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Old May 14, 2005, 11:24 PM   #11
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I guess the question is do you often shoot hand-held or use a tripod.
IMHO: IS can really help and is better than nothing, but can never equal a long lens/camera mounted on a solid tripod/head combination.

One thing the I did not spot in the original post was the price range that was being considered.

Peter.
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Old May 15, 2005, 1:16 AM   #12
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Interesting to hear contradictory opinions...Yes, a budget was considered, I am not willing to drop $5k+ now for a lens, which is what alot of the IS L "super" teles are. Not to mention (as I've said) the weight factor for alot of IS lenses that I looked at which would make those lenses less than desireable for handheld shooting, and again, if a lens is too bulky to hand shoot for extended times, then why not use a faster non-IS lens on a tripod?! Even if I want to shoot moving subjects, in good light, a faster lens will negate blur, maybe even w/o a tripod.

Bottom line for me...I'd rather spend reasonable $$ and revert to a tripod, thandeciding on a spendy IS lens which I might not rely on the IS and end up with a super $$ lens that is also super heavy and not great for everyday handheld shooting.
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Old May 15, 2005, 5:49 AM   #13
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eric s wrote:
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NHL, we both know that you can't judge shots for sharpness with a post like that.
The picture posted was not meant for sharpness, but motion shake below 1/focal - Can you see any???



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My experience is that, in the wild, I would rather have IS than not. It does add weight, but its worth it for me. But it for some people, it isn't. I bet IS adds less weight than gaining a stop in lens ability. So that is nice. But the extra stop gives you other advantages than just speed. Its a very big trade-off with many issues.
I can't agree with you more - How heavy is a 600mm? Think about it... http://www.canon.com.hk/En/Product/P...product_id=355 :idea:
-> With a 600mm everyone will need a tripod, regardless of IS or not!

The 120-300 f/2.8 EX can still shoot decent shots @ 600mm with a 2x teleconverter and be handheld
-> not so with any of the 'lighter' options when they are already @ f/5.6:





... BTW - anyone 'believe' that IS can help with subject in motion like the above???
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Old May 15, 2005, 11:48 PM   #14
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... BTW - anyone 'believe' that IS can help with subject in motion like the above???
I do. It would help remove some of the up/down shake introduced by you as you panned with the bird (if you're set in pan-mode on a newer Nikon or Canon VR/IS lens.)

But that isn't the answer you're looking for 'cause we both know it doesn't help stopping the birds motion. In fact in non-pan mode I bet it works slightly against it.

And boy is that 600 heavy. But stunningly good. As see here from this past weekend. Note this has *no* post processing, only RAW conversion.


Obviously this would be better with sharpening, but that is good from: 600 + a 1.4TC 1/200 f5.6 ISO400 20D. I agree good shots can be had a less than 1/focal. Of course, this was on a tripod. For what it's worth, I almost never shoot with the 600 and no TC, so while I agree the 100-300 + TC will get you 600mm that is the minimum I'd consider useful for what I do. And only for heron and up sized birds.

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Old May 16, 2005, 7:56 AM   #15
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eric s wrote:
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... so while I agree the 100-300 + TC will get you 600mm that is the minimum I'd consider useful for what I do. And only for heron and up sized birds.
... and that's all I try to convey all along!

IMO it's quite naive for anyone to consider that a 120-300 f/2.8 with TC can equal a 600mm prime @ 3x times its price, but the reach is there and still be portable/handheld - Although some folks might think our lenses "would be better mounted in an observatory". :blah:

BTW I tried small birds too through the local park:
http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...55&forum_id=11
http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...56&forum_id=11
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Old May 16, 2005, 8:11 AM   #16
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Nice red winged black bird, BTW. The moving water background gets a lovely milky quality to it. I always like that effect.

I do really miss not being able to hand-hold the lens, which is why I've got the 100-400. But the quality difference between the two (and that I'm not as good at hand holding as I'd like) means that I almost always regret not having used the big lens. But the freedom is great. And you get shots some times that you wouldn't have otherwise. That little ovenbird which shows its head briefly in the underbrush and then disappears (happened to me this weekend.)

And I agree, it should be put in an observatory. I am often accused of carrying a telescope.

