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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 03 Apr 2013 (Wednesday) 09:26
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Sigma 120-400 vs. numerous lenses

 
ed ­ rader
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Apr 06, 2013 10:42 |  #16

JohanBorjesson wrote in post #15786724 (external link)
So you would recommend the Sigma? Now I just realised that the used 300 prime was the non-is version and I am not really into buying a lens that old. It's just so hard, would I be happy with the Sigma? I really can't tell.

if so he is in the minority. the 100-400L is the best wildlife zoom made for canon DSLRS and it is very sharp thoughout the range wide open. since you are shooting with a cropper i'd also strongly consider the 70-300L.


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jhayesvw
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Apr 06, 2013 11:32 as a reply to  @ ed rader's post |  #17

huntersdad wrote in post #15786628 (external link)
The 100-400 was my least liked lens by far. While superbly built, the IS system is outdated and the AF always seemed too slow for me. Wide open, it was always slightly soft, stopped down it got better quick.

For my money, the answer for wildlife situations, would be the 400 5.6. Smokin' AF speed, super sharp wide open and light. You do have to pay attention to your SS a little more since it lacks IS, but no biggie. Additionally, it is cheaper than the Canon 100-400 but only slightly more than the Sigma.

I can't comment on the 300 f/4 as I have never owned one, but if you get that to add a TC, you might as well have just bought the 400 and saved some coin on the TC.

I dont quite understand your thinking.
You say the 100-400 is not a good choice because its IS is old but then you recommend the 400 5.6 which has NO IS and its "no biggie"

If youre going to say that then just turn off the IS on the 100-400 and the time to acquire the subject gets faster. Add to that the focus limiter (which you already mentioned) and its just about as fast as the 400 5.6.
I have access to the 400 5.6 and the 300 f4 and have used them both. I would NOT get a 300 f4 for birds. The addition of the TC loses too much AF speed. It becomes quite a bit slower than the 100-400 then.

Here is my take as I shoot wildlife/birds for 99% of my stuff.
The 100-400L can not be beat as on overall wildlife lens due to weight, sharpness, build quality.
The 50-500 sigma is very close and has better OS.
The 400 5.6 is fastastic as a bird lens and is very good as a wildlife lens but lacks the versatility for large subjects when you are close (and yes you do get close fairly often).
The 300 f4 is a great lens without the TC and a good lens with only lacking focus speed. It does not lose too much IQ with the TC on.

I went through this whole thing a few years ago when I bought my lens. I chose the 100-400 and if I had it all to do over again I would buy it again.
You can check my Flickr page (in my sig) for photos taken with the 100-400. Almost every photo is taken with it with various bodies ranging from a Rebel t1i a couple years ago, then a 60d about a year ago and now with a 7d.

The 100-400 is not super soft stopped down but MY COPY does lose a little sharpness. I use it at 7.1 because I prefer the DOF it affords me.

Here are a few more recent samples of the 100-400.

almost a 100% crop

IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8259/8623955829_5514f8d240_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/jhayesvw/862395​5829/  (external link)
GHO family (external link) by jhayesvw (external link), on Flickr

almost a 100% crop
IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8371/8584913218_b8a28f3dbd_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/jhayesvw/858491​3218/  (external link)
Harris's Hawk takeoff (external link) by jhayesvw (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8389/8574367745_38cd529d5c_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/jhayesvw/857436​7745/  (external link)
Antelope Ground Squirrel (external link) by jhayesvw (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8515/8575350594_d085186b60_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/jhayesvw/857535​0594/  (external link)
Lucy's Warbler Male (external link) by jhayesvw (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8386/8575349616_6d43907bfe_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/jhayesvw/857534​9616/  (external link)
Broad Billed Hummingbird (external link) by jhayesvw (external link), on Flickr

340mm to get the whole Gila Monster in frame (not possible with a 400 prime as there was no room to back up)
IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8532/8566481449_eb919376f5_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/jhayesvw/856648​1449/  (external link)
Gila Monster (external link) by jhayesvw (external link), on Flickr

220mm no crop ( I was face to face with this thing. I was laying on the ground. VERY stupid on my part.
IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8103/8504953650_66efeda0fc_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/jhayesvw/850495​3650/  (external link)
Javelina Standoff (external link) by jhayesvw (external link), on Flickr

Here it is at 400. I zoomed to 400 to take a portrait (no crop)
IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8104/8504956518_081504be4b_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/jhayesvw/850495​6518/  (external link)
Javelina (Peccary) portrait (external link) by jhayesvw (external link), on Flickr

You WILL some photos if you get a prime. but you will gain a little sharpness. Its a tradeoff. Im willing to take the small hit in sharpness to not miss an opportunity.

I should add that a Sigma 120-300 2.8 OS is a bit of a dream lens for me. The weight is 2x that of the 100-400 though which is a hinderance when I hike a few miles at a time holding the camera.


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CyberDyneSystems
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Apr 06, 2013 11:40 |  #18

JohanBorjesson wrote in post #15786470 (external link)
..But there is one guy selling it as low as $900 but I'm unsure on that one..

There is an older version that does not have IS,. be sure to check before going any further.

My vote would be the 100-400mm


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Apr 06, 2013 11:46 |  #19

jhayesvw wrote in post #15797222 (external link)
I dont quite understand your thinking.
You say the 100-400 is not a good choice because its IS is old but then you recommend the 400 5.6 which has NO IS and its "no biggie"

If youre going to say that then just turn off the IS on the 100-400 and the time to acquire the subject gets faster. Add to that the focus limiter (which you already mentioned) and its just about as fast as the 400 5.6.
I have access to the 400 5.6 and the 300 f4 and have used them both. I would NOT get a 300 f4 for birds. The addition of the TC loses too much AF speed. It becomes quite a bit slower than the 100-400 then.

