Need some input on choosing a birding camera and lens

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
Ricardo00 Contributing Member • Posts: 971
Re: Need some input on choosing a birding camera and lens

Sythas wrote:

So a (partial) switch to Nikon is now something i want. My first idea was to go for the D500+grip with the 200-500 5.6. But the quality control issues are bugging me. That is exactly the reason why I'm not choosing for Pentax. So I'm considering other lenses like:

  • The 500 5.6 PF, but this exceeds my budget (Same goes for a used 500 4.0)
  • An used 200-400 4.0, is roughly within budget but less reach and much bigger
  • Other brands Tamron/Sigma 600mm zooms; quality control issues and focus issues. Again the same reason why I'm not choosing for Pentax.
  • The 80-400, less reach. As expensive as an used 200-400.
  • 300pf + 1.4 tc, I don't want to rely on a teleconverter as primary use because of autofocus and image quality degradation

If there is anyway to stretch your budget, I would try to get the 500mm f/5.6. Not because of it being sharper, but because it can focus faster (and lighter) than the 200-500mm. I have used the 200-500mm, the 300mm f/4 plus a.4TC, the 150-600mm Tamron and the 500mm f/4. By far, my favorite for birds is the 500mm f/5.6.  If you were shooting big animals (bears, etc) then a zoom would be better. There have been a handful of times when I got too close, but that was extremely rare.  Some shots taken with this combo:

 Ricardo00's gear list:Ricardo00's gear list
Nikon D7200 Nikon D500 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II +6 more
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