Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Post Your Photos > Wildlife Photos

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Feb 22, 2006, 10:26 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
squirl033's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 6,696
Default

i am considering stepping up from my FZ20 to a Canon 20D, and am wondering about lenses. i'm not a novice photographer by any means, and i know i need at least a 400mm lens to make capturing shots of wildlife - especially small birds - worthwhile, but many of the lenses out there seem so blatantly overpriced, and there are so many conflicting claims and opinions, that i'm not sure which one to get. i want something that will take advantage of the 20D's excellent image quality, but i'd prefer not to mortgage the house to get it! and i certainly don't want to shell out the better part of a week's pay for a lens only to find out i made a mistake!!

has anyone used the Sigma 80-400 f4.5-5.6 OS lens? any thoughts on how it compares to Canon's "L" series? the Sigma is a good $400 less than the 100-400L... i've heard the "L" series lenses are about the best out there, but are they enough better than the Sigma - or even the other Canon lenses - to justify the stratospheric prices?

as an alternative, would the Canon 70-300 f4-5.6 be a reasonable compromise? out of the box, it will give me about the same reach as my FZ20 (480mm for the Canon vs 432 for my FZ20), though with the TC on my FZ20, i'm out to 620mm...has anyone tried the 70-300 with a 1.4x converter? how does that lens compare optically to the Leica lens in the FZ20?




squirl033 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Feb 22, 2006, 11:28 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 384
Default

I went from a Kodak 6490 to a Nikon D70. I used an old Tamron adaptall 80-200mm 2.8 for about a year. All manual, but it had some reach. I then started saving for a nice auto focus telephoto. My main possiblities were the Sigma 100-300 f4, Sigma 80-400 OS, Nikon 300 f4 and finally the Sigma 50-500mm "Bigma". I spent months researching over and over. I ruled out the Sigma 100-300 and the Nikon 300 because I was afraid I wouldn't be happy limiting myself to 300mm (450 with 1.5 crop factor) During my research of the Sigma 80-400 OS, I read many say it was slow focusing. I figured once in a while I would be shooting birds in flight and would want a fast focusing lense. I finally settled on the Bigma. It was slower and heavier then the others, but I don't regret my purchase. I bought a decent tripod, and unless I'm prone I use it religiously. It took me a while to figure it out. And I can capture tack sharp song birds when I don't get lazy. I use Noise Ninja when I crank the ISO up to 600 or 800, otherwise the noise isn't bad enough to bother. I take the majority of my photos at ISO 200. And the Nikon SB800 set to fill helps a lot. It is a heavy lens, but it has HSM focusing and a heck of a reach to it. Depending on what you shoot, any of the above lenses will do fine. It looks like you're serious about your photography, so buy what you can best afford. if you can stand the wait, save a little longer to purchase a better quality lens. Nothing worse than spending your hard earned money and then be disappointed with your choice. Enjoy your lens hunt. They can be few and far between. Also consider checking out B&H or KEH for used lenses. Good luck. Woody
woodysworld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 22, 2006, 12:20 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
squirl033's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 6,696
Default

thanks, Woody... how fast is the "Bigma"? i don't mind using a tripod for wildlife, but i won't ALWAYS be able to, and would like something that's capable of handheld use if need be. is it stabilized? i seldom shoot birds in flight, though that may come up once in a while...so far,i've sort of avoided trying to get in-flight shots (except theones below... :G)because the FZ20 EVF blacks out while it's writing to the card, and it's almost impossible to getsecond or third shots, plus the AF just isn't near fast enough to keep up with most birds in flight... once i get a camera capable of taking shots like that, i may"find" more opportunities there.








squirl033 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 23, 2006, 1:41 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,724
Default

I don't have advice but read this with interest. If it were my choice, I would definately send a PM out to Normcar, for one, and look at other members who post in wildlife. I got a good reply about equipment questions that way, and just looking at their posts, you know they are using what your looking for. You are lilkely way ahead of me but thought I'd just put it out there. Good luck, let us know what you decide. Best regards,

KennethD


Edit...oops, just reading your post and name forgot we are in "wildlife" thot I was in Panasonic...(blush) :lol:never mind...
KENNETHD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 23, 2006, 6:37 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
killdeer0007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,328
Default

Have you considered the Canon 300 F4 with the 1.4 extender? It hasIS and is light enough to carry around all day. I use it on my Rebel XT and am very pleased with the results. It rarely comes off my camera. I think you can get the lens for 1100 US.

//jim
killdeer0007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 23, 2006, 8:14 AM   #6
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

squirl033 wrote:
Quote:
as an alternative, would the Canon 70-300 f4-5.6 be a reasonable compromise? out of the box, it will give me about the same reach as my FZ20 (480mm for the Canon vs 432 for my FZ20), though with the TC on my FZ20, i'm out to 620mm...has anyone tried the 70-300 with a 1.4x converter?
You'd lose a stop trying to use a 1.4x TC, so you 'd effectively have an f/5.6-f/8 lens. I don't know if the Canon models will focus with anything smaller than f/5.6 or not. It probably depends on the brand and desigin of the TC, and how much information is passed by it. Not all TCs are compatible with all lenses, either.

You may want to ask for opinions in the Canon Lenses Forum

As a general rule, it's a bad idea to try and use a TC on a lens that dim.

JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 23, 2006, 8:16 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
squirl033's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 6,696
Default

killdeer0007 wrote:
Quote:
Have you considered the Canon 300 F4 with the 1.4 extender? It hasIS and is light enough to carry around all day. I use it on my Rebel XT and am very pleased with the results. It rarely comes off my camera. I think you can get the lens for 1100 US.

//jim
unfortunately, while primes are usually better optically, i only have the budget for a couple of lenses... one will be a 'walkaround' lens, like the Canon EF-S 17-85 IS USM. the other will need to cover a wide range of telephoto applications, and i can't afford to spend $1100 on a fixed length lens that restricts me to one focal length. for that amount, i'd be looking at either one of the Sigmas, or perhaps a used 100-400L that will give me a lot more flexibility.
squirl033 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 23, 2006, 10:33 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
bobbyz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,423
Default

Damn, I type more than a page and the hit the wrong key and everything I typed goes down the drain. The forum sw is pain in the neck.
bobbyz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 23, 2006, 10:38 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
bobbyz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,423
Default

Ok, here is thereply

You have 2-3 choices in zooms.

canon 100-400L IS - Nice to hand hold, doesn't work quite well with 1.4xTC unless you have nice light and subject is still.

Sigma 50-500 - Cheapest way to get to 500mm. heavy, has no IS, may require use of tripod. Gives you nice range from 50-500mm. Doesn't work (IMHO) with 1.4xTC as you already at f8 (lens reports f6.3 to the body so it can maintain AF)

Sigma 100-300 f4 - Short, IMHO. You will need 1.4xTC all the time.

I use 100-400L and 400mm f5.6 prime. For birds, 400mm is min. The prime is very sharp (though something wrong with my copy) and be used with cheap tamron 1.4xTC to get you to 560mm and still have AF. best lens for birds in flight shots. AF is fast. It has no IS so may require use of tripod. Min focussing distance is large compred to the 100-400L zoom.

Look at my gallery at http://bobbyz.smugmug.com Most shots with 100-400L.



BTW - I have FZ1 and FZ5 also.
bobbyz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 23, 2006, 10:40 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
bobbyz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,423
Default

1 more thing, don't skimp on glass. get cheaper body if money is an issue. 350XT is just like 20D (picture quality wise) and use that money to buy better glass.
bobbyz is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 1:09 AM.