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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 15 Dec 2013 (Sunday) 06:07
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Difficult decision on Wildlife lenses

 
Paulstw
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Dec 15, 2013 06:07 |  #1

I think my eyes are about to bleed from reading through all the posts on here about this subject. Starting to feel sick from the scrolling action to lol

I've sold my 70-200 2.8 mkii. I've taken a lot of stick for doing that over the last week but to put it simply it was too short for my new adventures in Wildlife photography. I couldn't afford to buy a 1.4x TC or a 2x tc so it had to go to be replaced with something longer.

A lot of people ask whats the best lens for wildlife, and the obvious answer is the longest for your budget. That's all very well. I think it's more of a case of what you shoot and what style you adopt to, your situation and opportunity.

I have bought myself a chair hide, not used it yet, but it was mainly for Kingfishers next spring. I'm more of a "if the opportunity arises" type wildlife photographer. I see a lot of wildlife out and about walking and in my car. I love Buzzards, Kestrels and all manner of birds of prey and we have no shortage of them in Scotland.

I see myself as mainly a walk about quietly and stalk, however even with the 200mm it was never close enough which results in a crop. I want to capture birds of prey in flight, and small birds (I'll use the hide for that) - I'll use the hide as much as I can. I also have a Slik Pro 700DX tripod too. A big sturdy heavy beast for use in the hide.


Options i'm considering in order of preference from what I've read so far.

1.Canon EF 300mm f/4 + 1.4x TC (£945 used)
2.Canon EF 400 f/5.6 (£849 used)
3.Canon EF 100-400 (£879 used)
4. Sigma 150-500 OS (£459 used)

I will admit openly that I've dabbled in wildlife photography. It is my passion and I want to take it more seriously. I am open minded and will do the research, however, there's nothing like experience in this game. Something I don't have yet or have the money to waste on poor purchases.

I'm not bothered about brand new lenses here. I batter mine about crawling about in the fields anyway so my budget is about £1000.

Hope I've covered the bases and hope I can make a sound decision because changing lenses about is actually more stressful than buying a car.

Cheers Paul




  
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PH68
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Dec 15, 2013 06:51 |  #2

It was interesting that you start off saying you sold a decent 70-200 f/2.8 because...

Paulstw wrote in post #16528543 (external link)
I couldn't afford to buy a 1.4x TC or a 2x tc

And then you say you wanted to replace it with a teleconvertor...

Paulstw wrote in post #16528543 (external link)
Canon EF 300mm f/4 + 1.4x TC (£945 used)

How bizarre.

I'd have just kept the 70-200 f/2.8 and bought something like a Kenko Tele Convertor, rather than an overpriced Canon TC.
That f/2.8 lens would have easily coped with a 2x TC.

The EF300 is only f/4 so the best you can use with it would be a 1.4x TC, otherwise you'll lose AF.
It also means that the EF300 f/4 with a 1.4x TC would be f/5.6 at best

Remember that your 70-200 f/2.8 had IS and with a 2x TC would have been 400mm and f/5.6.
The EF400 may well be f/5.6 does not have any IS.


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Paulstw
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Dec 15, 2013 06:56 as a reply to  @ PH68's post |  #3

I tried a 3rd party 1.4 TC and 2x TC on that 70-200 and the metering and AF was so off that it put me off.

The 5.6 aperture isnt something you can get away with seeing most 400's end up at 5.6 whether you're using a zoom with TC or a prime.

Using a 1.4x TC on that 70-200 wouldn't have been long enough still so a pointless purchase in my eyes. AF and IQ are impacted using a 2X TC on the 70-200 so a decision was made to just sell it for something more suited to that style of photography. Hence why I've been getting so much stick for selling.




  
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jimewall
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Dec 15, 2013 06:59 as a reply to  @ Paulstw's post |  #4

I would put the 400 f/5.6 above the 300 f/4 + TC for birds, especially birds in flight (even though the 400 does not have IS). Now if you also shoot a lot of butterflies and things that are closer, then the 300 before the 400.

I think my Sigma 150-500mm is pretty good, but have never got to compare the images side by side with the Canon 100-400. The only reason I’d be willing to switch is because the Canon is physically shorter, so it would be easier to pack in more of my bags – I would be willing to take it with me more often to more places. (But I don’t want to give up the extra 100mm on the long end. I think you will always want more length than you have. )

You might also want to wait to see what the IQ on the new Tamron 150-600 VC is like. Though I’m not sure exactly when it is to be released.


Thanks for Reading & Good Luck - Jim
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Paulstw
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Dec 15, 2013 07:05 |  #5

jimewall wrote in post #16528602 (external link)
I would put the 400 f/5.6 above the 300 f/4 + TC for birds, especially birds in flight (even though the 400 does not have IS). Now if you also shoot a lot of butterflies and things that are closer, then the 300 before the 400.

