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Retsdon

Tackle help wanted.

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I'm looking for advice. I want to start taking bird and wildlife pictures. As far as 'real' photography goes I'm a complete novice, but I have plenty of time on my hands to put in some study and groundwork and hope eventually to at least take half-decent pictures.

My question (and I know it's a bit how-long-is-a-piece-of-stringish!) is what should I be be looking for in terms of cameras, lenses, etc ? I'm aware that initially any camera at all will probably do more than I'm capable of asking it to do, but nevertheless I'd like something that I won't feel the urge to upgrade as soon as I've learned to use it properly. 

Any good book suggestions would be appreciated too. 

Anyone?

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I shall be interested in responses as I want to do more of this. I use a Nikon DSLR d40x 10mbp for general landscape photography and I have recently added a 150-600 zoom lense.

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So many decisions to make:-

https://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/tag/wildlife-photography

https://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/tag/wildlife-photography

https://www.picturecorrect.com/tips/wildlife-photography-exposure/

Read all you can on the subject. If you are going for a DSLR buy a Nikon or Canon (market leaders) with the best telephoto lens you can afford, the lens is more important (and probably costs more) than the camera. Fast lenses are worth paying for, "kit" lenses (which usually come with the camera,) generally give disappointing results if you want to take top quality photos.

 

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Personally i use a Canon 7D with a 150-600 mm sigma lens, the 7D is fast which is an advantage for wildlife pics and also a crop sensor.

If i had the cash i would be looking at the Canon 1DX mk2 and a Canon 600 mm lens but i need to rob a bank first.

 

https://store.canon.co.uk/canon-ef-600mm-f-4l-is-iii-usm-lens/3329C005/

 

https://store.canon.co.uk/canon-eos-1d-x-mark-ii-body/0931C009/

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Posted (edited)

As has been said .the most important part will be the lens .a cheaper body with nice upgraded zoom lens will be best .

Id personally be looking at a nikon  d5500 or  d5600 .these are a mid range nikon apsc sensor camera .plenty of features and can take rapid fire shots of around 5 frames per second (which will be very useful on moving birds .)

The lens -   id look at probably  a nikon or sigma (nikon compatible obvs.) Zoom something like an 18-300 mm f 3.5 -  .5.6 .

This should get you into the action and fill the frame but not cost the earth of a fixed f.4  or more magnification .

You can  always add a 1.4x  teleconvertor for a bit more reach later if needed. Make sure you get a vr version lens too. (Vr = vibration reduction ) 

The other option of course is a bridge camera .these use a smaller sensor and struggle a bit in lower light ,but then birds fly in the day sooo.

 The zoom range of them is MASSIVE .and will blow you away how far you can pull objects into frame .

If your really only gonna put the pics on screens or for sharing or even small ish prints up to a4 then the bridge camera route is a great all in one option (lighter and cheaper too .

Id go with a nikon p900 or b500  / b700 .

These are out going models but really good .the later p1000 is huge and the b600 lower speced then the first 2 above .

Dont forget to look at sh stuff on gumtree etc . 

Ps im a nikon fanboy .obviously 

 

 

Edited by Ultrastu

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depending on your budget  canon 5d takes some beating obviously the mk 4 is the latest and best but it is expensive   secondhand  mk2 and mk3 are affordable and still great picture takers  as before its the lens that costs you   the better the lens the better the picture

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Posted (edited)
On ‎21‎/‎08‎/‎2019 at 19:32, Ultrastu said:

 Ps im a nikon fanboy .obviously 

 

Me too, obviously! there is a lot of (pointless) rivalry between Canon and Nikon owners. Deciding which way to go is a big decision because you'll be buying kit for one or the other for the rest of your natural born days.

Edited by martinj

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When choosing between Nikon and canon I went by the feel of the camera comparing equivalent specifications. I went with Nikon as it felt more comfortable.

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Posted (edited)

Here is a wee spuggie shot with a 1000 mm mirror lens in my Nikon d5600. This is an old lens and had to manual focus  and i had to work out F stop and shutter speed . The original  shot was 12 meg . I have had to compress it to get it on here . This was about 50 yards away . 

spuggy 2-1500x1000.jpg

Edited by johnphilip

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I know nothing of cameras so good luck with your efforts but I can’t believe nobody raised a snigger at the thread’s title; what is wrong with people today? If that’s not worth an “ooo err, missus”, I don’t know what is.

