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70-300mm IS II best? or?

DoubleJoyner2
Occasional Contributor

Hi, I am wanting a lens to go on my T6 so I can get pictures of wild birds,  lizards etc - Canon says 70-300 IS II  is my best bet -  will this lens get me close enough - does anyone know what is the X on this lens I can not find it anywhere? I am trying to stick within a $500 range - is this going to be worth it for me? does anyone have any pics to share so I can see what pics look like?

I don't want to waste my money if it isn't going to be a decent shot - I have the 75-300 and it is only 4X which is not good enough for what I want.  Thank you, CJ

27 REPLIES 27

John_SD
Reputable Contributor

@DoubleJoyner2 wrote:

Hi, I am wanting a lens to go on my T6 so I can get pictures of wild birds,  lizards etc - Canon says 70-300 IS II  is my best bet -  will this lens get me close enough - does anyone know what is the X on this lens I can not find it anywhere?


Birds and lizards? Your needs are all over the place. I generally don't shoot birds, so I can't speak to that. But I do shoot in the California desert, the forests, and what we call "the backcountry," and anyone who tells you you need 300mm plus to shoot lizards is full of it. You need no such thing. I walk around with Canon's 18-135mm IS STM and it is perfect for my needs. I shoot lizards, snakes, tarantulas, desert tortoises, insects, wildflowers, and an occasional road runner. Talk about a challenge! Road runners don't move in straight lines and are very difficult to shoot, so for me, framing is the problem. The few decent shots I've got of them have been the result of luck, not skill.

 

This fall I plan to hike a bit of the High Sierra Trail and will carry the same lens. My hope is to encounter bears (I've frequently seen them in Cresent Meadow and you don't need 300mm). I've also been stalked by a mountain lion, which in my experience is far more unnerving than seeing one clearly from the trail. These two idiots last year had a perfectly beautiful view of a mountain lion perched on a ledge along the High Sierra Trail and what do they do? They film it with a Go Pro. You could have gotten great close-ups with an 18-50mm lens. Google "SLO hikers encounter mountain lion" to see what a wasted opportunity they had. Well, I digress, but suffice to say, be prepared and rest assured you don't need massive lenses in the field. 

 

Anyway, when people speak of shooting wildlife, they usually mean birds. There is a lot more to "wildlife" than birds. But if that is your primary target, then the guys are right, 300mm won't cut it. 

"Road runners don't move in straight lines and are very difficult to shoot, so for me, framing is the problem."

 

You mean these guys?  They do stop from time to time.  Smiley Happy  Especially if you are not right on top of them.  A long FL lens like the 150-600mm super zoom is the choice because you can keep your distance.

 

1111.jpg

1112.jpg

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

DoubleJoyner2
Occasional Contributor
Great shots - thank you for posting them. We have a few of those around here..... Las Vegas area.... would love to get shots of them!

John_SD
Reputable Contributor

@DoubleJoyner2 wrote:
Great shots - thank you for posting them. We have a few of those around here..... Las Vegas area.... would love to get shots of them!

Yes, thanks for posting those, Ernie. Excellent shots.  In the field, I generally see them when they are on the move, but would love to be able to capture some good images of them. I do have a 75-300mm kit lens which I haven't used much. Maybe I'll start walking around with it a bit and see what I can do with it. 

 

DJ2, whenever we go to Vegas, I try to make time for a side trip to Valley of Fire, a great place to shoot. It's rare to go there in the early mornings and not encounter the bighorn sheep. People always talk about Red Rock Canyon, which I do enjoy, but for me I'll take Valley of Fire every time, even though it's farther out. A photographers' paradise. 

"...would love to get shots of them!"

 

You can, get out there and get'er done.

 

"... whenever we go to Vegas,..."

 

Try Big Ben Park.

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

John_SD
Reputable Contributor

@ebiggs1

 

Try Big Ben Park.


It''s on my list. We have a niece in Austin, so next time we're out in Texas, we'll make some time for Big Bend. 

I expect to see some beautiful shots!  Please post a few.

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

John_SD
Reputable Contributor

@ebiggs1 wrote:

I expect to see some beautiful shots!  Please post a few.


Will do.

 

Speaking of roadrunners, I'd love to find one doing battle with a rattlesnake, like this guy did. Thus, I will give myself an assignment, to try to capture something similar. Could take days, weeks or years LOL.

 

https://goo.gl/images/v4Q2Qp

... or decades!  Smiley Happy

 

About the rattlesnake and RR photos, Photoshop is your friend.  Just saying. Smiley Wink

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

John_SD
Reputable Contributor

@ebiggs1 wrote:

... or decades!  Smiley Happy

 

Photoshop is your friend.  Just saying. Smiley Wink


Well, at least you didn't say Ad*be! 

 

In AI-Servo Mode We Trust Smiley Very Happy

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