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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 13 Aug 2012 (Monday) 15:08
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Telephoto help

 
Lichter21c
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Aug 13, 2012 17:04 |  #16

Bill Ragosta wrote in post #14853838 (external link)
Thanks a lot. I'm really just getting my feet wet with more serious photography and I really feel like I'm just now starting to get the hang of the Sigma after owning it for a month or two. Like I said, I took lots of photos of eagles in Alaska, here's another one.

QUOTED IMAGE

How do you feel the speed of the AF is? Also some people claim that some images are sharp where others are not. Do you have the same feeling?

I don't mean to bombard you but I just really like to make informed decisions.

P.S. I would LOVE to go to Alaska and take photos. We are planning a family cruise there in two years, I just don't think I will have a real opportunity to take decent photos.




  
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Bill ­ Ragosta
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Aug 13, 2012 17:23 as a reply to  @ Lichter21c's post |  #17

You might be surprised at the photo opportunities, even on a cruise. We were shorebound and had two days worth of guided fishing and sightseeing but I'd think even in a boat that you'd get some opportunities, particularly for landscapes, glaciers and stuff like that.

As to your question, I think the AF works fine and I was able to pick up most of the eagles and other birds in flight without too much issue. I did lose one fantastic opportunity when my 9 auto-focus points decided to focus on something other than the eagle that I was trying to photograph. After that I went to a single auto-focus point but none of that was the issue of the lens but rather the camera I think. I've attached that photo to this post too, it would have been awesome if it weren't slightly OOF.

As to the consistency and IQ quality of the lens, there's no doubt that I get a lot more "throw away" shots with this lens versus my other lens but this is the only lens I presently own that's over 300mm and I think that most of it was/is my lack of familiarity with the lens. I also find that it's typically not that sharp when shot wide open but can be very sharp at f8 or so. With a lot of the eagle photos and particularly some of the BIF photos, there was plenty of light and it wasn't that difficult to stop down without going to slow shutter speeds or really high ISO.

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Lichter21c
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Aug 13, 2012 17:29 as a reply to  @ Bill Ragosta's post |  #18

That would have been a fantastic shot! I think you have persuaded me into getting one. have you had to do?




  
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snowblower
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Aug 13, 2012 18:11 |  #19

Lichter21c wrote in post #14853432 (external link)
I really like the 100-400 but I feel it is limited for the birds I photograph around here. I can't imagine how much farther eagles will be

I'm not actually sure how far I will be. I have never been where I'm going ( the national eagle center in Minnesota) Im trying to set my self up for the worse case scenario. Also I understand I would need to spend some serious cash to get the best IQ possible.

In all seriousness I will not be getting paid for these. It will be for fun. Im not a professional and I'm looking for a "best possible budget" lens.

I think you are the only one that can answer your question on what to do and I do understand where your coming from. Sometimes you might have to make do with what you have or expect to spend a good chunk of change to to get what you want. I had a 7D with the 100-400 when I went to Antartica last year and this combination ended up too short for me. I thought I had the reach but it turned out I was wrong. When I look back now if I rented an 800mm lens I would have had the reach but the cost to rent this caliber of lens for a "non-professional" like me wasn't worth it. Some pic's will always come a cost and only you can decide if it's worth that cost. I don't think a 500mm or a TC on a faster/shorter lens isn't going to work for you if you think your current combo isn't going to work. You just not closing the distance gap enough.

Sometimes I wish I kept my 7D like for this shot below but oh well. The 5D III takes better pictures but losing the crop distance was painful. this was taken with your 100-400, 5D III in Alaska and yes, on a cruise!!! The opportunities exist all over the place there....

