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Opinion(s) Needed
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Aug 9, 2018 14:38:54   #
Toment (a regular here)
 
Gene51 wrote:
I think the 200-500 is going to give you a boost in contrast and resolution, about a 10% improvement at 500mm and F8 and barely measurably better at F11. The Nikkor is hard to beat, even wide open. Both the Tamron G2 and the Sigma Sport are noticeably better than the Nikon, though. I looked at the Nikon, but ended up getting the Sport for it's better build quality, good wide open performance, and the extra 100mm. I have used a G2 and fold it to be just as good as the Sport, and almost 2lb lighter, plus it comes with an Arca-Swiss compatible lens foot, making it a great deal - and that would be what I would likely get if I were in your shoes. But I do like my Sigma.

Not having seen the rest of your images, if the one you posted is representative - then composition, lighting and opportunity (being in the right place at the right time) are all areas of improvement that you can address without spending another nickel. If you use your lens at F8 and back off slightly on the zoom, to about 500-550, you will get sharper images. At 500mm I am pretty sure your max aperture is F5, btw.
I think the 200-500 is going to give you a boost i... (show quote)


Aperture and Focal length, experiment as suggested by Gene51

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Aug 9, 2018 15:04:08   #
DanielB (a regular here)
 
Hi Shootist, The photo composition is nice although the photo is a bit soft & noisy - probably due to crop you put on the image. It also may be that the lens is a bit soft at 600mm but that can be tested pretty easily by placing the camera on a tripod and shooting a fixed object at different focal lengths to see what you get. Do you use any sharpening & noise reduction software like Nik by Dxo? If not you should consider it. I'm not a big Gimp fan for post on photos either.
Shootist wrote:
Going back over bird shots I have taken, the best observation I can make about them is that some are good but very few (if any) are outstanding. While technique in both taking the shot and PP are always going to be a work in progress for me, I am wondering if I am at the point where my ability is being hampered by my equipment. I am considering trading in my Sigma 150-600 mm f 5-6.3C for a Nikon 200-500 f5.6. Attached is an image typical for what I consider my best efforts in shots and PP. Your opinion please, am I just having a GAS attack or would a better lens up my game?

Image shot with Nikon D7100 and Sigma 150-600mm f5-6.3C. Focal length 600mm, f6.3, 1/320 sec, ISO 200. PP with PhotoNinja with final touchup in GIMP and cropped to 2027x1351pix size.

Sorry, I was using a Nikon D7100 vs the D750, my bad!
Going back over bird shots I have taken, the best ... (show quote)

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Aug 9, 2018 15:33:11   #
Chuckwal (a regular here)
 
like the image
chuck

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Aug 9, 2018 16:54:16   #
tdekany
 
DK wrote:
A comment that makes me grit my teeth is the person who tells me, "You take really great pictures, you must have have a really good camera." It is not the camera or the equipment, it is the photographer that creates the photo. I read a study once where they gave famous photographers cheap point and shoot cameras and average individuals top of the line equipment. The professionals still created the best images with the cheap point and shoot cameras. Practice, Practice, Practice. Experiment and study is how you develop as a photographer.
A comment that makes me grit my teeth is the perso... (show quote)


With BIF, I have to disagree. I have seen numerous snapshot shooters who, when switching to a D500 are now producing fantastic photos.

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Aug 9, 2018 17:22:12   #
davidb1879
 
I think your bird is very good. If you want to upgrade your equipment check the net to find photos taken with the Nikon 200-500mm. I have seen and heard very good things about the Tamron 150-600. That lens has two versions. I saw an excellent bird that was taken with the less expensive version of the lens. Good luck. Davidb1879.

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Aug 9, 2018 18:41:30   #
joe p
 
You didn’t mention the support system that you’re using. What tripod and head are using for that lens. Support is very important with Long telephoto lenses.

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Aug 9, 2018 18:58:49   #
imagemeister (a regular here)
 
joe p wrote:
You didn’t mention the support system that you’re using. What tripod and head are using for that lens. Support is very important with Long telephoto lenses.




..

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Aug 9, 2018 19:41:36   #
foxfirerodandgun
 
OK...................In photography terms, what is a GAS attack?

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Aug 9, 2018 19:55:27   #
HT
 
foxfirerodandgun wrote:
OK...................In photography terms, what is a GAS attack?


GAS = Gear Acquisition Syndrome.

It’s sometimes called NAS: Nikon Acquisition Syndrome, or CAS: guess what that is :)

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Aug 9, 2018 20:30:39   #
HT
 
IMHO you still have a way to go with your current technique. Focus on your photography basics (your image under is exposed to begin with) and field craft (learn how to get birds close).

And when you do consider a change in your gear, make it a change worth doing. The lens your considering is an improvement on your current lens, true. But it’s not a magnitude better. I’d wager if you splashed out on that particular new lens now, nothing substantive will change with the quality of your images.

Have you considered for example a second hand prime, for example? Or camera support perhaps?

Gear versus technique is always a vexed discussion. The truth is, technique plus gear is virtuous circle. People who point to pros with a low end camera achieving better images than amateurs with the very best of gear frequently ignore the reality of the years of experience a gifted photographer has invested in. And no photographer, however gifted will ever get an even a barely acceptable BIF using a pinhole camera...photography is a system of systems, the photographers eye and personal gifts/experience together with the right gear.

