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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Bird Talk 
Thread started 30 Jan 2018 (Tuesday) 13:28
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Canon 100-400 vs. Sigma 150-600 C for Birding

 
BigAl007
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Jun 05, 2018 08:19 |  #31

SYS wrote in post #18636486 (external link)
After having used the Sigma 150-600 C for some time now, I think I can confidently conclude that:

1) I have no regrets selling my previous 100-400L for the Sigma.
2) If money's no issue, I'd like to get the 100-400L II, as well. These two lenses aren't apple to apple comparison, really.
3) 100-400L is superior for air shows and probably BIF and other action shots than the Sigma.
4) The Sigma at 600mm and 100-400L (original) at 400mm are about the same sharpness-wise, perhaps even a slight edge to the Sigma.
5) When the subject is very far, however, I believe 100-400L does a better job given the same atmospheric influence.
6) I can rely on 100-400L at pretty much all circumstances; with the Sigma, I need to be lot more selective.


Regarding number 3 I would strongly disagree with you that the 100-400 would be better for airshows, especially here in the UK. Thanks to two incidents, the 1952 Farnborough crash, and the crash a few years ago at Shoreham, where in both cases there were fatalities on the ground, we have significantly grater separation distances than are usual at US airshows. Even shooting on an APS-C sensor @ 600mm I often still need to add a 50% crop, giving the same FoV as shooting at 900mm. That is unless I just want to shoot the aircraft from directly side on. I much prefer to get a mix of angles in my shots.

AS far as 4 is concerned I used to rent the original 100-400 for airshows before I got my Sigma. Compared to any of the Canon lenses I rented I find my Sigma significantly better at 600mm than the 100-400 I at 400mm. Yes I would really like at 100-400 II too, but given my above comment I'd still be picking the 150-600 for my airshow needs. As you say the two lenses aren't totally apples to apples as far as comparison goes.

Finally 5. Over many years of using high magnification optics, not just camera lenses, but also spotting scopes and telescopic sights, I have come to the conclusion that in general the better the quality of the optics the more they will show up mirage effects. I shoot both Bench rest and F-Class rifle where magnifications usually start at around 20× and goe up to 60× or even 80× magnification. When I did my NRA GB rifle coach course one of the instructors was the GB Palma Long Range Team's chief wind coach. His Zeiss spotting scope was close in price to a Canon 600L. On a cold March day at under 10°C that spotting scope showed that there was some mirage visible. Using optics that still cost in the low thousands you couldn't see any mirage at all. That was an extreme, but I still see it across the range of scopes I own. One of the reasons to use such high magnifications is so that you do actually see the mirage effects, since they are the best indication of wind strength/direction. This is though a comparison that must be made at the same focal length/magnification. Comparing 400mm with 600mm the 400mm will always win, even if it's just zoomin the same lens.

Alan


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brassfootball66
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Jun 13, 2018 11:02 |  #32

Tom Reichner wrote in post #18636479 (external link)
.
Not for me. . I'm not interested in fairness - I am interested in usefulness. . If the Sigma is just as sharp wide open as the Canon at 400mm, then why would I change?

I am looking for confirmation that the Sigma is better - a.k.a. more useful - than my Canon.

If I am going to give up the range from 100mm to 150mm (which is very important to me), then I need to know that I am gaining something equally important.

If 600mm wide open isn't tack sharp, then there would be no point for me to make the change because I wouldn't really be gaining anything because that would cause me to consider the long end of the zoom to be unusable.

.

Use the 100-400mm with the EF 1.4x TC-III and you'll be shooting at 560mm, with tac sharp IQ. Everyone that I know that's owned the 150-600mm has moved to either the 100-400mm II or the Nikon equivalent.


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tomj
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Jun 13, 2018 13:16 as a reply to  @ brassfootball66's post |  #33

"Everyone that I know that's owned the 150-600mm has moved to either the 100-400mm II or the Nikon equivalent."

It's been my observation that if you're a serious Canon bird shooter, you'll eventually be moving to a Canon L lens.


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Canonuser123
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Jun 13, 2018 17:14 |  #34

tomj wrote in post #18644683 (external link)
"Everyone that I know that's owned the 150-600mm has moved to either the 100-400mm II or the Nikon equivalent."

