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Archive 2012 · Telephoto options?
  
 
GC5
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Telephoto options?


Ok - So I've been toying with the idea of picking up a super-tele for some wildlife shots, but have never used one and am at a bit of a loss and don't have unlimited funds. Basically, I am considering the Sigma 150-500, Sigma 120-400, Tamron 200-500 (probably last on the list, but cheapest), a used 100-400L, or a 300L with extender(s).

Am I missing anything? What do folks think is the best bang for the buck? Right now, the 100-400 and Sigma 150-500 are probably in the lead, but I would rather spend less than $1000.

Edited on Feb 02, 2012 at 02:02 AM · View previous versions



Feb 01, 2012 at 09:01 PM
reno.peterson
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Telephoto options?


Last night I took my 1DII to a local store and mounted the 150-500 OS to it, and to the store copy of the 7D. I haven't looked @ the images just yet, but will post a few of just "generic" store shots with both cameras. It's kind of on my list of affordable FL over 300mm also.



Feb 01, 2012 at 09:53 PM
GC5
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Telephoto options?


Reno - your comment on my other recent post actually started this bug for me... Darn you!!


Feb 01, 2012 at 09:57 PM
john_edwards
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Telephoto options?


Not exactly an answer to your question, but this may influence you one way or not. When I still had my 500L I, along with a couple of other photogs, were shooting eagles and I let one of them borrow it for a shot to compare with his 50-500. I know this is not on your list but its cheap in comparison to the Canon. The difference was night and day in clarity. I apologized to the guy for ruining his lens for him. So I would test whatever you are looking at to see if its good enough for what you want before buying.

My 2 cents, John



Feb 01, 2012 at 10:35 PM
GC5
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Telephoto options?



John, that's a bit what I am worried about. Tough to find some of these to test. The Sigmas all appear to be a bit controversial, with varied opinions and samples all over the place. I suspect that the Sigmas suffer from substantial copy variation.

The 500L, in any case, is out of the budget. 300 or 400 are not, but I question whether the 400 is that much better than the 100-400.



Feb 01, 2012 at 10:49 PM
galenapass
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Telephoto options?


I used the 300mm f/ IS + 1.4X TC for a number of years before finally buying the 500mm. This temp solution worked well for me but I see many people using the 100-400mm with great success. Either way should be fine. I've not used the Sigma that you mention but I do not remember it testing well - if memory serves me correctly.

If you are shooting birds I think you will be disappointed with anything less than 400mm, unless you are in your backyard or in the park shooting pigeons.



Feb 01, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Ian.Dobinson
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Telephoto options?


The safe bet would be the 100-400 . I know there are few on here that don't like it . They say it's not as sharp as the big whites or that it's a dust pump and that the push pull zoom is the worst thing possible. But for the money I doubt you can get a much better lens.

Ok the 400/5.6 may be better in total iq but it's not as versatile and does not have IS



Feb 01, 2012 at 11:10 PM
Peacekpr
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Telephoto options?


I bought the 100-400 for my 40D a few years ago. It's sympy an amazing lens for birding and airshows. Whenever I go outside this lens goes too.
It's been my observation that L lenses may be a little more expensive initially but they mke up for it in quality of build and image.
I now use mine on both a 1DsII and a 7D. This lens was a little too much lens for the 40D but comes alive on the above mentioned camera.

(1DsII, 7D, 28-70L,70-200 2.8L II, 100-400L, 85L)



Feb 02, 2012 at 12:55 AM
thedutt
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Telephoto options?


You get what you pay for, specially in the telephotos!

300 F4 (IS or otherwise) + 1.4x is a pretty decent option
400 F5.6 is considered the cheap birding / bif option. AF is great

Otherwise, you are looking at spending > 3k :-) I have the 300 F4 IS + 1.4 and it does fine for just hobby shots. If I was to go into serious birding, 500 F4/ 400 DO / 300 F2.8+2x would get serious consideration.



Feb 02, 2012 at 01:40 AM
JohnBrose
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Telephoto options?


I would suggest the canon 100-400. Mine was very good especially on the long end. Some don't like the push/pull design, but I didn't mind it. Sold it to finance a 300 2.8 but still miss the zoom some times.


Feb 02, 2012 at 01:48 AM
 

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GC5
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Telephoto options?


I have had decent luck with Sigma lenses, and want to like the less expensive Sigma lens, but having just spent an hour looking at flickr images, I don't think it will measure up to the 100-400. People have taken great shots with it, but they seem to be more rare and the 150-500 group on flickr has some stinkers. All the good shots are stopped down too, which suggests it can't perform wide open. I might try to find one to try, but it's looking less likely.


Feb 02, 2012 at 02:17 AM
reno.peterson
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Telephoto options?


A couple of shots from the 150-500 OS. Not bad, but not "stellar". I'm going to stop back during the daytime and maybe get some outdoor shots too...
Image 617491 not found



Image 617496 not found



Image 617501 not found





Feb 02, 2012 at 04:50 AM
user222
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Telephoto options?


Canon 400 f5.6 is the best dollar/mm long telephoto out there IMO.


Feb 02, 2012 at 05:53 AM
moonyguy
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Telephoto options?


If you want versatility then go with 100-400L if you going to shoot mostly BIF and/or at 400 mm then the 400 5.6 L is a great lens. Can't go wrong with either but 100-400L is more versatile especially shooting in public places (city birds).


Feb 02, 2012 at 06:10 AM
GC5
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Telephoto options?



I have to say that Sigma's Desiree is not wowing me with this presentation:



The Digital Picture comparisons seem to show that the 100-400 and the 400 are reasonably close in the center, with the prime having a slightly bigger advantage in the corner. Does that comport with people's experience for those that have used both?



Feb 02, 2012 at 06:15 PM
Gehjl
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Telephoto options?


I haven't used the zoom, but I do own the prime and I find it to be an awesome lens. The af and IQ on it are amazing and it even works great with a 1.4x. Both of these were taken with the 400mm + 1.4x, moon is pretty much a 100% crop.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7024/6591695273_014dc1c87a_b.jpg

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7023/6705992661_d29728957b_b.jpg



Feb 02, 2012 at 09:39 PM
Imagemaster
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Telephoto options?


I would take the Canon over the Sigmas any day. I have owned two copies of the Tamron 200-500 and both were a disappointment. The 100-400 is versatile, the 400 prime is not.

Canon 100-400:
Image 617786 not found





Feb 02, 2012 at 11:46 PM
Andrew J
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Telephoto options?


400/5.6L


Feb 03, 2012 at 12:19 AM
surf monkey
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Telephoto options?


user222 wrote:
Canon 400 f5.6 is the best dollar/mm long telephoto out there IMO.


+1 The 400f5.6 is the obvious bag-for-the-buck winner.
The 100-400 is the most versatile, but you already have most of that range covered.



Feb 03, 2012 at 12:33 AM
GC5
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Telephoto options?



Well I just picked up a 100-400 on the buy/sell board, so hopefully that will work out.

I would rather have saved a bit of cash with one of the Sigmas, but I have a feeling that would have cost me more money in the long run.



Feb 03, 2012 at 12:33 AM
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