Learning Wildlife Photography

black and white round light
black and white round light

02) Using the right lens.

Telephoto lenses are the most commonly used lenses for wildlife photography because they can be utilized to shoot from a long distance. Optical stabilization (OS) is used in some of them to reduce shaking caused by the extreme magnification, however, these models can be fairly expensive. Thankfully, there are several inexpensive plastic ones available to use while you're still learning. Even if they don't have OS, you can keep them steady on a robust tripod and utilize a fast shutter speed to reduce blur.

Consider acquiring a telephoto zoom lens as a beginning lens to give you more shooting options. An 18mm-300mm lens may be purchased for a few thousand rupees and can be used to take images from close range to large distances. You can even find ones with optical stabilization if you look hard enough. If you want to get a telephoto with a fixed focal length (no zooming capabilities), look for one that's at least 100mm.

If you want to photograph insects and other small animals up close, you'll need a macro lens. For the most part, a 100mm lens with a maximum aperture of at least f/2.8 should suffice.

There's no getting around the reality that you'll need a relatively long lens to get the kind of wildlife shots you'll be proud of. I would recommend having anything in the 400mm comparable range as a basic minimum. I say equivalent because APS-C sensor cameras like the Canon 90D and Nikon Z50 have a crop factor that gives you an angle of view that's equivalent to a larger focal length lens in 35mm terms.

The Canon EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM, as well as the AF-S NIKKOR 200-500MM F/5.6E ED VR, AF-S NIKKOR 500MM F/5.6E PF ED V, Fuji 100-400, and Sony FE 200–600 mm F5.6–6.3 G OSS are popular among enthusiasts. Tamron also makes a fantastic 150-600mm lens that is extremely affordable for a lens that will carry you all the way to 600mm. I put this lens to the test when photographing tigers and was blown away by its crispness.

Following the unmitigated success of Tamron's lens with wildlife photographers, Sigma has released two variations of a 150-600mm lens. The less expensive of Sigma's two variants are aimed squarely at the Tamron equivalent, while the more expensive one is designed to endure the rigors of professional use.

Nikon's 200-500 mm with the Nikon D500 – possibly Nikon's greatest budget wildlife photography combo – for Nikon fans. The new Nikkor 500mm f/5.6 PF lens, which was just released, is an intriguing addition to the abundance of telephoto options available these days.

Although the 500mm PF costs almost twice as much as the Nikkor 200-500, it is smaller, lighter, quicker, and sharper. Take a look at how it compares to the 500mm f/4 lens in terms of size! I believe this will be a tremendous hit for Nikon in the coming years, and at 500mm, it's a terrific option for full-frame and APS-C users alike.

The Sony 200-600mm G lens, which was one of the first Sony lenses is undoubtedly a must-have for Sony users. The lens is excellent throughout the zoom range, and it even works with the Sony 1.4x extender to offer you an 840mm lens that you can hold in your palm.

As far as I'm concerned, if you're a Sony user, there's no reason to consider a third-party alternative in this range due to the incredible value of the native 200-600mm lens. The acquisition speed and tracking accuracy of native Sony lenses are better, and the pricing is reasonable. Sony users are likely to have the simplest time making a decision.

So, what exactly does this imply? For me, this means that if you're going on a once-in-a-lifetime safari trip, you should rent one of the big guns from a lens rental company instead of going with the less expensive variable aperture zoom lenses. If, on the other hand, you plan to capture wildlife on a more regular basis rather than just on one-time safaris, the Tamron and Sigma lenses, as well as the native Nikon, Sony, and Canon lenses, should all be considered.

If you have a second camera body, the variable aperture telephoto zooms can also be used alongside the super-telephoto lenses. For example, if your primary camera has a rental 600mm lens, it's handy to have a 100-400mm on a second body nearby.

black camera lens on black surface
black camera lens on black surface
person holding black camera lensperson holding black camera lens