Shooting With the Long Lens
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As a professional bird photographer, I am forced to carry some very long lens. Unfortunately, these lens are both heavy and expensive, but without them I simply could not do my job. The kinds of images that I pursue require keeping a discrete distance from my feathered subjects. Anyone who has ever attempted to photograph birds can testify to just how difficult it is to get your shot without spooking the subject.
My arsenal of glass includes the Canon 100 - 400L, Canon 300/ 2.8L, and the Canon 600/ 4L, along with several more that rarely get used. These three incredible lens are my "tools of the trade." All three do an outstanding job, while getting abused on a daily basis. In freezing cold, burning heat, and pouring rain, they continued to do the job for which they were designed. These lens are rugged optics designed for working professionals, who risk almost anything to "get the shot."
The beauty of the long lens is their reach, and their ability to make distracting backgrounds disappear. Not only can you reach out to the subject without disturbing it, but because of their extremely limited depth of field, you can isolate the subject from its' background. Nothing takes your eye to the subject like a truly blurred background. It forces the eye to see your target in a way that makes the image explode. There just simply is no replacement for this effect.
I'm often ask about various lens that someone might be considering for purchase. My advise is the same for everyone. Simply put.....Quality Costs. There's no getting around it. Regardless of which camera system you may use, buy the best your budget can afford. Anything less will disappoint you.