Questions about Waterfowl Photography?

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Questions about Waterfowl Photography?

Postby wanapasaki » Sun Apr 06, 2014 12:39 pm

Probably a long shot, but I want to get into photography and was wondering if anyone has any insight on this. Can anyone recommend a camera that is relatively affordable. I'm not sure exactly what I need to be looking for etc. If anyone has any suggestions, I'd greatly appreciate them!
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Re: Questions about Waterfowl Photography?

Postby jaysweet3 » Sun Apr 06, 2014 4:30 pm

The swamper has covered a lot of your questions in his posts. Search his posts.
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Re: Questions about Waterfowl Photography?

Postby hamernhonkers » Sun Apr 06, 2014 4:53 pm

Canon 70D and 400L 5.6 Would be a good starting point or you could just go to the 1Dx and 600L F4 with a 1.4x extender on it.

Just how much are you talking when you say affordable? The camera body is just a starting point. With BIF shooting and birds in general its all in big glass (lots of $$$) for reach, then you have to learn all the techniques for capturing the shots. You will not only be investing a lot of money into it but a lot of time learning to.

My newest set up, which is more for kids and their sports along with birds and wildlife set me back just shy of 5 grand less then a year ago :sad: Its an expensive habit to start :fingerhead:
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Re: Questions about Waterfowl Photography?

Postby Bill Herian » Sun Apr 06, 2014 7:40 pm

Date a girl with a nice camera first to make sure you enjoy it.
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Re: Questions about Waterfowl Photography?

Postby wanapasaki » Sun Apr 06, 2014 8:44 pm

Sorry Bill, I got the best already... She sets the spread, trains the dogs, and cooks the birds lol. Maybe I can find someone that fails and sells out cheaply :lol3:
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Re: Questions about Waterfowl Photography?

Postby REM1100 » Mon Apr 07, 2014 1:34 am

I had gone the other route and didn't drink the kool aid. I went with a camera system that had an A mount with some classic old lens and a camera body that could have image stabilization built in. I did invest in a good body with one of the latest last mirrored bodies that are fast or wildlife. (Mirrorless bodies are not too good for sports or wildlife because of the speed factor in capturing fast moving things) The old lens would come on craiglist and garage sales for an average $100 to $200 with the G lens around a thousand or more plus third party lens like a 400mm prime around $350 used. I have the odd newer lens and am always looking to buy more and am not drowning in the kool aid from start up spending a vast fortune for the wrong combination sold by ill advised salesman. Ever wonder why there are so many on craiglist which did not live up to expectations. Look up the camera reviews before buying.
Spend your money wisely and speak to a camera expert and try out the right combos to be used for sports and wildlife and buy the best photo editing program as most images are not straight out of the camera and they are massaged a lot. Getting into wildlife photography is going to cost you a lot and may sacrifice hunting expenses. I went the more sensible route and could invest into my hunting and enjoy photography as a fun hobby. As I was looking or a back up camera, I recently bought a super compact digital used camera with good 15 optical zoom and precise further digital zoom and movie capability for $80 (I used to own this years ago for $430) and will be my camera in the field because of its lightweight.
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Re: Questions about Waterfowl Photography?

Postby SPatrick » Mon Apr 07, 2014 6:13 am

It's really all what you consider affordable. I am shooting a nikon d5100 which will run you roughly 3-400 bucks. It's a great entry level body, that shoots 1080p video as well. Glass is where your money will go. The setup I am currently running is a nikkor 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 and a nikkor 50mm f1.8. The 70-300 you can find refurbished for about 3-400 bucks, and the 50mm will cost you around 160-200. Its nice to have the big glass upwards of 300mm, but probably the best lens for birds in flight that is good for a amateur photographer is a 70-200 f2.8, lens runs in the 1500-2000 dollar range, but will do everything you need it to. Canon makes some great bodies and lenses, and so does Nikon, cant go wrong with either one. I personally wouldnt go buy a pro level dslr while you are just starting out, get something entry level to learn on and then when you are comfortable you can trade in for a pro level body, or keep that entry body as a back up. Spend the money on glass. If I was just starting out I would look at a Nikon D7000 or 7100 depending on what your budget is like. Both are awesome cameras that shoot above 6fps and the 7000 is 16.5 megapixel and the 7100 is about 24 megapixel. They are also weather sealed bodies which is great for what you are wanting to do. Those will run in the 600-1000 range respectively. Speed is key for birds in flight (BIF), fast frame rates and faster lenses help, I am currently seeing finding that my 70-300 while it takes some amazing photos, is just a bit slow for my liking. Hope this helps a bit.
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Re: Questions about Waterfowl Photography?

