Bird photography is a challenging genre that often requires extremes of gear, particularly when it pertains to lenses, where you typically require very long focal lengths and large apertures in order to reach the birds and keep your shutter speed fast enough to freeze them. So, is the flexibility of a zoom lens much better, or should you choose the larger aperture of a prime? This fantastic video includes a knowledgeable bird professional photographer going over the pros and cons of each.
Concerning you from Jan Wegener, this outstanding video essay talks about the benefits and drawbacks of zoom and prime lenses for bird work (though the insights definitely use to other categories like animal and sports work). Obviously, the benefit of a zoom lens remains in its adaptability and your ability to reframe without moving, however you will often need to push to the extremes of ISO to keep your shutter speed fast enough. Additionally, with those narrower apertures (frequently about two stops), autofocus efficiency may be significantly slower. Nevertheless, with modern-day bodies, those concerns are somewhat alleviated. However, there is something to be stated for the aperture advantage of something like a 400mm f/2.8 or 600mm f/4. Check out the video above for the complete rundown from Wegener.