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Needing advice about a lens (1 Viewer)


Hello Bird forum thanks for the add,

I am here today on behalf of my grandfather and his poor photography skills or maybe he just needs a lens, I'm hoping you guys can help me out.

He's been watching birds for a few years now, every weekend he will go out with a few other down to the local nature reserve and watch the beautiful birds. About two months ago he went out and treated himself to a Canon EOS 60D SLR (I think) and he loves it! but, he called me the other day and was explaining that when he tries to take some distance shots or mid flight that they keep coming up a blur.

Can you guys let me know if the camera is capable of taking them kinds of pictures and if so what lens he needs to get the pictures he wants?

Cheers B :)


Well-known member

no issues with that camera for an amateur bird watcher who wants to share photos with friends and family. The lens might be the issue, and the settings. What is the lens he's using?

There are plenty of good tutorial videos on Youtube on photographing birds, with advice on the best lenses and camera settings. It's a learning curve, but to answer your first question, that camera is perfectly capable of producing satisfactory images.


Well-known member
Agree with the above but i would tell him catching birds in flight is like trying to run before he can walk so not to be too disappointed with the failures.
If he wants to practice and that's what it is about have you anywhere near that has Gulls they make a good learning curve.
Lens is important so if you could tell us what he has and what settings he is trying with,being generous i would say the larger birds like geese you could go as low a 1,000th of a second but at the other end i have used 1/4000th for things like swallows.
BIF (birds in flight) shots are very rewarding but at the difficult end of the scale,one day though with practice it falls into place.


Forum member
Hi Jamie,

but, he called me the other day and was explaining that when he tries to take some distance shots or mid flight that they keep coming up a blur.

It might help to diagnose what the cause of the blur is ... typically, it's either camera shake (or imperfect tracking, in the case of birds in flight), or wrong focus.

Camera shake tends to give a "smeared" look to the blur, and looking at the exprosure data stored in the picture file, you'll probably see longish exposure times.

With wrong focus, you'll find that the camera autofocus might have considered some twigs in the foreground more interesting than the small bird in the middle of the picture, so those twigs will be sharp, but not the bird.




Right guys Thanks for the replies! I am going to take everything above and go to visit my grandfather today and see if we can come up with what the problem actually is then I will come back to you guys.

Thanks again


That lens does not have Auto Focus and lets in very little light. If he can send it back then tell him to do so ASAP.

It simply will not do the job. If he wants a long lens that will give good shots of birds in flight then we are looking at many thousands of pounds and quite a bit of weight! This is what I do and he is looking at a 20lb+ load and spending £15K +...OUCH!

Realistically though excellent results can be had with his camera and a good (but not silly money) lens at around 300 to 400mm. Lenses like the Canon 400 F5.6 L IS offer very good IQ, excellent Auto Focus yet are light and not too expensive especially second hand.

Technique is as, if not more, important than the focal length he is using so I would suggest a lot more practice before pulling out the credit card!

Hope this helps.

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