IMAGE NOT FOUND
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Canon 1D-X Mk II | Canon 1D-X | Canon 5DIII |Canon 8-15 F4L Fisheye | Canon 16-35 F2.8L | Canon 24-70 F2.8L II | Canon 35 F1.4L II | Canon 50 F1.2L | Canon 85 F1.2L II | Canon 70-200 F2.8L II IS | Canon 400 f2.8L | Canon 200-400 f4 IS Extender 1.4xL | Canon 800 F5.6L | Speed Light 600 EX II x6

  
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Lichter21c
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Aug 13, 2012 18:18 |  #20

snowblower wrote in post #14854148 (external link)
I think you are the only one that can answer your question on what to do and I do understand where your coming from. Sometimes you might have to make do with what you have or expect to spend a good chunk of change to to get what you want. I had a 7D with the 100-400 when I went to Antartica last year and this combination ended up too short for me. I thought I had the reach but it turned out I was wrong. When I look back now if I rented an 800mm lens I would have had the reach but the cost to rent this caliber of lens for a "non-professional" like me wasn't worth it. Some pic's will always come a cost and only you can decide if it's worth that cost. I don't think a 500mm or a TC on a faster/shorter lens isn't going to work for you if you think your current combo isn't going to work. You just not closing the distance gap enough.

Sometimes I wish I kept my 7D like for this shot below but oh well. The 5D III takes better pictures but losing the crop distance was painful. this was taken with your 100-400, 5D III in Alaska and yes, on a cruise!!! The opportunities exist all over the place there....

IMAGE NOT FOUND
HTTP response: 400 | MIME changed to 'text/html'

You make very good points. It really is a difficult decision. I also have to think after this trip what I can use this lens for. I don't want to buy a lens only for birds I do once a year. That is just a huge waste of money.




  
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snowblower
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Aug 13, 2012 18:31 |  #21

Not to send you spinning but you have a 100-400 already and you want to purchase a $400 TC or a 500mm+ lens? I think you need to have a drink, think this one out and regroup tomorrow. Looking at your gear list which overall is quite good I don't know why your not focused on a new body like a 5D III. Blowoff the lens purchase, make the 100-400 work the best you can, save your money (not purchase a new long lens) and your already 1/3rd of the way to a 5D III. That body will make a difference with your photo's much more than one lens on on vacation trip. That is my 2-cents worth. Whatever you do, good luck!!!


Canon 1D-X Mk II | Canon 1D-X | Canon 5DIII |Canon 8-15 F4L Fisheye | Canon 16-35 F2.8L | Canon 24-70 F2.8L II | Canon 35 F1.4L II | Canon 50 F1.2L | Canon 85 F1.2L II | Canon 70-200 F2.8L II IS | Canon 400 f2.8L | Canon 200-400 f4 IS Extender 1.4xL | Canon 800 F5.6L | Speed Light 600 EX II x6

  
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Lichter21c
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Aug 13, 2012 18:37 |  #22

snowblower wrote in post #14854238 (external link)
Not to send you spinning but you have a 100-400 already and you want to purchase a $400 TC or a 500mm+ lens? I think you need to have a drink, think this one out and regroup tomorrow. Looking at your gear list which overall is quite good I don't know why your not focused on a new body like a 5D III. Blowoff the lens purchase, make the 100-400 work the best you can, save your money (not purchase a new long lens) and your already 1/3rd of the way to a 5D III. That body will make a difference with your photo's much more than one lens on on vacation trip. That is my 2-cents worth. Whatever you do, good luck!!!

right now I am still learning the 7D, personally I really love it. the 5D mk III is truly an amazing camera. and someday I hope to have one. but right now I cant really afford a new body.

Plus for what I am trying to do I think I could really use the 1.6 crop.




  
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jimewall
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Aug 13, 2012 19:41 as a reply to  @ Lichter21c's post |  #23

If you didn't already have the 100-400L then I'd say go longer.

I would go with what you have. But here is some more information to chew on. In my opinion if you get a good copy of the Sigma (it is usually the older copies that people seem to have problems with) the IQ are pretty close - though I will give the edge to Canon.

The Sigma OS is much better 4 stops versus Canon's 2 stops (that does help when panning with BIF - use Sigma OS mode 2).

Obviously at the long end it is 500mm versus 400mm. The Canon uses the push-pull that some don't like, the Sigma's is the twist/turn.

The Sigma has less overlap with my 70-200mm lens compared to the canon.

The Sigma is slower (aperture-wise), but both need decent light.

To me the bigget pain of the Sigma - Size. Not weigh, (it's heavier than the Canon, but easily manageable) but length. The 2.5ish extra inches in length make finding a bag (I like top loading zoom bags) a pain.

I have to say I got the Sigma because of the less overlap with my 70-200, better OS, the extra 100mm, and it was cheaper. I live with the length problem. And I do love my Sigma.


But I didn't have either when I was looking and the Sigma was cheaper. You have the Canon, I could easily live with the Canon. Heck sometimes I wish I had the Canon for portability, I might carry it more than I do the Sigma.

I hope something in here helped!


Thanks for Reading & Good Luck - Jim
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DreDaze
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Aug 13, 2012 19:55 |  #24

i love my sigma 150-500OS...but for you i wouldn't bother with it...it's not going to help you get a shot that you couldn't do already with a bit of cropping...the only thing i would possibly do if i were in your shoes, is swap out the 100-400L, and 70-200f2.8 for a sigma 120-300f2.8 OS...and get some TC's


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Bill ­ Ragosta
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Aug 13, 2012 19:56 as a reply to  @ jimewall's post |  #25

Probably all good points. I'd like to hear from someone that owns both or who has shot with both regarding the overall image quality. Like Lichter21c, I'm really trying to decide for myself which one that I want and image quality and light gathering ability will be the big factors for me. As I mentioned previously, my Sigma doesn't really do well unless it's stopped down a bit but I've read that the Canon does fairly well wide open, thereby making it quite a bit less light thirsty in most cases, at least that would be my guess. I don't really have a problem with the IQ of the Sigma as I've taken quite a few really nice photos with it, but there are lots of times where it's just not an option in lower light.

Hopefully more folks will post opinions on this thread about the strengths and drawbacks of both and more importantly some head to head comparisions of IQ.


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tomj
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Aug 13, 2012 20:23 |  #26

When I got my 400/5.6 one of the first things I did was a test between it and my Sigma 150-500. I printed out a lens test chart from the internet, shot it with both lenses from the same distance, and made 8x10 prints of a very small part of the frame from each shot. The shots from the Canon had to be cropped tighter and blown up further for the prints from each lens to have the same image at the same size. The shots taken with the Canon lens were significantly sharper, even though cropped tighter and blown up more. In other words, at least with my versions of these lenses, I'm getting sharper images with the shorter lens cropping tighter.

And the focusing speed and accuracy of the Canon lens is far superior.

I think in your situation your best bet is to stick with the 100-400, and learn to use it within its reach limitations. I don't think you'll find anything better (and likely, not as good) in the budget you've talked about. The next real step up is probably a Canon 500mm or 600mm, serious money.

A lot of people are really happy with the Sigma 150-500, and it really opened the door to bird photography for me when I got mine, but I've since met quite a few people who have, like me, moved from it to the Canon 400/5.6 or the 100-400.

This is a shot from last fall at Conowingo dam:
http://www.flickr.com …s/sets/72157629​221454285/ (external link)


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Laramie
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Aug 13, 2012 21:06 |  #27

The 400 5.6 really is a fantastic lens, but when it comes to birding, I've always found unless you're in a controlled environment, you've done your homework or you're just stupidly lucky, you always want more reach.

This is a pretty decently cropped image taken with the Canon 400 5.6 and a 40D. Obviously you have a lot more megapixels to work with than the 40D.

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jimewall
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Aug 13, 2012 21:13 as a reply to  @ Laramie's post |  #28

I have no doubts that the 400L is the sharper and faster than the 100-400L or the 150-500mm.


Thanks for Reading & Good Luck - Jim
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Lichter21c
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Aug 13, 2012 21:23 |  #29

So the 400 5.6 are going for about 1000 dollars. I guess my question is do you think that going from the 100-400 to the 400 prime is a 1000 dollar upgrade?




  
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Snydremark
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Aug 13, 2012 21:34 |  #30

If the 100-400 isn't long enough, your only real options are the Bigma or one of the super telephoto primes and a TC (for the 300 or 400 f/2). If you have the space to go, I'd say rent a 500 f/4 and a 1.4TC.


- Eric S.: My Birds/Wildlife (external link) (7D MkII/5D IV, Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5, Canon 24-105L f/4 IS, Canon 70-200L f/2.8 IS MkII, Canon 100-400L f/4.5-5.6 IS I/II)
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