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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Bird Talk 
Thread started 01 May 2016 (Sunday) 23:36
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just bought a 7D mark 2 to be a baby brother for my 5d3. I'm looking for a good birding / Wildlife lens

 
michaellynnjrphotography
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May 01, 2016 23:36 |  #1

I bought the 7d2 after a rebate package i couldn't refuse.

I've been looking at the

Canon L 100-400 version 2 IS

Canon 400mm Prime 5.6 no IS

Sigma 150-600 sports and the contemporary

Tamron 150-600

I've heard Good and Bad on all of these. The worst reviews re:Sharpness seem to be directed at the Tamron

I would love to hear your pros and cons and would love to see your favorite images with these lenses..

God Bless,
Michael




  
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Beekeeper
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May 01, 2016 23:40 |  #2

I've got the 400/5.6L on my 7D2 and love it, but the 100-400 version 2 might be a better option for you?


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Canonuser123
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May 01, 2016 23:53 |  #3

There are loads of sample photos here for all these lenses, The Sigma 150-600mm Sport is very heavy and when extended there is a lot of weight at the front end. The Canon 100-400L II is supposed to have the best edge to edge sharpness. I chose the Sigma Contemporary am very happy with my Sigma , it seems pretty good to my eye and the adjustment options with the USB dock allow for some nice customization.




  
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clipper_from_oz
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Post edited over 5 years ago by clipper_from_oz. (9 edits in all)
     
May 02, 2016 03:44 |  #4

because you have a cropped sensor and high on target pixel count you can get the benefit of the crop factor in increasing your lens by 1.6. This means if you are wanting to get focal length at a reasonable price a good all round lens thats sharp with great IS is the 100-400 Mk2 . It will be on a par with the 400mm f5.6 IQ wise but have IS and a usefull 100-400 focal range making it more adaptable to various wildlife situations . I use it with a 1.4x Mk3 extender and its that sharp I wouldnt know the extender was on the thing. And ona 7dMk2 it should be similar because apart from the cameras sensors size the on target pixels ( per cm /pitch size)and processing engines are similar . And because of the crop sensor you will get a focal length of 640mm without any change to aperture etc. Then combine that with a $400.00 1.4 Mk3 extender and you have more than enough length for everything...... Nearly 900mm at virtually no hit to IQ and only a loss of one stop which will allow you to still use centre tracking. The other brands lens for Canon can possiibly get the length with extenders to =900mm etc but they will suffer on an IQ drop because the 1.4 Mk3 extender is designed for the new Mk2 Canon lens ...not 3rd party lens . Having said that the Sigma 150-600 sports Ive tried and its IQ is good. But still not as sharp as the 100-400Mk2 with extender


Personally I use 100-400Mk2 for both BIF and stationary wildlife.... Ive included 2 images taken with100-400Mk2 no extender below so you can see what IQ is like . If my camera /lens combo can get it then in theory your 7dMk2 can do same. And the lens is like $2,000 vs 400Mk2 f4 Is $7,000 approx. Even better is that the 100-400 is light enough to handhold and thats important for BIF. If you have to shoot BIF on tripods you dont get the same amount of opportunities as if you have the camera/lens at the ready handheld.

Also Second image I included below is at almost a 100% crop so this image is best to show what the IQ is like off this lens when handheld. It also had a 1.4 extender attached . And IQ is good especially given at a 100% crop the reach of the lens will be like a cropped sensor 7Dmk2 in my case giving me an effective reach of nearly 900mm

Final thing...I strongly urge you to get a lens with new MK2 IS if you are going Canon lens. CAnon have stated that high density on target pixels on 7dMk2 and 5DSR will show camera shake more than Cameras with lower pixel densities/pitch percm. This was a problem with my older Mk1 100-400. That actually had older IS and even with IS my images showed heaps of camera shake at what normally should be ok Shutter speeds. The old rule of thumb Shutter speed being 1x Focal length is no good with these cameras . They need to go minimum SS =2x Focal length minimum even with the better Mk2 IS ( 2 stops better than Mk1 IS).. Thats where the increased stops of a Mk2 IS help . If you are shooting 400mm prime with no IS on a 7dMk2 you will more likely than not need to either have a rock steady hand or use a very very fast shutter speed ( 1200 or above)...


