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Old Apr 19, 2005, 6:24 AM   #1
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The next to last lens I am searching for is something in the 400+ mm range. I want to get into birding and other nature type photography. Lenses in consideration:

Sigma 50-500mm f/4.0-6.3 EX APO RF HSM (The Bigma)

Sigma 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 EX APO OS

Sigma 100-300mm F/4.0 EX IF HSM + 1.4x Tc

Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX APO IF HSM + 2.0x Tc

Tamron 200-500mm f/5-6.3 Di LD IF

Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS

Now I understand that the Canon 100-400 IS is probably the out right front runner but its about $400 over budget and I want to use that $400 towardsa zoom at the other end of the spectrum, say a Canon 10-22mm, Tamron 11-18mm, Tokina 12-24 or Sigma 12-24mm.

Does anyone have some experience with the other uber zooms compared to the Canon 100-400 IS. I hear that the Bigma is a pretty good lens but what about the 80-400 OS or the Tamron 170-500mm. I see that the 80-400 OS doesnt have HSM so is it really slow? The Tamron 170-500mm looks good since I am already pretty well covered under 170mm.

What do you think about going with the Sigma 100-300mm f/4 + 1.4x Tc . That would give a focal range of 140-420mm f/5.6 which would be good at 420mm but kinda high apature at 140mm. I see similar problems going with the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 + 2.0x Tc

Currently I havethe 18-55mm kit lens, Canon 28-80mm f/3.5-4, Canon 50mm f/1.8 Mk I, Sigma 150mm f/2.8 EX APO Macroand a Quantaray 70-300mm f/4-5.6LD Macro (rebranded Sigma). The Quantaray is older and doesnt work in any manual modes. Itsalso super soft atboth ends. It does domacropretty decent but since it needs rechiping and Ritz will not do it, ithas tobe replaced.

I also have a Bogen 3021BPRO, 322RC2 ball head and adidt remote shutter release. I have a Bogen monopod and flip head on the way. Stabilty will not be a problem so do I really need image stabilization?

Any and all suggestions welcome. Budget is about $1000. If you got pics of your choice please post them.







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Old Apr 19, 2005, 6:54 AM   #2
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Bilbo....

Sorry - not a reply as such to your postbut broadening the question a bit...

I'm facing exactly the same decision and was going to post this under a new thread when I realised it is very similar to yours... Also looking at getting a high end zoom lens for birding/nature photography...

I'd like views on the pro/cons of the Canon 100-400L IS USM vs the Canon 100-300 DO IS USM. There are the obvious ones - like the additional 100mm on the 400 and the 'compactness' of the 300 DO (and a couple of $'s as well :sad I've readsome of the reviews on Miranda's site but was wondering whether any one has done /come across direct comparisons of the 2 lenses mentioned. Are the optics of the DO lense comparable to the "L" lense...

Any issues with the 1.4x on the DO lense?
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Old Apr 19, 2005, 7:15 AM   #3
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The only issue I could see with the DO and the 1.4x Tc is the apature. You have to add a stop and a half so the DO becomes MF at the longer focal lengths.
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Old Apr 19, 2005, 8:40 AM   #4
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I just received my Sigma (18 Apr)70-200/f2.8 EX APO HSM. I haven't had the chance to use it but from the few minutes I played with it I absolutely love it!! I was in the same boat last week and decided the Sigma was the way to go after reading reviews and getting recommendations here. It's a great value, most bang for the buck so to speak.
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Old Apr 19, 2005, 8:53 AM   #5
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andrewd wrote:
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Bilbo....
Any issues with the 1.4x on the DO lense?
Well there is an issue - it won't work at all! You can't use the teleconverters with the DO.

The optics are different on the DO. It has a number of advantages - no CA for example. But it does require a fair amount of extra sharpening compared to the 100-400L.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...70-300mm.shtml

The DO can be used for wildlife, but I don't think that's its forte. It's a good all-rounder and an excellent landscape lens.

For wildlife work I'd definitely go for the 100-400L or perhaps the Bigma. Check out Normcars photos with the Bigma over in the wildlife forums.

You chaps also don't say what cameras you're using. Be careful because the 20D and Rebel won't AF properly below f5.6. The 1D MkII can AF down to f8 so is a much better bet for serious bird work.
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Old Apr 19, 2005, 10:34 AM   #6
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peripatetic wrote:
Quote:
andrewd wrote:
Quote:
Bilbo....
Any issues with the 1.4x on the DO lense?
Well there is an issue - it won't work at all! You can't use the teleconverters with the DO.

You chaps also don't say what cameras you're using. Be careful because the 20D and Rebel won't AF properly below f5.6. The 1D MkII can AF down to f8 so is a much better bet for serious bird work.
Hey, thats not my quote!!! :P

:blah:

Yah, pretty dumb of me. I list everythng else I own but dont list the camera.

Its a 20D. I havent heard of the 20D not fosusing the Bigma or Tamron out at f/6.3.

I will check out the wildlife section for pics. peripatetic, have you used either the Bigma or Canon 100-400L? Any comments on how they stack up against each other besides IS??

Thanks!!!



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Old Apr 19, 2005, 1:13 PM   #7
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If you can afford it, get the Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 EX - Here's a result from that lens with a 2x teleconverter wide open (ie 600mm @ f/5.6):






Here's the Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 by itself - Check out this 'Bokeh':





But the best thing about this lens is you can leave your camera bag home :blah:
http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...287905#p287905


-> If you can't afford the Sigma f/2.8, get the 100-300 f/4 EX it's sharper, lighter and only 1/2 the cost of it's big brother - with almost a perfect score: http://www.photographyreview.com/PRD_85165_3128crx.aspx
http://www.naturephotographers.net/je1001-2.html

... Remember wildlife are most active in early morning late afternoon - You'll need the fastest lens you can get your hand on, especially in flight (and you'll get the 'Bokeh' for free with the wider aperture)
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Old Apr 19, 2005, 1:44 PM   #8
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Wow, NHL, amazing shots. Do you like the 120-300 f/2.8 over the Canon 100-400L IS? Any thoughts on the Bigma and 80-400 OS?
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Old Apr 19, 2005, 2:42 PM   #9
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I did look at both the 100-400L IS and Sigma 80-400 OS - This would always be a two lens combination: You constantly have to decide if you want the speed of a 70-200 f/2.8 or go long and forgo the nice 'bokeh' of a fast lens -> so you'll end up carrying both (the 70-200 and 80/100-400) and you'll have to compromise one or the other depending on which lens you'll be using :sad:

The 120-300 f/2.8 allows me to have my cake and eat it too - I don't need to carry my 70-200 f/2.8 anymore (I still use this lens for indoor), and with a 1.4x teleconverter the 120-300 f/2.8 becomes a 170-420 f/4 which has more reach and faster than a 80/100-400 which made me wonder about that option as well... BTW I had the Bigma 50-500, excellent lens (until I tried the 120-300 f/2.8 ) :-)

Think about it, this lens is cheap! half the price of a 300mm f/2.8 prime - and with a 2x teleconverter you now have the reach of a pretty fast 600mm!!! :idea:
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Old Apr 19, 2005, 3:38 PM   #10
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Bilbo99 wrote:
Quote:
peripatetic wrote:
Quote:
andrewd wrote:
Quote:
Bilbo....
Any issues with the 1.4x on the DO lense?
Well there is an issue - it won't work at all! You can't use the teleconverters with the DO.

So we learn...:O

Thanks for all the info - advice...

Which camera ? 20D - 3 days old...:-)
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