At this moment I am not at home, so I can't remember if I have the T6 or T6i. Anyway, i'm looking for a good but moderately priced zoom lens. I don't want to spend thousands of dollars, just want something that will take good pictures and not require a suitcase to carry it.
I already have the 18-55 mm lens. I mainly shoot landscapes but want to take pictures of wildlife up close.
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I do a great deal of wildlife shooting, mostly birds in flight.
I can tell you in my experience, as has been mentioned above, 200mm is not going to be enough to get the close, detailed shots that makes great wildlife images. Believe me, I've tried. On the other hand, keep in mind the longer the glass gets, the harder it is to hold steady. While you can shoot certain wildlife with a tripod, birds in flight are not among those that you can as the tripod limits your movements too much.
Currently using a Canon 6D (you know, the camera with the really poor AF system that can't track anything moving ) with the 100-400 II and I am getting very good results. I will tell you too, as has been mentioned, you're going to do a whole lot of standing around, waiting. Wildlife shooting requires tremendous amounts of patience....which surprises me that I can do it as I have very little.
So I would suggest to you to try to get something about 400mm. I don't know what the 100-400 II is going for these days, maybe you could find one used and save a bit. Know too that the 100-400 on your crop body camera is going to have a narrower angle of view as it is designed for a full frame body, but it can be used on your crop. But I think if you get into a 200 or even 300mm lens it's going to leave you somewhat disaapointed. I'll mention too, this type of photography requires a great deal of practice. So, initially, you're going to get some klunkers, which is fine as these will all provide a degree of learning. Good luck to you.
Here are a couple I've gotten recently.
I know little about shooting wildlife, but the little that I do know is that it reminds me of fishing. You have to know your prey's habits. You have to pick a good location, and time of day. Most importantly, you have to be quiet and patient. Finally, some days you're not going to get any bites on your hook.
Waddizzle sums it up well: "I know little about shooting wildlife, but the little that I do know is that it reminds me of fishing. You have to know your prey's habits. You have to pick a good location, and time of day. Most importantly, you have to be quiet and patient. Finally, some days you're not going to get any bites on your hook."
I do lots of bird photography and it can be very frustrating. When carrying a camera, the most common view is of tail feathers. Migratory patterns, mating seasons, and time of day all are key factors, as well as one's ability to be still and quiet. For the type of shooting I do, my Sigma 100-400mm lens is the minimum I carry, and often prefer the heavier Tamron 150-600mm. At longer focal lengths, you'll also learn what the term "seeing conditions" means, as some of your best shots will look like they were taken underwater. One day last week, there were dozens of birds on the water and in the trees in an area I frequent. The next day, there was absolutely nothing, not even a butterfly. Another day I was totally bummed out, then, as I was leaving, noticed a small American Kestrel sitting atop a telephone pole just watching me. You never know ....
I know exactly what you mean. I had a male mallard that wanted to swim under the bridge I was walkiing over but we approached at the same time. I was not watching him, I was on my way back to my car. He was confused and flew up to about my eye level and hovered there for a few seconds flapping and then took off in the opposite direction of me. Had I had my camera ready, I would have gotten some awesome shots as he was 4 feet away from me.
Very true. I'm an avid hiker, so I know the habits of what I want to shoot.
And yes, even a bad day at fishing is better than a good day at work.
Depending upon the size of the bird, and how close you can get, you will likely need a super telephoto lens, greater than 300mm. A birder always seems to want as much focal length as possible.
Under $500. There are not many super telephoto lenses available in this price range. The ones that you do find, are fully manual lenses with narrow apertures. Many do not have the best image quality. But, there are a handful of quality lenses 300mm, and under, in this price range. The EF-S 55-250 f/3.5-5.6 IS STM and the EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 ii USM lens are two sharp lenses. I would advise against any of the EF 75-300mm lenses.
$500-$1000. The variety of lenses begins to open up in this price range. But, most of the choices are not from Canon. But, you can get you hands on an "L" series lens, the EF 70-200mm f/4? USM, which would give an equivalent 35mm range of 112-320mm on your APS-C sensor camera body, and will last a lifetime. Other choices are the 150-600mm lenses from Sigma and Tamron. I would recommend the Tamron over the Sigma, simply because of the Sigma dock, and the much improved image quality from a recent firmware update.
$1000-$1500. Canon offers the EF300mm f/4L and the EF 400mm f/5.6L. One offers more reach, while one has an aperture that is one full stop faster. I would go for the faster lens with the T6. Tamron offers an improved version of its 150-600mm lens in this range. If you can still find a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4-5.6L IS USM in this range, give a new one consideration.
Over $1500. This is where the fun begins. The sky is the limit, so i will limit chcices to what an enthusiast, like myself, would buy. I love the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4-5.6L IS II USM, and with a Canon 1.4x III extender, it has more reach. Unfortunately, your T6 is not able to take advantage of the 1.4x III extender, because using them slows down autofocus, and your T6 will not AF at all with one. There are other choices, but most of them are BEASTS of lenses.
" I don't want to spend thousands of dollars, just want something that will take good pictures and not require a suitcase to carry it."
If you are truly wanting to do wildlife like birds, you have stated two conditions that are going to make it impossible or at the very least frustrating for you. I can recommend a lens that isn't "thousands" but it is still expensive. However, all lenses that do a decent job are going to be big.
The Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens can do a great job. It is some what big but it is very light for a super tele. BTW, 400mm is probably the shortest focal length you want to consider. That is if you are serious about wildlife and birds. The Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens is about $1200 bucks.
Probably the best compromise in IQ, price and size/weight is the Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2. It is $1400.
If on the other hand you are not serious either of the Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Lens or EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens are choices. Birds in particular are small and they will still be small (tiny) in your photos with either of these unless you can get very close. And in the end, as all of photography, location is the most important part. Close is good !