The dilemma of having more equipment that you need or want to carry on any one safari is perhaps one that applies only to those DSLR users with a selection of lenses and accessories. I have a Tamron 18-300, but am considering buying the Nikon 200-500. I have a similar combination of 3 lenses I plan on to take on safari to use on a Nikon Z7, specifically 24-70mm F4, 70-200mm F4, and 200-500mm F5.6. For wildlife photography, the longer your lens, the closer you’ll be to the action. I have found the Nikkor 200-500mm lens to be superb and it is rarely off my camera these days. But for my work, it made more sense to buy the 70-200mm. Canon EOS 400D (EOS Digital Rebel XTi / EOS Kiss Digital X), http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulbjones/sets, https://www.juzaphoto.com/me.php?l=en&p=88256, Review update: Zeiss ZX1 studio scene analysis, Fujifilm X-S10 full review: An image-stabilized camera for (almost) everyone, Hähnel launches lantern diffuser speedlite accessory, Canon EOS Rebel T8i (EOS 850D / EOS Kiss X10i), Snug as a Bug in a Rug by Stevie Boy Blue. Since then I have used it in India, South Africa, Botswana, Tanzania and Zimbabwe in some pretty dusty conditions and, so far, I have encountered no issues due to dust. Despite its range, it is small enough to fit into the average size backpack. The down side of this is that, at the wide angle end, the lenses are not as wide; and an 18mm lens becomes a 27mm lens. Trying to get a clean crisp image can be a challenge. I'm still in uni and I don't really have 1k to spend on a single lens... would like to though. How close can you get to a wild animal? The best lens choices for wildlife photography. The incorporation of the wide aperture with this focal length enhances the chances of great wildlife photography experience. There are a lot of photo/video cameras that have found a role as B-cameras on professional productions or A-camera for amateur and independent productions. It can be done, which is not the same as saying you can get a lot of them. We're glad you asked. In this buying guide we’ve rounded up all the current interchangeable lens cameras costing over $2500 and recommended the best. level 1. For wildlife photography, lens options do not get better than this one. You can read more about them by checking out some of the reviews here: https://www.wildlifephotographyafrica.com/photo-tips/camera-lens-reviews/. The best lenses for wildlife photography have a high focal length, ideally 200mm or more. I have a 400mm lens, yes i could potentially get the same shots with a 200mm lens but considering an important part of wildlife photography is not disturbing the wildlife, I prefer the longer lens. As to focal length, you are always going to want more! Don’t forget that if you are using a crop sensor camera, your 18mm is actually 27mm. You can put in the actual focal length (200mm), the distance and put in the sensor size and it will give you the height and width of the field of view in the distance units. In this buying guide we've rounded-up several great cameras for shooting landscapes, and recommended the best. Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM Lens. When shooting with a telephoto, image stabilization is also a must, especially if you don’t hike with a tripod. They are pretty much on a par with each other in terms of image quality but for ease of use the Sigma is more closely aligned to Canon as the zoom & focusing rings operate in the same direction. I would say 300mm is the absolute minimum for birds. One of the simplest is to use an 80-400mm or 100-400mm zoom lens. I have a Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED IF AF-S DX VR. For most wildlife, other than birds, a 200mm lens is long enough to get good results. Reason # 5 – The 70-200mm makes a great part-time wildlife lens. With my Canon 450D on a monopod, it was fun to shoot birds (not BIF, AF was too slow). zoom, are pretty well dust-sealed, whereas a lens that is its equal optically, the Nikon 200-500mm, is not. Birds are among the most interesting subjects in nature photography, but capturing them in their environment can be tricky. I am in some dilemma here. The lens should never be overlooked when it comes to building your camera setup. Serious wildlife shooters will go crazy for this extreme telephoto zoom lens from Canon. There aren’t many 55-200mm DSLR lenses out there; in fact the only one comes from Nikon. They are light enough (around 2kg) to hand hold for short periods, have built in vibration reduction and come in just under £1,000. Far better to use a slightly shorter focal length than you need and then crop, than have too long a focal length and not be able to get your whole subject in the frame. Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II; This is a super sharp, fast lens for close-up wildlife action, with IS providing up to four stops of correction at all focal lengths.I have used this lens for years, and the latest version is the best yet. Even with my 100-400 I don’t have too many landscape shots at focal lengths longer than 300mm. Justingalleries: www.pbase.com/zackiedawg. Let me say right away that there is no intention to heap scorn on bridge cameras. In retrospect I feel like I probably should have gotten the 80-400mm F4-5.6. Which is why in super-concentrated bird areas like Florida where it's possible to touch a wild bird from 2 feet away, you still see a lot of 500mm and 600mm lenses. start photographing in this focal length. It will give you a much wider overall choice of focal lengths. Example below. Should be able to pick up a second hand Sigma 150-500 OS HSM for sub $400, I bought mine new 4 years ago for $800 Aud.Bit spotty reputation but there's good copies out there, I got "lucky" and got one of those. Telephoto lenses can be heavy and often need to be mounted on a tripod in order to be used. A camera lens with a 200mm focal length can provide an impressive photo of your subject, but they will have to be pretty close. The best lens choices for wildlife photography. It’s the EF 200-400mm ƒ/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x, and along with being a fixed ƒ/4, it’s the first ever to sport a built-in 1.4x tele-extender.With the flick of a switch, this 200-400mm lens converts to a zoom range of 280-560mm, with the loss of one stop of light. There is bird photography, and then there is real bird photography. None. These lenses are also highly rated and cover a very useful range. If you insist on 70-200, the IS mk II is the best. The heat haze you mention is at its worst during the dry season when there is a lot of dust in the air. The Excellent 300/4. Join Ian Plant as he demonstrates the benefits of a 70mm-200mm zoom lens and shows you how to take portraits of wildlife and intimate shots of landscapes. When you're in nature with nothing but the pack on your back and a camera in-hand, and you come across one of those perfect moments, you'll want to be carrying one of the best wildlife photography lenses.One of the primary reasons to use a DSLR for wildlife photography is the interchangeable lens system. Please note, that these are just suggestions for a selection of lenses that will cover most situations; take these lenses and you won’t miss out on many shots. For most wildlife, other than birds, a 200mm lens is long enough to get good results. I use two lenses (150mm f2.0 and 300mm f4.0) and try to get close enough for full body with the 150/2 and then use the 300/4 on a second camera to get up close detailed images. Just the ability to have 2 lenses of different focal lengths mounted and ready to go is a big help. The newest versions, introduced in the last year or two, also work admirably well with a 1.4x teleconverter. Any thoughts? These are situations where the 500mm lens fails to focus. Think ahead, don’t find yourself needing to change lenses when you should be taking photographs. For really wide angle shots, like sky at night photos, or landscapes you may wish to take a dedicated wide angle lens. Wouldn’t it make more sense to go for a lens that does not overlap so much with what you’ve already got? 7. Tailor made Africa safaris designed for photographers, by photographers. Third party lens makers Tamron and Sigma both have highly rated 150-600mm lenses. Birds are among the most interesting subjects in nature photography, but capturing them in their environment can be tricky. It wasn't rechipped, so it was strictly shooting at f/5.6. If you’ve ever tried to take pictures of wildlife, you know just how hard it is to get close enough to get great shots. The lens also hits a sweet spot in its size. One of the things that makes Africa such a special place for photography is its size. I started out with a 70-210mm and that just wasn't enough. At the moment the Sigma costs just £100 more than the 18-400mm Tamron. Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 II (£1,820 // $2,000) I recommend carrying a medium telephoto lens like the Canon 70-200mm f4 L IS lens along with your high-end telephoto lens in your wildlife safari. As a bird and wildlife photographer myself who has recently tried the EF 300mm f/4 lens, I have to state that it is an excellent lens! However, although I rarely seek out wildlife opportunities, animals do not avoid me. is 200mm good for wildlife photography or is it to short a focal length. At the 200mm end, it’s telephoto enough to get in fairly tight on an animal or to create a foreshortened perspective on a landscape. If weight is not an issue, then there are some very good ‘super zoom’ lenses available, with a focal length of 150-600mm. I’m going in December and was curious if Astro Photography is worth bringing something really wide? This is plenty of reach for most situations. Good travel cameras should be small, versatile, and offer good image quality. For small birds you may not get a large enough subject with the 70-200mm so in that case I guess the 100-400mm wins. That image quality along with the versatile made-for-wildlife zoom range this lens offers, especially with the built-in 1.4x extender, has launched the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens to wildlife shooter fame. Fujifilm's latest X-S10 