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Author Topic: "Affordable" telephoto lens for wildlife  (Read 13816 times)

neuroanatomist

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Re: "Affordable" telephoto lens for wildlife
« Reply #45 on: November 02, 2012, 11:31:07 AM »
This is a very interesting accessory... if it works with a 430exII then it will get added to my kit, thanks for the tip and nice bird portrait!

Yes, they have a model for the 430EX II - the FX5.

You'll be better off with a more powerful flash in some cases (I have one for my 600EX II), but the 430 will work.  What's more important than flash power is getting the flash off camera - you'll want a flash bracket with an off-camera cord to get the light off the lens axis and reduce 'steel eye' (the avian equivalent of red eye). 

Also, take the fresnel lens off when not using it - it works both ways, and the sun shining down on your better beamer turns it into a better burner (fresnel lenses are used in solar backpacking ovens), and you can melt your camera gear or your skin, depending on the angle of the sun.
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Re: "Affordable" telephoto lens for wildlife
« Reply #45 on: November 02, 2012, 11:31:07 AM »

vargyropoulos

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Re: "Affordable" telephoto lens for wildlife
« Reply #46 on: November 02, 2012, 11:45:14 AM »
Thanks for the heads up! right now I can't wait for some of the transportation mess to clear up in the NYC area so that we can begin to resume a "normal" pace

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Re: "Affordable" telephoto lens for wildlife
« Reply #47 on: November 20, 2012, 10:08:45 PM »
I finally got the chance to pass by the local camera store, I tried the 400mm5.6, the 100-400 and the new 600....

at slower shutter speeds the 100-400 produced better results (expected)
at a higher shutter speeds (set my camera to ISO 1600 and shot at 1/500sec handheld) I did notice sharper images with the 400 prime lens, for example the hair on some of the people at the store were better defined when shot with the prime lens.

then for kicks, I took a few handheld shots with the 600 and decided that the previous 2 lenses were just toys.... I could read the sales tags on SD cards from across the store with that lens. make out the fabric in people's hat's half way across the store, etc

but anyway - back to my reality.... I'm still digesting the images from today and will probably make another run to test the 70-300L and any other contenders.

Julie G.

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Re: "Affordable" telephoto lens for wildlife
« Reply #48 on: November 21, 2012, 03:57:58 AM »
If I may squeeze in a question: How's the Canon EF 300mm F4L IS USM with the 1.4X III or 2.0X III extenders?
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hendrik-sg

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Re: "Affordable" telephoto lens for wildlife
« Reply #49 on: November 21, 2012, 04:57:27 AM »
If I may squeeze in a question: How's the Canon EF 300mm F4L IS USM with the 1.4X III or 2.0X III extenders?

Yes that may be a dream, but its dangerous to think about toys like this one. but maybe half way between would be a used 300 2.8 is i with a 2x converter. you have a 2.8 lens in bad light, great AF at 2.8, and e good 600 5.6 but for this you need a good tripod, a really good one. Compared to a 600 ii its really affordable, and anyway better than every consumer telezoom.

Julie G.

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Re: "Affordable" telephoto lens for wildlife
« Reply #50 on: November 21, 2012, 05:13:57 AM »
If I may squeeze in a question: How's the Canon EF 300mm F4L IS USM with the 1.4X III or 2.0X III extenders?

Yes that may be a dream, but its dangerous to think about toys like this one. but maybe half way between would be a used 300 2.8 is i with a 2x converter. you have a 2.8 lens in bad light, great AF at 2.8, and e good 600 5.6 but for this you need a good tripod, a really good one. Compared to a 600 ii its really affordable, and anyway better than every consumer telezoom.

I can barely understand what you are trying to write? The 300mm 2.8 is way out of my budget, but the F4 is affordable and a good lens. As I've read other places, the 300mm F4 combined with a 1.4x extender will work ok, but might not work with the 2.0x? I have a 5D Mark II
« Last Edit: November 21, 2012, 05:39:16 AM by Julie G. »
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Re: "Affordable" telephoto lens for wildlife
« Reply #51 on: November 21, 2012, 06:22:40 AM »
If you use the 70-200 f/2.8 II L IS with an 2X TC focussing (very slow)  is really a pain for bird shots. Without the TC the 70-200 f/2.8 II L IS (320 mm on APS-C) perform very well.

