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Old Mar 22, 2005, 8:35 PM   #1
djb
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Hi all, after heart surgery last October & then my IS group somehow blocking this for IP address and finally getting internet access at home, it's great to be able to read and post here. I've missed this forum lots!!!! Well, let's get to the reason of this post. If, finances permit I will purchase a 20D and 3 lenses as well as a couple of flashes and other accessories. My needs are more for nature photography, macro & telephoto. Right now 400mm is about the max I can afford. I want to stick with Canon lenses. I will also need a "walk around" lense for general purpose stuff. So, here are my possible package choices:

1. 180mm L macro, 100-400L IS zoom, 28-135 IS zoom, 1.4X teleconverter.

2. 180mm L macro, 70-200/2.8 L IS zoom, 18-55 EFS "kit lens", 1.4X & 2X (to get

to400mm) teleconverters.

3. 1800mm L macro, 400/5.6 L, 28-135mm zoom, 1.4X teleconverter.

Those are the 3 "packages" I can think of for now and they all cover pretty much what I need/want. I have seen great shots taken with the 100-400mm and also the 400/5.6 L. I know the 70-200/2.8 L is a great lense but, how would it match up to the others with a 2X telconverter? How would the 70-200 plus 2X & 1.4X teleconverters match up to the 400/5.6 and 100-400 with a 1.4X teleconverter?

Any suggestions or comments?? Thanx in advance!!!!

dennis


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Old Mar 22, 2005, 9:30 PM   #2
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well, i think either 400 L or 100-400L is the solution.

Using 70-200 2.8 L with 1.4 TC will loose a fstop, 2x TC 2 fstops. On top of that the quality of the image with TC's is not the same as the ones from 100-400 or 400. Using both TC to reach the wanted lenght is not a good solution. (Not to mention AF will not work at all with both)



So in my opinion either 400 L or 100-400L .

Now from those 2 the main diffrence is IS. At 400 both have f5.6 but 100-400' s IS will offer you one or 2 stops.

On the other hand AF is the same as focus is made wide open at 5.6, so the same light available, but AF on 400 is a litlle faster.

Image quality, sharpness is better on 400 than 100-400.

So my conclusion: Depending onwhat you are looking for:

1. If u use mostly longer head (and if u talk about TC this is the case) than u must think on better quality and faster AF on 400 f5.6 L or IS and lack of first 2 on zoom lenses.

My personal choice would be the prime as the tripod is amust for great quality.

2.If u use zoom capability too then u must reconsider 100-400 as AF andquality are decent ones, not like the prime but still decent.



so your third option is the one i would choose if my purposeis as longfocal as possible.





ALso i would like to make a sugestion. A very good walk around lense is 17-40 L.

I am image quality fan and have a steadyhand, is true. I have 28-135IS and 17-40 L and more and more i look for image quality of the L lense and less for rather long focals (i own 20D too , 1.6x factor....) and IS.

Even at iso 400 at f4, for general purpose i like more thecrystal clear image of 17-40L.



of course is personal chioce addapted to my needs and my aproach of photography, but still i considered is good to present this option.

anyway, 28-135(45-216) IS or 17-40 (27-64) is a good choice. Good luck !


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Old Mar 22, 2005, 10:00 PM   #3
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I would avoid using the 2X TC. The 1.4X doesn't seem to degrade quality too much. Anything less then F5.6 and you can't autofocus UNLESS you tape the pins on the lens.

As for the lenses I bought a 100-400 L IS. Really like it a lot! Today I just bought the 70-200 2.8 L but haven't had a chance to try it yet. I MAY use it with a 1.4X TC but I don't know yet since I do have the 100-400 L.

As for the 28-135 I am not a big fan of it. I bought the Sigma 18-125 instead as I wanted something with a bit more WA. I wouldn't be so hung up on JUST buying Canon lenses. Sometimes they are the best sometimes not but they are almost ALWAYS the most expensive in their range. Sometimes they offer nothing in a particular range and of course there are some really crappy Canon lenses.

You might seriously want to consider the following Sigma models for what you want to do.
  1. 100-300 F4 EX IF USM[/*]
  2. 120-300 F2.8 EX APOUSM[/*]
  3. 70-200 F2.8 EX APIF USM w 1.4X TC[/*]
  4. 80-400mm F4.5-5.6 EX OS APO (has Sigma's version of IS)
[/*]
All these are very good lenses and will save you a wad of cash vs. their Canon L counterparts IF there was a counterpart. The first 2 really have no equal in the Canon lineup. One thing I like MUCH better about the Sigmas is they are less obtrusive in that they are black and don't stand out as much as the white Canon L lenses do.