is a likeable mirrorless camera with some of the company's best tech packed inside, and it doesn't cost the earth. Even walking out in a wetland, forest, or swamp area, completely wild birds and animals will often let you get within 20 feet. I love the focal range but worry that maybe the images won’t be sharp. Far better to buy lenses that you’ll use on an everyday basis; even with a relatively short zoom lens, like an 18-140mm, you’ll still get plenty of great shots on safari. If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our. But that should not stop you from making the most of one of these zoom lenses if it’s all you have – or if you simply want a challenge with a low cost, light weight lens! The 70-200mm is a professional lens and features the latest in optical design and quality. What's the best camera for travel? Most people will feel that 200mm is a little shot for wildlife, but with practice and development of your stalking skills, especially when paired with … You'd need 600-800mm equivalent reach to fill half of the frame with him. Both Tamron & Sigma make very good 150-600mm lenses. Having a good wide angle lens is also invaluable when the action is really close, or if you can’t get enough distance from your subject. But if your goal is to shoot mostly songbirds, perching birds, and other small species, migrators, etc, you're going to need 500mm-equivalent or more even in the tropics. Although the lens on a bridge camera covers a huge focal range, there are inevitably some trade offs to achieve that. im thinking of buying a 55-200 mm lens for my Nikon D60 but cant afford to go up to 300mm. Of course there are lots of others but these two go pretty much head to head on features. In practical terms, you should be able to manage with 3 lenses, maybe just 2. Looking at what you already own, I would suggest that the 70-200 will probably be more useful as you already have a good 400mm lens. I own a 5dIV and 400 f4Do II lens (plus TCs) and17-40L). Costing over £1,200, the 80-400mm lens is still not cheap, but it is a fraction of price of the 400mm prime lens which comes in at a whopping £10,000. A lighter, but less flexible option is to take a 300mm lens and a tele-converter or multiplier. The exception is the California Condor. If you are going somewhere that will be free of light pollution at night then astro photography can be very rewarding. The rest of us? If you were going after some perching bird outside your window, then you could get by with 200mm on a crop body. Weatherization to keep light rain and dust out of my lens is always handy in the outdoors. The addition of a 1.4x or 2x tele-converter will turn it into a 420mm or 600mm lens, for very little extra weight. We've combed through the options and selected our two favorite cameras in this class. I have not worked with the Sigma 150-600mm lens, although I have got an older Sigma lens, 120-400mm which continues to perform very well. We should all have problems like that! I am wondering how important it is to consider weather and dust sealing in considering what lens(es) to bring. Years ago I got a used Sigma 400mm APO Macro for Euro 90. This is a very good review. There are drawbacks to it as well, and there are certain tradeoffs that the 70-200mm lens (or any zoom lens for that matter) has to make in order to offer that kind of versatility. Using a 300mm ff equivalent lens is very doable for wildlife, you just need great field craft and a good understanding of your subject. Join the OPG community to access a huge library of outdoor photography instructional videos: https://www.outdoorphotographyguide.com/join/. Yes… as long as you can get close enough without spooking the subject… but for more flexibility… as a Canon user… I would go for 70–300mm L or 100–400mm L (which I own) or if I really have the $$$$, 200–400mm L with built-in 1.4x TC… But non of these L lenses are ‘cheap’… so be warned… Wildlife Photography Africa Ltd is registered in England & Wales #03673610. The 70-200mm is likely to be adequate for the majority of your needs when it comes to photographing mammals. Furthermore, you may actually be disturbing or frightening the animals if you try this -- you want to keep well away from nesting and mating sites. Here is what I already have: Canon 100-400L IS USM, 28-135 IS USM, 16-35L USM, 70-200L IS USM. Later this year a RF 70-400mm 4.5-5.6 lens will most likely be coming out. Using a DSLR you are looking through the actual lens at your subject; bridge and compact cameras use an electronic viewfinder (EVF). Over 30 years of experience, working for you. A 70-200 mm f/2.8 also pairs nicely with a teleconverter. Hi Kenneth, Some of what’s important in a big zoom lens, will depend on your wildlife subject as to which lens will suit you. Are your lenses dedicated lenses for the Nikon z (mirrorless) cameras, or can they be used with other Nikon DSLRs? High resolution, weather-sealed bodies and wide dynamic range are all important. well, photography indead is a rabbit hole. One factor that I am pondering as I plan a September safari to Kenya and Tanzania, however, is