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Old May 11, 2011, 3:05 AM   #1
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Default Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 USM IS and Teleconverter

Hi all

I am looking to buy a T3i and primarily shoot wildlife shots.

I would also like to get the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 USM IS lens but was wondering if I can use a 1.4X or so teleconverter with it?

Sorry to bother, but a newbie here.
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Old May 11, 2011, 4:34 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dropmyload View Post
Hi all

I am looking to buy a T3i and primarily shoot wildlife shots.

I would also like to get the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 USM IS lens but was wondering if I can use a 1.4X or so teleconverter with it?

Sorry to bother, but a newbie here.
I don't think it will work with the Canon TC. It may work with some
third party TCs, but the result will be a very slow lens. Not good
for wildlife.
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Old May 11, 2011, 8:39 AM   #3
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Any suggestions on an affordable wildlife lens?
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Old May 11, 2011, 10:04 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dropmyload View Post
Any suggestions on an affordable wildlife lens?
The Canon 70-300mm IS USM you mentioned is one of the better lenses
in this class. There are bigger/better/faster lenses, but they are very
expensive. There is a new 'L' version of the Canon 70-300mm, but it
is a bit pricey.

I notice that a lot of your excellent FZ38 wildlife pictures are taken
at maximum zoom. To achieve similar zoom on the T3i/600D, you will
need a lens with a focal length of about 300mm.

The ideal lens would be a 300/400/500mm prime lens like the
Canon 400mm f/2.8. The IS version is around $8000. Slower
f/4 or f/5.6 prime lenses are less expensive and good enough
for sunny Kenya.

Many of us have to make do with a cheaper option. I use
a Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO (non IS) that I bought on
eBay for €100. It isn't the ideal wildlife lens, but it is a lot
of bang for your buck. A few shots with this lens:
http://pix.ie/corkpix/1630411
http://pix.ie/corkpix/1645034
http://pix.ie/corkpix/1638189
http://pix.ie/corkpix/1638188
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Old May 12, 2011, 1:14 AM   #5
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Those are very nice pics indeed!

Let me research that Sigma lens...$8000 is a little rich for my blood.

Another point, I read elsewhere the Tamron 200-500 is a great wildlife lens...and I can see it on ebay for around $600. Would that do the job?

Its so difficult to think about a DSLR, given the super-high prices of lenses...
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Old May 12, 2011, 3:13 AM   #6
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Check out the Sigma 50-500, a very flexible and highly regarded wildlife lens. If you need one lens to do it all, then that's the one to go for. Not cheap exactly, but not stratospheric either, and if you know what you are doing, it can produce excellent results.
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Old May 12, 2011, 3:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peripatetic View Post
Check out the Sigma 50-500, a very flexible and highly regarded wildlife lens. If you need one lens to do it all, then that's the one to go for. Not cheap exactly, but not stratospheric either, and if you know what you are doing, it can produce excellent results.
Thanks for this...do you think I'd be able to use it hand-held? Its impossible to use a tripod when on safari...
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Old May 12, 2011, 8:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dropmyload View Post
Those are very nice pics indeed!

Let me research that Sigma lens...$8000 is a little rich for my blood.

Another point, I read elsewhere the Tamron 200-500 is a great wildlife lens...and I can see it on ebay for around $600. Would that do the job?

Its so difficult to think about a DSLR, given the super-high prices of lenses...

I don't know much about that Tamron lens, but Tamron and Sigma make some
good zoom lenses. The Sigma 50-500mm mentioned by peripatetic is well
regarded. I have seen some really great bird shots taken with the Sigma 150-500mm,
although this would leave you with a hole in the zoom range from 55mm to 150mm
if you also have the 18-55mm zoom lens.

If you are upgrading from a bridge camera to your first DSLR, I would
advise against spending big money on lenses at the moment. The kind
of lenses you will want/need for wildlife will cost considerably more than
the camera body. It is better to wait until you gain some experience before
buying extra lenses.

It is easy to get drawn in to the numbers game. Bigger is better and
therefore you should buy the lens with the longest possible focal length.
This approach is likely to leave you both broke and disappointed.
Low cost (below $1000) zoom lenses tend to have a relatively small
maximum aperture size (f/6.3 in the case of the Sigma). This doesn't
tell the full story, such lenses usually need to be 'stopped-down' by a
stop or two to achieve optimum sharpness. This gives a usable maximum
aperture of around f/8 at maximum zoom. It is possible to take great
wildlife pictures with such a lens, but only if you understand the limitations
of the lens.

Have a look at some of the images from user: brayman on pix.ie for
some great shots taken with the Sigma 150-500mm.
http://pix.ie/brayman/1412823
http://pix.ie/brayman/2054892/size/800
http://pix.ie/brayman/1550677

The third shot is pushing the limits of what this lens can do.
Fast action at maximum zoom is tricky with an ideal
lens and almost impossible with a slow lens. You can't
just pay your $1000 for the lens and expect to automatically
get great results. You need some luck and a lot of skill.
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Old May 12, 2011, 8:37 AM   #9
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Sigma has another good one, that has now been discontinued.
A 100-300 f/4 very sharp lens if you can manage find it somewhere.

Just noticed the new version of the bigma 50-500 is suggesting a 2400$ price tag.
Having OS adds a big Ouch factor to it.
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Old May 12, 2011, 10:05 AM   #10
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Actually after a lot of reading, looks like I'd be better off starting with the kit lens and add either a 55-250 or 70-300 for the time being.

Looks like I'll have to rethink going DSLR....and keep trying harder with my FZ38.
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Vivitar 28/2.5 ¦ Helios 44-2 ¦Meyer Optik Gorlitz Trioplan 100/2.8 ¦ Tele Lentar 135/2.8 ¦ Soligor 180/3.5
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