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Best lens for BWC

phil_j 15 134 4 England
17 Nov 2009 7:42PM
I am asking to pick the brains of anybody that has visited the British Wildlife Centre.

I am lucky enough to be going on an ogranised visit in a few weeks, through Wild Arena, to the BWC and as this will be the first time I have visited, I am not sure as to what lens would be best to take.
I am looking at hiring a good piece of glass to put on my D50 for the trip and had thought of a prime 300mm, or possibly a zoom 70-200mm.

Any advice as to how close we can get to the animals, and which would be best would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks

tomcat 15 6.4k 15 United Kingdom
17 Nov 2009 8:12PM
if it is an organised trip you will probably be closer to the subjects than a normal visitor.
I wouldn't have thought anything more than the 300 prime was needed for distance or D-O-F
Your 70-200 zoom seems to stand you in good stead anyway

steve_eb Plus
12 372 9 United Kingdom
17 Nov 2009 8:18PM
Hi Phil

Been to BWC a couple of times and loved it and I am sure you will too, I was actually looking at the same event but it was cancelations only, booo.

First time I was 70-200 & 2 x converter now however upgrade is a 150-500 sigma and it was very rarely too big, only time was on the long side of the small enclosures for the Stoats and that was it!

Only other lens I did use there was a 105 macro as the kestrel has 2 perches next to the netting and for the frogs, grass snakes.

Hope that helps, sure you are taking a tripod too!

phil_j 15 134 4 England
17 Nov 2009 8:20PM
Thanks Steve and Adrian, some very helpful advice there, I think we may also have access to the small rodents as well, (harvest Mice) so the macro will certailnly be going along for the ride!
steve_eb Plus
12 372 9 United Kingdom
17 Nov 2009 8:20PM
Fair comment by tomcat... if you are in the enclosures which I think for some you are a 70-200 will probably suffice.

Some of the shots are on my portfolio taken with 150-500 on page 1 and further back with the 70-200 & 2 x Conv.

Enjoy the day, if anyone drops out let me know!

Overread 12 4.1k 19 England
17 Nov 2009 8:40PM
70-200mm +1.4TC has served me very well in the BWC when working behind the cages, though a slightly longer lens would be nice, but 300mm would be plenty enough.

If your going inside the pens then I would think a 70-200mm plus something shorter would be ideal - some of the animals will come very close (watch your fingers Wink and have a great time!
scotdiver 18 261 1 United Kingdom
17 Nov 2009 9:06PM
On a previous EPZ trip I've managed fine with the Nikon 70-200mm inside the enclosures though could have done with a wee bit more length with the otters and was positively frustrated that it would not focus close enough with the Marsh Frogs.

However, one of the Marsh Frog shots cropped nicely and is on the BWC gallery pages now.

phil_j 15 134 4 England
17 Nov 2009 10:15PM
Many thanks to you Alex and Robert, got a really good idea of what I am going to do now, really looking forward to the day, just hope I can get some good shots.

Terry L 17 609 5 England
17 Nov 2009 11:30PM
70-200 + 1.4TC will serve you well for the majority of opportunities, eg foxes, otters, red squirrels, water voles, polecats and possibly stoats/weasels if they are indoors; 100 macro for the harvest mice and any other close up opportunities. You would have to be very unlucky to not come away with a few good images.

Enjoy your day

phil_j 15 134 4 England
17 Nov 2009 11:43PM
Thanks Terry
csurry 19 9.2k 92
18 Nov 2009 8:38AM
70-200, and the 200-400 Grin

Actually it was using the 200-400 at the BWC that convinced me to buy it.

As Terry says 70-200 + 1.4 will be fine, but don't forget the option to use a 1.7 as well.

Have fun.
phil_j 15 134 4 England
18 Nov 2009 12:56PM
Thank you Cheryl, really looking forward to it.
Hope you are well.

csurry 19 9.2k 92
18 Nov 2009 7:06PM
I have dried out Phil if that is what you mean after the soaking on Saturday? Grin
phil_j 15 134 4 England
18 Nov 2009 7:17PM
Likewise!!, glad to hear it, was good to meet to you Saturday.

Karrol 12 29 England
18 Nov 2009 11:05PM
Hi Phil

A fantastic place to go especially as you have 'special' access in the enclosures.

I was happy with my 100-400 and one lower focal length lens.
Some of the animals are very fast moving and never still........


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