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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 14 May 2017 (Sunday) 12:29
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Telephoto lens for planespotting and airshows

 
Warbird55
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May 16, 2017 09:49 |  #16

I've owned the mark 1 and mark 2 versions of the canon 100-400. The mark 2 performs better in pretty much every category, but the mark 1 is a very capable lens. If I were you, and the mark 2 is out of budget, I would look for a used mark 1 on this forum. They can be had at a very reasonable price these days.

If not Canon, the sigma 150-600C and their new 100-400 are both good choices, based on examples posted on this forum. The latest version of the Tamron is also solid.


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vapore0n
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May 17, 2017 08:06 |  #17

My 70D with a rented 100-400 M1. First time using one.
I was hand holding it too, very heavy lens.
I would say it takes some practice to get good pics, especially from prop airplanes, as you have to get the shutter speed down to blur the propellers.

Original full size pics look much better than these web sized ones.


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vapore0n
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May 17, 2017 08:07 |  #18

another


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awacsCZE
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May 21, 2017 04:15 |  #19

Thank you very much you all. I will rent the lenses and see. The 100-400 Mk II still lies in my head. It's terribly expensive, but I want to ask, is it worth it? I mean I do not need the lens neccerarly immediately. I can wait few months. So, how does Sigmas 150-600 stands directly to 100-400 mkII? Above 300mm? Is 100-400 that superior?




  
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Choderboy
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May 21, 2017 04:54 |  #20

awacsCZE wrote in post #18354449 (external link)
Good day,

I want to ask for help with choosing the telephoto lens for mainly planespotting and airshows. Now, I have 3 Canon lenses - 10-18 STM, 24-70 f/4L and 70-200 f/4L, the body is 70D. I shoot mainly planes and airshows, but it will be used at other fields(landscape, etc.). I really like the 70-200 f/4L, but I find out, that it's a bit short sometimes, mainly on airshows on smaller planes. The second problem is a missing IS.

So I started looking for something to upgrade the 70-200. I narrowed it to three candidates - Canon 70-300L, Sigma 150-600 Sport and 100-400 L II. I don't know, which to choose, the 100-400 is obviously best, but I would probably have to sell a kidney to buy it. I'm not a pro and I think lens this expensive is pointless now. Sigma 150-600 Sport looks good, but I'm affraid because of the image quality and how would the AF of 70D handle it (I had Tamron 70-300 and it was pretty hit and miss). The most I lean for 70-300L, which is light enough, will offer good IQ and I would have all my body parts, because its not that expansive. I'm affraid, that it would be short. But around the airports, there is a lot of heathaze, so I dont know, if longer lens would be a win. I would love to have the best IQ.

Thank you very much for some help and if you have other suggestions, I'm open for them.

I don't see that it has been mentioned yet in this thread: the Sigma Sport is a similar price to the 100-400 II. The Sigma Contemporary is the cheaper Sigma.


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Choderboy
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May 21, 2017 05:05 |  #21

There is now another option, the new Sigma 100-400 f5-f6.3. So new that there are not many owners reports yet. It would seem to be a good option for air shows assuming it is as good as other recent Sigma lenses.

Regarding the Canon 100-400 II vs the Sigma 150-600 Contemporary, everyone seems happy with their choice so Sigma owners will say the Sigma is great and Canon owners will say the Canon is great.
You can't go wrong with either choice.

I owned the Sigma Sport and Canon 100-400 II at the same time. For air shows I would take the Canon. Almost half the weight of the Sport and better AF. However the main reason I'd take the Canon is the friction ring adjustment would allow me to have the zoom very loose so much easier to zoom than the Sport which took a lot more effort to zoom. I have not used a Contemporary and they are about 20% heavier than the Canon.


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BigAl007
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May 21, 2017 08:59 |  #22

For air shows the one thing you really don't need to worry about is AF speed. Even the most aerobatic aircraft are incapable of being much of a challenge to any AF system on any Canon DSLR. Even my 300D coped, and that was stuck using the awful AI Focus non option. Aircraft are just to predictable, unless you lose the subject behind something else much closer, and it refocuses. Getting it back out towards infinity can be hard. But even with the 20D there is an AF option that will usually help prevent that situation.

