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Thread: Wildlife Lens

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    Member sapphireminer's Avatar
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    Wildlife Lens

    Hi all
    I have a Canon 300 f4 and Canon 1.4 TC I use on my 50D for wildlife but are now thinking about going to a Sigma 150-500 and 1.4 to give a bit more on the long end any points of view are most welcome Regards Dave

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    Dave, have a look at what gear the birders are using, I think they are using the sigma or a 400 canon with the 1.4 TC. I they are getting good results they must be doing something right.
    Jim Canon 40D – Canon 70-200mm f/4L – Nifty 50 f/1.8 – Tokina 12-24 f/4 - Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro Critique welcome
    http://home.exetel.com.au/shim/index.htm

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Is autofocus important to you?

    Will a maximum aperture of F/8 or 9 be enough for you?

    Is a good quality image important to you?

    If you answer yes to all three questions then I would suggest that you only look at the Canon 100-400 or 400 prime which are excellent lenses and well proven by many users on this forum and elsewhere on the 'net.

    The Sigma as a bare lens will work well for you as a much less expensive option but I would suggest that trying to use it in conjunction with an extender will probably end in frustration and possible tears.
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



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    re wildlife lens

    I don't know much abot the sigma 500 mm lens,you mention,but i did get a sigma 120 to 400 for wildlife photography,and it was awfull! the previous poster asks some very important questions.

    I got rid of the sigma lens within a week,I ended up with the Canon 400 mm Prime F 5.6,it is an outstanding lens for birds and wild life,out of all the glass i have ever owned this is the best.also consider the canon 100 to 400,its good,however IMHO the 400 prime is better,i bought a canon 70-200 F 2.8 to take care of the mid ranges.

    Hope this helps,
    Canon 50D and 450D - Canon 10-22 F3.5-5.6, 17-55 F2.8 L, 70-200 F2.8 L, 400 prime F5.6 L, 60mm F2.8 macro, EX 430 Flash,and all sorts of other bits and pieces

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    Ausphotography Veteran rwg717's Avatar
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    Suggest?

    Hard to know in these cases isn't it? I have seen comments that the big Sigma, although an excellent lens is very heavy and some suggestions that the Canon 100-400 would be a better bet at roughly the same quality.
    The Cannon 400 f5.6 would also be excellent, I have owned both these Canon lenses but never the Sigma so a direct comparison can't be made by me....but I can say that you won't be disappointed with Canon's offerings.
    Richard
    I've been wrong before!! Happy to have constructive criticism though.Gear used Canon 50D, 7D & 5DMkII plus expensive things hanging off their fronts and of course a "nifty fifty".

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    Quote Originally Posted by fairy bombs View Post
    I don't know much abot the sigma 500 mm lens,you mention,but i did get a sigma 120 to 400 for wildlife photography,and it was awfull! the previous poster asks some very important questions.

    I got rid of the sigma lens within a week,I ended up with the Canon 400 mm Prime F 5.6,it is an outstanding lens for birds and wild life,out of all the glass i have ever owned this is the best.also consider the canon 100 to 400,its good,however IMHO the 400 prime is better,i bought a canon 70-200 F 2.8 to take care of the mid ranges.

    Hope this helps,
    Can only agree that the Sigma 120-400 is awful. As a result I will never buy any Sigma lens again. The Canon 100-400 is great and in my opinion better than a 400 prime for wildlife as you can compose your pict.
    Regards
    Bodies : Canon 450D, Canon 7D
    Lenses : Canon 15-85 f3.5-5.6 IS USM, Canon 100mm F2.8 Makro USM, Canon 24-70 L F2.8 USM, Canon 70-200 L F4, Canon 100-400 L F4.5-5.6L IS USM
    Editing : Photoshop CS5

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    A. P's Culinary Indiscriminant mongo's Avatar
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    Mongo is not a cannon user but from what Mongo knows, a 400 canon prime or 100-400 canon each with 1.4 converter are a MUCH BETTER option than what you are thinking of doing !!
    Nikon and Pentax user



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    Thank you everybody for your input. I have read so many good comments about the Sigma I thought it was worth a go. When using the 300 I think if only I had a bit more but I guess with a 500 it will be the same maybe I confine my shots to closer subjects. Have a great day everybody Regards Dave

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    I'm also on the verge of buying this lens, i was sent this link today, maybe worth a look.

    http://www.doorhof.nl/blog/index.php?topic=1756.0Rgds
    Jayde

    Honest CC whether good or bad, is much appreciated.
    Love and enjoy photography, but won't be giving up my day job.

