Your experiences with a long, fixed focal length, say 600mm?

Started 2 months ago | Questions thread
Paul-D700 Junior Member • Posts: 32
Re: Your experiences with a long, fixed focal length, say 600mm?
3

I would wager that most photographers who use fixed focal length lenses (such as 600mm) use them for wildlife, especially birds, and more specifically, birds in flight. I use a 600mm f4 Nikkor; I also have a 150-600mm zoom, but find I use the fixed focal length lens more often (especially when I will be in a static location for a while).

Regarding your questions, there have been very few instances where a subject is too close. Even at 60 feet a small bird fills only about 15-20% of the frame. For larger birds (eagles, ospreys, herons, etc) which tend not to get close to photographers, 600mm is a must.

There is also the issue of a wider aperture. Shooting in early morning, an f4 aperture lets you use a higher shutter speed/lower ISO than an f5.6 or f6.3 lens (which is the aperture of my zoom at 600mm). Finally, a fixed focal length will usually -- but not always (it depends on the lenses compared) -- have slightly better image quality.

Does a zoom give you more flexibility?  Absolutely.  But if I were told I had to keep only one lens, it would be the 600mm for the above reasons.

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