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Author Topic: Need an affordable 300mm  (Read 3912 times)

Botts

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Need an affordable 300mm
« on: January 10, 2013, 01:25:08 PM »
Hello everyone,

I recently upgraded from the 7D to 6D, and am looking to get some length back in my lenses.  I had been using a 70-200mm f/4 IS, and liked the length at 200, so around 320mm on FF.

I will be renting for this go around, and then probably purchasing something in this range.

My thoughts are one of the below options:

Rent a 1.4x TC for my 70-200 f/4.  This will give me a 280mm lens at f/5.6, based on ISO 12233 crops, it still looks pretty sharp, but autofocus may be iffy.
Rent a 300mm f/4 IS.  Less versatility but a stop faster, and sharper.
Rent the 70-300L, good zoom range, sharp, but f/5.6 at 300mm.
Rent a 100-400mm, same speed as the 70-300mm, but the IS likely isn't as good.

If you've had a chance to use any of these options I'd greatly appreciate your feedback!
6D, Sigma 35/1.4, 40STM, 50/1.4, 70-200/4 IS, 430ex II
T2i, 17-55/2.8 IS, 270ex

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Need an affordable 300mm
« on: January 10, 2013, 01:25:08 PM »

Random Orbits

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Re: Need an affordable 300mm
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2013, 02:52:04 PM »
I would suggest replacing the 70-200 f/4 with another lens rather than supplementing it if you aren't planning on using it heavily at 300mm and longer.  I have used both the 70-200 f/2.8 II and the 70-300L.

I would suggest renting the 70-300L as a replacement for the 70-200 f/4 if you are looking for a single lens solution that is light and compact.  Yes, it is f/5.6 at 300mm, but so would the 70-200 f/4 + 1.4x TC.  So the only real difference is losing a fraction of a stop between 70-300 compared the 70-200's constant f/4, which is not that big a deal.

Another choice would be to replace the 70-200 f/4 with the 70-200 f/2.8 II and a 1.4x TC/2x TC.  It is a heavier and larger option, but it gives you f/2.8 at 200mm and f/4 at 280mm, which neither the 70-300L or 70-200 f/4 will do.  With a 2x TC, it should deliver quality close to the 100-400L although its AF is slower.  With TCs attached, I find it balances worse from a strap.  Yes, it is heavy (closer to 6 lb for lens + TC + body) but I find the length more annoying especially if you are walking a lot (i.e. zoo).  There are reasons why the 70-300L and 100-400L are popular, after all.  But the advantage is the larger aperture, and I think you'll find that the it comes into its own for portraiture on FF.

If you plan on doing a lot of shooting at 300mm and beyond, then it becomes a trade between the 300L and the 400L f/5.6.

crasher8

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Re: Need an affordable 300mm
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2013, 03:32:51 PM »
I'd suggest replacing the f/4 with the NON IS 70-200 and getting a 1.4TC.

Jesse

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Re: Need an affordable 300mm
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2013, 03:42:18 PM »
7D Mark II
5D3, 8-15 f/4 L, 24-70 f/2.8 II L, 50 f/1.4, 70-200 f/4 IS L, 85 f/1.8, 100 f/2.8 L, 135 f/2 L 600EX-RT x2, CS6, LR5

Sporgon

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Re: Need an affordable 300mm
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2013, 04:33:46 PM »
7D Mark II

Ha ha, many a true word spoken in jest ! When you are shooting FF and want reach or speed ( of operation ) you don't half end up paying for it compared with APS.

Take a 135 f2, costs about £1000 yet you can shoot same field of view on an APS with f1.8 by buying 85 ff1.8 for £300. Or a 300 f2.8 costs about £5200 but you can get the same FoV on APS with a £600 200 f2.8. I'd challenge anyone to see the difference in the finished picture unless of course you're talking about low light / high ISO performance.

Likewise you can get the speed with a £1000 7D, to get the same on FF you're talking 1Dx money.

Personally I've only got FF, but I can see the reasons why many people who shoot FF also have an APS. If I decide I want good long glass I'm going to look at a 7D to join the FFs.



« Last Edit: January 10, 2013, 04:37:18 PM by Sporgon »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Need an affordable 300mm
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2013, 04:48:50 PM »
Take a 135 f2, costs about £1000 yet you can shoot same field of view on an APS with f1.8 by buying 85 ff1.8 for £300. Or a 300 f2.8 costs about £5200 but you can get the same FoV on APS with a £600 200 f2.8. I'd challenge anyone to see the difference in the finished picture...