Postby OHIODUCKA5 » Mon Apr 07, 2014 6:19 am

I've worked with a lot of pro Photographers they all shoot Nikon. They shoot D300's, 500's and 700's. You can get away with the 3000 5000 or 7000 since you wont be pushing the button a 100,000 times a year. spend the money on a good lens like Spatrick says the body is about a 1/3 of the whole process.
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Re: Questions about Waterfowl Photography?

Postby SPatrick » Mon Apr 07, 2014 6:38 am

OHIODUCKA5 wrote:I've worked with a lot of pro Photographers they all shoot <a class="vglnk" title="Link added by VigLink" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p5197.m570.l1313&_nkw=nikon&_sacat=625"><span>Nikon</span></a>. They shoot D300's, 500's and 700's. You can get away with the 3000 5000 or 7000 since you wont be pushing the button a 100,000 times a year. spend the money on a good lens like Spatrick says the body is about a 1/3 of the whole process.


X2 those full frames are awesome but the bodies alone can run 1k-4k dollars.
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Re: Questions about Waterfowl Photography?

Postby Rick Hall » Mon Apr 07, 2014 6:45 am

Watch for the photographers at major sporting events: all those cameras with big white lenses are Canons.
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That's not a knock on Nikon, just pointing out that canon's top lens are hugely popular for capturing sporting events, as well as with the birders who travel here. If you want to know about good camera or binocular glass, ask a serious birder.

In any event, I'm no longer a wildlife photography "pro" or even a serious photographer, but I'm very tempted to suggest that anyone thinking he might want to be should begin with a relatively inexpensive "bridge" camera, my pick of which would be Panasonic's FZ200, and use it for a year or two to learn the ropes of taking good shots and post processing to see just how serious he is before making a major investment in a hobby he might well lose interest in. Fwiw, my own FZ150, which is worlds more convenient than the two cameras and lens sets I used to carry and does most things as well and some better, usually sits at home, because even that single relatively compact unit is much more nuisance than the little "travel zoom" snap shooter on my belt.
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Re: Questions about Waterfowl Photography?

Postby OHIODUCKA5 » Mon Apr 07, 2014 6:48 am

SPatrick wrote:
OHIODUCKA5 wrote:I've worked with a lot of pro Photographers they all shoot <a class="vglnk" title="Link added by VigLink" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p5197.m570.l1313&_nkw=nikon&_sacat=625"><span>Nikon</span></a>. They shoot D300's, 500's and 700's. You can get away with the 3000 5000 or 7000 since you wont be pushing the button a 100,000 times a year. spend the money on a good lens like Spatrick says the body is about a 1/3 of the whole process.


X2 those full frames are awesome but the bodies alone can run 1k-4k dollars.


My buddy just bought a D3x... 7 large.
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Re: Questions about Waterfowl Photography?

Postby SPatrick » Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:03 am

OHIODUCKA5 wrote:My buddy just bought a D3x... 7 large.


:eek: :eek: :eek:

That is a ton of cash, but with 4 weddings, its paid for itself lol.
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Re: Questions about Waterfowl Photography?

Postby OHIODUCKA5 » Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:05 am

SPatrick wrote:
OHIODUCKA5 wrote:My buddy just bought a D3x... 7 large.


:eek: :eek: :eek:

That is a ton of cash, but with 4 weddings, its paid for itself lol.


He doesn't do weddings he just shoots horses ,and for Weaver leather.

To the OP I asked my photo buddies what a good starter set would be. As soon as they tell me I'll let you know.
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Re: Questions about Waterfowl Photography?

Postby SPatrick » Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:10 am

OHIODUCKA5 wrote:He doesn't do weddings he just shoots horses ,and for Weaver leather.


You know thats funny, a chick I went to high school with shoots horses as well and posted a pic of her D4s when it first came out. Must be some big bucks in that.



Rick, the general consensus, at least from what I have gathered, is when you get into those upper echelon prime lenses, and tele zooms, Canon makes a better piece of glass. I feel at the level we are talking about though, the difference is small to none.
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Re: Questions about Waterfowl Photography?

Postby OHIODUCKA5 » Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:16 am

SPatrick wrote:
OHIODUCKA5 wrote:He doesn't do weddings he just shoots horses ,and for Weaver leather.


You know thats funny, a chick I went to high school with shoots horses as well and posted a pic of her D4s when it first came out. Must be some big bucks in that.



Rick, the general consensus, at least from what I have gathered, is when you get into those upper echelon prime lenses, and tele zooms, Canon makes a better piece of glass. I feel at the level we are talking about though, the difference is small to none.


What's your friends name. D4 with an 800 lens $24,000. Yeah there is money in horses. It's also a bigger pita than a Snow goose hunt :lol3:
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Re: Questions about Waterfowl Photography?

