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Best Lens for up Close Photos of Animals

edited September 2013 Posted in » Nikon D5100 Forum
I am an animal biologist and I work as a herpetologist out in Indonesia. I want a lens to be able to take really sharp and detailed photos of animals I catch and I'm working on up close (i.e. monitor lizards, pythons, smaller snakes). I need photos for scientific purposes (for example scale counts later on), so I need good detail and sharpness. I will take a combination of both up close head shots ventrally and dorsally as well as whole organism shots. I have recently bought a Nikon D51000. Can someone please advise which lens is best (35mm, 40mm, 30-200mm, 50-300mm etc). My budget is 100-200 GBP. Any advice would be massively appreciated.

Thank you, Josh


  • edited October 2013
    @JoshTwining - I have the 70-300mm VR f/4.5-5.6.

    It is very fast focusing and great out to about 200mm. It is slightly soft from 200-300mm.

    The issue you're going to run into is how light or dark it is out when you take these.

    Either the 55-200mm, 55-300mm or the 70-300mm will do (I prefer the 70-300mm), however, none of these do well in low light situations. The only in between option is the new 70-200mm f/4 but it's over $1,000 USD so probably not the best option.
  • edited October 2013
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