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Looking For A New Long Zoom Lens  
User currently onlineHNLPointShoot From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 321 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 5227 times:

I'm thinking of buying a new zoom telephoto lens that is not the Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L lens. As wonderful as it may be, $1,600 is an awful lot of money (unless I resort to a secondhand lens, which seems risky).  eyepopping 

Instead, I'm looking at these, which each cost about $900-1,000 (based on what B&H is telling me):

- Sigma 120-400mm f/4.5-5.6
- Sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3
- Tamron 200-500mm f/5-6.3

I'd like feedback from anyone who already owns any of the above lenses, to see what they're like. Alternatively, I'll also take advice on buying secondhand lenses or reasons why I should save the extra $600.  Wink

20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineVishaljo From India, joined Aug 2006, 474 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (5 years 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 5219 times:

Trevor, 100-400 all the way.
I have the same problem as you, $1600 is a lot of money but you can always buy it from here :- http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/buyandsell.php
Folks hover there like hawks for great deals & most arent disappointed :-

100-400's on offer right now :-
$1175/-

$1225/-

$1325/-

A spotter friend of mine has the Sigma 100-300 f4 EX HSM its really good & very sharp, Brand new for $1199/- (B&H)


User currently offlineDlowwa From Canada, joined Apr 2005, 7328 posts, RR: 30
Reply 2, posted (5 years 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 5213 times:



Quoting Vishaljo (Reply 1):
A spotter friend of mine has the Sigma 100-300 f4 EX HSM its really good & very sharp

I can second that one. Excellent glass, and the best mid-range Sigma telephoto zoom (and probably the best overall - sorry bigma owners...). The other options you've listed may have a little more reach, but trust me (having used them also) the quality's not as good as the 100-300 f/4 EX (and the others are slower too). If you really want that extra reach, the 100-300mm pairs very nicely with Sigma's 1.4 teleconverter.

I think you have my email, you can contact me if you want to see some samples from the lens.

Dana


User currently offlineLGW340 From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 316 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (5 years 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 5180 times:

If you can justify spending $1600 then I would go for the 100-400 all the way. Otherwise I would go for the Sigma 120-400. I work in a camera shop and Ive had a play around with all of them, the 120-400 came out best IMO.
Chris



Live life from the window seat...
User currently offlineAlberto Riva From United States of America, joined May 2002, 124 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (5 years 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 5144 times:

You Canon folks have an option we Nikonians don't have -- 300 f/4 with image stabilization, at decent prices. Right now KEH has several 300 f/4 L IS for around $1000 used. (I buy used lenses all the time and I never had any problem.) B&H and Adorama surely have it too, used and new.

If I shot Canon that's what I'd get, in a heartbeat. If you don't absolutely need to zoom, a 300 prime will blow you away in terms of image quality. And cheaper than the 100-400 too! I think I've said it ad nauseam here.  Smile


User currently onlineHNLPointShoot From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 321 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (5 years 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 4994 times:

So I suppose the consensus is to bite the bullet and buy the Canon 100-400mm?  dollarsign 

User currently offlineDlowwa From Canada, joined Apr 2005, 7328 posts, RR: 30
Reply 6, posted (5 years 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 4983 times:



Quoting HNLPointShoot (Reply 5):
So I suppose the consensus is to bite the bullet and buy the Canon 100-400mm?

Uh... no. You had two of four people suggest that, and the two that did also offered other very good (and cheaper) options. Your options are certainly not limited, and I did offer to show you samples from one possible alternative.

If, on the other hand, you've set your mind on the 100-400, then you won't really go wrong there either.


User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 7, posted (5 years 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 4976 times:



Quoting LGW340 (Reply 3):
the 120-400 came out best IMO

It's got some bad reviews.

Karl


User currently onlineHNLPointShoot From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 321 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (5 years 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 4969 times:



Quoting Dlowwa (Reply 6):
Uh... no. You had two of four people suggest that, and the two that did also offered other very good (and cheaper) options. Your options are certainly not limited, and I did offer to show you samples from one possible alternative.

If, on the other hand, you've set your mind on the 100-400, then you won't really go wrong there either.

Sorry, I should've mentioned that I'm not seriously considering going for a 300mm lens + 1.4x teleconverter; I'd rather be able to use a teleconverter to get extra reach out of a 400mm lens than need it right away for a 300mm lens.

To be specific about my plans for this lens (whatever model it will be), I'll be using it to spot aircraft on finals for Runway 8L at HNL from Ewa Beach (something I attempted with the 55-250mm lens I already have when N587HA first arrived from SEA with winglets, although that didn't work out.) Using it with a teleconverter is something I want to keep as an open option for upgrading my camera's reach, because I might need that sort of thing (although nothing's definite right now.)


User currently offlineDvincent From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 1746 posts, RR: 11
Reply 9, posted (5 years 1 week 18 hours ago) and read 4950 times:
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I'd say of the Sigma telephotos the 100-300 really is the best of the bunch in terms of image quality and autofocus. I've seen some absolutely stunning shots from it. You are paying for the constant f/4, though. If you don't need that, consider something with more range.


From the Mind of Minolta
User currently offlineSNATH From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3247 posts, RR: 22
Reply 10, posted (5 years 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 4874 times:

Helpful comparison of some of the lenses mentioned here:

http://www.juzaphoto.com/eng/article...0_sigma_120-400_150-500_50-500.htm

And I really wish Canon get their act together and modernize the 100-400.

