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Lens for Nocturnal Houses and Night Zoos

Discussion in 'Animal Photography' started by GregOz, 22 Dec 2018.

  1. GregOz

    GregOz Well-Known Member

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    Hi

    I am moving from Australia to Singapore next year and I figure I will need a lens that comes with the Night Safari

    I have a Nikon D7100 and 2 lenses - a Sigma 150-500mm and a Tamron 28-270mm. Neither of these cope with either the night Safari or nocturnal houses. In fact my mobile phone takes better photos.

    What does everyone use?

    Greg
     
  2. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Well-Known Member

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    For low light you need a lens with a large maximum aperture, which neither of your lenses are. Zoom lenses do not have really large apertures, although you can get a fairly large aperture of f/2.8 in a 70-200mm zoom (my favorite lens). However these are professional lenses so they will be expensive. To get an even larger aperture of f/1.4 or f/1.8 you need a fixed (non zoom) lens. If you want a telephoto (but not really long telephoto) you can get an 85mm f/1.4. If you want a standard or wide angle you can get f/1.4 in 50mm or 35mm or 24mm. I had the Sigma 85 f/1.4 for a few years and it was a great lens, but I ended up selling it because I did not use it that often.
     
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  3. GregOz

    GregOz Well-Known Member

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    Thanks @Arizona Docent

    I’m going to hire a 50mm f1.8 as I can get it for under $10 a month.

    Will see if the f1.8 is ok and if I want more telephoto
     
  4. littleRedPanda

    littleRedPanda Well-Known Member

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    If you can hire lenses that cheap, i'd hire a variety and practice at home too. Larger apertures mean a shallower depth of field, which presents other problems. Depending on how close you get to the subjects, you might find macro lenses more useful.
     
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  5. GregOz

    GregOz Well-Known Member

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    Thanks.
     
  6. Neva

    Neva Well-Known Member

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    Night Zoo also for me sounds "a little bit" problematic. But in nocturnal houses animals are often very close, so lenses like 90mm even with light 2.8 are quite good :). I have Tamron 90/2.8 and I it doing very well in variety "zoo-houses".
     
  7. GregOz

    GregOz Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Neva. Don’t have big expectations at the night zoo except for the ‘close’ exhibits.
     
  8. NigeW

    NigeW Well-Known Member

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    A lens alone won't solve your problem here Greg.

    I have a 100/2.8 macro- its a wonderful lens - but if you shoot wide open the depth of field is so narrow that you can end up with only an eye in focus. So I need to stop it down to f5.6 or f8. And although it has exceptional IS, a long exposure is an issue if the subject moves at all. You could use a tripod or monopod if its static.

    So, you need to increase your ISO to shorten the exposure somewhat. This will be what your phone is doing. But that brings graininess and noise eventually.

    Its all a bit of a compromise - its not an ideal environment for a camera. There's always diffused flash of course if the environment allows it.
     
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