Postby wanapasaki » Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:20 am

Thank you guys, there is a lot of good info in here. Like patrick suggested, I think I'm going to start it as a hobby and then see where it goes from there. Maybe buy the camera, see what I can pull off without investing in some serious glass. It will give me something to do during the off season. I'd like to get something compact enough to put in a blind bag for after I get my limit though :lol3:
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Re: Questions about Waterfowl Photography?

Postby OHIODUCKA5 » Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:22 am

wanapasaki wrote:Thank you guys, there is a lot of good info in here. Like patrick suggested, I think I'm going to start it as a hobby and then see where it goes from there. Maybe buy the camera, see what I can pull off without investing in some serious glass. It will give me something to do during the off season. I'd like to get something compact enough to put in a blind bag for after I get my limit though :lol3:


My buddy just text me. I asked him what I could buy for less than a grand, he said the lens is the hard part even used they are expensive.
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Re: Questions about Waterfowl Photography?

Postby SPatrick » Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:55 am

OHIODUCKA5 wrote:
SPatrick wrote:
OHIODUCKA5 wrote:He doesn't do weddings he just shoots horses ,and for Weaver leather.


You know thats funny, a chick I went to high school with shoots horses as well and posted a pic of her D4s when it first came out. Must be some big bucks in that.



Rick, the general consensus, at least from what I have gathered, is when you get into those upper echelon prime lenses, and tele zooms, Canon makes a better piece of glass. I feel at the level we are talking about though, the difference is small to none.


What's your friends name. D4 with an 800 lens $24,000. Yeah there is money in horses. It's also a bigger pita than a Snow goose hunt :lol3:


Her name is Kat, how horrible is this I don't even remember her last name, I went to see if I could find her on Facebook, apparently we are no longer friends lol. I know she runs a horse magazine. Dude that is some serious jack on that kind of set up.

@wana its tough to get in under a grand but its possible with used gear. Refurbished gear is the way to go, comes straight from Nikon or Canon as good as new. I cant even believe but I am seriously debating on spending 1200 - 1500 on a new lens, or 900 on a new body, its ludicrous!!!! Most of what I have done that has got any recognition at all has been product shots. I have one shot being used in wildfowl this summer as an Ad. Its a fun little hobby and there is tons to learn about ISO, F-stops, and shutter speed (3 kings), as well as rule of 3rds, before you are taking a truly great photo. I am by no means an expert, and fall bassackwards into my best shots, nothing to do with talent really. I also really don't like doing post shot work on my photos which probably hurts more than it helps. If you decide to pull the trigger, a pro photographer named Jared Polin has some great you tube vids that will help you learn the basics of taking some really quality shots.
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Re: Questions about Waterfowl Photography?

Postby hamernhonkers » Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:34 am

wanapasaki,

As you will see I am far from being any good as a photographer but I have learned a couple of things. First if you are going to spend the money do not go cheap on the glass, Second do not trick yourself into believing that a point in shoot or bridge camera will ever do well for BIF and shooting in low light when animals are most active.

Here are some recent pics of mine with a cannon 6d ( Which is not that great for wildlife as its a full frame sensor with an older AF system) and 100-400L F4.5-5.6. To give you reference the first pic was taken in the shadows late in the evening and I was zoomed all the way out at 400mm and at F8. The bird feeder from my porch where I was sitting is 10 feet. Most of the rest are static shots with very heavy crops with some in optimal light and some in very low light. You will learn very quickly that you can never have enough reach for wildlife and you will always want more.

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Anyway good luck :thumbsup:
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Re: Questions about Waterfowl Photography?

Postby OGblackcloud » Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:41 am

That honkers got a band
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Re: Questions about Waterfowl Photography?

Postby OHIODUCKA5 » Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:42 am

OGblackcloud wrote:That honkers got a band


I missed that the first time OG. :beer:
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Re: Questions about Waterfowl Photography?

Postby hamernhonkers » Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:43 am

OGblackcloud wrote:That honkers got a band



Look a little closer and see if you can spot them all :wink:
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Re: Questions about Waterfowl Photography?

Postby OGblackcloud » Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:44 am

Top and middle are all that I can see
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Re: Questions about Waterfowl Photography?

Postby OHIODUCKA5 » Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:44 am

Nice pics Honk. what are the birds with the little curly things on their heads?
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Re: Questions about Waterfowl Photography?

Postby aclumpkin » Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:45 am

I shoot a Nikon D7100, have done some wildlife photography, and love it. My only problem is that my longest telephoto lens only goes to 200mm. I see Shaun and Honkers both state lens longer... I totally agree. That is my next camera purchase.
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