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Sigma 50-500 vs. Canon 100-400 IS L Lens

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Thread started 27 Nov 2003 (Thursday) 20:37   
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morenoar
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Can anyone help me with this one. There is only a $400 difference in price and 150mm difference in the camera. I got the Sigma 50-500 (still can return before the 10 days are up). Should I return and save for the canon or keep the Sigma lens. I will be takeing lots of Soccer Shots and thought the 50-500 lens would allow me to just stay in one spot. But I am not licking the crispness of the shots

Post #1, Nov 27, 2003 20:37:24


Would LOVE to see the light one day. Help me achieve my goal.

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BrettD
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Are you hand holding your shots? Tripod or monopod?
What shutter speeds are you getting?

If you are not tripod mounted, then the IS could easily help you out, it is the reason I went for the 100-400 over the cheaper sigma (and I have not regretted my decision one bit).

Brett D

Post #2, Nov 27, 2003 21:23:19




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morenoar
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Here is what I have done so far, just an attempt

http://home.earthlink.​net/~morenoar/external link

Post #3, Nov 27, 2003 22:54:37


Would LOVE to see the light one day. Help me achieve my goal.

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Jim_T
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It's tough to tell how good your lens is because you've downsampled the shots. Best bet is to crop a chunk out of your image and leave it as-is and unscaled.

I have the 100-400L.. It's a great lens. I find mine a bit soft and down on contrast at 400mm.. But from 100-300 it's a killer. The IS works and is a nice bonus.

I've never used the 50-500.. Common knowledge dictates that a 10X zoom is a big compromise and because of that images will have a lot of compromise in quality. Despite that, I've heard a lot of positive comments on the lens and I've seen a couple of good reviews. Unfortunately, I've seen few full size shots on a 10D to actually see for myself.

Here is a shot I took with my 100-400L. at 340mm. The image is full sized as it came from my 10D.. I just cropped it out of the 3072x2048 image to get rid of a lot of water rather than doing any resizing or downsampling.

http://www.pbase.com/i​mage/20073134/originalexternal link

Post #4, Nov 28, 2003 00:09:11




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J.A.F. ­ Doorhof
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Sorry, had to comment on the shot.
Great shot, Flying birds is something I'm still trying to master.

Greetings,
Frank

Post #5, Nov 28, 2003 02:35:11


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DamienB
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The 100-400 is as said above noticeably sharper up to 300mm but beyond that the difference is less, but still there.

The IS on the 100-400 is the killer plus point for my needs and makes it no contest, but the extra 50mm on the wide end is sorely missed.

My experience with both is that they both have problems. The 50-500 is heavier (but easier to hold with that big tripod mount), the barrel part nearest the lens mount can work loose (Sigma repair it for a small fee, or for nothing if you send your attractive wife to drop it off and wait for them to do it!), it vignets a little below f11 at full zoom (yes even on a 1.6x crop DSLR) and that big 86mm filter size is expensive to deal with.

The 100-400 malfunctions a fair bit, particularly when pointed straight up or near the sun - the picture will jump left/right in the viewfinder and then the lens will lock up and the camera refuses to fire. You have to turn off, detach lens, put it back on and try again. Not great when taking action shots of aircraft. I have heard of two people with these lenses having the bearings go in the zoom mechanism - symptom being difficulty zooming initially followed by great gouges in the paint of the barrel and no movement at all. The push-pull zoom is faster to use than the twist zoom of the Sigma but the stiffness ring is a pain to use as it adjusts focus too.

If you have the money I would definitely go for the 100-400 despite its faults, but I wish Canon would do a 50-500!

Post #6, Nov 28, 2003 03:14:14


Damien Burke -- Aviation photographyexternal link

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defordphoto
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I also have the 100-400L IS. Have never had the 'point-straight-up' lockup problem. Maybe your lens is defective. That being said I did have the focus mechanism go bad on mine. Took three trips for Canon to fix, but multiple trips for Canon service is commonplace. That's a whole 'nother thread.

That being said: I love this lens! See this gallery sample: http://racefamily.raci​nglines.com .../Portland/3_Day/ind​ex.htmexternal link

Most were shot at 400mm. This lens produces phenomenal sharpness, contrast and color! I was amazed from the first photo I have shot with it and still am today.

