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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Wildlife Talk 
Thread started 17 Jan 2016 (Sunday) 11:43
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Super Telephoto Lens Comparison

 
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John ­ Koerner
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Jan 21, 2016 18:57 |  #16
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Phoenixkh wrote in post #17865319 (external link)
It's kind of hard to determine the attitude behind an online post. For that reason, I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt or at the very least, observe how they have handled things in the past.

This is a very good and sincere post.


Phoenixkh wrote in post #17865319 (external link)
I don't really want to take sides here because I appreciate the time and effort Jack put into his article. That said, I've read many of Tom's posts over the years and he's someone whose posts I've come to value.

Well, I have taken the time to post useful information, while Tom has "hinted" he has experience, but basically said nothing of usable value.

I've looked at Tom's site, some of his images, and it's clear he's an outdoorsman with experiences to share, but he's not yet bothered to say anything truly relevant or useful here yet.


Phoenixkh wrote in post #17865319 (external link)
Most of us don't have the luxury (read: budget) of buying the real expensive lenses to try them all out. For that reason, we have to rely on the testing of others..... as well, as the first hand knowledge others can give us. Take me, for instance...... my dream lens is the Canon 500mm f/4 IS II... why? Because I've seen so many people using them and have seen many images posted here on POTN that excite me. I've also read several birding books where the Canon shooters in said books used this particular lens. I can't afford one at the moment and I have one lens to buy before I can start saving up for it (the 24-70 f/2.8 II). I may have to sell one of my custom Petros acoustic guitars to be able to buy the 500, but I have two of them, so that might be just fine with me.

I have been shooting the 50D, then 7D (and several different macros) since only about 2008.

I have been waiting for Canon to re-establish themselves as the premier camera system, but they simply have not.

They have been creating some incredible new lenses ... but then set the prices sky-high ... and back them up with cameras with outdated, so-so sensors.

Because of this, and with the advent of the Nikon 500D I have jumped ship. I am expecting my D810 Tuesday ... and my pre-ordered 500D "whenever" ...

I have also been really studying longer lenses to add to my portfolio.

Based on my direct experience, Sigma offers the overall best (external link), commercial macro lens offered today. I have shot multiple different Canon macros, and (while I realize different styles of macro shooter need different things) the Sigma 180 macro has everything, across the board, and lacks nothing.

This caused me to examine some of the longer lenses, as I want to "branch out" and use some multi-purpose lenses.

I tried my best to review as many sites/reports as I could, check some of the statistics pages, and create my own tables identifying, quantifying, and chronicling each and every important trait that I could see before I made a decision. (To my knowledge, no one has ever done this ... and I figured others might like to see "it all laid out" like that too.)

That is pretty much it: just thought I'd share.


Phoenixkh wrote in post #17865319 (external link)
Anyway, I would like to see Tom's experiences detailed on this thread... not to cause a problem but to hear his experiences and those he knows who have used the lenses listed above.

As would I.

Again, good post.

Jack




  
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John ­ Koerner
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Jan 21, 2016 19:04 |  #17
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johnf3f wrote in post #17866022 (external link)
Hi Jack!
The last time I had a play with the "Sigmonster" was in Sept 2014 with my 1DX on the back. Conditions were very good and the images looked nice enough to me. Unfortunately I didn't have my Canon 800 F5.6 L IS with me (as I was doing landscapes afterwards) so I couldn't do a direct comparison. Note I only tried it at 800mm as I have little use for the zoom function.
In adverse conditions I would expect the Canon to perform better and the AF was definitely slower but it is a significantly cheaper lens (£4400 less in the UK) so that must be considered.
Whilst the AF was not as good as I am used to it should still be a very workable lens, though I have not tried one under field conditions - which is where we really need to know how it performs!

I would absolutely expect the Canon 800 to outperform The SigMonster at 800mm.

Most reviewers say it is equivalent to primes from 300-600, but begins to noticeably degrade after 700 mm (as pretty much all zooms degrade at the long-end of their range).

I wouldn't expect it to outperform 500/600/800mms at their optimized focal lengths ... but I would expect it to be more useful overall in the field.

For example, I wouldn't expect the Nikon D5 to provide the absolute image quality of a Hasselblad (on a per-image basis) ... but I would expect it to be an overall more useful tool on a safari :)


johnf3f wrote in post #17866022 (external link)
I only worked at Fraud Investigation (for one of the world's biggest banks) from 1999 to 2010 (I just loved catching the little so and so's!) but I think (and have found in the past) that Tom was not having a go. We shall see.

Interesting :)

Cheers ...




  
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Aus.Morgo
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Feb 13, 2016 07:23 |  #18

John Koerner wrote in post #17867595 (external link)
but I would expect it to be more useful overall in the field.


Not so much really which is why not a lot of wildlife photographers are using the Sigmonster. After all its a 300-800 and it costs less, so why do people spend the money on the others which are less versatile and more costly?

In a word, speed.

The Sigmonster is an interesting and versatile lens with a great range but its slow. Slow AF and slow at a constant F5.6


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John ­ Koerner
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Feb 15, 2016 20:51 |  #19
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Aus.Morgo wrote in post #17896556 (external link)
Not so much really which is why not a lot of wildlife photographers are using the Sigmonster. After all its a 300-800 and it costs less, so why do people spend the money on the others which are less versatile and more costly?

In a word, speed.

Hi.

I am not sure what you mean about "the others" ...

Since you mention, "more costly," I can only assume you mean prime lenses, seeing as only 1 zoom on the planet is costlier than the Sigmonster.

This topic is about zooms, not primes.

It is also about "most bang for the buck," not about "who uses them more."

I am quite sure that the low end of the zoom range is used more than any other; but that doesn't really have to do with the subject.


Aus.Morgo wrote in post #17896556 (external link)
In a word, speed.

The Sigmonster is an interesting and versatile lens with a great range but its slow. Slow AF and slow at a constant F5.6

True. And cost.

I am sure the new Canon 100-400 II will have 10x the buyers of the new Canon 200-400.

But that doesn't make it a better lens.

The Sigmonster is the greatest overall value in a high-end zoom;

The Sigma 150-600 is the greatest overall value in a mid-range zoom.

These are my opinions, based on the available specs + price to cover the range they offer with a batch of primes.

It is okay to disagree, but the subject is zooms, not primes, and overall value for the money (not how many people have them).




  
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Feb 15, 2016 23:56 |  #20

John Koerner wrote in post #17899901 (external link)
Hi.

I am not sure what you mean about "the others" ...

Since you mention, "more costly," I can only assume you mean prime lenses, seeing as only 1 zoom on the planet is costlier than the Sigmonster.

This topic is about zooms, not primes.

It is also about "most bang for the buck," not about "who uses them more."

I am quite sure that the low end of the zoom range is used more than any other; but that doesn't really have to do with the subject.

The others are the primes.

I know the topic is about zooms but your earlier comment was not

"I wouldn't expect it to outperform 500/600/800mms at their optimized focal lengths ... but I would expect it to be more useful overall in the field."

Which is what my post was directed towards. Just because its more versatile in focal length doesn't make it more useful overall in the field is what I was saying and that this is evidenced by the lack of popularity of the sigmonster compared to the more expensive primes.
If the Sigmonster was more useful over in the field while also being cheaper then it should be very popular, yes?

John Koerner wrote in post #17899901 (external link)
I am sure the new Canon 100-400 II will have 10x the buyers of the new Canon 200-400. But that doesn't make it a better lens.

Your right, its not. The 200-400 is the better lens. I don't think I ever said a cheaper yet more popular lens was better than a more expensive one so not really sure what you were getting at there. If anything I was saying the more expensive and yet still more popular primes are the better lens over the sigmonster. Which is generally what you expect when your paying more.

