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Thread: newbie here

  1. #1
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    newbie here

    Hi,

    I've just bought myself a canon 600d and I'm looking to take some shots of wildlife. I've seen a good deal on a canon 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 lll lens but I have no idea how close to the action that will get me. If I bought this lens would I be able to zoom in on a smallish bird 50m away? I'm pretty sure that the f number is the shutter speed and this maybe a bit slow so would I need a tripod at full zoom? As you can tell I'm as green as can be so any help would be massively appreciated.

  2. #2
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: newbie here

    Have you browsed the tutorials? You should find the answer there.

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    Mark von Kanel's Avatar
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    Re: newbie here

    Hi, have a look here

    http://tamron-usa.com/lenses/learnin...comparison.php

    Remember to select the correct sensor size which i think is a 1.6 crop but im not a canon user. hope that helps and im you could add you name and location to your profile that would help to point you in the right places locally and give us an idea who we are talking to!!

  4. #4
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    Re: newbie here

    I have mate but to be honest although I found a calculator (I've got to be honest and look stupid) I'm not really sure what it's asking for???

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    Re: newbie here

    That's what I was after thanks mate. At 300mm that's a really good zoom. I will do the other bits in a second. I'm in Devon so just around the corner from you. I go trekking on Dartmoor quiet often so I'm hoping to get full use of my camera up there. Thanks again!

  6. #6
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: newbie here

    Cameras and long telephoto lenses do not guarantee that you will get great wildlife shots. On your Canon, you are shooting with a full-frame equivalent of a 480mm lens, so this is more than adequate from a focal length standpoint. Having a long lens does not mean you can stand way back and shoot away. You still have to get close enough to take the shot.

    That being said; the lens is not particularly fast, so you will have to choose an appropriately high ISO setting to get the shot. A long lens means you will have to shoot at a high shutter speed to freeze the action and prevent camera shake from affecting the image. A long lens has a narrow field of view and hand-holding at the long end is going to take some practice before you get the framing down pat.

    Good luck!

  7. #7

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    Re: newbie here

    With regard to your questions.

    That lens is cheap because it is an older design that wasn't particularly successful. The newer 70-300 is a better lens, but probably more expensive. There is also a 'L' lens version which is excellent - but horrendously expensive!

    The Canon 55-250 gets fairly good reviews for a 'cheaper' lens. Sigma and Tamron also make lenses in the 70-300 range.

    However, when it comes to photographing small birds; I use a 500 mm lens for the sort of things you are mentioning; and I still want more.

    If you cut the distance to 50 ft you might have more of a chance but even then 300 mm is smaller than I would like to use.

    But modern cameras have plenty of pixels so unless you want prints bigger than A4 you can crop tighter on a photo which has the same result as having extra lens zoom.

    If you just want a lens for wildlife etc then a 'prime lens' which has a fixed size might be an alternative. Say 300 mm or 400 mm but once again we soon start to increase the price.

    This site gives good independent advice on lens quality.

    http://www.photozone.de/Reviews

    Using a tripod certainly helps, although if you get a stabilised lens (IS for example) this does help when handheld (more expensive though). A faster shutter speed, which is often essential for bird photography, also helps with hand held shots.
    Last edited by Geoff F; 7th April 2013 at 08:41 PM.

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    Re: newbie here

    Hi there Kevin,

    I have the same body, and the Tamron equivalent of 70-300, same aperture. It is a good lens for wildlife in general (you could search some of my images on here - though there are much better photographers around. However, small birds at 50m - no. That needs very long and expensive lenses. Best practice your stalking skills

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    Re: newbie here

    Quote Originally Posted by davidedric View Post
    Hi there Kevin,

    I have the same body, and the Tamron equivalent of 70-300, same aperture. It is a good lens for wildlife in general (you could search some of my images on here - though there are much better photographers around. However, small birds at 50m - no. That needs very long and expensive lenses. Best practice your stalking skills
    Haha! I thought I was being a bit hopeful. Just had a peak at some of your shots, they look really good mate. Looks like my close ups will be taken with camo paint rather than a powerful zoom then.

  10. #10
    Mark von Kanel's Avatar
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    Re: newbie here

    Hi kevin, glad to see your getting the info you need, are you near to plymouth? if so theres a pretty good camera club there that i go to sometimes full of helpful folk.

  11. #11
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    Re: newbie here

    Hi Mark,

    I'm in Exeter. I was thinking of looking for a club up here after I'd been out a few times. Although to be fair I wasn't sure what to expect. I don't fancy following a procession of people around taking snaps and chatting about it but that maybe some weird stereotype I've conjured up watching people do the tourist traps whilst travelling.

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    Mark von Kanel's Avatar
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    Re: newbie here

    LOL! yes some clubs are like that. but some arnt, you need to look around and try them out for yourself. I must admit that i dont tend to go in for the group outings myself, but now and again you can meet like minded people out there to go out and shoot with.

