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Best Birding Lens Choice

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by TexChappy, Jul 11, 2012.

  1. TexChappy

    TexChappy Mu-43 Regular

    125
    Jun 30, 2012
    Want to get a lens (hopefully soon) to take some pictures of birds from my front porch. With the crop factor, the 50 end of my 12-50 is almost but not quite ok to get to the two large trees in my front yard. I was thinking about the Oly 75-300. Then there’s the Panasonic 100-300 and 45-200 (?). Reading about the Oly 75/1.8 and maybe it would be an option.

    Then I could get a Nikon adapter and have a 180/2.8 ED that I love on my F2 and see a lot of 300 f/4 Nikkors pretty cheap.

    So what is the best available bird tele right now? similarly related question, best bang for the buck?
     
  2. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    For birding you're generally going to want us much reach as you can get. Among native lenses this means the P100-300 or the O75-300. Between these two, I would lean heavily toward the Panasonic since it's brighter and the Olympus costs at least 60% more. If you were shooting with a Panasonic body, the OIS would tip the scales even more toward the P100-300.

    As far as "bang for the buck", then legacy lenses are the way to go (as long as you're comfortable with manual focus). For you, I would recommend picking up a Nikon adapter (look for one with a built-in tripod mount) and start off with the 180mm lens you already have. You can pick up a teleconverter and/or a longer lens later if you find you want more reach.
     
  3. The Minimalist

    The Minimalist Mu-43 Veteran

    362
    Nov 19, 2011
    I've only got experince of the Panasonic 100-300. I like it because of it's light weight and it's image stabilisation. I haven't had it for long and due to the prolonged wet wheather in the UK, I have had not much chance to use it, but here's a few bird photo's I have taken so far with it.

    P10407131.

    P1040747.

    P1030169.

    P1030568.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. sprinke

    sprinke Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 5, 2011
    Pasadena, CA
    Debi
    have you browsed the native lens sample forums for those lenses to see how people have used them?
     
  5. nueces snapper

    nueces snapper Mu-43 All-Pro

    Don't you mean 'legacy' not 'native'?:smile:
     
  6. kurtwist

    kurtwist Mu-43 Veteran

    330
    Feb 6, 2011
    Southern Calif.
    The Leica Telyt R 400 can be had reasonably priced if you are patient. Get the stock, too. It is 'faster' (T stop) than the f stop rating would suggest and doesn't need to be stopped down for excellent results.
     
  7. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    Yes, I did. I've edited my original post to correct my error. Thanks for spotting that as it didn't make a lot of sense the way it was.
     
  8. beehole1

    beehole1 Mu-43 Regular

    75
    Mar 7, 2011
    Here are a couple I took this morning with the P 100-300mm

    2h4cghf.

    fjzyg9.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  9. f6cvalkyrie

    f6cvalkyrie Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 12, 2010
    Brussels, Belgium
  10. nueces snapper

    nueces snapper Mu-43 All-Pro

    Tex,

    You know where I'm at with the 'perfect' lens choice for birding but you must also realize I'm less than rational. :biggrin: I got lots of decent shots with my 75/300 and obviously the 100/300 is a fine lens. Unless you are obsessed like I am ... stick with the rational lens. I will continue to use my native tele for ANY walking around or hiking. :2thumbs:
     
  11. Antonio

    Antonio Mu-43 Regular

    98
    Jun 27, 2011
    Sao Paulo, Brazil
    distant birds

    These Hyacinth Macaws were VERY high up in a tree in Pantanal, Brazil. This was taken with the Panasonic 100-300mm plus an extended telephoto feature of the Olympus OMD-EM5. The 100-300mm is great.

    P7110196-001.JPG
     
  12. RenaudVL

    RenaudVL Mu-43 Veteran

    308
    Mar 21, 2011
    Nice shot, do you mean Digital Tele-converter in the shooting menu of the OMD-EM5 by extended telephoto feature?

    Thanks

    Renaud
     
  13. Antonio

    Antonio Mu-43 Regular

    98
    Jun 27, 2011
    Sao Paulo, Brazil
    I am sorry but I just realized that I did not use the Digital Tele-converter for that photo. The photo below was taken with the extended telephoto feature of the OMD-EM5:

    P7110185-002.JPG
     
  14. Ihavenewfs

    Ihavenewfs Mu-43 Regular

    Hand Held?

    All of these images are dynamite! Were these shots taken with the camera handheld or on a tripod?

    I have an EPL-2 and was wondering if the Pany 100-300 would be like the proverbial odd-couple size-wise :rolleyes:
     
  15. foxtail1

    foxtail1 Science geek & photo nut

    Dec 30, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Kristi
    The 100–300 is a good size lens. It definitely looks big compared to my G3, but not crazed like some of those giant lenses.

    I don't think I've posted any of my bird shots in this thread — they're in the Nature: Birds thread — but I shoot handheld only.
     
  16. Starred

    Starred Mu-43 Regular

    134
    Aug 7, 2010

    Whats the difference between digital teleconverter and extended telephoto?
     
  17. The Minimalist

    The Minimalist Mu-43 Veteran

    362
    Nov 19, 2011
    All my shots on page one of this thread are handheld. I have only used a tripod once with this lens and that was to shoot the moon with it.

    I use it with a Pana GF1 which is roughly about the same size and shape as your EPL-2.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. strang

    strang Mu-43 Veteran

    287
    May 7, 2012
    Digital tele-converter is a crop. So your image resolution is halved. You can do this on your own with any post processing software. Even MS Paint. All you do is resize the canvas.

    The non-digital tele-converter is a physical part. Panasonic calls their Tele-converter lens, DMW-GTC1.

    image.asp?t=lar&i=DMWGTC1.

    It's a $149 part you can buy. You attach it to the end of your lens to double the magnification, but you don't lose any image resolution. Most people will mean this when they say they used a tele-converter.

    However I thought the tele-converter only works on the Panasonic 14-42mm kit lens.

    Panasonic also makes macro, wide-angle and fisheye.

    Olympus makes macro, wide-angle and fisheye. However no tele-converter.
     
  19. Antonio

    Antonio Mu-43 Regular

    98
    Jun 27, 2011
    Sao Paulo, Brazil
    Toucan in Pantanal, Brazil

    P7140490.JPG

    Olympus OMD-EM5, Panasonic 100-300mm
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Starred

    Starred Mu-43 Regular

    134
    Aug 7, 2010
    Ok, but then I still do not know what he exactly means by writing:
    Quote:
    I am sorry but I just realized that I did not use the Digital Tele-converter for that photo. The photo below was taken with the extended telephoto feature of the OMD-EM5

    What is the extended telephoto feature of the EM5?