I don't know about the 100-400 V II, it is way out of my price league even as a rental. I find that the Sigma 150-600 is better at all focal lengths than the 100-400 V I. Actually I would say it is better at 600mm than the Canon at 400mm. Here in the UK the safety distances have always been a lot bigger than those in the USA, and I think much of the rest of the world. That was due to the Tragic crash of the DH110 Sea Vixen prototype crash at Farnborough during the 1950's. The Hunter crash at Shoreham a couple of years ago hasn't improved matters either.

So with our safety distances at some of our shows you can be a long way from the aircraft. At Duxford for example, when using the wheelchair viewing area to get a 3/4 (45 degree) head on shot of an aircraft on the display line I am about 900m from the aircraft! So for that shot 400mm is just not enough. Using 600mm I am applying a 50% crop when using an APS-C sensor. So that means that I only get to use a 15×10 mm area of the sensor. Shoot at 400mm and you are down to only covering 10×6.66 mm of sensor with the subject.

To be perfectly honest at airshow distances any of the new Sigma or the Canon options are more than likely going to be image quality limited by the atmospheric conditions on the day. Even at about 50m, let alone the 300/400m you might find at an airshow, the air itself will be the limiting factor for sharpness etc, especially if it is at all a sunny day. In my experience of various types of optics, with magnifications greater than about 8× (On my 50D for example, when using the viewfinder with a 600mm lens it gives you an optical magnification of 12.6×), the better the quality of the optics the better it shows the atmospheric conditions. Really all that tends to happen when you have a much superior lens resolution is that you might see a little more detail in the distortions.

You can go out and spend £12500 on a 600mm f/4 L IS V II, and on a hot sunny day shooting at airshow distances there is a very good chance that your final result will not be significantly better than if you had shot with the Sigma 150-600 C locked at 600mm.

It is generally going to be the non airshow uses for your lens that are going to show the most differences between all of the lens choices currently under discussion.

Alan


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cicopo
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May 21, 2017 10:05 |  #23

I fully agree with Alan re the atmospheric haze (or in many instances humidity) cutting down on the sharpness.


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awacsCZE
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May 21, 2017 14:43 as a reply to  @ BigAl007's post |  #24

I had the Tamron and what I really hated with it was, that I had to use aperture 8 and up to get it a bit sharp. Otherwise it looked terrible. I thought, that it could be caused by incompatibility with the body. That was on 600D. Now, I have 70D and I must say, that AF on that is different. Lot of missed AF shots with L lens, so I'm affraid, that 70D wont be much of a win with third party lens.

I looked throught a flickr and what bugs me, that most of the Sigma photos there are in resolution sub 1000px. Dont know why but to me they try to mask its quality.

I'm well aware of the atmospheric problems, that's why I ended with 70-300 L as my choice in the first place. Anything over will probably be heat-haze terrible.

I want it to be versitile as it will probably be one of my most used lenses, replacing the 70-200 f/4. Im a bit affraid of travelling with 150-600s.

Honest dont know. Brain says 70-300L, heart 100-400 II and you Sigma :D :D




  
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CyberDyneSystems
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May 21, 2017 15:20 |  #25

awacsCZE wrote in post #18355434 (external link)
Honestly, I'm affraid of third party lenses. I had Tamron 70-300 VC and it was utter disaster. AF was missing a lot, IQ was bad and when I was sending it to Tamron, they kept returning it saying it's ok. So Tamron never again.

Also to me it looks, like 70D is not precise much in terms of AF, so I'm worried, that Sigma will cooperate with it.

Also, I'm the worst case of pixel peeper you've ever seen :D So I'm afraid, that C version, or Tamron wont meet my expectations.

Why cant Canon have something like Nikon 200-500 f/5.6? :D


If you have ruled out 3rd party, then your choices are simple. The 100-400mm, version 1 used for a budget choice, and version II for the best. The Sport is the least sensible choice for a 3rd party xenophobe as it costs about the same as the Canon, and will perform no batter than the $800.00 "C", yet weigh and cost a lot more.

That said you are ruling out some very good 3rd party lenses based on your experience with one mediocre low cost lens.


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May 21, 2017 15:48 |  #26

awacsCZE wrote in post #18359846 (external link)
I had the Tamron and what I really hated with it was, that I had to use aperture 8 and up to get it a bit sharp. Otherwise it looked terrible. I thought, that it could be caused by incompatibility with the body. That was on 600D. Now, I have 70D and I must say, that AF on that is different. Lot of missed AF shots with L lens, so I'm affraid, that 70D wont be much of a win with third party lens.

