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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 18 Jan 2013 (Friday) 22:54
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100-400L or Sigma 150-500 w/qualification

 
jtmiv
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Jan 18, 2013 22:54 |  #1

Dear Board,

I am pretty much a rank beginner when it comes to real photography. I've owned and used cameras for many years but they were mostly used to document travels and trips to the woods and streams.

I am a fisherman that always carries a camera, but one who rarely uses it. I'd like to get beyond that point and record some of the things I've seen heading to and from my fishing destinations.

To that end I've outfitted myself with a modest kit consisting of a well used but fully functional EOS20D, as well as a 15-85 IS USM, and a 70-300 IS USM, both purchased new. I also have Corel PSPro4 to help correct things.

I often take breaks while I travel to fish to watch and observe birds and animals I see along the way. With the 70-300 I find that I am often too far away to get the scene I'd like to get. To solve that problem I'd like to add a lens with longer reach.

With that goal in mind I am considering purchasing either a Canon 100-400L IS USM, or a Sigma 150-500 OS. Both lenses are on sale right now with a little over $ 300.00 separating them.

I have no goals or desires with my photography other than to hopefully record an occasional aesthetically pleasing picture to serve as a reminder of where I've been and what I've seen. Might I decide to pursue things further, I don't know? But I do know that I have pictures of nice bucks and bear or two that would look a whole lot nicer if I was shooting from 25 to 40% closer.

Personally, I am leaning towards the Sigma. The extra reach seems attractive to me but I'd like to hear from other folks.

Regards,

Tim Murphy :)


EOS Elan, EOS7NE, EOS 40D, EOS1DMK2, Canon 15-85 IS EF-S, Canon 28-80 USM, Canon 28-105f3.5/4.5 USM, Canon 70-210f3.5/4.5 USM, Canon 70-300f4.5/5.6 IS USM, Tamron 19-35f3.5/4.5, Tokina 80-400 ATX 11, Sigma 150-500 OS HSM, Promaster 7500DX, Benro A3580F

  
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Sirrith
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Jan 18, 2013 23:16 |  #2

I used a 150-500 the other day, the reach was nice, but otherwise I was not impressed. AF wasn't particularly great at tracking moving subjects, the zoom was difficult to operate due to the weight of the glass it has to move (push pull makes things so much easier for big lenses like this), images weren't particularly sharp. I preferred my experience with the 100-400.

But if you need 500mm, then you need 500mm.


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alazgr8
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Jan 18, 2013 23:53 as a reply to  @ Sirrith's post |  #3

Have you looked at the Sigma 50-500? It right there pricewise with the Canon 100-400. I have been going back and forth with this same decision, and I am pretty convinced that I will get the canon. -rick


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DanAnCan
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Jan 18, 2013 23:59 |  #4

Got to use a friends 50-500 back in the fall. Very disappointing overall with it compared to the 100-400. The AF in particular is much faster on the 100-400. Focus on the sigma isn't always accurate and was a dread to track with using ai servo


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Lichter21c
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Jan 19, 2013 00:03 |  #5

The 100-400 is leaps sharper. I owned the 150-500, have a 100-400 and also have a 400 5.6 prime. The dust pump gets a bad wrap. It's pretty darn sharp for a zoom. Fast AF and quite manageable without a monopod. You will like the 150-500, but love the 100-400




  
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1Tanker
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Jan 19, 2013 01:43 as a reply to  @ Lichter21c's post |  #6

Just a thought.. if you're trekking a long way to your fishing holes, these lenses (especially the Sig 150-500) are pretty big and heavy. Add that on top of your fishing gear, and (depending on your fitness level) you could possibly be dreading your next trip out. ;) Have you handled them? I would suggest trying them out in your local camera shop, first.


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artyman
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Jan 19, 2013 03:48 |  #7

The Sigma is heavier than the Canon, having said that I didn't find it a problem with mine to be honest. It is a cracking good lens, this was a quick grab shot from a small boat as this Pintail flew over, so no problems on the focusing front. Sharpness is also fine.

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Bill ­ Ragosta
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Jan 19, 2013 04:19 |  #8

I used to own the Sigma and truly wasn't impressed. That said, I did get some outstanding pictures, just a much smaller percentage than I would have hoped for given how many opportunities that I had. Now, the Sigma was my first super telephoto and maybe I wasn't completely familiar with it. Furthermore, maybe I simply had the dreaded "bad copy" but, as soon as I sold the Sigma and bought the 100-400, my photography improved overnight so I don't think it was technique or operator error in this case.

Someone else mentioned the Sigma 50-500 and I think it gets slightly better reviews than the 150-500. I also read a review here last night (posted on the 100-400 thread I believe) that suggested that the 120-400 was close in IQ to the 100-400 and I may be looking at a used copy of that lens this week.

Good luck with your search and your photography.


