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Old Wednesday 22nd July 2015, 14:14   #1
Oobly Boobly
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What lenses do you use for bird photography?

What lenses and focal lengths do you typically use for bird/wildlife photography?

I've had my eye on the Panasonic 35-100mm F2.8 for a while, but I was just wondering whether it would lack some range in a lot of scenarios. Unless of course you were also to get the 100-300mm (or the new Leica 100-400mm whenever it comes out, although I presume the cost will be astronomical).

Any thoughts people?

I personally like the thought of the 12-35mm F2.8 and 35-100mm F2.8 combo, as a convenient 'carry around'.
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Old Wednesday 22nd July 2015, 15:00   #2
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My camera lives with the 100-300 on it. I for one am looking forward to the 100-400 when it comes out, but it will be a long time.

Niels

Edit: even the 35-100 will be reach limited unless you have really tame birds such as on Galapagos
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Old Wednesday 22nd July 2015, 15:21   #3
Oobly Boobly
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Originally Posted by njlarsen View Post
My camera lives with the 100-300 on it. I for one am looking forward to the 100-400 when it comes out, but it will be a long time.

Niels

Edit: even the 35-100 will be reach limited unless you have really tame birds such as on Galapagos
Hmm... you see I have the GM1 body, which I like for its small size (very good in the city as I can fit the body and a wide angle lens into my pocket). But I think once you put a 100-300 on it, it gets a bit ridiculous

The 47-175mm seems to be a physically smaller lens, but it isn't as fast. 4-5.6 I believe. In comparison to the 35-100 2.8 and the 100-300, the width of the lens actually fits the body ( http://sonynavi.c.blog.so-net.ne.jp/...0e94.JPG?c=a11 )

Have you got any experience with it?

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Old Wednesday 22nd July 2015, 19:59   #4
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Sorry, I have the GH2, which is the older full size body. And no, I do not have experience with 47-175

Niels
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Old Thursday 23rd July 2015, 09:07   #5
Oobly Boobly
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Originally Posted by njlarsen View Post
Sorry, I have the GH2, which is the older full size body. And no, I do not have experience with 47-175

Niels
We'll see. I sold my 12-32mm yesterday (kit lens) and ordered the 45-175mm. Should be a good one hopefully. Internal zooming as well, which I like.
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Old Friday 24th July 2015, 00:53   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oobly Boobly View Post
Hmm... you see I have the GM1 body, which I like for its small size (very good in the city as I can fit the body and a wide angle lens into my pocket). But I think once you put a 100-300 on it, it gets a bit ridiculous

The 47-175mm seems to be a physically smaller lens, but it isn't as fast. 4-5.6 I believe. In comparison to the 35-100 2.8 and the 100-300, the width of the lens actually fits the body ( http://sonynavi.c.blog.so-net.ne.jp/...0e94.JPG?c=a11 )

Have you got any experience with it?
I use a GM1 and the 100-300mm, and find it makes for a great compact wildlife kit. The combination does look a little silly as the 100-300 dwarfs the GM1, but it is quite easy to handhold, and delivers very decent shots at 300mm f/8. I recently added the Richard Franiec stick-on metal grip to the GM1, which makes it even better to grip, but it's quite usable with the 100-300 even without it. Definitely gives you much more useful reach than the 45-175, which I have used before; it's a good lens, but 175mm still isn't all that long for wildlife.

Here are some shots I've taken with the GM1 and 100-300:

https://flic.kr/p/pt8n7J
https://flic.kr/p/t8xESP
https://flic.kr/p/t8pmLJ
https://flic.kr/p/qenWht
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Old Friday 24th July 2015, 08:46   #7
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the Lumix 100-300mm is he best you can have since your camera dose not have an IBIS.

it is a very sharp lens, and the OIS work well, not very good in videos compared to the new Zuiko 75-300mm, but it fine.

and start saving up for the new Leica 100-400mm. or maybe the Zuiko 300mm/f4 prime.
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Old Friday 24th July 2015, 09:30   #8
Oobly Boobly
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Flanken, those are nice shots (especially the third). However, do they lack a bit of focus/sharpness? Or is it simply because you're zoomed in all the way? (I've never had a telezoom).

