Approve the Cookies
This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and our Privacy Policy.
OK
Index  •   • New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Guest
New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Register to forums    Log in

 
FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 23 Feb 2014 (Sunday) 04:47
Search threadPrev/next
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

Wildlife lens. 400mm or 50-500mm ?

 
bx338
Member
247 posts
Gallery: 45 photos
Likes: 255
Joined Feb 2013
Location: Englandshire
     
Feb 23, 2014 04:47 |  #1

I am wanting to do more wildlife/bird photography with my 60d.
What i have in mind is going to a prime 400mm f5.6 L USM lens as a first choice (i have a 1.4TC) or another lens to consider is a sigma 50-500mm.
I would like some feedback on the choices listed if anyone is using either with the 60d body or a pending 7d body.
Thanks in advance.




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)
watt100
Cream of the Crop
14,021 posts
Likes: 29
Joined Jun 2008
     
Feb 23, 2014 05:12 |  #2

bx338 wrote in post #16710276 (external link)
I am wanting to do more wildlife/bird photography with my 60d.
What i have in mind is going to a prime 400mm f5.6 L USM lens as a first choice (i have a 1.4TC) or another lens to consider is a sigma 50-500mm.
I would like some feedback on the choices listed if anyone is using either with the 60d body or a pending 7d body.
Thanks in advance.

I have a 60D and used to own the 400mm 5.6 prime. It was nice for birds and wildlife but eventually I found the 100-400 more versatile and almost as sharp for my purposes so I kept that. The 400 prime works great if you're always at the 400mm end but if you want it for other things such as sports, zoo, events, etc. then a zoom will be more versatile.

Be sure to also check out the new Tamron 150-600


60D
Canon 100-400
400mm (cropped 50%)


IMAGE: http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5511/12705318725_84e92fc89d_b.jpg



  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Eastcoast
Goldmember
Avatar
1,317 posts
Gallery: 5 photos
Likes: 317
Joined Jan 2004
Location: Dartmouth, Nova Scotia Canada
     
Feb 23, 2014 06:15 |  #3

I have the bigma, and a 7d.

Although I like the bigma for the zoom you can't compare the quality that you will get with a prime.

One of the considerations that you will have to take into account is that the 400 f5.6 with a 1x extender will not autofocus. You will be at f8.0 and I'm pretty sure the 60D will not do that. As far as I know only the 1 series and the 5D mkiii offer autofocus at f8.0.

The 100-400 is a good option, and will allow you to put the 1.4x tele on it and still retain autofocus.

I struggled with this type of decision for a long time before deciding to bite the bullet and go big, but I am fortunate to have the means to do so.

It often becomes a matter of how much you wish to invest into this. Without knowing your budget it is difficult to offer reasonable suggestions.

Another option might be going to the 70-200 f2.8 and an x2 extender. On a crop that gives you almost as much as the 400 f5.6 and the advantage of one more f-stop.


John
Be careful out there!

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
MalVeauX
"Looks rough and well used"
Avatar
13,275 posts
Gallery: 1692 photos
Best ofs: 4
Likes: 10638
Joined Feb 2013
Location: Florida
     
Feb 23, 2014 06:51 |  #4

bx338 wrote in post #16710276 (external link)
I am wanting to do more wildlife/bird photography with my 60d.
What i have in mind is going to a prime 400mm f5.6 L USM lens as a first choice (i have a 1.4TC) or another lens to consider is a sigma 50-500mm.
I would like some feedback on the choices listed if anyone is using either with the 60d body or a pending 7d body.
Thanks in advance.

Heya,

Depends what kind of birding you want to do. If you just want to shoot passive (not birds in flight) birds in environment, wild life in environment, etc, then any long telephoto lens that is decently sharp will do the job for you. So your budget simply dictates what you get here. If you want to do serious birding in flight, then your pockets need to be deep, or you need to get really skilled with lesser equipment. Tracking a bird in flight will need a lot of reach, and a lot of autofocus speed (which comes from a really long telephoto lens with wide aperture). Since you're looking at $1500 lenses here, I'm guessing you're interesting in the entry point to birding and not looking for the F2.8 and F4 level telephotos that are premium for this.

