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New Lens Many Choices  
User currently offlineEMA747 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2006, 1170 posts, RR: 1
Posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 1977 times:

I sold my Canon 100-400 a while back as I really couldn't justify having a lens that expensive as I don't get to do aviation photography all that much. I am now looking for something more around the £300-500 mark.
I am currently thinking either the Canon 70-300mm IS which can be had for £350ish on ebay.
Or the Canon 70-200mm non-IS which can be had for pretty much the same price.
I get the impression that it's swings and roundabouts with these two. One has more reach and IS the other better image quality. I guess both are a lot lighter and more compact that the 100-400mm though. I lugged that to AMS,HAM and some other places this summer and it made my bag VERY heavy and annoying to carry, so something lighter will be a major plus.

Is there anything I am missing? Are there any Sigmas that fit the budget and are worth getting?

Please help me choose!

Andy S


Failing doesn’t make you a failure. Giving up and refusing to try again does!
16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineANITIX87 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 3292 posts, RR: 13
Reply 1, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 1971 times:
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Quoting EMA747 (Thread starter):
Are there any Sigmas that fit the budget and are worth getting?

Sigma 50-500, 150-500, or 200-500 are all good, apparently. I have an older 135-400 and I love it.

TIS



www.stellaryear.com: Canon EOS 50D, Canon EOS 5DMkII, Sigma 50mm 1.4, Canon 24-70 2.8L II, Canon 100mm 2.8L, Canon 100-4
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 2, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 1914 times:



Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 1):
Sigma 50-500, 150-500, or 200-500 are all good, apparently

I don't have any of these lenses but I can tell you without doubt that none of them are as good as the Canon EF70-200 F4 L. Try searching for Sigma reviews online - a very mixed bag of opinions but I've come to the conclusion that, as an L glass user, the Sigma line will I'm afraid only disappoint. Besides, the Sigmas mentioned are as big as - if not bigger than - the 100-400 L.

The 70-300 IS is a good lens (not to be confused with the very low-end 75-300) and the extra range will be useful at times, however as you're used to L glass I have no doubt that the 70-200 F4 L is the one for you. It's actually Canon's second-sharpest lens, just behind the very similar F2.8 version. I've had it for a few years now and it's unbelievable, and I've very rarely found I've needed anything more than the maximum 200mm.

Karl


User currently offlineEMA747 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2006, 1170 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 1910 times:

Thanks for the comments.

The 70-200 sounds like the way to go. There is another problem with it though. I really like taking nose closeup type shots like these:

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Fyodor Borisov - Russian AviaPhoto Team
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Andrés Contador - AirTeamImages



Would a 1.4 or 2x converter help with this? I guess with a converter and the fact that it has no IS then I would need a tripod?



Failing doesn’t make you a failure. Giving up and refusing to try again does!
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 1900 times:

The converters do reduce image quality, with the 2.0x being a real offender! The 1.4x isn't so bad (so I hear) and the effects aren't too noticeable.

But you are contradicting yourself here - in one sentence you say the 100-400 is too much for you and you rarely use it, then in the next you state you need the range bacause you like to take close-ups. Why not just stick with it? The 70-200 will get you certain close-ups but by no means all. As for the 70-300, good lens, but why go from L quality to something inferior?

Your dilemma here seems rather odd - you should go back to the drawing board and re-think. To me it's a no-brainer but you seem to be confusing yourself. If you need the range of the 100-400 then I'm afraid you'll have to stick with it and deal with the size and weight. If you could save a few Pounds by selling it and going for the smaller, lighter 70-200 then do it, but be aware that, although you'll lose nothing quality-wise, you will lack range.

If I were you I'd throw the 70-300 IS out of the ring - the IS isn't a big enough advantage for it to take precedence over the L range.

