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Old May 10, 2005, 9:04 PM   #1
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I took this picture of the finch with a rented Canon 700-200mm lens. I was pretty close. Obviously the lens didn't have the range I needed. I'm thinking of trying the Sigma 100-300 F4 or the Canon 100-400 4.5- 5.6. I like the price of the Sigma but would be willing to spend a bit more for the right lens. How about primes?

Thanks for any advice.

//jim

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Old May 10, 2005, 11:59 PM   #2
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killdeer0007 wrote:
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I took this picture of the finch with a rented Canon 700-200mm lens. I was pretty close. Obviously the lens didn't have the range I needed. I'm thinking of trying the Sigma 100-300 F4 or the Canon 100-400 4.5- 5.6. I like the price of the Sigma but would be willing to spend a bit more for the right lens. How about primes?

Thanks for any advice.

//jim
Hi Jim, you can get an extender for that 70-200 but you'd be much better off with the 100-400L, if you can afford to pick one of those up. If you want a prime lens and wouldn't miss the zoom then I'd recommend the 400/5.6 Canon or the 300/4 IS Canon with 1.4x converter. The Sigma 100-300 is a good lens too, from what I've heard, but I've never used one so I cannot recommend it. I've used or tested the others.
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Old May 11, 2005, 9:50 AM   #3
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For smaller birds, you need all the range that you can afford. The 100-400 is nice but I am will be looking at 400f5.6 if you serious about birding. 100-400 is all purpose lens. Another option would be 300F4 with 1.4xtc as it has IS. Another cheaper alternative in zooms would be sigma 50-500.
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Old May 11, 2005, 10:44 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice. I'm starting to realize that photographing small birds is not easy (or cheap). This summer I plan to fix up my backyard to make it more attractive for birds. That way they come to me. I've decided that my lens will be for pictures relatively close. For the weekend I will rent the 1.4 extender with the Canon 70-200F 2.8. I wish I could get my hands on the Sigma 100-300 F4 for comparison. Here's another bird off in the distance taken with the Canon.

//jim

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Old May 12, 2005, 3:53 AM   #5
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Since it sounds like your going to do a major overhaul in your yard, set it
up so you have a feeder and birdbath with some sort of perching spot close
by.
Then create a spot where you can sit relatively hidden and reasonably close.
As a reference, I shoot with a 20D and 100-400L. For birds that are
chickadee to sparrow sized, I need to be 6 to 10 feet away for the bird to
fill a good portion of the frame at 400mm. (At 6 feet a chickadee will pretty
much fill the frame)
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Old May 12, 2005, 6:48 AM   #6
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Thanks for the tips. I also plan to set up a butterfly garden. Any recommendations for a lens for insects?

Thanks

/jim
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Old May 12, 2005, 8:22 AM   #7
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killdeer0007

I have the Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 with is not as sharp as the 100-300 f/4 EX that you're wondering about, but have had pleasing results with it even with a 2x TC (all shots @ 600mm - handheld!): http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...56&forum_id=11


IMO the 100-300 f/4 EX is a bargain of a lens!
Fast - and you still get good result @ 400mm f/5.6 with a 1.4x TC

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Old May 12, 2005, 8:53 AM   #8
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Thanks NHL. I plan to look around a bit harder here in Calgary to get the 100-300 F4. They're not easy to find.


//jim
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Old May 12, 2005, 10:27 AM   #9
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killdeer0007 wrote:
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They're not easy to find.
Yeap - even B&H Photo are running out of them a lot of times...


Again with a 2xTC @ 600mm - handheld (i.e. much better with 1.4x):

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Old May 12, 2005, 1:17 PM   #10
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Jim something seems wrong in your shots. Even when using 1.4x TC on 70-200f2.8, you should be getting much sharper shots.

Like woodmeister said, if you redoing your yard to attract birds, do look into sun positions and install bunch of perches near the feeders. You won't need much range if you can shoot from the blind.
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