$20,000 Versus $2,000 Bird Photography Setup

Wildlife photographers have long faced the problem of requiring extremely expensive camera equipment to follow their passion. Then came the budget 150-600mm and similar lenses that lowered the cost of entry while still getting similar looking results.

In this video, master bird photographer Jan Wegener compares his complete $20,000 setup to a simple $2,000 camera and lens combo. Typically Wegener is shooting off a Gitzo tripod and Wimberley gimbal head with his Canon 5D Mark IVand EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens and uses flash. For this side-by-side comparison on the cheaper end, he is handholding a Canon 5D Mark III and the highly popular Tamron 150-600mm lens.

In very practical terms, the answer is yes that photographers will achieve similar looking images with either setup. For Wegener’s particular photographic style, where the difference matters is in the versatility with the $20,000 kit and the creamy quality in the out of focus backgrounds. For others, it may be the light gathering ability of the 600mm f/4 lens that is the main difference maker. Check out the full video above to see his final shots compared.

Do you see a difference between the two setups? Is it worth 10 times the price tag? Leave your comments below.

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