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Topic: Looking For A New Telephoto Lens
Username: SIA6696
Posted 2010-11-13 03:59:39 and read 5612 times.

I'm looking for a new telephoto lens. Preferably one that reaches over 300mm and is quite versatile. My main choices are the Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM, and the Sigma 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM.

There are many good reviews for the Canon 100-400mm but since the Bigma is relatively new I haven't come across many reviews.

If anyone has got or used the new Bigma, I would really like to know how it performs since there isn't much about it.

Thanks

Topic: RE: Looking For A New Telephoto Lens
Username: JakTrax
Posted 2010-11-14 08:54:01 and read 5498 times.

I have just bought the 100-400L and am over the moon with it, although it took two copies to satisfy me. If you do buy this lens make sure you arrange something with the store whereby you can keep swapping it until you get a good copy. I don't think it's fair when you're paying such a premium that you should have to stick with a copy that's not quite up to standard.

The new 'Bigma' I expect is much like the old one, however they have dropped the 'EX' badge (as they have with all lenses starting at above f/4). Whether this is to its detriment I have no idea but the general concensus is that it isn't as good as the 100-400. It is half the cost though, and the newer version has OS.

Karl

Topic: RE: Looking For A New Telephoto Lens
Username: cpd
Posted 2010-11-14 15:47:11 and read 5454 times.

Quoting SIA6696 (Thread starter):
There are many good reviews for the Canon 100-400mm but since the Bigma is relatively new I haven't come across many reviews.

Go for the Canon. It's a well known lens. And it is surprisingly small for what it is - which is another benefit. Push-pull zoom operation leaves the Sigma in the dust for speedy operation.

Topic: RE: Looking For A New Telephoto Lens
Username: ANITIX87
Posted 2010-11-14 19:12:01 and read 5437 times.

The Bigma lenses are "you get what you pay for" type lenses. If you can afford the Canon, definitely go for the Canon. However, keep in mind that there are very substantial rumors of a NEW 100-400L being introduced in the very near future (in the next few months). I would urge you to wait and see. If the new one costs much, much more than the current one, then at least the price will drop and you save some money. If it costs just a little more, you could conceivably get an even better lens. Just don't be tempted to buy the Sigma in the mean-time. The Canon really is much superior.

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 1):
I have just bought the 100-400L and am over the moon with it, although it took two copies to satisfy me. If you do buy this lens make sure you arrange something with the store whereby you can keep swapping it until you get a good copy. I don't think it's fair when you're paying such a premium that you should have to stick with a copy that's not quite up to standard.

The new 'Bigma' I expect is much like the old one, however they have dropped the 'EX' badge (as they have with all lenses starting at above f/4). Whether this is to its detriment I have no idea but the general concensus is that it isn't as good as the 100-400. It is half the cost though, and the newer version has OS.

Karl

I don't mean to sound condescending, though my comment will. I really don't mean to be a jerk, it's just tough to word well. How can it possibly be that you've gone through eight (hyperbole, I know) 50Ds and now two 100-400Ls to find good copies? I pixel-peep, and I may send my 50D in, but I've never heard anything about Canon having issues with quality consistency like this.

TIS

Topic: RE: Looking For A New Telephoto Lens
Username: NZ107
Posted 2010-11-14 19:31:26 and read 5431 times.

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 3):
then at least the price will drop and you save some money

I'd like to question this.. Did anyone track the prices of the 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS mk I and II when the second one became available? Because if it's so much more expensive, there'd be no point in reducing the price by a lot and sell the lens for less than its worth. People would still buy it if the second one is out of their reach.

Topic: RE: Looking For A New Telephoto Lens
Username: JakTrax
Posted 2010-11-14 23:40:58 and read 5406 times.

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 3):
but I've never heard anything about Canon having issues with quality consistency like this

You have now! I know a few people who've had such issues. My second 50D was fine; as was my second 100-400. The difference in the lenses was phenomenal - especially at 400mm.

Unfortunately the 100-400 is notorious for its quality control (or lack of). I was surprised to only get through two before settling on a decent copy!

Karl

Topic: RE: Looking For A New Telephoto Lens
Username: ANITIX87
Posted 2010-11-15 06:01:31 and read 5383 times.