First, don't consider using the teleconverter yet. Focus on getting the lens that you want at the length you want.

Also, I suggest you get a zoom instead of a prime unless you know you will always be a minimum distance to your targets. That takes experience on your end to know if a 400mm prime will work for you, because you have to know, anything that gets too close means you can't zoom out, so it limits or prevents framing up on something that is too big or too close for your distance to them to frame up properly. This is why most people suggest the 100-400L instead, so you can be as versatile as possible. The 400 prime is great if you know you're always going to be further away (such as raptors, surfing, skiddish animals like deer, etc).

Some lenses to consider:

Sigma 150-500
Canon 100-400L
Tamron 150-600

When it comes to birding/animals, you'll always find that more reach is what you want. More. More. More. Teleconverters make it hard. They introduce difficulty to autofocus (sometimes, especially in lower light). They also can degrade image quality. Use them if you know for sure you're ok to use it for your purpose (missing focus on a bunch of shots is a waste of your time, right?).

Some lenses will let you shoot at max aperture and be sharp. A lot of them however, even the big `L lenses, are sharpest when stopped down a bit. So when selecting a lens, based on your shooting conditions, understand that you may be shooting at F7.1~F8~F11 even sometimes, depending on what lens you go with. You'll still get great bokeh with that, due to focal length.

Also consider, you'll need high shutter speeds with these high focal lengths, moving targets, to avoid blur and keep it as sharp as possible. When I bird, I shoot at 1/640s as a minimum nearly. This means at F8 or so, I need some ISO, so I generally find myself around 800~1600 ISO. I shoot in RAW so I can keep noise clean up possible later on.

Very best,


My Flickr (external link) :: My Astrobin (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
bx338
THREAD ­ STARTER
Member
247 posts
Gallery: 45 photos
Likes: 255
Joined Feb 2013
Location: Englandshire
     
Feb 23, 2014 07:26 as a reply to  @ MalVeauX's post |  #5

Thanks for the replies, some great info to take into account.
I have noticed so far that everything im taking shots of is at max distance therefore im fairly certain i would need the longer reach.

I want to do more BIF shots (mainly waterfowl) so thats the reason why i was leaning towards the 400mm prime, that will give me the reach and without the TC i would still retain AF.

For the shots that are more static (general wildlife) i would still be able to use a TC but will have to manually focus ?

I also have a 55-250mm f4.5-f5.6 which although is not L quality is giving me decent quality in the right conditions for the closer shots.

Everything in life is a trade-off and it looks like photography is another one to add to the list.




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
MalVeauX
"Looks rough and well used"
Avatar
13,275 posts
Gallery: 1692 photos
Best ofs: 4
Likes: 10638
Joined Feb 2013
Location: Florida
     
Feb 23, 2014 07:33 |  #6

bx338 wrote in post #16710464 (external link)
Thanks for the replies, some great info to take into account.
I have noticed so far that everything im taking shots of is at max distance therefore im fairly certain i would need the longer reach.

I want to do more BIF shots (mainly waterfowl) so thats the reason why i was leaning towards the 400mm prime, that will give me the reach and without the TC i would still retain AF.

For the shots that are more static (general wildlife) i would still be able to use a TC but will have to manually focus ?

I also have a 55-250mm f4.5-f5.6 which although is not L quality is giving me decent quality in the right conditions for the closer shots.

Everything in life is a trade-off and it looks like photography is another one to add to the list.

Heya,

I think you'll find swapping to another lens, in the field, is a really bad idea. You'll either miss the shot, or get something in your camera that you don't want in there. Unless you're rolling two camera bodies, anyways. Which I doubt (plus that's heavy anyways).

Going from the 400L prime to the 55-250 is going to make you not want to even touch the 55-250 for anything at that length. The 55-250 is a good lens, but it doesn't come close to what the 400L prime can do, wide open. The autofocus is crazy fast, it's very sharp even wide open, etc.

