Gear envy is an ever-present topic in the photography community, and not least so when it comes to wildlife photography. With the best super-telephoto lenses amounting to $5,000 and upwards, it's not hard to imagine why.
All is not lost, however, because with a bit of creativity and effort you can indeed capture some quality wildlife action with shorter telephoto lenses. In this video, nature photographer Spencer Cox explains how he gets around the limitations of his gear. Even though his longest lens is a 70-200mm f/4, he argues that his wildlife shots — where the animals are often shown within the context of their environments — can be just as valid and impactful as shots where the animal fills the frame — and I agree wholeheartedly.
To take it even further, I would say that anyone who is serious about the art and philosophy of wildlife photography, including those with super-telephoto lenses, should at least try to include wider shots in their portfolios. While wildlife photographers aren't duty-bound to practice anything but ethical and respectful photography, we are — in my opinion, at least — in essence, ambassadors for nature, so our work should communicate to those who might be more disconnected from nature, the importance and beauty of the habitats where our subjects live.
With all that said though, I still want to get my hands on Sigma's 200-500mm f/2.8, which is, ironically, closer to a cannon than anything Canon has ever produced.