Advice on lightweight wildlife lens

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by LakeFX, Jan 6, 2015.

  1. LakeFX

    LakeFX TalkEmount Rookie

    Dec 26, 2014
    Eugene, OR
    I mostly shoot landscapes and low light sports (fencing and dog-agility), but when traveling I like to take wildlife photos as well. I'm heading to Costa Rica in a couple of months and I don't want to haul a giant lens around. I actually want to keep my total camera bag size down as much as I can so I will actually carry it all with me on a regular basis. This is why I recently sold my Nikon gear and picked up an a5000. I don't mind carrying a bit of extra weight, but I'd prefer to keep that down too.

    Right now, I'm looking at picking up a Nikon 180/2.8 and a teleconverter to use for wildlife. I figure this lens could then do double duty with wildlife and low light sports. I've looked at the various 300/4.0 lenses and they all look a bit big and heavy. My question is, does anyone use the 180/2.8 with teleconverter for wildlife? If so, how has it worked out for you? And is there anything else I should be looking at?
  2. dannat

    dannat TalkEmount Regular

    Jun 22, 2014
    cant comment on the 180/2.8 -i use a sigma 300/4 in nikon mount with adapter -it is fairly light compared to most of the big zooms & i am happy with its quality.the other good thing is you can get an eyepiece to fit the lens so it doubles as a small spotting scope [pm me for details]

    if you're going to costa rica i presume you are shooting birds? or what other wildlife

    with wildlife i always find myself wanting more lens f/l, when i shoot 135mm, i want 300, when shooting 300mm i want 400mm...then when i shot through an astro telescope of 560mm f/l i still wanted more
  3. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    It really depends on what you want. But the Sony 70-200 f/4 could be a viable alternative. It's not that big and heavy (relatively speaking), and although it's not that fast either, the OSS might compensate in some situations. If you need a longer lens, there are A-mount zoom lenses up to 400 mm (+ optional teleconverters). Not sure about legacy lenses, but I doubt there are better zoom options. At least I would recommend zooms in this specific area, since you'd need to move huge distances at those focal lengths to "zoom with your feet".
    • Like Like x 1
  4. LakeFX

    LakeFX TalkEmount Rookie

    Dec 26, 2014
    Eugene, OR
    Thanks for the suggestions. Unfortunately the Sony 70-200 f/4 is outside my budget (part of why I'm looking at legacy lenses). The Sigma 300/4 is a decent idea. It's still a little big and heavy, but not as bad as some of the other 300/4 lenses out there. I looks like it will probably come down to price of the Sigma 300/4 vs Nikon 180/2.8 and I'll end up with whichever I can find a better deal on.