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I have the Sony a6000 with the 55-210 zoom.

 

Many suggest to have a longer lens such as 400 mm.

 

I suspect such a lens will only be useful when on tripod to capture a relative still standing bear or eagle sitting in a treetop.

 

I tried to follow birds with my 210 mm handheld all zoomed in which I found difficult.

 

Now, my question, should I get a 300 or 400 mm. fixed lens for that bear shot? Have thought or getting a large zoom with adaptor, but find the pricing a little steep. Yes, I know price often matches quality.

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I also have the A6000, for long telephoto pictures, decided to buy the Sony HX400V. Great camera and goes out to 1200mm (super zoom), for the cost and what it can do, for me a great choice If you want a faster lens check out the Panasonic FZ200, 24-600mm F2.8.

Tom :cool:

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I have the Sony a6000 with the 55-210 zoom.

 

Many suggest to have a longer lens such as 400 mm.

 

I suspect such a lens will only be useful when on tripod to capture a relative still standing bear or eagle sitting in a treetop.

 

I tried to follow birds with my 210 mm handheld all zoomed in which I found difficult.

 

Now, my question, should I get a 300 or 400 mm. fixed lens for that bear shot? Have thought or getting a large zoom with adaptor, but find the pricing a little steep. Yes, I know price often matches quality.

 

fwiw, bears, eagles, and whales really dont move all that fast and at the range you are going to be spotting them, I think a 300mm or 400mm lens will be doable. I personally like the idea of a fixed lens because usually when I pack a zoom to shoot wildlife, its all the way zoomed in most of the time anyway. Prime lenses seem to be lighter than equivalent zoom lenses (most say better picture quality too because they are optimized for one focal length). Sure, whales can come up close to the boat (and thus too close for your 400mm lens), but I think in that case, its better to experience it by putting the camera down (seeing a bear that close is better experienced by slowly backing away!).

 

I also recommend looking into renting.

 

Good luck! Bring back some great captures!

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I also have the A6000, for long telephoto pictures ... If you want a faster lens check out the Panasonic FZ200, 24-600mm F2.8.

Tom :cool:

 

I had fairly great success with the FZ150 - which got replaced by the FZ200 - in Alaska, specially in Denali where bears, sheep, etc were quite a distance from the bus.

 

I also have an A6000 with the 70-200zoom and pretty successful taking shots of flying pelicans from a cruise ship.

 

The A6000 does (auto) focus' well with rapid shooting.

Edited by tommui987
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Regarding tele extender, I did get a 2.5 when I purchased the camera package.

 

I was going to use it for my "illusive" bear, but have not been able to get it focused.

 

The FZ200 would be great, but how is it to focus with that one.

 

Have thought of a superzoom, but doubt I will use it much and have thought about renting. Guess I am sort of a cheapskate now that I get closer to paying for the cruise.

 

If I get some good shots, I will post them.

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If photography is your thing and you want your "personal" picture you can't have a lense too big

 

I think I saw some lady at sailaway with a 400 2.8 hanging from her shoulder, yes a $10K+ lense and we won't talk about how heavy it was.

 

We did see some bears and for them and eagles you can crop but the bigger the better. I shot with a 70-200 2.8 with an TCE14 and even on a crop sensor wished for more.

 

Light is good so you can crank the shutterspeed and it comes down to support and your strength / steadiness. I highly recommend a monopod

1897518005_400Readytocatchthewhale.jpg.6d94565158af56217ec98fa91fc1069c.jpg

2056826148_390BearoneinTracyArm.jpg.4ec4ed10a1ff39b9741724903512f51d.jpg

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I have the Sony a6000 with the 55-210 zoom.

 

Many suggest to have a longer lens such as 400 mm.

 

I suspect such a lens will only be useful when on tripod to capture a relative still standing bear or eagle sitting in a treetop.

 

I tried to follow birds with my 210 mm handheld all zoomed in which I found difficult.

 

Now, my question, should I get a 300 or 400 mm. fixed lens for that bear shot? Have thought or getting a large zoom with adaptor, but find the pricing a little steep. Yes, I know price often matches quality.