If you need 400 mm (640 mm) on APS-C the only choice is the EF 100-400 IS.

Use the Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM without an extender on a APS-C body (480 mm) as a budget solution, if 480 mm focal lenght is enough for you.

If you only have a ff body then you have to pay a lot of money for a perfect solution.



« Last Edit: November 21, 2012, 06:27:35 AM by M.ST »

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Re: "Affordable" telephoto lens for wildlife
« Reply #51 on: November 21, 2012, 06:22:40 AM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: "Affordable" telephoto lens for wildlife
« Reply #52 on: November 21, 2012, 06:25:46 AM »
The 300mm 2.8 is way out of my budget, but the F4 is affordable and a good lens. As I've read other places, the 300mm F4 combined with a 1.4x extender will work ok, but might not work with the 2.0x? I have a 5D Mark II

You can use either the 1.4x or 2x with the 300/4, technically.  But with the 2x, you have a 600mm f/8 lens - that means no AF on your 5DII (1-series bodies can AF with an f/8 combo, the 5DIII will be able to next April, assuming the firmware is released on schedule).  The 300/4 will take a bigger IQ hit with the 2x.
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Marsu42

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Re: "Affordable" telephoto lens for wildlife
« Reply #53 on: November 21, 2012, 06:33:40 AM »
Thanks for your quick response. Will there be an IQ difference between Canon and Kenko?

Often debated issue - I've only got the Kenko 1.4x which is said to be on par with the Canon mk2, the mk3 is supposed a little better (or different according to who you ask - center vs edge sharpness on ff).

So if you've got the cash to buy a 70-200/2.8is get the newest Canon which is sealed - otherwise the smaller and less expensive Kenko is just fine for a tc, works with f8 on any camera and on *any* lens meaning you can use it on a macro lens, too. The Kenko isn't white though :->

Btw: On my 60d f8 hunting only occurs in dim light / low contrast and single-point af (unfortunately necessary on the 60d due to few af points), but with multi-point af it locks very good.

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Re: "Affordable" telephoto lens for wildlife
« Reply #54 on: November 21, 2012, 06:38:56 AM »
The 300mm 2.8 is way out of my budget, but the F4 is affordable and a good lens. As I've read other places, the 300mm F4 combined with a 1.4x extender will work ok, but might not work with the 2.0x? I have a 5D Mark II

You can use either the 1.4x or 2x with the 300/4, technically.  But with the 2x, you have a 600mm f/8 lens - that means no AF on your 5DII (1-series bodies can AF with an f/8 combo, the 5DIII will be able to next April, assuming the firmware is released on schedule).  The 300/4 will take a bigger IQ hit with the 2x.

Thanks for the info! I think the 300mm alone will be enough for me, maybe a 1.4x if I feel the need for longer focal length or just putting it on my 50D. The 400 F5.6 could be an option, but it lacks IS. But this is a dilemma for the future (just bought a used 85L so I'll have to start saving up again :P)
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hendrik-sg

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Re: "Affordable" telephoto lens for wildlife
« Reply #55 on: November 21, 2012, 07:59:40 AM »

I can barely understand what you are trying to write? The 300mm 2.8 is way out of my budget, but the F4 is affordable and a good lens. As I've read other places, the 300mm F4 combined with a 1.4x extender will work ok, but might not work with the 2.0x? I have a 5D Mark II

I am sorry if i expressedm me unprecisely. I speek from my own expierience, we were in south africa for wildlife shooting 4 weeks.

if i look at the costs we had to pay for this trip, 4000$ for the aquisition of the 300 2.8 was not the major expense. this it if course different if you shoot wildlife next to your home if tehre is some (i dont know where you live)

After such a trip you can resell such a lense if it was a one time use, but i kept it because i hope to go additional times. Yes i would have liked to have a 600mm lens, but i didnt bye one for the same reason as you. if you consider a 70-200 ii its already hald the price, then the difference becomes even smaller compared to the costs of the trip.

the disadvantage of the "big" glasses it that you cant leave them allone in third world countries, means you lug the equipment even on a city walk.
 