It's been my observation that if you're a serious Canon bird shooter, you'll eventually be moving to a Canon L lens.

I am thinking of getting one of the 100-400mm lenses for airshows, I like my Sigma 150-600mm C but I want something lighter, optically my Sigma is perfectly fine for me.




  
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brassfootball66
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Jun 19, 2018 14:02 |  #35

Canonuser123 wrote in post #18644821 (external link)
I am thinking of getting one of the 100-400mm lenses for airshows, I like my Sigma 150-600mm C but I want something lighter, optically my Sigma is perfectly fine for me.

Then you'll be very pleasantly surprised by the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II.


Dave Stephens

  
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rjeske
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Jun 29, 2018 10:03 as a reply to  @ post 18636743 |  #36

It is basically the full image.




  
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shane_c
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Post edited over 2 years ago by shane_c. (2 edits in all)
     
Jun 29, 2018 18:01 as a reply to  @ post 18636834 |  #37

I can't speak for the OP but when I used to shoot birds (perched and BIF) I would always stop to 7.1 or 8. My thinking was that my lenses were generally a bit sharper stopped down and also I was hoping that if my focus point was close to, but not right on, the eye then there might still be a chance that it would be a usable image since stopping down would give a bit more DOF.


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Phoenixkh
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Jun 30, 2018 01:24 |  #38

shane_c wrote in post #18653773 (external link)
I can't speak for the OP but when I used to shoot birds (perched and BIF) I would always stop to 7.1 or 8. My thinking was that my lenses were generally a bit sharper stopped down and also I was hoping that if my focus point was close to, but not right on, the eye then there might still be a chance that it would be a usable image since stopping down would give a bit more DOF.

Yeah.. if the light is good enough, I'm usually at f/7.1, esp for larger, wading birds.


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Romanthoney
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Apr 29, 2021 11:36 as a reply to  @ post 18636428 |  #39

Actually scientific lens charts > random guys option. Sigma with topaz> canon anything.




  
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Romanthoney
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Apr 29, 2021 11:38 as a reply to  @ post 18636479 |  #40

I would change because a sigma 600mm photo is still better than cropping the Canon 400. Even if it wasn’t as sharp....you still have 200mm more than you had before. Topaz software has made all my sigmas amazing. My rf 50 1.2 is the exception.




  
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Romanthoney
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Apr 29, 2021 11:43 as a reply to  @ post 18636530 |  #41

Not everything has to be blurred out all the time. A lot of people think I’m using my iPhone due to the fad going around. I have an rf 50mm 1.2 that I always shoot around f4. It makes me different but imo it’s beautifully sharp and surreal.




  
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jm4ever
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Post edited 12 days ago by jm4ever. (2 edits in all)
     
May 04, 2021 15:39 |  #42

Romanthoney wrote in post #19229428 (external link)
Actually scientific lens charts > random guys option. Sigma with topaz> canon anything.


Romanthoney wrote in post #19229429 (external link)
I would change because a sigma 600mm photo is still better than cropping the Canon 400. Even if it wasn’t as sharp....you still have 200mm more than you had before. Topaz software has made all my sigmas amazing. My rf 50 1.2 is the exception.

Perhaps you can clear something up for me. Are you suggesting that Topaz does not work well with Canon lenses? How about Sigma +Topaz vs Canon + Topaz? I personally find the Topaz Denoise and sharpening software to be very effective with my 100-400 v1.
So Sigma + Topaz > anything Canon seems to be a bit of a stretch considering Topaz can be equally effective on Canon. Sigma makes some excellent lenses but to say they top everyone of Canon's offerings is simply not true. Unless you're just talking about for the money.
I would certainly take the new Canon 100-500 over anything Sigma at least in this category of lens. While I've never tried the 150-600, I have to admit, I've been tempted. As you say the extra 200mm would be welcome. But I'm not sure if the AF is going to be on par for BIF shots. Please don't take this post as Sigma bashing as they do make some great stuff.




  
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Canon 100-400 vs. Sigma 150-600 C for Birding
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