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Wildlife photography - what camera?


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So I keep seeing all these amazing photos being posted by members.. wondering what kind of camers/lens you are using to get the crisp closeups?

I always have great opportunities for a postcard photo- but my phone just isn't cutting it anymore if its past 10ft lol.

 

I have a Nikon d40 (dont laugh at me) - is that good enough if I put s better lense on it?

I dont wanna break the bank- wondering if putting a good lense on the d40 I have is wasting money? Should I save some $ and buy a higher end camera?

 

I'm not even sure they make a lense for the d40 that would do what I'm looking to do :/

 

I'm pretty unknowledgeable when it comes to cameras- I just wanna be able to take wildlife photos from the distsnce..

 

What do you camera guys think I should do?

Reccomendations?

 

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My wife is a photographer and cameras make a difference but the lens is a huge part. She uses Sigma and Nikon. The cam body has an aperture for light but if its a crappy lens then its like you looking through a crappy scope. Nikon mounts are same so u could get a lens. Also look at refurb or used cams. She has bought a few of them from online at BH and Adorama and had luck, and you pay $800 -900 for a cam that is maybe 1500 new. You can get lenses also there used, a nice 70-300 lens would be sweet  

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9 minutes ago, Hunter115522 said:

I agree with Matt. A good camera body is important, but the lens is even more important. I have a Canon 40D DSLR, and a 100-400 Canon lens on it. It's a pretty good setup for wildlife. 

Camera body is something you will replace again. Lens you keep for life.
The best lenses on the market are made by Canon, (that's not my opinion, that's a fact),  and they are not interchangeable with other cameras like Nikon. So the decision of Nikon vs Canon  is important because once you start buying there is no going back. You may already have other Nikon lenses so it maybe  difficult financially to switch to Canon at this point.
In my opinion Hunter115522 has a perfect set up. The 100-400 lens is IMO the best lens on the market for wild life photography. Sure there are 600 and 800 primes but who wants to spent $8,000 and the carry 15 lb of equipment to take a picture. The 100-400 has image stabilizer and with this it is very easy to take high quality pictures  without a tripod.  This is still not cheap. The lens is about $1800 and the camera about$800 but you can get a good body for around $500. I buy refurbish only, directly form cannon with full warranty, and I usually save about $300. Another good lens is 70-300mm +- #1,300. If you want  picture which shows details you can't even see with naked eye you need power and with less power you will have to get much closer to your subject. IMO anything less than 400 mm gets difficult.

 

 

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You need to define what you are looking to achieve.

If you are looking for very good pictures but without getting very close to obtain another level of detail you can do without going to high power lenses, the most expensive part of the set up:

164602853.YDX2elRs.IMG_5817_2.jpg

164602850.i7la4J59.IMG_5802_2.jpg

 

However, to get more detail you will have to spent some money and go to 400mm(all taken with 100-400mm - free hand :

165494811.MjTxgBhW.IMG_9384_2.jpg

107025299.ZZGn3E1R.IMG_2791_2.jpg

104986502.7ZS5AMv6.IMG_1220_2.jpg

103465257.rC3nfJuD.CopyofIMG_0151_2.jpg

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2 minutes ago, JerseyJaysTaxidermy said:

Holy expensive hobby.
I was hoping to get a lense for my nikon d40 for like $200 lol.
Guess I'll have to sell my hoyt lol.

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Again it all depends. If you are looking to take some good pics from the stand, while hunting, your camera will do just fine. Get a more powerful lens and you should be good. Taking it to next level gest pricy and it takes work. If you buy expensive equipment then you really have to get proficient in post editing because all digital pics need work. If you are not willing to do the time in front of your PC working on your pics don't buy expensive equipment.
I read about how you go hunting with just a bow in your hand. Do you really want to take with you additional 4-5 lb worth of equipment? As good as canon 100-400mm is I wouldn't buy it unless I was very serious about getting into photography. You can buy a great set up for $500-700. In your case it maybe just a matter of buying a decent, more powerful lens.

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1 hour ago, JerseyJaysTaxidermy said:

Holy expensive hobby.
I was hoping to get a lense for my nikon d40 for like $200 lol.
Guess I'll have to sell my hoyt lol.

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Lol expensive indeed. Her d600 was over $1000 and the lenses she uses are just under that. Luckily she does portrait so she dont need high power lenses. I know where u can get a nice used d7100 lol

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Again it all depends. If you are looking to take some good pics from the stand, while hunting, your camera will do just fine. Get a more powerful lens and you should be good. Taking it to next level gest pricy and it takes work. If you buy expensive equipment then you really have to get proficient in post editing because all digital pics need work. If you are not willing to do the time in front of your PC working on your pics don't buy expensive equipment.
I read about how you go hunting with just a bow in your hand. Do you really want to take with you additional 4-5 lb worth of equipment? As good as canon 100-400mm is I wouldn't buy it unless I was very serious about getting into photography. You can buy a great set up for $500-700. In your case it maybe just a matter of buying a decent, more powerful lens.
I was thinking for the off season. Definately not carrying it while I hunt. Spent 5 years in my teens videoing every hunt- lost opportunity on a beauty because I left my bow on the ground and hoisted the camera up first to attach to the camera arm. What a sad day lol.



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The glass makes all the difference in the world.  A lot depends on where you want to go with it. It can get expensive very fast.  There are some very good all in one cameras out there that can reach out and take some good closeups. Some for less than the cost of long fast prime. 

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