Eric
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Old May 16, 2005, 9:25 AM   #17
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Between 100-400 and 400f5.6, it is tough to decide. I got the 100-400 and want to move to 400f5.6 as I can get better flight shots with it. And I can use 1.4xtc and get good results even wide open.

100-400L is not that heavy. I am a small guy and I can carry it fora long timewithout any problem. Dust could be an issue, but push-pull zoom is real good when you need to zoom fast. IS is good for hand held shots. Wish 400f5.6 had the IS.

100-400 is more generic in that it can be used for all types of shots, like compressed landscapes, people shots at events etc. If you looking exclusively for birds than 400f5.6 wins hands down.

Regarding IS, I keep it off for flight shots as it slows down focussing little bit on 100-400L. This lens got the old generation IS which can't be used on tripod. I have got very good results using 1.4x tc on it but only in very good light & using a tripod. I will post some later.

For super-teles, IS is must. People who says otherwise, probably don't use lenses with IS. Theory is one thing, in real life things are different. Even when you have a large lens on a tripod, IS can help in getting much sharper shots & at much smaller shutter speeds. Off course a fast lens will win over IS. But it will be much heavier than the lens with IS but a stop slower. And nobody makes f2.8 or faster with >400mm that I know of. Reach is everything in bird photography. Even with 600mm F4, people put 1.4xTc and even 2xTC.


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Old May 16, 2005, 9:42 AM   #18
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Hi bobbyz, you mean the 400 F4 prime?

Canon does make a 400 F5.6 but it won't buy you much over the 100-400 F4.5-f5.6 except a bit of sharpness, as an F5.6 it is at the limit ofmost cameras ability to AF, so any teleconverter added would make it a manual focus lens only.

Canon does make a 400F4 D0 IS, and a 400 F2.8 IS, but the prices are in the astronomical range :blah:

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Old May 16, 2005, 11:21 AM   #19
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PeterP wrote:
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Hi bobbyz, you mean the 400 F4 prime?

Canon does make a 400 F5.6 but it won't buy you much over the 100-400 F4.5-f5.6 except a bit of sharpness, as an F5.6 it is at the limit ofmost cameras ability to AF, so any teleconverter added would make it a manual focus lens only.

Canon does make a 400F4 D0 IS, and a 400 F2.8 IS, but the prices are in the astronomical range :blah:

Peter
I was talking about the 400f5.6. Technically using 1.4xTC should not allow AF to work on 10D, 20D etc. but if you use TC like tamron/kenko which doesn't report true aperture settings to the body (or use taped pin trick on canon TCs), the AF works fine. With 1.4x TC, it is f8 and I don't see any AF issues on 10D. Maybe a bit slow for flight shots.




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Old May 16, 2005, 8:35 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by bobbyz
With 1.4x TC, it is f8 and I don't see any AF issues on 10D
I have used the 100-400 with the Canon 1.4 MarkII TC. If you tape the proper pins it doesn't report the true aperture.

It works, but AF is so bad the only thing you can shoot is a stationary thing like a heron or a building. Literally it huts back and forth kinda like a pendulum, with the center point being where the focus is correct. Eventually it settles down and stops with the subject focused. Eventually. Sure, the pictures are good enough… my problem isn't with optics. It's with usability. For anything that moves it effectively doesn't work, even if technically it does. I would be shocked if the Kenko or Tamron TCs were any different. Is that what it does?

I do agree that purely for flight shots the 400 f4.5 prime is good. Easy to hand old, no worry about it zooming when you don't want (although the clutch on the 100-400 solves that.) And as said, it is slightly sharper. But something that hasn't been mentioned is the close focus ability. The 100-400 can focus closer than the prime, which makes it useful for other fun things like dragon flies, butter flies, frogs, flowers and other things. Sure, a macro lens is better but for fun the 100-400 is better at it than the 400 prime.

I know people who own them both and wouldn't sell one to keep the other. They both have different strings and if you do the things each does better then its worth keeping both.

I completely agree with bobbyz about having IS on the longer telephotos. It's part of the reason I went with Canon… for less money I get the same optical quality as the Nikon lenses and IS. (Yes, Nikon will eventually but VR into their longer lenses, but I couldn't wait.)

Eric
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