mangalajodi ducks bird photography

Bird photography tips – lenses


Birdwingopedia¬†ūüź¶ūüź¶ –¬†Tips and Techniques for Beginners in Bird Photography

We have received multiple queries requesting tips on wildlife photography. Birdwingopedia series aims at providing tips and techniques on nature and wildlife photography. Look us up for pointers on best equipment and tips on photographic techniques that will help you on the field. In this blog post, we have consolidated our facebook posts (multiple) into one.

Let us look at some great lens options. First up – 300mm f/4 (Nikon or Canon)- We just love this lens. It is extremely sharp, lightweight and its insanely compact size and weight make it a complete joy to use and possibly the perfect travel telephoto lens, especially if you are limited on space. This is a fantastic lens for bird photography with or without the 1.4x Teleconverter and pairs extremely well with a crop body like a Nikon D500 (7D Mark II for Canon). This lens doubles up as a wonderful option for butterfly photography too.

Take a look at some of the images shot by us using the 300 f/4 (an older version of the Nikon lens).

Tags: Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR, Canon EF 300mm f/4.0L is USM Prime Lens

Our second lens recommendation would be a 70-200 f/2.8 variant. This smaller but yet very sharp lens in all the top variants (Nikon, Canon & Tamron). The fast 70-200 F2.8 lens. Though this lens is more considered for portraiture and general wildlife photography ( mammals ) they can also be used for bird photography with a little bit of extra effort from the user. This lens delivers some amazing bokeh if you shoot the subject with a clean background, hence most portrait photographers love this lens. They also work well in low light because of the wider aperture of F/2.8. Most of our wildlife sightings happen during the dawn and dusk, this lens comes very handily in such conditions. Of course, the focal length is very short for photographing birds, but, one can slowly approach by foot to get close to a cooperating bird or use a 1.4x TC to gain additional focal length. The TC is just an additional optics that you introduce to increase the focal length. For eg: in this case, you will get 200mm * 1.4x = 280mm as Focal Length. If your body has a crop factor of 1.5x then your virtual focal length becomes 420mm while your actual focal length is still 200mm on a 70-200mm f2.8.

Though the result with a TC is not that great, still for an amateur it’s a good start. Here are few images shot with this lens (also with TC combination). If you are on a good camera body, you can further crop the image to make it a presentable one. 

Tags: AF-S NIKKOR 70-200MM F/2.8E FL ED VR, Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM, Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 (for both Nikon/Canon bodies).
Lens: Nikon 70-200 No TC, cropped - 20%
Lens: Nikon 70-200, no TC and un-cropped version.
Lens: Nikon 70-200 with 1.4x TC (uncropped)
Lens: Nikon 70-200 with 1.4x TC (uncropped)
Lens: Nikon 70-200 f2.8 Cropped 10%

Do write to us if you have a specific question to be answered. You can also join some of our tours to learn such tips.