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Old Jan 5, 2004, 8:48 AM   #11
NHL
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Eric

I've long determined with a few exceptions that one can't get rich going PRO! I'm just content with the fact that my spouse let me buy 'one' more expensive toy after another... :lol:

I don't know where you get the numbers, but from the http://www.photozone.de/2Equipment/easytxt.htm#Ztelel, the Sigma's rated higher than the Tokina and compare favorably with the EF 4.5-5.6 100-400mm USM L IS, plus the ∑ has the HSM's ultrasonic over the Tokina (ie slower and noisier focus).
Think about it this way:
1. You get a decent (and affordable) 300mm f/2.8
2. A compact, fast (and very affordable) 600mm f/5.6!

IMO this is all a trade-off exercise. Theses are all excellent lenses in their own right. So what if a lens measured a fraction higher? The resulting pictures are all that count (and YOUR own satisfaction in the results), and no one is going to measure them... Good lens measurements help, but the photographer actually captures the memorable images: The ∑ AF 4.0 100-300mm EX (HSM) may be cheaper, but @ f/8 with a 2x TC you're not getting the 600mm to AF, nor the prized 300mm f/2.8...


Barthold

I still want to keep the 70-200 f/2.8! It's lighter and serve different purpose. You pretty much know ahead of time what you plan to shoot... plus as head of household, one has other stuffs to carry than just the camera gears (ie 120 min. is too long) on an outing! ops: ops: ops:
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Old Jan 5, 2004, 2:19 PM   #12
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NHL, I do so agree there. Only a very few nature photographer make money. And I believe that is more from photo clinics and books than from prints.

I got my numbers in the #4 "Tele Zooms xx-300mm" catagory.
The Tokina is first with the 100-300 f4 @ 4.24, the Sigma 100-300 f4 is next with 4.09. Are you sure we're comparing the same lenses? They list them as:
Tokina AF 100-300mm f/4 AT-X I II
Sigma AF 100-300mm f/4 APO EX (HSM)

The 100-400L list optically at 4.46 (which seems too high to me, after using it for 6-8 months... but I am probably pushing it's acceptable use distances.) So the Tokina could be close to the 100-400, but after you put a TC on it I bet it drops a bit to widen the L's lead.

Ahh, the AF difference is a good point. I saw the Sigma was HSM, but I didn't know what "AT-X I II" means in the Tokina.

I agree about the 70-200 being a lens for a different purpose. But I have to say, I only know what I'm shooting about 1/2 the time. Some times I go shooting birds but then the butterflies are out and I just can't resist them!

Barthold

I have a massive tripod and ball head (G1348 holds 26lb, Arca Swiss B1G holds 200lbs.) It's the second largest CF tripod Gitzo makes, I believe. The only thing I'd have to add (if I wanted to) is a full Wimberley or a Wimberley sidekick. They aren't required, but basically everyone I talk to that uses such big glass uses them (or something similar.. I think manfrotto has a knockoff.)

You are right, though. With such magnification power, you have to have a very steady tripod/head and great technique (which I don't have... but I'm working on it.)

The people at NPN are quite nice, though. They politely correct you and move on. It's nice... kinda like here, but with some strong opinions and many years of experience to back it up. It's only recently that I've started to post there 'cause I haven't felt comfortable doing it.

I do have most of my gear as a rider on my home owners insurance policy. I've been thinking about switching that, though. I've heard a few horror stories about people not having their home owners isurance re-uped after massive gear loss. Also, technically, you can't make money with the gear if you do that (void the policy)... and who knows, maybe I'll sell a picture or two some day.

The 17-40L is nice, isn't it? The only think I dislike is that the zoom ring is so far up the lens. I find the built in flash on the 10D gets in the way. I really should use it more. But it all comes down to topics. I do mostly bird/animal photography. The more reach the better.

Eric
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Old Jan 5, 2004, 9:39 PM   #13
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Eric

Click here:

Quote:
Tele zooms -300/320mm Optical Quality

Sigma AF 4.0 100-300mm EX (HSM) 4.18 (3) = very-good
Sigma AF 2.8 120-300mm EX (HSM) 4.05 (3) = very-good
Carl-Zeiss AF T* 4-5.6 70-300mm (N) 3.54 (3) = good
Sigma AF 4.0-5.6 70-300mm APO Macro Super 3.21 (2) = average
Minolta AF 4.5-5.6 75-300mm II 3.08 (3) = average
Canon EF 5.6 100-300mm L 3.05 (3) = average
Tokina AF 4.0 100-300mm AT-X II 3.03 (4) = average
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Old Jan 5, 2004, 11:18 PM   #14
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Eric,

I did read a bunch of threads on NPN, very nice to have true professional opinions! I pretty much decided on the 300 F4 IS + TC combo versus the 100-400L. I still have to do some research on the new Sigma 120-300. F2.8 is really really nice to have! Plus, that lens doesn't even weigh 6 lbs, it is amazing.

I have a 'Personal Articles Policy' that covers my photo gear and laptop. It is about $0.90 for every $100 insured per year. This is the strictly hobby rate. If I ever sell pictures I'll deal with it when the time comes. But knowing that one slip scrambling over a boulder could cost me $3000 in camera gear, the insurance is worth it :-)

So what is 'good long-range lens technique' in your opinion?

Thanks,
Barthold
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Old Jan 6, 2004, 1:21 PM   #15
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Ah, I got my info the portion of their site where people put in their experiences with the lenses and its averaged together (with some reasonable stastical foruma, I assume.)

Go here:
http://www.photozone.de/2Equipment/lsurveyEOS.htm

Good to see numbers of that f2.8 120-300. I had only heard about that lens.

barthold

I need to update my insurance policy, I believe.... The 17-40 isn't on it. Gotta get off my lazy butt and do that.

As for long-lens technique. These are the links that I generally give on that subject. They tell it much better than I can (and the authors know how to do it, as oppose to me.... I only try.)

http://www.naturephotographers.net/bh0201-1.html
http://www.naturephotographers.net/ejp0801-1.html

And if you are feeling really scary technical, look at this:
http://www.poelking.de/wbuch/scharf/index_e.htm

I don't claim to understand all of this, but what I get is kinda useful.

Eric
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