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Which lens for bird photography


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10 replies to this topic

#1
Ridgewoodwoody

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I'd like to get a superzoom to help improve my bird/wildlife photography. The three main contenders seem to be the Nikon 200-500, the Sigma 150-600 Contemporary or the Tamron 150-600 G2. You can only tell so much from trying out in shop so I would be grateful for any experiences with any of these lenses. I like to print up to A3 and I won't be hand-holding very much if at all. 

 

Thanks in advance



#2
Nikon Shooter

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None of the mentioned lenses are IF so, consequently,
may all be considered dust pumps… not my first choice
for sure.

I use two lenses for wildlife, the 180~400 ƒ4 and 600 ƒ4.
Both are IF.

I understand that budgets may possibly not be the same.



#3
Bengan

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I understand that budgets may possibly not the same.

 

You think???

 

Ridiculous answer really in my opinion. If someone askes advice about lenses in the price range of $1000-1400 I would not suggest pro lenses i that cost well over $10.000.

 

Trying to answer OP's question

All three are ( for an enthusiast) very good lenses. Image quality will not differ much. Nikon 200-500 and Tamron 150-600 have the best shake reduction (VR). Nikon 200-500 has the best Auto fokus.

Sigma 150-600 C gives a lot of bang for the buck. Booth Sigma and Tamron has the advantage of having USB docks that makes it possible to upgrade firmware and fine tune AF at several focal lengths, handel shake reduction perfomance and more. Nikon 200-500 is the heaviest, Sigma the lightest. Nikon has the best (and most expensive) tele converter if you're interested in extending you reach.

I own the Sigma 150-600 C and Nikon 200-500. Satisfied with booth.

Hope that this may help in some way.



#4
Nikon Shooter

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Ridiculous answer really in my opinion. If someone askes advice about lenses in the price range of $1000-1400 I would not suggest pro lenses i that cost well over $10.000.

 

Not so in mine, good buddy. Inexpensive lenses have a major
drawback and this is what I was trying to point out: the conse-
quence of opting for non IF lenses.

 



#5
fallout666

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your best option is find true local camera store and try out lens in store or rent. that way your find one that fits your needs and get know fell for them on camera. now gen 2 tamron 150-600mm nikon 200-500mm or sigma none sport 150-600mm or sigma sport 60-600mm are your best options. now for close range any third party latest gen 70-200mm or used nikon gen 1 or 2 70-200 for mid range photo's



#6
Merco_61

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Recommending lenses that are around 8-10x the budget is a bit arrogant.

At the consumer pricepoint, you will get sample variation to a greater degree than pro glass. The Tamron G2 seems to be made to tighter tolerances than the others. Buying locally is a good idea, so you can let the dealer handle things if your new lens needs more work than just finetuning the AF to get the great results any of these can do.

 

The edge and corner sharpness and contrast gets worse at longer focal lengths for all of them, but less so for the Tamron G2. The Nikon definitely has the fastest and most precise AF but the Tamron G2 is better than the Sigma. The Tamron G2 wasn't out yet when I got my Sigma 150-600 Sports, otherwise I would probably have got the Tamron instead. The Sigma 150-600 Sports is about on a par with the Nikon, but goes to 600. It is a heavy beast, though.



#7
Ridgewoodwoody

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Many thanks for all these replies. I'll get along to Park Cameras and try them out even 'though it's not in a 'real' situation. Thanks again.



#8
bluzman

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Recommending lenses that are around 8-10x the budget is a bit arrogant.

That, sir, is an understatement IMO.



#9
Nikon Shooter

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"…arrogant is someone who is full of self-worth or self-importance and
who tells and shows that they have a feeling of superiority over others."

Really?
You misread my intentions or I did not put it out right which is very pos-
sible too. This is not my language… just trying to use it!



#10
walt@wblady.com

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The lens I use for most of my bird photography is the Nikkor 200-500. Sometimes the best lens advice is, simply showing actual shots. Have a look at my hand-held bird shots... PhotoArt by Walter Blady, and judge the quality of this lens for yourself. I should point out that the online shots were saved as mid-quality jpegs. These photos were taken with either a D810, D850 or Z 7.  The cropping is fairly tight because even at 500mm, a bird at 20 to 35 feet away is still fairly small. Shooting with a 35 to 45 megapixel image processor makes the cropped resolution acceptable for my work. My thought is - close cropping a 500mm, high resolution image is far cheaper than buying a 600+mm lens (which I certainly can't afford).



#11
grahamgerdeman

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A little late to the discussion, but I am a huge fan of prime lenses. You should look at the Nikon 300mm f/4E PF VR. That, +/- 1.4TC is my every day, walk around birding lens. You didn't mention your camera body, but with the TC, (if my math is right, and it is always suspect) this set up provides a 420mm of reach with full frame, and 630mm with a DX sensor, all in a super lightweight and excellent focusing setup (especially without the TC).