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    Telephoto Trepidation

    Buying a telephoto lens is one event which many photographers do with some level of trepidation.... (possibly due in part to the costs involved). You'll see people on online forums asking what they should buy, what's better, and of course there's the usual "lens criticism" and expression of somewhat-related opinions as well. Naturally, no matter what you buy you'll find someone criticizing your chosen lens.

    Ignoring the hype and thinking about what one needs from their soon-to-be-purchased lens can seem next to impossible. It's all good and well to see what's out there, but as always, the ability to think for yourself while listening to issues raised by others are equally important ways to avoid disappointment.

    I went through all the stages, months of research, looking at the options, and asking myself a million and one questions like "How often am I going to use this lens?" "Where would I use it?" the "How would I use this lens to it's greatest advantage?" "what limitations are there, and am I happy with that?"... etc, etc. Ultimately, the big question is "Can I justify this purchase, (also the weight) if I get the one that suits me?". Of course, the last question may be something some of my fellow forum members may leave to their more "Down-to-earth" partners/significant others/camera gear caddies ;-)

    If it helps, the biggest concerns/questions I used in determining which lens I got included:

    1. The image quality of a prime (1 fixed focal length) versus the flexibility of a zoom. Considerations which affect this include: How much will an extender degrade this? Am I better off with a longer lens to begin with?
    2. How much distance do you want to cover with the lens? How much can you afford?
    3. Speed of the lens, if you're birding, with a fast moving target in low light, F5.6 and slower lenses might not cut it. Although f6, even f8 and beyond can be great during the day.
    4. Are your expectations of an f6 500mm lens realistic? There is no substitute for getting closer to wildlife, zooming "by foot", and knowing the typical behaviour of animals. Patience, and a little research can help far more than dropping thousands on a lens which you may have trouble carrying! Of course, if you have the dedication, expertise, the patience, AND the mother of all lenses, you're definitely going to get some shots with a "Wow" factor.
    5. What other features should I need? Image stabilisation/vibration reduction? Lens hood, help or hindrance?
    6. Are there any problems with my "short listed" lenses? For example: A lot of people complain about Sigma being rubbish, and others say the Canon 100-400L is a "dust sucker". But have owned the 100-400 for 6 months, used it in all weathers, and never noticed dust in my camera. So again, some people do know what they're talking about.. and others... well.. not so much. :-D

    Finally, using a telephoto length lens will show the camera shake that wouldn't be noticeable on shorter focal length lenses. (Whether this is due to the focal length alone, or just that your muscles are tired from holding a much larger lens... you can decide) In any event, keep your shutter speeds up wherever possible, and failing that, use a tripod/monopod/bean bag for support. Of course, make sure your tripod can handle the extra weight, and if your lens doesn't doesn't have a tripod mount/ring, consider getting one! It's better to dangle a 1Kg camera off the back of a lens than dangle a 2.5 Kg (or even heavier) lens from the front of your camera! Leverage, is not a good thing in this case, and your ability to pan/tilt may be hindered.

    As always, if anyone wants to correct me on anything, feel free!

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    ...... remember, buy a Sigma Lens you have to buy a Sigma TC..... I have a 1.4 & 2x TC to go with my Sigma lens.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pine View Post
    Can only agree that the Sigma 120-400 is awful. As a result I will never buy any Sigma lens again. The Canon 100-400 is great and in my opinion better than a 400 prime for wildlife as you can compose your pict.
    Regards
    Sigma do make some great lenses at a good price. 17-70mm for example - EXCELLENT.
    "Nature photography is about choosing a location, crawling through dirt, being bitten by insects and occasionally taking a great image". - Wayne Eddy.

    Canon 5D MkIII, Canon 7D, 17-40mm f/4L,
    24-105mm f/4L
    + Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS +400mm f/5.6L + Canon 1.4xTC + Canon 100 EF f2.8 USM + 430-EX


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    "Cannon" is spelled Canon. The red colouring is proprietary and optional, however the number and arrangement of the letters is not.

