September 02, 2014, 05:45:01 PM

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Messages - stochasticmotions

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I have been using the Sigma lens for the last 10 months or so, replacing my canon 100-400L as my main nature photography lens.  I mainly use this lens on my 1D IV with a few shots here and there on the 5D III.

Good things:
This lens is very sharp, my version has fantastic centre sharpness even at f2.8.
I can use both 1.4 and 2.0 teleconverters easily still getting sharper images than my old 100-400L (definitely not as sharp as the latest canon 300L with or without the teleconverters).
Autofocus is slower than any canon L series lens and almost nothing compares to the canon 300L, but tracking autofocus on the 1D IV even with a 2X teleconverter for birds in flight is still very good.  If the lens does lose focus it can hunt (I think this is better on the latest version with focus limiter).
Autofocus on my version is spot on for single shot.
IS works very well, especially with the teleconverters on.

Not so good things:
The weight is very significant for hand holding.  I have gotten used to it but the 300L is much easier to handle.
Weight and size are not so good for travel, I do considerable treks into mountains, woods, where ever and my neck and back pay for it.
No weather resistant properties is also a down side, but I knew that when I got it.

From my point of view this lens is more useful most of the time than my old 100-400L, and is pretty much in between the price points of that and the 300L.  I think it is more useful than the Sigma 300 prime at nearly the same price.  Nothing I have seen beats the Canon 300L in sharpness, autofocus speed, and most of the other features, but I was able to pick up the Sigma used for $2100.  That extra $3-4000 for the Canon is still difficult for me to justify, at least until I can make enough off of my nature shots or hit the lottery (likely both about the same odds :) )

I may change my tune if/when canon updates their telephoto zoom.

Here is one of my latest shots tracking a Black-crowned night heron using 1D IV, Sigma 120-300, canon 2X teleconverter.
Red eye flight by stochasticmotions, on Flickr

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Animal Kingdom / Re: Show us your Hooters (Owls)
« on: July 02, 2014, 10:58:18 PM »
Love shooting Owls - here's a few of my favourites.  Most of these have been shot with Canon 5d II, Canon 1D IV or Canon 5D III and either Canon 100-400L or Sigma 120-300 f2.8 (and 2x teleconverter).

Great Horned Owlet
Not a little baby anymore (Explored) by stochasticmotions, on Flickr

Long Eared Owl
Long eared portrait by stochasticmotions, on Flickr

Saw-whet Owl
my best side by stochasticmotions, on Flickr

Snowy Owl
Oh my, those eyes by stochasticmotions, on Flickr

Great Grey Owl
Just another little action shot. by stochasticmotions, on Flickr

Barred Owl
looking back by stochasticmotions, on Flickr

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Sounds like the options here are 1. extremely expensive and 2. Very inexpensive.  I've gone in between with the Sigma 120-300 f2.8 and canon version III teleconverters.  I'm very happy with the image quality so far comparing mostly to my old canon 100-400 and newer 70-300L.  The extra stop or so of light is great but the weight is significant.  Anyone else have the sigma and access to the tamron for comparisons?  I already know that the canon primes are slightly sharper and significantly faster for autofocus.

I've been considering the tamron for those times that I don't want to/can't take the heavy weights.

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Camera Body Gallery / Re: Anything shot with Sony A7R
« on: February 11, 2014, 12:10:58 PM »
Now a couple of Icescape type shots (I would call them landscape but there really isn't anything but ice up here right now)




AWESOME! ... What lens did you for these?
Thanks, first one is with the canon 40mm f2.8 and the second is the Tamron 24-70 f2.8 at 24mm (canon mount).

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Camera Body Gallery / Re: Anything shot with Sony A7R
« on: February 10, 2014, 09:50:26 PM »
Now a couple of Icescape type shots (I would call them landscape but there really isn't anything but ice up here right now)




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Camera Body Gallery / Re: Anything shot with Sony A7R
« on: February 10, 2014, 09:44:41 PM »
Here are a couple of nature shots, this one using Canon 100-400L


And this one using 70-300L



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Animal Kingdom / Re: BIRD IN FLIGHT ONLY -- share your BIF photos here
« on: February 06, 2014, 12:36:53 PM »
Couple of recent shots both taken with Canon 1D Mark IV, canon 2x teleconverter vIII, and Sigma 120-300 f2.8

Snowy owl taken is harsh light, typically cloudy day.


Great Grey Owl taking off on a hunt for Voles in the snow.

