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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> What lens for wildlife photo's?
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11/20/2006 11:47:42 PM · #1
I just bought my first digital SLR camera.

About 23 years ago my first slr was a minolta 7000 maxxum camera.
I loved it and shot many rolls of film.

I tried to do some wildlife photography back then with a 70-210mm and a 300mm lens.

I would like to try some more wildlife photography with my new pentax dl digital slr.

What should I look at for a lens?
I see they only have one or two zoom lens made for the digital pentax, but from what I have read many of the older lens will fit to. I just my not be able to use the auto focus on the older lens, is this correct?

If you could only get one lens for this camera for wildlife photography what would it be?

Thanks..
11/20/2006 11:54:40 PM · #2
If you're adventurous, get a simple 50mm prime lens and get in real close!

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Plus it's light enough not to slow you down when you're running away. :)
11/20/2006 11:56:42 PM · #3
This should do just fine for wildlife photography. Good lenses in the super telephoto range are not going to be cheap, but the Bigma is definitely a start.
11/21/2006 12:10:54 AM · #4
I'm out early mornings more often than not chasing for a good shot of an Elk, Moose, Bear, Cougar or otherwise. I'd say the lens is less important than your ability to be stealthy, patient and knowledgable of your subject's habits and movements. If you want to shoot "wildlife" versus "zoolife", a good blind is also a worthwhile consideration. I shoot an 80-400 VR Nikon and it is adequate only if I can get close and stay still. This requires alot more patience and time than I usually have and is mostly possible in the wee hours of the morning or near dusk. Unless you are prepared to go to a big and very expensive(Fast)lens, the things I mentioned are invaluable skills for photgraphing wildlife.....in North America at least.

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11/21/2006 12:22:57 AM · #5
Congrats on joining the world of D-SLR and also dp challenge (i'm pretty much a newbie to both, too). Before spending a lot of money on a lens which may or may not be what you are looking for, go out and get a lot of use out of your new camera and the 18-55 lens that it came with. There's nothing to say this won't be enough to get some very good pictures. This will allow you to get used to your camera, and also learn if you end up needing more reach on your camera, a faster lens, or both. Be sure to post images... I love wildlife shots! Where are you shooting? Your username suggests that you may be in the black hills...
11/21/2006 02:18:12 AM · #6
Originally posted by SamDoe1:

This should do just fine for wildlife photography. Good lenses in the super telephoto range are not going to be cheap, but the Bigma is definitely a start.


I have this lens myself. It's a good lens - although it doesn't lend to the wonderful bokeh of Canon's 400mm L. The other drawback is the weight - the Bigma weighs in at 5 lbs. That gets to be quite heavy after hiking a couple miles through dense woods.

On the plus side - the lens does allow you to get some nice wildlife shots from a decent distance. Here are a few I have shot using this lens.

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- Linda
11/21/2006 07:29:07 AM · #7
Wow, some great photo's!

Where are you shooting? Your username suggests that you may be in the black hills...

I am in the N.E. corner of South Dakota.

Good lenses in the super telephoto range are not going to be cheap, but the Bigma is definitely a start.
A start at $1000.00, lol.. I should have known. :)

I will work with what I have for now and keep looking around.

I am really looking forward to using a digital SLR.
11/21/2006 07:52:43 PM · #8
Once you go over 300mm, you start to get into some money. I have the Bigma (Sigma 50-500mm) and LOVE it, but it is BIG and HEAVY, thus the name and the price ($999 retail new). Last time I checked, You can find them on Ebay used for about half that (around $550). Having the lens is a major reason I went with the Pentax ist DL.

Check out Adorama for lenses. They have a good supply and then check out Ebay to see what is available for your Pentax K mount.
11/21/2006 09:38:14 PM · #9
My friend has the canon 500 F4 IS and it's nice, really really really nice.
For $5000 it should be.
Check out his lion/tiger pics (from a few local zoos if you're wondering)
and his bird shots.
yeah, equipment matters.
11/21/2006 09:38:33 PM · #10
i love my 100-400mm L canon, not just for wildlife but also a great walk around lens once you get used to the weight of it.
11/21/2006 09:46:41 PM · #11
For the price, I'd say it would be hard to beat the the Bigma for daytime wildlife shots. Check out ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Shutterpug's portfolio. She does some great captures with that lens on her Canon.

Message edited by author 2006-11-21 21:47:28.
11/22/2006 08:43:32 AM · #12
Originally posted by Art Roflmao:

If you're adventurous, get a simple 50mm prime lens and get in real close!

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Plus it's light enough not to slow you down when you're running away. :)


If you take this advice, just make sure that you can outrun whoever else may be with you...

Basic bear facts (but I won't sweat to them):

Black bears: run fast, climb trees, will eat anything (even old kills), so playing dead won't help, nor will hiding in a tree (if you make it that far)

Grizzly bears: run really fast, don't really climb, eat fresh kills (so playing dead may help, but you may get tossed around as the bear checks you out) :)
03/30/2009 01:26:05 AM · #13
i like to shoot eagle pictures with a canon 20d and was wondering what would be a very good lens for some super clear and sharp images ? Which lens is better for both in flight and static pictures or perched pictures..
the 400 5.6 , or the 100-500 tamron , or the sigma bigma , or the 100-400 5.6 , how do they compare ? which is sharper ? i am looking for the best all around lens ,the 100-500 has more range but is slower focusing ?

any help would be appreciated ..thanks Bill B

my images are a little flat and soft using my tamron 200-400 old film lens.

zwdb08wdb@gmail.com
03/30/2009 05:13:21 AM · #14
Can't speak to the tamron or bigma, but of the Canons, the prime 400 is sharper and faster focusing (and also lighter). Of course, the price you pay for that is the lack of flexability that the 100-400 gives you, but only you can make that decision.

I don't think any prime can be fairly labelled an "all around lens"; you have to choose whether you're happier sacrificing that convenience, or sharpness.
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