Karl


User currently offlineEMA747 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2006, 1170 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 1895 times:

I might not have been clear enough in my first post, sorry. I have already sold the 100-400 several months ago as I needed the £750ish cash. I now have some extra cash, around £350 so can't replace the 100-400.
It's really a matter of which of the other two are best. I see what you are saying about wanting two opposite things.



Failing doesn’t make you a failure. Giving up and refusing to try again does!
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 1886 times:

OK, so from what you're saying the 100-400 was burning holes in your pockets and you wanted to scale down to afford yourself some extra cash? Maybe the range was nice but not used often enough to justify the cost?

Right, I see now.

Seriously, going from L glass down to regular glass (i.e. 70-200 L vs. 70-300 IS) seems daft - and you'll notice the difference in quality too. Why take a step backwards?

I used to have the (cheap and nasty) 75-300 USM III and, although I managed some really good shots out of it, I noticed the quality difference immediately when I upgraded to my L. The 70-300 IS is supposedly a much better lens than the 75-300 but it still doesn't use fluorite optics or have a nice whatever-blade aperture like the Ls.

Notably, I've never really found any serious restrictions dropping range by 100mm - OK, on occasions I've though, "Damn, that little extra range and I could've got that!" but it's never really bothered me and I have never regretted the range loss. In fact the quality increase has been more profound for me and is much more important in my view. As for the IS, when will you really need it? Perhaps, like the extra range, very rarely. I tend not to shoot in low light but even so I'd much rather have the quality than the IS.

I seriously think you'll regret it if you opt for the 70-300.

Karl


User currently offlineEMA747 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2006, 1170 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 1881 times:

Ok I really think you have made up my mind to go for the 70-200. I used the IS on the 100-400 all the time, never really turned it off, but as a result I don't really know how much it was necessary. For places like EMA, AMS, HAM where I used the 100-400 I really didn't go much above 200mm at all apart from the close up cockpit type of shot so I think 200mm will be fine.
As far burning hole in my pockets I really don't do all that much aviation photography (although I'd like to). EMA gets a bit boring so I mostly take pics when I am travelling through airports and the odd day trip to LHR and MAN etc. So really I couldn't justify having a VERY expensive lens that I used maybe once every 2-3 months on average.

I will try and get a 70-200 off ebay so is there anything to look out for on a second hand one apart from the obvious? Are there different versions of the lens, older and newer ones for example? I won't really be able to view them if I get one from ebay so any tips appreciated.



Failing doesn’t make you a failure. Giving up and refusing to try again does!
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 8, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 1873 times:



Quoting EMA747 (Reply 7):
I used the IS on the 100-400 all the time, never really turned it off, but as a result I don't really know how much it was necessary

It's not designed to be on all the time and will wear out very quickly. You should turn it on only when necessary, then remember to turn if off afterwards. It's costly to replace.

Of course on a lens with a max. 400mm IS is of more use than on a lens of max. 200mm; however it's still not essential if shooting in good enough light. As you say, you rarely shoot at 400mm so it becomes something of an expensive commodity. The airports you mention - i.e. AMS, HAM, EMA - I have visited (EMA pretty regularly) and never felt I needed above my 200mm limit. Yeah, you do a few close-ups, which you may have to scale back on but is it really a big issue?

Incidently, my local is MAN and I usually find that I seldom need to go above 150mm - wherever I am!

Quoting EMA747 (Reply 7):
I will try and get a 70-200 off ebay so is there anything to look out for on a second hand one apart from the obvious? Are there different versions of the lens, older and newer ones for example?

Nothing really to look out for but loose optics and damaged aperture blades can't be detected just by looking at a lens. Even using it for a few days may not immediately highlight any problems. Make sure you can return the item if found faulty.

As for versions, the 70-200 L comes in three variations - F4, F4 IS and F2.8 IS, with the standard F4 being the cheapest and the F2.8 being over twice the price! The one you're looking at is the standard F4, which as mentioned is generally considered to be Canon's second-sharpest production lens (after the F2.8).