Tony



Nikon: we don't want more pixels, we want better pixels.
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 11, posted (5 years 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 4869 times:

I didn't actually know of the Sigma 100-300 F4 EX, and may now consider this lens ahead of the 100-400 L. How do the two compare in sharpness between 100mm and 300mm? I know some 100-400 L copies can be soft and the lens is generally believed to be not too great at 400mm.

Price difference is less than a few hundred Pounds so I'd have to consider it carefully.

Cheers,

Karl


User currently offlineGogojet From China, joined Jul 2007, 31 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (5 years 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 4863 times:



Quoting SNATH (Reply 10):
And I really wish Canon get their act together and modernize the 100-400.

Agreed! When you look at what they did with the 70-200mm F4 IS, I would imagine they could improve the optics of the 100-400mm substantially. I would have thought that if they released a redesigned 100-400mm lens that there would be a large market for it.

An IS 400mm f5.6 lens or even F4 would also be nice addition too.


User currently offlineSNATH From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3247 posts, RR: 22
Reply 13, posted (5 years 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 4858 times:



Quoting Gogojet (Reply 12):
I would imagine they could improve the optics of the 100-400mm substantially.

This is my wish list for it:

- sure, improved optics would be nice, even though the IQ looks pretty good as is
- weather-sealing
- latest IS
- a proper zoom ring (none of that pull/push nonesense!)

Quoting Gogojet (Reply 12):
I would have thought that if they released a redesigned 100-400mm lens that there would be a large market for it.

Yeah. Instead they are wasting their resources on crappy EF-S lenses. Ugh.

Quoting Gogojet (Reply 12):
An IS 400mm f5.6 lens or even F4 would also be nice addition too.

Amen to that. But, you know, I'd compromise with a 100-300 constant f/4 IS (like the Sigma). This'd give me up to a 300mm f/4 and up to a 420mm f/5.6 with the 1.4x extender. That'd be sweet actually...

Tony



Nikon: we don't want more pixels, we want better pixels.
User currently offlineHawkerCamm From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2007, 405 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (5 years 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 4835 times:

I have a question (more than a suggestion).

Would a 70-200mm f4 L+ 1.4 extender (i.e. 200*1.4*1.6=448mm) be sufficient.
Better still and with added cost a 70-200mm f2.8 L+ 2.0 extender (i.e. 200*1.4*1.6=640mm)
At least you would have an excellent lens for other things than shooting aircraft.

Interested in what people think.


User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 15, posted (5 years 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 4810 times:

The 70-200 Ls paired with a Canon 1.4x extender are supposedly a force to be reckoned with, however there are many negative things said about the 2x extender. Too much quality degradation apparently and loss of AF.

Karl


User currently offlineRonS From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 762 posts, RR: 22
Reply 16, posted (5 years 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 4792 times:



Quoting JakTrax (Reply 15):
The 70-200 Ls paired with a Canon 1.4x extender are supposedly a force to be reckoned with

Agreed, I hope to get one someday. These two shots by Tony are awesome using this combination. Showing speed and AF accuracy on the Oracle and detail and sharpness on the B-1B


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Tony Printezis
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Tony Printezis



Good examples.



All opinions expressed by me are my own opinions & do not represent the opinions in any way of my employers.
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 17, posted (5 years 6 days ago) and read 4782 times:

The extender idea sounds good Ron but I've recently been evaluating the plunge for a 100-400 L or Sigma's 100-300 F4 EX.

Obviously (you'd have thought) the lens would be a better option than 'souping-up' my existing kit to get more range out of it; but having said that a new piece of glass is far more costly.

The 70-200 Ls are generally considered sharper than the 100-400 L - with this in mind, does that mean it's pretty even once an extender is attached to one of the former?

Also, can the Sigma 100-300 match the Canon's sharpness at 300mm? I know the 100-400 isn't great at 400mm but I've heard it's not bad at all at 300.

Just considering my Xmas present, that's all........  Wink

Cheers,

Karl


User currently offlineSNATH From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3247 posts, RR: 22
Reply 18, posted (5 years 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 4751 times:

Ron,

Quoting RonS (Reply 16):
Good examples.

You're too kind, sir! I just want to add to that that the Oracle shot is heavily heavily cropped too.

Tony



Nikon: we don't want more pixels, we want better pixels.
User currently offlineDlednicer From United States of America, joined May 2005, 547 posts, RR: 7
Reply 19, posted (5 years 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 4737 times:
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Quoting HNLPointShoot (Thread starter):
I'm thinking of buying a new zoom telephoto lens that is not the Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L lens. As wonderful as it may be, $1,600 is an awful lot of money (unless I resort to a secondhand lens, which seems risky).

There is one more thing to consider - there is not a single new 100-400L to be found in the United States. I tried to buy one back in August and discovered this. Everybody has them on back-order and the factory is not delivering. In the end, I gave up and managed to buy a used one on Amazon.com for $1400. Of course, I got it one day too late, so I didn't have it for the Reno Air Races and as a result, I still haven't used it!


User currently offlineDvincent From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 1746 posts, RR: 11
Reply 20, posted (5 years 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 4729 times:
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Quoting Dlednicer (Reply 19):
There is one more thing to consider - there is not a single new 100-400L to be found in the United States. I tried to buy one back in August and discovered this. Everybody has them on back-order and the factory is not delivering. In the end, I gave up and managed to buy a used one on Amazon.com for $1400. Of course, I got it one day too late, so I didn't have it for the Reno Air Races and as a result, I still haven't used it!

B&H has the 100-400L listed as in stock and shipping.



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