One thing I will suggest is to get the extra warranty with this lens, or at the least, purchase it with an American Express card which doubles your warranty to two years.

I have never used the 50-500, but several members here do have it and are pretty pleased.

Post #7, Nov 28, 2003 04:13:00


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Wayne02
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RFMSports wrote:
That being said: I love this lens! See this gallery sample: http://racefamily.raci​nglines.com .../Portland/3_Day/ind​ex.htmexternal link

Not to throw this thread off topic too much, but I simply must comment on Jim's gallery. Stunning, simply stunning. The clarity of the shots is just incredible.

I road race at PIR with the SCCA (amateur), as well as Seattle, Bremerton, and Mission BC. I just bought my wife a 300D for use during my races, and we are looking for an affordable zoom lens that would work for those tracks. I realize the quality lens cost $$$, but we are just starting out with this action type photography. Not to mention I am a racer first, and wannabe photographer second. A thousand dollars buys me another set of race tires for next year. :)

So, I would like to keep the price at no more then $1000 if possible. I am vacillating between the sigma 70-200 2.8 ex apo w/ 1.4 extender, or possibly the sigma 100-300 F4 EX maybe w/ extender also.

I would like to use this lens for my sons soccer games as well as the auto races. Trying to decide if a 2.8 lens is required here in the oftentimes dark pacific northwest. I would like to have more reach then the 200, but if 2.8 is required for a quality shot I guess I'll just have to give up the reach. This lens would be used for wildlife photography as well, but this would be a secondary consideration.

Also, while I have raced at PIR plenty, I've never walked around to scope out potential photography locations. Are the locations you pro's use restricted, or are the amateurs allowed to use them as well? I am not so much concerned with the pit shots as I have access to all those areas. But I was wondering where are some good track-side locations, like maybe down by the chicane? I also realize the rules and such may very well be different for the professional races you shoot, and the amateur stuff we are doing.

Any guidance you could provide would be much appreciated. If this is too much OT for this thread you could respond via email if you like.

Thanks
Wayne
wrace@softhome.net

Post #8, Nov 28, 2003 14:45:43




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defordphoto
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Wayne: Thanks for the kind gallery comments! I had a blast shooting that race. Anyway, since your budget is imited I'd got for the fastest, longest lens you can and then add a 1.4TC for a little extra reach. Obviously that's going to throw you into the Sigma brand, but they'r decent lenses and a little post processing and you're good to go.

When I'm at PIR I only go accredited with credentials. Everywhere I shoot is restricted. I haven't shot SCCA events so I'm not sure how restrictive they get as opposed to CART or ALMS. I've wanted to go out and scope out the SCCA events but have just not had the time. The best places to shoot are the pits -- of course -- the island if you can get to it. Then you have the chicane, which as awesome and you can get by with 200mm there, and then you're out onto the curves on the west side of the track.

There is access on both the outside and the inside, depending on how restrictive the corner workers are. And then you have a couple of places at the top end of the course before they hit the front straight.

Put on your walking shoes as there's lots of that to had when you shoot PIR. I shot mainly in the chicane last year and was very happy with the results.

I will be at the CART event -- if that happens this year -- and then also the ALMS event in July. I love shooting PIR as it's a 15-minute drive from Vancouver!

Thanks again...

Post #9, Nov 28, 2003 16:09:04


defordphoto | Celebrating the art of photography®
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Belmondo
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RFMSports wrote: I love shooting PIR as it's a 15-minute drive from Vancouver!

There you go.....rubbing it in again.

Thos.

Post #10, Nov 28, 2003 16:12:37


I'm not short. I'm concentrated awesome!

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defordphoto
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belmondo wrote:
RFMSports wrote: I love shooting PIR as it's a 15-minute drive from Vancouver!

There you go.....rubbing it in again.

Thos.

I'd much rather shoot at Laguna Seca, my former home track and I lived 3.5 hours from there. And I just found an MX park up in Woodland (the town there the boats race) that runs motorcycle races all winter long so I might take a run up there sometime soon and shoot the bikes.

