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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    SW Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    26

    For Birds: nifty 250 or bigger?

    Hey everyone looking for some more lenses for my XSI, Ive got a nifty50 for portrait stuff that i just ordered (hasnt come in yet), but was wondering,

    for nature photography, some birds etc, what size lens should i get for close ups? Is the 250 big enough? or should i save up and get something more powerful, keeping the lens under $500 though?

    Should i be looking at canon brand lenses? or something else? I will have a tripod for using this larger lens.

    Or should i get the 250, and look for an older canon lens with greater power (do old 35mm lenses fit the new dslr's?)
    Last edited by Simko; 04-22-2009 at 09:54 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    8,163
    What's a Nifty 250?
    Ouch.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    SW Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    26
    Ef-s 55-250 is

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Dubai, UAE
    Posts
    2,907
    I think he means the 55-250...
    Film
    Nikon EM, Series E lenses 50mm f1.8|28mm f1.8|100mm f2.8, Sigma 80-200mm f4.5-5.6
    Minolta Riva 100AF, Sinpo PQ-3, Olympus mju-III wide 100, Yashica 635
    Digital
    Sony cybershot W90, cybershot T90
    Canon A720i|400D|7D|5DMKII|85mm f1.8|24-105mm f4|135mm f2|40mm f2.8|430EX II*2|BG-E3|BG-E7
    Sigma 24mm f1.8|50mm f2.8|105mm f2.8 Samyang 8mm fisheye
    Portfolio

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    Posts
    788
    Old 35mm lenses will work.

    The nifty 250 is probably going to be the best thing for birding under $500. The Canon 100-300 gets a little more reach, but a lot less versatility, and probably not quite as good optical quality.

    Most people that shoot birds seriously use something in the 400mm and above range (600 is common) but those lengths are generally going to be a couple of orders of magnitude more expensive. They don't really make lenses past 300mm without getting to expensive pro stuff.

    Perhaps the cheapest lens considered very good for wildlife would be the Canon 100-400L, which is a great lens, but sells for close to $1500. I've seen them go used much closer to $1000 though.

    Something like a Canon 500mm prime is going to cost as much as a decent used car.

    Additionally, the 250 is a great match for the XSi kit lens for general use. I kinda consider the 18-55IS + 55-250IS + 50/1.8 to be a pretty ideal "standard issue" starter kit.
    Jason Hamilton
    Selective Frame

    EOS 5D - Canon EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM, EF 35 f/2, EF 50mm f/1.8 Mk II, EF 70-210 f/3.5-4.5 USM, EF 85mm f/1.8 USM, EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro, Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 (with EOS adapter), 430EX, Canon S90
    Nikon FE - Nikkor 35mm f/2 AI'd, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AI, Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 AI, F to EF adapter, 2xVivitar 285, other lighting stuff
    Mamiya C220 - 80mm f/2.8

    Gear List flickr

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    SW Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    26
    WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAH NELLY!

    ill stick with the 250 for now !!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Dubai, UAE
    Posts
    2,907
    You can get some cheap Sigma variants like the 135-400mm...but it's not optically great and tends to be quite soft at the long end....
    Film
    Nikon EM, Series E lenses 50mm f1.8|28mm f1.8|100mm f2.8, Sigma 80-200mm f4.5-5.6
    Minolta Riva 100AF, Sinpo PQ-3, Olympus mju-III wide 100, Yashica 635
    Digital
    Sony cybershot W90, cybershot T90
    Canon A720i|400D|7D|5DMKII|85mm f1.8|24-105mm f4|135mm f2|40mm f2.8|430EX II*2|BG-E3|BG-E7
    Sigma 24mm f1.8|50mm f2.8|105mm f2.8 Samyang 8mm fisheye
    Portfolio

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    48
    Agree with everything laydros said.

    The Canon 300 f/4 IS, or 400 f/5.6 aren't to bad price wise as well (still beyond your budget of 500 tho), but yes, anything beyond those is quite a chunk of change.
    EOS 1D Mark III, EOS 40D, 24-70/2.8L, 70-200/4L IS, 100-400/4.5-5.6L IS, 17-85/4-5.6 IS, 100/2.8 Macro, 430EX II, 055XPROB w/ 488RC2
    ~ flickr ~

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Brookfield, MA
    Posts
    1,140
    Not zoom and about twice your budget. The images here may make you want to save up your pennies.

    http://www.pbase.com/cameras/canon/ef_400_56u

    http://www.canogacamera.com/detail.aspx?ID=4510

    Buy something any less now and you'll always be wanting for something better later.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Kitchener, ONT, Canada
    Posts
    1,225
    Since you are in Canada, you can check out www.lenslenders.ca

    If you rent a 100-400 for a weekend, you could get a feel for what focal length works best for the birds you want to shoot, and also for what a serious bird lens can do. Then if you are happy with the 55-250, you can buy it and never feel like you are missing out (or more likely, you can start saving your pennies for the 100-400!)

    Just a thought.
    My best pics on Flickr

    Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/garysimmons
    Like me on Facebook: facebook.com/GarySimmonsPhotography

    Gear: Canon 60D, Sigma 18-50 f2.8 EX DC Macro, Sigma 50-150 f2.8 EX DC II, Canon 50 f1.8, Sigma 10-20 f4-5.6 EX DC, Sigma 120-400 DG OS. 1 430EX, 1 430EXII, 1 580EXII, ST-E2, Manfrotto 190XPROB (soon to be replaced by the carbon version)
    Plus filters, wireless triggers and other junk...

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