Karl


User currently offlineViv From Ireland, joined May 2005, 3142 posts, RR: 29
Reply 9, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 1870 times:

In my (non-Canon) experience, IS is not necessary at 200 mm or less. I use it on my 80-400 (when zoomed out more than 200 mm) but rarely on my 18-200.

Personally, I would not buy Sigma. Sure, they are cheaper - but you get what you pay for.



Nikon D700, Nikkor 80-400, Fuji X Pro 1, Fujinon 35 f/1.4, Fujinon 18 f/2
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 10, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 1868 times:

On another note Andy - and this is by no means a self-plug as you don't even need to enlarge them - if you want to see some shots taken with the 70-200 F4 L just search for my name (Karl Nixon) in photo search engine and check the captions.

Also, I've posted some examples below, which I think really illustrate the quality.

Big version: Width: 1024 Height: 683 File size: 390kb


Big version: Width: 1024 Height: 683 File size: 470kb


Big version: Width: 1024 Height: 683 File size: 428kb


Karl


User currently offlineEMA747 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2006, 1170 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 1863 times:

Those pics are niiice. I REALLY like the Thomas Cook one, where is it taken?


Failing doesn’t make you a failure. Giving up and refusing to try again does!
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 12, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 1859 times:

The Tommy Cook and Luxair were taken at Malaga on Tuesday. The 747 was at MAN sometime last year (I think!).

Karl


User currently offlineBuyantUkhaa From Mongolia, joined May 2004, 2828 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 1855 times:



Quoting EMA747 (Reply 7):
I will try and get a 70-200 off ebay so is there anything to look out for on a second hand one apart from the obvious? Are there different versions of the lens, older and newer ones for example? I won't really be able to view them if I get one from ebay so any tips appreciated.

For about GBP500 you might even get the 70-200F4L IS - that is the sharpest one of the four. I have it (got it through Ebay too) and will never sell it. IS is useful in low light.



I scratch my head, therefore I am.
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 14, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 1848 times:



Quoting BuyantUkhaa (Reply 13):
For about GBP500 you might even get the 70-200F4L IS - that is the sharpest one of the four. I have it (got it through Ebay too) and will never sell it. IS is useful in low light

While this is true you need to establish whether or not you need IS - bearing in mind it's going to cost you extra. The more you pay for your lens replacement, the less practical the decision to sell the 100-400.

I'd go for the 70-200 because, as Viv points out, IS will be rarely used on a zoom of this focal length. Plus IS can and does sometimes go wrong (the 100-400 is particulalry bad) and it's costly to have it fixed.

Karl


User currently offlineCpd From Australia, joined Jun 2008, 4879 posts, RR: 39
Reply 15, posted (5 years 7 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 1786 times:



Quoting JakTrax (Reply 2):
I don't have any of these lenses but I can tell you without doubt that none of them are as good as the Canon EF70-200 F4 L. Try searching for Sigma reviews online - a very mixed bag of opinions but I've come to the conclusion that, as an L glass user, the Sigma line will I'm afraid only disappoint. Besides, the Sigmas mentioned are as big as - if not bigger than - the 100-400 L.

About the 50-500mm - it's got nice quality for such a huge zoom, but I'm not convinced about the quality of its external construction. Watch for the crackle finish - that has a tendency to start peeling off. It did on mine, and I've seen photos of others in much worse condition.

The 50-500 is also as big as the 100-400L - and just as heavy.

Can you instead look for some pre-owned quality L glass from the likes of Adorama or B&H in New York?


User currently offlineSovietjet From Bulgaria, joined Mar 2003, 2519 posts, RR: 17
Reply 16, posted (5 years 7 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 1775 times:
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I shoot with a 100-400 and my friend always goes shooting with me in his 70-200 f/2.8 . The quality of his lens I think is a bit better, but the range restriction is just too much for me. I get all kinds of shots which with his lens would be impossible or would require a large crop.

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