What are the best and cheapest lenses for wildlife phototgraphy?
I recently got a Nikon D3100 and would like a new lens for wildlife photography.
Any suggestions would be helpful!
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It depends on what type of wildlife, but typically you will probably need a really long zoom range.
The problem however is that anything over 400mm is going to cost a lot of money but you may find that a zoom lens up to about 300mm will be sufficient, given your camera is a DX it will in fact make the zoom range more like 450mm which should be a good start.
You can pick up a range of zooms in this region from all manufacturers.
"Cheapest" is easy to answer: the Rokinon 500mm f/8.0 (also sold under the Samyang or Walimex brands), and for a beginner, it might even be the best, to gain experience more than to make great photos, because it's really not a good lens at all (is anyone surprised, at a $200 price point?): horribly slow, manual focus, comparatively low optical quality.
But under the right circumstances (good light or tripod, mostly stationary subject) it will still let you take decent photos of far-away wildlife (example below, completely unprocessed picture I took last saturday, from a distance of well over 100m) that you would otherwise need a $1500+ lens for.
And once you've encountered its limitations, you will have a much better idea what qualities to look for in a supertele lens, and how much you might be willing to pay for them.