Which lens for migrating birds?
now that spring comming, many migrating birds are flying and resting in the county side on their way north. I had a chance to take pictures with my nikon D300 and 18-200m, but at 200mm the image was not that sharp and the zoom range was a little far ro get all the details. I was wondering what other zoom lens that could help me get closer and capture more details. Bare in mind that i don't usually shoot wild life so i'm not looking to buy a very expensive, long zoom lens
thank you for
Dr. M. Al-Qatam
You say; "Bare in mind that i don't usually shoot wild life so i'm not looking to buy a very expensive, long zoom lens"
What sort of budget do you have in mind?
Hmmm let us say around 450£ or so
Sounds like you'll need a telephoto of least a 500mm, but a decent new one will cost well into four figures.
You have several options:
1. Look on eBay for a second hand Nikon, Sigma or Tamron. Right now there's a http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Nikon-Reflex-N...item2305f09189 but that will go up.
2. Look at one of the cheapo mirror lenses by names like http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/SAMYANG-500mm-...item2a049ab916. These are very cheap (like, £100 cheap) and almost certainly pretty nasty (though we haven't tested any of them yet). They have fixed apertures (usually f/8) and a tripod is essential.
3. Look at digi-scoping. Attaching a DSLR or compact to a telescope with a focal length of around 800mm will be much cheaper and lighter than the equivalent photo lens. I did this recently and wrote about it in my http://www.whatdigitalcamera.com/blo...otography.html. I found that even 800mm wasn't enough to fill the frame with distant birds though. Although it was a £2000 Swarovski telescope I was using, there are cheaper alternatives, though I don't know much about them as they're beyond the remit of WDC.
One point about your technique. You say your shots aren't sharp. Were you hand holding the camera by any chance? The more you zoom, the mor important a tripod becomes because your body movements are magnfied. Even ignoring the camera shake it would be hard to hold a big telephoto lens steady.