Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 29

Thread: Tamron 150-600 and wildlife photography

  1. #1
    Senior Member jamsus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Florence
    Posts
    528

    Tamron 150-600 and wildlife photography

    Hello everyone!

    I'm here to asking for some advices...

    I'm a passionate amateur photographer and i will stay like that for a long time. I also didn't have too much time to invest in photography since job, love and other interest are "strong in this one" (q. Star Wars).

    I'm really happy with my 60D camera, i can handle HIGH ISO shooting with this camera, and i find the 18-135 IS STM + 50mm f 1.8 really good for the majority of the pictures that i do love to take.

    But i'm really in love with my cheap Canon 70-300 IS USM.

    With this last lens i started to love "static" animal photography. (I don't know if it is the correct translation!) What i'm saying is that i love to capture pictures of animals in their natural habitat, i do not have too much needings about capturing flying birds at high speed, i prefer to shoot at them while they are on a stick.

    For that, i'm considering to buy the Tamron 150-600, the reviews are very positive, the price is really accessible and with the few time i can spend going around for woods shooting pictures, i think that this lens would be a really good time-price-investment. And with an APS-C camera, the focal lenght will permit me to stay at the right distance without scaring birds deers and other animals.

    So, now that i explained my background and the reasons for my choiche, i would like to ask something more specific about this kind of photography (which is really new to me) and this lens!

    - The lens weight is something also new to me, for this kind of photography, do i need a "one-leg tripod"?
    - I like to lay on the ground when i "hunt" for some of those shoots with my 70-300. I imagine that i would love to lay down also with 150-600... but the difference in weight suggest me that maybe exists some kind of "small tripod" or something useful to support the lens when i'm on the ground. Do you have any suggestion?
    - Usually animals are easier to spot at dawn or sunset... and with those light conditions i imagine that rising up the ISO is a really common practice to obtain "sharp" pictures with 150-600 x 1.6mm focal range. Did you find some problem with such a long focal range?

    - Any suggestion in general? Also on other lenses, or any impression about the Tamron 150-600?

    Probably in the far future ( ) i will exchange my good 60D for a 7DMarkII, but that's another story.

    Thank you everyone and excuse me for long and confuse post! Writing it already clear my mind on some points
    Last edited by jamsus; 06-15-2015 at 10:21 AM.
    Dogs and cats, living together! Mass hysteria!

    Jamsus

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Big Mouse Florida
    Posts
    1,051
    Kayaker and I spent the day shooting my Tamron and his Sigma Sport 150-600.

    We swapped back and forth. I am real happy up to 400mm and then by 600 (barrel reading) the images are getting soft. I think Bryan nailed it w/ the comparisons between the Sigma and Tamron.

    I got the Tamron as it was really the only thing available at the $1,000 price range that could reach to 600mm ( or close to it). I can't justify spending much more than this - though if you get really into the long stuff, the Sigma sport can take teleconverters and the images look pretty good.

    Shooting any of these bazookas takes practice and patience. Hand holding these beasts for anytime is really not practical. K and I were in a car driving around a bird sanctuary so we stopped ever few minutes and rested for several minutes between locations. The idea of hand holding this on a particular subject for a minute or two waiting for just that right moment is only available to those with really big arms. At 600 mm the barrel is extended quite a ways, just hold a 3 lb weight at 3/4 arms length and see how steady you remain for 2 minutes.

    It is surprising what happens to the ISO when to get consistently sharp pics, you have to have a shutter speed at 500 or 1000 (even with IS when hand holding) and an fstop in the 8 range. Particularly when you are shooting in the twilight of morning and evening.

    Having said all this, any of the bazookas are a lot of fun.
    If you see me with a wrench, call 911

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Planet Earth
    Posts
    2,915
    I use a monopod more than a tripod. Mine is a Gitzo that supports 55 lbs. I can carry the camera and 500mm on the end of it like a lollipop, if you buy a cheaper one I wouldn't recommend this practice. Some people use heads on the monopod, I use mine without.

    I have a Gitzo tripod with a Wimberly gimbal type head. My opinion for wildlife the gimbal is the type of head to go with.

    If money is an issue I would suggest the monopod first and the tripod later.

    The following I find true of wildlife but especially true of birds, you want a lens that gives you the highest resolution you can afford. You want as much detail as possible in the feathers and eye. If I were starting out on a budget I wouldn't count out a used older model L lens even if it is non IS.

    There is nothing wrong with that focal range and light, other than you need a high shutter speed. 1/500 can be marginal and over 1/1000 would be preferred. You will be out of light well before sundown at f/8. With the 60d you will be out of light a stop sooner because of noisy ISO compared to FF. But I tracked this to see what I was loosing, between 5 and 15 minutes of shooting time at sunset to loose 1 stop. Last outing I tracked the light I lost the 1 stop that mattered (the point I felt I wouldn't get acceptable results) in 7 minutes. I own a FF so I switched bodies and continued on. Usually by that time the picture IQ is marginal.

  4. #4
    I own the Tamron, and it's a great lens. That said, if I were doing it all over I'd buy the Sigma Contemporary in a heartbeat. Besides having a slightly nicer build (and looking better IMHO), the USB dock is a huge advantage. You can fine tune your lens without resorting to in-body micro adjustment. And, you can update your firmware, which is huge.

    I just sent my Tamron in for the service advisory - there's a problem when panning the camera with the VC on. It cost me $50 to ship the lens off. If it was a Sigma, I'd be done already. That $50 would pay for the USB dock. And, I wouldn't be without the lens for 2 or 3 weeks. While Sigma claims a 3 day turn, here on the West coast it's a week to get to NY via UPS ground. This is the second major firmware update for this lens. I doubt it will be the last. I'm hoping that I get some performance increases as some users have noted after this update.

