Looking to buy a new lens for my EOS M6 Mark 2 camera that I have had for 2 years now. I am really getting into wildlife photography. I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations on which one would be the best to buy? I photography a lot of foxes, waterfowl, and birds at the moment.
I mainly uses these photos as references for my wildlife artwork.
Appreciate any insight!
Hi and welcome to the forum:
Well, I am a wildlife photographer but I don't have the M6II. For long telephoto work, which is what we are looking at here, one needs to have the stability of either a tripod or a camera that can be held to the eye when working hand-held for stability. So, I hope you have the optional external EVF.
That said, much depends on your budget. I can recommend all sorts of lenses, but if you can't afford them then it's irrelevant. So, in dollar terms, what IS your budget please?
Also, what do you intend to produce - images for social media, for digital display, for small-medium prints, or very large detailed prints?
Telephoto lenses, especially zoom lenses, tend to get heavy, so do you have any issues carrying fairly heavy camera gear - say up to 2.5kg (5lb)?
I currently use a Vortex Optics Razor HD Wide Angle 27-60x85mm Spotting Scope and their Radian Carbon fiber tripod + leveling head to attach to my camera for long range photos. In addition to using my standard Canon 15-45mm lens. I use this mainly when I am going to be set up long term in an area taking photographs of wildlife in a specific area. For when I go hiking, I use a Canon 55-200mm lens to take pictures of wildlife. But I would like to be able to get better long distance lens for this purpose. 5lbs is not an issue to carry.
I am trying to stay around $3k for a new lens for the purpose of what I will be using it for.
As for reproduction, at this time I do not reproduce my photographs. I only use them as reference for my artwork. I recreate them in array of mediums (oil/acrylic/watercolor painting, pencil, charcoal, etc).
I hope this helps and I answered all the questions you asked.
I use my M6 Mark II for airline travel when I am not doing demanding sports photography due to its compact size. For hiking, a Sigma 150-600 with Canon's EF to M adapter works very well. It has a good stabilization system and fairly fast focus.
Sigma makes this lens in two flavors, the "contemporary" and the sports model. I went with the contemporary because I have a good collection of high quality canon telephoto primes and for this application I wanted light weight when I didn't want to lug my EF 800 or 600 primes along.
The contemporary version is under $1,000 and weighs in at 4 pounds, the sports version is around $600 more and weighs around 6 pounds. The sports model has better weather sealing and probably slightly better optical performance but I was amazed at the quality of the optics of the contemporary model.
Neither provides the stellar build and optical quality of a Canon "great white" prime but at less than 10% of the cost of a Canon prime the performance is amazingly good.
Thanks for your prompt and detailed response.
Given that, what I would suggest is one of the following:
EF 100-400L MkII IS USM which is a fabulous optic.
For longer reach, I would suggest the Sigma or Tamron 150-600 lenses (Sigma makes a Contemporary model that is the cheaper one).
You are welcome. For any EF or EF-S lenses, you will need to use a Canon EF to EF-M adapter and they work fine with the lenses I have suggested. I have shot both of these with the M5 with no issues.
Given your stated budget, if you want to do more wildlife photography with a handheld camera, then I would recommend first upgrading the camera body. The M series bodies are great camera, don’t get me wrong. They just do not have the battery reserve for shooting with the larger EF mount lenses.
Can one of the 150-600mm lenses work with an M series with an EVF? Sure, it can. I have tried to use my M3 with one. Because it lacked a viewfinder I was using a tripod, which is how I use the big lens with DSLRs, anyway. Battery life goes down quickly. Once [battery power drops below 50%], your maximum frame rate will also drop. This last behavior is not unique to M series bodies.
I think the R7 and an EF-RF mount adapted 150-600mm lens will be a great combination. Canon also has the RF 600mm f/11 and RF 800mm f/11 around the same price point as the 150-600mm lenses. Canon also offers another telephoto zoom with RF mount.
Again, if you really want to get into wildlife photography, then upgrade the camera to a more suitable body. The M Series are great travel camera. But they are less capable as wildlife cameras when paired with EF mount, super telephoto lenses.
First, I have the Sigma 150-600mm Contemporary series, used on a Canon T7. Like it for wildlife, landscape etc. I would like to see the finished artwork you mention.
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