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  #1  
Old 12-01-07
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I am going to be buying the Canon EOS400D

Rebel XTi in a few weeks, I need to know about lenses.

The cam comes with an 18-55 lense as standard.

I need a lense for wild life photography, I am on a limited budget so these are my thought processes, I can generally get to within about 10 - 15 meters of most birds. I can get to within 30m of most smaller game that I photograph. One of the biggest problems I have with my current toy is that I get totally frustrated because I cannot get close enough. The other problem is budget. I will probably buy Sigma to start off with but what focal length should I be looking at.
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Old 12-01-07
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Re: I am going to be buying the Canon EOS400D

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Originally Posted by guymclaren View Post
Rebel XTi in a few weeks, I need to know about lenses.

The cam comes with an 18-55 lense as standard.

I need a lense for wild life photography, I am on a limited budget so these are my thought processes, I can generally get to within about 10 - 15 meters of most birds. I can get to within 30m of most smaller game that I photograph. One of the biggest problems I have with my current toy is that I get totally frustrated because I cannot get close enough. The other problem is budget. I will probably buy Sigma to start off with but what focal length should I be looking at.
I'd say you need at least 500mm for bird photography, also for wildlife. I use a Sigma 170-500mm (on Pentax cameras) and they're about the most affordable, sometimes found on ebay at a good price too.

Those 2 sigma lenses are often mentioned on various bird/wildlife forums and capable of producing some very good results imho.

Does anyone else have any further suggestions please?

Pol
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  #3  
Old 12-01-07
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Re: I am going to be buying the Canon EOS400D

Funny I was looking at the sigma 170 x 500 this morning. seems to be reasonably priced for African conditions. Ebay works if you are in the first world but out here in the bush its best to actually pick it up from the shop.
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Old 12-01-07
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Re: I am going to be buying the Canon EOS400D

Oh and what about those 2x converters, Do they work?
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Old 12-01-07
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Re: I am going to be buying the Canon EOS400D

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Originally Posted by guymclaren View Post
Oh and what about those 2x converters, Do they work?

They won't work on the Sigma 170-500.

I've never used any converters myself, but the thing about them is you need to be using a fast (full time f/2.8.) zoom or prime lens otherwise there won't be enough light getting through.

I'm not as experienced as some others, never used teleconverters myself (I don't have any suitable, fast zooms or primes that could take them).

Anyone else got any comments/advice please? (Mick Johnson, Andy Bright - are you there?)

Pol
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Old 12-01-07
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Re: I am going to be buying the Canon EOS400D

Thankee squire, You are a real gent, Theres no real rush except for budgeting. Although any and all advice will be gratefully accepted.
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Old 12-01-07
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Re: I am going to be buying the Canon EOS400D

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Thankee squire, You are a real gent,

Me? I hope not 'cos I'm not even a fella, let alone a "Gent".

I'm an 'old girl' - an old 'tart' well past her prime, a faded and jaded 'babe' of the 'Swingin' Sixties' era.

Peace Man, peace. Make Love Not War.


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Old 12-01-07
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Re: I am going to be buying the Canon EOS400D

Faded maybe but still a cracker I bet. Apologies.
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  #9  
Old 12-01-07
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Re: I am going to be buying the Canon EOS400D

Quote:
Originally Posted by guymclaren View Post
Rebel XTi in a few weeks, I need to know about lenses.

The cam comes with an 18-55 lense as standard.

I need a lense for wild life photography, I am on a limited budget so these are my thought processes, I can generally get to within about 10 - 15 meters of most birds. I can get to within 30m of most smaller game that I photograph. One of the biggest problems I have with my current toy is that I get totally frustrated because I cannot get close enough. The other problem is budget. I will probably buy Sigma to start off with but what focal length should I be looking at.
I am a bit of a Sigma lens fan but only the EX range which are the more expensive but still a saving on buying Canon. I own at the moment three with a fourth planned.

I use the 80-400 EX f4.-f5.6 which also has a stabilizer, it gives beautifully sharp results, attached is a shot using this lens at the 400 end. I also use it with a 1x4 converter Fitted the stabilizer continues to work but auto focus wonít, you have to use manual focus. With the converter fitted it does with care to give superbly sharp results if stopped down to f11 or more, bearing in mind the lens has become f5.6-f8 because of the converter.

Another option I would suggest you consider would be the 70-200 f2.8 (the lens I plan to buy) . This lens gives constant f2.8 through its zoom range; you would therefore with the 2x converter have a 400mm reach @ F5.6 and it would be an extremely handy lens for other work. The lens is also internal focus so the length doesnít change in use. Taking into account the crop factor 1x6 of most digital cameras and your intended camera the 400D, 400mm becomes 640mm so it would have a lot of reach and would be lighter than my 80-400.

