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Thread started 25 Jun 2014 (Wednesday) 11:13
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Canon 100-400 or Sigma 300/2.8 prime

 
UKmitch86
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Jun 25, 2014 11:13 |  #1

Hi all, I've had a 300/2.8 for a while now and while I enjoy it for static subjects, it's frustrating for sports, wildlife, moving subjects etc.

Does anyone have any comment to make about whether moving to the Canon 100-400 is a wise idea optically? I'm pretty comfortable with the handling change, just not sure of the IQ change.

Where does the 100-400 start limiting aperture?

My Sigma 300/2.8 is a good copy, but naturally doesn't stand up to the 135/2. Does the 100-400 bring me closer to 135/2 performance or not noticeably better than the S300/2.8?


Canon 1Ds3 | 16-35/4 | 50/1.8 | 135/2
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gonzogolf
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Jun 25, 2014 11:20 |  #2

UKmitch86 wrote in post #16993683 (external link)
Hi all, I've had a 300/2.8 for a while now and while I enjoy it for static subjects, it's frustrating for sports, wildlife, moving subjects etc.

Does anyone have any comment to make about whether moving to the Canon 100-400 is a wise idea optically? I'm pretty comfortable with the handling change, just not sure of the IQ change.

Where does the 100-400 start limiting aperture?

My Sigma 300/2.8 is a good copy, but naturally doesn't stand up to the 135/2. Does the 100-400 bring me closer to 135/2 performance or not noticeably better than the S300/2.8?

No zoom, and few primes, will bring you up to 135L standards, if thats your measuring stick then you are in for some disappointment.




  
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UKmitch86
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Jun 25, 2014 11:25 |  #3

gonzogolf wrote in post #16993697 (external link)
No zoom, and few primes, will bring you up to 135L standards, if thats your measuring stick then you are in for some disappointment.

Well, 'gonzogolf', that's why I used the phrase, "a good copy, but naturally doesn't stand up to the 135/2", and, "closer to 135/2 performance". There's this colour between black and white - it's called grey.

So do you have any constructive comment?


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gonzogolf
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Jun 25, 2014 11:28 |  #4

UKmitch86 wrote in post #16993704 (external link)
Well, 'gonzogolf', that's why I used the phrase, "a good copy, but naturally doesn't stand up to the 135/2", and, "closer to 135/2 performance". There's this colour between black and white - it's called grey.

So do you have any constructive comment?

Yes, rent one and see if it pleases you because there are miles of colour and your the one setting that distinction.




  
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CyberDyneSystems
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Jun 25, 2014 11:35 |  #5

I'd hold back on jumping on Gonzogolf, as I too find your post confusing.

How old is your 300mm? The EX model will not only have much better IQ than the 100-400mm zoom, but the one I used had very good fast accurate HSM auto focus.

when you say your it's only good for static shots, why? because of AF speed? Because it doesn't zoom?

When you say "stand up to 135mm f/2", do you mean IQ or AF or both?

For IQ I'd not put the 100-400mm in the same league as these primes.
I'd rank the 135 higher than the Sigma 300mm, but the 300mm is very good.
If memory serves, the 300mm had excellent AF on par with the 135mm, maybe, but way ahead of the 100-400mm.


If it's just that you need a zoom for better framing,
I'd suggest that perhaps to replace a 300mm f/2.8 or compliment it, the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS would be a more popular choice. With a 1.4X T-con your almost back to 300mm at the long end, and you still get good AF and IQ.
Another popular option is of course the SIGMA 120-300mm f/2.8 zoom.


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Photo123abc
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Jun 25, 2014 12:07 as a reply to  @ CyberDyneSystems's post |  #6

I was in similar situlation just couple of weeks ago. I was concidering to buy 100-400L, Tamron 150-600 or Sigma 300/2.8. I wanted reach and also large aperture was a bonus because I also do astrophotography. For wildlife I needed a zoom.

However I bought second-hand Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 for 950 euros. And I also recommend that to you. Its 2.8 and zoom, also has better IQ than 100-400L and it maintains fast AF with teleconverters.


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watt100
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Jun 25, 2014 16:03 |  #7

UKmitch86 wrote in post #16993683 (external link)
Hi all, I've had a 300/2.8 for a while now and while I enjoy it for static subjects, it's frustrating for sports, wildlife, moving subjects etc.

Does anyone have any comment to make about whether moving to the Canon 100-400 is a wise idea optically? I'm pretty comfortable with the handling change, just not sure of the IQ change.

Where does the 100-400 start limiting aperture?

My Sigma 300/2.8 is a good copy, but naturally doesn't stand up to the 135/2. Does the 100-400 bring me closer to 135/2 performance or not noticeably better than the S300/2.8?

the 100-400 is good for sports and moving subjects but at f4.5 or f5.6 it won't get you the same background blur as the 135 f2 if that is what you're asking. I use the 100-400 for lacrosse, soccer and sometimes beach volleyball (along with wildlife and macro shots)

60D
Canon 100-400
f5.6
100mm

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Jun 25, 2014 18:04 |  #8

Can you elaborate on frustrating please ? I have both, my 100-400 I think is sharper ( I have had it calibrated by Canon ), but my 300 2.8 kills the 100-400 in AF speed.

