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Thread: Telephoto (zoom) on a budget

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    Member Mircula's Avatar
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    Telephoto (zoom) on a budget

    Hello,

    I keep using my 100-300 5.6L lens more and more and i just love getting close to things.

    Sports, people, birds, other animals. The possibility to get close ups without being noticed is just amazing and lots of fun.

    The only problem is that 300 is "just" not long enough About 400 would be great and give me so many more options......

    As i am on a very tight budget i wanted to ask if you have any suggestions for a telephoto or telephoto zoom lens for a 40D.

    I am after decent image quality. My old 100-300 is horribly slow in focusing and not really fast but i still love it because of its sharpness even wide open at 300mm.


    Any old models or discontinued lenses, 3rd party, prime, zoom whatever comes to your mind....

    Would be very grateful for some suggestions.


    Thank you


    Mirc.
    Constructive criticism is most welcome!!!

    Canon 40D, 100-300 5.6 L
    Sigma 17-70
    Manfrotto Tripod

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    Doesn't exist

    Canon 100-400 is best bet

    A wise sage told me once that the secret to using long lenses is to get much closer
    Darren
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    Ausphotography Veteran Speedway's Avatar
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    I have the Sigma 150-500 and am very happy with that. it has performed beyond my expectations.
    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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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Yeah! I'd say that on a budget(say $1K-ish) the Sigma must be the best value for money lens.

    You never mentioned the upper limit of your budget constraint tho!(so we kind'a have to assume a lil bit).
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
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    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


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    Hi,

    thanks for the replies.

    Sigma 150-500 might be an options....What about the sigma 120-400? Anybody experience with that?

    Budget, yeah, 1k is absolutely maximum (maybe even toooo much , but i am happy to buy used stuff...

    And then I thought if it would be worth it to stick a 1.4 teleconverter on my 100-300. But
    I have no idea if the lens will still autofocus, as it is really old and not sure either what the iq will do....Would love to test it out....

    There are also a couple of tokina and tamron lenses in that range.,...any idea about these guys?


    Cheers,


    Mirc

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    The Sigma is a lot more modern in terms of both optics and focusing ability.

    The 120-400 is also a good option, but if you need 500mm just for that extra lil bit of reach, then the 120-400 will fall short!

    note tho, that the 150-500 is an f/6.3 lens at 500mm, whereas the 120-400 is an f/5.6 lens at 400mm.. ie/ faster, and as you stop down by approximately 1stop for that extra bit of contrast/sharpness, you do so an even smaller aperture on the 150-500mm than on the 400mm.
    Then again, if you shoot at 400mm and the subject matter means that you subsequently need to crop more.... etc, etc.
    It's all about compromises and requirements. I think for their respective prices, they look like very good value for money.. best brand for that type of lens, at that price. While the really old Tammy 200-400 seems to be cheaper, it's also less capable, going by the reviews already been done on them.
    There is what i beleive to be an accurate looking review of the 150-500mm lens on The Digital Picture, in the lens review section. This lens seems to require smaller than f/8 to get a super sharp image(at 100% crop view)... at f/11 it looks perfectly acceptable in the centre of the frame. But in having said that, having checked the 500mm performance across the tested aperture range they tested at, the resultant IQ of the test target looks to be front focused more than lacking in sharpness and contrast(green fringing). I always test my lenses using liveview and more the more accurate focusing system is provides, or via manual focusing. At least you can then determine if this particular lens is at fault(mis focusing) or if the lens is just generally lacking in IQ at that focal length... etc.
    They haven't tested the 120-400mm lens, but according to Sigma's own MTF charts, the 120-400 is supposedly sharper than the 150-500 lens.
    I don't know of any reputable reviews of the 120-400 lens

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    I had a look on ebay at the Sigma 150-500mm lens and looking at the prices they are ranging from $969.00 + $40.00p/h to $1,099.00 + $40.00 p/h, there was one there for $1,095.99 free p/h.

    Ebay can be a good place to get a lens.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    DWI have the 120-400 for $800 and the 150-500 @ $900.. if that makes any difference.

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    Hi,

    Thanks for the further advices.

    Does anybody by chance know, what would happen if I stick a teleconverter on my 100-300? It is a 16 year old lens so I guess it wont autofocus or something. Maybe it is possible to try that out in a photo shop….

    Looked a bit more, what do you think about the Sigma AF 400mm f/5.6 HSM APO macro?
    Does anybody own this lens?

    For both the 120-400 and 150-500 the reviews are really mixed. For the 150-500 I found one review claiming that it is totally not usable at 500 mm wide open – super soft…


    Really no idea hehe.

    Woud be happy about some more comments on the topic….

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    Hey,

    just read that autofocus with 1.4 teleconverter only works with lenses f4 and faster.

    Maybe somebody else is interested in that....

    So this is not an option with my 100-300.

    Guess i keep looking for a 400 sigma prime....hard to find though...

    Cheers.

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    In Training MarkChap's Avatar
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    If you are now looking at a prime, you would be hard pressed to go past the Canon 400 f5.6L, if you can get one that would fit your budget.

    I can't offer hyper technical MTF charts and the like, only real world hands on use of a 120-400 Sigma on both a 40D (now gone to a new home ) and a 7D

    http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...ad.php?t=62298
    http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...ad.php?t=59097
    http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...ad.php?t=58948
    http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...ad.php?t=57309

    If you are on a budget and prepared to accept that you are not getting an L series lens then both the 120-400, street price around $1000.00, and the 150-500, street price around $1300.00, for Aust stock, are mighty fine choices.
    Smoke Alarms Save Lives, Install One Today
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    hey,

    nice pictures. I guess that proofes that you can take stunning images with it


    I will see what i do. I have to wait to see how much tax back i get hehe

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    Just a bit on the Sigma 150-500, I have one and have mixed feelings about it. If I had the purchase over again I'd certainly go 100-400 Canon. I've seen comparison shots and even cropped to bring the subject to the same size the Canon has better IQ.

    Some things to keep in mind with the 150-500.
    1. It is NOT a good low light lens, in fact just forget it in low light situations
    2. The AF hunts in anything but good light
    3. It is hard to track a moving target, then again it is with any 500mm lens
    4. It is long and heavy, never pick your setup up by the camera body with it attached, always by the lens handle otherwise you risk damage to the attaching ring on your body, which will probably result in a throwaway body (OK if you want a good excuse for a new one haha)
    5. You need a really fast shutter speed to get sharp pictures (refer item 1), I had to buy a monopod for it rather than cart my tripod into the bush
    6. It prefers around f9 to get sharper pics and sharp pics hand held, even using a monopod, is more of an issue than not


    In saying all that negative stuff though, when you do get them right, they are good and for the price you just can't really beat it. Just be prepared for a bit of frustration with more throwaways than keepers.
    Last edited by LJG; 27-09-2010 at 8:46am.
    Lloyd
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