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Fuji XF 50-140 w/ 2x teleconverter or 100-400 for occasional wildlife and bird photography?


helgeloken

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I'm considering adding a telephoto zoom to my lens kit, but not sure which one to get. I'm very much keen on doing occasional wildlife and bird photography, but it's not something I necessarily get to do that often. That's why I was thinking that the 50-140 is a more versatile lens for day-to-day use and that, with the 2x teleconverter, it would be sufficient for wildlife. Has anyone got experience with the 50-140 + 2x tele-converter? What's your experience with the picture quality and the auto-focus? Is this thinking just silly and I should simply save up for the 100-400 instead? 

 

Thanks!

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The serious birders in my camera club all use at least 400 mm lenses. If you would only do wildlife/birding photography occasionally, the 100-400 may not be worth the expense as the 50-140 could be used in many situations. I'm going to a grizzly bear reserve (in British Columbia where I live) next June and will be using a 80-400 Nikon zoom (hand-held) as we will be in zodiacs.

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for little birds the longer the better.

 

You may want to to try the very cheap XC 50-230mm lens and see if it has the reach for your wildlife requirements

 

There are many examples on this forum of its quality, and (in the UK at least) it is available 2nd hand for around £150.00 on ebay

 

You can then decide if you need anything longer. A wildlife photographer I know uses the 100-400 with 1.4TC exclusively when shooting little birsds

 

good luck

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Welcome, dear visitor! As registered member you'd see an image here…

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This thrush was about just 10 - 15 meters away and I used 50-230mm on it's long end to capture it. You need a luck to get to an interesting bird this close and 50-140mm + 2x tele-converter gives you only 210mm and it's absolutely not enough (providing you are not in a Zoo). So you should have 100-400mm for sure.

 

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I took a 55-200 to Zimbabwe earlier this year and had some great results, however since being back in the UK where the wildlife is smaller I've switched to the 100-400. Both are great lenses, but the 100-400 is just fantasic

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Everything I have read says to do it right and get the 100-400 with 1.4x teleconverter.  

 

Save the extra money ... wait a little longer to do it.  In the end it would be worth it.  Consider yourself investing in a lens you plan on using for at least 10 years ... so spending the extra $ is worth it.

 

I have an old 1980's manual focus 100-500 Tamron F5.6 that only mounts on a tripod because it is so big and heavy.  On my XT1 it is a 150-750mm.  For the little I've played with it with birds (when they aren't moving since it is manual focus) ... I've been surprised how often I have it zoomed almost all the way.  It was an eye opener to me that you will always want more reach.

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  • 4 weeks later...

well it goes up in the world with time - a couple of years back I had great shots with the XS1 - then moved to a XPRO 1 with the 50 to 230 which was noticeably better for focus & actually larger prints, now a X2Es with the 1.4 & 100 - 400 next week I am looking at the 2.0 as UK birds are that small and stay that far away. Off to Uganda on Safari again and really looking forward to taking the 100 to 400 - the only question will be what converter to leave on! You rarely get that close to wildlife in nature! Light will be the main consideration 

the 2x + 50 to 140 zoom I do not have but I am sure they will give good results - the 100 to 400 will be much better as it is made for it!

David

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  • 4 weeks later...

I don’t do much wildlife shooting, but a friend of mine does, and he regularly uses a 600mm lens with his FF DSLR for taking bird photos. So that should give you an idea of how much reach you might want.

 

The only way with Fuji X-series lenses is the 100-400mm lens (600mm FF equivalent at the long end). The 50-140mm with a 2x teleconverter will get you to 400mm FF equivalent at the long end. That’s still pretty good, as that’s what my friend used to use (70-200mm zoom with a 2x teleconverter) for wildlife shots before he got his 600mm lens.

 

For me, the key is what “occasional wildlife and bird photography” really means to you. If you are going to be taking more photos within the 50-140mm range, get that lens and the 2x teleconverter. If you think you’re going to get more deeply into wildlife photography, get the 100-400mm.

 

Renting a zoom/telephoto package is a great idea, since there’s nothing like messing around with a lens for a few days to tell you if that’s what you want. 

 

​And if you’re worried about the teleconverter degrading the image, don’t be. For the Fuji lenses, that doesn’t seem to be a huge issue. I rented the 50-140mm and a 1.4x teleconverter for an Alaska cruise I took this summer, just in case I saw some whales, and there wasn’t any degradation that I could see from using the teleconverter. My only regret was that I didn’t rent the 2x teleconverter instead.

 

Also, see here:

 

http://macleancomms.blogspot.com/2016/05/review-new-fujinon-2x-converter.html

http://macleancomms.blogspot.com/2016/09/fujinon-2x-converter-revisited-in-mexico.html

 

and here:

 

Edited by wilburpan
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  • 3 weeks later...

back from Safari - 2x Converter + 100 to 400 was no problem - this fellah normally sings at you from inside a bush!

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