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Clipper
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ardeekay
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May 02, 2016 04:59 |  #5

Ditties on what canonuser posted. Went the same route about a month ago, 7Dll and Sigma 150-600C. Adorama included the dock with the lens at that time. Browse this section of the forum and see many examples of all.
Clipper's thoughts are, I am sure, worth considering (his knowledge is more extensive than mine). It is about a $1000. more, so...?
Good luck!


Rog
Gear:7Dll 7D 40D 24-105 4L, 70-200 4L, 300 4L IS, 85 1.8, 1.4 TC, Tamron18-270VC, Sigma 150-600 OS 430EX II

  
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Phoenixkh
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May 02, 2016 07:05 |  #6

Michael,

The nice thing about living at this time in photography's development: there are lots of very good options for wildlife/birding lenses at prices many of us can afford.

I had a 400 f/5.6. I'm sure it was just me as I've seen brilliant photographs from this lens, but I couldn't get anything decent, no matter what I tried. I don't think it was the lens.

Anyway, I was able to buy the 100-400ii and my bird photographs improved immediately. I've had it for a little over a year and have used it through two Spring breeding seasons. These days I have it on a 1D IV and couldn't be happier.

I've also seen very good photographs from all the lenses you mentioned. A question: how close can you get to the wildlife/birds in your location? That could impact your decision. If you are taking photographs of smaller birds, you'll have two issues: getting them to fill the frame and having a lens that focuses quickly as they don't sit still long. An example: I mostly shoot the large wading birds here in Florida. They aren't that speedy in the air and they stand for long periods of time when they hunt. I can get close to them (for the most part, they aren't afraid of humans).... close enough that I seldom need 600mm. On the other hand, the little song birds in our backyard sit on a branch for a second or two, then to the feeder for a second or two.. and are gone in a flash. A fast focusing lens that goes out to 600mm would work better for them.

The good news? Any of the lenses on your short list will do the job at hand. When I got my birding lens, the Sigma offerings were not yet available, so I wasn't able to research them. I have read a lot about them here on POTN and people who own them seem quite pleased with their performance. One thing about which I've heard people complain? Weight. I'd look at the specs for all the lenses you mentioned..... make sure you take the weights into consideration. The 400 f/5.6 is the lightest, obviously.... but it doesn't zoom. For me, I needed a zoom because there are many times when 400mm is just too close.

Anyway, those are some of my thoughts on your question. I'm sure whatever you decide, you'll enjoy the 7D2/lens of your choice combination.


Kim (the male variety) Canon 1DX2 | 1D IV | 16-35 f/4 IS | 24-105 f/4 IS | 100L IS macro | 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II | 100-400Lii | 50 f/1.8 STM | Canon 1.4X III
RRS tripod and monopod | 580EXII | Cinch 1 & Loop 3 Special Edition | Editing Encouraged

  
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Orogeny
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May 02, 2016 08:15 |  #7

Phoenixkh wrote in post #17992784 (external link)
Michael,

The nice thing about living at this time in photography's development: there are lots of very good options for wildlife/birding lenses at prices many of us can afford.

I absolutely agree with this statement. You will get a lot of opinions from people with different lenses, but all of the lenses that you listed are good lenses for birding and wildlife. I don't think that you will regret any of the lenses.

For the record, I own and use the Sigma 150-600 Contemporary and I love it.

Tim


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michaellynnjrphotography
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May 02, 2016 19:00 |  #8

Thanks so much everyone!!!




  
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johnf3f
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May 03, 2016 15:09 |  #9

My 7D2 is teamed with my Canon 100-400 Mk2 - excellent lightweight combination when I don't want to lug around the big guns.

From you list I would prefer the 100-400 Mk2 and 400 F5.6 for their AF performance. The Sigma 150-600 Sports is very nice too (and cheap) but heavy - not good if you need mobility but fine if you are hide shooting. With the other two I wasn't too happy with the way they tracked moving subjects on my 1DX (I didn't have my 7D2 when I tried them) - this may not be important for you. However they both offer a lot at a very reasonable price.