Here is my take as I shoot wildlife/birds for 99% of my stuff.
The 100-400L can not be beat as on overall wildlife lens due to weight, sharpness, build quality.
The 50-500 sigma is very close and has better OS.
The 400 5.6 is fastastic as a bird lens and is very good as a wildlife lens but lacks the versatility for large subjects when you are close (and yes you do get close fairly often).
The 300 f4 is a great lens without the TC and a good lens with only lacking focus speed. It does not lose too much IQ with the TC on.

I went through this whole thing a few years ago when I bought my lens. I chose the 100-400 and if I had it all to do over again I would buy it again.
You can check my Flickr page (in my sig) for photos taken with the 100-400. Almost every photo is taken with it with various bodies ranging from a Rebel t1i a couple years ago, then a 60d about a year ago and now with a 7d.

The 100-400 is not super soft stopped down but MY COPY does lose a little sharpness. I use it at 7.1 because I prefer the DOF it affords me.

Here are a few more recent samples of the 100-400.

almost a 100% crop
QUOTED IMAGE
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/jhayesvw/862395​5829/  (external link)
GHO family (external link) by jhayesvw (external link), on Flickr

almost a 100% crop
QUOTED IMAGE
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/jhayesvw/858491​3218/  (external link)
Harris's Hawk takeoff (external link) by jhayesvw (external link), on Flickr

QUOTED IMAGE
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/jhayesvw/857436​7745/  (external link)
Antelope Ground Squirrel (external link) by jhayesvw (external link), on Flickr

QUOTED IMAGE
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/jhayesvw/857535​0594/  (external link)
Lucy's Warbler Male (external link) by jhayesvw (external link), on Flickr

http://www.flickr.com/​photos/jhayesvw/857534​9616/ (external link)
Broad Billed Hummingbird (external link) by jhayesvw (external link), on Flickr

340mm to get the whole Gila Monster in frame (not possible with a 400 prime as there was no room to back up)
http://www.flickr.com/​photos/jhayesvw/856648​1449/ (external link)
Gila Monster (external link) by jhayesvw (external link), on Flickr

220mm no crop ( I was face to face with this thing. I was laying on the ground. VERY stupid on my part.
http://www.flickr.com/​photos/jhayesvw/850495​3650/ (external link)
Javelina Standoff (external link) by jhayesvw (external link), on Flickr

Here it is at 400. I zoomed to 400 to take a portrait (no crop)
http://www.flickr.com/​photos/jhayesvw/850495​6518/ (external link)
Javelina (Peccary) portrait (external link) by jhayesvw (external link), on Flickr

You WILL some photos if you get a prime. but you will gain a little sharpness. Its a tradeoff. Im willing to take the small hit in sharpness to not miss an opportunity.

I should add that a Sigma 120-300 2.8 OS is a bit of a dream lens for me. The weight is 2x that of the 100-400 though which is a hinderance when I hike a few miles at a time holding the camera.

Thank you so much for the reply Jeremy, I remember that hawk picture as I subscribed to that thread and started following you on Flickr because of those shots you got on it.

You certainly woke up my interest for the 100-400 again, and it might just be the correct choice for me because I am scared of losing out of things. With the 100-400 I have a very wide range covered and I am pretty sure this lens would sit on my camera forever until I get more into it and start buying lenses for each type of photography.


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JohanBorjesson
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Apr 06, 2013 11:47 |  #20

CyberDyneSystems wrote in post #15797247 (external link)
There is an older version that does not have IS,. be sure to check before going any further.

My vote would be the 100-400mm

Yes I realised that, thanks for the heads up tho.


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CyberDyneSystems
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Apr 06, 2013 11:50 |  #21

JohanBorjesson wrote in post #15797270 (external link)
.. With the 100-400 I have a very wide range covered and I am pretty sure this lens would sit on my camera forever until I get more into it and start buying lenses for each type of photography.

Yes, and actually, it will remain on ONE of your bodies when you get to that point.

even after becoming a dedicated wildlife and bird photographers, I find that despite my dream lens, the 500mm f/4L IS, I always have the 100-400mm ready and waiting on a 2nd body.


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JohanBorjesson
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Apr 06, 2013 11:52 |  #22

CyberDyneSystems wrote in post #15797283 (external link)
Yes, and actually, it will remain on ONE of your bodies when you get to that point.

even after becoming a dedicated wildlife and bird photographers, I find that despite my dream lens, the 500mm f/4L IS, I always have the 100-400mm ready and waiting on a 2nd body.

Haha yeah I can imagine :D


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ed ­ rader
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Apr 06, 2013 11:56 as a reply to  @ CyberDyneSystems's post |  #23

Jake, OP and everyone else -- here's a good guy to read about long lenses. I discovered his blog when researching the 70-300L.

make sure to read the comments too. I agree with everything he says except for his idea on "overlap" :D.

http://www.grantatkins​on.com …0-f4-5-6-l-is-lens-review (external link)


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jhayesvw
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Apr 06, 2013 13:17 as a reply to  @ ed rader's post |  #24

Johan,
I just hope to help.
Im budget limited so as you can see in my gear list I have very few lenses.
The 100-400 is a great lens for a massive focal range. So if youre budget limited like me its a great choice.
The sigma 120-400 is also a good lens. Im not trying to say its bad. I just know the Canon 100-400 is fantastic.
Its the go to lens fo Africa safaris for a reason.
Do your research and choose your lens. You will be happy no matter what.



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Sigma 120-400 vs. numerous lenses
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