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D5000 upgrade for backyard bird shooter

sigma 150-600

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18 replies to this topic

#1
ILoveByrds

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I was told that the $$$$ for a more newer  camera wasnt going to give me the wow factor im looking for and to get a new lens.

 

I have nikkor 55-300 lens thats been great to me I dont think it has auto focus motor but thats ok ive taken great photos with it.  but since its old already im wondering what if I got something better and newer .  I could use more range more shots in darker conditions and just better in general.   Will I get all that with a Sigma 150-600???

 

 

Yes im still a novice I only shoot birds in my 30 meter back yard, hopefully a few of the pioneers can chime in. thanks



#2
krag96

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I'm not exactly a pioneer here and no expert on DX lenses by any means, but I'll make a few suggestions. 

 

Visit Ken Rockwell's site,  Nikon lens reviews, that way you can make your own educated choice, (he reviews some Tamron, Tikina, Sigma  and other Nikon fit lenses too).  B&H Photo is another I use for reviews, find what you're looking for and read the Q&A and reviews, very helpful.

 

Get Affinity photo suit, it's a one time fee, ($50.00) for a life time.  When you see what it can do for you and your photos, you'll wish you had done it sooner.



#3
Merco_61

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The 55-300 is AF-S, so it should focus on the D5000. Any of the current 150-600 third-party lenses will give you lots more reach than you currently have and the contrast and sharpness will be much better. They will, however, not give any advantage in low light and they will be heavy compared to the 55-300.

Have you looked at the Sigma 100-400? It will give the same FOV on your D5000 as the 150-600 lenses do on FX bodies and balance better on your light body.

#4
Jerry_

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The basic question is: what will trigger the Wow!-factor for you ;)

Based on the current equipment D5000 (12.2MP) with 55-300mm lens, I would consider some possible upgrade paths which may bring you closer to a Wow! factor.

In general, having more recent equipment will give you some benefits, considering that:
- a more recent camerabody will:
. offer you more (typically +-24MP for most recent camerabodies) MegaPixel, allowing to crop the picture in post processing (i.e. give you a virtual zoom factor of 1.4 (=square root of 2))
. have a more recent processor and thereby allow for higher ISO values (i.e. lower light) with the same level of noise.
- most recent lenses have an improved VR/VC, allowing for still sharp pictures at lower light or shorter shutter speeds

Still, the first equipment to get is a tripod, if you are currently shooting handheld, especially if you will investigate into heavier lenses.

Considering that the D5000 weights 588g and the 55-300mm lens some extra 550g, your current total weight is 1.138g.
A Tamrom 150-600 (the same goes approx for Sigma) weights 1.951g on its own - adding the 588g of the camera this gives you a total weight of 2.539g, i.e. slightly more than double of the weight that you currently hold.

At 600mm the field of view will be some 2°40’ on a DX body, compared to 5°20’ of the 300mm - therefore the « magnification » between the two will be a factor of 2,16.
(Please ignore the point of comparing the point of equivalent focal lengths between DX and FX bodies that Peter made for the 400mm, unless you have also a camerabody with an FX sensor)

Starting from here you have two choices:

1/ the weight factor is no issue:
The upgrade path could be to
- get a 150-600mm lens
- get along the tripod a Gimbal had, which is very convenient for heavy lenses
- get, at a convenient moment, a recent camerabody

2/ the weight factor is an issue
- get a smaller zoom lens (possibly the Sigma 100-400 suggested by Peter)
- get, at a convenient moment, a recent camerybody

Alternately, if you want to get into the AF-P lens set (which is not compatible with the D5000, but offer better prices):
- get a D5600 with a 70-300 AF-P lens - possibly in a bundle

#5
Merco_61

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About Ken Rockwell's site... Keep in mind that he sometimes writes things more to get talked about and drive klicks to the site than to be informative. Always weigh his reviews against other sources before you take things as the gospel truth.

 

The reason I mentioned the FX vs DX thing is that the beginner sometimes sees photos made with FX bodies and long lenses without thinking about the crop factor.



#6
TBonz

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Good info on bodies and lenses...Agree that more than just Ken Rockwell's site need to be considered before making a decision...

