In this article I am comparing different Nikkor lenses for birding, including the latest ones available, with and without teleconverters, based upon budget and image results. I am looking into the discussions held in the forums to make certain conclusions, which might be helpful when you are considering buying yourself a new, or a used Nikkor lens for bird photography.
We have all been marveled by the images of fellow Nikonians in the Wildlife forum, especially those participating in the monthly contests. In the case of birds, such images show exquisite feather detail and sharpness, no blur, and with the required depth of field, whether stationary or in flight.
Loon - Wing tips Cutting water by Mark Morrison (Lunastar)
Nikon D500, Nikkor AF-S 400mm/2.8 @ f/8, 1/4000s, ISO-800
So, for me, birds are an exciting even if tough subject. Birding requires the acquisition of both a very specific technique, which could be a lot of fun, and the right gear, which is not always easy to choose, given the many options available and the limitations our personal budget may impose upon most of us amateurs, without mercy.
The not so exciting news is that for photographing birds, anything under 400mm focal length is seldom appropriate, judging from the many different lenses used by Nikonians, both by forum posters and contest winners. But, we may not need to sell a kidney to get set.
I will concentrate here on choosing the right lens for the purpose and your budget.
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