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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses
Thread started 27 Jun 2017 (Tuesday) 18:46
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Lens for Safari holiday?

 
stiscooby
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Jun 27, 2017 18:46 |  #1

Me and the other half are planning a holiday to South Africa later in the year during which we will be doing a few Safaris/game drives.

I have a 70d with the kit lens 18-135mm IS STM as well as an older 70-300mm IS (not the L version) lens.

Can anyone recommend a good zoom lens for my holiday, I'm guessing it's going to be a 400mm or more?

Budget wise, I'm not too sure if I will rent one (going for nearly 2 weeks so might cost a bit) or, actually buy a lens then look to sell it when I get back, if I don't then want to keep it that is :-)

Other stuff I do is normally motor racing so if it's one I end up keeping I could also use it for that and sell my old 70-300mm.

I have previously hired a 100-400mm L II for some motor racing but not sure I would want to spend that much buying one? I did also, for some reason, find it a bit tricky to get pics in focus a fair bit of the time but this might well have been me, or possibly the camera/lens needing micro adjustment which I never did before I used it.

So, what would your recommendations be please?

Thanks ;-)a




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Capn ­ Jack
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Jun 27, 2017 19:25 |  #2

I assume such a trip doesn't happen too often, so I'd consider renting. Get the lens a week or 2 early and practice with it, and do MFA if desired. I use a 50-500 Bigmos, bought after renting since I saw I would use it a lot. The new 150-600 seems good, also the Tamron equivalent. LensRental.com lets you buy the lens you rented if you like it, but I don't know if it is a good price (look for their keeper program).


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CheshireCat
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Post has been edited 4 months ago by CheshireCat.
Jun 27, 2017 22:21 |  #3

stiscooby wrote in post #18388466 (external link)
I have previously hired a 100-400mm L II for some motor racing but not sure I would want to spend that much buying one?

Buy a used 400/5.6 prime. Don't worry about the missing IS, and enjoy the relatively compact size, light weight, and embedded telescopic hood. You will be able to resell it for the same price you paid (but most likely you'll want to keep it).

Bring also your other lenses for when you'll need < 400mm. Swapping lenses is super-quick when someone helps you, and that's the main reason to bring also your other half ! ;)


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BigAl007
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Jun 28, 2017 07:53 |  #4

I would say either the Sigma 150-600C or the new Sigma 100-400 would make very good choices. If you can manage the size then I would be more inclined to go with the 150-600, since you are really unlikely to find yourself with too much focal length. You have the 18-135, which is supposed to be very good should you need wider than 150mm. If the physical size of the 150-600 is going to be a real problem then the new 100-400 from Sigma seems to offer the best current combination of reach with compact size. Some reviews in side by side comparisons with the 100-400 L II show the Sigma to be as good or even better optically in some conditions. At the moment the two sigma Lenses are available at just about the same price, £799 for the 100-400 and £789 for the 150-600 at WEX. I usually rent from Lenses for Hire, and they don't yet have the new 100-400 showing on their website, or didn't a couple of weeks ago when I checked for it.

I would think that either of the Sigmas will also be very good for motor racing, especially at the larger circuits, with their very large run off areas. The only negative I can think of is that the 100-400 doesn't have a tripod foot, but if using the camera/lens in a vehicle I don't think that is going to be too much of a problem. Sigma seem to have deliberately tried to optimise it for hand held use anyway.

If I were to go on such a trip, and couldn't take my 150-600C then I would definitely be looking at the new Sigma over anything else.

Alan


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ed ­ rader
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Jun 28, 2017 11:24 |  #5

100-400L II + monopod and I would also recommend FF camera for extreme lighting conditions.


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ed ­ rader
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silicon valley
Jun 28, 2017 11:32 as a reply to CheshireCat's post |  #6

you'll miss so many shot with a 400mm prime unless you are juggling two cameras which will be a real hassle if you are sharing a jeep. and you realty do need IS


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Bassat
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Jun 28, 2017 15:28 |  #7

Buy a 100-400L. Either flavor, both are excellent for the cost. Rent a 600 f/4. Have a nice time, and post some results when you get back.


Tom

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TreeburnerCT
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Post has been edited 4 months ago by TreeburnerCT.
Jun 29, 2017 07:09 |  #8

I've been really happy with my Sigma 150-600mm C, and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone looking for a long FL lens. With IS at 600mm I can drop shutter speeds to around 250 without getting any camera shake, which is impressive for 960mm equivalent FL on a crop sensor. At these lengths you'll likely be stopping down for DOF anyway, so you might as well have the longest lens you can.

-Joe


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stiscooby
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Jun 29, 2017 07:49 |  #9

Thanks for the info everyone.

With regards to a prime, I don't think one would be for me as I prefer the flexibility of a zoom.

The Sigma's look interesting!.......... certainly the price of them is a big attraction and I'm not so sure I could justify the cost of a Canon 100-400mm L II for my relatively low use as what I would class myself as an occasional user, should I end up keeping whatever I test/rent etc.

