Are you a bird photographer shooting with a SONY camera like the SONY a7 RIV or SONY a9II and wondering what are the best SONY lenses for bird photography?
I’m going to share with you my go to SONY lenses for wildlife or bird photography along with photos and video taken with these lenses. This is my ultimate collection of SONY lenses for bird photography!
Recently I’ve switched from shooting almost 100% Canon cameras and lenses
to now shooting almost 100% SONY cameras and lenses for my bird photography.
Why the switch? What’s the difference?
A few years back I picked up a SONY A7 camera just to try it out. Although it was limited in it’s function the images it produced were at the time fantastic. But SONY wasn’t ready to take on real bird photography or sports photography. The camera bodys weren’t fast enough or functional for this high demand. The biggest reasons I stayed with CANON was that SONY didn’t have any real lenses for taking photos of birds.
Then came along the SONY a7 R IV and everything changed for me.
Now I had a SONY camera capable of keeping up with the demands of bird photography. But what about the lenses? Well around the time SONY dropped on the market a number of lenses that were ideal for bird photography. Now they had the camera bodies and lenses for me to give it a real try.
So what are the best SONY lenses for bird photography?
Well these are my go to bird photography lenses when shooting with my SONY A7 RIV and SONY A7RII
Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS Lens
The bird photos you’re looking at are all taken with the Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS Lens. This a must have lens for just about any photography. All camera manufactures have a 70-200mm f 2.8 for a reason. It’s a workhorse. I typically have this lens mounted to my SONY a7R II as a secondary setup. It’s ideal for walking around and snapping shots of birds that just happen to fly near you.
Because it’s a fast lens at f 2.8 it’s also perfect for capturing bird photos on overcast low light days.
Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS Lens
The Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS Lens is bolted to my SONY A7RIV camera. This combination is perfect for me. I get the reach needed for those distant bird shots and I have the resolution to punch in in post production. These bird pictures and video are all shot with the Sony FE 100-400mm lens
Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS Lens
Around the time SONY came out with the SONY A7 RIV and SONY A9II. They dropped on the market the Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS Lens. In my mind this lens was made to take on the 3rd party lenses from Sigma and Tamron both on reach and price point.
Actually I traded in my Sigma 150-600mm SPORT lens I was using on my Canon cameras for this SONY birding lens. Like the other lenses the bird photos you’re looking at were all taken with the SONY 200-600mm lens. You think for bird photography this would be a go to lens but for me it’s not.
I still use it for bird photography just not as often as the SONY 100-400mm lens
Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 Lens
So why am I showing the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 prime Lens for bird photography. Well there are 3 main reasons I have the SONY 85 mm lens with me when I go out to shoot pictures of birds. The pictures you’re looking at cover these main reasons. First the wide aperture is perfect in very low light situations. Second the bokeh or blurred out background is buttery smooth. And last not always am I shooting photos of birds while birding. As a photographer I see everything as a picture and the 85mm gives me a good focal length to capture other things around me while out capturing bird photos.
Sony FE 400mm f/2.8 GM OSS Lens
Now we’re stepping up to the serious bird photography lenses from SONY. The Sony FE 400mm f/2.8 GM OSS Lens is simply a beautiful lens and one we’d all like in our camera bag. The photos you’re looking at were all captured with this lens while I was out testing it. I was comparing SONY bird photography lenses specifically the 100-400 against the 400mm prime. Outside of the enormous cost difference the SONY 400mm prime lens was less a bird lens than a sporting lens.
Yes it works but it’s much more limited than the SONY 100-400 mm lens for capturing bird photos.
Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS Lens
The grand daddy of lenses offered by SONY for bird photography is the Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS Lens an awesome lens at an even more awesome price. Perfect for capturing photos of birds the SONY 600 mm is a lens any of us would want in our camera bag. But it’s just not practical for many of us. So like the SONY 400mm prime lens test. I tested the SONY 600mm prime against the SONY 200-600mm for capturing birds. Yea the winner was obviously the SONY 600mm won for capturing stunning bird photos. But it was just too expensive for me to justify buying.
I hope you learned a little more about what SONY lenses are ideal for capturing pictures of birds.
Please leave a comment below if you have any questions on these lens or have different go to lenses from SONY for capturing birds in the wild.
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Also, if you want to know more about how I took a specific photo check out my Instagram channel for full specs on the SONY camera and lens I used to capture each bird photo.
Remember it’s your photography ……. go and shoot it!