High Quality Wild Animal Images - 1/Week, No Pets, No Hand of Man, No Textures/Composites/Effects/Layers

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Best Lens When on a Budget?

Samantha Bailey Samantha Bailey 166 posts

I am extremely fortunate in that a friend is taking me as their companion (sounds old fashioned doesn’t it!) on a trip to South Africa – but I think I might need a better lens for photo ops in the game park – any suggestions? I have a Canon EOS 450D (longest lens I currently have is Canon EF-S 55-250MM). Funds are tight so am looking for the best value option without sacrificing too much in the way of quality!

Lois  Bryan Lois Bryan 467 posts

If you had all the money in the world, I’d suggest one of those big mommas with an f2.8 … but they are pricey ($10,000???).

I have the Sigma OS 150-500 and I LOVE it. A lot of my images are done with that thing and I have to tell you, it gives awesome results. About $900?? $1000 in the US? The only place this one falls short is in low light, as it’s a f5.6. If your camera does well in high ISO (I have a Nikon D300 and it’s a dream) … then you should be good to go. (Plus there are some great noise reduction software out there … Imagenomic for example). Sigma makes a Canon version, too. Good luck and wow … if YOU need a companion … ?????

: ))

Wolf Read Wolf Read 27 posts

Hi Samantha.

I have used a 450D extensively in the past, and the EF-S 55-250mm. My suggestion for something under $1K is Canon’s EF 70-200mm 1:4 L USM (non-IS), which you might be able to find new in the range of $0.7-$0.8K. The image quality of this lens is superb. Razor sharp and with great colour & contrast. And for an extra $0.3K you can get the 1.4x extender that will boost this lens to 280mm.

I have tested the Sigma 150-500mm, and found it a really enjoyable pice of glass to use. If you intend to photograph many small critters at a distance, then this lens may be the better way to go. However, I have captured many great wildlife images with a 70-200mm, both at native focal lengths as well as with the extender.

Aside from being more expensive, the 1:2.8 lenses, especially in the longer focal lengths, are typically very heavy and do not travel as easily.

Lynda Harris Lynda Harris 141 posts

Hi Samantha, I’d recommend a 75-300mm lens. I used it in South Africa and Botswana and was very happy with the results. Able to be handheld and not too big to carry around. Have a wonderful trip!!!!! :-)

Samantha Bailey Samantha Bailey 166 posts

Thanks all … I now have some idea of where to start!

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