John Koerner wrote in post #17899901 (external link)
The Sigmonster is the greatest overall value in a high-end zoom
It is also about "most bang for the buck,"

Value and bang for buck are subjective.

As you say its all personal opinion which is great. I'm not knocking your opinion for the sake of it, just offering my differing opinion based on my experiences with some of these lens.

But for a lot of people value is not about getting the most focal range for the (relatively) bargain price but more the performance for the investment made.

In my experience I felt I was not getting the most bang for the buck with the sigmonster as the lens is too much of a compromise to achieve a long focal length range. Who wants a big heavy 300mm with a max F5.6?
I felt I was getting better value by spending a bit more and buying the Canon 200-400 which is lighter, smaller, faster, sharper, better IQ/AF and still covers the focal lengths I need it too. To me that's better value.


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Mar 14, 2016 23:18 |  #21
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Aus.Morgo wrote in post #17900096 (external link)
The others are the primes.

I know the topic is about zooms but your earlier comment was not

"I wouldn't expect it to outperform 500/600/800mms at their optimized focal lengths ... but I would expect it to be more useful overall in the field."

Which is what my post was directed towards. Just because its more versatile in focal length doesn't make it more useful overall in the field is what I was saying and that this is evidenced by the lack of popularity of the sigmonster compared to the more expensive primes.
If the Sigmonster was more useful over in the field while also being cheaper then it should be very popular, yes?

The entire article was about zooms, so for you to talk about primes is ridiculous, yes?


Aus.Morgo wrote in post #17900096 (external link)
Your right, its not. The 200-400 is the better lens. I don't think I ever said a cheaper yet more popular lens was better than a more expensive one so not really sure what you were getting at there. If anything I was saying the more expensive and yet still more popular primes are the better lens over the sigmonster. Which is generally what you expect when your paying more.


Value and bang for buck are subjective.

Right. And your entire disagreement about "better" is subjective.

How is the 200-400 "better" than the 300-800, if you need 700mm to get the shot framed right :rolleyes:


Aus.Morgo wrote in post #17900096 (external link)
As you say its all personal opinion which is great. I'm not knocking your opinion for the sake of it, just offering my differing opinion based on my experiences with some of these lens.

It's fine to have a dissenting opinion, and I welcome it.

However, please at least stick to the topic (zoom lenses, not primes) ... and, please again, use some FACTS to back up your opinions; don't just give "opinions" ...


Aus.Morgo wrote in post #17900096 (external link)
In my experience I felt I was not getting the most bang for the buck with the sigmonster as the lens is too much of a compromise to achieve a long focal length range. Who wants a big heavy 300mm with a max F5.6?
I felt I was getting better value by spending a bit more and buying the Canon 200-400 which is lighter, smaller, faster, sharper, better IQ/AF and still covers the focal lengths I need it too. To me that's better value.

That is a subjective opinion, but valid.

Quality-wise, the facts show the 200-400 is the top lens. But it only has half the reach, doesn't work on a Nikon, but within the minimal 200-400 spread it is tops.

Thanks for sharing.

Jack




  
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Mar 14, 2016 23:48 |  #22

Wow, nearly a month later I think you need to get over it.

You seem to have this fixation that I was talking about primes, perhaps you need to go]read the posts again and you will see that in fact you were the first to make the comparison between the fast long primes vs the zoom to which I then had a short and simple reply.


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John ­ Koerner
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Mar 14, 2016 23:56 |  #23
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Aus.Morgo wrote in post #17935763 (external link)
Wow, nearly a month later I think you need to get over it.

You seem to have this fixation that I was talking about primes, perhaps you need to go]read the posts again and you will see that in fact you were the first to make the comparison between the fast long primes vs the zoom to which I then had a short and simple reply.

Wow?

Sorry, I have better things to do than monitor this thread.

If you don't, God bless.

No fixation; if anything, hadn't thought about it in awhile, lol

Have a good night :)




  
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