A Site for Photographers by Photographers

Community > Forums > Nikon > Nikon Lenses and Optics > Lens for Bird photography.

Featured Equipment Deals

Adding Textures to Flower Photos Read More

Adding Textures to Flower Photos

_About this image: With this shot of a setting sun seen through a cherry blossom, I focused on the flower blossoms, relying on the fact that throwing the sun way out-of-focus made it appear much...

Latest Equipment Articles

4 Outdoor & Adventure Photo Packs Read More

4 Outdoor & Adventure Photo Packs

Photo packs have come a long way in the past decade, especially those that are targeted toward outdoor and adventure photographers. Alaska-based adventure photographer Dan Bailey takes a closer look...

Latest Learning Articles

A Brief History of Photography - Part II (Video Tutorial) Read More

A Brief History of Photography - Part II (Video Tutorial)

This video explores the second half of photography's history and development from the technological advances in the late 1800s through the beginnings of digital photography at the end of the 20th...


Lens for Bird photography.

Martyn Fox , Dec 15, 2008; 03:36 p.m.

Could anybody give any advice on a suitable lens for Bird photography? It would be mounted to a D200 body and price would be an issue. Meaning i cant afford the nikon 400mm 2.8, the 500mm f4 or the 600mm F4. I was thinking about nikon 300mm f4 with a tele converter possibly or i have looked at the 80-400 VR. Maybe the Sigma 50- 500mm but quality may be an issue with the sigma lenses, i personaly dont have a problem with sigma optics but i have not used any of their tele lenses. I think a buget of around a £1,000 to £1,500 would be the most i would spend.

Responses


    1   |   2   |   3   |   4     Next    Last

Carl Becker , Dec 15, 2008; 04:02 p.m.

I have purchased and used a Nikkor 300mm f4 with TC, a Nikkor 400mm f5.6 ED-IF and currently a Nikkor 500mm f4 P with TC on either a D200 or currently a D700. I try to capture images of small birds while walking in the woods. I have had some success. The longer and faster the lens the better. If you have a feeder and can get close then the 300mm is great. For best value I would look for a 400mm Nikkor manual focus or thrid party with AF. I am finally happy with my efforts using the 500mm f4 P. It is very much worth the saving for the cost of a used lens. Sigma made a 500mm f4.5 AF.

Arun Seetharam , Dec 15, 2008; 04:06 p.m.

I would go for a 300 f4 AF-S VR. No question.
Cheaper, sharper, prime-better, great glass. Fantastic for flying birds....a little heavier. I also use the 80-400 4.5-5.6. Cant compare it to 300 f4, but gives a good range, good glass but slow. 300 f4 with teleconverter? Naaah......makes it softer.
A good birder knows how to get close to a bird without disturbing it. I have seen some great up-close shots with 105mm or the 80-200!!!!!
:-)

Joseph Smith , Dec 15, 2008; 04:23 p.m.

My recommendations are based on personal use of the D 200 and these lenses. More focal length is always a plus for birds: Nikon 500mm F 4.0 P lens, a manual focus lens, but electronic on your D 200; and/or the Nikon 300mm AF f 4.0. Both of these lenses take the Nikon 1.4x tc, the TC 14B. Another lens is the Nikon 300mm AFS f 4.0 lens. But it takes the AF tc, the Nikon TC-14E II. Joe Smith

John Vanacore , Dec 15, 2008; 04:51 p.m.

>>>I would go for a 300 f4 AF-S VR. No question

I don't believe a VR version of this lens is available yet. If it was, it porbably would be priced inline with a manual focus 500mm f4P

The 300mm f4 is a great lens optically, and with a TC, would really put you at the minimum for birding. I started out with this combo, an soon realized it wasn't enough. I ended up with a 500mm AF-I and TC. THis is more of a realistic combo.

Good luck JV

John Vanacore , Dec 15, 2008; 04:57 p.m.

I should have said also, is you may be abale to find a 400mm f3.5, which often can be found at a reasonable cost also. THis too is a manual focus lens.

AGain, good luck

Arun Seetharam , Dec 15, 2008; 05:04 p.m.

Oh yea yea....sorry, no VR. Just AF-S on 300 f4.

Lil Judd , Dec 15, 2008; 05:59 p.m.

I will offer two suggestions within your budget.
1, the Nikon Nikkor 300mm AF-S f/4 (as others have suggested) with a TC
2, the Tamron SP AF Di LD (IF) 200-500mm f/5-6.3
Either will do very well for you.
Good luck
Lil :-)


John W. Wall , Dec 15, 2008; 06:14 p.m.

This guy uses a Nikon D80 and 70-300mm f/4-5.6G: http://www.kitundu.com/galleryb.html

William Pahnelas , Dec 15, 2008; 06:32 p.m.

i used a 70-300 AF-S VR lens to shoot this hawk as it came flying toward me. it was actually a bit unsettling as it came so close, i thought it might fly into me!
the slow variable aperture, with f/5.6 on the long end, is its biggest shortcoming. bright, sunny days are required for really good results.
the 300/4 is about as heavy a lens as i would ever want to hand carry. i have the "D" type, with screwdriver AF that's slower than i'm used to; i imagine the AF-S would probably focus as quickly as the 70-300 VR. but with a TC, i'll bet it would be kind of a clunker. but i haven't tried it.
a guy at a camera store once tried to sell me a used plastic tamron 200-500 lens with a max 6.3 aperture. not only did it look like a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, the build quality reminded me of toy rifles i used to play with as a child. and that 6.3 aperture is a non-starter with nikon's AF system. i'm not sure you want to go there... but maybe.


70-300mm VR, 1/2000s f/8

    1   |   2   |   3   |   4     Next    Last

Back to top

Notify me of Responses