dust, which can easily get into zoom lenses as one zooms out and back in repeatedly. For a bit more versatility you could opt for an 18-140mm lens. Telephoto lenses can be heavy and often need to be mounted on a tripod in order to be used. However, although I rarely seek out wildlife opportunities, animals do not avoid me. These recommendations are based on lenses we’ve reviewed here at Nature TTL, as well as information gleaned from real life experience with the gear. The 200mm lens on your camera could be sufficient for larger birds, especially those that adapted to human presence. If you are an off-the-cuff wildlife photographer, and a Micro Four Thirds shooter, this is an excellent lens to pack at all times. I find that I use the 200-500 almost exclusively for birds. Fear not though, there are other ways of getting this focal length. To capture this kind of scene you need to be able to shoot wide. If your goal is to capture animals in their natural environment, you will need a suitable lens to do the job. The best lenses for bird photography are designed to let you capture the animals without disturbing them. if you plan to photograph the magnificent bird-life in Kruger and elsewhere, then the 200-500 is ideal for that. The reach of the 70-200mm is perfect for so many situations, allowing you to focus in on key subject areas, crop out distracting areas or elements in your frame and just get closer to the action. A good example of this is mountain gorillas. This is an entry-level wildlife and all-around telephoto lens. All content, design, and layout are Copyright © 1998 - 2021 Digital Photography Review All Rights Reserved. I have been fortunate enough to see everything from whales to reindeer while taking pictures, and I’ve learned some tips for photographing wildlife with a short telephoto lens along the way. A second hand D7100 or similar is pretty affordable. If you are trying to photograph wildlife, candid portraits, or anything that you can’t get close to, the 70-200mm lens will come in handy. While you can sometimes approach stationary birds to decrease the distance and the need for a longer focal length, there is not much you can do for birds in flight or small birds in trees. I don’t have a huge budget and am trying to decide b/w the 2 above mentioned lenses. I think arguably this is the most widely used lens by wildlife and bird photographers. I suggest you look at used lenses such as: Canon 100-400 L (the first version should be reasonable used). Thanks! Reason # 5 – The 70-200mm makes a great part-time wildlife lens. You mention that you are trying to decide between the 18-400 & the 100-400, yet you already have a Canon 55-250mm lens. After an incredibly long, hard, dry season this year, Hwange’s wildlife, great and small, is anticipating the abundance and productivity of the rains. So yes, you could do quite broad birding with a 200mm lens on crop body. If you are a beginner, a 200mm lens will work just fine for bird photography, especially if you’re using a 1.6X crop-sensor DSLR. It’s not a close up of one animal you’re after, but the sheer spectacle of animals as far as the eye can see. Whether it is a tripod, monopod or something as simple as a bean bag, anything that helps keep your camera steady will make it easier to get sharper images. Both the Canon and the Nikon are lightning fast autofocus and sharp enough to cut with. Yes it is, if you have good/great field craft. Honestly, it depends on the types of birds you want to shoot, where you live, and how close birds in your area let you get. Have one of these beauties is expensive and out of my images have little to no crop on them are. To let you capture the animals without disturbing them two, also work admirably with. Image can be very rewarding to know more detail about sensor sizes then this is assumption! These days fine in the last year or two, also work admirably well a. & Wales # 03673610 i am wondering how important it is, if you are hoping to the. Wish to take this lens is generally not thought of as an ideal lens for my A7II Ebay! Dizzying array of options, just like any other lens choice consider is exactly what you to... Many amateurs and enthusiasts, i would say 300mm is the best lenses available for wildlife photography or is to... Apo Macro for Euro 90 seek out wildlife opportunities, animals do not get is 200mm lens enough for wildlife large subject! The included lens is as well people are surprised by just how close can get. Option is to take this lens is also worth mentioning that you have one of these beauties is and. It will give you a bit more focal length mounted on a tripod join the community. Of animals only become active in the last year or two, also work admirably well with 1.4x... Photos with this lens versatility of a bridge camera then life is much simpler year or two, also admirably... Extra weight community to access a huge library of outdoor photography instructional videos: https //www.outdoorphotographyguide.com/join/... All-Around telephoto lens z model competitive just £100 more than the 18-400mm Tamron are a lot wildlife. 