May I humbly suggest you invest some of your hard earned on tutorials/training/gaining experience before worrying about a slightly better lens than the one you’re using now?


Kind Regards

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Aug 9, 2018 21:36:51   #
foxfirerodandgun
 
HT wrote:
GAS = Gear Acquisition Syndrome.

It’s sometimes called NAS: Nikon Acquisition Syndrome, or CAS: guess what that is :)


THANK YOU! I occasionally get a case of both GAS & NAS. The latter seems to be in full bloom currently.

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Aug 9, 2018 22:09:49   #
Charles 46277
 
The bluebird is exquisitely captured and this is better than the pictures in the handbooks people buy to spot birds with--that is a legit market. Just as pictures of people fall into many categories (medical illustrations, advertising, modeling, portraits, movies, sports, journalism, tourism--and there are different categories of portraits), so do pictures of animals. To be honest, in all my decades I never took a picture of a bird, and when I started coming here I was surprised how many do. I did not take pictures of cats, either, until I got one. My cat pictures fall either into traditional portrait styles, or into candid, existing light photography; I don't need long tele lenses or anything else special.

I don't think Adams photographed birds, either. Might we ask why?

Adams said (long ago) that it had been a very long time since the quality of photographs depended on the quality of lenses, and others here seem to agree in principle (as I do). But the types of photograph make different demands. I am not sure a proper portrait can be taken of a bird, because a first rate portrait reveals something of personality, character, or emotions. I think there is something tongue-in-cheek about formal portraits of dogs, cats, horses, because--well, they aren't really people, are they? If a bird does something newsworthy, like pulling the President's hair, that is one type of picture.

But I think digital photography has affected style and taste in photography. Overcooking can be a flaw, but it is also perhaps an essential feature of photography today that it look more like Oz than Kansas. That kept me away from digital for a long time. Now the public is getting used to it, or expects it. It is not merely a question of whether to look natural or real--that was always a question that was both relative and subjective. Much more color or much more resolution, or contrast, etc., may enhance some artistic efforts, and detract from others. But it was no long ago that some people put gauze over the lens, or Vaseline, for their artistic purposes. One even touched it up with sandpaper.

Some digital cameras let you shoot square format, which is a promising idea for many animals (such as birds)--good enough for Hasselblad and Rolleiflex. It changes the whole dynamic.

Shootist wrote:
Going back over bird shots I have taken, the best observation I can make about them is that some are good but very few (if any) are outstanding. While technique in both taking the shot and PP are always going to be a work in progress for me, I am wondering if I am at the point where my ability is being hampered by my equipment. I am considering trading in my Sigma 150-600 mm f 5-6.3C for a Nikon 200-500 f5.6. Attached is an image typical for what I consider my best efforts in shots and PP. Your opinion please, am I just having a GAS attack or would a better lens up my game?

Image shot with Nikon D7100 and Sigma 150-600mm f5-6.3C. Focal length 600mm, f6.3, 1/320 sec, ISO 200. PP with PhotoNinja with final touchup in GIMP and cropped to 2027x1351pix size.

Sorry, I was using a Nikon D7100 vs the D750, my bad!
Going back over bird shots I have taken, the best ... (show quote)

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Aug 9, 2018 22:10:45   #
ackhack
 
Equiment vs ability. My .02 cents. What I have found after shooting for a number of years wildlife and portraits is the quality of the glass. You take that for what its worth, but a 600 f4 will blow your pictures out of the water. A Prim lens is always better them a Zomm. we all cheat! We buy what we can afford. We want the excellent shot but are not willing to chock up 10k or more for that lens another option is the 400/ 2.8 ... either one with a 1.4 or even a 2 is still a great lens but it must be a canon or Nikon. So you are left with what can I do. I am with you! I am trying to figure the same out right now. My shoulders can no longer handle to weight of the big boys, so I shot with an iPhone and buy professional images. Unless you can justify to your self a 10 or 12 k lens. Good Shooting.

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Aug 9, 2018 22:28:06   #
Nalu
 
ackhack wrote:
Equiment vs ability. My .02 cents. What I have found after shooting for a number of years wildlife and portraits is the quality of the glass. You take that for what its worth, but a 600 f4 will blow your pictures out of the water. A Prim lens is always better them a Zomm. we all cheat! We buy what we can afford. We want the excellent shot but are not willing to chock up 10k or more for that lens another option is the 400/ 2.8 ... either one with a 1.4 or even a 2 is still a great lens but it must be a canon or Nikon. So you are left with what can I do. I am with you! I am trying to figure the same out right now. My shoulders can no longer handle to weight of the big boys, so I shot with an iPhone and buy professional images. Unless you can justify to your self a 10 or 12 k lens. Good Shooting.
Equiment vs ability. My .02 cents. What I have fou... (show quote)
. Waite, Sony now has a 400mm f/2.8. There are now options other than canon or Nikon, and considerably lighter. Talk about “gas”!

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Aug 10, 2018 03:42:24   #
sunsandwater
 
I would personally be very happy with this shot

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