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 5):

Let me pose this question: When you got your first 100-400, how did you know it wasn't up to par? I mean, I can understand not being happy with the sharpness, but how could you have been sure it was a one-off problem? What if the second one had been the same? Would you have gotten a third? (Same question applies to the 50D). My 100-400 is soft at 400mm, but I've always just attributed this to the focal length and the fact that I [tend to] shoot wide open. Now you've got me second-guessing my gear, hahaha.

TIS

Topic: RE: Looking For A New Telephoto Lens
Username: JakTrax
Posted 2010-11-15 09:55:35 and read 5343 times.

TIS,

I must admit I'm a fussy bugger and will go to great lengths to ensure I have the best possible setup. My first 100-400 I was actually happy with but the softness on the right side (the left was sharp) made me wonder if there were better copies out there. I purchased another copy before returning the first, so that I could compare them side-by-side. I didn't actually know my first example was below par (I thought the next would be pretty much the same to be honest) but when I compared it to the new one the difference was amazing. I sent the defective (if that's the right term?) one back and have kept this latest one.

I have actually done a shoot at a local today and most of the images at around 400mnm are extremely soft, however I'm putting that down to air quality (just above the runway) and distances involved as similar images from midweek are superb.

I think it's very difficult to properly test a 100-400 as the conditions need to be spot-on. Sometimes you see softness, other times you don't. I was lucky enough to test my second copy on a cold, crystal clear day with over 50 miles visibility, and every shot at 400mm was fantastic. Had I tested it for the first time today I may not have been singing its praises so much, however it only took that one morning to prove all it had to to me.

One other thing I've noticed - the results seem slightly softer when using a filter.

Karl

Topic: RE: Looking For A New Telephoto Lens
Username: SIA6696
Posted 2010-11-18 22:22:40 and read 5201 times.

If canon release a new 100-400mm what would be the main upgrades from the old one, and how much will the price go up judging on previous lens upgrades.

Topic: RE: Looking For A New Telephoto Lens
Username: JakTrax
Posted 2010-11-18 22:33:49 and read 5200 times.

I would say any new 100-400 will be in excess of GB£2,000. I also imagine it'll have a ring zoom rather than a push/pull system.

Karl

Topic: RE: Looking For A New Telephoto Lens
Username: Vishaljo
Posted 2010-11-18 23:00:59 and read 5195 times.

Quoting SIA6696 (Thread starter):
My main choices are the Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM, and the Sigma 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM.
Super-Tele For A Dusty Environment :-s (by vishaljo Apr 22 2010 in Aviation Photography)

Topic: RE: Looking For A New Telephoto Lens
Username: JakTrax
Posted 2010-11-19 23:57:13 and read 5087 times.

Just to add to my previous posts.....

I was in the same position as you. The 100-400 is nearly double the cost of the new 'Bigma' and I had to be 120% sure I was getting the right lens for my money. On the one hand I didn't want to shell out £1,100 if there really wasn't a need, but on the other I didn't want to pay £700 and get something I wasn't satisfied with. It is a tough decision I admit; and one that takes long and careful consideration.

In the end, the fact that Sigma removed the 'EX' branding from the new lens put me off. I know it's apparently no indication of quality and anything over f/4 won't any longer be an 'EX', but it just didn't make sense to me. Also, the new version is a little cheaper than the previous one, which is odd seeing as it now comes complete with OS.

I still don't know whether it's aggressive marketing on Sigma's behalf (and in fact this new lens can compete with Canon's 100-400) or if you are just getting what you pay for. I'm inclined to think the latter.

I have been told wonderful things about Sigma's recent 120-400 too, but again I'm sceptical. I went for the 100-400 in the end and what matters now is how satisfied I am with it. Yeah, I'm £1,100 poorer but I have a lens I trust, whereas I could potentially have ended up with a £700 draught excluder had the 'Bigma' not lived up to my expectations! On the flip side I could have landed a real bargain and got a lens that does the job of the 100-400 (saving myself hundreds of pounds in the process), although this scenario would've I'm sure been unlikely.

One final thing regarding the 100-400 - make sure you get a good copy! I went through two before I was happy and the difference between them was quite surprising!

Karl


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