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Lens suggestions for jet spotting and birding with an EOS R10

emtdiamond
Apprentice

Looking for ideas or suggestions. I'm just starting my journey into the world of photography and have set my initial goals. I've been using an old Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H200 and my Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra for most of my needs but they have falling well short of what I'm looking to do. The S23 Ultra takes incredible photos but I want a bit more.

My goal is taking photos while jet spotting (as in fighter jets) but I also want to be able to shoot wildlife. I just bought a Canon EOS R10 with the 18-45mm lens. I've been reading that the Canon RF 100-400mm is the ideal choice but have also read a 500 or 600 should be included in my considerations. 

Any help and/or guidance will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

emtdiamond

3 ACCEPTED SOLUTIONS

rs-eos
Elite
Elite

Since your subjects will tend to be quite far away, longer focal lengths will definitely be an advantage.

What is your current budget?  If you can swing it, perhaps the new RF 200-800mm f/6.3-9 IS USM may be a good choice (available for pre-order for $1900).   It's also compatible with both the RF 1.4x and RF 2.0x extenders.  Though if going that route, do read up on extenders.  With the already narrow aperture of f/9 at the the maximum end, using extenders could become quite challenging.

--
Ricky

Camera: EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L
Lighting: Profoto Lights & Modifiers

View solution in original post

ebiggs1
Legend
Legend

In my experience I would say 400mm is the minimum FL for birds. That is the max of the 100-400mm you queried about. Unfortunately long FL lenses are not cheap or they are very slow. Sometimes slow aperture is not a problem but a lot of the time it can be. If you are starting with f9 that's pretty slow. I too recommend you check out the  RF 200-800mm f/6.3-9 IS USM as the best option vs cost. I would forget using a tel-con with it.

 

Keep in mind getting closer is always better than more FL. Dealing with 800mm and f9 will be challenging enough. Oh, BTW, f9 is not a standard stop so you are really dealing with an f11 lens which is where it is probably best.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

View solution in original post

Aurora4233
Contributor

I own and love both the RF100-400 and RF100-500 for two very specific and different reasons.  The lightweight inconspicuous 100-400 is my go to for street photography, traveling light, or stationary birds or objects. 

The 100-500 is big and gets noticed but it's autofocus and tracking is immeasurably better than the 100-400 so it's a must for me for airshows, flying birds, fast anything.  It's not as big and heavy as almost any of my old EF zooms but it's a beast compared to the 100-400.

Lastly there's the price... Considering how amazing the 100-400 is for the price I almost always recommend starting there unless you have some professional wage earning justification for the 100-500.  All of my lenses have paid for themselves so I don't hesitate to get anything that fits a need but 69% of the time I can't tell the difference between shots on either lens.  The 31% where you can see the difference is significant if you need fast panning or exquisite bokeh with the 500 so you have to decide if that's worth the extra $Gs.

I've attached some street photos with the 400 from New Orleans where I was barely noticed and some airshow work with the 500 (and a humming bird with the 500 to show the bonus bokeh that the 400 wouldn't pull).

Can't go wrong with either and now you know how and why I use them, happy shooting!

*All with R7

Airshow Day 1 08836.jpg

Airshow Day 1 08536.jpg

Airshow Day 2 00776.jpg

Airshow Day 1 08598.jpg

Airshow Day 1 13357.jpg

Airshow Day 1 00865.jpg

  

ABQ CatopiaCafe 12 Aug 23 0125.jpg

ABQ CatopiaCafe 12 Aug 23 0111.jpg

ABQ CatopiaCafe 12 Aug 23 0137.jpg

Airshow Day 1 11551.jpg

Airshow Day 1 09963.jpg

20230523130055_CAR70894.jpg

20230523125751_CAR70830.jpg

20230523124129_CAR70638.jpg

20230523124052_CAR70636.jpg

20230523123453_CAR70599.jpg

20230523123005_CAR70558.jpg

20230520202746_CAR76452.jpg

20230520201141_CAR76304.jpg

20230520201106_CAR76300.jpg

20230520195926_CAR76203.jpg

20230520193147_CAR75773.jpg

20230520193711_CAR75884.jpg

20230520190949_CAR75511.jpg

20230518200753_CAR71720.jpg

View solution in original post

7 REPLIES 7

rs-eos
Elite
Elite

Since your subjects will tend to be quite far away, longer focal lengths will definitely be an advantage.

What is your current budget?  If you can swing it, perhaps the new RF 200-800mm f/6.3-9 IS USM may be a good choice (available for pre-order for $1900).   It's also compatible with both the RF 1.4x and RF 2.0x extenders.  Though if going that route, do read up on extenders.  With the already narrow aperture of f/9 at the the maximum end, using extenders could become quite challenging.

--
Ricky

Camera: EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L
Lighting: Profoto Lights & Modifiers

ebiggs1
Legend
Legend

In my experience I would say 400mm is the minimum FL for birds. That is the max of the 100-400mm you queried about. Unfortunately long FL lenses are not cheap or they are very slow. Sometimes slow aperture is not a problem but a lot of the time it can be. If you are starting with f9 that's pretty slow. I too recommend you check out the  RF 200-800mm f/6.3-9 IS USM as the best option vs cost. I would forget using a tel-con with it.

