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Birding Lens Recommendations for EOS Rebel T5

CatchFitz22
Contributor

Hey everyone, I'm new to the site.  I've had my Canon for years and my strongest lens is 300mm.  I've been taking many photos of birds for the last couple of years and would appreciate a recommendation for a stronger lens.

I've been enjoying it, but I'd like a clearcut closeup when I'm out and about and need to grab my camera for a quick aerial shot or if the bird is up high.  The 300mm does ok, but it can only get so close.

Thank you for any responses!

19 REPLIES 19

Good to know, thank you!

Only stick with EF or EF-S Mount lenses you CANNOT use Canon's RF or RF-S lenses those are specifically made for use on the EOS R series camera lineup. You also CANNOT use Canon's discontinued EF-M lenses either. Super zooms like the Sigma 150-600mm and prime (fixed focal length) lenses ie 50mm are designed for full frame cameras in mind. When used on a Rebel series DSLR there will be a crop factor of 1.6x. This is due to the image sensor being smaller than 35mm film. The lens would have an AOV of 240-960mm when compared to Full Frame. When shooting you should shoot with this formula 1/ focal length x crop factor (1.6x in this case) to avoid camera shake.

Lens compatability pt. 1 + footnotes .pngLens compatability pt. 2 + footnotes .png


-Demetrius

Current Gear: EOS 5D Mark IV, EF F/2.8 Trinity, EF 50mm F/1.8 STM, EF 85mm F/1.8 USM, 470EX-AI & 600EX II-RT

Retired Gear: EOS 40D

shadowsports
Legend
Legend

Greetings,

Few options exist above 300mm.  The 2 most popular options for the Rebel series (wildlife and birds) are the Tamron or Sigma EF 150-600 (G2, C or S).  

 

~Rick
Bay Area - CA


~R5 C (1.0.7.1) ~RF Trinity, ~RF 100 Macro, ~RF 100~400, ~RF 100~500, +RF 1.4x TC, +Canon Control Ring, BG-R10, 430EX III-RT ~DxO PhotoLab Elite ~DaVinci Resolve ~Windows11 Pro ~ImageClass MF644Cdw/MF656Cdw ~Pixel 8
~CarePaks Are Worth It

Appreciate that, Rick!  I'll do some more research on those.

Waddizzle
Legend
Legend

Welcome to the forum.[

I agree with the replies by Rick and Demetrius.  Exactly which lens model are you using?  The observation that your options are limited above 300mm are limited.  I would further like to aak what budget do you have for a lens.  

The suggested lenses from Tamron and Sigma are in the $1000 USD neighborhood.  They are also very heavy.  I do not feel they are a good match for a camera body with a 100% polycarbonate chassis.  The camera is not robust enough to support the full weight of the lens, so you would need to carry the camera/lens combo by the tripod foot on the lens.  These heavy lenses pair much better with a camera body with an alloy chassis or some other metal material.

Tamron and Sigma make 100-400mm lenses that are much lighter in weight.  

A word of advice.  The purpose of a long focal length is not to allow you to capture photos of subject from great distance.  One problem with this shooting style is long distances create soft images, particularly when you are shooting across water.

The purpose of a long focal focal length is to allow you fill the frame with your subject for the best composition.  I used a 1D Mark IV and a Sigma 150-600mm “C” lens to capture this image.  I do not recall the focal length setting (150mm?), but I was only about 10 feet away.

E43EAADE-FA7C-41FE-BE86-FC815D613E40.jpeg

--------------------------------------------------------
"The right mouse button is your friend."

Thank you for that input!  I appreciate it and will continue to do my research before making such a big purchase.  This is something that I know I'm investing in long-term.

ebiggs1
Legend
Legend

" I do not feel they are a good match for a camera body with a 100% polycarbonate chassis.  The camera is not robust enough ...you would need to carry the camera/lens combo by the tripod foot on the lens."

 

I totally disagree with this recommendation. I have several, many in fact, friends that I have suggested they get one of the super zooms form Sigma and/or Tamron. They have no issues other than it is heavier than the lenses most folks are used to. The fact is big tele lenses are big! They are heavy! Surprise, surprise. So if this is a problem for you, you need to choose a different hobby. You do need to hold the camera/lens combo by holding onto the lens but that is a natural thing and will present no problems. Currently the Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 is the better lens but in general either it or the Sigma C model will do well for you.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

ebiggs1
Legend
Legend

"The 300mm does ok, but it can only get so close."

You are totally missing the point on the purpose of a tele lens. But you are certainly not alone in that.

"The purpose of a long focal length is not to allow you to capture photos of subject from great distance."

Great point. The purpose of a super tele is to fill the screen with the subject. If you shoot a small bird, it will be a small bird in your frame unless you are close to very close. Even with a 600mm FL lens you need to be in the range of 20 to 30 feet. Of course bigger birds allow somewhat greater distances and much larger wildlife can be at even greater distances in order to fill the frame.

Plus if you don't post edit which allows cropping you may still not get the desired photo. Post editors are mandatory end of story. Canon offers one for free for you to d/l called DPP4.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

ebiggs1
Legend
Legend

One last thought, Canon had a fantastic prime lens that is now discontinued but readily available on the used market. It is super sharp and very light and "L" level build. That means it is white! 😊 Check out the Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens especially if you find one of the super zooms to be too heavy. BTW, 400mm is the shortest focal length I ever recommend for birding. It is also a constant f5.6 aperture prime lens where the super zooms are variable apertures. I own two of them (the 400mm L) and love'em.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

Thanks for the insight and info, EB!  I greatly appreciate it and will keep this in mind along with looking into it more.

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