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Old Jul 12, 2008, 5:00 PM   #1
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Hi, I have a 70-300 mm Canon lens which I use quite offen for nature and wildlife shots but I'd like to replace it with a 400mm or 500mm lens.
Recently in Popular Photography, there was an article about a wildlife photographer who stated the following, "The lens is your most importand tool. It should be sharp, very fast-focusing and light yet sturdily built."
This photographer used a Canon 100-400mm EF IS L lens.

Are there other lens would meet this criteria? I don't use a tripod very often, not sure if that's an issue with a lens like this.

Thanks.
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Old Jul 12, 2008, 7:17 PM   #2
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KeithofHB wrote:
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Are there other lens would meet this criteria? I don't use a tripod very often, not sure if that's an issue with a lens like this.
Sure the EF 400mm f/5.6Lprime is probably the lightest of them all!

However once you go to 500mm then the choice is pretty limited and it'll depend on what you consider light...A 500mm f/4 is not light but it's handholdable while a Bigma 50-500 is quite a bit lighter:

http://www.pbase.com/nhl/ef_500l

http://www.pbase.com/nhl/sigma_50_500

-> and if you "want" anIS version of the Bigma: http://www.birdingworld.co.uk/Sigma%20Photos.htm

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Old Jul 13, 2008, 7:41 PM   #3
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NHL schreef:
Quote:
KeithofHB wrote:
Quote:
Are there other lens would meet this criteria? I don't use a tripod very often, not sure if that's an issue with a lens like this.
Sure the EF 400mm f/5.6Lprime is probably the lightest of them all!

However once you go to 500mm then the choice is pretty limited and it'll depend on what you consider light...A 500mm f/4 is not light but it's handholdable while a Bigma 50-500 is quite a bit lighter:

http://www.pbase.com/nhl/ef_500l

http://www.pbase.com/nhl/sigma_50_500

-> and if you "want" anIS version of the Bigma: http://www.birdingworld.co.uk/Sigma%20Photos.htm

I've owned a Sigma 50-500 and after photographing with it for two years, i bought a Canon 100-400 L. After 2 months i sold the Sigma.

The 100 mm less range i don't miss, the 100-400 is sharper at 400, even if i crop the image to get the same image at sigma's 500 mm.

The IS makes a lot of difference handheld. Although i still use a monopod to get the best of the lens.

Two samples what a 100-400 can do:





I've read some good things of the new Image Stabilized 150-500 Sigma, but no experience with that lens.
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Old Jul 13, 2008, 11:52 PM   #4
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Marc H wrote:
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I've owned a Sigma 50-500 and after photographing with it for two years, i bought a Canon 100-400 L. After 2 months i sold the Sigma.
Actually my experience is quite the opposite...
I also have the 100-400L for years including theses recent shots with it: http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...900683#p900683

But can't help to be amazed by the images put out by my recent Sigma's:







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Old Jul 15, 2008, 6:46 AM   #5
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@NHL

the sigma 50-500 is definitely a choice on a olympus. I have personally used this set up and with a flash(even a simple vivtar flash) the reach is terrific and images are definitely good.

But i had to sell the whole set up since i was travelling back to India and i definitely didnt want to sell the 500L. So if i get a chance again, i will get an E3 and a 150-500(hopefully they release one for Olympus)

On a personal note, if you are comfortable using flashes i would say sigma 50-500 as a terrific choice. Even with the 500L i am always shooting at F8 or F11 (thats how thin the DOF is with the 500L)
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Old Jul 15, 2008, 10:54 AM   #6
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NHL,

Those are some great photos, the colors jump off the page.
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Old Jul 15, 2008, 2:33 PM   #7
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nymphetamine wrote:
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... Even with the 500L i am always shooting at F8 or F11 (thats how thin the DOF is with the 500L)
Exactly - It took me a $5000 lesson to get familiar with that 500mm depht of field... :lol::-):G
You can not get an entire bird in focus at 30ft and even less so when the subject is closer when wide open (i.e. f/6.3)!
-> Going to a 400mm will double your DOF right there at the same aperture/distance, hence more appearance of sharpness, but then you won't get the same creamy defocused background...
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Old Jul 15, 2008, 2:39 PM   #8
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Cyberf828 wrote:
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NHL,

Those are some great photos, the colors jump off the page.
Thank

I tend not to rely on IS and shoot in the dark... Like nymphetamine have correctly noticed with the right amount of fill (which negates IS), the contrast and saturation are greatly enhanced
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Old Jul 17, 2008, 3:31 PM   #9
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This is the DOF me and NHL are talking abt. This picture is at F11 and still the DOF is razor thin and a little fill flash helped me to hold it in hand.

I absolutely recommend a flash for wildlife. first few shots will be crazy bad. But things will be different once we start learning to use the flash.



Ok this one is the most extreme example i have. This is completely back lit, and is around 80-90 feet from the lens. I used a flash extender.

There is NO WAY i would have got this shot without aflash. I love flashes



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Old Jul 17, 2008, 6:46 PM   #10
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Also notice with fill you get a nice catchlight in the eye (which makes the subject more lively) that you can always clone out if you don't want it...
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