Newbie Question : 1DX +Sigma 50-500mm okay for bird photography?

Started Oct 18, 2012 | Questions
hkdigit New Member • Posts: 14
Newbie Question : 1DX +Sigma 50-500mm okay for bird photography?

I don't have experience for bird photography before, so may I ask Canon 1Dx + Sigma 50-500mm good enough for newbie?

Besides,  Wimberley WH-200 Gimbal Tripod Head II is still the best? Any Manfrotto tripod model best fit for Wimberley?

Please kindly advance.

-- hide signature --

Chris Lee

ANSWER:
This question has not been answered yet.
Canon EOS-1D
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
Chris R-UK Forum Pro • Posts: 17,400
Re: Newbie Question : 1DX +Sigma 50-500mm okay for bird photography?

hkdigit wrote:

I don't have experience for bird photography before, so may I ask Canon 1Dx + Sigma 50-500mm good enough for newbie?

If you are a beginner you are unlikely to get any better shots with the 1Dx than you would with a 7D or even a 650D.  Bird photography is pretty difficult especially if you want to shoot birds in flight as your question about a Wimberley head suggests.  Getting a more expensive body won't necessarily improve the shots that you get and if you are on a limited budget you will almost certainly be better off spending less on the body and more on lenses.

I personally wouldn't get the Sigma 50-500 for bird photography because you will probably be using it at 500mm most of the time.  A long prime will have better image quality and probably faster focusing.  A fast prime will enable you to shoot in lower light and use teleconverters.  I would look at lenses like the 300mm f2.8 and 400mm f4 with teleconverters or the 400mm f5.6 if you want something light, but there are other alternatives as well.

-- hide signature --

Chris R

 Chris R-UK's gear list:Chris R-UK's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Olympus E-M1 II Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 +3 more
CameraManDan123 Forum Member • Posts: 55
Re: Newbie Question : 1DX +Sigma 50-500mm okay for bird photography?

I think its best that you get the hang of bird photorgaphy before you spend big money on top range gear. Get to grips with using a good DSLR with a telephoto lens on a budget, and when you think you can't take any better pictures with the gear you have, then is the time to splash out 1D's and 500mm lens

I would recommend a 60D as it has a good 5fps, 18 megapixel and handles Noise well even at High ISO (which you'll end up using a lot.) I would then get a 400mm F5.6 if you want a prime lens, but carry about a monopod as it doesn't have IS. If you're looking for a zoom though, i would go for the sigma 120-400 as it is half the price of the canon tele-zoom and it is supposed to be just as good.

 CameraManDan123's gear list:CameraManDan123's gear list
Canon PowerShot SX110 IS Canon EOS 1100D Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM +3 more
Hollandgirl
Hollandgirl Regular Member • Posts: 119
Re: Newbie Question : 1DX +Sigma 50-500mm okay for bird photography?

Hello Chris,

Your question ain't easy! It also depends on how new you are in photography...

I am using the Bigma for many years now......first on a sony, completely worn out.... now I use a second Bigma on a Nikon D7000..... What is written here might, no will be true...better and sharper pictures with prime lenses, but what I like about the Bigma is, I never change lenses, using it under any circumstances (jungle, city, beach.....) and I do like a lot of my results....but it took a lot of time and practice.....

The most important thing in birdphotography is not only in the lens and camera; it is in camerasettings, patience, focus (your own), speed ( you and the camera) and fun

Enjoy!

Hollandgirl
www.photo-ay.nl
www.birdsoftheworld.nl

 Hollandgirl's gear list:Hollandgirl's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 EZ Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm 1:2.8 Macro +3 more
dharma108 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,682
Re: Newbie Question : 1DX +Sigma 50-500mm okay for bird photography?

I ditto everything Hollandgirl says. I use the Bigma on an Olympus E5. There is a bit of learning curve with this lens, but for the money it gives a fantastic range and reach. IQ is pretty darn good--but it does take some practice.

Dharma

 dharma108's gear list:dharma108's gear list
Olympus C-2100 UZ Olympus E-510 Olympus E-5 Olympus E-M1 II Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm 1:4.0-5.6 +28 more
Kokko New Member • Posts: 3
Re: Newbie Question : 1DX +Sigma 50-500mm okay for bird photography?

