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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 06 Aug 2013 (Tuesday) 21:19
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A cheap Telephoto, Worth it?

 
Mony
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Aug 07, 2013 22:41 |  #16

amfoto1 wrote in post #16188382 (external link)
First, which 70-200/2.8 do you have? The non-IS? The IS Mark I? Or the IS Mark II?

Only the latter one works very well with a 2X teleconverter and that's largely just with the Canon 2X Mark III TC. Some people find the image quality of that particular lens with that particular 2X to be acceptible. Others don't.

The two other 70-200/2.8 models really don't work particularly well with 2X.

All can be used with a quality 1.4X to get pretty good results, but that only gets you to an effective 280mm f4 lens.

Adding a TC is the cheapest way, but you generally have to accept slower focus and, in most cases, serious image quality loss adding a 2X to your current lens.

The other "cheapest" options are...

Canon 70-300 IS USM, currently $650 US
Tamron 70-300 VC USD, currently $450 US
Canon 70-300 DO IS USM, very compact, but about $1300 US
Canon 70-300 L IS USM, $1400 US

But to be honest, 300mm usually isn't enough reach for small wildlife/birds. And none of the above can be used with teleconverters. So here are some longer lens options...

Sigma 120-400 OS HSM, currently $900 US.
Sigma 150-500 OS HSM, currently $1050 US
Sigma 50-500 OS HSM, about $1500 US (nicknamed "The Bigma", might want a tripod or at least a monopod)
Canon 100-400 IS USM, about $1500 US (the only "one-touch" zoom in this bunch... some folks really like a one-touch zoom, others don't)

Or prime lenses...

Canon 400/5.6L USM, about $1220 (no IS)
Canon 300/4L IS USM and quality 1.4X teleconverter, about $1600 US.

Pricier, but very versatile, though due to it's size and weight it might need to be used on a monopod or tripod most of the time...

Sigma 120-300/2.8 OS HSM plus 1.4X & 2X teleconverters, about $4000 US

Everything else is going to be more expensive.... sometimes a whole lot more expensive.

If you shop used, you'll find older versions of the Sigma lenses without OS (their version of stabilization), however on such long focal lengths stabilization is very, very helpful. Sigma's OS and Tamron's VC are their equivalents to Canon's IS.

There are some less expensive non USM lenses, too. USM or ultrasonic focus drive motor is the fastest and most accurate type of focus drive on Canon lenses. It's often necessary for wildlife/birds. Tamron's USD and Sigma's HSM are their versions of USM.

I have the 70-200 non-IS version, saldly, I don't think its good with a tc x2 right?
Should probably mentioned that before sorry.
Well as you said 300mm isn't enough, and am pretty sure about that. I've tried 300mm and I know it.

I'll probably skip the "cheapest" option, because it will not make such a difference from my 70-200, an extra 100mm for anew telephoto? Not worth it.
The longer ones is really what am looking for, the canon 100-400mm seems very promising, specially with IS, I heard a lot of people talk good about this lens.
And am not very sure about the sigmas path, I always liked the white boldness of the canon telesphotos, and of course the superior image quality. Is buying the sigma a good way to go? Am on of these people who like to stay in the canon line, never really looked into other lens manufactures.

And for the primes.. A bit uncomfortable, since I would be shooting a variety of Differnt things, getting a prime is a bit limiting, am not sure.

I realized that most of them are f/4, 5.6, why am I not seeing the 2.8s here xD
No need to tell me why xD


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Mony
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Aug 07, 2013 22:51 |  #17

Tapeman wrote in post #16188520 (external link)
The 400 f/'5.6L would be my first choice, followed by the 100-400.

The 400mm 5.6 is not harsh on the pocket, but that's for no IS for exchange. No IS at 400mm Is it easy to handle?


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DanAnCan
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Aug 07, 2013 23:01 |  #18

I've had no problem without is at 400mm. Keep shutter speed up past 1/500 and you'll be fine.

Personally I would recommend the 400 prime over the 100-400 zoom. I use mine at 400mm 90% of the time


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DanAnCan
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Aug 07, 2013 23:02 |  #19

Actually I've even gotten away with 1/320 at 400 mm if subject isn't moving too erratically


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Andrushka
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Aug 08, 2013 03:32 |  #20

I have a 400 5.6 that I use for surfing. I have used other lenses with and without TC's. The thing I really like about the 400 5.6 is the size versus reach - it is super portable for the reach and IQ you are getting and the AF is consistently. I use mine on a monopod usually, and since I'm shooting at high shutter speeds in daylight 99%, the IS wouldn't play a huge factor anyway.

I got away with shooting a 200mm 2.8 with 2x TC for a while and got a lot of great shots. A small percentage were throw aways of course, usually due to slow/missed focus, but that was the exception. No reason you can't do the same with a TC on your 70-200 until you are ready to make the jump, and/or decide that the combo is good enough. Buy used and resell for the same price you paid, free rental :-)


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Mony
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Aug 08, 2013 08:39 |  #21

DanAnCan wrote in post #16190115 (external link)
I've had no problem without is at 400mm. Keep shutter speed up past 1/500 and you'll be fine.

