To buy or not to buy! To use or not to use! That’s my dilemma!! I’ll start at the beginning. For wildlife photography, I’ve been using an old, used prime F/4 300 mm lens on my Nikon D7100. It’s a bit heavy, hard for me to hold steady and the Nikon is not that good in low light. I finally decided to buy a used Fuji 100 – 400 mm lens for, of course, my Fuji XT3. It worked great and was easy for me to hold steady, but the barrel was tight when I zoomed. It’s in the return process. Question: should I get another one? Or just keep using the Nikon set up?

Here are some images from the Fuji set up taken at what I call the nesting tree in nearby Lincoln.

Great Egrets and Great Blue Herons nest each year in these trees. It’s a treat to sit and watch the activity. They fly off and bring back food and nesting materials to the nest. These next pictures were taken with the Nikon set up. Since I photographed mostly egrets on my previous visit, I was trying to photograph more of the herons. The trees are not close and I had to do a lot of cropping with these pictures for both set ups.

Do you see much difference? Both sets were processed in Lightroom and Topaz Sharpener AI. There is the handling ease, but that comes with about a $1,500. cost for a good used lens. I don’t think I need a new one because I don’t do that much wildlife photography.

So that’s my decision and dilemma! What do you think I should do?

Oh, if you want to see amazing Great Blue Heron Photography visit Babsje’s blog for wonderful stories and images. She is totally dedicated to the herons.

22 thoughts on “Decision: The Nesting Tree

  1. Sometime in the past you thought that it was worth buying the new Fuji lens, what has changed? I agree that the noise with the Nikon is bad, but it all depends on what you’re going to do with the pictures. For posting on social media, after removing the noise with software and reducing the file size, it should be fine, but if you want to make large prints then I agree the Nikon setup is not adequate.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. No enlarge. If you want to print the photo in a large print, the noise will look bad. Also, if you want to publish in a magazine or something like that, noise shows. For the screen only, you can get around it and no one will notice the noise.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks again! I checked and the Nikon had more noise in some of the pictures. But the reality is that neither lens is totally suited to shooting something that far away if you’re going to print at any size. For this area, a 600 mm would have done better. It’s amazing when you draw the image in that close.


          1. If you’re having problems with getting things in focus you can try upping the iso and overexposing by 0.3 stops. Equipment is a matter of comfort, what you feel happy handling, and also the final goal for the picture. Screen resolution takes care of a lot of problems. Good luck deciding.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. I miss the convenience of my Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ-200. It’s a megazoom bridge camera (25-600mm Leica lens) that maintains an f2.8 aperture throughout the entire zoom range — which means you don’t have to necessarily ramp up the ISO.

    The 25-600mm reach is optical zoom, but the camera can be set to iZoom which is digital 1200mm. The longer zoom does require a tripod. Also, bridge cameras have smaller sensors than a DSLR so cropped images will lose detail.

    All of my moon shots were taken with the FZ200. It’s lightweight, and you don’t have to carry a bag full of lenses, or switch from macro to zoom. You can take a picture of a flower, then turn and focus on a passing eagle.

    The versatility can’t be beat. CNET gives it a score of 8 on a scale of ten. They dropped the score when the FZ300 was introduced.

    When I go out with my DSLR, I have to decide which lens to take but that isn’t an issue with the Fz200. You just grab the camera and go.

    It’s just a matter of weighing all the options and matching the equipment with your needs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks David! I think if I want to do real wildlife photography, I’d need a long lens then 400 mm. I dabble, so maybe I don’t need a new lens. Okay, I said maybe. I’m getting closer to a decision.


  3. You know, I think that you should go ahead and get something you really want, new or used. I am sure you will do the proverbial due diligence. But the fact is, we are not getting younger, so why not enjoy the challenges you want to be challenged by? Frustration is a point of the past – a certain level of self-indulgence to keep life exciting is worthwhile. At least, that is my opinion! And lugging equipment is harder as we get older, so a lighter weight lens is important.

    Nice work altogether – I really enjoy these.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Nothing like a bit of research. If I am not mistaken, the Fuji you have is a 1.5 crop, so that may help you out. I have the Nikon V3 and the 70-300 lens. The crop of the V3 is something like 2.3, so the lens length becomes something like 800mm.

        For me, the stabilization factors of the lens and / or camera are important. Perhaps another consideration would be a zoom vs. fixed for better versatility – and the zoom makes do as a macro lens, too!

        And finally weight, and cost, and and and and . . Looking forward to hearing what you get!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I do think the Fuji photos look better, although it’s hard to tell as WP images have to be downsized so much. It partly depends, as others have said, what you want to do with the images. If you simply want to record what you have seen for your own pleasure and to share in your blog, the Nikon set-up seems to be more than adequate. But I doubt you could enlarge them and hang them on your wall, or sell them for others to do so. SO that’s the quality element to your decision.

    The other factor is comfort and convenience. I gave up using an SLR (as they were then) when I switched to digital, as carrying all that stuff around was wearing me down. I went down the bridge camera route and like David above I opted for a Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ-200 which I find more than meets my needs. And those needs are, as I suspect yours are, to take photos of a sufficiently good quality to satisfy my desire to be as good a photographer as I can be, and to give pleasure to others and get positive feedback when shared on my blog.

    I should have said there are three factors as of course price comes into it too. $1,500 is a lot of money to pay for something that will only improve your life a little, but if the bulkiness of the Nikon is really becoming too much and you find yourself using it less and less, maybe you could sell that second-hand to offset some of the cost? But do perhaps consider the bridge camera option too, as that would work out much cheaper and be even less heavy and cumbersome. You could then hang on to the Nikon for when you feel only a DSLR will do!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Sarah! I think I’ve decided that I would not replace the Fuji lens. To do an adequate job, I would need maybe a 600 mm lens. Then I could enter my wildlife images in competitions, etc. But that hefty a lens would be too hard to carry. So I’ll put the money to good use elsewhere and jus have fun with photographing birds.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I echo what Toonsarah said about matching your needs with what you want to achieve. A good cell phone camera is sufficient for posting images to social media, blogs, or even videos on YouTube.

    Although, a cell phone camera won’t give you a 600mm zoom.

    Cost is another factor. I paid $249 for the FZ200 — a discounted price just before the release of the FZ300. A Canon prime lens (EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM) would give me the reach for $2,400. For serious wildlife photographers, the EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM sells for $9,000.

    Will the extra cost give you better results? Of course, and it would be worth it if I were a professional who sold my prints. In that case, you would probably choose to scale down your photos, anyway, to discourage theft.

    I wanted to take pictures of the moon so the FZ200 was the affordable and practical solution. And, at 600mm, I needed a tripod.

    Ron Dudley (Feathered Photography) uses the aforementioned Canon lenses. You might review his photos and conclude, “They’re nice, but not worth the extra cost.”

    Not to mention the extra weight and gear that you’ll have to lug around. The Canon 100-400mm takes decent enough handheld shots although best results for zoom photography, in most cases, requires a tripod.

    (I noted the Canon lens because that’s what I’m familiar with, and it closely matches the capabilities of your Fuji lens.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks David! I wrote an answer to Sarah’s comment and then read yours. That comment also applies to what you said. Actually, I love doing macro work and have an excellent Fuji lens for that. Thanks again.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. As so many others have said, it depends on what you want to do with the photos. But I have another consideration for myself. I’ve been doing weights is to steady my hand as I shoot at long focal lengths without support. Even so, I prefer the lighter lenses.

    Liked by 1 person

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