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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 25 Nov 2013 (Monday) 11:42
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Lens recommendation (hand-held wildlife) please

 
jhayesvw
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Nov 28, 2013 08:10 as a reply to  @ post 16485674 |  #61

Ok.
I will throw my 2 cents into this discussion since I have used the 300f4 with and without TC, the 400 5.6, and the 100-400 extensively.


The 300 f4 is a great lens by itself but it is a bit short most of the time. That is annoying. When a TC is put on it the sharpness drops to about the same as the typical 100-400 but the AF is slower. It has a short min focus distance of about 6 feet.

The 400 5.6 is fantastic for sharpness wide open. It allows fast shutter speeds with lower ISO than the 100-400L and if youre always at 400 then this is the clear choice. Its is slightly sharper than a decent copy of the 100-400L. It has a longer min focus distance than either the 300 or 400 (12ft)

Now for the 100-400L, which I own and shoot with all the time. It is a great lens if you want a one lens does it all deal. It is sharp wide open (but not as sharp as the prime). It is about the same weight as the 300 and 400 primes. It has IS that is usable but not fantastic. If you think it doesnt work, just turn it off and look through the viewfinder and watch the subject move all around, turn it on and watch the subject sit still.
The AF is very fast if you flip the focus limiter to 6m-infinity, but its plenty fast at 1,8m - infinity.
The 100-400L has a short min focus distance (6 ft) for when you get really close to things.

I prefer a zoom, no question about it. While MOST of my shots are at 400mm I find enough of my shots are below 400mm that I would not want to give up that range for the small sharpness increase with a 400mm prime.

Here are a few examples with my 100-400L. Please check my flicker for more. Almost every shot on there is with the 100-400L. If you dig deep you will find a few with the 300 and 400 primes but you cant tell the difference between them and my 100-400.

IMAGE: http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2829/10764743875_b70e6ea720_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/jhayesvw/107647​43875/  (external link)
Coyote before sunrise (external link) by jhayesvw (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2852/10386844535_a8d41ed6c8_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/jhayesvw/103868​44535/  (external link)
Black Throated Sparrow on Ocotillo (external link) by jhayesvw (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5481/9703471664_2383cb572e_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/jhayesvw/970347​1664/  (external link)
Western Diamondback Rattlesnake (external link) by jhayesvw (external link), on Flickr

100mm. Lizards are easy to get close to.
IMAGE: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7378/9367813742_ed496bbc9c_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/jhayesvw/936781​3742/  (external link)
Short Horned Lizard (external link) by jhayesvw (external link), on Flickr

THis one is with the 400 5.6 in perfect light.
IMAGE: http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3795/9100514023_a8d3208911_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/jhayesvw/910051​4023/  (external link)
Getting Low Burrowing Owl (external link) by jhayesvw (external link), on Flickr

This one is with the 100-400L. with a worse background and farther distance at the same place and time.
IMAGE: http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2848/9100516287_f32ea465c3_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/jhayesvw/910051​6287/  (external link)
Burrowing Owls (external link) by jhayesvw (external link), on Flickr

Gila Monster at 130mm. Again, lizards are easy to get close to in the wild.
IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8379/8629277992_334185ccab_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/jhayesvw/862927​7992/  (external link)
Gila Monster (external link) by jhayesvw (external link), on Flickr

I have hundreds more, check my flickr.


My Flickr (external link)

  
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Limbwalker
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Nov 28, 2013 13:22 |  #62

Jeremy, thanks for the contributions. Those are very convincing images for sure! Wow!


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jefzor
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Nov 28, 2013 23:50 |  #63

Nice comparison, jeremy. So your conclusion is:
If you need/want a zoom, get the 100-400
If you want better low light performance at 300, or if you want to photograph smaller subjects(dragonflies, frogs, etc.), get the 300mm.
If none of the above, get the 400mm.

Is that summary correct?


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JJ3
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Nov 29, 2013 15:46 as a reply to  @ jefzor's post |  #64

Really interesting thread -- I'm going through the same debate with same intended usage. I'm shooting 5dm3. Have tried shooting 70 - 200/2.8 with 2xTC3 with acceptable results, but not great and AF is slow. I'd like to add either 400/5.6 or the 100 - 400 as my next lens. I figure most shots will be at the full 400, but it would be nice to zoom out on occasion.

