Home News Buyers Guide About Advertising
 
 
 
   
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    South Florida
    Posts
    33

    Wildlife photography.. Sigma 150-500 OS, 50-500 OS, or Canon 100-400L

    Hello everyone. I'd like to get opinions on which lens to purchase next. I enjoy photography as a hobby but I tend to get caught into details. I don't necessarily pixel peep but I'm a huge stickler for tack sharp images.

    I'm starting to get into shooting wildlife but my gear is a bit lacking. The longest lens I have is my 24-105L haha. So considering the lenses I already have, should I choose the Sigma 150-500 OS, 50-500 OS, or Canon's 100-400L?

    I've read a ton of threads in many forums all comparing these lenses and it seems like it all comes down to the particular copy of lens. That being said, it seems there's a consensus that the Canon 100-400L is probably the better lens in IQ in that range and its limitations are that it is "old" IS technology and obviously doesn't have the extra 100mm. I do hand hold a lot so IS (or OS) is important to me. My tripod never with me when I'm doing my nature, wildlife shots - mainly because my wife and new born are with me and I'm not lugging that thing around along with all of our other "stuff".

    I'm leaning towards the Canon even though it's not a typical "L" lens (no weather proofing), has the push/pull zoom, and lacks that extra 100mm range. I'm just not sure how much 100mm extra will benefit me.. last thing I want to happen is to get out there and get disappointed after spending $1600. I know there are sites where I can rent lenses, but that seems costly to do - especially since you have to pay full price for a new lens once you've settled on one - and not only that, but it seems that there are copy variances so it seems like an impractical tool to help me make my decision.

    Any thoughts?
    Last edited by B_Real45; 09-30-2012 at 09:02 PM. Reason: fixed title
    Rob
    Canon 7D | Canon 24-105 f/4 L |Tamron 17-50 f/2.8
    Flickr Page

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Cambridge, UK
    Posts
    681
    Perhaps you want one of these: http://www.the-digital-picture.com/R...ns-Review.aspx

    I am in the same predicament and am leaning towards the 70-300l but I think the 300 is still to short. Canon converters will not fit but I belive there is a third party convert that will.

    I was told that the 150-500 has better quility than the the 50-500 but that they are both very large lanses!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    South Florida
    Posts
    33
    Wow that's an impressive beast.

    My budget is close to $2000 however. But if I were a professional and could earn back my expenses, this would surely be my considered lens! And I would probably also add the 70-200L 2.8 IS as well to complete the range.

    I'm going to try and find some photos of the 100-400L with a 1.4x extender to see if the "poor image quality" is something I can deal with.
    Rob
    Canon 7D | Canon 24-105 f/4 L |Tamron 17-50 f/2.8
    Flickr Page

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    2,304
    One up front question, you do not mention what type of wildlife are you thinking about? Backyard birds? Waterfowl at the local park? Grizzlies in Yellowstone? Longer and brighter is almost always better, but some critters are big and you can get pretty close. Others are small and even close benefit from the magnification.

    I am not a Canon owner, but want to really suggest renting the 100-400 especially if you are concerned about both the reach and push-pull function. Come on a week rental is only in the $65 range. Also forget the tripod in your case, but do invest in a monopod when you get over 2-300mm. A good carbon fiber one can be had for ~$100 and is not a big issue to carry or setup. It is going to be great in those places where you need to setup quickly to grab a few shots before chasing the family down the road. It will also prove a good investment when your kid begins playing sports or those on stage performances in school; a monopod can squeeze in almost any place there are seats.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    South Florida
    Posts
    33
    Kgosden,

    Fair question. I'll be shooting animals and critters at my local wetlands (birds, iguanas, alligator, turtles, etc) and will not be able to creep up on them as I'll be on a wooden bridge that winds through the area. My other intended use is the zoo. We just went there yesterday and I was so disappointed at not being able to capture much of anything beyond 15-20ft and fill a frame.

    I have considered monopods and have been looking into those as well.. A good sugestion.

    As for renting, like I said earlier, I'm more interested in sharpness of the lens and will deal with the push/pull. To me, renting a particular copy and buying another copy can yield two different results, although I've heard Canon doesn't have as much of a copy variance? Is there a service where I can buy what I've rented if I like it?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Cambridge, UK
    Posts
    681
    I brought a tripod that can have one leg removed to make a monopod and did not use it until somebody lent me a EF 70-200 f2.8 and it was definatly worth having as the weight gets to you after a while! I fitted the ball head from the tripod onto the monopod.

    The only problem I found with the monopod was I did not collapse it all the time and I found myself flailing around and lucky there was nobody to hit with it.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    2,304
    I understand your concern about sharpness, but if you are not going to put this onto a solid tripod and you shoot +400mm, then your stability will be a bigger factor than any lens quality or IS issues. For the intended targets I would be a lot more concerned about AF speed and the like. Even in Florida you will often be shooting ISO400 and up to maintain a decent shutter speed. Unless you are buying a lens that is in the range of F2.8 at the telephoto end and then you are buying glass you likely cannot hand hold due to weight. Not to mention that the DOF at that mm and F-stop can be as shallow as your slight swaying while breathing.

    You need to get up to Gatorland in Orlando if you want some great targets. The nesting birds there are the reason to go, not the gators.
    Last edited by kgosden; 10-01-2012 at 07:23 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    South Florida
    Posts
    33
    Good tip on Gatorland! My wife and I have been trying to find a reason to head to Orlando other than Disney.

    Yes I see your point regarding iQ while hand-holding. Like I said in my original post, I tend to get caught up in the details! I'm going to look into renting as suggested.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Brisbane, CA
    Posts
    3,591
    Have you considered buying used? You could save yourself $300-500 on a Canon 100-400. Those pop up over at Fred Miranda fairly regularly. What camera are you using? You'll most likely lose auto focus when you slap a tele converter on those lenses.

    If you click on Anthony's link again, then go to "Tools" then to "ISO 12233 Resolution Comparison Chart" you can compare the two lenses w/ and w/o teleconverters at various apertures. Those tests are done at close focusing distances and they're not real world shots so take it with a grain of salt. Also pay attention to which camera was used for the test as they have different crop factors, so corner sharpness will vary.

    On a side note, I'm considering getting a used 400/5.6 and maybe a 1.4x teleconverter for a few of those distant cityscape shots I've been missing out on. For me sharpness across the frame is very important, so I'm going with a prime. I also do not need IS as I always use a tripod. You could get 70-200/4 or 200/2.8 + 400/5.6 for around your budget and even less if you go used. More to carry around, but something to consider if sharpness is your thing. Obviously no IS in that set up so the monopod becomes even more important.
    Lukas

    Camera: Anonymous
    I could tell you but I wouldn't want you to get all pissy if it's the wrong brand

    Flickr

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Brisbane, CA
    Posts
    3,591
    Double post
    Lukas

    Camera: Anonymous
    I could tell you but I wouldn't want you to get all pissy if it's the wrong brand

    Flickr

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •