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Archive 2012 · Telephoto options?
  
 
GC5
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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 · 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 · 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 · 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 · 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 · 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 · 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 · 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 · 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 · 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 · 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 · 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...




  Canon EOS 7D    150-500mm lens    403mm    f/6.3    1/250s    500 ISO    +1.3 EV  






  Canon EOS 7D    150-500mm lens    313mm    f/6.3    1/250s    500 ISO    +1.3 EV  






  Canon EOS-1D Mark II    150.0-500.0 mm lens    500mm    f/6.3    1/100s    800 ISO    0.0 EV  




Feb 02, 2012 at 04:50 AM
user222
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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 · 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 · Telephoto options?



I have to say that Sigma's Desiree is not wowing me with this presentation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zBX7saXLFQ&feature=related

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 · 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.














Feb 02, 2012 at 09:39 PM
Imagemaster
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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:







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


400/5.6L


Feb 03, 2012 at 12:19 AM
surf monkey
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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 · 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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