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Looking for long lens options for 1DX...
  
 
Chris B.
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Looking for long lens options for 1DX...


After many years of shooting with crop sensor cameras (1DIV and 7DII), I picked up a new-to-me 1DX at the beginning of the summer and it's now my new favorite camera. I shoot BIF and own a 500 f4II, 400 DO II, and 100-400 II, and I use a 1.4xIII with all those lenses frequently. I also own a 2xIII which I use virtually always for distant perched shots since even with the 1DX, getting the combination to lock on for BIF is very difficult. What I'm quickly discovering is that my 500+1.4x is now a bit short for those long distance flight shots, and am thinking about other options. Much as I'd love to have it, I simply cannot afford a 600 f4II...

I'm looking for some suggestions about getting more reach without breaking the bank, so to speak, so I'm looking for suggestions. I'm considering picking up a pre-owned 600 f4 L IS (the heavy one), or perhaps one of the Sigma 150-600 lenses + 1.4x.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated...



Nov 01, 2017 at 12:10 PM
jaredmizanin
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Looking for long lens options for 1DX...


The old 600 *might* be your best bet. I have never used any 600/4, however, so I cannot really say!

Of course, selling your 500 II AND 400 DO II would leave you with plenty of money to purchase the 600 II. Alternatively, you may be able to find a used 800L for a similar price as your 500 II. I actually made money when I made the 500 II ---> 800L switch, but I got a fantastic deal. At any rate, the 800L should be less expensive than the 600 II, and you would likely feel the need to fiddle with teleconverters less.

I have never used any of the 150-600 zooms, but I still feel confident in saying that your 500 II + TC will outperform those combos despite less reach.



Nov 01, 2017 at 12:42 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Looking for long lens options for 1DX...


I'd go for the EF 600/4L IS, and keep my eyes peeled for an EF 800/5.6 L IS at a good price. Also, I'd probably grab a Sigma EX 800/5.6 or EX 300-800/5.6, if one comes up. There's a couple of these big zooms on eBay, at the moment.

I used mostly a 500/4L IS and 100-400L IS I/II, on 1DX and 1DIV for about four years, for action photography (with 1.4x III and 2x III, as needed). I sold the 1DX last year, because I've evolved away from sports. I've used the first two versions of the Sigma 120-300/2.8, which is very versatile, but doesn't quite match the EF 300/2.8 L IS for IQ.

I wouldn't bother with the Sigma or Tamron 150-600 lenses (which I have not used), because the general concensus is pretty clear (and no surprise), that they don't match up well with the level of performance expected from the big whites (which you already appreciate). I do think it's worth trying one of the Sigmas that go to 800mm, because (i) you have less extender overhead, and (ii) I've consistently heard good things about them.



Nov 01, 2017 at 12:51 PM
Mike Veltri
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Looking for long lens options for 1DX...


I sold a 500 and my 300 2.8 to finance the 600 II when it came out. Best move I ever made for birds.

The 600 has around 40% more magnification than the 500 and I would never have believed the difference between the two lenses.

If I was in your shoes, I would sell the 100-400 as it would be a lens easily replaceable down the road, and the 500II to get the 600II.

I doubt with what you already own that you would be happy with the Sigma, but I could be wrong.

Good luck.




Nov 01, 2017 at 12:58 PM
denzar
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Looking for long lens options for 1DX...




Mike Veltri wrote:
The 600 has around 40% more magnification than the 500 and I would never have believed the difference between the two lenses.



About this comment ;my knowladge is simply dividing focal lenght to 50 for magnification ratio ;this means 500 mm gives 10x while 600 mm 12x which is %20 not %40 ; any comments? Thanks



Nov 01, 2017 at 01:28 PM
Greg Schneider
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Looking for long lens options for 1DX...


See here for a few examples (halfway down and on) of focal length differences between the 500 and 600.

http://www.digitalbirdphotography.com/3.1.html

It's quite noticeable in the field, especially if you'll be shooting with a lower MP full frame body and having to crop.



Nov 01, 2017 at 01:32 PM
Mikehit
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Looking for long lens options for 1DX...


I would sell the 500 and get the 600. The 400/600 combination gives you two lenses that are quite different and the 100-400 is a superb walk around for those days you want to wander without carrying the weight (many I have read consider the 100-400 a fine substitution for the 500).

What is your biggest frustration - the focal length or the AF with the extenders attached? The 5D4 is reportedly better than the 1Dx, focuses better in lower light and has 50% more pixels to help the lenses you have (I hesitate to use the term 'reach'....)



