Equipment suitable for Wildlife Photography
Creatures of a reasonable size we an get quite close to
New Forest and other wild ponies, feral goats, swans, geese, ducks, captive creatures in wildlife parks, and some semi tame creatures, require no special equipment, a standard zoom lens and digital camera is all that is required.
Wildlife that will be some way away
In addition for these we are going to need a means to get a closer view, perhaps a longer telephoto lens, perhaps a longer prime lens, or maybe a teleconverter or digiscoping arrangement.
We have covered the options to this in a number of articles and lists:-
Wildlife that will be small
Getting close to photograph a grasshopper, take a portrait of a bee or get the full splendour of a butterfly requires us to enter the area of macro photography. To get closer we can use a macro lens, add a close up lens to an existing lens or use either extension tubes or bellows, or any combination of these.
We have information on macro at:
Wildlife photography without a real budget
It is practical to do quite a lot of wildlife photography without purchasing specialist lenses and equipment, or on low budget, so lets consider the options.
With a very small budget we can get in closer, by adding a close up screw on attachment lens as a route towards macro, or by using a teleconverter to extend the telephone lens length. In both of these cases we are likely to have to manually focus instead of using auto focus, and probably increase the ISO.
Depending on the camera we use and our budget there will be other options.
Those that can work with non Nikon lenses are able to set the maximum aperture and focal length of lenses and meter through the lenses. As an example of what is possible, I obtained an old Tamron zoom lens that zooms to 500mm, its a solidly built period lens that produces good results, but was available at a budget price, as it came in a Pentax screw fitting. I was able however to get an adaptor that allows Pentax screw fitting lenses to fit onto a Nikon camera. Its a good length, produces quality results but has to be focused manually. On eBay I also obtained a x2 and x3 teleconverter, both at very low prices as they were old Pentax screw fittings. This provided a kit that would allow any zoom up to a mammoth 3000mm (500x2x3). At 500mm it produces great results, once you put on these teleconverters you lose so much light that its difficult to use, although the x2 is usable on many days. It proved a point that it can be done. Buying this zoom, two teleconverters and the adaptor cost in total under £100 from memory, so was a low budget solution.