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Thread: Is this a good idea or not?

  1. #1
    Member salnel's Avatar
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    Is this a good idea or not?

    Ok, I am Nikon owner (with d90) which I am very happy with but I want to get into birding and so far, unless a bird is 3 feet in front of me, i end up with a furry blob!!Unless I win Tatts Lotto, I simply cannot afford the Nikon telephoto lenses!!
    So, I have decided to come over to the dark side
    I have read all the threads on the 100-400mm and really like the sound of this lens(thanks,Tannin for your excellent reviews).
    Not knowing anything about Canon cameras, I was hoping someone would be able to advise me as to a good camera to match this lens.
    I would be using it solely for birding and wildlife but it would also double as a first DSLR for my husband as well.
    Would something like the 60D be suitable?
    Any advice would be much appreciated as this has been doing my head in
    D610 and D90 with a 16-35mm f/4,a 70-200mm f/4 ,a 300mm f/4 +TC11 convertor, 18-200mmDX and 85mm micro Dx.

    Sally...CC always appreciated

    My Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/salnel

  2. #2
    It's all about the Light!
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    Changing brands is expensive.

    The 50 (or 150) to 500mm Sigma lenses do a great job... why not just check them out?

    Richard's 100-400 is not the main reason why he gets great bird images... its about patience and stalking skills.

    Feral1 (Peter) uses a Sigma 150-500, as do others.
    Last edited by Kym; 30-05-2011 at 9:50pm.
    regards, Kym Gallery Honest & Direct Constructive Critique Appreciated! ©
    Digital & film, Bits of glass covering 10mm to 500mm, and other stuff



  3. #3
    Ausphotography Veteran rwg717's Avatar
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    Although I don't own one, the 60D would be your best pick. This camera body IMHO is slightly better than the Nikon D90 (which I do have). The EF 100-400l is a lens which I also have and is excellent and very popular with "birders" here on AP. I must say I am surprised your 18-200 Nikkor doesn't perform well enough. I have never used these either but they look like they would be good enough if your subjects are close enough.
    Anyway, if you make the switch to "the dark side" I'm sure you won't be dissapointed, the 60D plus the EF 100-400 will work an absolute treat
    Richard
    I've been wrong before!! Happy to have constructive criticism though.Gear used Canon 50D, 7D & 5DMkII plus expensive things hanging off their fronts and of course a "nifty fifty".

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    Account Closed Wayne's Avatar
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    400mm is the minimum FL for wildlife and birds, start thinking 600mm + TC + crop body and you are in the game. The price of entry, not cheap....

    Besides, treason is good for nobody..
    Kym is right, whilst I hate that characteristic Bigma bokeh, it is probably your cheapest, most effective option.

  5. #5
    are you serious? Shelley's Avatar
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    Sally, if your mind is made up .

    Most birders go for 40d, 50d, 7d, 1dMkiv - I won't go any higher..... Depends on what you are prepared to spend on a camera, then the lens. Its the lens that matters the most. But, boy the cameras sure have some stuff packed into them.

    You followed the thread on the lens and I am not going to say anything more in what lens you should get. I believe that thread should have helped you heaps. Was fun to follow.
    Shelley
    (constructive criticism welcome)

    www.shelleypearsonphotography.com


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    Hey Sally, well you know I'm a Canon user and I love them, but I reckon a change at this stage wouldn't be wise. I'm not sure about your budget, but if it were me, I'd be experimenting with a cheaper option before making a decision like buying a differnt camera and trying to learn it from scratch (of course I'd help you if you did!!) As others have said look at a Sigma 150-500. They get mixed reviews, but mostly positive. I reckon try and pick one up second hand and see how you go with it. If you don't like it or decide that Canon is the way to go you can always sell it.

    Re the 100-400, they are a different breed. Tony leant me his at a meet and I have to say I didn't like it at all. The push pull zoom bugged me no end. I'm sure I'd get used to it if I had to, but I'd not to. Some people love them, some hate them, they are something to try before you buy if you can.

    A 60D would be a pretty good option as far as Canon bodies go. But a 60D and 100-400 is a big outlay!! So my advice would be go with the Sigma, practice practice practice and IF you find t is holding you back, then look at other options, but I think it would serve you well.
    Mic

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    www.michaelgoulding.com

  7. #7
    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    Hi Sally,

    Most people who switch from Nikon to Canon for birding do so because they want a 500/4, a 600/4, or a 400/2.8. Nikon now make very good equivalents to all three of those big iron lenses, but they are so blinkin' expensive that you can buy a 600/4 (or etc) and get a very nice Canon body with the change.

