September 23, 2014, 04:52:39 AM

Author Topic: 300MM lens advice  (Read 4453 times)

Mick

  • Rebel T5i
  • ****
  • Posts: 130
  • Wildlife, Landscape and above all sport.
    • View Profile
300MM lens advice
« on: December 06, 2012, 07:11:51 AM »
Hi all its that time again. Mr Claus is due to visit around xmas time so im hoping the fat man will drop something nice on the mat. As im doing loads of sport/wildlife im hoping that he will be dropping of a new lens. Ive got the 500f4 mk2, both mk3 extenders, the 70-200 2.8 but theres a big gap in my range, around 300mm. What I wonder is has anyone used the Sigma 120/300 f2.8? I ask because ive only had one Sigma lens and it was amazing. I was looking at the new 300 prime but again in tough times the Siggy might be a good alternative. I need sharpness and big aperture which both are, but also fast autofocus for birds in flight. I love my big whites, never lost a penny on them and they never let me down but in such times as these saving money is becoming more important.

So, is the Siggy a fast autofocus, well built, sharp lens and if you've used one, the latest variant, whats it like?

Merry xmas to all in Canon land.

Mick
1DX, 1DMK4, 1DS3, 7D, 16-35 F2.8 mk2, 24-105 f4, 70-200 f2.8 is L mk2, 500 f4 mk2, 300 f2.8 mk2 1x4 and 2x mk3 extenders.

canon rumors FORUM

300MM lens advice
« on: December 06, 2012, 07:11:51 AM »

curtisnull

  • Rebel SL1
  • ***
  • Posts: 89
    • View Profile
Re: 300MM lens advice
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2012, 09:06:42 AM »
I had a Sigma 120-300. Not the current version, but the one before. I broke my vow to buy only Canon lenses. I wish I hadn't. I HATED that lens. It was sooooo slow at autofocusing. I eBay'ed it to some guy in South Africa and bought the Canon 300/2.8 IS II. I love the Canon. Maybe I'm just too picky about my glass, but I have regretted buying anything except Canon. That was my policy back in the days when I shot Nikons too.
1Dx••5D3••300/2.8L IS II••135/2L••100/2.8L IS Macro••24/1.4L II••70-200/2.8L IS II••24-70/2.8L II••17-40/4 L••600EX-RT••lots more Canon stuff.

Lnguyen1203

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 53
    • View Profile
Re: 300MM lens advice
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2012, 09:16:40 AM »
I bought a canon 300f2.8 IS used for a little over $3k.  It was barely used and works flawlessly.
1DX, 5D3, T3i, 500f4 II, 70-300L, 16-35L, 1.4x II, 2x III TCs

M.ST

  • Guest
Re: 300MM lens advice
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2012, 09:34:25 AM »
Get the EF 300 f/2.8 IS II. It´s the best 300 mm lens on the market.

SJTstudios

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 150
    • View Profile
Re: 300MM lens advice
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2012, 09:34:43 AM »
I bought a canon 300f2.8 IS used for a little over $3k.  It was barely used and works flawlessly.

For a 300mm, this would be the best option, it works like a charm, and canons af and IS is the best

But, if you want a mid zoom, or you can't find a good 300
-sigma 120-300mm 2.8 os-great os, great af, look at the froknows photo videos, they're great.
-the new 120-300 2.8 os ii-will be awesome, considering they upgraded the glass, os, and af
-or even go for the sigma 200-500, small aperatures, but really sharp.
All the bad reviews of sigma products usually come from people who use canon or Nikon pro lenses.

neuroanatomist

  • CR GEEK
  • ********
  • Posts: 14465
    • View Profile
Re: 300MM lens advice
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2012, 09:47:59 AM »
All the bad reviews of sigma products usually come from people who use canon or Nikon pro lenses.

Ok, but the OP has a Canon 500mm f/4L IS II.  Do you think he'll be happy with a Sigma?
EOS 1D X, EOS M, and lots of lenses
______________________________
Flickr | TDP Profile/Gear List

emag

  • Canon 70D
  • ****
  • Posts: 317
    • View Profile
Re: 300MM lens advice
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2012, 10:23:47 AM »
I know I'll sound like a d!ck, but here goes.....

From your equipment list and your post, it looks like you're pretty well set for gear and don't have to worry about where your next meal is coming from.  Find a group home for foster kids in your area and take some of them out for a nature shoot sometime.  It'll mean the world to a bunch of kids whom the fat man won't be dropping in on.

