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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 04 Jun 2012 (Monday) 10:56
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Best option for extra reach?

 
South ­ of ­ Nowhere
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Jun 04, 2012 10:56 |  #1

I've discovered 2 bald eagles nesting in a park not very far from my house, and while the 55-250mm did admirably grabbing a few good shots of the male, I almost immediately began wanting even more reach, to really get up close and isolate him without having to do much cropping. The other issue I had was focusing: I lost a couple of shots because autofocus focused on part of the branch just in front of him. I tried switching to manual focus, but when I got home and opened the full-size image, I saw that my focus was still a bit soft. I just couldn't get enough detail of him in the viewfinder to really hone in my focus.

That said: my contemplations are now what my next lens (or lenses) will be. However, I've reached a bit of an impasse, mostly in terms of cost to quality.

I've seen some brilliant photos taken with the 100-400mm L series lens, which seems like it will have that extra reach I'm hoping to get. Downsides I can see are that there's not a lot of versatility; 100mm isn't very wide on a 1.6 crop. There's also the higher f4-5.6, which means as soon as my light begins to go, so does my ability to shoot.

Now for roughly the same-ish price, I could go with the Sigma 70-200mm 2.8 OS and a 2x TC to make up that extra reach. I know I'm losing stops when using a TC, but when light started to go, I could take out the TC and keep shooting -I'd just have to do some cropping etc.

My only hangups with that are that I've heard enough tales of woe with the Sigma being soft and needing to be sent in to be focused, etc. I know the Canon 70-200 2.8L IS mk II is a much better lens, but it's unfortunately far beyond my budget for some time to come.

Any thoughts/comments as to what the better setup might be? Is there something else I haven't yet considered?

Thanks!


Canon 7D | Canon Rebel XTI | Σ 17-50 OS | 50mm f/1.8 II (Nifty Fifty) | 85mm f/1.8 | EF-S 55-250mm IS | EF-S 10-18mm | 580EX ii | Photoflex 30" 5-in-1 reflector |
"Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana." - Groucho Marx

  
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Madweasel
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Jun 04, 2012 11:02 |  #2

If budget is tight, you should consider the Sigma 150-500 OS - it's almost as sharp as the 100-400, has better IS, is cheaper and has slightly more reach. You could also consider the Canon 400/5.6L, which is light and very sharp, cheaper than the 100-400, but has no IS and is fixed focal length, so less versatile.

Adding a 2x converter to any shorter zoom will not be as sharp as any of these suggestions.


Mark.

  
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Skul
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Jun 04, 2012 11:48 |  #3

I'll just mention that a friend of mine borrows my 100-400 from time to time. He puts it on his Xsi.
His results are amazing.
Getting him to give it back, is always a pain.




  
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Nature ­ Nut
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Jun 04, 2012 11:56 |  #4

Just for reference, and adult bald eagle will fill the frame at 10' distance on 100mm of the 100-400. So in normal usage you still have some wiggle room. While you may not be doing portraits with the 100-400 its a great lens. the sigma 50-500 is also one to consider is you like a bit wider end. I used the 150-500 for a short bit but found it way too big and heavy for a walkaround lens (though the IQ was comparable to 100-400)

Alternatively you can pick up the opteka 650-1300 for cheap and have fun with that.


Adam - Upstate NY:

  
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watt100
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Jun 04, 2012 12:46 |  #5

Skul wrote in post #14529558 (external link)
I'll just mention that a friend of mine borrows my 100-400 from time to time. He puts it on his Xsi.
His results are amazing.

there's a reason for that behavior!
For some reason the 100-400 seems super sharp on the XSi (450D), maybe it's just my imagination

e.g.
a pic this past weekend
XSi (450D)
Canon 100-400
f5.6


IMAGE: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7229/7321330804_b282f12fa8_b.jpg



  
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South ­ of ­ Nowhere
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Jun 04, 2012 15:02 as a reply to  @ watt100's post |  #6

For kicks, I looked at the Opteka lens. For the price it's... marginal. It has good reach, but the image quality just isn't there. One of those "getting what you pay for" situations. :)

How much image quality is lost with a TC on the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 OS lens? I guess I'm still looking at the versatility of being able to take off the TC and have a useable f/2.8 lens for lower light situations. I'm shooting a friend's wedding this coming summer, and the ceremony will be indoors. I want to be able to have some distance while I'm shooting, but the higher f/stop of the 100-400 suggests that my IQ may suffer indoors using the lens.

I suppose the trickiest part of all this is figuring "which one" lens to get next, due to the high cost of quality glass. Initially I had thought I might go with the 28-105mm f/4 and the 100-400mm for an overall coverage range, though the higher stops mean I might be losing IQ in lower light situations. I know there's no "magic bullet" lens that will provide everything perfectly, I'm just trying to figure what option would provide what I'm hoping to find without compromising too much in the way of IQ... trying to figure out which single lens to get is enough to make my head spin! ;)


Canon 7D | Canon Rebel XTI | Σ 17-50 OS | 50mm f/1.8 II (Nifty Fifty) | 85mm f/1.8 | EF-S 55-250mm IS | EF-S 10-18mm | 580EX ii | Photoflex 30" 5-in-1 reflector |
"Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana." - Groucho Marx

  
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LJ3Jim
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Jun 04, 2012 16:00 as a reply to  @ South of Nowhere's post |  #7

I love my 100-400 on my 60D crop-sensor camera. I also have the EFS 17-55 for the wider shots. Here are a couple of pics. Both are at 400mm, and both are about a 2000 pixel crop of the full picture. The sitting eagle was about 100 feet away. The flying eagle was 200 feet away. The flying eagle shows just a touch of a white outline around the eagle (especially easy to see at the wing tips). I don't know if any lens can get rid of that.

