Bird Watching (UK) - - Part One Gear -

In most cir­cum­stances, bird pho­tog­ra­phers re­quire a tele­photo lens of some de­scrip­tion. Fixed fo­cal length lens of 300mm or more are favoured and a 600mm f/4 lens is the mark of a se­ri­ous in­di­vid­ual. Th­ese mon­sters pro­duce ex­cel­lent re­sults in the right cir­cum­stances but are very heavy, re­quir­ing a tri­pod for most sit­u­a­tions. Shorter lenses can be hand­held to a de­gree, de­pend­ing on your strength. An­other op­tion is a tele­photo zoom. The most ap­pro­pri­ate mod­els span fo­cal lengths some­where in the 100mm-500mm range. They are com­par­a­tively light­weight be­cause fun­da­men­tally they con­tain less glass and have a re­sult­ing darker op­er­at­ing aper­ture (typ­i­cally f/5.6). This has an ad­verse knock-on ef­fect on the speed and abil­ity of aut­o­fo­cus func­tion.

A se­lec­tion of Nikon lenses suit­able for bird pho­tog­ra­phy: 200-500mm f/5.6, 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6d, 1.4x con­vert­ers, 600mm f/4

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