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Old Jul 30, 2005, 8:50 AM   #1
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Iam thinking of gettingthe Canon 300mm F/5.6L IS and a Digital Rebel to replace my Panasonic FZ20. I planshooting birdshand held. It will be the only lens. Are there any other lenses I should consider?
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Old Jul 30, 2005, 11:22 AM   #2
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Let's start by saying you talking about the 300mm f4L with image stabilization. Don't make it one stop slower up front!

It's amazing how short 300mm is, even on a 1.6 crop body, when you start shooting birds in the high places they tend to be when you want to take their pictures. Lots of people use the 300mm f4L, but in combination with the 1.4 II converter (another $275 or so), making the lens a 420mm f5.6 which starts to solve the magnification problem of birding. That's about the shortest focal length one should use for that subject. Even with the TC mounted, image stabilization is maintained and at 400mm you want image stabilization.
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Old Jul 30, 2005, 7:52 PM   #3
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I have been using 400 mm lens birding fornearly 20 years. Ihad using400 mm Nikkor with my film cameras. Using lenses designed for film cameras like the Canon 300 should give the eqivalent focal length of 450 mm because of the smaller ccd of the digital cameras compare to 35 mm film. I am now using the FZ20 with 420 mm equivalent every day and love it.

What I want to know is that are they other 300mm 35 mm (450 mm equivalent) lenses comparable to the Canon 300 IS available in the market.

Attached is the kind of picture I take. Want to switch to dSLR because of low light quality of my present camera.
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Old Jul 31, 2005, 7:03 AM   #4
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ruchai wrote:
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What I want to know is that are they other 300mm 35 mm (450 mm equivalent) lenses comparable to the Canon 300 IS available in the market.
Have you take a look at the Sigma 100-300 f/4 EX? This lens is practically a prime and it's MTF is superior to the EF 300 f/4 L...

I've also been shooting for many years and so far not having image stabilization hasn't slow me down any - This shot was taken with my Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 EX (which is not as sharp as the f/4 EX mentioned above) @ 1/90s, f/5.6 and full zoom without a tripod: :-)




Don't get me wrong IS is a nice to have but it's not absolutely required. I could have easily selected f/2.8 and be safe; however, this shot and many others prove that it can be done...

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Old Jul 31, 2005, 3:19 PM   #5
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That's an absolutely beautiful picture NHL.

You post nothing but gorgeous shots. You have some first class lenses, but you also have something many people with enough money cannot buy, and that's great composition skill and exposure technique.


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Old Jul 31, 2005, 5:16 PM   #6
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Why not go for a zoom - little birdies don't always sit where you want them to, and there are a few pretty good zooms around for birding...

Balance the following factors:
1. Optical quality
2. Image Stabilizer
3. Focal length range
4. Price
5. Size & Weight

My order of preference for birding (and it depends of course on MY weighting of the above factors) would probably be...

Canon 100-400 IS L
Sigma 120-300
Sigma 50-500
Sigma 80-400 OS
Sigma 100-300
Canon 70-300 DO IS
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Old Jul 31, 2005, 7:05 PM   #7
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i have the 80-400 OS from Sigma and can tell you that it is a very sharp lens.. not quite as sharp as the 100-300 or 120-300 (can't expect that out of a 5x zoom) but it will hold its own with the best of them... my friend has the 100-400L IS.. we did a test yesterday handheld at 400mm f5.6 and f8.0.. the canon was a smidgin sharper, but nothing significant and not enough to warrent the extra money.. the USM is nice on the Canon but is not necessary...
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Old Aug 1, 2005, 2:07 PM   #8
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Greg Chappell wrote:
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That's an absolutely beautiful picture NHL.

You post nothing but gorgeous shots. You have some first class lenses, but you also have something many people with enough money cannot buy, and that's great composition skill and exposure technique.
Thank for the compliment Greg

Only if you knew how I got it: I was crawling through the bushes on my belly, with my elbows on the ground in the sniper position for that close to the ground angle look - I was just 'lucky' the bird didn't flew away... or may he was too curious to wonder what that crazy guy was doing in the dirt!:?
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Old Aug 1, 2005, 10:13 PM   #9
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Thanks every one for your valuable advises. NHL's photo is superb.
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Old Aug 5, 2005, 5:07 AM   #10
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Quote:
Iam thinking of gettingthe Canon 300mm F/5.6L IS and a Digital Rebel to replace my Panasonic FZ20. I planshooting birdshand held.
Quote:
Are there any other lenses I should consider?
Quote:
What I want to know is that are they other 300mm 35 mm (450 mm equivalent) lenses comparable to the Canon 300 IS available in the market.
Well there are a few others that haven't been mentioned. Quite surprisingly actually as they are the mainstay of manykeen amature and probird photographers.

As you seem to be keenof the 300mmrange - the other prime in thislength by canon is the EF 300mm f2.8L USM IS. Its really expensive, but as you never mentioned cost I wasn't sure if itwas an option for you or not.

Then there is the 400mm f2.8L USM IS, (as you have a 1.6 crop, this is the best lens for your sport by the way, one to save up for :-)), then moving longer still the500 and 600mm f4L USM IS.

But then again when you can take shots like that one from NHL who needs the fancy glass ?

NHL - absolute perfection.
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