a 500mm f/4 lens for most of
your bird photography but also
have a 100-400mm f/5-6.3 lens
as a more portable option when
you’re flying somewhere or when
your arm is tired from pitching
in the community softball league
the night before.
3. Do you plan to travel
extensively with your lens? Are
you willing to take up extra
space and use more baggage to
transport it? Would you trade
off weight or value for something that is less of a hassle and
that you won’t worry about as
much while you’re traveling?
4. Will your camera and lens
replace your binoculars and/or
scope in the field? If so, are you
getting a lens that is adequate to
replace your optics? If not, how
will you carry and easily use your
combination of gear?
5. What other accessories do
you want or need? A tripod is a
worthy accessory to your lens,
especially if the lens is cumber-
Single lens reflex (SLR) cameras have large image sensors
that are able to produce high-quality photos. When looking
through the viewfinder of an
SLR, you are seeing exactly
what the camera sees. A pentaprism design allows this to be
possible (see below). You are
also able to interchange lenses
on an SLR camera. The lens
truly determines the quality of
the picture; the light must pass
through all of the glass in the
lens before it gets to your camera’s body, so it’s important that
the glass is high quality.
Left: Song sparrow photographed with a full-size sensor.
Right: Same bird photographed
with a smaller sensor. Note crop
factor and bonus magnification.
W N Above: A pentaprism design
shows you exactly what the
camera sees from the viewfinder.