I think my Sigma 150-500mm is pretty good, but have never got to compare the images side by side with the Canon 100-400. The only reason I’d be willing to switch is because the Canon is physically shorter, so it would be easier to pack in more of my bags – I would be willing to take it with me more often to more places. (But I don’t want to give up the extra 100mm on the long end. I think you will always want more length than you have. )

You might also want to wait to see what the IQ on the new Tamron 150-600 VC is like. Though I’m not sure exactly when it is to be released.

Cheers Jim,

The new Tamron lens might well be priced right out of any budget I have. I dont know. Also hear it's being released on the 19th Dec. It looks cool. My buddy shoots with a Sigma 150-500 and his shots are insane good, but I think he had to send his back to Sigma a few times for correction.




  
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breakingmybankaccount
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Dec 15, 2013 10:01 |  #6

i have the 300 f/4 and the 1.4x and 2x t/c's. it does ok but for birding i think the 400 f/5.6 is pretty popular. the post that says that if you'll use the lens for closer subjects get the 300 is right. it's pretty good for insects.




  
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Paulstw
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Dec 15, 2013 10:17 |  #7

Im really just looking for a lens i can capture kingfishers with on my lunch break at work and the odd buzzard when im out walking. Most of the pics on my flickr site of birds are 50% crops so far.




  
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dbricks
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Dec 15, 2013 10:44 |  #8

wait about a month and see what the Tamron 150-600 is like. i just picked up a 100-400L, but depending on the new Tamron, I may swap them out.


Sony A7III | Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 | Rokinon 14mm f2.8 | Sigma 150-600c + MC-11 adapter
http://davidbricknerph​otography.com (external link)

  
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dbricks
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Dec 15, 2013 10:45 |  #9

but if you primarily shoot birds, the canon 400 5.6 is the way to go. i had the chance to rent it this past summer and was very impressed by the AF and image quality. the only reason i went with the 100-400 is that a zoom better meets my needs at this time.


Sony A7III | Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 | Rokinon 14mm f2.8 | Sigma 150-600c + MC-11 adapter
http://davidbricknerph​otography.com (external link)

  
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Roy ­ C
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Dec 15, 2013 11:37 |  #10

dbricks wrote in post #16529015 (external link)
but if you primarily shoot birds, the canon 400 5.6 is the way to go.

I agree with this, the 400/5.6 is a very high quality lens albeit slow at f5.6. As long you get the right shutter speeds then it is no problem hand holding. For flyers the lens is superb.
I posted some of these on another thread but if you missed them then here are a few samples from the 400/5.6 all hand held and wide open at f5.6 to give you an idea of the IQ on a 7D.


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CORPY
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Dec 15, 2013 11:45 |  #11

you could wait and see how the new Tamron 150-600 costs and performs………i've used a 300 f4l is with a canon 1.4 mk1 and was very happy with that combo ( all second hand i might add ! ) also the 100-400 comes up at below a grand s/h great glass with is !……..i only got rid of my 300 f4 as i had a chance of a 300 2.8l is .




  
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Paulstw
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Dec 15, 2013 11:48 |  #12

It seems that all combos can produce the goods in the right hands. It will just be down to whether I prefer a fixed FL or zoom. Going to wait till Christmas has blown over before I decide.




  
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Scrumhalf
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Dec 15, 2013 11:49 |  #13

If by "wildlife," you mean a wide variety of creatures, not just birds, I can't see how you can do better than the 100-400L. You need a zoom for the versatility. On the other hand, you are going to be pegged at 400mm, then get a prime.


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Dec 15, 2013 11:56 |  #14

I have the 400 5.6 for birding and don't really miss the IS until I throw a TC on it. But I agree with the others here who have suggested waiting for the Tamron to come out and see what the price and IQ will be. That lens could be a game changer.


Mark J.
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Roy ­ C
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Dec 15, 2013 12:06 |  #15

M_Six wrote in post #16529162 (external link)
I have the 400 5.6 for birding and don't really miss the IS until I throw a TC on it. But I agree with the others here who have suggested waiting for the Tamron to come out and see what the price and IQ will be. That lens could be a game changer.

BTW the new Tamron 150-600 is on at least one US site at just over $1000 !
to my mind this is just too cheap to expect a quality 600mm but it could well compete with the cheap(ish) sigma's like the 150-500.
If it any is anywhere near a decent lens at the long end at this price then it could blow to competition smithereens but I would not hold your breath :lol:


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Difficult decision on Wildlife lenses
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