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What zoom to buy?

Norm53
Enthusiast

I put up a bird feed at the edge of a woods about 80 feet from my lunch table behind a french door. My Canon EOS Rebel T3i with EF 75-300 mm 1:4-5.6 will not bring into focus the birds, large and small.

 

What lens do I need to buy that will do the job? Cost is no object.

 

Thanks, Norm

 

112 REPLIES 112

"The phrase "camera AC adapter" just ran through my head."

 

Canon has a remote switch RS-80N3 that is supposed to work with the 7D. $42.

 

Norm

 


@Norm53 wrote:

"The phrase "camera AC adapter" just ran through my head."

 

Canon has a remote switch RS-80N3 that is supposed to work with the 7D. $42.

 

Norm

 


I wasn't referring to remote triggering.  I was concerned about battery life if you spend several hours shooting.  You may want to have spare batteries on hand, or even use an AC adapter to run the camera off of line voltage.

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

I wasn't referring to remote triggering.  I was concerned about battery life if you spend several hours shooting.  You may want to have spare batteries on hand, or even use an AC adapter to run the camera off of line voltage.

 

Understand. Yes, A/C adapter is a must because the gear will be fired up all day long.

 

Norm

'


@ebiggs1 wrote:

You know there is a big world out there besides your backyard.  Grab that camera and go take some pictures!  BTW, the last bird was shot with a 70mm lens.  Yes I said 70mm.  It is just a matter of distance.  Close is better than long focal lengths.


Most birds are naturally wary and hard to get close to, but nothing overcomes their wariness as effectively as a bird feeder. So it may be possible to get closer than Norm thinks.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA

"A gimbal head can change position instantly."

 

Can I assume that all tripods and cameras come with a 1/4-20 thread?

 

Norm

 

 

"Can I assume that all tripods and cameras come with a 1/4-20 thread?"

 

No.  But any camera or lens you are likely to buy will have 1/4x20.  The larger screw sizes are primarily for larger format cameras.  One word, you don't really need all that heavy tripod. The Manfrotto MT055XPRO3 Aluminum Tripod is well beyond what the average hobby photographer needs.  It supports 20 lbs.  It may even be a little much for some people.  It is made of aluminum.  The same tripod in carbon fiber Manfrotto MT055CXPRO3 Carbon Fiber Tripod.  neither of these are cheap but not terribly expensive.  Another suggestion is the Manfrotto 190go! Aluminum Tripod (15 lbs).  It is a more hobby user friendly version.  But these are only my thoughts.  I have used Manfrott/Bogen for years and been highly satisfied with them.  I have four of them!  Plus the studio version the 3046 with a 501 head. It is the one in the picture.  It is too big to move around easily.  And if it isn't easy to use, you won't.  That simple!

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

7D Mk II camera

 

I need to select a memory card. Seems that CF is superior to SD, but the former comes in 16, 32, 64 and 128 gigs. For my setup, which do you recommend?

 

Norm

 


@Norm53 wrote:

7D Mk II camera

 

I need to select a memory card. Seems that CF is superior to SD, but the former comes in 16, 32, 64 and 128 gigs. For my setup, which do you recommend?

 

Norm

 


You're overthinking this. Any of them will do. If you have to have an objective criterion in order to make a decision, buy the one that affords the lowest cost per gigabyte.

 

There's one potential trap with really large cards: you can shoot a lot before you have to copy the images to a computer. Don't make that mistake, because cards are not infallible and have been known to go bad. You don't want to put all your eggs in one basket.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA

(I also plan to add a hummingbird feeder at the station in the spring.) Suppose that I buy the 7D Mark II with Sigma 600mm lens and a heavy duty tripod with electronic trigger. Will this setup give me excellent photos?"

 

The correct answer to that question is, yes, it can.  But it will still be up to you, the photographer.  Equipment only takes you so far and the rest is on you. Hummingbirds are a whole different ballgame.  They are extremely difficult to shoot.

 

123.jpg

EOS 1D Mk IV with Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens for Canon at 600mm. heavily cropped in Photoshop.

Distance was about 15 to 20 feet.  Hand held, no tripod.

 

 

 If the answer to my question is "yes", which tripod do you experts suggest?

 

The one that works best for you. Not the one that works best for Ernie Biggs.  I like my Manfrotto MT055XPRO3 Aluminum Tripod a lot.  But some will say it is too heavy to cart around.  I don't.  Go check some out.  The tripod in the first picture is not portable at all.

 

" PS. I can use my t3i for everything else, including family pics at the beach (south Jersey)."

 

If you buy the EOS 7D Mk II, you will never use the T3i again.  So sell it or give it to the kids to learn photography on. Canon's Rebel line is great but not in the same solar system as the 7D Mk II.

Here is a thought.  Get the 7D Mk II along with the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens.  Now we are talking.  This is a fantastic combo. Add the big Siggy or Tammy and go shoot the beach or the birds to your hearts content! Smiley Very Happy

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

Which tripod to buy?

 

The best tripod will be the one that fulfills your needs.  Also, don't forget that the tripod head is at least as important as the choice of tripod.  With the 7D MkII and the 600mm Sigma, I would not invest in a set of legs that cannot handle at least 30 lbs.  While there are some pretty good deals on tripod/head kits, most compromise on the quality of the head, unless you spend upwards of several hundred dollars.  I paid the bucks to learn that lesson.

Decide what type of head is best.  Ball heads are most flexible for shooting stills, where you can take time to compose the shot.  The most accurate heads, though, will probably of the pan and tilt variety.  By accuracy, I mean that you set it up today, and then come back tomorrow and be able to precisely reproduce the same tripod and head settings. 

I have a heavy duty tripod with a ball head that I use for toting around.  A ball head with a friction/drag adjustment on the ball is a must.  I have a less totable tripod with a heavy duty monopod tilt head, mounted on a panning base, all of which is mounted on a leveling base/head.   The ball rig weighs about 8 pounds, while the tilt rig weighs about 15 pounds.

Both of my setups can handle at least 30 lbs.  The tilt head setup can handle over 60 lbs, which makes positioning my 500mm lens at the moon a breeze.  It doesn't drift when I fully tighten it down. 

Consider how tall you need the tripod to be without the center column extended.  Extending it only adds instability on a lighter duty tripod, which is another reason why a heavy duty model is a must.

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"The right mouse button is your friend."
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