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Old Mar 9, 2006, 4:51 AM   #1
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I am looking to either purchase a Canon 600mm 4L or the Sigma 300-800mm 5.6 EX. I like the idea of having the versatility of the 300-800mm zoom range versus being locked into a fixed 600mm setting. I do realize that the Canon has the IS while the Sigma doesn't. I also heard that Sigma tends to be front heavy when mounted on a Wimberley Gimbal head. I was told that it is almost impossible to balance out the lense when mounting it on a tripod. If anyone has any experience with these two lenses, I would really appreciate some feedback from them to aid me in my decision.

Thank you for any help that you may be able to provide concerning my questions.

bevin
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Old Mar 9, 2006, 10:30 AM   #2
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IMO you'll only get a one sided view...

Most folks can only afford one or the other :-)
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Old Mar 9, 2006, 10:47 AM   #3
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Checkout threads by "Liquidstone" on dpreview forum. He has Sigma 300-800 and he compared it to different lens. Not 600 f4 though but still that thread can provide some useful information.
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Old Mar 9, 2006, 12:14 PM   #4
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The biggest issue IMO is people are willing to buy cheap Sigma, but when it comes to foot out big $ for a lens, they'll buy Canon regardless of how good the alternatives are: http://www.pbase.com/liquidstone/philippine_wild_birds

Another case in point the 100-300 f/4 EX (or the 120-300 f/2.8 EX)... All excellent by any comparison especially to the EF-300 f/4L with IS prime!
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Old Mar 9, 2006, 4:38 PM   #5
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I have a good collection of Canon IS/AF lenses. I own one Sigma lens 50-500mm. I can use it only on a solid tripod (Bogen with a ball head). The AF is fine, but I miss the IS that the other lenses have to damp the minor vibrations. I shoot outdoors always and mainly birdsso a tripod mounted lens is only occasionally useful. I get great shots of the moon with a doubler combined with that lens. The maxfocussing point is somewhere past the moon's orbit! I am going to make the plunge for a Canon fixed 600mm IS/AF and see if it can be hand-held. I'll be back with a post on how it works. BTW I use a Canon 20D with a 6MB microdrive. Love all 497 RAW images I get.



ps: will a Canon doubler lens work with the 600mm + Canon 20D? By work, I mean will it still autofocus? Thanks.
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Old Mar 9, 2006, 9:26 PM   #6
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How is anyone going to hand hold any 12lb lens (~3x the weight of a 50-500)? :O

-> I have the 120-300 f/2.8 with a 2x which is 1/2 that weight so I know how 'light' that is... to handhold



Quote:
ps: will a Canon doubler lens work with the 600mm + Canon 20D? By work, I mean will it still autofocus?
Not a 20D it won't AF, max is f/5.6 which is still possible with a 1.4x

-> you need a 1D or 1Ds at least for it to focus with a 2x... :sad:
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Old Mar 9, 2006, 11:41 PM   #7
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Thanks for the help. I checked out the link that you posted and it was very helpful. I was able to borrow a Canon 600mm lens and shot some surf photos. I just met a photographer who has the Sigma 300-800mm EX and he offered to let me borrow it to take some ttest shots. I am planning to go to the same location as the 600mm test shots and will take some comparison photos from the exact same location of the same fixed objects.

I will post a review of the results I get. I currently have the Canon 70-200mm and 100-400mm IS L lenses, 100mm Macro lense, and the 28-135mm IS lense. I know the quality of the L series lenses. I'm just looking for more versatility in a long lense. A 300-800mm would give me a greater range but I know that I will lose some image quality. After testing these two lenses, I will be able to weigh the differences in image quality versus the flexability in range that the zoom lense provides.
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Old Mar 10, 2006, 1:26 AM   #8
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If you want the zoom and IS is an issue then with the cost of these lenses you might want to buy a body with in-built stabilisation just to go with the one lens.
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Old Mar 10, 2006, 5:39 AM   #9
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jacks wrote:
Quote:
If you want the zoom and IS is an issue then with the cost of these lenses you might want to buy a body with in-built stabilisation just to go with the one lens
The best idea so far :idea:
-> one actually get a 300, 400, 500, 600, and 800 all-into-one! :lol: :-) :G

and then for low-light put on a prime with an f/1/4 as a 2nd 'IS' camera...
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Old Mar 10, 2006, 10:19 AM   #10
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I only know one person hand holding 600mm. 500mm is doable but not the 600mm. Most birders (I say almost 99.99999%) shoot with 600mm f4 IS while on tripod or ground pod. You don't chase around birds with 600mm.

2x will AF only on pro bodies not on 20D unless you tape the pins. BTW - Why use microdrives then slow as hell and prone to failures. Fast CF are dirt cheap now a days.
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