 

But Jerry hit on a point - what is the wow factor you are not seeing in your images?  What mode are you shooting in and are you using RAW images or JPEG images when you do post-processing?  What tool are you using for post-processing?

 

Those are critical pieces to your puzzle that may save you a bunch of money if we can fix your issue without new gear.  You will probably still buy equipment, but more to enhance your new found wow factor with other capabilities.



#7
ILoveByrds

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Jerry thank you very much for your time and consideration.

 

I dont use a tripod unless im set up in front of a hummingbird feeder, otherwise its just too annoying ( even though useful ) to use a tripod for birds.  I sometime use my window for stabilization i shoot @ 1/320( handheld) and higher depending on my light, im always hand shooting unless I have a chance, Its too easy to miss a shot because im wasting time.

 

I appreciate you thinking about the weight, yes its an issue since im hand shooting alot. But will the sigma 100-400 be much long reaching then my already 300mm??  Have you tried it Jerry? Ive never tried any other dslr cameras or lens.    I see all lens  including mine are around    4.5-5.6   i guess there is no getting around getting better low light situations.   is the lens quality much better for the sigmas?

 

What body do you have in mind D7500?  

 

Thank you Merrco/  I dont know much about what you mentioned but I will try to look into it .



#8
krag96

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Ken sometimes does, Peter.  B&H Photo usually has a bunch of reviews on their stuff done by real people.  I usually read Ken's reviews for tech and prices, then check for reviews on B&H by real users.



#9
ILoveByrds

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i shoot jpeg,  I been improving and im proud of  how my bird pics been coming along.  Since my equipment is a little old  I was wondering about the capability of newer gear, think cell from 2009 vs i phone 11 perhaps Im wrong thats why Im asking you gifted individuals.

 

Thanks for considering saving me money, I mean it!



#10
Jerry_

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@ILoveByrds
Indeed, while shooting handheld, you add an extra point to consider here. As with the 300mm your shutterspeed is about 1/320s, expect it to be 1/800s - but mostly even shorter - when having a focal length of up to 600mm - not helping on low light situations.

While I have in my lenspark Nikon, Tamron and Sigma lenses, I don’t have the one (Sigma 100-400, https://www.bhphotov..._6_3_dg_os.html) mentioned by Peter.
However, as regards Sigma lenses in general I am happy with the ones that I have.
Also, linked to the style of pictures I take, I have no specific « long » lenses between my 70-200/2.8 and my two Tamron 150-600/5-6.3 (G1 & G2).

As regards the long reaching, a 400mm lens has an angle of view of 6°2’ (compared to the 5°2’ of your current lens, this is about a factor of 1,19, so indeed much less than the factor of 2,16 that you would get with a 600mm)

Which brings me back to my initial question: what is the Wow! factor that you are looking for? And how much $$$ do you want to invest.

Nikon has some nice lenses (https://www.nikonusa...ife-lenses.page ) but will be expensive.

In order to combine best focal length and low light (large aperture) you might also be interested in a prime lens (i.e. no zoom, but a fixed focal length) - however the Sigma and Tamron 150-600 are actually the best deals for good results.


As regards a possible next camerabody:
If you have a heavy lens, you will want a heavier camera body to have a better balance. Also a heavy lens will put some physical stress on your current camerabody (when I used the Tamron 150-600 handheld on my old D5100 it sometimes lost the electrical contacts, due to stress on the lensmount)
While the D7500 has some technical benefits, personally I would still favour the D7200 or the D500.

Finally, answering the question about recent hardware having improved over older hardware, you will find in my first post already three elements:
- recent processors allow to use higher ISO with a reasonable amount of noise
- more MegaPixels allow for additional cropping, while keeping still enough pixels to have a clear picture
- updated VR/VC allow to compensate for 1-2 stops

#11
TBonz

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We are still looking to understand what you need for "Wow" vs. your current images.  As a suggestion, why not post some images you have taken and let us know why each has or doesn't have the "Wow".  It would be great if you could also include the shutter speed, aperture and ISO for each shot.

 

The "rule"is to have a shutter speed equal or faster than the lens max zoom when hand holding, so you are on the edge there.  You might find a tripod or monopod give you more stability than hand holding.  Higher speeds can help with that as well and can also help freeze any movement the bird makes.  



#12
ILoveByrds

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We are still looking to understand what you need for "Wow" vs. your current images.  As a suggestion, why not post some images you have taken and let us know why each has or doesn't have the "Wow".  It would be great if you could also include the shutter speed, aperture and ISO for each shot.

 

The "rule"is to have a shutter speed equal or faster than the lens max zoom when hand holding, so you are on the edge there.  You might find a tripod or monopod give you more stability than hand holding.  Higher speeds can help with that as well and can also help freeze any movement the bird makes.  

Well i just learned about external flashes ,  I posted on the beginner forum about this topic, and decided on a Godex tt685n.

Heres the issue new though, my D5000 isnt FP capable so im going to be stuck at 1/200 when i could really use this kind of feature as you could imagine.

Im very pleased with my photos, Im just wondering how much better they would look with a camera thats not 11 years old, thats why I value your opinion.

I appreciate the conservative approach, however i do wonder what im missing out on, as far as dynamic range, and better sensor.

Perhaps I couldn't tell?? 

I think I could make use 3200 iso is grainy vs some great numbers on the d7500,

 

Jerry!  the d500 is more then id like to invest, I actually expect and hope the 7500 drops a couple hundred soon.

 

Finally the crop factor is huge and thats  convenient, I may be good with 300mm for a while longer... ?     who we kidding this bodys alot of mula!  I could just buy a friggin parrot!



#13
ILoveByrds

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im not sure how to post pics here .   i cant upload from pc ( only small files), i tried Imgur also , this site wont allow it.



#14
Merco_61

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How to Post Photos on the Forum - Post Your Photos - NikonForums.com

 

Photos need to be resized for screen use for the uploader to work, I use 1500 x 900 pixels. Jpegs is sRGB are always safest to use as all browsers can show them correctly. To keep file size down, increasing the compression is a good idea.



#15
ILoveByrds

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Jerry, why  would you prefer a d7200 over d7500?



#16
Merco_61

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I am not Jerry, but I prefer the D7200 over the D7500 for three reasons:

  1. The optional vertical grip.
  2. Compatibility with manual focus lenses.
  3. Dual card slots.

The newer signal processor, larger buffer and the sensor in the D7500 would be nice to have, but the two first on my list are dealbreakers for me.

I shoot quite a lot handheld with long teles and telezooms and the bottom corner on D7xxx bodies without a grip hits right at a nerve cluster in my hand , making it uncomfortable after an hour or so.

The Ai compatibility is important for me as I often use Ai and Ai-converted lenses as I like how they draw and their often smaller size compared to their modern counterparts.

For example, I regularly use all 6 105 mm Nikkors I own, 5 of which are manual focus (105/4 AI'd, 105/2.8 Ai-S, 105/2.5 P AI'd, 105/2.5 Ai and 105/1.8 Ai-S) and 1 AF (105/2 DC).



#17
ILoveByrds

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some random bird shots from my d5000


3 more i didnt get in the 1st time


Ive never used a vertical grip , i dont want 2 slots I dont see myself using a manual lens.  d7500? Merco?     will i be impressed with the difference? or barley tell?


Do you think i will see a noticeable improvement with the d7500?

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#18
ILoveByrds

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I got the flash today, tt685n badass! plug and play it says TTL even though my camera doesnt have ttl somehow the EXternal flash its talking it the d5000,   heavy though! doesnt go over 1/200th.   Id love that for hummingbirds, maybe flash with much higher speed  would be sweet.  

 

Does anyone feel Id see obvious image quality improvement with a d7500? 



#19
Merco_61

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For hummingbirds, set the camera to M with AutoISO off. Set the ambient exposure to 3 to 4 stops underexposed so the flash is the main light source. Let the iTTL control the flash for now.

 

The flash discharge is much shorter than the shutter speed, freezing motion much better than using no flash or the pop-up.

 

You can play around with your settings to get the balance right between the ambient light and the flash, but this technique should give you some nice frozen moments even without having HSS.

 

 

How big the quality difference will be depends on your technique as maximizing the DR and optimizing the S/N ratio takes practice and experience, whichever body you use. If you were to just point and click in jpeg, you would not see much difference beyond the ability to crop a bit more but shooting in raw with the exposure parameters tweaked for the post processing you want to apply, the difference will be huge.







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