Choosing the Best 35mm Bird Photography Lens

Canon 5D - 1/1000 f/9 - 600mm. Willet bird (Tringa semipalmata) on Morro Strand State Beach, CA

Canon 5D - 1/1000 f/9 - 600mm. Willet bird (Tringa semipalmata) on Morro Strand State Beach, CA - Taken 1-28-06 on Morro Strand State Beach, Morro Bay, CA, to document Willet Wing Patterns.  Author:  Mike Baird. This file is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License

Professional bird photographers use 500mm and 600mm lenses. These are expensive and really large heavy camera lenses. For example the Canon EF 500mm super telephoto lens is currently selling for $5,551.95.

Bird photography can be very expensive as you need a minimum of 400mm for bird photography. This has been written in so many magazine articles and photography books that it's a wonder why there are not more 400mm lenses on the market! Canon makes the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L. Nikon makes the NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8G ED AF-S VR lens, a premium ultrafast telephoto lens for the Nikon autofocus system that sells for close to $10,000

Canon makes the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L.Lens

There are two Canon Prime 400mm AF lenses on the market right now, the affordable ($950.00) 400 f/5.6 Ultrasonic. and the 400 f/2.8 which is $6,800. They are beautiful lenses but they are not the only lenses for bird photography.

Nikon makes the 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED AF VR Lens

Nikon makes the 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED AF VR that sells with a discount price of $1,335. The NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G IF-ED AF-S VR sells for around $5,000

Sigma makes the "Bigma" a 50-500 f/4-6.3mm DG

Sigma makes the "Bigma" a 50-500 f/4-6.3mm DG which sells at discount camera stores for around $1,050.

You can couple a long lens with a Kenko 1.4x, Kenko 1.5x or Kenko 2x. Why Kenko teleconverters?. Because they work and autofocus with most lenses with a minimum aperture f/4 or above. So with a Kenko 1.5x, the Bigma becomes an 100%mm lens or a 2x TC makes the Bigma an 1000mm lens.. What then is the best lens for bird photography? Well, that all depends on just what you're going after. One thing constant about all bird lenses is they are big, heavy and expensive. The Tokina 80-400 is the least expensive at $549 and the Sigma 200-500 the most expensive at $28,999

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