For the time being I hope I will be satisfied with the 45-175mm, it is smaller and it fits the body quite well. It will be something to carry about without much trouble, unlike the 100-300mm, which is one of the reasons I like the MFT system. My partner has always had a DSLR, but I never found myself using it or taking it with me just because of the size and weight. Whereas with the MFT system I can easily have a few lenses in my pockets without making it uncomfortable, even if I'm going for a wee walk.

I've seen the news about the Leica 100-400mm and I wonder whether it will trombone or be internal? For some reason I rather dislike lenses that trombone. So yes, if I had all the monies in the world I'd get the F.28 12-35mm, 35-100mm and the soon to come out Leica 100-400 :)

However, back on earth, once I've graduated and got myself a job, then perhaps I will be able to consider other purchases :)

Oh, and I personally have a screw on grip that is quite nice and gives the camera some security, however I got myself a black rapid strap that I absolutely love. It also screws onto the body, and obviously replaces the grip handle.

http://www.blackrapid.com/products/crossshot ... on eBay £30 or £40 new.

I like the security of having it attached of something and that you can swing it to take a shot very quickly. Handy thing.
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Old Friday 24th July 2015, 10:40   #9
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Oh, I've come across this guy;

http://jason_odell.500px.com/birds

Beautiful photos.

Youtube talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBTZvX6Boeg
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Old Friday 24th July 2015, 14:31   #10
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Oobly,
with a black-rapid strap, if they are as good as announced, you should have no problems with the current 100-300. I carry my combo with the GH2 camera just in a regular strap over the shoulder, and have no problems with the weight.

Regarding quality: I have several hundred photos taken with that combo in my birdforum gallery (click my name to the left and then continue from there). Ammadoux is another person having used that lens and uploaded here.

I think it is fair to say that a "big white" for canon or similar nikon lenses are sharper (and much heavier), but you can get excellent results with the pana 100-300 when you are close. The upcoming 100-400 might be a game changer for that statement.

Niels
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Old Friday 24th July 2015, 16:25   #11
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Thanks, Oobly. Regarding my shots, they are in focus, although focus on the Booby in the fourth shot is on its back rather than on its head. I think the sharpness of those shots is within reasonable expectations of this lens given its size and price; it renders some feather detail, and has good contrast, but won't have the crispness of a large DSLR telephoto prime. The 100-300 is also reasonably portable, as I've been able to cram the GM1, the 100-300, 35-100, and 12mm f/2 into this little bag: http://store.lowepro.com/s-f-utility-bag-100-aw.

As for straps, the BlackRapid is definitely a nice one. I typically use a small wrist strap on the GM1, but it's hard to go wrong with a sling strap.

I strongly suspect the upcoming 100-400 will have a tromboning zoom mechanism; generally, only large fixed-aperture zooms (e.g., the 35-100, and the DSLR 70-200 and 200-400 zooms) have internal zoom mechanisms.
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Old Friday 31st July 2015, 13:14   #12
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Most of the times I use a triplet refractor scope. 480 or 700mm.

I sometimes use the Zuiko 300/2.8 or the 50-200SWD (note these are 4/3 lenses). The E-M1 AF (when used on 4/3 lenses, phase detect) performance is almost as good as the E5.

I don't have/use any m4/3 lenses.
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Old Saturday 8th August 2015, 09:55   #13
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I am still using a G6 with the 100-300, and recently took a shot which is one of my more pleasing to date, as attached. I carry my kit in a Manfrotto holster, which works nicely for me, and can take a spare lens or two, and accessories also.

I too am very interested in the upcoming 100-400, and would be keen to get a pairing of a GX8 and 100-400, as that sounds a brilliant combo for birding, if the lens isn't too large, or the cost too prohibitive.

http://www.birdforum.net/gallery/sho...6/ppuser/40213
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Old Monday 17th August 2015, 22:40   #14
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Found this video comparing IS http://youtu.be/sRK6WfCboM8

Although I realise the 100-400 is not likely to be as effective due to the longer focal length, the technology does seem encouraging! And I stand by my statement as to reeeeally wanting to give a GX8 and 100-400 a go!
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