Some may hate me for what I'm going to say now.

The wife and I have now been birding heavily for the past 12 months - She is using what I call Godzilla, an old Sony H50 with a R1 extender (1.7x ) jammed onto and old H1 shroud. It gives her  640mm but with more light than you would have expected - the extenders munch less light. Because it is such a monster (100mm Diameter) it doesn't vignette too badly (lower than 6x zoom).  She is in trouble in the bush. I have been reasonably happy  with my  Sony HX100V, but I am always difficult to please. Her combination does not have the low light ability that my HX100 delivers. It is old technology.

A month ago I decided to help the wife ( and myself  ) and splashed out on two 60D's and for measure two 70-200 f/2.8 IS ii lenses with two 2x iii extenders. As well as all the extras like 10-16 EF-s and batteries and cards. This gives us  640mm which is 160mm short of the 800mm of the Sony.

On ISO 100 and in good light the Sony gets a better image un-cropped than what the Canon can deliver at a crop to the same size.  This was very disappointing.  The Sony has f/5.6 at 800mm  - getting that in Canon glass is going to cost me a lot more than what i have already spent. What I discovered is that you cannot compare a 800mm to a 640mm and expect the 640mm to come out winning. No matter what the cost or quality.

If you have a reasonable sensor like the HX100V has and the light is reasonable (like all cameras need) the extra legs that the new generation super zooms have make sense if you are chasing small birds at long distances.

The DSLR has nicer focusing (spot), nicer viewfinder, bigger battery capacity,  faster shot to shot but it cannot take a better picture of a small bird far away with a shorter lens.

If you want the same versatility as the bridge camera - macro, sweep panorama, GPS, 800mm/f5.6 down to 28mm/f2.8 it is going to cost you $7000+

If you are going to need two cameras it will cost you twice that.

Heed my words.

 Kokko's gear list:Kokko's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H1 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H2 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H5 Canon EOS 60D Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II +8 more
dock
dock Veteran Member • Posts: 4,757
Re: Newbie Question : 1DX +Sigma 50-500mm okay for bird photography?

I have a 50-500mm and a 120-300 mm f2.8  The 50- 500 does a good job. it is at least four lbs lighter and a couple inches shorter than my 120-300. I use the 50-500 on my pentax. I can't wait to get the new hypersonic focus version for my  Pentax. the only problem is the F6.3 does not allow pictures as the light gets lower. Often the time you see a lot of animals. I takes very sharp pictures.

Prime and zoom used to differ a lot in quality but now it is hard to find a difference. especially in the high end of both. You can readily look at the difference in price. on a budget don't hesitate buy the 50-500.

Paul B Jones
Paul B Jones Senior Member • Posts: 2,445
Money not an issue?

If you have unlimited funds match the 1DX with Canon's 800mm f/5.6.

If cost is a concern go with a 7D 400 f/5.6 combo.

Zoom lenses are certainly better than they used to be but nothing beats a prime for image quality.

-- hide signature --
 Paul B Jones's gear list:Paul B Jones's gear list
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV Canon EOS-1D X Canon EOS 7D Mark II Canon EOS-1D X Mark II Canon EOS M6 +14 more
OP hkdigit New Member • Posts: 14
Re: Money not an issue?

I think weight is bigger concern with me.

-- hide signature --

Chris Lee

Chris R-UK Forum Pro • Posts: 17,400
Re: Money not an issue?

If weight is a concern start off by getting the Canon 400mm f5.6.  This is an extremely popular Canon birding lens but it doesn't have IS.  It is very sharp and fast focusing - significantly better than the Sigma 50-500 (and half the weight).

-- hide signature --

Chris R

 Chris R-UK's gear list:Chris R-UK's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Olympus E-M1 II Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 +3 more
Tidewater Contributing Member • Posts: 792
Re: Newbie Question : 1DX +Sigma 50-500mm okay for bird photography?

That particular lens doesn't seem to get great reviews on slrgear.com. I would own the classic 70-400mm 5.6 and rent some of the other Canon birding lenses for the fun of it.

Avi Lewis Contributing Member • Posts: 659
Re: Newbie Question : 1DX +Sigma 50-500mm okay for bird photography?

