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Old Jun 10, 2005, 10:58 AM   #1
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Greetings all, I have a 20D and a Tamron 28-75 2.8 lens right now. I am looking for some telephoto options, but I don't have much cash to drop on it at the moment. At first I looked at the canon 70-200 f4 with a teleconvertor, but then I'm in the same aperture range as the Tokina, minus the flexibility and it costs significantly more when you total it including the converter.

Therefore I am very interested in the Tokina 80-400-4.5-5.6 ATX II SD APO, does anyone here have any experiences with this lens yet?
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Old Jun 11, 2005, 9:16 AM   #2
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It isn't as good a lens as the 100-400 from Canon.
But its really a question of your standards. It isn't horribly bad, it just isn't above... "fairly good".

Eric

ps. Note this is from comments others have made. I have the 100-400, so I don't need that lens.
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Old Jun 11, 2005, 9:37 AM   #3
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Unfortunatley I don't have $1400, or even $1000 to spend. The Tokina is less than $500, that makes a huge difference. If it is not "horribly bad", thats good to know, but what makes it "fairly good" and not better?
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Old Jun 12, 2005, 8:41 AM   #4
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Looking at a review site that I like, here are the comments:

The comments in ()'s are the 100-400's values, as a compairson. I know that lens fairly well. Some things are rated as 1-5 stars, others are 1-5 numbers (when the stars aren't fine grained enough.)

They rate it overall as "average" at 2.6 (4.37)
Long performance is poor * (very good, ****-) So it sounds like it is very soft on the long end.
When stopped down at the long end (smaller aperture) it goes up to Ok ** (very good ****+)
There is little distortion or vignetting on either the long or short ends, **** & ****- (***** & ****+/***** for the 100-400, best possible)
The AF speed is "very slow" - * (fast ****)
Build quality is good ***+ (very good ****)

So it sounds like it isn't very sharp on the long end and the AF speed is really slow.

Depending on what you'll use it for, the AF speed will kil you.
I bet the 70-400 f4 now, plus a 1.4TC later in the year be better. There is the annoyance of the pause created when you have to stop to put in the TC, which should not be discounted.

Eric
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Old Jun 16, 2005, 11:00 AM   #5
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Gotta chime in with Eric - similar experience and same opinion.
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Old Jun 16, 2005, 7:48 PM   #6
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Well, after thinking this over a bit I'm down to a dilemma that seems fairly common here. First of all, I'll forget the Tokina, since the lens makes all the difference, as long as I can come up with a solution that is LESS than twice the price, that is until I sell a gallery full of prints or start shooting for National Geographic. :G

With the 70-200 f4 in mind as the alternative it still comes out to $650 including the tripod ring and then I'm stuck with a 1.4x max for the tc and only 280mm. While I'd prefer avoiding removing the lens as much as possible, once I'm familiar with the ranges I'm sure I can anticipate it most of the time when I plan to shoot. If I'm stuck using a tc I'd at least like the option of 2x, so that got me searching again.

Now, I've decided that perhaps the Sigma 70-200 f2.8 would be the best bet, since its a 2.8, only $50 more and then I have the option of a 2x tc for that 400mm reach (not counting the 20D multiplier). The only downside is that the Canon and my current lens are both 67mm so they could share filters.

Then again... TheCanon 100-400 4.5-5.6 EF-L IS USM is probably exactly what I need. Hey, I can dream can't I? Or is it absolutley that much of a better solution than the Sigma with the 2x that I should just do everythingI can to afford it?

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Old Jun 17, 2005, 12:12 PM   #7
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That is a very difficult choice (as I'm sure you know.)

I know many people here like the Sigma 70-200 f2.8... but a few have had trouble with it. I don't know if that was just a problem of individual bad lenses.

What do you plan to shoot? The 100-400 is a really nice lens, and you might be able to find it used. The trick with that can be where... some used places price is to close to new that it isn't worth it.

If you plan on shooting specific things with it, then you might be able to live with the TC changing, as you said.

The sigma TC's (which work well with their lenses) are cheaper than the Canon ones... I think. So check that out, it could save you a few bucks.

Another option, which is probably not in your price rance, is Sigma has a 100-300 f2.8 (or is it 120-300 f2.8?) that people around here seem to like. That might be worth starting out with, and then saving up for a TC later on.

Eric
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Old Jun 17, 2005, 12:46 PM   #8
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I plan to shoot wildlife mostly.

The 120-300 f2.8 is out of my range for sure, but they do offer a 100-300 f4 that looks interesting, and I would end up with the same distance using a 1.4 tc as I would with the other and a 2x tc,unfortunately it is rather large.

Finally, how are all of these in terms of durability and resistance to the elements?
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Old Jun 17, 2005, 10:02 PM   #9
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The 100-400 is weather sealed, but out of your price range. So we can't really count that one.

In general, unless they say otherwise assume you can't use it in the rain, even a light rain or mist. I often carry a plastic bag in my backpack just in case I'm caught out in it.

I've had small branches strike my lens as I stomp in the wild... and it takes it just fine (I do have a foam cover over my big lens, though.) So if you're wondering about carrying the lens around in the wild, you should be ok. I wouldn't drop it, even on a soft forest ground. That would be asking for trouble. But they can usually take a bump or two just fine.

My experience is more with the Canon lenses than the Sigma. I would like to think they are just as well built but I don't honestly know.

As to resistant to the elements... well, the cold is usually just fine. Although too cold can cause lubricating fluids to get thicker and stop working. Too hot can also have a bad effect on the fluids in there.

The worst problem is rapid changes in temprature. Especially if it goes from cold to hot. This is because if you cool the lens, and then take it indoors where its warm (and more humid) the moisture will condense on the lens.... and that could destroy it. I've seen it happen, and it isn't a good thing.

Eric
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Old Jun 18, 2005, 6:10 AM   #10
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eric s wrote:
Quote:
The 100-400 is weather sealed...


Are you positive?

According the Canon catalog the EF 100-400 is not a DW-R (Dust -& Water Resistant) lens -Only a handful of L lenses are... Your 600mm isthe other

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