I had great success last year renting the Canon 200-400/4IS, which becomes a 280-560/5.6 at the flip of a switch. I kept it on a monopod, which worked wonders towards being able to keep the lens up and ready. I did also have two other cameras ready to go, one with a 24-70/2.8, and the other with either a 15/2.8 or 70-200/4, depending on the environment.

I did lots of eagle/whale following with all of the lenses, no trouble.

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Checking in. I'm going in 2016. Need to get everything figured out long before! I looked this morning and I'm contemplating a 300 2.8 rental. I am considering carrying my 5D3 with the 17-40 or 70-200 and getting a 7D2 to stick the 300 on. I'll likely also bring my 35 1.4 for evenings (and because I'm a sucker for primes...)

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Checking in. I'm going in 2016. Need to get everything figured out long before! I looked this morning and I'm contemplating a 300 2.8 rental. I am considering carrying my 5D3 with the 17-40 or 70-200 and getting a 7D2 to stick the 300 on. I'll likely also bring my 35 1.4 for evenings (and because I'm a sucker for primes...)

 

Consider the 400DO II. I've rented the 400DO v1 before and it was a ton of fun in Alaska. Light enough to handhold for a long time, and the DO meant it took a 1.4x really well. I realize the 7D2 adds crop factor, but it's amazing how much you'll find yourself wanting ("needing") - I had the 400DO with a 1.4x on FF, and never regretted leaving the 1.4x in there all week. The only time I took it off was when my wife tried the 400DO on her 7D. 300/2.8 just doesn't seem like a lot over your 70-200.

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I do have to warn people if you rent one or those big lens and take a small boat for whale watching even with a monopod the boats movement will make your life rather tough.

 

My only challenge with the 200-400 on a monopod on our Juneau whale watch with Gastineau Guiding was the slightly sloped floor on the bow. If I'd fill up the buffer on that camera, I'd lean it into my left elbow so I could grab the 70-200 at my right hip, and the monopod foot would slide down to my right foot. Unnerving enough that I'd usually miss the action for a few seconds until I know it was stable, at which point the buffer would be empty and I could pick it back up again. :(

 

Aboard the Orca Enterprises small boat in Victoria BC, the rocking of the boat was a bit of a challenge. I simply made sure I had a good wide stance, and tried to let the boat move underneath the monopod so it would stay still. That in turn presented a challenge if I was shooting over the shoulders of others: they'd periodically block my shot (oh well). Lower was better on that boat.

 

For what it's worth, I have a "monopod head" from Really Right Stuff on my monopod. It allows me to pivot the lens in one direction (up-down), which I find vastly easier than a straight-stick connection. I have the now-discontinued MH-02 Pro ("replaced" by the MH-02 LR), which allows no-tool pivoting of the clamp from long-ways (for lenses with tripod foot) to side-ways (for cameras with Arca-Swiss plates). I liked it so much I bought a second one before they went out of stock.

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I have the Sony a6000 with the 55-210 zoom.

 

Many suggest to have a longer lens such as 400 mm.

 

I suspect such a lens will only be useful when on tripod to capture a relative still standing bear or eagle sitting in a treetop.

 

I tried to follow birds with my 210 mm handheld all zoomed in which I found difficult.

 

Now, my question, should I get a 300 or 400 mm. fixed lens for that bear shot? Have thought or getting a large zoom with adaptor, but find the pricing a little steep. Yes, I know price often matches quality.

 

I have the a6000 and use the 55-210 with a DH1758 telextender, which bumps up the telephoto to about 500mm (35mm equivalent). You just need a step-up ring to adapt the filter sizes. There are example shots on DPReview of what bird photographers have been able to do with this combo.