Life is for living, cameras are to capture it (one day I will learn how!).

  
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DigiBill
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May 05, 2016 17:22 |  #10

Hello Michael.....

Looks & sounds like you are going through the same process I recently completed. Your lens short list contains the same collection I was considering. For the past 3 months I have been researching, asking lots of questions and visiting the camera shops for hands on.

In my case, I was able to shorten the list based on budget. Basically that left two choices....either Sigma or Tamron. I finally selected the Sigma contemporary and it just arrived today from B&H. I've spent 2 hours unpacking the lens and reading user manuals. Included in the price of the lens was the Sigma USB adapter and a Sigma 95mm lens protector.

I've not mounted the lens on the Canon 70d yet, but so far impressed with the looks & feel of the lens. Now I need to get it mounted and try a shot. I best get some good photos or I have some explaining to do with my dear wife.

Good luck with your decision.

Bill


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brassfootball66
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May 10, 2016 10:56 |  #11

michaellynnjrphotograp​hy wrote in post #17992529 (external link)
I bought the 7d2 after a rebate package i couldn't refuse.

I've been looking at the

Canon L 100-400 version 2 IS

Canon 400mm Prime 5.6 no IS

Sigma 150-600 sports and the contemporary

Tamron 150-600

I've heard Good and Bad on all of these. The worst reviews re:Sharpness seem to be directed at the Tamron

I would love to hear your pros and cons and would love to see your favorite images with these lenses..

God Bless,
Michael

Of those listed, I'd go with the 100-400/SII. It's got IS, can be used with an EF 1.4x TC-III, on the 7D2, it's easily hand held and has excellent IQ. I have several friends that had both the Tamron 150-600mm and the EF 100-400/II and all sold their Tamrons. I shoot mainly with the EF 500/SII, but I've borrowed a friends 100-400/SII, but I don't have an image to offer. There are plenty over on Flickr. Use the Search function to find great examples.

I haven't heard anything "bad" about the 100-400/SII. What have you heard?


Dave Stephens

  
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ardeekay
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May 10, 2016 16:14 as a reply to  @ brassfootball66's post |  #12

The bad? The $$. If the the OP can justify the cost, the decision is pretty much a no-brainer, imo.


Rog
Gear:7Dll 7D 40D 24-105 4L, 70-200 4L, 300 4L IS, 85 1.8, 1.4 TC, Tamron18-270VC, Sigma 150-600 OS 430EX II

  
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davholla
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May 13, 2016 09:18 |  #13

Tony Northrup did a really good review with blind testing, which is worth looking at.




  
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michaellynnjrphotography
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May 18, 2016 21:58 |  #14

Thanks Everyone

I went with the 100-400 mk 2.

I got it new for $1950, tough to refuse.

thanks for the wonderful feedback




  
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clipper_from_oz
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Post edited over 5 years ago by clipper_from_oz.
     
May 19, 2016 12:41 |  #15

michaellynnjrphotograp​hy wrote in post #18011649 (external link)
Thanks Everyone

I went with the 100-400 mk 2.

I got it new for $1950, tough to refuse.

thanks for the wonderful feedback

Congtats on new purchase ......Look forward to seeing images off your new 7dMk2 and the 100-400 . Its a powerful combo and you definately wont be disappointed with the image IQ....

rgds


Clipper
R5, 5DSR,5DMkII,Fuji XPRO1,X-T1&X-T20,Fotoman 6x17cm Large Format Panorama Camera,Mamiya Universal 6x9
Canon EF 16-35mm f4 L, 17mm TSE f4 L,50mm f1.4, 24-70 f2.8 L, 70-200mm F4 L, 85mm f1.8, 100-400mm II L,
EF 400mm f2.8 IS II L, Fujinon XF18mmf2, XF35mmf1.4, XF60mm f2, XF18-55f2.8-4.5, XF55-200f4
Rodenstock, Sinar& Nikkor LF lens for Pano (75,95,150+210mm)
flickr (external link)

  
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just bought a 7D mark 2 to be a baby brother for my 5d3. I'm looking for a good birding / Wildlife lens
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