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Lens (Telezoom) for National Park Wildlife

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Jazzer, Jul 16, 2016.

  1. Jazzer

    Jazzer TalkEmount Veteran

    344
    Nov 6, 2012
    New York
    Larry
    I know these "what lenses should I bring" posts can get a little tiresome, so for that I apologize in advance. But along the lines of a recent thread about concerns about the Sony APS-C lens roadmap or lack thereof I thought I would ask.

    I have a late summer vacation planned at a few national parks in the US and Canada (Canadian Rockies). I imagine the majority of my images will wind up being landscapes and I've got the wide and mid range covered with the 10-18 and 16-70. However, I assume there will also be some great opportunities for wildlife shots and I'm not sure what to do about that. In fact, this has been an issue for me since I got into the Sony system. I'm not a birder, but I do like to take wildlife photos from time to time -- often when vacationing. The 55-210 is light and may be sufficient, but I'm not sure if it is going to be long enough or sharp enough if I have to crop.

    What have you used on similar types of trips?
     
  2. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    If budget isn't an issue and you want a native AF lens, then the fe 70-300 perhaps could work since the fov would be 450mm on your sony apsc. I have the 70-200 f4 and even if its a better lens from the 70-300 from what I've seen, I sometimes find the 200mm short for certain situations
     
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  3. Jazzer

    Jazzer TalkEmount Veteran

    344
    Nov 6, 2012
    New York
    Larry
    Thanks, Nick. Yeah, that seems like the only real Emount option. I have been considering renting it. Not an E mount camera, but I have to admit that the RX10 III is kind of tempting as a convenient all-in-one travel camera. The 600mm equivalent lens might come in handy, and there is no issue about changing lenses, but it's a 1 inch sensor and $300 more than the 70-300. Also lenses tend to retain a good bit of their value over time on resale.
     
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  4. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    Bare in mind that there's a debate that implies that its not optimal to use full frame lenses on a crop body (Tony Northrup tends to support this). I don't know if its true but to my eyes it makes more sense to buy (usually better quality from apsc lenses) full frame lenses since you may update from a crop body later...

     
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  5. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    GAS aside, what cured me of my long lens lust was a quick trip through some of the long lens groups on Flickr. 99% of the images there were of BIF, and I shoot those about as often as I give birth to space aliens. And of the remaining images, many of them were degraded by atmospheric haze or were simply close ups of fairly uninteresting stuff. So I asked myself what I might possibly shoot beyond what I'm getting now with my 24-240, and I came up empty.

    If you think 210mm isn't going to cut it, then I think Nick has the right idea with his 70-300 suggestion. That lens would seem to fit nicely with your current lens lineup, and should you ever want to move to FF...
     
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  6. DYNOBOB

    DYNOBOB TalkEmount Regular

    145
    Feb 9, 2016
    Cincinnati, OH
    Bob
  7. Hawkman

    Hawkman TalkEmount Top Veteran

    941
    Sep 10, 2013
    Virginia, USA
    Steve
    Another possibility now is the Sigma 150-600mm 5-6.3 Contemporary for Canon EF on the new Sigma MC-11 adapter. Word on that combo seems to be mixed... but promising.

    While not in the market for a longer lens yet (I've spent my lens budget for the year already), either that combo or the FE 70-300 are my personal front runners for wildlife or airshow reach.


    Sent from my iPhone using TalkEmount mobile app
     
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  8. chalkdust

    chalkdust TalkEmount Veteran

    281
    Sep 25, 2015
    Bert Cheney
    My wife uses a 55-210 on her A6000. She got some really nice shots with it on our recent Alaska trip. Here is one of her better ones. This is straight out of camera jpg. I think it shows what that lens can do for wildlife on a family vacation kind of trip. DSC00901.JPG
     
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  9. Jazzer

    Jazzer TalkEmount Veteran

    344
    Nov 6, 2012
    New York
    Larry
    :rofl::rofl::rofl:

    That's the difficult thing for me to know (whether 210mm will cut it). I don't really shoot BIF either and while I may take a shot here or there just for fun, I don't go out shooting with that in mind and have no reason to purchase a lens specifically for that purpose. Other wildlife is somewhat more common, but not what I would call frequent, which is the reason I have hesitated to spend a lot of money on a "better" lens.

    Looks like a great lens and an interesting idea, but I'm afraid it won't be quite long enough.

    I have been looking at that, but it is a bit of a beast for vacation travel. Definitely worth a look for more local things though.

    A nice shot. Do you know what the focal length was? I have gotten some nice shots with the 55-210 also, and maybe that will be good enough, but my experience is that I often find myself wanting something with more reach. On the other hand, at a particular point hand holding becomes a problem. This is one of my shots that I liked with the 55-210 from a prior trip, but using the NEX 6. I had to crop a good bit.

    13432116093_977476b1d3_b. Marmots by LarryE251, on Flickr
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2016
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  10. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    Nothing wrong with that shot, IMhO. :thumbup:

    You may want to check out this lens simulator web site, which allows you to explore different focal lengths. Seeing how little difference there is between, say, 200mm and 300mm has helped me to avoid spending money I don't have on a longer lens.
     
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  11. chalkdust

    chalkdust TalkEmount Veteran

    281
    Sep 25, 2015
    Bert Cheney
    EXIF data says the whale tail was shot at 204mm (306 full frame equivalent). ISO 100. f/5.3. 1/500 second. The image posted is not cropped.

    I did not read carefully enough to understand that you already have the 55-210 - so you already know its capabilities and limits.

    I am really pleased with my wife's photography on this trip. It is her first non-point-and-shoot camera.
     
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  12. Jazzer

    Jazzer TalkEmount Veteran

    344
    Nov 6, 2012
    New York
    Larry
    Thanks, David. That was interesting. I was surprised that the last 90mm from 210-300 on a crop sensor really doesn't look like that big of a difference. And if I am willing to deal with the awkwardness of my 1.7X teleconverter with the 55-210 I will actually have more reach than the 70-300mm. Of course, the FE lens would probably be a good bit sharper and contrasty, but I have to ask myself whether that difference is worth $1200 or how noticeable it would even be after a little clean up in LR and/or PS. It would also be interesting to see if I used the teleconverter with the zoom at about 175mm (which would be just under 300mm) how that would compare since the lens should perform a bit better if not at the extreme long end (although the TC may soften it up a bit). I think I'll have to take some test shots in the back yard.
     
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