    I just had a brief browse around the interweb and have seen the 400mm f/5.6 and the 100-400mm are only about $AU500 more than the 150-500mm - which is reputed to be pretty good and better than the Sig 50-500mm. I have no direct experience with either of the Sig lenses, but have seen many pics taken with them. At least backgrounds are much finer with the Canon lenses.

    In summary: There are little advantages between the 100-400mm and the 400mm f/5.6 and both have excellent IQ. The former has IS, the latter not. The former is zoom enabled, the latter is reputed to have at tad better AF response - enabling better birds in flight (BIF) shots. Sure, there are great shots of BF with the 100-400mm however (being prepared to be stoned here), there are more great shots with the 400mm f/5.6 out there. The 400mm f/5.6 is said to be the birders lens of choice though not limited to this subject.

    If you are going to do wildlife and kids at sport and stuff then get the 100-400, otherwise consider the 400mm prime as you will be often at the 400mm end anyway.

    The 1.4TC MKII works very well with either, though you will never have close to the original AF with it mounted. Best to just MF.

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    Any reason why the 300mm F4 + 1.4TC is not being considered

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    Quote Originally Posted by fats View Post
    Any reason why the 300mm F4 + 1.4TC is not being considered
    OP Says:
    "Hi all, I have a Canon 300 f4 and Canon 1.4 TC I use on my 50D for wildlife but are now thinking about going to a Sigma 150-500 and 1.4 to give a bit more on the long end any points of view are most welcome Regards Dave"

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    Quote Originally Posted by enduro View Post
    OP Says:
    "Hi all, I have a Canon 300 f4 and Canon 1.4 TC I use on my 50D for wildlife but are now thinking about going to a Sigma 150-500 and 1.4 to give a bit more on the long end any points of view are most welcome Regards Dave"
    Yep, its official, I am an idiot.

    In that case, if extra length is the goal, is the 100-400 or the 400 F5.6 really a consideration? They are both shorter than the current setup.

    I am particularly curious because I am currenly shopping in this range myself. I have pretty much ruled out the 400 because I want IS too much. I have had a play with the 100-400 and the 300 F4 + 1.4 TC and, to me, the 300+TC blew the zoom out of the water. It was noticibly faster, lighter and had a slight advatage on reach. I just need to decide if i want the flexability 100-400.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fats View Post
    In that case, if extra length is the goal, is the 100-400 or the 400 F5.6 really a consideration? They are both shorter than the current setup.

    I am particularly curious because I am currenly shopping in this range myself. I have pretty much ruled out the 400 because I want IS too much. I have had a play with the 100-400 and the 300 F4 + 1.4 TC and, to me, the 300+TC blew the zoom out of the water. It was noticibly faster, lighter and had a slight advatage on reach. I just need to decide if i want the flexability 100-400.
    300x1.4 = 420 so the advantage on reach is only really slight. That combo is an excellent combo for wildlife an you have AF too!

    If I had that setup I don't think I'd be looking at a 400mm prime or 100-400mm unless I had some specific tasks that I needed it to perform.

    As far as I can recall, the only next telefocals are the 500mm, 600mm etc.

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    Hmmm, I might have to start a thread soon asking some of my own specific questions.

    As for the original question, I would stick with what you have unless you can afford something that is longer AND of at least the same quality as what you already have. That is a very uneducated opinion though.

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    300mm f/2.8 + 2x extender = bloody brilliant IMO. Still get AF. 600mm is good

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    I have the 150-500 and am very pleased with it so far, I havent used any of the others, the IQ and sharpness is improving the more I use it and find the optimal settings. I may look at a 1.4 teleconvertor later but for now I will work on my stalking techniques.
    Keith

    Canon 400D Gripped, Canon 7D LCD Timer Gripped, Canon 70-200 f2.8L is ii. Canon 2X iii Extender, Canon 50mm 1.8, Sigma 150-500, Sigma 18-250, Sigma 17-50 F2.8, Sigma 10-20, Tamron 90mm Macro, Yonguno YN460 & 460ii Speedlights and a Hanimax TZ 1 Flash, Wireless Triggers ,LED Macro Ringlight, Extension Tubes, 3 tripods, 2 monopods, PS Elements 5 & 10, PSP9 and canon s/ware, various filters and other photographic paraphernalia all packed in a computrecker backpack + 3 smaller bags and an aluminium case.

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