I could tell, pretty easily in many situations.  Yes, 85mm on APS-C gives you the same FoV as 135mm on FF, but the 85/1.8 on APS-C is equivalent to an f/2.9 lens in terms of DoF for the same subject framing.  Likewise, that 200/2.8 on APS-C is equivalent to 320mm f/4.5 in terms of FoV and DoF.  So, APS-C giveth the focal length, but taketh away the thin DoF, so to speak. 

Personally I've only got FF, but I can see the reasons why many people who shoot FF also have an APS. If I decide I want good long glass I'm going to look at a 7D to join the FFs.

Do you need to print large?  Really, the only thing you're giving up with FF is megapixels.  An image from the 1D X/5DIII/5DII, cropped to the FoV of a 7D, will give you equivalent image quality, but you'll only have 7 - 8.6 MP.  That's equivalent IQ at low ISOs, 800 and under.  If you have to shoot at ISO 6400, for example, the 1D X image will be much better than the 7D image.  When I shot with a 5DII, I used the 7D for birds/wildlife with the 100-400, for the better AF and faster frame rate.  Since getting the 1D X, I've had no use for the 7D.
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rs

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Re: Need an affordable 300mm
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2013, 04:53:31 PM »
7D Mark II

Ha ha, many a true word spoken in jest ! When you are shooting FF and want reach or speed ( of operation ) you don't half end up paying for it compared with APS.

Take a 135 f2, costs about £1000 yet you can shoot same field of view on an APS with f1.8 by buying 85 ff1.8 for £300. Or a 300 f2.8 costs about £5200 but you can get the same FoV on APS with a £600 200 f2.8. I'd challenge anyone to see the difference in the finished picture unless of course you're talking about low light / high ISO performance.

Likewise you can get the speed with a £1000 7D, to get the same on FF you're talking 1Dx money.

Personally I've only got FF, but I can see the reasons why many people who shoot FF also have an APS. If I decide I want good long glass I'm going to look at a 7D to join the FFs.
Unless you take depth of field into consideration. The cheaper 85/1.8 on a 1.6 crop behaves like a 136/2.9 lens - so it's not really comparable to the 135/2L. And to get something similar to a FF 300/2.8 on crop, the similarly priced 200/2 is the nearest lens available, behaving like a 320/3.2 on a crop body.

The OP's 70-200/4 lens on crop at the long end was an equivalent of a 320/6.4 - so using a 1.4x TC on that same lens will give a long end of 280/5.6 - which is similar - although as he quite rightfully pointed out, a max aperture of f5.6 isn't letting much light in for the AF system to go by, but it's only by using f2.8 aperture lenses that the centre AF point works to its full potential. F4 and f5.6 make no odds to its sensitivity.

Anything faster than f5.6 at around 300mm on FF is a step up over a 70-200/4 on crop
5D II | 24-70 II | 70-200 II | 100L | 40 | Sigma 50/1.4 | 40D | 10-22 | 17-55 | 580 EX II | 1.4x TC II

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Re: Need an affordable 300mm
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2013, 04:53:31 PM »

Sporgon

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Re: Need an affordable 300mm
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2013, 05:35:07 PM »
Oh dear ! I thought after I made that post I should have added a caveat about DoF. I shot for years with 6X7 so I know all about shallow depth on a larger format. Try the DoF on a view camera - that's why you need the shift.

However: there is an assumption here that you always want ultra shallow DoF with longer lenses, or even fast lenses. This isn't always the case. DoF on a 300mm lens at 2.8 is razor thin and extremely niche - not to mention difficult to achieve well.

So Neuro, you may well see the different shallow DoF shot, FoV for FoV, but you wont when the DoF increases. If the APS user wants shallower DoF, nearly pro rata to FF, he would have to use a longer focal length, but even so this would still be considerably cheaper, although maybe not practical with space / distance etc..

Does everyone who shoots FF do so because of shallow Dof ? I know I don't, in fact at Building Panoramics we moved to FF in 2005 mainly because of IQ and wide angle. Both these advantages have now been somewhat eroded, but still to use, FF is important.

I agree entirely on the cropping - 8MP of high IQ is enough for most situations.

