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Hello Birding forum,

As you guys can see from the title this is not so much about birds but more about the camera to get the perfect shot. Ever since I can remember my grandfather has been out bird watching every weekend with a couple of friends from around the local area. Now he is planning to go on holiday in a couple of months to do some exotic bird watching which should be awesome for him.

Anyway, I'm hoping that some of you know a little about cameras. At the moment my grandfather has a Nikon D550 I believe. He has mentioned that some of the photos from a distance are really blurred so I want to work on making that better for him as a birthday gift. But, I am clueless when it comes to cameras I pretty much can just use a disposable one haha. So, What lens would fit this camera that would take awesome photos from quite a distance? Sorry, about the poor use of technical terms. If I could get a lens that would improve his picture quality for when he goes away he would be over the moon.

Really looking forward to speaking with you all!

I think the important question is; What lens is your grandfather using now?

Blurred photos may ( are likely not) not be the result of the camera being used.
I don't know how sneaky you are, but if you can get info from your grandfather like

Do you shoot with a tripod or hand held?
At what shutter speeds do you usually shoot?
Was what aperture do you shoot? ( F-stop)
Are the blurred photos usually of birds in flight?

The answers to there questions will really guide your decision about lens
I have a feeling he has a D5500 which is a Nikon.
the affordable lens for that camera is a 70-200mm or 70-300mm zoom if you stay with a Nikon lens. It does OK but it generally will not do well with birds. (I had one)

but if you switch to a Sigma lens you can look at the 150-600mm lens that will do better and a bit more affordable. but, you really need to spend money to get good bird pictures so it really depends on what kind of budget you have.

one way to find out what really works is to look at pictures on Flickr where there is info about which lens is being used to get "good" pictures. Then you have the "great" pictures and they almost always us Big Glass.
Every time I looked, the good pictures were using a lens like the 80-400 zoom which goes for about $3000 and then you jump to Big Glass with price tags of closer to $15,000 and up.
a example of a good picture with a 80-400
and one of a GREAT picture with big glass

if you have a much lower budget have a look at getting him a great set of binoculars if he does not already have a good pair. It will be much cheaper.
I will do a little digging and find out what lens he is using at the minute and then to see if it needs upgrading or if his camera just doesn't cut the cake.

P.S Flickr is a brilliant idea!!

Back shortly guys
I have a similar camera body and have a Sigma 150-500 that I find good for birding. One thing about it compared to the 600 is the weight. I find I can hand hold the 500 where the 600 is quite a bit heavier and definitely needs a tripod..

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