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Lenses / Re: 24-70/2.8 Canon or Tamron: Which did you choose and why?
« on: February 01, 2014, 02:35:24 PM »
I used to have the original 24-70L, sold it and pretty much got the Tamron for no cost.  Much sharper and image stabilization without having to shell out any more cash.  New canon might be sharper than what I have but I think the tamron was good value for the money for me.
I also replaced my canon 100-400L with a Sigma 120-300 f2.8 (and 2X teleconverter), and likely will replace the canon 50 1.4 with the new sigma (already have the sigma 35 f1.4).  I hadn't really look at it but I seem to have been replacing a lot of my canon lenses lately.

Next question would be weather to get the new sigma 24-105 to replace the canon 24-105L?

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Here is a shot I took a few weeks ago using A7r with metabones adapter, 70-300L at ISO 1600 hand held on a rather dark, very cold (almost -30) day.  Fun subject since we don't get Mandarin ducks on the north shore of Lake Ontario very often :)



Also one from last week this one using the canon 100-400L at 400 ISO also handheld but only at -10 degrees so I was only shaking a little.


So far everything works very well, autofocus is very slow as expected but focus peaking works amazingly well (at least with the 70-300, the 100-400 I have always found changes focus with way too small of a movement to work for me).  Can't wait to get out in something other than cold grey, white and beige to play with it with more wide angle lenses.

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Hello out there! Anyone using Peak-Design straps and Capture system?

-pw

I have been using the Peak Design straps on a Canon 1D Mark IV for the last 8-10 months along with a Black Rapid strap for when I am carrying around my biggest lenses.  I really like the fact that I can attach and remove both of these straps very quickly.  I usually have the Peak Design straps on the top left and lower right corners of the camera so that the camera and lens hang downwards at my right hip.  I'm usually using a Tamron 24-70 f2.8 or Canon 100 f2.8 IS when travelling in this configuration.  I then leave my Black Rapid attached to the foot of either my Canon 100-400 or Sigma 120-300 f2.8 depending on the amount of weight I want to carry around.  This method works well with the rest of my lenses when not travelling as well.

I was originally worried about how the peak designs strap would feel with such a thin strap but actually found it to be more comfortable most of the time than any other strap I have used, it did not dig into my shoulder but just really wrapped around my body.  I have found that wear and tear on the strap is much quicker to be noticed than others but I would seriously consider buying another for the comfort and ease of moving it back and forth to my Sony A7R by just keeping the little connectors attached all the time.

Cheers

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Landscape / Re: Waterscapes
« on: November 23, 2013, 05:08:31 PM »
Whitehaven beach, Whitsunday Islands - Canon 1DIV, Tamron 24-70 f2.8 at 24mm, f/7.1, 1/640s


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EOS Bodies / Re: camera bag help
« on: September 20, 2013, 06:39:57 PM »
Take a look at Thinktank, Gura Gear and LowePro, I have been looking for a good bag for quite some time and it came down to Thinktank Streetwalker Pro, Gura Gear Bataflae, and LowePro protrekker series.  My needs may be different from yours but I was looking for a bag that could carry one large lens with pro camera, plus 3-4 lenses.  I needed something that could be taken on small airplanes as well as large airlines and a backpack style that I could carry on long nature excursions.
I chose the Streetwalker Pro in the end due to size (much smaller and still able to carry a sigma 120-300 f2.8 on a 1dIV) and price...about half that of the other options.

Good luck on your search, that perfect bag always seems to be just around the corner.

Barry


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I have been using a panasonic mirrorless for quite some time now (GF1 and now GX1) for when I want to travel with a much lighter and smaller set of kit.  I have been considering moving to the Sony mirrorless (Nex6 or Nex7) due to the better (and built in) EVF but I really like the smaller micro 4/3 lenses.

Waiting to see if Canon will ever really try to compete in the enthusiast mirrorless area but so far it feels like they don't want to really try in this area.

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Lenses / Re: your goto everyday lens and why?
« on: March 05, 2013, 09:23:29 PM »
My 100-400 is on my 1D IV about 90 percent of the time, but I also do mostly nature (especially owls) photography.  A 24-70 (Tamron now, used to be canon) stays on my 5D II unless I am doing macro work.

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Contests / Re: Gura Gear Giveaway!
« on: December 06, 2012, 08:42:42 PM »
ok, I'm in.  Always looking for a better camera bag.

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