Nov 01, 2017 at 01:39 PM
Mikehit
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Looking for long lens options for 1DX...


denzar wrote:
About this comment ;my knowladge is simply dividing focal lenght to 50 for magnification ratio ;this means 500 mm gives 10x while 600 mm 12x which is %20 not %40 ; any comments? Thanks


It will be 40% larger in surface area on the sensor and that is probably more important than the linear dimensions when viewing the image



Nov 01, 2017 at 01:42 PM
Tapeman
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Looking for long lens options for 1DX...


You can never have enough reach. Go for the 800. Even then, you'll want more.


Nov 01, 2017 at 02:13 PM
Mikehit
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Looking for long lens options for 1DX...


Chris B. wrote:
I also own a 2xIII which I use virtually always for distant perched shots since even with the 1DX, getting the combination to lock on for BIF is very difficult.

....

or perhaps one of the Sigma 150-600 lenses + 1.4x.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated...


If you find the 2x tc on Canon lenses makes it difficult to lock on I will be very surprised if the Sigma + 1.4 is any better, in which case you will probably be better off with the 400mm+2x.



Nov 01, 2017 at 02:51 PM
 

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Greg Schneider
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Looking for long lens options for 1DX...


Tapeman wrote:
You can never have enough reach. Go for the 800. Even then, you'll want more.


I have a clear preference for the 600 II over my former 800. The two main reasons are that the 800 is very difficult to resell if needed, and the 600II is simply more versatile. In terms of weight, the balance and lower weight of the 600II is quite noticeable, and optically I notice no downside to using the 600 w/1.4 vs the bare 800. Flip side is you'll be juggling TCs more with the 600, though with the 800 I often had to use a 12mm extension tube for songbirds up close. Having f4 capability is very useful for lower light situations, and a must for settings such as the rainforest.



Nov 01, 2017 at 03:39 PM
coreyhkh
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Looking for long lens options for 1DX...


The 1dx plus 500mm plus 1.4 is more than good enough for your needs, I would focus on finding ways to get closer to the animals. For the last 6 years I have used the 500 and learning to stock your prey and get close is more valuable than any large lens.

Edited on Nov 01, 2017 at 03:55 PM · View previous versions



Nov 01, 2017 at 03:42 PM
arbitrage
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Looking for long lens options for 1DX...


I would not consider 150-600 zooms with 1.4TCs, I would think the 700mm of the 500II/1.4 will give a better image even though you will crop in more. I had the Sigma C and tried it with the 1.4TC....it worked, IQ was decent but AF response wasn't great (and it is at f/9 (f/11 to really get it sharp) so light has to be excellent). 700 5.6 from the 500II again is way better in AF and gathers 1 1/3 stop more light.

It sounds like your plan is to keep 400DOII and 500II along with the potential 600...that is a lot of big lenses only 100mm apart. Since you are happy with the 500II/1.4TC then it means the 600 will always have the 1.4TC on it also because otherwise why use a heavier (not even handholdable by most) lens at 600 when you have 700mm already in a much lighter handholdable option? So I'd be looking at a used 800L instead OR looking at selling the 500II and using that towards a 600II which you can handhold some of the time. I guess the other question would be what are you using the 400DOII for? It sounds like you want 1000mm for perched and more than 700mm for flight so how much are you using the 400DOII? Maybe selling both 400DOII and 500II for the 600II would be an option??

One last thought....1DX2 (all points and AF modes available at f/8) with 2xTCIII on 400DOII is very useable for some BIF, even 500II/2x worked for me for some BIF when I shot one for a day. So maybe putting the money towards the camera would be a different solution??



Nov 01, 2017 at 03:43 PM
Chris B.
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Looking for long lens options for 1DX...


Thank you all for your intuitive and insightful comments!

Something else which I did not mention in my original post is that I do a fair amount of shooting out of my vehicle which is a Hyundai Santa Fe SUV. Dealing with the 500+1.4x is already a tight fit but reasonably manageable (the DO plus converters is my preferred option here) but I know that dealing with the size of (either) 600 would be difficult at best, and any of the Sigma options would really be out of the question...

Another option I have considered, and as another member suggested as well, was to pickup a 5DIV. Although I'd lose the fps, I'd again the 30mp sensor which would enable deeper crops using the existing lenses that I have.

And, I also didn't mention the possibility of Canon coming out with the mythical 600 DO which would easily tick all the boxes for me, although chances are, I'd likely need a second mortgage to get it and risk going to divorce court!



Nov 01, 2017 at 03:55 PM
AmbientMike
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Looking for long lens options for 1DX...


