I want to take pictures of birds

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I want to take pictures of birds

Post by deev @ Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:02 pm

Yeah, with a long lens! Tits! But seriously, I want to take photos of the birds that fly around in my back garden and over the river etc. I have a beginners Nikon D3200 with whatever lens it came with. I am by no means an expert with such things but I want to be able to take nice photos of the birds a bit closer up than my current lens/sneaking up abilities allow. Ideally I want to get a decent shot of the Kingfishers. Tell me what to buy.

I'm a beginner so there's no point telling me to buy an eleventy billion quid hyperdoodah. Thank you please.
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Re: I want to take pictures of birds

Post by minimoog @ Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:39 pm

On the cheap, one of these

But if you want this

Image

You'll be looking at the more expensive options mentioned here:

https://photographylife.com/best-nikon-lenses-for-wildlife-photography
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Re: I want to take pictures of birds

Post by deev @ Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:45 pm

cheap one looks good!
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Re: I want to take pictures of birds

Post by minimoog @ Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:02 pm

deev wrote:cheap one looks good!


You'll probably want the VR version (with image stabilisation) which is more expensive. In which case this similar lens might appeal if you don't mind buying used

https://www.mpb.com/en-uk/used-equipment/used-photo-and-video/used-lenses/used-nikon-fit-lenses/nikon-af-p-70-300mm-f-4-5-6-3-g-if-ed-vr/sku-726634/


p.s. but check it's compatible with your body - see the text of the ad. It isn't compatible :(
Last edited by minimoog on Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: I want to take pictures of birds

Post by deev @ Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:12 pm

I don't mind if its used, presumably its only photons that have gone through it and not jizz :D
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Re: I want to take pictures of birds

Post by Revol @ Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:21 pm

Good second hand shop or try talkphotography classifieds for private sellers. Used lenses are the way to go IMO.
You need a lens with built in focus motor, other brands are available apart from Nikon's own lenses. Sigma, tamron etc etc.
A 300mm lens should suffice using as higher ISO as you can without making the image grainy.You need a fast shutter speed and the lens wide open (small f number) Manual mode and underexpose (then correct on computer) if the light isn't great. Maybe start with the camera on af-c and continuous drive to start with.
And tons of practice.
Last edited by Revol on Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I want to take pictures of birds

Post by minimoog @ Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:23 pm

Talk Photography won't let you use their classifieds until you've got a hefty post count on their regular forums.
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Re: I want to take pictures of birds

Post by deev @ Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:26 pm

Revol wrote:Good second hand shop or try talkphotography classifieds for private sellers. Used lenses are the way to go IMO.
You need a lens with built in focus motor, other brands are available apart from Nikon's own lenses. Sigma, tamron etc etc.
A 300mm lens should suffice using as higher ISO as you can without making the image grainy.You need a fast shutter speed and the lens wide open (small f number) Manual mode and underexpose (then correct on computer) if the light isn't great. Maybe start with the camera on af-c and continuous drive to start with.
And tons of practice.

I got as far as "etc etc" then it all seems to be in Chinese. I need a book.

Annoyingly I knew all of that stuff at school, then forgot it all.
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Re: I want to take pictures of birds

Post by Greg66 @ Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:31 pm

In all seriousness, deev, think about taking photos of something else.

Bird photography is in my limited experience a total fcuking nightmare. Used cheap long telephoto lenses are a great step up from everyday lenses, but fairly quickly you get fed up of the lack of fine detail they produce and the inevitable lack of magnification (cropping just exacerbates the lack of detail).

Then you cast around for something better that will take a 2x teleconverter and think things will be better. Except you lose two f stops with the converter and so unless the bird is perfectly still on a sunny day and you have a monopod you’re fcuked, because your biggest aperture is f8 and that means you’re shooting at 1/30 with a 600mm lens... and that’s all before you’ve overcome the fact that birds move around a lot and don’t tend to sit there obligingly waiting for you to take photos of them.

A while ago I bought a third hand 300mm f2.8 lens that looked like it had been in a war zone. It took lovely shots but weighed a ton; I needed a monopod to use it and even with a 2x converter it was too short and too heavy to move quickly enough to photograph birds. I sold it quite quickly. The best thing was how well that sort of lens holds its value.

