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Old Thursday 5th November 2009, 13:06   #1
bitternsweet
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Dilemma: Nikon D40 + Telephoto or Lumix DMC-FZ28 + Teleconverter

I am keen to get into bird photography but as my budget is rather limited at the moment I am considering the purchase of a Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 "Motorised" DG Macro telephoto zoom lens for use with my Nikon D40 DSLR. £129.95 from 47th Street Photo via Amazon. Does anyone have any experience with this lens? It is not fitted with VR so far as I am aware but does fit the bill price-wise.

My other option is to purchase a teleconverter and adaptor for my Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28 bridge camera for about the same price. I think that this would be the lighter weight outfit. But what about results?

I am not looking to win prizes (well, not yet...), just take photos for my own enjoyment and record.

All opinions, comments and advice will be most welcome. And my apologies if a similar thread already exists on BF. I'm fairly new to this!
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Old Thursday 5th November 2009, 13:44   #2
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I can't advise about the lens, as I only use the Panasonic FZ28.

Unless my maths is wrong, with that lens you'll have less range than you get from your FZ28 now without a TC. You have 486mm now, the lens will only be 450mm (* 1.5 crop factor).
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Old Thursday 5th November 2009, 14:07   #3
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I agree with your maths Chris, I just hadn't looked at it that way. I am just looking for the best combo to photograph small birds at a reasonable distance, and do not have much experience. Do you have any FZ28 bird photos you could show here?
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Old Thursday 5th November 2009, 14:17   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bitternsweet View Post
I agree with your maths Chris, I just hadn't looked at it that way. I am just looking for the best combo to photograph small birds at a reasonable distance, and do not have much experience. Do you have any FZ28 bird photos you could show here?
Plenty in my gallery:

http://www.birdforum.net/gallery/sho...0/ppuser/69033

All of the garden birds are taken through Double Glazing. Some pictures are better than others, as the light in my garden is very poor most of the time. All pictures are without a TC, most using 7mp Extra Zoom; but I'm happy to use 3mp Extra Zoom when I need it.

Oh, I think the oldest pictures were taken with a Fuji S8100. EXIF data is in all pictures if you want to check ISO and Shutter Speed.
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Old Thursday 5th November 2009, 14:23   #5
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I should probably say that I don't always upload the best quality image. If a poor shot by me, or because of the light, shows interesting behaviour, then I still upload it.
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Old Thursday 5th November 2009, 14:30   #6
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I am a novice as well and have just recently bought the Panasonic FZ38+teleconverter, which gives a total focal length of more than 800mm. The camera alone has 486mm, so to match that you would need the 500mm Sigma lens which would cost at least £500 secondhand. The 70-300mm lens is really not enough to photograph small birds.

Go to the gallery on here, then search for "panasonic fz" - you'll see a fair few (including my first 2!) that don't match up to those taken with SLR's, but some are excellent eg those posted in the last few days by André Adeodato.

I've only had my camera for a month or so, but I'm very happy with it. I am starting to see the limitations - noisy images in low light etc, but for someone just experimenting with a new hobby its the perfect set-up. Bear in mind the weight you would be lugging around with a DSLR + big lense as well.
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Old Thursday 5th November 2009, 14:44   #7
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Thanks all for the constructive comments. I'm off to take a butchers at some of your photos Chris. Thanks Amarillo for the gallery nudge
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