Which lens will you choose between these 3 ?

Which lens will you pick ?


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clive

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Oct 9, 2002
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400mm for me, at least.

its a pure 400mm canon "L" lens. 300mm to me still too short, but 400mm gives me the perspective thats just nice. a bit slow @5.6, no IS..but the "pureness" of 400mm overrides all other considerations ^_^
 

bigalien

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Well really depends on how much dough u have hee.

Sigma is value for money while the L lenses is...well L.... what more is there to say hee
 

PLRBEAR

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ALSO, it's really pointless comparing a zoom with 2 primes. Surely cannot fight optically one. :(
 

jbma

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Prime lens and zoom lens should not be compared together. Optically the prime lens is better. But as far as value for money is concerned I'll take teh 50-500 anytime.
 

Hitz

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Mar 3, 2004
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I vote for 300 f/4L IS for several reasons:

  • It has IS, and for hand-held photography the image stabilized lens is a better choice
  • You can add 1.4x extender and get usable 420mm f/5.6 lens which is optically almost as good as 400 f/5.6L
  • It is sharp and optically superior to zoom
  • It accepts 77mm filters standard for many Canon L lenses. Sigma accepts 86C filters which are less common and more expensive
  • It is half kilo lighter than the zoom
 

ST1100

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Same as Hitz, i will take the 300/4L IS. With a convertor, the resulting 420/5.6 also has IS, which helps a lot even when on tripod.

That's a personal choice, it will depend on what you shoot. If i were needing 400mm most of the time, then i would go straight for the 400/5.6.

However, for the bigger picture, i do plan my focal lengths. i use a 135/2 and a 300/4 with a 1.4x TC. This gives me a 135/2, 190/2.8, 300/4, 420/5.6, all primes with acceptable quality.

If i were to take the 400/5.6, then i would pair it with a 200/2.8. With a TC, i would end up with 200/2.8, 280/4, 400/5.6, 560/8. And maybe throw in an 85mm or 100mm to round it off.
 

lokewl

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I have use a 400mm f/5.6, found it very hard to hand-held and difficult to produce good un-blur pictures. So I have voted for the 300 IS with a 1.4x TC.
 

Garion

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Hi majere2sg,

Like you, I had found myself in the exact same shoes some months back when I was looking for a long telephoto lens to complement my collection. I was also contemplating between these 3 lenses. I have owned and used the 400 5.6L and Sigma 50-500 before, and have used briefly a friend's 300 f4L IS.

Firstly, you have to ask yourself, "What do I want to shoot?" and secondly, do you mind lugging a tripod around? If the 2nd answer is a definite no, then the choice is clear: 300 f4L IS is the lens for you.

The important thing to realise is this: long lenses of 300mm and above (assuming no IS) need a good, stable platform to perform at their best. Else, you pay top dollar and get average image quality if you just handhold the lens when shooting the subject. A tripod, or at least a monopod, is a must. Handholding is still possible to obtain acceptable results, but you aren't optimizing the max optical quality the lens is capable of as the inevitable handshake will deteriorate the overall image quality.

If you shoot mainly animals in captive conditions (i.e. zoo, birdpark etc.) I would recommend either the 300 f4 IS (w/ or w/o 1.4x TC) or the 50-500. The latter is especially useful coz in tight situations you can still zoom in and out to compose a pic nicely. But you would need a good solid tripod + head to go with it.

Sharpness and image quality wise, there is no debate, the primes win hands down, esp the 400 f5.6...its one heck of a sharp lens! :bigeyes: The Sigma 50-500 is no slouch either, and its sharpness is comparable to the other two esp. when stopped down.

AF speed: the Canons are still the fastest, with Sigma lagging slightly behind. The Sigma tends to hunt a little with non contrasty subjects.

Usage with TCs: the 300 f4 is best in this respect. Put a 1.4x TC on it and it becomes a 420mm f5.6 with still respectable image quality. Also possible with the 400 5.6, but u need to tape certain pins in order for AF to work. Else its MF with this combo. Forget abt using the Sigma w/ TCs...the image quality becomes very soft and quite a bit of CA too.

In summary, I would recommend the 300 f4 IS. A superb all rounder lens, has IS, can be used with TCs (esp the 1.4x), and with extension tube, even can be used for telemacro on skittish insects such as butterflies (with excellent results). If you don't mind lugging a tripod around most of the time, the Sigma 50-500 is a worthy contender too, its main strength is the flexibility of zoom.

Hope this helps!
 

sriram

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None - they're all too damn heavy. I choose a 35/2.0.
 

NorthernLights

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300 f4 L IS.

IS is useful for handholdability and at f4, with a 1.4x TC, 420mm>400mm for a tiny bit of extra reach.

Also at 300mm f4 is also faster for situations where you only need 300mm.
 

Jeff

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Apr 27, 2002
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lokewl said:
I have use a 400mm f/5.6, found it very hard to hand-held and difficult to produce good un-blur pictures. So I have voted for the 300 IS with a 1.4x TC.
Sounds like you may wish to sell the 400 5.6L. :D If so, contact me cause me looking for one in 3 months time. :D :D
 

Helbreath

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How about the 100-400L IS and 70-200L IS+2x?
 

Amfibius

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Helbreath said:
How about the 100-400L IS and 70-200L IS+2x?
Pros of choosing a 70-200 IS + 2x over a 100-400L IS:
1. Much sharper up to 200mm.*
2. With a 1.4x it is also sharper to 280mm.*
3. Option of shooting at F/2.8 up to 200mm.
4. Ring zoom over push-pull design (this may not be so important to you)

Pros of choosing a 100-400L IS over a 70-200 IS + 2x:
1. Sharper at 400mm but performance becomes equal at F/11.*
2. Cheaper by the price of the 2x converter (approx $600)
3. Less fiddly to use when you want to zoom to 400 (with the other combo you detach your lens, attach the 2x, reattach).

The tests tend not to show a big difference between the two in image quality however. There is a difference but you have to be pretty nitpicky to tell.

For me the big advantage of the 70-200 IS is the ability to shoot at F/2.8. That is why I am saving up for one.
 

majere2sg

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Thanks guys for all your advices and comments. Guess I have to make my choice between the Sigma 50-500mm and the Canon 300mm F4 IS.. Does anyone might have any other alternatives that are within the price range of these 2 lens ? Btw, does anyone knows how much does the Canon 300mm F4 IS cost approximately and does it comes or have any tripod collar ? Thanks again ! :D
 

Amfibius

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majere, make sure you "test drive" the Sigma before you buy it. I tested a Sigma 80-400 on my 10D and it was unusable. It would take a LONG time to focus, even in bright light, on stationary objects. Want to track a car? Running animal? Bird? Forget it.
 

majere2sg

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Amfibius said:
majere, make sure you "test drive" the Sigma before you buy it. I tested a Sigma 80-400 on my 10D and it was unusable. It would take a LONG time to focus, even in bright light, on stationary objects. Want to track a car? Running animal? Bird? Forget it.
I see.. thanks for your advice :)
 

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