Light lens for birding?

Started Jun 16, 2013 | Discussions thread
miles green
Senior MemberPosts: 3,443Gear list
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Ahhh, so many choices in Canonland.....
In reply to kipling, Jun 17, 2013

kipling wrote:

Thanks everyone for your input.

I think I'll go with the k30/55-300 combo.

The best birding setup I have had was the 7d with a 400 5.6,

Hmmm... I'm a huge Pentax fan, but i'm also hugely jealous of Canon's 400mm f/5.6 L, and all the other Canon long lens options (70-300 DO, 100-400L.... For portable wildlife, it doesn't get much better than the 400mm f/5.6 L, IMHO.

Pentax also made a FA* 400mm f/5.6 you could find used. It's nice, but the Canon is nicer, and cheaper.

I'm surprised nobody has mentionned the DA* 300mm f/4 yet (or maybe i missed the post).

The Sigma 400mm f/5.6 apo-tele-macro is as close to the 400L as it gets in Pentaxland.

The older Sigma 400mm f/5.6 APO with a 72mm filter thread is very light at just 1kg. There's an AF version and it's dirt cheap. I have the even cheaper manual focus version. It's a good lens, sharp as hell, but it shows some purple fringing in high contrast areas (but less than the old Pentax 400). It will easily beat 70-300 or 55-300, even Canon's 100-400L when it comes to resolution.

A small apsc body (rebel?) will give you more reach and is significantly smaller and lighter than the 6D.

I understand that weight is an issue, but:

Canon 6D + 70-300 IS = 1400gr

Canon T3i + 400mm f/5.6L = 1600gr

Not a big difference...

I hope this helps!

And here'a a few pics with my lowly Sigma 400

a great lens but a bit heavy for me now. I have a 6D with shorter lenses which gives top quality, and the K30 will be quite adequate for those occasions when the birds decide to be cooperative. (referring of course to the feathered ones!).

Thanks again

Cheers

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Miles Green
Pentaxian with chronic LBA
Corfu, Greece

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