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The 55-210 is a pretty good quality lens, especially for the price. On a recent trip to Alaska, I took my NEX-7 along with the A77. My lens of choice for the A77 was the 70-200 f/2.8 Sigma and though I sometimes wish I has a few more MMs, I was able to get the shots I wanted. The 55-210 is a bit slow when zoomed out but the clean high ISO of the A6000 makes it perform about the same as the Sigma. If I went now and had some extra $s ($$$$s, actually), I would be tempted to pick up the excellent 70-200 f/4 e-mount to compliment the fast autofocus on the A6000 and stick with the lightweight kit. I would even consider the new 24-240 if I knew more about the image quality. Lacking the funds, I would probably stick with the 55-210. Don't worry too much about the extra reach. A lot of wildlife was shot with a 300mm lens on 35mm film. More reach is nice to have but I found that spending money on good tours made up for it.

 

Bear tour:

http://galleries.pptphoto.com/p517078783

 

Tracy Arm tour (whales at the end):

http://galleries.pptphoto.com/p31591721

 

Dave

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If you don't mind the weight, rent/buy the Sony 70-400 with appropriate adapter. Very sharp lens and will give the reach you would need in most cases.

 

For my Nikon kit, Alaska this summer, I'm going to rent/buy the new 300/4 prime along with 1.4 and 2x teleconverters, to get 300/420/600mm. Pair it with 18-35, and I'll cover ultrawide landscapes, telephoto wildlife -- I really don't need anything in between.

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While Pierces took his 70-200mm I rented the 70-400mm G, he walk through the crowds without any whispering, I had comments about the size of my lens, it was like wearing one of my kilts. Don't worry about the size, bring a monopod with a good head, I didn't have a head and I really had to position myself in some uncomfortable positions to get a shot.

If you are going to Alaska to take once in the lifetime photos, go ahead and rent a lens to take any advantage once it appears, spending $100 for a $1,500 lens is a bargain for me

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Has anyone used the Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS II? I'm considering renting it but was curious if it is too bulky/heavy to walk around with in Alaska and on the ship.

Definitely not too bulky/heavy. We're renting two of them for our Alaska Sampler next month; I'm also renting a 600/4 with (at least) a 1.4x as well.

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Definitely not too bulky/heavy. We're renting two of them for our Alaska Sampler next month; I'm also renting a 600/4 with (at least) a 1.4x as well.

 

 

Thanks a lot for the replies. It looked good to me, but wanted to hear feedback from someone who has actually carried it around. Again, thanks! I'm looking at the different rental companies.

Edited by ghcstr
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Thanks a lot for the replies. It looked good to me, but wanted to hear feedback from someone who has actually carried it around. Again, thanks! I'm looking at the different rental companies.

No one will be able to say they've cruised Alaska with this lens until May...it's too new to have been out for last season. It's about the weight of a 70-200/2.8...nothing extreme there.

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Don't worry about the size, bring a monopod with a good head, I didn't have a head and I really had to position myself in some uncomfortable positions to get a shot.

 

 

 

Any recommendations on a monopod? I've looked at quite a few but since I usually shoot handheld, I've never used one and not really sure what I should be looking for other than the weight consideration. There is a vast range of prices (and I'm sure quality). Thanks again!

 

Gary

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Any recommendations on a monopod? I've looked at quite a few but since I usually shoot handheld, I've never used one and not really sure what I should be looking for other than the weight consideration. There is a vast range of prices (and I'm sure quality). Thanks again!

By no means cheap, but I've been endlessly thrilled with my Really Right Stuff monopod. Their theory is "big and thin": the carbon fiber tubes are big in diameter (perhaps almost double the size of the legs on my Manfrotto tripod) but thin in wall thickness. It's the diameter that gives it rigidity. I have the (now-discontinued) MH-02 Pro head and love it so much I bought a second before they discontinued it. The MH-02LR is similar but with a lever clamp.

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By no means cheap, but I've been endlessly thrilled with my Really Right Stuff monopod. Their theory is "big and thin": the carbon fiber tubes are big in diameter (perhaps almost double the size of the legs on my Manfrotto tripod) but thin in wall thickness. It's the diameter that gives it rigidity. I have the (now-discontinued) MH-02 Pro head and love it so much I bought a second before they discontinued it. The MH-02LR is similar but with a lever clamp.

 

 

Thanks, I'll see what I can find that is similar. Not too set on what budget I'm looking at, but trying for a good compromise. I've been looking through B&H and Fred Miranda to get some reviews too.

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