 

Keep in mind getting closer is always better than more FL. Dealing with 800mm and f9 will be challenging enough. Oh, BTW, f9 is not a standard stop so you are really dealing with an f11 lens which is where it is probably best.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

Aurora4233
Contributor

I own and love both the RF100-400 and RF100-500 for two very specific and different reasons.  The lightweight inconspicuous 100-400 is my go to for street photography, traveling light, or stationary birds or objects. 

The 100-500 is big and gets noticed but it's autofocus and tracking is immeasurably better than the 100-400 so it's a must for me for airshows, flying birds, fast anything.  It's not as big and heavy as almost any of my old EF zooms but it's a beast compared to the 100-400.

Lastly there's the price... Considering how amazing the 100-400 is for the price I almost always recommend starting there unless you have some professional wage earning justification for the 100-500.  All of my lenses have paid for themselves so I don't hesitate to get anything that fits a need but 69% of the time I can't tell the difference between shots on either lens.  The 31% where you can see the difference is significant if you need fast panning or exquisite bokeh with the 500 so you have to decide if that's worth the extra $Gs.

I've attached some street photos with the 400 from New Orleans where I was barely noticed and some airshow work with the 500 (and a humming bird with the 500 to show the bonus bokeh that the 400 wouldn't pull).

Can't go wrong with either and now you know how and why I use them, happy shooting!

*All with R7

Airshow Day 1 08836.jpg

Airshow Day 1 08536.jpg

Airshow Day 2 00776.jpg

Airshow Day 1 08598.jpg

Airshow Day 1 13357.jpg

Airshow Day 1 00865.jpg

  

ABQ CatopiaCafe 12 Aug 23 0125.jpg

ABQ CatopiaCafe 12 Aug 23 0111.jpg

ABQ CatopiaCafe 12 Aug 23 0137.jpg

Airshow Day 1 11551.jpg

Airshow Day 1 09963.jpg

20230523130055_CAR70894.jpg

20230523125751_CAR70830.jpg

20230523124129_CAR70638.jpg

20230523124052_CAR70636.jpg

20230523123453_CAR70599.jpg

20230523123005_CAR70558.jpg

20230520202746_CAR76452.jpg

20230520201141_CAR76304.jpg

20230520201106_CAR76300.jpg

20230520195926_CAR76203.jpg

20230520193147_CAR75773.jpg

20230520193711_CAR75884.jpg

20230520190949_CAR75511.jpg

20230518200753_CAR71720.jpg

shadowsports
Legend
Legend

Greetings,

I've shot extensively with both lenses.  100-400, 100-500.  They are in completely different classes.  The new 200-800 should also be a wonderful performer for longer range subjects. I believe it will start shipping in the next 2-3 weeks, but if you haven't pre-ordered by now, you wil likely be waiting a little while.

The 100-400 is good for planes (take off and landing)  Distant subjects that aren't too far.  Jet spotting might be a little challenging with this lens.  Good if you can park near the runway and shooting slower moving subject, but not as good for fighter jets flying across the sky. 

Bird wise, good from a backyard porch to a close fountain, tree or feeder.  For good detail, 5-10 yrds or less.

The 100-500, and soon to be released 200-800 is a completely different story. With either of these lenses you will be able to shoot faster moving subjects at much greater distances.  Obviously there is quite a price difference.  You didn't specify a budget so our suggestions are based on the types of photography you have expressed interest in and not what might be in the budget.          

~Rick
Bay Area - CA


~R5 C (1.0.6.1) ~RF Trinity, ~RF 100 Macro, ~RF 100~400, ~RF 100~500, +RF 1.4x TC, +Canon Control Ring, BG-R10

~DxO PhotoLab Elite ~DaVinci Resolve ~Windows11 Pro ~ImageClass MF644Cdw/MF656Cdw ~Pixel 8 ~CarePaks Are Worth It

emtdiamond
Apprentice

Thank you everyone for taking the time to reply. I totally forgot to mention my budget. I'm trying to stay under $1,000 to start and as I learn to master the craft, I'll up that budget. As far as the jet spotting, I'll be near an airbase, positioned at the end of the taxiway and take off runway. It'll be the jets on take off, towards the camera, and then overhead. Then it would then be the aircraft returning to base, circling around above the shooting position, and lining up for landing. Once landed, there would be shots of them returning to the parking ramp, and shutdown. 

I've included pictures, taken from my phone, to give a very basic idea, of the shooting position I'd be at.

Again, I thank everyone for your guidance 20231023_100113[1].jpg20231023_112615[1].jpg20231023_100248[1].jpg20231023_122332[1].jpg

ebiggs1
Legend
Legend

" I'm trying to stay under $1,000 to start and as I learn to master the craft, I'll up that budget. "

 

Usually that plan ends up costing way more than getting what you need first. It always ends up "buying twice". Study first and then buy. From what you have said so far you know you need something in the 400mm+ and a zoom would be a great choice. So, now go from there and see what fits the budget

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

emtdiamond
Apprentice

Just a quick update. I found a great deal on a refurbished Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM for under $150 and a Canon RF 100-400mm f/5.6-8 IS USM at a $50 discount. Can not wait to get them and see how it'll go. It'll be fun to learn how to properly use those two, along with the Canon RF 18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM kit lens that came with my R10, and to begin my journey in the world of photography.

Again, thank you Ricky, EB, Aurora, and Rick. I greatly appreciate each and everyone one of you taking the time to answer a novices question.

Dave D

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