Limbwalker, have you considered renting a lens to test. I've used LensRentals.com numerous times and they will ship anywhere FedEx will deliver. Downside is that if you know what you want then you are spending money on a rental that you could be applying to the purchase. But if you want to test one (or just need to shoot something you don't have) it's a great service.

Will be watching for your decision and results. I'm thinking Christmas present.




  
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1Tanker
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Nov 29, 2013 16:31 |  #65

jefzor wrote in post #16487625 (external link)
Nice comparison, jeremy. So your conclusion is:
If you need/want a zoom, get the 100-400
If you want better low light performance at 300, or if you want to photograph smaller subjects(dragonflies, frogs, etc.), get the 300mm.
If none of the above, get the 400mm.

Is that summary correct?

I went through this 3-1/2 years ago, as well. I started with the Bigmos (150-500OS), but was unimpressed; I chose it over the 100-400L. I then had to chose between the 100-400L, 400L, or 300L. I already had TC's, and liked the idea of f/4(when wanted/needed).. and IS was just too important for me. So, i ended up with the 300/4, have the 1.4x TC on much more than not, and am happy with it this way.

My only complaint with my decision, is the (sometimes heavy) purple fringing of the 300L. :confused:


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Limbwalker
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Nov 29, 2013 18:32 |  #66

JJ3, I did think about lens rentals. We have a good rental source not far, in the West Houston area.

I was sure I'd be pretty happy with the IQ of the prime, but still felt like I needed a zoom (for some reason) as I don't want to be constantly changing lenses.

After nearly going blind looking at images on Flikr and searching by lens, I decided to get a Tamron 200-500 for a couple reasons.

Part of what made me decide was finding a really good deal on a 17-40L - which was one of the lenses on my personal "hit list" that I knew I'd never outgrow. So, with half my savings gone on the 17-40L, I was limited to either the Tamron 200-400 or a local 50-500 non-OS Bigma. But then I realized that I wanted to keep my 55-250IS because of it's great IQ and super lightweight and compact size. I just wasn't going to lug that Bigma to my daughter's sporting events. I'm not THAT dad... ;)

I also never saw anything on Flikr from the Bigma that looked better to me than the images from the Tamron, so that's the direction I went. I may regret it, but for what KEH was selling those Tammy's for, I didn't see how I could go wrong. I can always return it and start saving again for an L if I feel the need. Meanwhile, I'm going to keep a sharp eye out for another Tokina 400 5.6 SD, as that has always been one of my favorites, and I'm real curious to see how the Tamron stacks up against it.

Someday, I'll own a 500 prime, but I have too many hobbies right now to do it justice.

I'll let folks know how the Tamron 200-500 works out. I should have it next week. And I'm very satisfied that I have a "one and done" 17-40L on the way as well. I come from a medium format landscape background, and I know myself well enough to know that's the lens I'm going to really spend some time behind anyway.

John


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DreDaze
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Nov 29, 2013 18:46 |  #67

i'm surprised you want a 17-40L on a 50D...it's the last lens i'd get on a crop camera...


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Limbwalker
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Nov 29, 2013 22:36 |  #68

Really Dre. It's the LAST lens you'd put on a 50D? ha, ha.

Just let me be happy with my 17-40, 'kay? ;)


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Nov 30, 2013 00:09 |  #69

Limbwalker wrote in post #16489503 (external link)
Really Dre. It's the LAST lens you'd put on a 50D? ha, ha.

Just let me be happy with my 17-40, 'kay? ;)

Read around the forum, and you'll see that this is a very popular opinion. Good lens on full frame, nowhere near the best pick on a crop body.


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Limbwalker
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Nov 30, 2013 10:33 |  #70

Good thing the only opinion that matters is my own then.

It's just incredible to me how some folks on this forum think they know what I want or need better than I do. I frequent several forums for other hobbies / sports, and nowhere have I come across more keyboard experts than here. Just wow.

What those experts don't realize is that there is most likely a full frame body in my future, and the 17-40L makes perfect sense as a long term investment for me.

