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View Full Version : For Birds: nifty 250 or bigger?



Simko
04-22-2009, 09:48 AM
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?)

cdifoto
04-22-2009, 10:01 AM
What's a Nifty 250?

Simko
04-22-2009, 10:09 AM
Ef-s 55-250 is

faisal
04-22-2009, 10:10 AM
I think he means the 55-250...

laydros
04-22-2009, 10:10 AM
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.

Simko
04-22-2009, 10:12 AM
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAH NELLY!

ill stick with the 250 for now !!!!

faisal
04-22-2009, 10:13 AM
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....

nate1280
04-22-2009, 10:15 AM
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.

Mark_48
04-22-2009, 10:49 AM
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.

GaryS
04-22-2009, 11:05 AM
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.

Simko
04-22-2009, 11:20 AM
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.

YES!

they are located in london, and so am I!! thanks Gary!

TheObiJuan
04-22-2009, 03:13 PM
I went birding with my 70-200 f/2.8L with a 2x teleconverter, putting me at 400mm-- 640mm effective focal length.
I found it to be short for shooting at one of the birding areas here on my Navy base.
There are 6 large ponds separated by acreage of pine forests, so birds just flock! (Gators too)

I don't know how folks do it with a 600mm lens without the ability to zoom for tracking the darn birds in flight. I feel like I'm using a telescope and the bird gets lost.

Fast lenses with fast AF is where it is at, otherwise you will have poor results and frustration beyond belief-- that's assuming you don't have low standards and are happy with an image of a soft bird, out of focus, and only filling 1/5 the frame.

Geez, this hobby is expensive!

Simko
04-22-2009, 03:29 PM
:)

just sold my car, i think i will use half of the money to put towards a new lens, it wqas an old junker that went for 1400, so 700 is towards the lens already.... i might rent that 100-400 to see what happens!

Mark_48
04-22-2009, 03:55 PM
I took this one last fall in my backyard with the 100-400. It's push-pull to change the focal length which is different, but easy to get used to.

zhamid
07-21-2009, 09:53 AM
You can even try http://www.rentalens.ca in Canada. They do local pickup and will ship anywhere in Canada. Great prices to boot!

As for the push-pull, I actually like it, but I know not everyone does.