I looked throught a flickr and what bugs me, that most of the Sigma photos there are in resolution sub 1000px. Dont know why but to me they try to mask its quality.

I'm well aware of the atmospheric problems, that's why I ended with 70-300 L as my choice in the first place. Anything over will probably be heat-haze terrible.

I want it to be versitile as it will probably be one of my most used lenses, replacing the 70-200 f/4. Im a bit affraid of travelling with 150-600s.

Honest dont know. Brain says 70-300L, heart 100-400 II and you Sigma :D :D


Be aware that for aviation distances the atmospheric limitations apply to any focal length you care to use. The degree of resolution reduction will always be the same. It is just that with shorter focal lengths everything is just smaller. Often that just means that you are focal length limited sooner. Remember that I am often focal length limited using a 600mm lens. To get the shot to fill the full APS-C sized sensor I would need to be using a 900mm lens, and if I wanted to use one of the 35mm sized sensors, or film, I would need to use a 1440mm focal length. Remember that once you are FL limited you will have to start cropping the image, which is then increasing the magnification, but with lower recorded resolution. Focal length always wins in this scenario.

I would suggest that if you are suffering a lot of missed focus shots with a 70D, and a 70-200 f/4 then either it is a faulty lens, or you have some sort of serious setup or technique issue, or possibly a combination of the two. You are using AI Servo as your AF mode aren't you? I can't really help with the 70D AF optimisation very much, since I only have a 50D. I would recommend that you try shooting with BBAF, with focus removed from the shutter button. Separating AF and shutter can really help at times.

If you are going to be travelling on aircraft a lot then yes you are likely to be better off with one of the 100-400 options. The 150-600mm lenses are quite large. The Sigma C uses a 95mm filter thread, and the S goes to 105mm. The Canon 100-400 V I uses 72mm IIRC, and I think the new Sigma may even be a little smaller than that. They are also slightly shorter. If I'm remembering correctly the 70-300 L is about the same physical length as the original 100-400.

Personally I don't really see any of these lenses a replacement for a 70-200 f/4 L, they are really in quite different classes. The 70-200 is kind of a really good general purpose mid telephoto zoom. I kind of like the range on the 35mm format, I used a Vivitar 80-200 on my Pentax ME-Super for years. It's also a very good range on APS-C too. The longer zooms that we have been discussing are really too big to be used as a general purpose lens though, they are much more specialised. I have kept my shorter smaller lighter telephoto zoom, because none of the larger options are every day lenses.

Alan


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awacsCZE
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May 21, 2017 16:11 |  #27

CyberDyneSystems wrote in post #18359868 (external link)
If you have ruled out 3rd party, then your choices are simple. The 100-400mm, version 1 used for a budget choice, and version II for the best. The Sport is the least sensible choice for a 3rd party xenophobe as it costs about the same as the Canon, and will perform no batter than the $800.00 "C", yet weigh and cost a lot more.

That said you are ruling out some very good 3rd party lenses based on your experience with one mediocre low cost lens.

I didn't rule them out completely. I just don't want Tamron. Not because of their optical performance, or build. Just because Tamron service is bunch of a-holes here and I don't want to give my money to the company, that is capable of defending it's rude employees. That's why. And yes, that sh**ty piece helped.




  
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Capn ­ Jack
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May 21, 2017 16:20 as a reply to  @ awacsCZE's post |  #28

Here's a few from a Sigma 50-500

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awacsCZE
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May 21, 2017 16:23 as a reply to  @ BigAl007's post |  #29

I love my 70-200 f/4. It's light, not expanding while zooming and incredibly sharp. Only the lackness of IS. I thought even about selling it and getting IS version instead. But mostly limiting is the reach. In 70% of shooting, I dont need it, but then I go to the airshow, pay for admission, travel etc. and bring only small dots on the sky. That's why I started to look for something longer. I have a feeling, that 70-300 will be good, but probably will be short too. With Sigma C and S I was affraid of IQ.

But you were right, probably best thing will be renting the lens and test it.




  
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awacsCZE
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May 21, 2017 16:35 as a reply to  @ Capn Jack's post |  #30

Thank you very much. Beautiful shots. They will help me decide.




  
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Telephoto lens for planespotting and airshows
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