Post #11, Nov 28, 2003 16:28:22


defordphoto | Celebrating the art of photography®
SD500, 10D, 20D, 30D, 5D, 1DMKII, 1DMKIII
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An austere and pleasant poetry of the real. Ansel Adams

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Wayne02
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Thanks Jim,
I think the chicane would be a good place to have my wife try to get some shots. The first lap of one of our scca club races is always interesting. I breath a sigh of relief once I get through unscathed after the start. What little metal to metal contact I've had at PIR has happened at the chicane. On the other hand it is also a very good place to set up people for a pass. Seems many of us club racers think our 3000lb. sedans have F1 brakes.:)

It also just dawned on me that all of our races next year are slated to be paddocked in the "pro pits" (on the inside). Up until this point we have been paddock on the outside of track in the parking lot, and the cars entered the track in front of the tower. This is probably a good thing as the "walk" to the inside shooting spots will be shorter without having to hoof it over the goodyear bridge.

With regards to lens. When people speak of a "fast" lens, what are the attributes to a fast lens? My very limited understanding is that the F stop is one attribute. With all things being equal a 2.8 would be a "faster" lens then a F4 or 5.6?

The focus motor itself would be another attribute. Maybe some focus motors are "faster" then others. Maybe another attribute would be if the lens had focusing at the back of lens vs the front? IS type lenses would be slower because there is "more" glass to move?

Don't know if any of that made sense. Just trying to understand what makes a fast focusing lens.

Thanks
Wayne

Post #12, Nov 28, 2003 19:03:48




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FramerPDX
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Joined Jun 2003
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I also Road Race at PIR but we do it on Motorcyles...

I bought a Canon D10 for the same reason...


I got the 100-400 though and have loved it ever since...

I am to a racer then a photographer but I am starting to get the hang of it...

check out my pbase site for some of the PIR shots...

http://www.pbase.com/f​ramerpdxexternal link

PS

we still need to get together Jim I am game anytime this weekend...
tyl17@comcast.net

Post #13, Nov 28, 2003 20:40:40




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morenoar
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Well, after taking over 70 pictures on the soccer fields, and comparing some of the pictures here on a 100-400 lens, time to take my Sigma back. Taking my pictures in Automatic or manual mode. Changing the Focus metering, doing Autofocus or manual focus. There is a HUGE difference in pictures. I used a Monopod to help me balance the 300D with the Sigma 50-500mm, and I don't like the pictures. Not as crisp as the pictures with the Canon lens. Love the 500mm capability, but I don't want to give up Sharpness for Depth. I would rather move around the field and get SHARP Pictures. This way, I can at least sell the pictures to the parents for a few dollars. Thanks for all of your inputs.

Post #14, Nov 28, 2003 22:46:55


Would LOVE to see the light one day. Help me achieve my goal.

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defordphoto
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Morenoar: I'd show some of my soccer shots, but have made an agreement with the parents not to publish them on the Net due to privacy concerns (weirdos, freaks, soccer fetish-ists), but I have been just as pleased with the results, once I learned how to shoot them. Quite a learning experience from shooting cars and boats! :)

Wayne: You'll like it so much more better being paddocked across the way in the 'real' pits. Those tower pits are, well, the pits.

2.8 is 'faster' than 4 or 5.6, but when you're shooting outside 4/5.6 is plenty fast enough, even when it's cloudy.

And, there is no more glass in a IS lens than there is in a non-IS. The difference is the gyros. Best way to see this would be to download the schematics for an IS lens and then a non-is and compare. (http://www.micro-tools.com/pdf/Canon/external link) So focusing speed would not be an issue and would be virtually the same between the two lenses. But, with a different quality/build of a particular lens, the focusing speeds can differ quite a lot. USM-type lenses are the fastest and just like most things, the more expensive the lens is, the faster it will focus -- for the most part.

For a complete explanation of what is meant by f-stop and other aperture related information, see this page: http://www.uscoles.com​/fstop.htmexternal link

FramerPDX: You have mail. And call me this time! :)

Post #15, Nov 29, 2003 00:10:22


defordphoto | Celebrating the art of photography®
SD500, 10D, 20D, 30D, 5D, 1DMKII, 1DMKIII
www.ussbaracing.comexternal link | www.rfmsports.comexternal link | www.nwfjcc.comexternal link
An austere and pleasant poetry of the real. Ansel Adams

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Sigma 50-500 vs. Canon 100-400 IS L Lens
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