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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 10 Feb 2016 (Wednesday) 13:56
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Looking For Lens Recommendations - BIF Newbie

 
Melissa6
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Feb 11, 2016 17:51 |  #31

Thanks everyone.

I'm so confused. :lol: I guess I have to decide what is more important to me.


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Feb 11, 2016 18:11 |  #32

Melissa6 wrote in post #17894810 (external link)
Thanks everyone.

I'm so confused. :lol: I guess I have to decide what is more important to me.

Why still confused? I think it's pretty clear that almost everyone in this thread said to get Canon 100-400 II.

It's not that big and heavy and you said weight is not a problem either. It has zoom, one of the best AF available, super sharp, and takes TC very well. It's basically like 400mm 5.6L but with IS.

These days, you can get this lens around $1600 from Canon refurb or in the used market.


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Melissa6
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Feb 11, 2016 18:56 |  #33

2loose wrote in post #17894826 (external link)
Why still confused? I think it's pretty clear that almost everyone in this thread said to get Canon 100-400 II.

It's not that big and heavy and you said weight is not a problem either. It has zoom, one of the best AF available, super sharp, and takes TC very well. It's basically like 400mm 5.6L but with IS.

These days, you can get this lens around $1600 from Canon refurb or in the used market.

Yes, many people said the 100-400 II was the way to go, but others also thought the 300 f/4 or the 400 f/5.6 would be best. But now that I look back through the comments, I think you're correct.


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Feb 11, 2016 18:58 |  #34

Another thing to keep in mind is the 400 5.6 is around $750 used and the 300 f4 IS is around there and the non IS is around $500. Big difference than the $1600-1800 100-400II

If you dont need the wider end of the zoom its kinda a waste i feel like. Or if you want the IS but for BIF my shutter speeds on the 400 5.6 were always fast enough. And that lens is so easy to hold you wont really need IS.

Edit: Unless you know you want less than 400 focal length often enough, id take the 400 5.6 all day long. Now ive never used the new 100-400 and i hear it equals the prime lens at 400mm in terms of IQ which makes it an amazing lens.....BUT if you dont want 100-399mm focal length and IS thats where about $1000 extra dollars is going.


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Melissa6
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Feb 13, 2016 18:04 |  #35

MalVeauX wrote in post #17893870 (external link)
Otherwise, save up, forget all these lenses, and get yourself an older Canon 300 F2.8L non-IS. They can be had just under $2k ($1500~1800). Forget the 100-400's, forget the F4 and F5.6 primes. Go straight to the golden F2.8 super tele. You can hand hold that lens (it's 6lbs...) decently, thanks to it being shorter even though it's heavy. But that F2.8 is what's up. You can throw a TC on and have a 420 F4 or 600 F5.6. Very flexible lens. Still a great lens, even though it's old. Blazing fast AF, very sharp. For birding and wildlife, I would take a 300 F2.8 over a 100-400 II any day in virtually any situation in the context of wildlife/birding.

For those of you who may still read this thread, what do you think of Mal's suggestion for the 300 2.8 non-IS? That 2.8 is definitely intriguing. :-)


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Feb 13, 2016 18:07 |  #36

Melissa6 wrote in post #17897165 (external link)
For those of you who may still read this thread, what do you think of Mal's suggestion for the 300 2.8 non-IS? That 2.8 is definitely intriguing. :-)

I don't have any experience with the 300, it is probably great, but if you want to go this route, check the prices of TCs.


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Feb 13, 2016 18:14 |  #37

Melissa6 wrote in post #17897165 (external link)
For those of you who may still read this thread, what do you think of Mal's suggestion for the 300 2.8 non-IS? That 2.8 is definitely intriguing. :-)

is 300mm going to be long enough for you? personally i wouldn't want a telephoto without IS...if i were thinking of a 300mm f2.8 option, i'd look at the sigma 120-300OS for around the same price...but i know you said weight wasn't an issue with the tamron, the 300mm f2.8's will be like adding a couple extra lbs to that...it's definitely handholdable, but also can get tiring at the same time


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Melissa6
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Feb 13, 2016 18:20 |  #38

Archibald wrote in post #17897169 (external link)
I don't have any experience with the 300, it is probably great, but if you want to go this route, check the prices of TCs.

Thanks for the reply. Yes, I'm familiar with the price of TCs. That would probably have to wait a while. ;-)a


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Feb 13, 2016 18:24 |  #39

DreDaze wrote in post #17897178 (external link)
is 300mm going to be long enough for you? personally i wouldn't want a telephoto without IS...if i were thinking of a 300mm f2.8 option, i'd look at the sigma 120-300OS for around the same price...but i know you said weight wasn't an issue with the tamron, the 300mm f2.8's will be like adding a couple extra lbs to that...it's definitely handholdable, but also can get tiring at the same time

With birds, it seems like nothing is long enough, but 300mm on a crop is pretty long and will do a good job with larger birds. Small birds may take some cropping.

The more important thing with smaller subjects moving as fast as a BIF is AF speed and accuracy and Canon lenses are much better at that than Sigma or Tamron. I would not recommend any aftermarket lens for BIF.

With regards to IS, shutter speeds will be so fast that IS is irrelevant. Where stabilization WILL be important is in stabilizing the viewfinder image so sighting and tracking are easier.