If you need more reach than you can afford with your FF camera, maybe a second crop camera is an option, a 50d is available cheaply and has the best AF below a 7d.

because you reported that you tried a 600 ii i assumed that you have a dream and maybe oyou may be working at a solution to make this dream true, in ignorance of your "budget". Thats why i wrote about the 300 2.8 as a more affordable compromise :-)

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Re: "Affordable" telephoto lens for wildlife
« Reply #56 on: November 21, 2012, 09:02:33 AM »

I can barely understand what you are trying to write? The 300mm 2.8 is way out of my budget, but the F4 is affordable and a good lens. As I've read other places, the 300mm F4 combined with a 1.4x extender will work ok, but might not work with the 2.0x? I have a 5D Mark II

I am sorry if i expressedm me unprecisely. I speek from my own expierience, we were in south africa for wildlife shooting 4 weeks.

if i look at the costs we had to pay for this trip, 4000$ for the aquisition of the 300 2.8 was not the major expense. this it if course different if you shoot wildlife next to your home if tehre is some (i dont know where you live)

After such a trip you can resell such a lense if it was a one time use, but i kept it because i hope to go additional times. Yes i would have liked to have a 600mm lens, but i didnt bye one for the same reason as you. if you consider a 70-200 ii its already hald the price, then the difference becomes even smaller compared to the costs of the trip.

the disadvantage of the "big" glasses it that you cant leave them allone in third world countries, means you lug the equipment even on a city walk.
 
If you need more reach than you can afford with your FF camera, maybe a second crop camera is an option, a 50d is available cheaply and has the best AF below a 7d.

because you reported that you tried a 600 ii i assumed that you have a dream and maybe oyou may be working at a solution to make this dream true, in ignorance of your "budget". Thats why i wrote about the 300 2.8 as a more affordable compromise :-)

I never said that I've tried a 600 II, so I guess that's why I was confused. The 300 2.8 is already way out of my budget, and I really don't want to take up a loan just to buy a lens.
Canon 5D Mark II | Canon EF 35mm F1.4L | Canon EF 85mm F1.2L | Canon 70-200 F4

yablonsky

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Re: "Affordable" telephoto lens for wildlife
« Reply #57 on: November 21, 2012, 10:06:29 AM »
I would go with the 300 4L IS. It is really sharp. Although on FF bodies 300 mm are sometimes not long enough. You don't need a zoom for wildlife, except maybe for elephants in the zoo. I don't like tele converters. Tele converters always make the image hazy. The sharpness is ok, but contrast is missing.
I don't know the 400 5.6L but this could also be an alternative for you.
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Re: "Affordable" telephoto lens for wildlife
« Reply #57 on: November 21, 2012, 10:06:29 AM »

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Re: "Affordable" telephoto lens for wildlife
« Reply #58 on: November 21, 2012, 10:32:47 AM »
Take a look at a used sigma 500 4.5. It´s around 2000-2500€ used and it´s a good wilflife lens. Dont have one myself but used it :)

and teleconverters always make the quality worse, on crop and on full frame.

neuroanatomist

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Re: "Affordable" telephoto lens for wildlife
« Reply #59 on: November 21, 2012, 10:57:49 AM »
Although on FF bodies 300 mm are sometimes not long enough. You don't need a zoom for wildlife, except maybe for elephants in the zoo. I don't like tele converters. Tele converters always make the image hazy. The sharpness is ok, but contrast is missing.

A crop body wouldn't cause the same problems you describe with a tc, or?

No, it wouldn't.  But you'd be giving up the better high ISO performance of a FF sensor. 

I don't like tele converters. Tele converters always make the image hazy. The sharpness is ok, but contrast is missing.

Always?  No - it really depends on the TC and more importantly, on the lens.  IMO, these are both sharp and have good contrast:


EOS 7D, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM + EF 2x II Extender @ 400mm, 1/160 s, f/5.6, ISO 3200


EOS 1D X, EF 600mm f/4L IS II + EF 1.4x III Extender, 1/640 s, f/5.6, ISO 100
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Re: "Affordable" telephoto lens for wildlife
« Reply #59 on: November 21, 2012, 10:57:49 AM »