  13. #13
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: newbie here

    Quote Originally Posted by kfed View Post
    I've just bought myself a canon 600d and I'm looking to take some shots of wildlife. I've seen a good deal on a canon 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 lll lens but I have no idea how close to the action that will get me. If I bought this lens would I be able to zoom in on a smallish bird 50m away?

    No.
    Shooting at 50m an average sized bird would occupy a very small portion of the frame.
    The bird would appear as about the size of the two red arrows:

    newbie here


    ***

    I suggest that you do not buy that Canon 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 lll Lens.
    It is an old lens and has old technology optically and also does not have Image Stabilization.

    If you want to buy a value for money, Canon zoom telephoto lens in a low price bracket, then consider the EF-S 55 to 250 F/4~5.6 IS MkII. This is a good purchase and represents value for money in the lower consumer price range.

    Obviously the bird at 50mtrs, will still be small in the frame with this lens - you just need to use stealth and get closer.



    Quote Originally Posted by kfed View Post
    I'm pretty sure that the f number is the shutter speed
    No.

    The f/number represents the largest aperture available.

    The lens you mentioned and the lens I suggested, are both: ‘varying maximum aperture zoom lenses’.

    Note that there are TWO apertures mentioned in each lens’s nomenclature.
    For example – the EF-S 55 to 250 F/4~5.6 IS MkII.

    This means that when this lens is zoomed to 55mm the maximum f/stop available for use is F/4; and when the lens is zoomed to 250mm the maximum f/stop available is F/5.6.

    There is a relationship to Shutter Speed - if for example at 55mm and had the lens wide open at F/4 and you were using a Shutter Speed of 1/250s and then you zoomed in on the same scene to 250mm: then you would have to use 1/125s to make the same exposure, if you kept the ISO the same.

    WW

  14. #14

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    Re: newbie here

    With a Canon camera with its x1.6 crop factor being slightly narrower than Nikon with a x1.5 crop factor being born in mind you could find this site produced by Nikon interesting ...
    http://www.europe-nikon.com/en_GB/pr...nses/simulator

    As a long time bridge camera user with 950mm reach at f4.5 I know it COSTS to duplicate this with a DSLR and after getting the 100-300 lens you can check if a x2 'teleconverter' is made to suit the lens which will increase the reach to 460x2 or 920mm reach with a loss of two stops of light. So best used with a lens which starts at f/2.8 or f/4 at 300mm rather than the lenses discussed above. There are also x1.4 teleconverters which would give you 645mm reach for a loss of one stop. The snag being that auto focus may not work, or as well, at the resulting lower light levels when using TCs. I am not a user so can only go by what I have read.
    So IMO it is very much a swings and roundabout situation as to which way one goes though considerably less expensive going with a bridge camera and if you do not want more than 10x8 prints probably little difference in IQ ... but in everything I do not consider what comes out of the camera but what comes after good handling in a editing programme.

    If you are young and fit then two cameras and a good tripod should not be too much of a burden to you on your hikes across the moors

  15. #15

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    Re: newbie here

    You may find this post from Donald useful.

    A little birdie, a big lens .... and some software!

    And he is using a relatively expensive lens which reaches 400 mm.

  16. #16
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    Re: newbie here

    Hi Bill,

    Thanks for your post I've found it really helpful. I will go with your tip with lenses. There is a awful lot to learn and play about with.

  17. #17
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: newbie here

    OK.
    One step at a time, you'll be fine.

    WW

  18. #18

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    Re: newbie here

    With this subject matter there is a key aspect of deciding if you want to get to the subject with reach or are you going to get the subjects to come to you with either food or audio calls as the attraction with perhaps you inside a hide.
    My best bird shots have been taken with a 35-70 lens, on APS-C, looking out through a hole cut to match the lens in a sheet of cardboard with curtains hiding me as the birds fed from a bird table about 18 inches away ...I could have done with a longer lens but didn't have one then

    One of the frustrations of my life is that hawks frequently come close to me when I am driving but never when I have a camera in my hands

  19. #19
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    Re: newbie here

    Quote Originally Posted by jcuknz View Post
    One of the frustrations of my life is that hawks frequently come close to me when I am driving but never when I have a camera in my hands
    I know that frustration. I ha a hawk sitting on a fencepost wait while I parked up the car and got my camera ready, then flew away as soon as the window started to go down.

  20. #20
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    Re: newbie here

    Me too on the frustration stakes.

    In the last 5 -10 years buzzards have become one of the most common (as in I have seen one flying over my back garden in about 5 miles from central London) birds of prey in the UK.

    I once spotted one sitting on a post and managed to get my 70-210mm lens on the camera while it sat there, doing as far as I could see, looking at me. Thought I'd be clever and accept a possibly poorer photo by not opening the car window and as I raised the camera ....... you know what happened.

    Along with the advantages of good equipment for wildlife photography knowledge of the subject is invaluable.

    Finches, for example, tend to be fairly slow moving and sit still while feeding. The tit family are speed merchants. They will grab a seed from a feeder and fly off very quickly. Some birds are fairly tolerant of humans, robins, ducks, geese and gulls in public parks. Others are very wary - magpies, jays, woodpeckers and migratory geese for example.

    Dave

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