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Melissa6
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Feb 13, 2016 18:25 |  #40

DreDaze wrote in post #17897178 (external link)
is 300mm going to be long enough for you? personally i wouldn't want a telephoto without IS...if i were thinking of a 300mm f2.8 option, i'd look at the sigma 120-300OS for around the same price...but i know you said weight wasn't an issue with the tamron, the 300mm f2.8's will be like adding a couple extra lbs to that...it's definitely handholdable, but also can get tiring at the same time

Thanks for the reply. Great things to consider.


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Feb 13, 2016 18:30 |  #41

rgs wrote in post #17897189 (external link)
With birds, it seems like nothing is long enough, but 300mm on a crop is pretty long and will do a good job with larger birds. Small birds may take some cropping.

The more important thing with smaller subjects moving as fast as a BIF is AF speed and accuracy and Canon lenses are much better at that than Sigma or Tamron. I would not recommend any aftermarket lens for BIF.

With regards to IS, shutter speeds will be so fast that IS is irrelevant. Where stabilization WILL be important is in stabilizing the viewfinder image so sighting and tracking are easier.

i don't know...i mean i have the 120-300S, and i've pretty much never used it bare for birds...i always use the 2X, and i've gotten plenty of BIF with it...


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Feb 13, 2016 18:42 |  #42

DreDaze wrote in post #17897194 (external link)
i don't know...i mean i have the 120-300S, and i've pretty much never used it bare for birds...i always use the 2X, and i've gotten plenty of BIF with it...

I believe that's one of the better aftermarket lenses - along with Sigmas 150-600 Sport. I've gotten BIF with my Tamron 70-300 VC as well. But, after using the Canon EF 100-400MKII and the EF 70-300L for about a week each, I can assure that my success rate went up considerably because to the speed and accuracy of the AF. AF, not image quality, is the big difference with Canon lenses.

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Feb 13, 2016 21:09 |  #43

Melissa6 wrote in post #17897165 (external link)
For those of you who may still read this thread, what do you think of Mal's suggestion for the 300 2.8 non-IS? That 2.8 is definitely intriguing. :-)

I use the Canon 300 F2.8 L IS (Mk1) as my main lens for BIF, though I have been known to flail around with my Canon 800mm - much to the amusement of bystanders!
Until recently I used my 300 on a full frame camera so larger species or cropping were the order of the day. I recently bought a Canon 7D2 but, due to the horrible weather here, I have not yet had the opportunity to give it a proper go on the 7D2.
A Canon 300 F2.8 (any version) is simply a stunning lens with very fast AF and will make the most of your camera's IQ. Against that they are not light!
So it really comes down to your personal needs. The 300 F2.8 is great but you don't want to be holding it up or at the ready for too long - if this is what you will be doing then the Canon 300 F4/400 F5.6 come into their own. The 300 F2.8 is also very versatile in that it works very well with both the Canon 1.4 and 2 x (Mk3 only) extenders. You will loose some AF speed (not really an issue with the 1.4) and some IQ - but the IQ is so good anyway that you really won't notice any loss with the 1.4. The 2 x needs decent light, but if you have the light, then it can reward you with some VERY nice images, though with the slower AF it is probably best suited perched birds or larger species if on the wing.
I wouldn't try and push you towards any particular lens except to say that, in my experience, the Canon 300 F4 L IS, 400 F5.6 L and the 300 F2.8 L IS are the best BIF lenses that I have used or owned - note I haven't tried the 100-400 Mk2 on birds though I did like the Mk1.
I wouldn't get hung up on IS for this type of photography as it serves no purpose. You will need high shutter speeds, where IS is of no help, and whilst IS may make the image in the viewfinder look more stable it will make it more unstable on your sensor! My hit/keeper rate has increased significantly (dramatically on moving subjects!) since I stopped using IS 2 years ago.

Ideally the best thing you could do is to try a few of the alternatives to see which fits your needs best. Happy deciding!


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Feb 14, 2016 09:34 |  #44

I mentioned in a previous post that I use a shoulder pod, to help when shooting aircraft in flight. Here are a couple of shots of the rig that I am using. It is made up from one of those 15mm tube systems that you see advertised for building video rigs. My daughter got it for me as a gift from Amazon, I think it was about £30. This is my Sigma 150-600 C with my gripped 50D. I got my best results in years since going back to using a device like this, the one i had in the 70/80's was made specifically for this job, so was somewhat simpler in design. Still this works brilliantly. I taped my remote release to the front handle, although I will be custom fitting some buttons directly in the handle for future use, as I will be able to still have AF and Shutter on separated buttons that way.


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I am a wheelchair user, and so I use the second handle when lifting the rig up off my lap when sitting in the chair, it also offers a nice way to hold the rig if zooming is not necessary. I would recommend that anyone who regularly uses long lenses hand held on moving subjects try a shoulder stock like this. It makes a nice smooth pan so much easier. This is especially useful if you have to use long shutter speeds for aesthetic reasons. Propellor driven aircraft llok much better with significant pro blur, which requires shutter speeds of under 1/200s.

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Feb 16, 2016 02:47 |  #45

How will be the equation if you through in that Canon 300 2.8IS mk1? say with TCs, and with tripod or monopod if the weight is an issue? I always handholding this lens when shooting sports and managed to have great results, all the shots i posted of soccer is done by this lens handheld, so why not with BIF for example if i can really follow or track it good enough?


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