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Jan 19, 2013 05:40 |  #9

Hey Tim,
What I found with wildlife is that you always need longer reach. You have 300mm but want 400mm. If you have 400mm you will want 500mm/600mm etc. get a longer lens by all means, I only have experience with the 100-400 and found for me, the push/pull is far better than twisting a lens quickly to increase/decrease your focal length. [even now I occasionally miss shots with my 70-200 as I forget to twist it out from 120 ( where i last shot ) to 200]
From previous threads the Canon seems to edge the Sigma in IQ but you lose 100mm as a trade off. Only you know your field craft in creeping up on wildlife to decide if you can sacrifice losing the extra mm's


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tkbslc
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Jan 19, 2013 09:12 |  #10

You might end up being happier with a newer 18MP Canon that gives you more cropping room with the 300mm you have now. 100-400 is only 33% longer, which is exactly like cropping from 18 to 8MP. 60D or 7D are both cheaper than the 100-400L and you'd get an AF upgrade as well.


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jtmiv
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Jan 19, 2013 10:20 |  #11

tkbslc wrote in post #15508028 (external link)
You might end up being happier with a newer 18MP Canon that gives you more cropping room with the 300mm you have now. 100-400 is only 33% longer, which is exactly like cropping from 18 to 8MP. 60D or 7D are both cheaper than the 100-400L and you'd get an AF upgrade as well.

Dear Board,

Gee thanks, now you are making me think too much! ;)

I understand the rationale and reasoning behind upgrading my camera body but I have to admit that I am stubbornly resistant to change.

I really like the heft and handling of my 20D. It's the closest thing I've used to my circa 1993 EOS Elan in terms of how it feels in my hands. However, I'm sure I could get comfortable with a 60D or a 7D in time.

Ultimately I'd like to upgrade my camera body, while keeping the 20D as a backup, but I am thinking that for now a lens would be a better investment?

Just by looking at asking prices on used lenses they certainly seem to hold their value much better when compared to camera bodies. I figure if I get the lens now with care it should last me the rest of my lifetime.

Am I way off base with that line of thinking?

Regards,

Tim Murphy :D


EOS Elan, EOS7NE, EOS 40D, EOS1DMK2, Canon 15-85 IS EF-S, Canon 28-80 USM, Canon 28-105f3.5/4.5 USM, Canon 70-210f3.5/4.5 USM, Canon 70-300f4.5/5.6 IS USM, Tamron 19-35f3.5/4.5, Tokina 80-400 ATX 11, Sigma 150-500 OS HSM, Promaster 7500DX, Benro A3580F

  
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alazgr8
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Jan 19, 2013 12:25 as a reply to  @ jtmiv's post |  #12

It seems to me that the consensus when this issue comes up, is to upgrade to good glass over a body upgrade. I was really hankering for the Sigma 50-500, but I think the allure of the white bodied L lens, and the peace of mind I would feel with getting a Canon lens is going to win out. Let us know what you get. -rick


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DreDaze
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Jan 19, 2013 14:50 |  #13

if you have the light to stop down the sigma to f8...it's going to be pretty much on par with the canon in the center, which i find to be way more important than corners/edges on telephoto lenses...for the most part i don't care what the corners look like...

the af is definitely fast enough to track larger BIF...I do think the older body may limit you a bit with either lens...you're still going to want a somewhat decent shutter speed to either freeze shake, or freeze movement...that means using a higher ISO

I came from using the same lens to the sigma, and I just remember my first time using it being amazed at how much more reach 500mm is...

if money is tight, i'd go for a 60D, and the sigma...


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watt100
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Jan 19, 2013 17:17 |  #14

jtmiv wrote in post #15508193 (external link)
Dear Board,

Gee thanks, now you are making me think too much! ;)

I understand the rationale and reasoning behind upgrading my camera body but I have to admit that I am stubbornly resistant to change.

I really like the heft and handling of my 20D. It's the closest thing I've used to my circa 1993 EOS Elan in terms of how it feels in my hands. However, I'm sure I could get comfortable with a 60D or a 7D in time.

Ultimately I'd like to upgrade my camera body, while keeping the 20D as a backup, but I am thinking that for now a lens would be a better investment?

Just by looking at asking prices on used lenses they certainly seem to hold their value much better when compared to camera bodies. I figure if I get the lens now with care it should last me the rest of my lifetime.

Am I way off base with that line of thinking?

Regards,

Tim Murphy :D

yes, a lens upgrade will be a better long term value but the newer models (60D, 7D, etc.) have many improved features compared to the older 20D. The 100-400 is sharper with better AF compared to the Sigma 150-500 but it cost more




  
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1Tanker
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Jan 19, 2013 17:44 as a reply to  @ watt100's post |  #15

Agreed, the cropability of an 18mp body (ie. 60D), as well as the better high ISO performance, could match the longer lens on the old body...as far as the end result ( your picture after cropping). And yes, the high ISO performance will help in allowing f/8..the Sigma really does need f/8 to get decent results.

The other thing is that you don't really get a full 100mm more with the Sigma, as it's closer to ~475-480mm. Still noticeable, mind you.

Lastly, i'm not saying the Bigmos is too heavy to carry around, but that together with the added bulk and weight of fishing gear.. it could be so (unless you're getting around in a boat, then it won't matter).


Kel
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100-400L or Sigma 150-500 w/qualification
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