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Cameras, Lenses and Accessories: Discuss Long Lens Options...Since purchasing a Canon 70-200 IS 2.8L lens I've got the urge to shoot longer......wildlife/sport is becoming of interest. So ...
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Old 02-06-2007, 19:02   #1 (permalink)
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Long Lens Options

Since purchasing a Canon 70-200 IS 2.8L lens I've got the urge to shoot longer......wildlife/sport is becoming of interest.
So I've been looking at what options are available that are of interest to me....here are my thoughts;

(1) Sigma 120-300 f2.8: Might be too much of overlap with the 70-200 and not sure if it's weather sealed

(2) Sigma 300mm Prime f2.8: Again not sure as to if it's weather sealed and build quality.

(3) Canon 300mm Prime f4: Heard nothing but good about this lens and reasonably priced.

(4) Canon 300mm Prime f2.8L
: This is supposed to be as good as it gets but comes at a price and is probably overkill for someone who doesn't make a living from photography

(5) Canon Telex converters 1.4X & 2X: The cheapest option as they would be used with the 70-200.

I've almost talked myself in to the Canon 300 2.8L and would probably pick up a Canon Telex converter to increase the length even further.
So any thoughts from users or non users of any of the lenses/converters above.

Thanks Ian.
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Old 02-06-2007, 19:16   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Long Lens Options

Depending on the kind of Wildlife / Sport, I suspect you'll find that you want more than 300mm. I had the same issue and ended up replacing the 70-200 with a 100-400L IS, I'd have liked to keep both but as the 100-400 is slightly shorter, slightly lighter and nearly as good as the 70-200 I found I always took it with me and rarely used the 70-200.

The 100-400 is much more convenient and, I think, better quality that the 70-200 with a 2x. With a 1.4x the 100-400 is acceptable and that extra reach is sometimes the difference between getting the shot and not.

I used to have the Sigma 50-500, an excellent lens, suffered from being a bit heavier and not having IS so a tripod was essential (although I'd recommend one with anything over 300 when possible).

I've read some good reports of a Tamron 200-500 which would complement the 70-200 quite well but I've never used it myself.

Is weather sealing a really big point for you? I have a "camera raincoat" thingy which goes over the camera and any of my lenses, still gives me access to the functions and keeps the rain out but then I don't do anything too extreme.

cheers

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Old 02-06-2007, 19:30   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Long Lens Options

Thanks for the reply Dan.

I didn't fancy the 100-400 myself as I don't like the push pull extension of it but I know this is a super lens and would probably be better than having converters on the 70-200 IQ wise.

I do prefer to have weather sealed if possible......I do carry a rain cover that goes over lens and body (even though the 1D is weathered sealed).

I take your point about probably needing longer for wildlife (birds etc) and this is why my thoughts are with the 300mm 2.8 & telex converter (I've read the lens takes the 1.4 very well).

Appreciate the heads up on the Tamron

Thanks Ian.
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Old 02-06-2007, 19:49   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Long Lens Options

Ian,

I have a friend with the 300mm 2.8 and 1.4x and he's pretty happy with it, mostly uses it for birds.

I didn't like the push-pull at first but soon got used to it, I don't know what sports you're interested in but I took some shots at a local football match and checking the EXIF, I used the whole 100-400mm range, similar for the athletics events I've photographed recently. I don't think I'd want to be limited to 300mm and wait a minute while I put the 1.4x on, now I've got 430mm.

Cheers

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Old 02-06-2007, 19:52   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Long Lens Options

There's only one choice as far as i'm concerned Canon 300F2.8 i have the old version it's not weather sealed but the new is, i have used my friends 100-400 and it was no match for my 300F4 again i had non IS but if you shoot wildlife you would need it
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Old 02-06-2007, 19:53   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Long Lens Options

Well you certainly got me thinking Dan ........exactly the feedback I wanted

Cheers Ian.
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Old 04-06-2007, 07:55   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Long Lens Options

Well I learnt two things yesterday trying to photograph birds.....

(1) The 70-200 isn't long enough for small birds.....



(2) I'm not very good.......

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Old 04-06-2007, 08:49   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Long Lens Options

Unfortunately the only common denominator for wildlife and sport is "long lens". For wildlife you will likely be using a tripod and so a long prime will be better and it has better optics.

However, if you want to shoot sport the prime has it's restrictions which is why you see pro sports 'togs with at least one second body and lens for closer-in shots. Bearing in mind most of us don't have the luxury of two bodies then I would have to go for the extra versatility of the 100-400.

OK - I'm biased. I have the 100-400 and have never had the experience of a long prime but for amateur sport, as Danpen says, I use the whole length of the 100-400 and it is superb.
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Old 04-06-2007, 13:32   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Long Lens Options

P-E;

Lenses are an investement and you'll find that the 300 f/2.8 will serve you well for years to come; over and above that they also hold their resale value very well should you ever decide to part with it or trade it in against something new.

I always vote for investing in the highest quality kit that you can so as to avoid the dreaded "I wish I..." or "I wonder if..." second-guessing down the road.
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Old 04-06-2007, 21:14   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Long Lens Options

Thanks for you input Stepheno.......I know you are another fan of the 100-400

VP....I do think along those lines when buying my camera equipment the 300 2.8 would be my most expensive piece if I was to make the purchase which has also prompted another thought..........insurance I would seriously have to look at increasing mine.
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Old 09-06-2007, 07:31   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Long Lens Options

O/T......not sure if any of the 100-400 have suffered from excessive flare (I'm not suggesting this lens suffers from flare more than any other) but while reading reviews about this lens I saw it mentioned that the 24-70 2.8L hood fits and works on the 100-400.

I'm not familiar with how good the hood is that comes with the 100-400 but the 24-70 is a nice deep petal shaped one.

Sometimes the supplied hood that comes with a lens has an alternative that can work slightly better.......I didn't use the original on a 17-40 and don't use the original on a 16-35.
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Old 09-06-2007, 07:50   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Long Lens Options

The hood for the 100-400 is very deep and I get no flare.
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Old 09-06-2007, 07:56   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Long Lens Options

Quote:
Originally Posted by stepheno View Post
The hood for the 100-400 is very deep and I get no flare.
Out of interest Stephen......how deep is the hood approx?
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Old 09-06-2007, 08:01   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Long Lens Options

The hood's not petal shaped and, as Stephen said, it's very deep. I get no issues with flare either.

If you're using a sensor with 1.6 or 1.3 crop and the standard hood is designed for the angle of view of a 35mm camera it's quite common to get better results with a different hood, I think this is more noticeable on a wide-angle lenses.

cheers

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Old 09-06-2007, 14:06   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Long Lens Options

Quote:
Originally Posted by P-E View Post
Out of interest Stephen......how deep is the hood approx?
Just had a quick measure for you as I had mine handy.... just over 9cm from end to end.
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Old 09-06-2007, 14:34   #16 (permalink)
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Cheers Sonsey
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