Maybe modern sensors with a gazillion megapixels running to ISO 32,000 get round the cropping issue - dunno. But even if they do, you’ve still got the problem of subjects who flit around far too quickly in unpredictable directions.
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Re: I want to take pictures of birds

Post by Revol @ Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:45 pm

As 66 said, unsurprising money pit once you get into a specific genre of photography (wildlife, motor sport, portraiture etc)
Some good results can be had though, depends on the setting. My in-laws have a bird table fairly close to a window and the birds are used to having people nearby so have got some good photos. Nothing that'll win any prizes but i was happy with them.
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Re: I want to take pictures of birds

Post by Revol @ Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:46 pm

minimoog wrote:Talk Photography won't let you use their classifieds until you've got a hefty post count on their regular forums.

Really? Been on there for a few years and it wasn't as tight when i joined. I've not posted loads either.
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Re: I want to take pictures of birds

Post by deev @ Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:18 am

Revol wrote:As 66 said, unsurprising money pit once you get into a specific genre of photography (wildlife, motor sport, portraiture etc)
Some good results can be had though, depends on the setting. My in-laws have a bird table fairly close to a window and the birds are used to having people nearby so have got some good photos. Nothing that'll win any prizes but i was happy with them.

Im lucky enough to have a nice garden and a river at the bottom, I can sit around in for ages and stuff just appears whilst I do nothing much i, I'm not expecting to take amazing stuff, just have a bit of fun and get a collection of vaguely discernible photos of the Song thrushes, Tits, Kingfishers, Wood Pigeons, Ducks, Buzzards, Coots, Herons and whatever else decides to show up. There's a blue tit that jumps onto the bird feeder near the start of this video, would the cheap lens be able to get a vaguely okay photo of it from where the video is shot from? There's a bench behind me that I like to sit in so can wait for ages. I know the shed needs painted, it's not been dry enough! I have the paint! (The Greenhouse is a work in progress as are the bits that I've dug up)
Original video page: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwzjgB2fN9o
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Re: I want to take pictures of birds

Post by minimoog @ Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:33 am

Superb bit of garden that. The river totally makes it.
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Re: I want to take pictures of birds

Post by HappyGoLucky @ Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:39 am

deev wrote:Yeah, with a long lens! Tits! But seriously, I want to take photos of the birds that fly around in my back garden and over the river etc. I have a beginners Nikon D3200 with whatever lens it came with. I am by no means an expert with such things but I want to be able to take nice photos of the birds a bit closer up than my current lens/sneaking up abilities allow. Ideally I want to get a decent shot of the Kingfishers. Tell me what to buy.

I'm a beginner so there's no point telling me to buy an eleventy billion quid hyperdoodah. Thank you please.

Like Deev, I also get a lot of wildlife in the garden and want to get some better pictures. Unlike Deev I've only got my point n shoot dive camera so need to start from the beginning.
Just this weekend I spotted these....
Blue Crowned Hanging Parrot
Image

Changeable Hawk
Image

Cinnamon Headed Green Pigeon
Image

Zebra Dove
Image

Jacobin Cuckoo
Image

Red Whiskered Bulbul
Image

That's in addition to the Magpie Robin, Kingfishers,Orioles, Drongos and Mynahs that are almost daily visitors.

None of the above pictures were taken by me.
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Re: I want to take pictures of birds

Post by deev @ Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:44 am

Thanks :) I hope I never have to move again, the video foreshortens it a bit, it's shot about half down from the house, I think the neighbours think Im a bit odd, I can just sit/stand there for ages watching things flying about I'd just like to make a moderately decent attempt at recording some of the flying things that visit us :)
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Re: I want to take pictures of birds

Post by deev @ Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:47 am

I have become somewhat obsessed with wood pigeons, that cinnamon headed one is amazing looking!
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Re: I want to take pictures of birds

Post by Pigeon @ Tue Apr 24, 2018 2:11 am

Yeah, I wish we had Treron species in England, there are loads of different ones and they all look pretty amazing. And wood pigeons are ace.
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Re: I want to take pictures of birds

Post by HappyGoLucky @ Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:40 am

Pigeon wrote:Yeah, I wish we had Treron species in England, there are loads of different ones and they all look pretty amazing. And wood pigeons are ace.

We've got 4 species of Treron here, they do look a lot more interesting than the stump footed tree rats you see limping along window ledges all over London.
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Re: I want to take pictures of birds

Post by Paul H @ Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:00 am

Put camera on tripod pointing at a source of food. Go to kitchen, make a brew. Operate camera with the remote control which can be had for £4 from Amazon.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B079STP1D2/ ... 0490672246
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Re: I want to take pictures of birds

Post by Deuteronomy @ Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:33 am

minimoog wrote:The river totally makes it.