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You'll get some real bargains secondhand. The wife got a good Nikon set up with loads of lenses and batteries and other bits for £150. The girl had bought it all new with ambitions of being a photographer but realised it was hard so stuck it all in a drawer for 2 years until Mrs BTJ bought it a month ago 

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1 hour ago, SpringDon said:

I know nothing of cameras so good luck with your efforts but I can’t believe nobody raised a snigger at the thread’s title; what is wrong with people today? If that’s not worth an “ooo err, missus”, I don’t know what is.

yep defo worth an ooo are missus

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Don't forget with long lenses you will need a good tripod one that can do low level and be high enough for you plus look into a remote trigger for complete stability 

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On 21/08/2019 at 12:39, Retsdon said:

I'm looking for advice. I want to start taking bird and wildlife pictures. As far as 'real' photography goes I'm a complete novice, but I have plenty of time on my hands to put in some study and groundwork and hope eventually to at least take half-decent pictures.

My question (and I know it's a bit how-long-is-a-piece-of-stringish!) is what should I be be looking for in terms of cameras, lenses, etc ? I'm aware that initially any camera at all will probably do more than I'm capable of asking it to do, but nevertheless I'd like something that I won't feel the urge to upgrade as soon as I've learned to use it properly. 

Any good book suggestions would be appreciated too. 

Anyone?

Have you thought of a course?  I have seen (can't remember where, but may have been my local county nature conservation trust) wildlife photography courses advertised.

Modern cameras are technically very very good, but have so many 'bells and whistles' it is hard for the layman to really make the best of the kit unless some training has been taken.

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Well I have waited and decided to comment.

It matters not whether you go down the Nikon or Canon route, once you have made your decision, you invariably stick with it.

Glass is what makes the difference. The more you spend the better! Second hand is definitely the way forward for the beginner. Prime or zoom either will be useful.

If you are using your camera gear for wildlife photography you will need to be able to use a fast shutter speed to help prevent blurred shots.

You will need a good tripod and head to assist you in taking pinsharp shots.

A remote release would be a sound investment.

Practice, practice, practice in the back garden, the local park anywhere that gets you using the camera and lens in combination and learning what works and what doesn't.

By all means start by using the automatic settings on your camera, but learn from what it is doing and stretch the envelope.

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Thanks very much to everyone for all the replies. There's lots of food for thought there and I've been looking up some of the suggestions for cameras, lenses, etc.

OK, here are my tentative conclusions.

1) Spend most of the budget on a suitable lens / lenses. ( I think this is not in dispute)

2) I am possibly better off buying an older full frame sensor camera than a more recent crop frame model.

3) Buy a Nikon or Canon for availability of lenses, accessories,etc. 

At the moment though, we're still in the back end of summer here and it's 45+C outside (and humid to boot) -  so not really the weather for outdoor leisure pursuits! So in the meantime I plan on trying to learn a bit more about how cameras actually work. To that end I've ordered Bryan Peterson's Understanding Exposure book, and I think it's probably sensible  to work my way a bit further up the learning curve with my current camera (a Fujijfilm X-M1) before going mad and spending a small fortune. 

But like I say, thanks very much again for all the input. It's been really helpful in giving me a direction to go in.

 

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Ok first were is your location ,  do you wish to shoot just still , or stills and video .  If stills then Nikon . if stills and video then  Canon . Canon has the edge on the video side  . Becarefull buying secondhand  as cameras have a live span and that is down to shutter count . A pro one could have had a lot of work and high shutter count . If you thinking full frame then hold of abit , i belive Nikon have something new coming out . Yes prime lens will alway be better than any zoom . Older lens are amazing for image quality , but wont work , without you having to manual focus , and some you would have to work you shutter speed and apature out aswell . With a say 50 mm prime lens its amazing how much you can zoom in on the photo and save as an enlargements.  I will try and find two photos to show you , but remember any pictures  posted on here are not as good as the original  . Due to the loss in file size . 

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My camera is a Nikon d5600 , love it . I got a 50mm 1.8g . Dx lens to try new around £ 140 . The quality is amazing , two pictures of same thing but zoom in on photo and made another picture . It just shows with even a 50 mm lens what you could also get out of a picture .

grasses_and_ladybird.JPG

It wont let me upload another picture for some reason .

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Posted (edited)

I had a Canon 400d for about ten years loved it , but was not doing much to busy other things , then i had a small Stroke . To help  me get back out i started  taking pictures again . And wanted to try a better camera , read up on the Nikon d5600 , and splashed out . The first pictures even with the lens that came with it blew me away . But i want to see how good a prime lens could be . And i was not let down . Its an outstanding lens . We can post pictures on here , but due to image size of 3 meg , they loose a lot .on the bigger picture every little seed of the grass realy stands out . 

Edited by johnphilip

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