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Old Jul 11, 2006, 7:15 PM   #1
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I'm getting anxious to purchase my first telephoto lense - there's an airshow coming up at the end of this month and I'd really love to have a telephoto lense by then. The Canon telephoto lense just had a service notice resolved at the end of June and as of today, no retailers have the lense in stock.

The Sigma 100-300mm f/4 grabbed my attention recently; here's the pros and cons that I can think of for each lense:

Canon 70-300mm IS USM
Pros:
  • Cheaper (by about $240)[/*]
  • Image Stabilizing
    [/*]
  • Said to produce shots comparable to L-lenses[/*]
  • Weight is only 1.4lbs[/*]
  • Sticking with Canon brand for both lense and body (Rebel XT)[/*]
Cons:
  • Not a constant aperture[/*]
  • Not the best quality build[/*]
  • Not available at the moment, no indicator as to when it will be available[/*]
Sigma 100-300 f/4
Pros:
  • Constant aperture[/*]
  • Available[/*]
  • Internal focusing/zooming; length of lense doesn't change[/*]
Cons:
  • Weight; almost 3.6lbs compared to the Canon's 1.4lbs[/*]
  • More expensive[/*]
  • Sigma lense on a Canon body[/*]
  • Fairly large lense compared to Canon lense[/*]
I'm thinking that weight will be a pretty decent factor as I want to get into backpacking photography so every bit of weight that I can elminate would be helpful.

Can anyone comment on the image quality of the two when compared? Or any other thoughts on one or both of the lenses mentioned?
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Old Jul 11, 2006, 7:48 PM   #2
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The Sigma is one of the sharpest lenses out there.I have this lens,jumping from the sigma 70-300apo.The weight is an issue but you have a constant F4 and the trade off is a bigger and heavier lens.As for a sigma lens on a canon camera that doesnt come into play.I really like this lens and think it will be with me until I can afford a 400-600mm lens or the 120-300f2.8 sigma.



Here are a few of my pics with the 100-300 F4 EX Sigma -








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Old Jul 11, 2006, 7:51 PM   #3
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Could you provide some 100% crops of those images (of the areas meant to be in focus)? If you could it'd be much appreciated. Thanks for the response
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Old Jul 11, 2006, 9:19 PM   #4
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Justin Hancock wrote:
Quote:
Could you provide some 100% crops of those images (of the areas meant to be in focus)? If you could it'd be much appreciated. Thanks for the response
This is really what you want to see:
http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/len...56is/index.htm
http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/len...00_4/index.htm

Canon:
@ 300mm f/5.6 f/8 f/11
Center 1746,5 1888 1746
Border 1695,5 1741,5 1685,5

Sigma:
@ 300mm f/4 f/5.6 f/8 f/11
Center 1919,5 1951 1827 1702,5
Border 1715,5 1791,5 1777 1659,5

o The Sigma is 1 full stop faster which is why its larger since you need the larger optics to collect more light. It's also made out of metal instead of plastic... hence the weight
o With f/4 you can still use a 1.4x teleconverter which double the Sigma into another 140-420mm f/5.6 zoom (and quite excellent at that if you compare it against the 100-400L)
o Will IS help shooting fast flying object or you'll need the faster aperture anyway?
Here's some (panning) shots with a 1.4c teleconverter on: http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=82

-> Only you can decide on the $ (and the weight) :idea:

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Old Jul 11, 2006, 9:24 PM   #5
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On the topic of IS and shooting the airshow; I didn't imply that the main pro of having IS would be for the airshow.

I'm planning on using the telephoto lense for wildlife and I am assuming that IS would help me then.
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Old Jul 11, 2006, 9:29 PM   #6
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Justin Hancock wrote:
Quote:
I'm planning on using the telephoto lense for wildlife and I am assuming that IS would help me then.
Would the wildlife be flying? :-)
-> I usually need a 400mm at least for wildlife... depending on how small of a bird you want to shoot :G

This is a shot @ 400mm:
The flash (1/200s f/6.7) froze the action and not IS



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Old Jul 11, 2006, 9:33 PM   #7
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I'm not planning on shooting birds very much...but rather four-legged friends such as deer, coyote, bears, etc.
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Old Jul 11, 2006, 9:43 PM   #8
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Thenthe Canon 70-300mm IS USM will do
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Old Jul 12, 2006, 4:23 PM   #9
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Don't forget. The front-element on the Canon 70-300 rotates when focussing -> problem for a polarizer filter!

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Old Jul 12, 2006, 5:17 PM   #10
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The front element of the kit lense rotates and it doesn't bother me at all when using a polarizer. Simply make the minute readjustment after it focuses



As far as the telephoto lense, it was in stock at B&H this morning then sold out indefinitely as of this afternoon. I was going to purchase it this evening when I got home from work!
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