I have the Canon kit lens you mentioned and it is not too bad. Reallya surprise but I now use my 18-125 Sigma as my walking around lens. You might be able to pick up some of these lenses in used but excellent condition if you are willing to look around a bit.
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Old Mar 24, 2005, 12:17 AM   #4
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Thanx all that replied!!! Most if not all my pics are handheld. Therefore, IS is a big plus for me. I really like the Sigma 120-300/2.8 but right now the cost would put me over my budget. I believe it goes for around $1900. All the stuff I am thinking of comes to about $6500 and that is really pushing the limit. The Sigma 80-400 sounds nice but not sure of the cost. I thought it was clos to $2K but, I may be wrong. I'll have to check into it. The other thing about Sigma is the possibility of having to send it back to be rechipped. I don't want to take that chance. I know the Canon 400L is abit sharper than the 100-400L but the IS on the zoom will help. The reason I thought of my first package was it covers all focal lengths from 28-400mm with no gaps. I will have to think about this a bit more. Thanx again!!! Some good suggestions!!

dennis
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Old Mar 24, 2005, 6:17 AM   #5
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djb

The Canon L are safe buy for sure; However the 120-300 f/2.8 is not that expensive if you imagine that a 300 f/2.8 alone costs twice as much and you can afford the reach of a 600 - Theses were shot handheld with the Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 on a 2x extender: http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...71&forum_id=11

BTW only older regular AF Sigma lenses made before year 2000 need to rechipped. None of the HSM (ultrasonic) or EX series ever need rechipping - Plus it was done at no charge and they even cleaned the lens! Oh and the Sigma 80-400 OS is not $2K, but only 1/2 that amount
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Old Mar 24, 2005, 11:55 AM   #6
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NHL, thanx!!! great shots!! The 120-300/2.8 was and still is a lense I am considering. Like I said, it does put my budget a bit over the top. I looked for infoon the 80-400 OS. It looks pretty good but, most say it doesn't have HSM and that it is slow to focus. Also, from the little I have read, the Sigma OS is not nearly as good as the Canon IS. And, yes, you are correct. The 80-400 OS is only about $1K. I think if I were to get a Sigma lense it would be the 120-300/2.8. How quick is the AF on it? Is it quiet? Accurate?Thanx again!!!

dennis


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Old Mar 24, 2005, 5:55 PM   #7
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djb wrote:
Quote:
How quick is the AF on it? Is it quiet? Accurate?
I find it faster/quieter than my EF 28-135 IS USM - Here's an FYI from Mr_Saginaw another owner: http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...99&forum_id=65


It does hunt a little bit with a 2x teleconverter @ the long end, but then I find it very convenient to use (like the 50-500 which I had before) because it's a zoom: When zoomed out to about 300mm it's still quite quick in AF which allowed me to locate the flying bird, and then with a quick twist of the zoom ring I can jump right on it... and the camera wouldn't have to work as much with the AF.

-> If I had it at 600mm only I can never find the flying bird fast enough because of the narrow FOV and the camera would have focused on the background first :?


As for the wide end have you looked at other Sigma's offering?
-> They are already one of the best @ Macro
http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...76&forum_id=65
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Old Mar 25, 2005, 12:00 AM   #8
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NHL, thanx for the links. As for the macro, I want a 180mm. I've seen some tests but, can't remember where, that compared the Canon 180mm, Sigma 180mm, & the Tamron 180mm macros. From what I could gather the Canon and Tamron were next to impossible to see any differences. The Sigma results did not impress me. As for the link you had to the Sigma 105mm macro, that lense rivals anything out there. Fom my experience I need the longer lense to subject distance.

The 120-300/2.8 is an amazing lense. Some reviewers have mentioned a looser fit on Canon cameras and even looser using a teleconverter. Not all, but some. That is one of my biggest hangups with using 3rd party products. It's the possibility of getting a lower quality product and the hassle to return or repair it to make it fit properly. When I first heard about the 120-300 and the price, I was really amazed. I have lots of time to think and research more as my financial staus improves and I decide to take the plunge and buy a bunch of gear. I first need to get my hips replaced (at least one of them) before I can really get out and enjoy using the equipment. So, I figure in 2 to 3 months I may take the plunge. Who knows, maybe there will be something else on the market that's better and cheaper when I plan to buy.

dennis
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