Bird photography - the most versatile lens?

Subject: Bird photography - the most versatile lens?
From: Stewart Ford <>
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2004 16:04:11 +0800
Hi all,

Would the photographers out there among you give me some advice on a good lens for bird photography (Canon mount)? I'm currently weighing up a few options, such as the EF 70-200 f/4L, the EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L or even a prime such as the EF 400 f/5.6L. This would be for semi-pro purposes using film.

The 70-200mm lens is the most attractive, as it is the least costly, but I'm not sure that 200mm will cut the mustard with some of the smaller birds/herps I'd like to photograph. It also means I'd have to get closer. The 100-400mm is more attractive because of the longer range, and greater versatility than the 70-200, but it's much more expensive. Can anyone who owns either of these two lenses (or a good alternative) give me some advice? How do they perform? Is there a cheaper alternative with acceptable results?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

Stewart Ford

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