Yep, beautiful - until he has kids of course, then it'll be the very stuff of waking nightmares.
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Re: I want to take pictures of birds

Post by span @ Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:18 am

Wonderful garden and outlook, Deev.

deev wrote:I hope I never have to move again


What a lovely thing to be able to say!
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Re: I want to take pictures of birds

Post by Greg66 @ Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:40 am

span wrote:Wonderful garden and outlook, Deev.

deev wrote:I hope I never have to move again


What a lovely thing to be able to say!


I know. It's bloody idyllic, isn't it? Deev, want to trade it for a small overlooked garden in a big city? No? Quelle surprise, you selfish fcuker!

If you have a spot that you can sit and wait in, and if you have a spot that you will shoot that the birds will come to, I'm going to modify my view a bit.

You can make this work. I think you want 300mm minimum, and ideally you want something that will allow you to add a teleconverter later if you want to go longer. I have always been a Canon fanboi (as CJ would say "I invested in their system") so I am not too clued up on Nikon mounts and so on.

But, all that said, and budget allowing, have a look at this: http://www.ffordes.com/product/18032911433581 which is used and described as "excellent+ for condition (I've bought from ffordes a couple of times and find their used descriptions can be slightly optimistic, so bear that in mind. There's a review here: https://kenrockwell.com/nikon/300f4afs.htm

Again, ideally, you want something to rest this on when you shoot. The rule of thumb is to shoot at 1/ the focal length, so for a 300mm lens you want a shutter speed of 1/300s or faster. Otherwise you are likely to get blurring from not being able to hold the lens sufficiently steady. I don't think this one has image stabilisation (Canon call that IS, but I think Nikon call it VR or something; it doesn't eliminate image blur from shaking but allows you do get away with a slightly slower shutter speed than you'd otherwise have to use).
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Re: I want to take pictures of birds

Post by Damien Thorn @ Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:57 am

span wrote:
deev wrote:I hope I never have to move again


What a lovely thing to be able to say!


Doesn't everybody think that when they move? I know I did/do. When we moved to this house 14 years ago, it was intended as our 'family home' - and I don't expect to move ever.
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Re: I want to take pictures of birds

Post by Deuteronomy @ Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:58 am

Greg66 wrote:Then you cast around for something better that will take a 2x teleconverter and think things will be better. Except you lose two f stops with the converter and so unless the bird is perfectly still on a sunny day and you have a monopod you’re fcuked, because your biggest aperture is f8 and that means you’re shooting at 1/30 with a 600mm lens... and that’s all before you’ve overcome the fact that birds move around a lot and don’t tend to sit there obligingly waiting for you to take photos of them.

A while ago I bought a third hand 300mm f2.8 lens that looked like it had been in a war zone. It took lovely shots but weighed a ton; I needed a monopod to use it and even with a 2x converter it was too short and too heavy to move quickly enough to photograph birds. I sold it quite quickly. The best thing was how well that sort of lens holds its value.

Maybe modern sensors with a gazillion megapixels running to ISO 32,000 get round the cropping issue - dunno. But even if they do, you’ve still got the problem of subjects who flit around far too quickly in unpredictable directions.


What does any of this mean? It's just words jumbled together!

I often wonder if this is how I sound to others when I talk mechanics.

>considers<

Of course it isn't.
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Re: I want to take pictures of birds

Post by span @ Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:10 am

Damien Thorn wrote:
span wrote:
deev wrote:I hope I never have to move again


What a lovely thing to be able to say!


Doesn't everybody think that when they move? I know I did/do. When we moved to this house 14 years ago, it was intended as our 'family home' - and I don't expect to move ever.

That is lovely, too!

I'd guess about half the people I know would consider their current home to be somewhere they'd not want to move from. We rent a house and when we buy, hopefully before too long, we both anticipate it would be somewhere we'd be happy for a while and would get us out of renting, with the hope to find THE house after that.

(I am very happy where I live and everything, not moaning at all! But it's always a lovely thing to hear someone so content with what they have*, whether it's home, partner, work, whatever)

* 'content with what they have' could have negative connotations. I mean it in a really positive, enviable way.**

** shut up me, sorry everyone talk about cameras again
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Re: I want to take pictures of birds

Post by Greg66 @ Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:18 am

Deuteronomy wrote:
Greg66 wrote:Then you cast around for something better that will take a 2x teleconverter and think things will be better. Except you lose two f stops with the converter and so unless the bird is perfectly still on a sunny day and you have a monopod you’re fcuked, because your biggest aperture is f8 and that means you’re shooting at 1/30 with a 600mm lens... and that’s all before you’ve overcome the fact that birds move around a lot and don’t tend to sit there obligingly waiting for you to take photos of them.