    Then to answer your question - as busted knuckles mentioned the weight is a huge issue. Holding a 7 lb. lens is tough even just for a few seconds. I've found I need to have my shutter speed at at least 1/1000 to get good results. At 600 I can see my image bouncing around and know I need that shutter speed and VC. I bought a monopod pretty much exclusively for this lens. I've gone 40 years without one. It makes a tremendous difference. It's also a less expensive setup than a tripod and Gimbal would be. I'd like to try a gimbal at some point in the future. A good Gimbal is an investment by itself, but I think if I get good with birds and move to BIF, it will be an essential item.

    So anyway, the Tamron is a great lens, but unless you're a huge Tamron fan, consider the Sigma. I believe Bryan gave a slight advantage to the Sigma himself. If anything happens to my lens during shipment, I'm using that insurance money for a Sigma!

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    4,430
    Quote Originally Posted by jamsus View Post
    - The lens weight is something also new to me, for this kind of photography, do i need a "one-leg tripod"?
    Yes and no. Some people do use monopods. Some tripods. But mostly, I have seen people shooting the 150-600 series of lenses hand held. The Sigma 150-600S I've read more of a mix, people using mono-, tri- and hand holding shots.

    I would probably buy your lens first, have a bit of budget remaining, and then get a mono- or tripod if you find you need it after shooting your new lens for awhile.

    Quote Originally Posted by jamsus View Post
    - I like to lay on the ground when i "hunt" for some of those shoots with my 70-300. I imagine that i would love to lay down also with 150-600... but the difference in weight suggest me that maybe exists some kind of "small tripod" or something useful to support the lens when i'm on the ground. Do you have any suggestion?
    If I was laying on the ground I would likely be resting my elbow on the ground supporting the lens by holding it's barrel. So, again, I would probably buy lens first, make sure you have some budget, and buy support second. In this case, pay attention to the minimum height of mono- and tripods. I think you'll find that tripods can actually get lower to the ground than monopods by spreading their legs out to be nearly horizontal.

    Quote Originally Posted by jamsus View Post
    -Usually animals are easier to spot at dawn or sunset... and with those light conditions i imagine that rising up the ISO is a really common practice to obtain "sharp" pictures with 150-600 x 1.6mm focal range. Did you find some problem with such a long focal range?
    Sure....but finding the extra ~$10,000 to gain 1-2 stops was a bigger problem. Limitations are a part of life and definitely part of photography. Just understand what you can shoot. But I think you'll find that 1/1200th f/8, ISO 800-1600 will be enough for a lot of circumstances for faster moving targets and 1/500th, f/8, ISO 800-1600 enough for even more "static" targets.

    Quote Originally Posted by jamsus View Post
    - Any suggestion in general? Also on other lenses, or any impression about the Tamron 150-600?
    There are a lot of options out there now in the ~sum $2,2k telephoto zoom market and most if not all are really pretty good. These include:
    • EF 400 f/5.6
    • EF 70-300 L
    • EF 100-400 Mk 1
    • EF 100-400 Mk 2
    • Tamron 150-600
    • Sigma 150-600 "C"
    • Sigma 150-600 "S"


    The first think you need to decide is "how limited are you by 300 mm?" It is the IQ at 300 that is your limitation or is it the reach (ie, you are constantly cropping). If it is the reach, are you cropping more than half your image file? If yes, then you likely want something that goes out to 600 mm. If not, then maybe one of the 400 mm options with much better IQ would be better for you.

    I own the 100-400 Mk 1 and the Sigma 150-600S. On crop I found the 100-400 Mk 1 good enough for most instances. On FF, it was still good for many uses but I wanted more reach. So I got excited when Sigma announced the 150-600S.

    For the money, the Tamron and 150-600C seem to be very good deals. I would read Bryan's reviews to differentiate between the two.

    While not an answer or a specific recommendation, I hope that helps. The super telephoto zoom market is becoming a bit like the 70-200 market. Lots of good options. You really have to think to decide which is best for you.

  6. #6
    Senior Member jamsus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Florence
    Posts
    528
    I really thanks everyone of you - your suggestions are really deep and detailed, and solved most of my theoretical doubts!

    I would like to respond to each one of you but i'm in a coffe-break at the office!

    Thank you everyone again
    Dogs and cats, living together! Mass hysteria!

    Jamsus

  7. #7
    Regarding laying on the ground:
    I forgot to mention this - but Sean or Bryan mentioned at one point this lens support that looks like a Frisbee turned upside-down with a ball head on it. I can't for the life of me remember who made it - but it looked like it would be real easy to use laying down and slide easily. They had taken some pretty nice bird photos using it. Also, Kirk makes a lowpod that would work, although you can't slide it very well.

  8. #8
    Administrator Sean Setters's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Savannah, GA
    Posts
    3,344
    Ah, you're talking about the NatureScapes Skimmer. Bryan reviewed that. ;-)

    http://www.the-digital-picture.com/R...nd-Pod-II.aspx

  9. #9
    Senior Member jamsus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Florence
    Posts
    528
    I think i can build my own "ground-pod"
    Dogs and cats, living together! Mass hysteria!

    Jamsus

  10. #10
    Senior Member jamsus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Florence
    Posts
    528
    I am thinking again about Tamron 150-600...

    I usually don't print too much pictures, and the ones that i print are MAX in A4 format or A5... At this resolution, will the image quality be so different between this "cheap" lens and the others?
    Dogs and cats, living together! Mass hysteria!

    Jamsus

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •