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Copyright Richard Ford.
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What equipment do you use?

My Equipment - DSLR Wildlife Photography on a Budget

Canon Camera Bodies

Since first getting into DSLR photography I have spent rather more than I care to remember on various cameras and lenses. I have owned Canon EOS 300D 450D 20D 40D and Canon EOS-1D MK III I am currently very settled using the Canon EOS 7D but as always each body is superseded very quickly as new technological advances achieve faster processers and lower noise levels. It's been a long learning curve and believe me my photography is done on what in this world would be regarded as a very limited budget. If you are serious about your photography the rule of thumb is to spend as much as you can afford and you will not regret it. Thankfully these days a good DSLR is available for just a few hundred pounds and even the entre level cameras are able to produce great results with the right lens in front of them.





Lenses

Again after a long learning curve I have proved to myself what many had said to me, that if it's quality you want it has to be a prime lens in the region of 400mm and above for wildlife photography. I have owned the Sigma zooms and the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM zoom lens with good result, but I now use a Canon EF 400mm f5.6 L USM as a walk around birding lens, better value for money is very hard to come by.

I also own a Sigma 500mm f4.5 EX HSM which is little more powerful but heavier as a trade off. Clearly there are lenses out there particularly in the Canon range that I would love to own but are simply priced out of my reach. Having said that some reviews compare this lens favourably with its far more expensive cousin the Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS. In my view the weight of the canon is liable to mean that it is sensible to use it on a tripod, which I almost exclusively do with the Sigma, therefore is the extra few thousand pounds for stabilisation really worth it? Well if I owned one I'd probably say yes but as it is the Sigma has and continues to serve me well.

Richard Ford
February 2016