July 23, 2014, 02:26:00 PM

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Messages - AlanF

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Thanks Miah. That's pretty good performance by the lens (and you).

Yeah, thanks for posting these, AlanF. Very helpful indeed!

I shot these two today, male and female mallard ducks and a female red tailed hawk, using the trusty 400 f/5.6 and 5D3. Both photos are heavily cropped, hence the desire to pick up the Tammy.

Nice. What were the sizes of each before you reduced them (if you did?)?

I couldn't upload the 3 at once, despite being well under the limit.

It's difficult to find birds to photograph! Here are two examples from today. The first is too easy: the robin was pretty close, and it should have been sharp. The second is a crane flying. The Tammy is not particularly fast at locking on, but when it does, it keeps on target. The crane is at the limit at what I can take, and I use shots like these as reference to what I have seen. It took some work in PP to get the image where it is. The Canon would have done better, but it doesn't make much difference. The robin is sufficiently sharp that having it any sharper wouldn't make any real difference. The crane still wouldn't have got to publication quality.

Both were at 600 mm, iso 640, f/8 on a 5DIII. The crops are at 100%, the full image of the crane is reduced just to show what was cropped. The robin is at a high compression, in the next posting.

Tried out the Black Rapid RS-4 this afternoon. The Tammy is very comfortable hanging from it. As some might know, my 5DIII once fell off the 300mm when it was slung over my shoulder. I'd like to secure the 5DIII to the Black Rapid and also have an extra safety link from the Tammy/camera to the shoulder strap in case the screw comes loose from the Tammy tripod bush. I am thinking now of getting the Black Rapid wrist strap, screwing that into the 5DIII and threading its loop through the shoulder strap that is attached to the lens tripod mount. Has anyone tried something like this or has a better suggestion?

My advice based on experience if you are looking for a big lens then buy Canon for two reasons, picture quality and residual value. I bought a 300L 2.8IS from new and had much pleasure for three years and then sold it for $400 more than I paid for it. I haven't seen that happening with with other brands.   

simplyelectronics is selling a new 300/2.8 II for £1500 less than I paid for my discounted one nearly two years ago. That loss is far more than the cost of the Tammy. We are not at present in an inflationary era for consumer goods so don't bet on the big whites not seriously depreciating.

So, the sum of all this discussion is as such:

Tamron - Excellent value lens with great IQ (beats competition in the range), and is the cheapest 600mm lens. However, f/8 is required at 600mm to get good results. It is a zoom, so more flexible.

Canon 300 II + 2xTC III - Better IQ, faster, better build quality/weather sealing. Option to use native 300 f/2.8. Less flexible and 5x more expensive.

Get the Tamron if money is tight and/or wildlife isn't your thing and/or low light shooting is not a frequent event. Get the Canon combo if lowlight is more of an issue, you have plenty of cash to burn and you need a tank of a lens and the best IQ?

Did i miss anything? I like to have a summary at the end of these discussions! :)

Yes, get both if you can afford it. Use the 300/2.8 ± TCs when driving around and on moderate hiking, and the Tammy when travelling abroad or for long hikes. My Black Rapid RS4 has reportedly been delivered in the post and I am going to check if I can anchor it to the 1/4" slots in both the Tammy foot and the 5D3 by buying extra connectors.

I know we are discussing the 300 f/2.8 L II + 2x TC III ... but how about EF 300 f/4 L I + 2X TC III? did anyone compare this combo with the Tamron 150-600 VC? ... obviously the bare EF 300 mm f/4 L IS would be a lot sharper than the Tammy at 300mm, but what about with a 2x TC?

For many of us this might be a more applicable comparison than the faster primes.   I have considered the 300 F/4 L and 400 F5.6 L which are in the same price ballpark as the Tamron.  I already have both III extenders with my 70-200 F4 L IS so I'm debating which lens to add.  It would nice to see the comparisons at 300-420-600 and 400-560-800/840.  The Tamron could do all but the last one without an extender.   Maybe TDP will post results for the Tamron one of these days - it seems to have a lot of interest.

A 2xTC on the 400/5.6 gives f/11. So no AF and manual focus will be tedious. Both, the 300 and 400 with the the 2xTCs are really soft at f/8 and f/11, respectively: http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=111&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=4&API=2&LensComp=278&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=4&APIComp=2

The Tamron at 600mm and f.8 is sharp and in a different league.

I know we are discussing the 300 f/2.8 L II + 2x TC III ... but how about EF 300 f/4 L I + 2X TC III? did anyone compare this combo with the Tamron 150-600 VC? ... obviously the bare EF 300 mm f/4 L IS would be a lot sharper than the Tammy at 300mm, but what about with a 2x TC?

A comparison was done with the 300 f/2.8 L I + 2x TC III one of the reviews - I can't remember which one, but I can visualize the images and recall the Tammy was sharper. The EF 300 f/4 L I + 2X TC III is pretty soft (see TDP, for example), and I can't believe it will be as good as the Tammy.

Don & jrista: You both make excellent points, but I'm still really impressed with the Tamron. If wildlife photography wasn't my primary interest, it would be the perfect choice.  I don't have any regrets over my 300 and while it's not the ideal choice for birding, it's great for mammals, alligators, a lots of other critters.  Not to mention that it's awesome for portraits, sports, low light, and takes the extenders and a drop in C-PL as needed. I haven't tried the 25mm macro tube with it quite yet, but have seen excellent near-macro shots with it as well.

I think that Canon's big white sales are safe, but they are going to lose a ton of 300 f/4 IS, 400 f/5.6, and 100-400 sales to the Tamron, which might force Canon to finally update at least one of those models.

I'm not saying the Tamron isn't impressive. For it's price, it is. It's jut that if you already have the 300 f/2.8 L II, there is absolutely ZERO reason to doubt the decision to buy it. It is still and will always be a superior piece of equipment. It doesn't just needlessly cost that much more...the cost is well justified (especially once you understand the manufacturing process...making those huge glass and fluorite elements requires high grade costly materials and extremely precise manufacture.)

I do agree about their lower-grade telephotos, though. The 100-400 sales, which have always been good, will probably suffer quite a bit. Hard to beat 600mm of extra focal length and 2.25x the detail. (And there is NO WAY the Tamron is "soft"...compared to other lenses in it's class, it seems to be excellent.) I think Canon would even have a hard time maintaining 100-400 sales with a new version...400mm just doesn't compare to 600mm.

I am glad I have the 300 II, but I shall be using the Tammy a lot. And I am relieved I sold the 100-400 as it should be killed by the Tammy. A good 100-400 is very good on FF, but the extra 200mm of the Tammy is a killer. And there are lots of soft 100-400s around, and there are reports of weak bearings in some.

I would feel safer shooting large alligators through a 600 than your 24mm.

That's funny, because I was going to suggest to you that they are perfectly docile creatures, and encourage you to shoot some with a fisheye lens!  :P

I was assuming that they are as docile as you.

I would feel safer shooting large alligators through a 600 than your 24mm.

Lenses / Re: DxO Review of the Tamron 150-600mm f5-6.3 Di VC USD Canon
« on: February 17, 2014, 03:22:24 PM »
I did one test: the brick wall! Trinity College's Tudor brick chimney. The 70D and the 5DIII were on a tripod for this test, both at f/8 and 600mm with the Tamron. From top to bottom; 70D scaled down to 1200x800; 5DIII scaled down to 1200x800; 100% crop from centre of the full-sized 70D; very bottom, the centre from the full-sized 5DIII upscaled by 1.5x. If you crop the centre 200x200 the 70D is slightly better, but the image is too small anyway to be of any use.

Both lenses were AFMAd 3xtimes, Dilbert.

I think the 5DIII image is better. But, it's only one example under one set of conditions.

This test is very timely for me, as I have just received my copy of this lens, and I am about to leave on a trip that will include photographing wildlife.  I am lucky enough to own both a 7D and a 5D III.  I assumed I would bring the 7D to use with this lens, but the tests seem to show that would be the wrong choice.

For this question, assume the lens is at 600mm and f8, and the subject would nicely fill the frame (no additional cropping in post) on the 7D.  Do these tests show that if I used the 5D III instead, and then cropped the image to be the same size as from the 7D, that the 5D III image would have more resolution and better detail?

I have the 5DIII and 70D, having sold the 7D, and have experience of the Tamron on the 5DIII and 70D. My decision is to use the 5DIII - it works very well with the Tamron in terms of AF and image quality. Even with the sharper 300mm/2.8 II + 2xTC III, the 5DIII in general, but not always, outperformed the 7D and the 5DIII AF is just so much better in consistency.

I would love a 300mm f/2.8, but to be honest, i would be slapping on a TC almost all the time, so having a native 600mm lens would be ideal. f/8 is a little slow for what i need (forests at dawn/dusk), but i guess this is where the ISO performance of the 5D III should come in....  hmmmmm....  I am extremely interested in this lens! I guess the 4000 Euro i would save on this lens could go to some awesome trips! ;)

C'mon - for 600mm with the 300/2.8 IS plus TC you need to stop down to f8 anyway (see the reviews) to get reasonable (not brilliant) performance ie your pricy lens aperture has vignetted from 108mm down to 75mm at 600/8. With the 2x TC even second hand the 300/2.8 is very expensive and fiddly compared to the Tamron and heavier.

My copy of the 300/2.8 II + 2XTC is just as sharp at f/5.6 as f/8, from my own inspection and also FoCal testing. But, one stop should not be a deal breaker.

Poor light is where the 300/2.8 comes into its own. You can slap it on a 70D, on which it is still incredibly sharp at f/2.8 and has a reach of 480mm, and have all the advantage of the aperture for both focussing and picture taking. Here is a photo of a Robin in my unlit garage taken on the 5DIII with the 300mm/2.8 II. It's not wonderful but it is a memory of the Robin raising its brood there. Not bad though for 1/13 s hand held at iso 2500.

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