By the sounds of it, some here would almost have me believe the lens won't even mount on my 50D. Pretty hilarious really.

Now, we were talking about wildlife lenses, right? ;)


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DreDaze
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Nov 30, 2013 10:39 |  #71

Limbwalker wrote in post #16490316 (external link)
Good thing the only opinion that matters is my own then.

It's just incredible to me how some folks on this forum think they know what I want or need better than I do. I frequent several forums for other hobbies / sports, and nowhere have I come across more keyboard experts than here. Just wow.

What those experts don't realize is that there is most likely a full frame body in my future, and the 17-40L makes perfect sense as a long term investment for me.

By the sounds of it, some here would almost have me believe the lens won't even mount on my 50D. Pretty hilarious really.

Now, we were talking about wildlife lenses, right? ;)

i didn't say anything about what you want from a lens...i said what i would do...and i just said i was surprised you would want that lens on a 50D...as you made it seem like the holy grail of all your lenses...i'm sorry, but for me it doesn't make sense...

good luck with the tamron, hopefully you get gabe's old copy


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Snydremark
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Nov 30, 2013 11:09 |  #72

jhayesvw wrote in post #16486142 (external link)
...

The 400 5.6 is fantastic for sharpness wide open. It allows fast shutter speeds with lower ISO than the 100-400L...

Hey Jeremy, everything else there was great, but you've got me a bit confused here; how does the 400 allow this when they're the exact same aperture?

And OP, I know you're looking at the Tamron at this point, but I'd like to throw yet another vote on pile for the 100-400; it really is a fantastic lens for anything that walks, flies or swims.

Dragonfly in flight:

IMAGE: http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5324/9719991729_5291a37974_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/snydremark/9719​991729/  (external link)
Dragon in flight-8226 (external link) by Guideon72 (external link), on Flickr

Brown Bear cub:
IMAGE: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7380/10236531873_175e864bf4_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …s/snydremark/10​236531873/  (external link)
Brown Bears in Valdez-8919 (external link) by Guideon72 (external link), on Flickr

American White Pelican in flight:
IMAGE: http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3830/8890800891_ee092b88a6_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/snydremark/8890​800891/  (external link)
American White Pelicans-5912 (external link) by Guideon72 (external link), on Flickr

Bald Eagle perched:
IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8467/8378022872_eee577de43_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/snydremark/8378​022872/  (external link)
Skagit Eagle-1104 (external link) by Guideon72 (external link), on Flickr

And for all of the complaining about how "ineffective" the IS is and how this lens may be a "dog" in low light; this shot was taken from a severely rocking tour boat, in the rain on an extremely cloudy day...
IMAGE: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7356/10236624856_ece5726a6f_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …s/snydremark/10​236624856/  (external link)
Sea Otter eating octopus Seward-9635 (external link) by Guideon72 (external link), on Flickr

It even acquits itself quite nicely when pressed into service as a landscape lens at times:
IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8289/7819499986_0b519cf0f2_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/snydremark/7819​499986/  (external link)
Mt Rainier_stream-3110 (external link) by Guideon72 (external link), on Flickr

- 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)
"The easiest way to improve your photos is to adjust the loose nut between the shutter release and the ground."

  
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Limbwalker
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Nov 30, 2013 11:30 |  #73

Very nice!

I may have that 100-400 some day. One lens at a time... For now, the combo I have should suit me just fine. I'm not looking to "go pro" anytime soon. LOL...

And Dre - I'm shocked that you're surprised... FWIW.


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JJ3
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Nov 30, 2013 16:47 |  #74

Snyderemark and Jeremy, great shots. To capture those shots in flight AF must be quick and accurate? I was leaning to the 400/5.6 but no longer sure about that. Have either of you used it with a TC? How does that compare vs the 400?




  
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Snydremark
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Nov 30, 2013 19:11 |  #75

@JJ3: The AF is good enough for light duty on in-flight shots; but, if you're planning to do a lot of that type of shooting, the prime's still going to be your best bet. I shoot with the 7D, so no, I haven't used it with a TC.


- 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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Lens recommendation (hand-held wildlife) please
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