Lens for birding (already own 70-400G2)

Started May 25, 2014 | Discussions thread
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wt66 Regular Member • Posts: 237
Lens for birding (already own 70-400G2)

Hey all,

Just really started to try bird photography and I really enjoy it. Around here, most birds are small and scared of people so it is definitely a challenge. I currently have a 70-400G2 which i find awesome. The bokeh can be very busy but sharpness seems very good. I shoot with an A99 and am just curious what you all think about the older minolta prime lenses. Mainly because I can't get close enough to the birds here with my Sony and more reach would be welcome. The sony 300mm and 500mm prime are way out of my price league, so i've been looking at the older lenses (and new sigma 300mm 2.8).

I was looking at either the 300mm 2.8 APO or 400mm 4.5 APO.  Also, I've been looking at the 300mm Sigma 2.8 but I can't find much info about it (reviews, etc). I am strongly considering a 300mm because from what i've read, many people consider the Minolta 2.8 one of the best 300mm primes ever made. Also, I would love to team it with a 2X teleconverter.  So i guess i'm wondering:

1: How is sharpness with a 1.4 and 2.0 teleconverter on the 300mm 2.8 and 400 4.5? How does the 70-400G compare?

2: How is autofocus for birds and wildlife on these lenses? (I'd like to stick to non-ssm versions because there is less to go wrong with the older lenses, and sony won't repair any Minolta stuff)

3: Any thoughts on the Sigma 300mm 2.8?

4: Any other suggestions?

Sony Alpha a99
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