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yahsemtough

Topside Canon lens for wildlife

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500/4L has good IS, Todd. I think you're being overly soft about the whole wife getting upset thing. Buy it, tell her you just spent $6000 on a lens, and explain that it's cheaper than a 1DsMk2.

 

If it all works out OK, let me know and I might try it myself...

 

It sounds like you need the 100-400L at this stage. The Canon bodies have cross-type sensors - ?I think your 300D has one on the centre focus point - that are more accurate but only work at wide apertures eg F2.8. That would be another reason to consider the 70-200, but I think for wildlife work 200 is just too short even on the crop sensor.

 

I never had much luck (or interest) in shooting birds before I got the 400/5.6L. 400*1.6 is about the right focal length. Now I'm back to 400*1.0 and it's not enough - I need a bigger lens!

 

I really don't use my 70-200 much at all - it's a nice lens, but for just about any wildlife I reach for the 'elephant gun', the 400/5.6. Whales and dolphins are the only wild animals I can think of that I've 'sucessfully' shot with it - and if I had a 100-400L I'd probably use that in preference. Because I don't have IS, I feel that 400mm*1.6 is a bit long on a moving boat.

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Thanks Rob, I really appreciate hearing from people who have used both and can give some first hand experiences.

 

I told my wife the 100-400 looks like the lens and is cheaper than the one I originally thought I was going to get. I just didn't tell her about the land flash I am now going to get as a result. Seeing as how I need the higher end one to get the Rebel to act like big boy flashes and cameras.

 

:)

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Does anyone have any experience with the Canon 75-300 DO IS?

 

Doug

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I have the 70-300 DO and the 28-300L. I don't have the 100-400 because I haven't needed it yet.

 

I've used the 28-300 with the 1D the most. It's big and heavy and uses the push-pull design. What makes it unique is the 11x zoom with good image quality. People rag on the image quality but they complain about the quality of other zooms in the range as well. I've gotten good results but would rather use something smaller when I can.

 

The 70-300 DO looks like a winner but I haven't shot with it enough to state a better opinion. I really like the size but it is quite expensive.

 

I have to echo the others recommending the 100-400 even though I haven't used it. I have used the Nikon version and it's clearly a lens to have. I like the Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 because of the speed but it's shorter and has no IS. I don't really care for the push-pull design but it's not a show-stopper for me.

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I have the 70-200mm 2.8 IS and 1.4x TC. It is a great combo. This lens is perfect for sports where you have access to the sidelines. The f2.8 is a real plus in overcast conditions where you might still have to bump your ISO up in order to keep your shutter speed high enough to stop the action. Believe it or not this is also a prime portrait lens used by most pro wedding photographers for the wonderful background blur wide open. Indeed a very versitle lens and has been mentioned before, one of Canon's sharpest.

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I'll back up Craig's recommendation on the Sigma 120-300. Super heavy and the big 105mm filter size limits choice but that baby focuses fast like the 70-200L and with the Sigma 1.4 you get the reach you want. And it's sharp (well my copy became sharp after a trip to sigma) wide open at all focal lengths. I've found with the 1DII and a monopod, it's a great lens for 2.8 at that focal length.

I had the 100-400 and found it didn't focus as fast as the Sigma and wasn't as sharp. One BIG problem of push pull design is dust! I had specks of dust flying around after a week and returned the lens. The Sigma didn't fair well either. There's no such thing as a perfect design.

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My late add to this topic (seldom browsing thru general chat):

 

First I had tried some shorter solutions (the "old" 70-200 L 2.8 without IS, the f4 70-200, ...).

Finally I went for the 100-400. Especially for wildlife all other solutions were simply too short. Even with my 1.6 crop camera 400mm comes in very usable.

 

I've been using the lens for almost 6 years now and it covers all my Tele stuff very well. Some consider this lens being not the sharpest one wide open @ the long end. Well, it depends on the point of view.

 

100mm 4.5: Of course others perform better wide open and it's really not a bright 100mm lens compared to a prime or the 70-200 2.8

 

but ...

 

400mm 5.6 with IS support is not bad at all.

Add the versatility, the range and the very constant image quality over the whole range and apertures ? there is suddenly no competitor left.

 

In order to get the same reach you would have to add the 2.0x converter to the 70-200 2.8 IS. That gives you 5.6 over the entire resulting range (140-400mm). Compared to the 100-400mm: less range, slower at the wide end and I doubt the image quality with the 2.0x converter is up to the 100-400mm. But I haven?t compared in detail.

 

I think there is no better tele lens when it comes to combining range, IS, image quality and versatility for wildlife. The price even makes it a bargain in my opinion.

Any other solution with better image quality would include several bodies and several prime tele lenses in my opinion.

 

I definitely would buy this lens again!

 

By the way, the lens? long end is nice for compressed landscapes as well:

 

handheld 1/80th @320mm (equiv. 512mm on FF)

100400_1.jpg

 

handheld 1/125th @350mm (equiv. 560mm on FF)

100400_2.jpg

 

just my 2 (Euro-)Cents ...

 

Julian

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Thank you those are some excellent points. And helpful in confirming my choice.

 

Love the landscape thoughts. I had not thought of that application.

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I just got the 75-300 USM IS in the mail yesterday and I spent the afternoon on my balcony shooting hummingbirds, bananaquits and mating Marlins. Ipreviously had the "vanilla" 75-300 without the is USM and IS. Although I have been able to freeze the humming birds with the vanilla lens, this USM IS seems to make it easier. I am not that impressed with the IS though, it's a bit of a letdown, it seems to be a lot harder and slower to AF in the first place with it activated. However the USM is nice! Price for this one under $500

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