What kind of lens will you need? How do you shoot close-up photos of wild birds? Once you've decided on a camera, the next step is selecting a lens. There are many kinds of lenses to choose from and various lenses let you capture a range of different images. Digital compact cameras (like Canon's PowerShot-series models) with a high-magnification zoom lens (40X or more) are also suitable for wild bird photography.
You can take a close-up photograph of Whooper Swans while they feed, but don't approach suddenly or they will fly away. When capturing images, approach slowly while crouching down. Then hold the camera near the water's surface and shoot photos while using the vari-angle display.
A lens name consists of numbers and letters. Each letter has a meaning.
Note: When used with Mont Adapter EF-EOS M, EF and EF-S lenses can be attached to mirrorless cameras.
The smaller the number, the wider the angle of view of the images the lens is capable of capturing. A larger number results in the subject appearing larger within the image. When capturing images of wild birds, it is best to use a telephoto lens with a long focal length (250 mm or greater).
Although details will be provided in a later lesson, lenses with a small f/number are called "large aperture" lenses because they allow more light to enter, enabling image capture even in low-light conditions. The L refers to L (luxury)-series high-end lenses.
The most important consideration when photographing birds is the focal length, referred to in no. 2, above. If possible, it is best to use a lens with a focal length of 300mm or longer; using a lens that is at least 250mm is highly recommended, because it will enlarge birds that are far away.
Using an extender to extend the focal length may help, but could result in darker images and the autofocus function may not work properly under certain conditions. These are things that need to be checked before use.
Zoom lenses allow the user to adjust the focal length. Such lenses are useful because the photographer can select the best focal length for the image. The minimum and maximum focal lengths are indicated in the lens name, such as "55-250mm."
Fixed focal length lenses have just one focal length. Many such lenses are lightweight and offer a “large aperture” performance. The focal length is indicated by a single number in the lens name, such as "50mm."
There is much to like about super telephoto lenses, but they are big, heavy and expensive. As an alternative, you can take a high-resolution photograph and fill the frame with the bird by cropping the image it later. Cropping can dramatically change the appearance of a photograph and can often be performed using the image-editing software bundled with your camera. But, be aware that excessive cropping can greatly reduce the image quality of your photo.
|Digital SLR Camera||Digital Mirrorless Camera||Digital Compact Camera|
|Usages||Enables the capture of especially beautiful images. Compatible with a wide range of lenses so suitable for advanced-amateur photographers.||Allows users to easily capture impressive images. Suitable for casual use.||Very portable with easy-to-use settings. Suitable for vacations and travel.|