If you're thinking of two lenses, again, I seriously suggest you look at a zoom. 100-400L if you must go Canon.

Really though, for the same cost, you can get 200mm more reach with the new Tamron. Look at the 600mm Tamron image thread for examples of guys doing birds in flight, birds in water, etc, with it. It's perfectly capable in the hands of even non-pro birders.

Very best,


My Flickr (external link) :: My Astrobin (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
johnf3f
Goldmember
Avatar
4,091 posts
Gallery: 1 photo
Likes: 651
Joined Apr 2010
Location: Wales
     
Feb 23, 2014 12:50 |  #7

I have tried a number of lenses for birds and, in my experience, the Canon 300 F4 L is and Canon 400 F5.6 L offer the best quality at the price. Much as I love my 300 F4 it is a bit short for the smaller bird species so the 400 is probably a better choice. If you want to use an extender on the 400 F5.6 then you will be restricted to Live View AF which is slow and difficult without a tripod - but it can work for static subjects. I would avoid using extenders on F5.6 lenses if possible as the ones I have tried (400 & 800mm) seem to suffer more IQ loss than F4 or F2.8 lenses.
The Canon 100-400 L offers great versatility but I found I was only using it at 400mm so the prime would have been better.
I have also tried a few Sigma zooms but was not happy with them. Although they are great for the price the 300 and 400 Canon primes give better IQ and faster AF - we will have to see how the new Tamron 150-600 fares. Initial reports are generally positive and it is very keenly priced, it would be well worth giving one a try.


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

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
jbrackjr
Senior Member
481 posts
Likes: 35
Joined Dec 2011
Location: Georgia, USA
     
Feb 23, 2014 14:21 |  #8

I don’t have the two lenses that the OP asked about but I have a 60D and I also have the 100-400L and the 150-600 Tamron.

IMO the 400 5.6 is the best BIF lens in this price range. It’s a sharper lens and relatively compact and lite. The only drawback for me is that it’s a prime. Some also include the lack of IS but for BIF it’s really not needed.

I really like my 100-400. I like the push pull zoom, the barrel tension/lock ring and the fact that it is reasonably lite and fast to use. It has first generation IS and focus is reasonably fast and accurate. I have had the Tamron for two weeks and haven’t used it that much. But it is 1/3 larger and heavier than the 100-400. Which makes it clunkier to use. It is slower to zoom with unless you use it as a push/pull ( I’m afraid that will damage it so I will not do so). AF appears to be the same speed as the 100-400 but not as accurate. It also hunts more than my 100-400. It would also appear that I need to use a much higher shutter speed (than anticipated) to ensure a sharp photo. For me, I think this lens is a trade off. I will miss some shots because I find it slower to use and the AF is not the best but I will gain some shots due to it being capable of 600mm. I suspect it will do very well at an airshow where the birds are a lot bigger :lol:.


Jim
Gear List

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Ken ­ Nielsen
Goldmember
1,510 posts
Likes: 1
Joined Jun 2004
Location: Portland OR
     
Feb 23, 2014 17:20 |  #9

I've tried all of the progressive steps up and the 500 f/4 is the top of the heap for birding. IMHO.

A really good match for the 7D also, but even better on the 1D series.




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
hrblaine
Senior Member
284 posts
Likes: 1
Joined Apr 2005
     
Feb 23, 2014 22:28 |  #10

A few years ago I fooled around a little shooting birds in flight with a 70-300 IS USM and a 1.4 extender. Not the best but that's what I had and I wanted to see if I wanted to pursue that type of photography. Pics were OK, nothing spectacular as you would guess. Short experiment. :-)




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
jefzor
Senior Member
788 posts
Gallery: 5 photos
Best ofs: 2
Likes: 24
Joined Jul 2013
     
Feb 24, 2014 11:57 |  #11

Ken Nielsen wrote in post #16711690 (external link)
I've tried all of the progressive steps up and the 500 f/4 is the top of the heap for birding. IMHO.

