Advice on new lens for wildlife photography

Started Nov 8, 2018 | Questions thread
PHXAZCRAIG
PHXAZCRAIG Forum Pro • Posts: 16,761
Re: Advice on new lens for wildlife photography

Be sure to check out m4/3rds long lens options - you may not see the focal length you want.   And check pricing.

Here's a bit more info from me.   I have two main ways to carry lenses - my waist bag, which goes on most trips with me, and a backpack, which goes on most car trips, not so many others.

If I'm traveling, I of course need to limit my selections primarily based on weight.   I usually choose just the waist bag, and I put a 16-35, 24-70 and 80-400 in it, plus a D850.  With those lenses, I cover as much focal length as possible with both VR and high-quality lenses.  (As opposed to something like a 28-300).   If I had the backpack, I'd have the 14-24 as the wide lens, and the 200-500 as the long lens, but they are both just not portable enough (to fit in the waist bag).   Gotta draw the line somewhere.

The thing about this approach - it can cover all sorts of situations.  I have F2.8 at the fastest, but I rarely need wider apertures.   400mm isn't as good as 500, but it's generally good enough.  16mm with distortion isn't as good as 14 on the 14-24, but the 14-24 is too fat to fit in the waist bag.

OK - so I have a do-all bag that can cover a wide range of subjects.  What happens when I want to specialize?   For wildlife, I definitely want the 200-500 rather than the 80-400g, mostly for 500, somewhat for better VR and a little bit for more resolution on the long end.   But now I have this big lens, and a noticeable need for something shorter.   So in place of the 80-400, I may have to have the 70-200 and the 200-500.   Quite a lot more weight to carry to gain 100mm more focal range.

If I am walking in the desert around my house looking for wildlife, I just carry the 200-500 (and usually a tripod), sometimes with a second body and lens.   But traveling by airplane is something I've not yet done with the 200-500.    What sort of travel restrictions do you have along these lines?   When you go to shoot wildlife, is that all local, where it doesn't matter if you bring a backpack of lenses?

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Phoenix Arizona Craig
www.cjcphoto.net

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