If you can buy you 400D get a body only, the kit lens with the 400D is said to be no more than adequate.

Patrick
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Last edited by Patrick; 12-01-07 at 10:48 PM.
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Old 12-01-07
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Re: I am going to be buying the Canon EOS400D

Thanks, What does everyone else think? How far were you from the bird? If I knew where my book was I would be more specific, all the raptors sort of blend although I can tell its not a black shouldered kite or a martial eagle
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  #11  
Old 12-01-07
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Re: I am going to be buying the Canon EOS400D

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Originally Posted by guymclaren View Post
Thanks, What does everyone else think? How far were you from the bird? If I knew where my book was I would be more specific, all the raptors sort of blend although I can tell its not a black shouldered kite or a martial eagle
Not up on birds so I canít identify the breed, it was a captive bird and Iím not sure how fare away, a reasonable distance but not a great distance to get a head only shot.

The technical info: Canon 10D Sigma 80-400 at the 400 end hand held, 1/400 @ f11, 100 ISO. Processed in Lightroom beta 4.

Patrick
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Old 15-01-07
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Re: I am going to be buying the Canon EOS400D

Hello Guy,

Pol has asked me to have a look at this thread and maybe give some advice.

Well, I do quite a bit of bird photography but mainly from hides and I'm not sure exactly what you are trying to do as you say you can't get close enough.

I too have the Sigma (50-500) and it is a good lens. I used it all the time with my Eos 3 and slide film and found it very sharp indeed. I now have a 20d and with it's 1.6 crop I actually find it a bit too long for what I do.

Also, it's max aperture of f6.3 makes it almost impossible to manual focus with a 20d and it's dim viewfinder. This was no trouble at all with the Eos3's very big and bright viewfinder.

I always wanted to try a Sigma 100-300f4 EX because it's supposed to be very good indeed. Last year I got one and can't fault it.

It's very sharp, and I mean sharp. It's not very good at f4 unfortunatley but from f5 it's great.

I have used it with a EX 1.4 converter and it's sharper than my 50-500 without one, but not by much. I don't like converters on zooms because of the drop in sharpness but this lens is good with one.

The constant f4 is very bright too on my 20d. It also does not change length when zooming so would be better for you in dusty conditions as it would'nt suck in air as you zoom.

The auto-focus is far quicker than my 50-500 and much more accurate and easily as fast as my Canon 70-200f4L.

I have also being using a friends 100-400IS just to see how good it is and it was better than I thought it would be after reading all the reviews. It is a new one though and I believe they are better than older models.

So, for me, with a 20d, I would buy the Sigma EX100-300, and a 1.4 converter. It also has a very good tripod collar and a great lens hood. It is also over a pound lighter than my 50-500.
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  #13  
Old 15-01-07
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Re: I am going to be buying the Canon EOS400D

Mick I do some shooting from my car in a Game park, some from hides and some from my back garden. I am talking birds now. My current camera a Kodak v610 is great for nearby shots but go further than 5 meters and I am screwed. I recently got bit by the birding bug and wish to take better pics than the ones I am taking.

I also get a good many opportunities at game including Lion etc. but always just too far for my camera. hence the need for something a little better. As we are paying british prices + anywhwre from 50 - 100% here I am a little tight on budget.

Is there somewhere that has a zoom lense comparison that shows the actual differences using a picture at the same distance?
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Old 15-01-07
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Re: I am going to be buying the Canon EOS400D

There is a good article on lenses in Febs Digital Camera Mag, it goes through the different types/focal lengths of lenses, there is also an article on bird photography.

It's worth picking up a copy if you don't already have one, may help you choose, if you can get it where you are that is or can get someone to post a copy to you.


Stu
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Old 15-01-07
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Re: I am going to be buying the Canon EOS400D

Quote:
Originally Posted by guymclaren View Post

Is there somewhere that has a zoom lense comparison that shows the actual differences using a picture at the same distance?
How about this one? At the top right, you can see varioius pics taken at the same spot but with lenses of different focal lengths (from 17mm to 600mm). I wanted to find a Canon example but could not find it. I knew Pentax leaflet had one. The focal length are for 35mm equivalent so you have to take into account the crop ratio x1.6 of 400D.


http://www.pentax.co.jp/japan/catalog/pdf/35_lenses.pdf

yoshi
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