How is the 500+2x for reach? That is 1000mm.

The 600mm is shorter than the 500+1.4, so it doesn't really sound like you would be happy with it. If I was going to use 600 with a,1.4 on it all the time, I'd look at the 800.

So you might want to get an 800mm, or go back to 1.6x cameras.



Nov 01, 2017 at 03:59 PM
arbitrage
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Looking for long lens options for 1DX...


Chris B. wrote:
Thank you all for your intuitive and insightful comments!

Something else which I did not mention in my original post is that I do a fair amount of shooting out of my vehicle which is a Hyundai Santa Fe SUV. Dealing with the 500+1.4x is already a tight fit but reasonably manageable (the DO plus converters is my preferred option here) but I know that dealing with the size of (either) 600 would be difficult at best, and any of the Sigma options would really be out of the question...

Another option I have considered, and as another member suggested as
...Show more

Compared to a 1DX the 5D4 does act like a 1.29x TC so it is worth considering. For BIF I like to have 10FPS + but of course you can manage with 7FPS. 5D4 would be an ideal option for extending reach for perched birds. For BIF in decent light I still like the 1DX better than the 5D4 for its AF response. Of course the 5D4 does have better low light AF and if you use your 2xTC will have better f/8 AF but I don't find it better for f/4-f/5.6 good light and fast action AF.



Nov 01, 2017 at 04:01 PM
msalvetti
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Looking for long lens options for 1DX...


Chris, when would you be looking to make an upgrade? For the spring?

I'm wondering if waiting for the rumored 60mp 5DsII is worth considering? Depending on the frame rate and the AF, perhaps this will be enough with your current lens lineup?

It would at least leave you better able to hand-hold. If you bought a 600L or an 800L, I would imagine that means being on a Wimberley most of the time. Would that work for you?

Mark



Nov 01, 2017 at 04:25 PM
MatthewK
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Looking for long lens options for 1DX...


I pretty much only shoot (smaller) birds these days, and my lens progression has been quite similar: started with the 100-400II, went to 400DO II, sold the DO, and now have landed on the 500II.

Recommendation #1: get an 80D. Superb camera. My favorite walk-around combo is the 80D + 500II. Lightweight(ish), very responsive AF, nice low-light performance, and the IQ is wonderful.

Recommendation #2: get a 5D4. It's merits have been summed up in this thread, and it functions my "wide angle", high ISO/low-light body aside the 80D.

The 1.4x TC is there for the super long range shots. My goal is to always shoot a lens bare if possible, so I spend a lot of time trying to get close to the birds. I have the 2x, but I avoid using it whenever possible.

The 100-400II is so good, it sometimes makes me question whether or not a Big White is necessary. The drawback is of course the small aperture, so low-light shooting goes to the 500, but when light is adequate, the 80D + 100-400 + 1.4xIII is killer. Very light-weight combo is a nice break from lugging the 500 around. Had the DO, used it 95% of the time with the 1.4xIII, but found that it didn't offer enough over the 100-400 to keep, and the 500 f/4 on the 80D works just as well for my reach needs as the 400 + 1.4xIII, at 1 stop better aperture.

About the 600II: are you looking to shoot from tripod mostly? For me, the 500 is almost too heavy for walking around, the 600 would be a pig, and I consider myself in shape. Despite all that though, I admit to GAS'ing a little for this lens.



Nov 01, 2017 at 05:24 PM
Chris B.
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Looking for long lens options for 1DX...


AmbientMike wrote:
How is the 500+2x for reach? That is 1000mm.

The 600mm is shorter than the 500+1.4, so it doesn't really sound like you would be happy with it. If I was going to use 600 with a,1.4 on it all the time, I'd look at the 800.

So you might want to get an 800mm, or go back to 1.6x cameras.


I occasionally use the 2x on both the 500 and the DO. With both lenses, I need lots of light, crystal clear conditions (less risk of "atmospherics" which do come into play at that focal length) and light to no wind. In addition, I usually hang my (16 lbs) beanbag under my tripod for that added stability. With both lenses, the AF slows down to a glacial pace so the 2x is better for perched subjects.

I don't really want to go back to a 1.6 crop sensor camera but if I did, chances are that I would make a wholesale change to the "dark side" but that's a conversation I really, really do not want to start here



Nov 01, 2017 at 06:52 PM
Chris B.
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Looking for long lens options for 1DX...


Thank you all again! Lots of great ideas for sure!

Since I already have some excellent glass, the idea of adding a 5DIV to the mix may be the best option for now...



Nov 01, 2017 at 07:00 PM
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