Back on point - 300/2.8L.  The lens, the myth, the legend; best there is.  Period.  No matter how good the Sigma is (and by all accounts, it IS good), you will always hear that small voice telling you "Should have got the Canon".... and it will be correct. :)  Worth every penny.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: 300MM lens advice
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2012, 10:23:47 AM »

TexPhoto

  • 1D Mark IV
  • ******
  • Posts: 924
    • View Profile
Re: 300MM lens advice
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2012, 11:00:46 AM »
The Sigma 120-300 has always intrigued me, and I am a big fan of Sigma.  But... the 2 new versions so close together in recent years is a little scary.  Also, I think the best reason to own a sigma lens is price, and that lens new at least is not that great on price.

Maybe rent it? Anyway, when Sigma was what I could afford, I loved it.  With many red rings in my current collection, I am not as intrigued.

I have a 300mm f4 IS in my collection and love it.  It is the baby brother to my 400mm 2.8 IS, and is so much lighter and smaller, it really makes sence in my collection.  Quality is great, and it does great with a 1.4X III, and when Canon updates the 5D3, it will do well with the 2X. I highly recommend it.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2012, 11:27:05 AM by TexPhoto »

Mick

  • Rebel T5i
  • ****
  • Posts: 130
  • Wildlife, Landscape and above all sport.
    • View Profile
Re: 300MM lens advice
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2012, 11:12:21 AM »
Took a £500 a month pay cut to work days and get a life back after years working nights helping ill people so money has become more important. Thats why im looking at the Sigma. Just wondered if the new one is as good as its supposed to be as my mother died recently and the money has just come through. Canon is the best, no doubt about it but im no pro so was wondering if second best would be enough for me or will i always think yeah its great but its still second best. To be honest, its the autofocus speed im really wanting advice on. Taking shots of birds in flight and animals is my thing at the moment. The Canon is lazer fast but whats the Sigma like?

Thanks again.

Mick
1DX, 1DMK4, 1DS3, 7D, 16-35 F2.8 mk2, 24-105 f4, 70-200 f2.8 is L mk2, 500 f4 mk2, 300 f2.8 mk2 1x4 and 2x mk3 extenders.

Pieces Of E

  • Rebel T5i
  • ****
  • Posts: 139
  • Canon owners and operators
    • View Profile
    • Pieces Of E, LLC
Re: 300MM lens advice
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2012, 11:43:27 AM »
We shoot with the 300mm f4L IS and love them. I'm waiting on the 400mm f4L IS to come out and possibly upgrade, the question is, when will it come out. I've often wondered how different the 300 f2.8 is and would we be happy with them instead of waiting. Oh, the decisions, the decisions... Good post though, sorry about your Mom's passing. I sure miss mine.
EOS 7D, BG-E7, EF 300L IS f4, EF 100L IS f2.8 macro, EF 24-105L IS f4 , EF 1.4 extender MKIII, EF-S 10-22 f3.5-5.6, 70-200L IS f2.8 II, EOS-M, 22 f2 STM, EF-S 18-135 IS STM, EF 85 f1.8

lmcmalo

  • Guest
Re: 300MM lens advice
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2012, 01:23:23 PM »
" Ive got the 500f4 mk2, both mk3 extenders, the 70-200 2.8 but theres a big gap in my range, around 300mm."

I'd like to share my experience on the above issue...    I do birds and wildlife and a little sport so I am not that well versed on sports.    For wildlife applications, I am not sure what a 300 is good for if you have a 500mm.   

I have a 300 f/2.8 (version I) and traded in my 500mm (version I) for 600mm f/4 II.     The truth of the matter is that I have used the 300 f/2.8 more or less once a year.   Once one commits to travel or hike around the trail or the marsh with a 500-600, you do not want to haul a bonus 300 f/2.8.   Or try to pack gear in a carry on with both a 600mm and a 300mm.   At the end of the day, it's very unpleasant to move around or travel with both a 500/600 and a 300 f/2.8.    Maybe it's workable around a football field, although this would not be my choice; I'd commit to one or the other.

So if one is not going to carry both on site, one must choose.  Is it going to be 300mm or 500mm?    The 300mm will not win this very often when it comes to wildlife.   There will be more opportunities with a longer lens, if action gets to close, there is portraits opportunity.   If it gets to far, oh well, too bad.

Last summer, I went to Katmai Nat Park to photograph Grizzly bears catching salmon on  the river.  This is a float plane access kind of place, so weight is a concern. 'There is a viewing platform that can get pretty close to the bears and the 300mm would work great on those.   (Len Rue Jr was there with a 300mm, so this is certainly not a bad idea).   But on some other viewing locations, the bears are pretty far.   After weighting this out, I settled on bringing the 500 + the 70-200 f/2.8 II with both  converters.     I used a 5D and a 1D mk IV with both lenses, with gives even more framing options with the 1.3 crop and FF.    I used the 1.4 III converter heavily at close range, mostly with the 1D m IV.    That did the trick in the falls and I brought back nice shots of bears catching salmon with the 70-200 (Not as good as the Mangelson classic, but pretty good :-)).     This is the only time I considered the 300 over the 500 last year for a trip and I am glad I did not bring it.   When shooting wildlife, we end up adding the 1.4 or even the 2X *a lot* to a 500 or a 600.    It's sure possible to shoot the 300 with the converters and get to 600 with some decent quality, but this is where it stops.   