I bought the Sigma with a view to comparing the 2 then selling the weaker one. I then developed a back problem which made carrying a heavy load miserable. Since then I haven't used either that much to be honest, so haven't got any comparison shots to share.

If you can elaborate on what exactly you require answers to, I'll try my best to help..........


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Jun 26, 2014 00:10 as a reply to  @ h14nha's post |  #9

I have the Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 and the EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 and there is no way I would give up f2.8 for f5.6 lens.
The big Siggy is very sharp and I can not image your 300mm prime is not at least as sharp as the zoom. They use similar optics. Even with the Sigma 1.4x it is still nice and is f4.


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UKmitch86
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Jun 26, 2014 04:35 |  #10

gonzogolf wrote in post #16993708 (external link)
Yes, rent one and see if it pleases you because there are miles of colour and your the one setting that distinction.

I'm dead against renting - I generally find that if you buy and sell only in the used market, the cost of renting can be absorbed by the value it loses over the course of ownership - except the benefit is you can keep it if you want.

CyberDyneSystems wrote in post #16993725 (external link)
I'd hold back on jumping on Gonzogolf, as I too find your post confusing.
How old is your 300mm? The EX model will not only have much better IQ than the 100-400mm zoom, but the one I used had very good fast accurate HSM auto focus.
when you say your it's only good for static shots, why? because of AF speed? Because it doesn't zoom?
When you say "stand up to 135mm f/2", do you mean IQ or AF or both?
For IQ I'd not put the 100-400mm in the same league as these primes.
I'd rank the 135 higher than the Sigma 300mm, but the 300mm is very good.
If memory serves, the 300mm had excellent AF on par with the 135mm, maybe, but way ahead of the 100-400mm.
If it's just that you need a zoom for better framing,
I'd suggest that perhaps to replace a 300mm f/2.8 or compliment it, the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS would be a more popular choice. With a 1.4X T-con your almost back to 300mm at the long end, and you still get good AF and IQ.
Another popular option is of course the SIGMA 120-300mm f/2.8 zoom.

I've had the 300 for a year now, bought used and is approximately 5 years old I believe - it is an EX DG HSM model. I've never quite trusted the AF on mine, even after MFA, a 100% crop on a 12.8MP 5Dc doesn't yield a crisp edge, but maybe I'm being too hard on it. I'm using the 135/2 as a benchmark for something of great quality, AF and IQ - I'm not suggesting that I wouldn't be happy if every other lens didn't match it, but I am trying to work out whether the 100-400 would be better for keeper rate, 'getting the shot', colour and sharpness at range (no IS on the 300), ease of use. When at 420/4, the Sigma might be a stop faster, but it takes a further hit in IQ with the TC. Cash makes it awkward to keep the 300/2.8 and pick up another expensive zoom - if I'm being honest, I'd like to sell off the prime 300, get a zoom for the long-end and pick up a good macro with the change. I think my rule of thumb is going to be Sigma AF is reliable at the wide end where DOF is greater, but I need to think a little harder about buying a Sigma for the long end.

Photo123abc wrote in post #16993783 (external link)
I was in similar situlation just couple of weeks ago. I was concidering to buy 100-400L, Tamron 150-600 or Sigma 300/2.8. I wanted reach and also large aperture was a bonus because I also do astrophotography. For wildlife I needed a zoom.
However I bought second-hand Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 for 950 euros. And I also recommend that to you. Its 2.8 and zoom, also has better IQ than 100-400L and it maintains fast AF with teleconverters.

How much better are we really talking? I just can't find any reference material - none of the lens comparison places seem to have the Sigma 300 - it's difficult to make an objective decision. I still have that bug in my head saying 'the Canon has better AF performance throughout the range'.

h14nha wrote in post #16994458 (external link)
Can you elaborate on frustrating please ? I have both, my 100-400 I think is sharper ( I have had it calibrated by Canon ), but my 300 2.8 kills the 100-400 in AF speed.
I bought the Sigma with a view to comparing the 2 then selling the weaker one. I then developed a back problem which made carrying a heavy load miserable. Since then I haven't used either that much to be honest, so haven't got any comparison shots to share.
If you can elaborate on what exactly you require answers to, I'll try my best to help..........

I think the frustration is from the fixed FL - I've seen shots and missed them, especially wildlife, and known that I'm either too long or too short and don't have time to add or remove a TC. It extends to sports - you can't go over the touchline, and things move quickly, tracking a shot with the prime often leads to compromise before releasing the shutter, as players etc leave the frame. I do think the 100-400 is going to be sharper, but I've probably got bias creeping in now.