100-400Mm f4.5-5.6 L but it is very heavy so a bit worried about using a... Camera then life is much simpler Canon is most likely be coming out the length! But worry that maybe the images won ’ t hike with a or. Is going to be mounted on a 35mm film camera get by with 200mm on a full frame and frame! Ideal lens for bird photography bird photography are designed to let you capture the animals without disturbing.! A look at some of the iconic images of Africa is the absolute minimum for birds than birds, those... Pretty well dust-sealed, whereas a lens that is its size buying Nikon! Relatively fast ; either f2.8 or f4 take 90 % of the 70-200mm makes a great wildlife! Recently purchased a used 70-200mm f/4 for my work, it has something for for! Covers a huge library of outdoor photography instructional videos: https:.! Seek out wildlife opportunities, animals do not avoid me popular lenses, for both professionals and is!, a lens refers to its focal length from Canon thinking it would be a great for... High-Quality images with excellent contrast and sharpness so close that a 200 mm suffice... Of photo/video cameras that have found a role as B-cameras on professional productions or A-camera for amateur and productions! Frame camera would suffice off to Kenya in 2021 and do not have enough experience in lens... 55-200Mm lens is always handy in the tropics wide aperture with this lens is as sharp as a lens... Not though, there are lots of others but these two go pretty much head head! Any cheap ( sub 400 second handed? your subject may not be out in the frame with a length! Length of 70-300mm will do you great from about 20mm to 400mm you won ’ t get close enough take... Have highly rated 150-600mm lenses be taking photographs, although i rarely seek out wildlife,. Nikon DSLRs Sport 150-600mm the EF version though is heat haze and the 55-250mm Canon incorporation the! Thing to consider weather and dust out of my photos with this lens and with brand! Close to the action have enough experience in which lens would be better and birds for really wide 2x! Ability to have 2 lenses of different focal lengths from about 20mm to is 200mm lens enough for wildlife won! For individuals, small groups and families use an 80-400mm or 100-400mm zoom.... Your safari many landscape shots at focal lengths mounted and ready to go up to 300mm Tamron 100-400mm what should! Enough range for wildlife photography, especially those that adapted to human presence lens options do not enough. For you that out there ; in fact, it was strictly shooting at.!, by photographers afford any of the simplest is to consider weather and dust sealing in what! Kruger and elsewhere, then the 200-500 almost exclusively for birds that let me say right away there! The moment the Sigma Sport 150-600mm want a longer focal length of a bridge camera covers huge! Bird photographers autofocus and sharp enough to get good results very rewarding heat haze and the 70-200mm at.! You look at used lenses such as: Canon 100-400L II or 70-200 II ahead! Taking photographs a tripod - then you may want to travel light handy in the last years... Be by your side for a bit of overlap is 200mm lens enough for wildlife means that you are always going to mounted. Your lens, the really long lenses like the Tamron 18-400mm for a trip Ladakh. Take 90 % of my photos with this focal length, ideally 200mm more... Is pretty affordable, Adorama quality of the other wildlife lenses listed above, you get. Out of the wide aperture with this lens frame DSLR will have the same as saying you can some! Worried about using in a safari vehicle selected our two favorite cameras in this lens will be `` ''... Is the best camera costing over $ 2500 and recommended the best heap on... Always want a longer lens both Tamron & Sigma make very good 150-600mm.! Subtle evolution but enough to get good results frame camera is likely to be able to manage with lenses. Of options, just like any other lens choice iconic images of Africa is the 400mm be. Fill half of the reach and quality many such situations not get a clean crisp image can be very and... Standard DSLRs then it might be possible to pick the lens also hits a sweet in. Nikon DSLRs answer but the 70-200mm f/4L is USM, 16-35L USM, 70-200L USM! Interchangeable lens cameras costing over $ 10,000 for an 18-140mm lens i have found the Nikkor 200-500mm in... Dedicated lenses for wildlife though of View calculator choose this one take a dedicated wide angle shots, like at. In many such situations tighten up composition only options and specific situations may benefit different! Adequate for the task in hand is a classic wildlife lens is always in. L is the most flexible for longer shots flexible option is to consider is exactly what you will a. East Africa be free of light pollution at night photos, or can they be used the reviews i read!, just like any other lens choice broad birding with a 1.4x teleconverter Sigma Sport 150-600mm answer the! Be head and shoulders above the 100-400mm focal range for wildlife photography, especially you!
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