In a word, "Yes".  Definitely at least okay; some would say better than just okay.  You didn't ask, as far as I can see, whether it's the best for birds, and it isn't, but while the Bigma isn't inexpensive, a step up to a fast prime like a 300mm f/2.8 will be very expensive, and the issue to wrestle with will be the incremental cost increase vs. the incremental improvement in IQ.  (Not to mention the not-so-incremental weight increase!)  I have pretty much concluded I will go to a 300mm f/2.8 w/ a 1.4x I already own and probably also get a 2x.  A Sigma rep claime that their 300 f/2.8+1.4x still would have better IQ than the Bigma at the same focal length, and that the 300 f/2.8+2x would be at a similar level to the 50-500 at 500mm.  (Note that the 300/2x combination will also be a half stop faster and 20% longer, as it'd be the equivalent of a 600mm f/5.6.)  But I'm not really in a big hurry because I am not unhappy with the 50-500.

If you'd like to look you can see many pix, the vast majority done w/ the 50-500, on my photostream at flickr.com/photos/avipix.  All are either labeled w/the lens used or the info is indicated in the EXIF info; the vast majority are of birds.

Bobby Handal
Bobby Handal Veteran Member • Posts: 5,523
Re: Newbie Question : 1DX +Sigma 50-500mm okay for bird photography?

I think that the Sigma 50-500mm OS is awesome lens, the range , macro ability are just fantastic. The stabilizer is very good also.

at f/8 it will be hard to tell the difference between this lens and a $10,000 lens. Sometimes perhaps in the quality of the bokeh or background diffusion. But nevertheless a great buy for the price.

It is a steep learning curve to shoot with telephoto lenses and the secret is:

a) keep you shutter speeds high, therefore you will need high ISO settings.

b) learn how to hold your equipment, control breathing, use monopod or tripod, or if handheld try to use your car, tree, fence, whatever as support.

c) be patient with yourself, your hobby and respect nature, do not stress wildlife.

good luck and best regards,

-- hide signature --

www.photoexpedition.net
www.fotoclubhonduras.com
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v206/bobhandal/BANNERXPEDITION1.jpg

 Bobby Handal's gear list:Bobby Handal's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX400V Ricoh WG-M1 Nikon Coolpix AW130 Nikon Coolpix P900 +75 more
GARRICK Regular Member • Posts: 188
Re: Newbie Question : 1DX +Sigma 50-500mm okay for bird photography?

the sigma 50-500mm is not made for full frame cameras it is a great lens on a 7D though

i have one and its a great lens but a little heavy

 GARRICK's gear list:GARRICK's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Canon EF 500mm f/4.0L IS USM Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0L USM Canon Extender EF 1.4x III Canon Extender EF 2x III +1 more
Chris R-UK Forum Pro • Posts: 17,400
Re: Newbie Question : 1DX +Sigma 50-500mm okay for bird photography?

GARRICK wrote:

the sigma 50-500mm is not made for full frame cameras it is a great lens on a 7D though

The 50-500 is a DG lens and can be used on both full frame and APS-C cameras.  Sigma uses DC to indicate that a lens is not suitable for FF.

-- hide signature --

Chris R

 Chris R-UK's gear list:Chris R-UK's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Olympus E-M1 II Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 +3 more
NancyP Veteran Member • Posts: 5,329
Re: Money not an issue? Still start with 400 mm f/5.6 if you want to do any hand held BIF

There is a learning curve with long lenses, and I think that you will be better off if you start with the 400mm f/5.6 and hone your shooting technique and your field spotting skills. It is a lot easier to deal with the 400 mm field of view when acquiring and panning with a bird in flight. Plus, hand holding a 1.2 kg lens is a lot easier than hand holding a 4.8 kg lens.

 NancyP's gear list:NancyP's gear list
Sigma DP3 Merrill
NancyP Veteran Member • Posts: 5,329
+1 for Canon 60D or 7D, Canon 400mm f/5.6L, and good monopod with good head

Highly portable, excellent quality, lots of pixels on the bird (pixel pitch is 4.3 microns, vs 6 to 7 microns for typical FF camera). Perfect beginner's set. I know - I have the 60D plus other two items. I go hiking with the 60D/400mm f/5.6L (2.1 kg total) on a Cotton Carrier chest harness.

 NancyP's gear list:NancyP's gear list
Sigma DP3 Merrill
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads