Bird Photography – Getting Real Close!

Canon EF 300mm f/4 L USMGetting close to your subject is essential in bird photography. Getting really close is even better. Getting really, REALLY close makes all the difference in the world.

Canon makes some of the best lenses in the world today for bird photography. Professional bird photographers like Arthur Morris shoot with Canon’s best and most expensive super-telephoto lenses such as the EF 500mm f/4L IS USM, the EF 600mm f/4L IS USM and even the EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM to capture incredible images like those shown in his Birds As Art web site.

But what do you do if your not a working professional and can’t afford to spend thousands (or tens of thousands) for these really long lenses? How do you get close to your subject while not breaking the bank?

This is where the beauty of the Canon 40D’s ASP-C size sensor with it’s 1.6x FOVCF (field of view crop factor) really shines. Mount a Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM lens ($1200 USD) on your 40D body and you have the equivalent “reach” of 480mm. Add a Canon EF 1.4x II Extender ($265) and now you have the equivalent “reach” of 672mm for a fraction of the cost of Canon’s EF 600mm f/4L IS USM lens ($7400 USD).

Better yet, you do what I do and can rent this lens (and the extender if needed) from for about $25 (USD) per day!