How do the Sigma's perform with regards to focusing speed? Should I buy one to keep, my other main use is the occasional day out at a motor sport event and on the very brief research I have done so far I have seen the odd comment with regards to focus speed (but I'm not sure I would really have an issue considering my existing lenses I have - I guess either would be an improvement?).

BigAl - I have used Lenses For Hire too when renting a 70-300mm L & the 100-400mm L II and would happily use them again. Just having a quick look, for 14 days hire the Canon 100-400mm L II is £197 and the 100-600mm Sigma is £144 (still don't have the 100-400 Sigma by the looks of it).

If I were to go for a sigma, then for what they cost new I think I would just buy one, then should I decide not to keep it after my holiday, I can always sell it and I guess I would probably lose less this way, rather than 'wasting' the money on hiring.

The only thing I might have to do it get my hands on both the Sigma's to compare the weight/size......... the 100-600mm Sigma looks a bit of a beast to lug about??

Anyone got any sample pics? :-)




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MalVeauX
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Jun 29, 2017 08:14 |  #10

Heya,

For cost and versatility, I'd also look at the Sigma or Tamron 150-600 lenses. Tons and tons of reach, sharp lenses, stabilization, and they're not overly heavy or anything. Excellent walk around wildlife lens. I would take a monopod perhaps for the long days, and for the lower light, etc.

I would also suggest you take an inexpensive 2nd camera to take, with that 18-135 STM on it for the closer stuff and for the views. A 40D or something maybe, inexpensive but effective, or get something newer, 7D's are cheap these days, etc.

Very best,


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TreeburnerCT
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Jun 29, 2017 14:08 |  #11

The Sigma 150-600 C focuses pretty quickly, although I'm sure not as quickly as a long prime. You can limit the focus range to speed up focusing, with three settings of 0-infinity, 0-10m, and 10m-infinity. That way you're not having to rack the whole range when the lens is trying to find focus, although I generally just leave it in 0-infinity since it focuses pretty fast anyway. The compatibility with the Sigma dock is great too, as you can control aspects of the OS depending on what you're shooting, and can also make microfocus adjustments even on non-MFA cameras.

Check out the thread at http://photography-on-the.net .../showthread.php?t=1​418785 to see what others have to say, but I couldn't be happier with mine.

-Joe


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CyberDyneSystems
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Post has been edited 4 months ago by CyberDyneSystems.
Jun 29, 2017 14:34 |  #12

Best choice will be the Canon 100-400mm II.

If you are having trouble with auto focus on the Canon, then you need to practice a lot before you go,. so I would say buy don't rent. The canon 100-400mm II AF is simply the best in the business.

There are some compelling budget options,. if $2K is too much.

The SIGMA 150-600 C can be had for under $1K, and it will offer you more FL for those distant shots, but it weighs more and is larger and is harder to get good AF results.

If smaller is better, the SIGMA 100-400mm that just came out is very lightweight, and very good. About $800.00 new.

With practice, all have excellent AF, the canon is just better, but I would not hesitate personally to use either SIGMA in Africa. In fact I will be bringing one of the ones I mention in July :)


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ed ­ rader
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Jun 29, 2017 15:47 |  #13

zooms that begin at 150mm will guarantee you miss many shots especially if you are using a crop sensor. a lot of the wildlife is closer than you think.


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5D4, 80d, 16-35L III, 24-70L II, 70-200L F4 IS, 100-400L II, sigma 15mm FE, 430exII, gitzo 3542, markins Q10, kirk, really right stuff

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ed ­ rader
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silicon valley
Jun 29, 2017 16:04 |  #14

IMAGE: http://erader.zenfolio.com/img/s/v-2/p657092732-5.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://erader.zenfolio​.com/img/s/v-2/p657092732-5.jpg] (external link) on zenfolio

anyone recognize the guy staring at me from the back of the jeep? this is a jeep in south Africa

http://instagram.com/e​draderphotography/ (external link)
5D4, 80d, 16-35L III, 24-70L II, 70-200L F4 IS, 100-400L II, sigma 15mm FE, 430exII, gitzo 3542, markins Q10, kirk, really right stuff

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stiscooby
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Post has been edited 4 months ago by stiscooby.
Jun 29, 2017 16:17 |  #15

Hhhmmm, well I think I can safely cross the Canon 100-400 L II off the list, I'm in the UK and that lens is around £1.8k for a new one and cannot justify that kind of money for a lens.

Therefore, I guess my options are either of the Sigma's, the 100-400mm or the 150-600mm. I might have to see if somewhere local has both in store so I can get a feel of their size/weight as that might also be a deciding factor.

I don't think I will want to lug around two camera's either/purchase a second one. On that note, would there be any benefit of changing my 70d to something else, any worthwhile upgrades to consider, or even move to a FF body?

I believe some of the game drives might also be early ish in the morning and possibly some in the early evening so I wonder if the potential lack of light might be a concern?




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Lens for Safari holiday?
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