Birding Lens

  • JGB
  • JGB's Avatar Topic Author
  • Visitor
  • Visitor
7 years 8 months ago #18833 by JGB
JGB created the topic: Birding Lens
Hi All,

Within the next month or so I should have my first SLR – a Canon 550D. The next step is lenses. I have already decided on a macro lens and flash for my insect photography but am undecided on a birding lens. Any recommendations in the up to R 10,000.00 bracket and up to R15,000.00 bracket?

Cheers,
Justin

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • tchagra
  • tchagra's Avatar
  • Visitor
  • Visitor
7 years 8 months ago #18843 by tchagra
tchagra replied the topic: Re: Birding Lens
Justin,

A fundamental decision when it comes to lenses is whether or not you are prepared to buy "grey" imports. When I bought my 100-400 IS the cheapest local price was 16.5 G (SA Camera limited special offer) , the normal price was 18.5 G. I imported mine legally from Adorama in US for 12 G. including air freight import duty etc. My understanding is that Canon will honor warrenties on legally imported lenses - see lengthy discussions on the subject on Outdoor Photo website. It makes no sense to me to buy expensive lenses locally, the mark up on bodies is however not so bad. Locally in my experience SA Camera has the best prices and Outdoor Photo in Menlyn is similar . B&H and Adorama in US are similar in price . I know a number of people who have used these sources with no problems. Total mark up for freight and import duties is of the order of 26% on list prices if I remember correctly. Once you decide on this aspect you will either narrow or widen your selection accordingly. My guess is that at the lower end you could go for one of the Sigma lenses (my son Duncan uses my Sigma 70-200 with a sigma 2 x converter to good effect). I am happy with my 100-400 IS Canon lens but a fixed 300 mm lens may give better results. Suggest you search the Oudoor photo website for comparisons in this regard.

Hope this helps.

Bruce

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Doug
  • Doug's Avatar
  • Visitor
  • Visitor
7 years 8 months ago #18844 by Doug
Doug replied the topic: Re: Birding Lens
Order The 100-400 from the US. Absolutely no contest on price vs performance but will only fit your budget if you order from the US

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • JGB
  • JGB's Avatar Topic Author
  • Visitor
  • Visitor
7 years 8 months ago #18893 by JGB
JGB replied the topic: Re: Birding Lens
Thanks for the info. I will look at importing from the US then.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • mossie
  • mossie's Avatar
  • Visitor
  • Visitor
7 years 8 months ago #19190 by mossie
mossie replied the topic: Re: Birding Lens
Have you also considered the EF 400mm f/5.6L USM prime. Its a bit cheaper than the 100-400L, but can't zoom, and no IS. It is supposed to be faster in focus, and sharper than the 100-400 zoom or the 300mm f/4 with 1.4x converter. Looking at the forum postings, the Sigma 50-500 also gives good results, but stay clear of the sigma 170-500.

I assume you got the EF f/2.8 100mm USM macro. Awesome lens, and the reason why I will choose prime over zoom any day.

One day when my bank manager gives permission, I would go for the 400mm prime!

Mossie

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Doug
  • Doug's Avatar
  • Visitor
  • Visitor
7 years 8 months ago #19193 by Doug
Doug replied the topic: Re: Birding Lens
I am not sure what your budget is for the body but how about a second hand EOS 1D MKIIn. They go for about 12K and I have not seen the 550D but having now had my 40D fixed, and tested both side by side, the 1D is WAY superior to the 40D in terms of:
1) AF speed
2) AF tracking accuracy
3) Build quality
4) Noise
5) I still do NOT like the colour reproduction on the 40D. Again in this department the 1D MKII makes the 40D look a little silly to say the least.
6) Instead of adding the vertical battery grip with shutter button you automatically have this on the 1D MKIIn.

Best purchase I ever made. After the 1D MKIIn, the 40D feels like a toy and I just do not enjoy being behind a 40D taking photos. It is not a pleasant experience once you have used a proper PRO body.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • JGB
  • JGB's Avatar Topic Author
  • Visitor
  • Visitor
7 years 6 months ago #23486 by JGB
JGB replied the topic: Re: Birding Lens
Well it turned out to be a loooong month. Have finally taken the plunge and ordered a 550D and 105 macro lens - the birding lens will need to be asved for.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • mossie
  • mossie's Avatar
  • Visitor
  • Visitor
7 years 6 months ago #23543 by mossie
mossie replied the topic: Re: Birding Lens
I know how you feel.

My bank manager agreed that if I build the kids a wendy house, I can place my order for the Canon EF 400mm f5.6L USM prime.

So 500kg of timber, 200kg of concrete mix, and 300kg of roof tiles later, and a lot of sweat, it is finished!

I placed my order yesterday.

Although I am kicking myself, because 2 weeks ago the price was $60 cheaper and the rand was stronger, but that's life <!-- s:banghead: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/banghead.gif" alt=":banghead:" title="Frustration" /><!-- s:banghead: -->

The canon EF 50mm prime F1.4 "accidentally" fell into the shopping cart. (Its to photograph the kids <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: --> )

Hopefully I will now never have to use that <!-- s:biting: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/biting.gif" alt=":biting:" title="Frustration" /><!-- s:biting: --> 18-55 kit lens again!

Mossie

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Powered by Kunena Forum