 12:56 PM   #33
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PeterP wrote:
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The basic pro level birding kit totals 15000$ to 17000$ depending on the lens chosen, and this only includes 1 body. I don't know anyone who goes into the field without backups.
And as much as we all wish it weren't the case - pro level equipment does indeed make a big difference. Not saying you need it to get half-way decent results. Don't get me wrong. But it does make a difference. Focus speed and accuracy is greatly improved with pro camera bodies. Pro level lenses also allow for greater speed, finer detail at long focal lengths, better bokeh and better color.
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Old Jul 29, 2007, 11:02 PM   #34
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JohnG wrote:
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PeterP wrote:
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The basic pro level birding kit totals 15000$ to 17000$ depending on the lens chosen, and this only includes 1 body. I don't know anyone who goes into the field without backups.
And as much as we all wish it weren't the case - pro level equipment does indeed make a big difference. Not saying you need it to get half-way decent results. Don't get me wrong. But it does make a difference. Focus speed and accuracy is greatly improved with pro camera bodies. Pro level lenses also allow for greater speed, finer detail at long focal lengths, better bokeh and better color.
Bokeh! Nice drop of the photographers lingo there!

For what its worth I went with the Canon XTi body and the Sigma 135-400mm APO AF lens. The body I got from beachcamera.com for $645 shipped. The lens I got on ebay from 47th street video for $525 shipped. So I ended up only going over budget a little bit and got what I believe from weighing the pros and cons between the pentax and the canon a better "budget bird photography" setup which is going to be the primary goal of the system. I was really sold after looking at the large amount of owners who owned this setup and their photographs of birds. Simply amazing stuff.

Anyway thanks you all for your valuable advice!
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Old Jul 30, 2007, 12:07 AM   #35
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The XTi and that lens look like a nice kit toget a good start!

The 135-400 looks good andshould give you a good range to get started on larger birds and "tamer" ones that don't hide the minuite a camera comes out :G

I'd still suggest finding a solid tripod & head:idea:the stability they add can make a world of difference.


Also an option you may be interested in looking at someday is the optional sigma ts-41 lens collar



It is taller than the one that comes with most of the sigma lenses and the bottom is shaped as a hand grip, it also has a strap mount point.

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Old Jul 30, 2007, 12:12 PM   #36
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PeterP wrote:
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The XTi and that lens look like a nice kit toget a good start!

The 135-400 looks good andshould give you a good range to get started on larger birds and "tamer" ones that don't hide the minuite a camera comes out :G

I'd still suggest finding a solid tripod & head:idea:the stability they add can make a world of difference.


Also an option you may be interested in looking at someday is the optional sigma ts-41 lens collar



It is taller than the one that comes with most of the sigma lenses and the bottom is shaped as a hand grip, it also has a strap mount point.
Speaking of Tripod which one do you think I should get for this setup?

Thanks!
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Old Jul 30, 2007, 3:04 PM   #37
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Different countries seem to have different names for the same product.
I've been using a pair of Manfrotto 055c tripods, one with a 168 ball head and one with a 029 pan/tilt head.
I believe in the US they are called Bogen 3021 tripods, not very expensive and work well.
But they are made of aluminum and are fairly heavy.

Manfrotto/bogen seem to have renamed all the heads, the closest to what I've been using that I can find is this tripod/head combination at BHphoto.com
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...lack_with.html

Someday maybe carbon fiber tripods will come down in price :G
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Old Jul 30, 2007, 9:49 PM   #38
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PeterP wrote:
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Different countries seem to have different names for the same product.
I've been using a pair of Manfrotto 055c tripods, one with a 168 ball head and one with a 029 pan/tilt head.
I believe in the US they are called Bogen 3021 tripods, not very expensive and work well.
But they are made of aluminum and are fairly heavy.

Manfrotto/bogen seem to have renamed all the heads, the closest to what I've been using that I can find is this tripod/head combination at BHphoto.com
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...lack_with.html

Someday maybe carbon fiber tripods will come down in price :G
Thanks Peter! Will have to save up for that one! Looks great though! Love the ball head idea! Seems like it would be fast!

FYI,

I will be going to Panama in September and I was wondering what you recommend as far as what to bring or buy for this setup? Any techniques you can recommend?

Thanks very much!
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Old Jul 30, 2007, 10:22 PM   #39
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Personally I like going wide(ish) when visiting cities.

I managed to pick up a Tamron 19-35 for under 200$cdn and find I like using it a lot. http://www.tamron.com/lenses/prod/19_35mm.asp

It is not super wide likea 10-22 but it was 1/5 the cost :G

Shooting with a wide lens does take a bit of getting used to to make effective images. I tried using a friends 10-22 and kept getting my feet into the shots :?
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Old Jul 30, 2007, 11:02 PM   #40
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PeterP wrote:
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Personally I like going wide(ish) when visiting cities.

I managed to pick up a Tamron 19-35 for under 200$cdn and find I like using it a lot. http://www.tamron.com/lenses/prod/19_35mm.asp

It is not super wide likea 10-22 but it was 1/5 the cost :G

Shooting with a wide lens does take a bit of getting used to to make effective images. I tried using a friends 10-22 and kept getting my feet into the shots :?
Err...Im going there to bird. Will be in dense jungles a lot im sure.
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