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Photography Question 
Marianne 
 

Which camera and Lens to buy


I am an avid bird photographer and already have a digital camera but want to upgrade to an SLR with a good telephoto lens with image stabilizer. As I am a roving photographer, I would prefer something not too heavy and bulky. Can you advise. I would like to go for either a Canon or Nikon.
Regards, Marianne


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11/6/2007 1:22:35 PM

 
William Schuette
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2006
  Hi Marianne, you left out an essential piece of info. How much are you looking to spend, whatr type of lenses do you need to start?

Bill


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11/6/2007 3:57:00 PM

 
Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
 
 
  Canada Portrait
Canada Portrait

MF Nikkor 600 mm f-4, TC-301, TC-201, Provia 400, Bogen/Manfrotto tripod and head


© Bob Cammarata
Nikon FM2 Manual E...

 
 
Serious birding suggests prime telephotos in the 400 to 600 mm range that will match well with compatable tele-converters.
The attached example was shot recently with a 600 mm f-4 with two stacked 2X-teleconverters (2400 mm).
But these can be costly (and heavy) and will require some type of support.

A zoom lens won't really be practical since they are generally not as fast as primes or as sharp...and won't perform nearly as well when tele-converters are attached.

Both Nikon and Canon make AF 400 f-2.8 and AF 600 mm f-4 super-tele's (if money is no object) but you may want to consider buying a used manual-focus super-telephoto instead at a fraction of the cost.

A sturdy car-window mount will be another worthwhile investment if you seek wading birds or migrating waterfowl at nearby nature preserves, where you can usually count on getting close enough for full-frame coverage of many species (...as long as you don't try opening the car door to get out.)

Bob


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11/6/2007 5:03:48 PM

 
Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/16/2004
  Whoaaaaa.... so Bob they use a 600mm stacked with 2 2X converters??? Mannnn I photographed surfing and never thought of doing that...didn't even know you could stack even though it'd be all manual that ROCKS....if it works. just for that I'm cracking a fantastic Cab from Napa...YUMMMMMMY


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11/6/2007 5:14:21 PM

 
Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  Oliver,
I doubt that stacking teleconverters is common practice but it's something I've toyed around with...just to see if it's really "do-able".

The point I was trying to make on Marianne's post was that fast primes will match well with a teleconverter (or two?) and still perform adequately when that extra reach (for bird photography) is required.

Bob


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11/6/2007 5:32:52 PM

 
Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/16/2004
  Bobbbbb.....3/4's done with a '97 Mondavi Opus One....delicious. Anyways the only bad now is I'm worried I might not get the new Nip/Tuck since the writers are PO'd. I'm gonna still try it with my 1.4X & 2X...I did try the 180mm 3.5macro w/ 1.4X on an Ant but and it worked but.....just not used to shooting that subject matter.....although I once dated this woman and she was an Aunt...I'll stop here.


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11/6/2007 6:11:33 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  thanks bob,i've used my 1.4 and 2x behind my 300,yes together.ok,yes they match with my lens.
nice catch.i'm thinking about asking if it was manual focus?so is tracking affected?
I got me a new g-daughter bob and just a bit giddy.all is fine,just trying to fend off some questions.
sam


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11/6/2007 7:33:00 PM

 
Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/16/2004
  TAG....I haven't tried this..... but Manual is the ONLY method....this is not for Amatuers.....so quick lets all go buy 2 2X converterters and try this....Even I only have one of each. I'm actually all excited to photograph a HUGE cargo ship coming into the Bay as a TEST....Then I'll Practive on Surfers...2 Corona's per photo.....NorCal surfers are SOOOOOOO easy.lolhahaha


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11/6/2007 9:32:09 PM

 
Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
 
 
  2400 mm in Action
2400 mm in Action

The wooden platform was constructed to minimize vibrations (camera-shake)...which is amplified considerably at this extreme.

Those tiny white specs in the distance are feeding herons and egrets.
© Bob Cammarata
Nikon FM2 Manual E...

 
  Egret at 2400 mm
Egret at 2400 mm

This is one of the closer "white specs" taken in the scene above.
At around 150 yards away, the quality is barely passable.
The eye detail is defined but not nearly as sharp and clear as with the 600 mm by itself.

(Nikkor 600 mm f-4, TC-301, TC-201, Provia 400, Bogen/Manfrotto tripod and head)

© Bob Cammarata
Nikon FM2 Manual E...

 
 
This is definately a manual-focus only deal and my recent tests have concluded that 2400 mm is REALLY pushing it!
The results are OK on subjects that are close to the minimum focusing distance of the lens/converter/converter combination.
(The Canada Portrait was taken from around 35-40 yards away.)
At greater distances, quality falls off exponentially.
I've had greater success stacking my two 2X's with a MF Nikkor 300 mm f-2.8 (for a yield of 1200 mm).

There are other factors (pro and con) that will come into play outlined in an article on my website called Stretching the Limits which shows more test examples of extremes in telephoto and macro.

Bob


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11/6/2007 11:45:28 PM

 
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