    In other words, you can switch to Canon and it actually costs you less than just buying the big, fast Nikkor lens. Given that no-one credible has ever claimed that there is any significant difference in quality between the big iron lenses (Nikkor 400/2.8 vs Canon 400/2.8, for example), that's a very hard deal to walk past - especially as the Canon 7D is an outstanding choice as a birding camera.

    But all of this discussion rests on the proposition that you want a big iron lens and you are switching because it gives you an equal or better combination for less money. You are proposing something quite different: switching to gain access to the Canon 100-400 instead of the lack-lustre Nikkor alternative.

    That is a very different question. Yes, I think it is generally accepted that the 100-400 is the first-chioce lens for bird photographers (unless you are going to go for the big whites, which is a whole different thing, and certainly not something you should consider before you have cut your teeth on a 400mm-class rig). But switching brands to get one .... that's a much bigger ask.

    How muscular are you? If you are under 40 and built like the proverbial, with bulging biceps and a big strong back, then one of the Sigma zooms should be on your radar. That would be cheap(ish), quick, and preserve your existing investment in equipment. Pretty good lenses too.

    If, on the other hand, you are more the petite type, weight is important. This is where a Canon system wins. You need to use a 2kg(ish) lens for a day or so to grasp how important weight is.

    But what about your investment in Nikon gear? Well, frankly, what investrment? Set aside the D90 itself, and you have an 85mm macro lens, a quite expensive but readily resellable 18-200 and a cheap(ish) 50mm. None of that is going to break you. You could keep all those and run two bodies, or else sell them and restock with (say) an EF-S 15-85/3.5-5.6 IS USM, any of several good macros, and ... well ... choice of a 50 is a whole new topic.

    As for the body, I'd say don't get a 60D. You want to go up from the D90, not backwards - and while the 60D is newer and has higher resolution than your D90, it is inferior in several other ways: notably AF system (important for bird work!), and body build quality (which matters more with big lenses).

    If you are going to go Canon, get a 7D.

    If you don't want to get a 7D, then I think I'd rather reluctantly advise you to stay with Nikon.
    Tony

    People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.

  8. #8
    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    PS: I am aware that I haven't addressed the complexities of your husband's use of the new body and so on. That's too much like actual thinking for me - I'll just stick to talking about what the lenses can and cannot do.

    But I'll throw in the observation that (from your Flicker page) I can see that you work with care and good taste and that your pictures show the polish that only comes with perserverance and attention to detail - that says to me that you would make a good bird photographer.

    And I'll also suggest that, if you haven't tried a 400mmish lens you would be welcome to try mine out. (With your choice of 50D or 7D.) I sometimes make the AP local meets, but if you have a nice nature reserve in mind, PM me and we could organise something.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the comments, every one.
    Tannin..you are right on the money. I was initially prepared to pay a fair bit for a Nikon tele until I saw the prices and that just is not going to happen! I want to keep my Nikon gear and have the second body. It is cheaper to do this than buy Nikon glass. As I would need a second camera for my husband anyway, I thought if I got the canon for him, I could also get the 100-400 for myself and use it when he wasn't. Then, he could get any lens he wanted
    I am not keen on the Sigmas...I am little,not built like a pro wrestler and was really worried about the weight!
    I have a very close friend who has a 7D so she can teach me how to use it.
    Does this sound ok?

  10. #10
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    Richard...the 18-200 is very nice but if a bird is in a tree etc I just can't get close enough. I have taken some good shots of birds but I have to be very close. My last pic on AP was of a cockatoo..really sharp and happy with the shot but i was literally 3 feet away from it. I tried for some others but gave up in sheer frustration!

  11. #11
    A. P's Culinary Indiscriminant mongo's Avatar
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    Mongo agrees with Kym’s comments.
    The 100-400 canon is a great lens but for all the reasons Kym gave and more, before changing brands, try a second hand 50-500 sigma or the old 400mm f5.6 sigma APO (manual focus) and if it gives you the results – buy it. A lot is in how you use the equipment and not the equipment itself as long as it is reasonable quality equipment.
    Nikon and Pentax user



  12. #12
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    Tony..thank you so much for the compliment...that means a huge amount to me! I would love to meet up..I will research a couple of good areas and PM you.

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    I am not fimilar with the nikon lenses but does nt nikon have a similar lens to the 100-400mm? Also canon has 400mm f/5.6, which probably would not be too expensive if there is a nikon equivalent.
    1DIII, 5DII, 15mm fish, 24mm ts-e, 35L,135L,200L,400L,mpe-65mm
    Film: eos 300, pentax 6x7

  14. #14
    Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch jim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fabian628 View Post
    ...Also canon has 400mm f/5.6,* which probably would not be too expensive if there is a nikon equivalent.
    Many people will rejoice if Nikon ever brings out something like this. Even though it will still probably be annoyingly more expensive than the Canon, and no better.

