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      07-22-2012, 11:12 AM   #3633
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Location: Colorado

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2009 M3  [4.20]
Originally Posted by Chewy734 View Post
How is wildlife photography much different than sports photography (other than the obvious need for a faster shutter speed)? Most sports photographers use the same lenses that wildlife photographers use. Is it because they crop less?
With wildlife, particularly birds, you use a big, long lens and then you still crop a ton (50% crop is pretty typical). In sports you're more likely to not need heavy cropping. Both demand relatively high shutter speeds and, up to a point, great high-ISO performance is a big plus (to get both high SS and small aperture for DOF). Shooting field sports (football/soccer) you'll two bodies, one with something like a 70-200mm and the other with a 400mm or 500mm and you'll be right on the sideline. You switch between your long and short lenses as the action moves closer or away.

The nature photographer works to get close and the dream is to fill the frame and not have to crop, but it seldom works out that way. I also carry two bodies, in case something walks near me and a 500mm lens is simply too much. I'll shoot 99% with the 500mm, but occasionally grab something great with the 70-200mm.

All that said, the need to crop with birds and wildlife is the biggest difference between nature and sport. Either body will work for both, but one is better for each usage.