A really good match for the 7D also, but even better on the 1D series.

True, but I'm guessing that's over OP's budget.


www.jefpauwels.be (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
CyberDyneSystems
Admin (type T-2000)
Avatar
49,916 posts
Gallery: 161 photos
Likes: 6644
Joined Apr 2003
Location: Rhode Island USA
     
Feb 24, 2014 13:26 |  #12

For birds in flight, it just doesn't get better than the 400mm prime.
Even if you make your way up to the 500mm f/4L prime, there's still a place for the 400mm, as it's tops for fast flying.


GEAR LIST
CDS' HOT LINKS
Jake Hegnauer Photography (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Bsmooth
Senior Member
Avatar
861 posts
Likes: 13
Joined Feb 2005
Location: New England
     
Feb 24, 2014 13:41 as a reply to  @ CyberDyneSystems's post |  #13

I'd have to agree with the 400 5.6 For BIF. I have the 100-400 using it with a 1DMKII, and as much as I like the 100-400, its not the most consistant lens for BIF. I'm not saying It can't do it, but If you happen to get that 1 in a 1000 shot and you have to nail it. The 100-400 may or may not get it.
I'm down at the beach all the time practicing with seagulls every chance I get, and I get a lot of "almosts" as I call them.Almost in focus, but not quite. In colder weather I notice that percentage goes down even more.
That could be me, but I'm not sure anymore.
I got to borrow a 400, and man I was impressed, it nailed almost everything.
I think I'll get one myself soon I hope, Id really like to try it out on swallows.


Bruce

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
fogboundturtle
Senior Member
735 posts
Likes: 36
Joined Mar 2010
     
Feb 24, 2014 13:45 |  #14

Its kinda unfair to compare a prime lens to a zoom lens. The prime will always be faster and sharper at equal focal length. The Tamron advantage is obviously 600mm.


Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 70D, Canon EF 24-105L, Tamron 150-600mm, Tamron 70-200 F2.8 DI VC USD, Sony A7r, Sony FE 55mm F1.8

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
bx338
THREAD ­ STARTER
Member
247 posts
Gallery: 45 photos
Likes: 255
Joined Feb 2013
Location: Englandshire
     
Feb 24, 2014 13:50 |  #15

Thanks for the replies, its been entertaining and educational.
Im fairly certain that its going to be a 400mm prime, it will do everything i want for BIF, and static shots. I have borrowed a 100-400mm lens in the past and found i was shooting at 400mm all the time.

I have also looked into the option of going down the tamron route but still keep going back to the tried ,tested and proven performer of the 400mm L lens.

Cheers for all the advice and input.




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

5,495 views & 0 likes for this thread
Wildlife lens. 400mm or 50-500mm ?
FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
AAA
x 1600
y 1600

Jump to forum...   •  Rules   •  Index   •  New posts   •  RTAT   •  'Best of'   •  Gallery   •  Gear   •  Reviews   •  Member list   •  Polls   •  Image rules   •  Search   •  Password reset

Not a member yet?
Register to forums
Registered members may log in to forums and access all the features: full search, image upload, follow forums, own gear list and ratings, likes, more forums, private messaging, thread follow, notifications, own gallery, all settings, view hosted photos, own reviews, see more and do more... and all is free. Don't be a stranger - register now and start posting!


COOKIES DISCLAIMER: This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and to our privacy policy.
Privacy policy and cookie usage info.


POWERED BY AMASS forum software 2.1forum software
version 2.1 /
code and design
by Pekka Saarinen ©
for photography-on-the.net

Latest registered member is Diilley 01
1115 guests, 329 members online
Simultaneous users record so far is 15144, that happened on Nov 22, 2018

Photography-on-the.net Digital Photography Forums is the website for photographers and all who love great photos, camera and post processing techniques, gear talk, discussion and sharing. Professionals, hobbyists, newbies and those who don't even own a camera -- all are welcome regardless of skill, favourite brand, gear, gender or age. Registering and usage is free.