    Sally no advice from me as earlier posters seem to have it covered, but strong sympathy for your predicament. You aren't the only one confronting this particular dilemma.

    *[edit] [re-edit]no I wasn't.
    Last edited by jim; 31-05-2011 at 6:53am.

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    If you can wait the Nikon 80-400 afs can't be too far away though the Japanese earthquake may delay things a little

    Then again, it might not be, who knows

    Some very sound advice in this thread so far
    Darren
    Gear : Nikon Goodness
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    Constructive Critique of my images always appreciated

  16. #16
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    Hi Sally. Surely there are lots of good tele' Nikon lenses out there, maybe second hand, that can be adapted for your D90 body. Then you can just get another Nikon body at some stage. Hubby can have the D90 then, and you get an upgrade.
    Last edited by PH005; 31-05-2011 at 7:57am.
    Cheers, Paul.
    Canon 50D w BG l Nifty Fifty l Sigma 10-20 f4-5.6 l Sigma 24-70 f2.8 l EF 100mm f2.8 USM Macro l EF 300 f4L IS USM l EF 1.4X ll TC l 430EXII l Vanguard Alto Pro 263 w BH100 l Manfrotto 680B w 234RC l Lowepro Bags.l Sigma EM-140 Ring Flash.

  17. #17
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    Hello Sally, I've come into the thread late, but it seems to me that it is better to have you and your husband with the same brand bodies, so you can share lenses. That is what my son and I did originally with film cameras. There is a lot of good advice on this thread, you are the only one who can decide, but I think having 2 different brand bodies will limit you.

  18. #18
    A. P's Culinary Indiscriminant mongo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim View Post
    Many people will rejoice if Nikon ever brings out something like this . Even though it will still probably be annoyingly more expensive than the Canon, and no better.

    Sally no advice from me as earlier posters seem to have it covered, but strong sympathy for your predicament. You aren't the only one confronting this particular dilemma.

    *[edit] [re-edit]no I wasn't.
    This post was referring to rejoicing if Nikon ever brought out something like a 400mm F5.6 ED lens. THEY HAVE and Mongo has been using one for the last 2 years !!!!!!!! It is every bit the same as the canon 400 f5.6 L. Can only be purchased second hand now. A reasonable copy of this lens may be between $500-700 ( pristine one like Mongo's about $800-$1000). So add to Mongo prior post above and put this as his first suggested preference for you before you decide to go to the dark side.

    It only weighs 1.25kgs.

    Here are some images of the Nikkor 400mm f5.6 ED_IF and some images from it.

    400 f5.6 - some with with + 1.4 converter
    Last edited by mongo; 31-05-2011 at 10:45am.

  19. #19
    A. P's Culinary Indiscriminant mongo's Avatar
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    soory - could not attach images for some reason - may try latter
    Last edited by mongo; 31-05-2011 at 10:48am.

  20. #20
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    Paul, that is the problem.Nikon just does not have an equivalent lens to the Canon 100-400. These are the prices (from DWI)
    300mm f2.8 $5216
    AF-S 200-400 f4 VRII $7660
    500mm $8099
    600mm $9929
    AF-S 400mm f 2.8 $9129

    As you can see, the prices are rather frightening and I cannot justify that sort of money as a hobby photographer!!!

    However, this is the price range I am looking at if I get the d7 plus the 100-400. (again, DWI price to make it easier to compare.)
    7d + 18-55 and 55+200 kit lens + EF 100-400mm f4-5.6 L IS USM $3546
    7d + 18-55 + 100-400mm $3319
    7d + 18-55 IS II + 100-400mm $3329
    7d + 100-400mm $3222
    and even 7D + 18-200mm + 100-400mm $3786
    As you can see, the price difference is massive!
    If, I stick with the d90, my only option is the Sigma but the weight is a big factor for me. As Tony says, I am not under 40, I don't have bulging muscles and a big strong back!!
    As for sharing lenses with my husband..well..I don't have any to share

    Kiwi...would you have any rough guess as to the price of the new lens? I am not in any particular hurry...just working out my options (which seem to be pretty few and far between
    I will check out the Sigma and see if the weight is going to be a big problem.
    Thanks, everyone, for your input...every bit helps
    Last edited by salnel; 31-05-2011 at 11:39am.

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