Personally I would recommend the 400 prime over the 100-400 zoom. I use mine at 400mm 90% of the time

Is there any advantages? What are the benefits of getting the 400mm prime rather than the zoom, excluding the price, is it faster? Faster af, lighter?


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tomj
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Aug 08, 2013 08:50 as a reply to  @ Mony's post |  #22

Faster AF, marginally better IQ.

Regarding lack of IS on the 400/5.6, I shoot mainly birds with it and it's not been a problem - I'm usually in good light using fast enough shutter speeds. I do occassionally use a monopod, as in this shot at 1/160:

http://www.flickr.com/​photos/tdjenkins/93136​89123/ (external link)


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bobbyz
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Aug 08, 2013 09:05 |  #23

Mony wrote in post #16190965 (external link)
Is there any advantages? What are the benefits of getting the 400mm prime rather than the zoom, excluding the price, is it faster? Faster af, lighter?

1. Much faster AF
2. Super sharp wide open at f5.6. 100-400L is more like f8 lens IMHO. And I had sharp copy of the zoom.:)
3. Built in hood on the prime is very very nice.
4. Lighter, easier to hand hold.
5. Can use non reporting 1.4xTC and be at 560mm. Good for stationary shots.

Need IS, get $50 bogen monopod. Add 3 little feet for additional $50. Now you can shoot at say 1/100 if you want.


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4ts
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Aug 08, 2013 09:06 |  #24

Adorama offers Canon 70-300 IS USM refurbished at $374 now, far enough with crop body




  
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Aug 08, 2013 09:30 |  #25

After having shot at 500mm for birding for a few years now, it would be difficult to go to something shorter, especially as I am now using FF more than before, so I already lost some perceived reach.

All 500mm

IMAGE: http://teamspeed.smugmug.com/Animals/In-the-Wild-Yonder/i-5Vx3wkW/0/X2/5P1B0324-X2.jpg
IMAGE: http://teamspeed.smugmug.com/Animals/In-the-Wild-Yonder/i-mgXSk8D/0/XL/IMG_4316-XL.jpg
IMAGE: http://teamspeed.smugmug.com/Animals/In-the-Wild-Yonder/i-n9RnNXX/0/XL/finches2012-XL.jpg
IMAGE: http://teamspeed.smugmug.com/Animals/In-the-Wild-Yonder/i-MSrQGzD/0/XL/aBIG_2258-XL.jpg
IMAGE: http://teamspeed.smugmug.com/Animals/In-the-Wild-Yonder/i-672HHG4/0/XL/CNG_2847-XL.jpg

If your budget doesn't allow for the more expensive zooms (or primes), then yes the 400 and the 100-400 make for good options, as would the 120-400 and 150-500 from Sigma.

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pssc
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Aug 08, 2013 10:50 as a reply to  @ TeamSpeed's post |  #26

In my opinion, one has to define their shooting situations and then try to pick the lens that best fits their needs. My main long lens is the 100-400. It best suits my needs. The 400 5.6 would not be a good lens for my type of shooting. The utility of the 1-4, for me, far outweighs any advantage of the primes, plus taking TC's off and on.

I use my 1-4 for airshows, surfing, races and wildlife etc. There is no time to switch TC's plus the dirt, dust, foam sea spray etc would make that a non option for me. The majority of my shots are at 400, however, when the blue angels are on the flight line, it is great to have the utility to properly frame the picture at less than 400. Plus as the jets fly I am constantly changing the zoom as the approach, and come at you vs away. Same with other sports. Surfing-as the pros enter the water and leave, I am always under 400.

In Africa, I don't do the traditional photo safari. When you jump off the cruiser, I take the 1-4. Generally it is on one shoulder and a rifle on the other. Many times I have come across shots that 400 would be worthless. Such as having a black rhino appear from behind a bush at 30 yards etc.

Hence, for me and my type of activities and my type of shooting, the versatility of the 1-4 makes it the best lens for me. So, take a look at your shooting style and I think it will dictate the best lens for your needs. As an aside, I have shot with the 400 5.6 and it was just too limiting for me. I found the af difference minimal as was the IQ.

Cheers, Steve


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Aug 09, 2013 23:38 |  #27

I use an older 300 2.8L non-IS version. Takes either TC very well for 420 f/4 and 600 f/5.6. Stacking them softens picture a bit but at 840 f/8 (camera reports 600 f/5.6) there is little need for cropping which helps IQ. If you are patient they come up in the FS section semi-rugualarly for around $2K.

On a tighter budget I'd go with the 400 5.6L, Super light for a birding lens, great for handholding for long periods and BIF.


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Acc
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Aug 10, 2013 01:48 |  #28

On a tight budget I'd go with the Sigma 150-500.
the extra 400 to 500 will make a difference!


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Aug 10, 2013 07:59 |  #29

My Birding Lens is my Sigma 150-500mm and have been happy with it .

David


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mjHession
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Aug 10, 2013 08:36 |  #30

Acc wrote in post #16195810 (external link)
On a tight budget I'd go with the Sigma 150-500.
the extra 400 to 500 will make a difference!

I'm not sure the IQ sacrifice would be worth it. I'd rather have a 1.4X TC on the 400L, Check the comparison out here (external link)

Also, I know many Canon bodies do not AF with lenses slower than f/5.6. Does this still AF at 500 on those bodies?


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