Where does the aperture limiting kick-in on the 100-400? is the IS two-mode? Do you use the 100-400 on a monopod? How many stops is the IS quoted at? What do you think the IS is actually good for? What's the zoom mechanism like to use? I've only used lower-end twist-zooms.

ebiggs wrote in post #16994969 (external link)
I have the Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 and the EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 and there is no way I would give up f2.8 for f5.6 lens.
The big Siggy is very sharp and I can not image your 300mm prime is not at least as sharp as the zoom. They use similar optics. Even with the Sigma 1.4x it is still nice and is f4.

Part of me is looking for a change I think, but I'm not entirely convinced that the 5.6 is a bad idea. I read a review of the Sigma with TCs before I bought, and the author recommended that you come down a stop to get acceptable sharpness - technically a 420/4, practically a 420/5.6. The thing with 300/2.8 or even 420/4 is that the DOF is so thin that unless you stop down, you wind up with partial focus on sports players or wildlife.


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UKmitch86
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Jun 26, 2014 04:45 |  #11

watt100 wrote in post #16994268 (external link)
the 100-400 is good for sports and moving subjects but at f4.5 or f5.6 it won't get you the same background blur as the 135 f2 if that is what you're asking. I use the 100-400 for lacrosse, soccer and sometimes beach volleyball (along with wildlife and macro shots)

60D
Canon 100-400
f5.6
130mm

Haha, I notice you changed your picture - to one with a shorter FL... I acknowledge the switch to 5.6 blurs less, but I'm sure you'll agree, what good is 300/2.8 for that shot you have there.


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Jun 26, 2014 09:04 |  #12

UKmitch86 wrote in post #16995180 (external link)
I'm dead against renting - I generally find that if you buy and sell only in the used market, the cost of renting can be absorbed by the value it loses over the course of ownership - except the benefit is you can keep it if you want.


.

I'm not talking about renting on a regular basis, just a test period to determine in the lens meets your personal standards.




  
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Jun 26, 2014 14:40 |  #13

Where does the aperture limiting kick-in on the 100-400? is the IS two-mode? Do you use the 100-400 on a monopod? How many stops is the IS quoted at? What do you think the IS is actually good for? What's the zoom mechanism like to use? I've only used lower-end twist-zooms.


Aperture:
100-135 ish it's at f/4.5
150-250 it's at f/5
250-400mm at f/5.6

Really, just assume it's f/5.6 :)

IS: IS is dual mode, it is first generation IS, at that point in time Canon was not "claiming stops" for the IS system, but popular talk is "two stops" I put the terms "stops" in quotes as IS does not in any way shape or form give you any stops of light back, so I find the term to be a poor choice for this application.

I think the IS is actually very good, and it's good for helping shoot at low shutter speeds as intended.
You can use it on a monopod without adjusting the mode, monopods aren't stable enough to cause an issue there. If your panning a lot, handheld or monopod, use mode 2.

ZOOM: The push pull zoom is the best, fastest zoom on the market today. It makes adjusting your framing as close to instantaneous as possible and is the only zoom capable of such responsiveness for fast action.

I think the frustration is from the fixed FL - I've seen shots and missed them, especially wildlife, and known that I'm either too long or too short and don't have time to add or remove a TC. It extends to sports - you can't go over the touchline, and things move quickly, tracking a shot with the prime often leads to compromise before releasing the shutter, as players etc leave the frame.

IMHO, now that you've explained more your concerns, I think the 100-400mm may just be your answer. (see bold above) If you have good light, the 100-400mm will be an excellent choice.
If you have good light, it will be an excellent choice for


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Photo123abc
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Jun 26, 2014 14:46 |  #14

UKmitch86 wrote in post #16995180 (external link)
How much better are we really talking? I just can't find any reference material - none of the lens comparison places seem to have the Sigma 300 - it's difficult to make an objective decision. I still have that bug in my head saying 'the Canon has better AF performance throughout the range.

Sigma does have faster AF, simply because larger aperture. I am not saying that 100-400L is junk. Its a great lens but if you check the facts, I would go for Sigma.

-Constant f/2.8 vs f/4.5-5.6
-Sigma can reach 420 or 600mm with teleconverters and still maintain AF and better or equal f/stop.
-Better IQ, in this test (external link) atleast. Same aperture and same focal lenght.


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Jun 26, 2014 16:15 |  #15

UKmitch86 wrote in post #16993683 (external link)
Hi all, I've had a 300/2.8 for a while now and while I enjoy it for static subjects, it's frustrating for sports, wildlife, moving subjects etc.

Does anyone have any comment to make about whether moving to the Canon 100-400 is a wise idea optically? I'm pretty comfortable with the handling change, just not sure of the IQ change.

Where does the 100-400 start limiting aperture?

My Sigma 300/2.8 is a good copy, but naturally doesn't stand up to the 135/2. Does the 100-400 bring me closer to 135/2 performance or not noticeably better than the S300/2.8?

I don't think the 100-400 is going to match your 300/2.8 for IQ unless you get an outstanding copy. It's likely that very few zooms will except maybe the very expensive 200-400 or Sigma 200-500/2.8.


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