A while ago I bought a third hand 300mm f2.8 lens that looked like it had been in a war zone. It took lovely shots but weighed a ton; I needed a monopod to use it and even with a 2x converter it was too short and too heavy to move quickly enough to photograph birds. I sold it quite quickly. The best thing was how well that sort of lens holds its value.

Maybe modern sensors with a gazillion megapixels running to ISO 32,000 get round the cropping issue - dunno. But even if they do, you’ve still got the problem of subjects who flit around far too quickly in unpredictable directions.


What does any of this mean? It's just words jumbled together!

I often wonder if this is how I sound to others when I talk mechanics.

>considers<

Of course it isn't.


Doots, that's because when you talk, you just make quacking noises and wave your arms around like a windmill, pointing at the clouds.
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Re: I want to take pictures of birds

Post by Deuteronomy @ Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:31 am

Greg66 wrote:
Deuteronomy wrote:
Greg66 wrote:Then you cast around for something better that will take a 2x teleconverter and think things will be better. Except you lose two f stops with the converter and so unless the bird is perfectly still on a sunny day and you have a monopod you’re fcuked, because your biggest aperture is f8 and that means you’re shooting at 1/30 with a 600mm lens... and that’s all before you’ve overcome the fact that birds move around a lot and don’t tend to sit there obligingly waiting for you to take photos of them.

A while ago I bought a third hand 300mm f2.8 lens that looked like it had been in a war zone. It took lovely shots but weighed a ton; I needed a monopod to use it and even with a 2x converter it was too short and too heavy to move quickly enough to photograph birds. I sold it quite quickly. The best thing was how well that sort of lens holds its value.

Maybe modern sensors with a gazillion megapixels running to ISO 32,000 get round the cropping issue - dunno. But even if they do, you’ve still got the problem of subjects who flit around far too quickly in unpredictable directions.


What does any of this mean? It's just words jumbled together!

I often wonder if this is how I sound to others when I talk mechanics.

>considers<

Of course it isn't.


Doots, that's because when you talk, you just make quacking noises and wave your arms around like a windmill, pointing at the clouds.


>ruffles hair<

You cheeky rascal Greggers.

I think your mum's looking for you, so best potter off, yeah?

>watches Greg amble off like the happy idiot he is<

Idiot.
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Re: I want to take pictures of birds

Post by desertweasel @ Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:46 am

We have eagles in our little valley, this is fantastic, there is one nest and each year they raise a couple of chicks
here is a Bonelli eagle
Image

So for 2 years there have been up to 5 eagles at a time in a small valley, and this is the best shot I have managed to get with a 300mm lens.
I have spent an accumulation of hours stalking the feathery bastards

I hate them,

Image
Last edited by desertweasel on Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I want to take pictures of birds

Post by Dirk @ Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:01 pm

Still better than a picture of a sea eagle that once appeared on here DS
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Re: I want to take pictures of birds

Post by Greg66 @ Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:43 pm

Deuteronomy wrote:
Greg66 wrote:
Deuteronomy wrote:
Greg66 wrote:Then you cast around for something better that will take a 2x teleconverter and think things will be better. Except you lose two f stops with the converter and so unless the bird is perfectly still on a sunny day and you have a monopod you’re fcuked, because your biggest aperture is f8 and that means you’re shooting at 1/30 with a 600mm lens... and that’s all before you’ve overcome the fact that birds move around a lot and don’t tend to sit there obligingly waiting for you to take photos of them.

A while ago I bought a third hand 300mm f2.8 lens that looked like it had been in a war zone. It took lovely shots but weighed a ton; I needed a monopod to use it and even with a 2x converter it was too short and too heavy to move quickly enough to photograph birds. I sold it quite quickly. The best thing was how well that sort of lens holds its value.

Maybe modern sensors with a gazillion megapixels running to ISO 32,000 get round the cropping issue - dunno. But even if they do, you’ve still got the problem of subjects who flit around far too quickly in unpredictable directions.


What does any of this mean? It's just words jumbled together!

I often wonder if this is how I sound to others when I talk mechanics.

>considers<

Of course it isn't.


Doots, that's because when you talk, you just make quacking noises and wave your arms around like a windmill, pointing at the clouds.


>ruffles hair<

You cheeky rascal Greggers.

I think your mum's looking for you, so best potter off, yeah?

>watches Greg amble off like the happy idiot he is<

Idiot.


All I can hear is quacking.

Image
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