With regard to the 1DX and the 7D - that's rather my point isn't it? Last time I looked you could get a sack load of 7Ds for one 1DX !  ;)

pwp

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Re: Need an affordable 300mm
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2013, 06:19:26 PM »
Take a look at the freshly revised Sigma 120-300 http://www.sigmaphoto.com/shop/120-300mm-f28-dg-os-hsm which has been discussed here recently on CR. The tried and true EF300 f/4is is a firm favourite for lots of photographers and for good reasons. It's a great lens. However the enduring value and rewards of a faster f/2.8 lens cannot be underestimated. Also, if you have kept your 7D, just carry that for the times you need the reach using your current glass. The nice thing is that you have plenty of choice...it's a rich field.

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Re: Need an affordable 300mm
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2013, 06:57:09 PM »
I have both the EF 70-200 f4 IS and the EF 300 F4 IS. The 1.4xii on the former to make a 280 is not what I would do if I had to do it over again because I found the 280 wasn't enough. It was like a 70-300 but it wasn't. So I use the 1.4 on the 300 f4 IS for a 420.

wickidwombat

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Re: Need an affordable 300mm
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2013, 07:27:56 PM »
the 300mm f4L IS is a really nice lens i got mine second hand on ebay for $800
the IS is only 2 stop and makes a clunking sound showing its age but optically its very nice even wide open
and with a 1.4 TC it becomes a nice 420mm f5.6 with IS, its a really nicely balanced lens on any 5D body

I ususally have the tripod foot removed on this lens and on my 70-200 as i mostly shootin them handheld but keep a foot in my bag to pop on if i do want to use a monopod the 300f4L and 70-200 f2.8L have the same tripod feet so i only need to carry one foot to cove both lenses
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Re: Need an affordable 300mm
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2013, 07:54:15 PM »
Okay, I've rented the 300 f4 along with a 1.4 extender, rented the 400 f5.6, rented and later bought the 100-400 L and also bought the 70-300 L.

Advantages and disadvantages to all and it becomes a matter of personal choice.

For all-around use, I would say the 70-300 "L" hands down. Very sharp, very fast (focusing), reasonably compact and superb IS. This is the lens I always carry with me when going out and think I might need a telephoto.

The 300 f4 was a nice lens, but I didn't like the lack of zoom and with the extender I liked the lack of zoom even less.

The 400 f5.6 is sharp and fairly light, but I did not like the lack of IS.

I use the 100-400 "L" for birds and other wildlife mostly. It is a very good lens, but it is just a little too heavy and clunky in comparison to the 70-300 "L" for a general purpose telephoto zoom.

If I had to have only one, it would be the 70-300 "L." With the recent price drops this lens is now just "way overpriced" whereas it was originally "ridiculously overpriced." :)
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TexPhoto

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Re: Need an affordable 300mm
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2013, 09:03:10 PM »
I have a 300mm f4 IS, and love that lens.  Light and portable.

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Re: Need an affordable 300mm
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2013, 09:03:10 PM »

LetTheRightLensIn

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Re: Need an affordable 300mm
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2013, 10:39:37 PM »
Hello everyone,

I recently upgraded from the 7D to 6D, and am looking to get some length back in my lenses.  I had been using a 70-200mm f/4 IS, and liked the length at 200, so around 320mm on FF.

I will be renting for this go around, and then probably purchasing something in this range.

My thoughts are one of the below options:

Rent a 1.4x TC for my 70-200 f/4.  This will give me a 280mm lens at f/5.6, based on ISO 12233 crops, it still looks pretty sharp, but autofocus may be iffy.
Rent a 300mm f/4 IS.  Less versatility but a stop faster, and sharper.
Rent the 70-300L, good zoom range, sharp, but f/5.6 at 300mm.
Rent a 100-400mm, same speed as the 70-300mm, but the IS likely isn't as good.

If you've had a chance to use any of these options I'd greatly appreciate your feedback!

100-400L if reach is the main thing but you still want some degree of general use out of it

70-300L if you can live with less reach and want something smaller, lighter, sharper, with a bit better AF and IS, the best all arounder, sharper than 70-200 f/4 IS + 1.4x TC with 50% faster AF than that combo

70-200 f/4 IS if you realllly want constant f/4 70-200 for sports (if you are THAT serious about sports you probably wn the f/2.8 anyway though) unless it is your only sports lens in which case 300mm beats constant f/4 so 70-300L

300 f/4 is good for field sports, best of all of these, and it takes a TC for wildlife, but obviously super restrictve as a walk around lens

« Last Edit: January 10, 2013, 10:43:15 PM by LetTheRightLensIn »

LetTheRightLensIn

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Re: Need an affordable 300mm
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2013, 10:40:24 PM »
What sorts of things do you want to shoot?

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Re: Need an affordable 300mm
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2013, 10:40:24 PM »