IMAGE: http://www.lj3.com/misc/eagle1.jpg

IMAGE: http://www.lj3.com/misc/eagle2.jpg

Image editing ok; C&C always welcome.

  
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DreDaze
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Jun 04, 2012 16:23 |  #8

if you want more reach...there's no sense in buying a shorter lens and planning on using a TC on it...get the right tool for the job...100-400L, sigma 50-500OS, or if money is tight, sigma 150-500OS, or 120-400OS...


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wayne.robbins
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Jun 04, 2012 16:30 |  #9

The Sigma 70-200 plays quite well with TC's- at least the Sigma TC's. With the TC's- generally- stopping down about a stop helps with sharpness- so stopping with a 2x TC- to say - f/8 or so helps. YMMV.

But I gotta agree with DreDaze- getting a native lens is better all around. Better IQ. Better AF..


EOS 5D III, EOS 7D,EOS Rebel T4i, Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS II, Canon 24-105L, Canon 18-135 IS STM, 1.4x TC III, 2.0x TC III, Σ 50mm f/1.4, Σ 17-50 OS, Σ 70-200 OS, Σ 50-500 OS, Σ 1.4x TC, Σ 2.0x TC, 580EXII(3), Canon SX-40, Canon S100
Fond memories: Rebel T1i, Canon 18-55 IS, Canon 55-250 IS, 18-135 IS (Given to a good home)...

  
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Tom_D
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Jun 04, 2012 18:47 |  #10

I got the Sigma 50-500 (Bigma) (before OS version) several years ago for a cruise to Alaska and have been very happy with it. I use it now for closeups of our grandson playing tball and get some great shots. You might be able to get one used for a good price.


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uOpt
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Jun 04, 2012 20:30 |  #11

I would get the Canon 400mm f/5.6 Prime for this and maybe a 1.4x TC II (it will mostly rob contrast but still be pretty sharp).

Focusing will be so-so-ish on the combo but if you are going after a nest then you can probably use a tripod and manual focus, no?

Think about this way. The more your aperture goes to hell the more depth of field and mis-focus doesn't matter as much. Right? :)

Another possibility is some form of long M42 lens. Again assuming you can manually focus the nest.


My imagine composition sucks. I need a heavier lens.

  
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Tom_D
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Jun 04, 2012 20:42 |  #12

Why not go with the Sigma 200-500 f/2.8? (external link)


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one2nite
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Jun 04, 2012 20:43 |  #13

^NO


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Canon 17-40L / Sigma 50mm 1.4 / Canon 85mm 1.8 / Canon 18-135mm / Sigma 50-150 2.8 / Canon 580 EX / Gopro / EOS M

  
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watt100
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Jun 05, 2012 07:47 |  #14

South of Nowhere wrote in post #14530474 (external link)
For kicks, I looked at the Opteka lens. For the price it's... marginal. It has good reach, but the image quality just isn't there. One of those "getting what you pay for" situations. :)

How much image quality is lost with a TC on the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 OS lens? I guess I'm still looking at the versatility of being able to take off the TC and have a useable f/2.8 lens for lower light situations. I'm shooting a friend's wedding this coming summer, and the ceremony will be indoors. I want to be able to have some distance while I'm shooting, but the higher f/stop of the 100-400 suggests that my IQ may suffer indoors using the lens.

I suppose the trickiest part of all this is figuring "which one" lens to get next, due to the high cost of quality glass. Initially I had thought I might go with the 28-105mm f/4 and the 100-400mm for an overall coverage range, though the higher stops mean I might be losing IQ in lower light situations. I know there's no "magic bullet" lens that will provide everything perfectly, I'm just trying to figure what option would provide what I'm hoping to find without compromising too much in the way of IQ... trying to figure out which single lens to get is enough to make my head spin! ;)

if you want a lens for low light, indoor weddings then the 100-400 is not that lens. Eventually you'll find out there is no "single lens" solution that fits all your needs. everything is a compromise.




  
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Scott ­ M
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Jun 05, 2012 08:35 |  #15

South of Nowhere wrote in post #14530474 (external link)
For kicks, I looked at the Opteka lens. For the price it's... marginal. It has good reach, but the image quality just isn't there. One of those "getting what you pay for" situations. :)

How much image quality is lost with a TC on the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 OS lens? I guess I'm still looking at the versatility of being able to take off the TC and have a useable f/2.8 lens for lower light situations. I'm shooting a friend's wedding this coming summer, and the ceremony will be indoors. I want to be able to have some distance while I'm shooting, but the higher f/stop of the 100-400 suggests that my IQ may suffer indoors using the lens.

I suppose the trickiest part of all this is figuring "which one" lens to get next, due to the high cost of quality glass. Initially I had thought I might go with the 28-105mm f/4 and the 100-400mm for an overall coverage range, though the higher stops mean I might be losing IQ in lower light situations. I know there's no "magic bullet" lens that will provide everything perfectly, I'm just trying to figure what option would provide what I'm hoping to find without compromising too much in the way of IQ... trying to figure out which single lens to get is enough to make my head spin! ;)

If the main purpose use of the lens is going to be wildlife and birding, I wouldn't go the 70-200 f/2.8 + TC route. However, the 100-400L is not really an indoor lens. If you are looking for a one time use telephoto for the wedding, I would rent a 70-200 f/2.8 for that event and buy the 100-400L for your long term intended use.


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Best option for extra reach?
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