Next weekend, I will be heading to Sacarmento NWR to spend some quality time in a photo cache in a swamp.   Last time I was there, I had the 500 with the 2X on when a peregrine falcon perched close by.  I ended up with to tight head shots and the bird flew away when try removing the converter.    This year, I will have the 300 and the 600 ready to shoot.    I am getting some use for the 300, but in all honestly I could do without.

What needs to happen for wildlife - Canon needs to ship this elusive 200-400.    Depending on the application, I could leave the 600 behind.   One of my fellow nikon photographer brought the 200-400 to Katmai last summer and did well (with a D800).   This was the first time in a while I had Nikon equipment envy.   I hope to sell my 300 f2.8, an old bimmer and other few trinkets to help finance the 200-400 when it comes out.

In short - as a bird and wildlife photographer, I can easily live without 300.    If you must have one, you have to look at a f/2.8 - I am not sure why you would need a 300 f/4 with the 70-200 and the 1.4x, no one will see the difference (I know it's 20mm short).    Canon 300mm f/2.8 version I are a good deal.

One last note - one good reason to bring a 300 over a 500/600 or a future 200-400 in the field and weight and size.  The difference between the 2 outfits is huge.

Good luck with all the choices,

SJTstudios

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 150
    • View Profile
Re: 300MM lens advice
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2012, 06:39:04 PM »
Took a £500 a month pay cut to work days and get a life back after years working nights helping ill people so money has become more important. Thats why im looking at the Sigma. Just wondered if the new one is as good as its supposed to be as my mother died recently and the money has just come through. Canon is the best, no doubt about it but im no pro so was wondering if second best would be enough for me or will i always think yeah its great but its still second best. To be honest, its the autofocus speed im really wanting advice on. Taking shots of birds in flight and animals is my thing at the moment. The Canon is lazer fast but whats the Sigma like?

Thanks again.

Mick

First of all, I'm sorry to hear of your mothers death, you have my best wishes.

If you shoot for fun, and wildlife is your thing, I get why the purchase of such lenses are important. I would recomend the sigmas, because you pay for what you get, it's cheaper, but it isn't as good, period.

But if the image is all your worried about, and you only make no/little profit, then the sigma would be a really good choice.

Again, sigma 120-300 os, os ii, or sigma 200-500. Get these, and use your mother's money that she
Eft and go on a vacation. These semi-compact zooms will be perfect, and the images you make will remind you of her.

Because even with sigma, you can always make something good out of something bad. (bad meaning second best)

lmcmalo

  • Guest
Re: 300MM lens advice
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2012, 12:27:08 PM »
For what it's worth, I do not like the Sigma 120-300 mm f/2.8 at all.

AF is slow on this lens (see the digital picture review). 
Sharpness is just OK at 300mm.   Sharpness is bad with any converter attached to it.
It does not support micro focus adjustment, at least with some canon bodies.

If one already owns the 70-200 f/2.8 II, I am not sure what this lens brings to the table, other that and f2.8 aperture at 300mm.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: 300MM lens advice
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2012, 12:27:08 PM »

bycostello

  • 1D Mark IV
  • ******
  • Posts: 910
    • View Profile
    • London Weddings
Re: 300MM lens advice
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2012, 02:08:19 AM »
i'd hire first, try them out...

jhpeterson

  • Rebel T5i
  • ****
  • Posts: 146
    • View Profile
Re: 300MM lens advice
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2012, 03:58:42 AM »
Consider me another who's firmly in the Canon 300/2.8 L camp.
In the last 20 years I've owned two of them and they've never disappointed me. Well, except for the time the first one swallowed too much sea water! :(
And, my second one is just so incredibly sharp, even though I've worn most all the paint off it  ;) , I haven't seriously considered getting the II version.
In those same 20 years, I must have owned six or seven of the 70-200's (either the 2.8 or 4, IS or non-IS) along with three of its predecessor 80-200. It hasn't been until I got the latest 70-200/2.8 IS II, that I've found a lens that comes close to the performance of this amazing one.
1D iii (x2), 1DS iii (x3), 6D, 16-35L ii, 24-105L, 70-200L IS ii, 24/3.5 TS-E, 40/2.8 STM, 50/2.5, 100/2.8L IS, 135/2L, 300/2.8L, 500/4L IS, 430EX II, EF 1.4x ii, EF 2x iii

canon rumors FORUM

Re: 300MM lens advice
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2012, 03:58:42 AM »