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Author Topic: best NON L long lens  (Read 6870 times)

AprilForever

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Re: best NON L long lens
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2013, 04:13:13 PM »
im looking for a cheapish bird/garden lens   but cannot afford a nice L lens.

prime or zoom, doesnt bother me, probably 300mm+ on a full frame.

does any body know a good model from any manufacturer , of course its not gonna be the best optically, probably noisy, slow autofocus, bearing all that in mind, whats the best of the worst out there?

thanks for any recommendations

Consider maybe an old manual focus FD adapted, or and old Nikon, pre AI?

Otherwise, 300 f4. Save your money up, and don't wait 400-500 on a piece of garbage, only to later spend the full price. Or ring up your credit card! Beg friends and family... but the 300 f4 is a dream lens... For the price and money, anyway... you could alternatively get the old 300 f4 non IS used somewhere....
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Re: best NON L long lens
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2013, 04:13:13 PM »

KyleSTL

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Re: best NON L long lens
« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2013, 04:35:59 PM »
I bought a Tamron 200-400mm f/5.6 lens (I believe it was the 75DE model) locally on Craigslist for $100 (which I found out was a steal - normally goes for $200-250 on eBay).  Image quality was quite good, but the focusing was too slow for my needs (I'm not a sports photographer, but the gearing for the AFD motor is pretty low).  Ended up selling it for well over double what I paid on eBay about a month later.

I had the Canon 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM lens for about a year and a half and can echo the sentiment that between 200mm and 300mm the image quality is quite mediocre.  Focusing is fairly fast and quiet with the FTM Ring USM motor.

The Canon 70-210mm f/3.5-4.5 USM is optically not much better than the 100-300mm, and it has a more limited range, but it is 2/3 stop faster and has the same good focusing that I liked in the 100-300mm.

Ghosting of highlights, at the long end especially, is a problem for both Canon lenses mentioned above.  I used a friend's 70-200 f4L non-IS for Game 7 of the World series in 2011 and loved it, but haven't been able to justify the expense yet.  I've also tried to find good condition used copies of the 50-200mm f/3.5-4.5L (1988) and 100-300mm f/5.6L (1987) on the market; unfortunately, however, they retain their value pretty well despite lacking USM or IS and typically sell for prices close to that of a used 70-200mm f/4L.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2013, 04:44:11 PM by KyleSTL »
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Rienzphotoz

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Re: best NON L long lens
« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2013, 04:42:15 PM »
For under $1000, you can get Sigma 120-400 OS or 15-500 OS ... I use the Sigma 150-500 OS, it may not be as great as an L lens but it sure is a decent performer for the price.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2013, 04:47:59 PM by Rienzphotoz »
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Policar

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Re: best NON L long lens
« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2013, 04:45:00 PM »
I can advise to avoid the Tamron 70-300.  It costs less than $300.00, but very few photos were usable.  It seems that the autofocus does not work consistantly.  I could not afford a more expensive lens at the time so I rented a 100-400 and later a 70-300L.  This delayed my need, as well as making sure that I new what I wanted.   I saved up and when I found a refurbished 70-300L at 20% off the refurbished cost ($1039.00) I jumped on it. 

Avoid the cheap lenses, rent a good one for the short term.  When you can afford it then buy what you need.

Good Luck

Autofocus is spot on with the Tamron. It is significantly slower than the L zooms, however. Are you sure you're referoing to the VC model (which is $350) and not the non-VC one, which is not highly regarded? I'm not normally a Tamron fan, but this lens is a gem.

ChilledXpress

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Re: best NON L long lens
« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2013, 04:48:16 PM »
look around for a second hand 300 f4L IS i got mine off ebay for $800
it's worth the extra over a crappy non-L zoom


+1 on the 300L used... cheap, bought mine for less than 600$ (almost new) and sold for 850$ 2 years later. Still wish I had it, sooo wickedly sharp with IS.


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« Last Edit: March 15, 2013, 04:57:37 PM by ChilledXpress »

bradfordswood

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Re: best NON L long lens
« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2013, 05:05:26 PM »
so much for the "non L" part of this thread...

paul13walnut5

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Re: best NON L long lens
« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2013, 05:13:43 PM »
Sigma 400mm f5.6 HSM APO MACRO (needs to be that exact model, the last generation, to work on an D-EOS) optically the peer of the Canon EF 400 5.6L, better in fact according to photozone.de, but cheap.

As I say, any other model has the potential to brick on your camera, but this one is a goody if you can find it.
http://www.photozone.de/canon-eos/306-sigma-af-400mm-f56-hsm-apo-macro-test-report--review?start=2

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Re: best NON L long lens
« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2013, 05:13:43 PM »

unfocused

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Re: best NON L long lens
« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2013, 05:15:53 PM »
Okay I own or have owned the 55-250 EF-S (not relevant since you want full frame) the Tamron 70-300 VC, the 70-300 L and the 100-400 L. I have also rented the 300 L  f4 and the 400 L f5.6.

My opinion:
 
The 55-250 EF-S, the 100-400 L and the Tamron 70-300 VC are all very good lenses and generally quite sharp.

The 70-300 L is sharper, weather sealed and generally a better lens overall, but we are talking margins here. Is it worth the price? Probably not. But I wanted it badly and bought it anyway. I don't regret it. I use it along with my 15-85 as a two-lens kit that covers almost every situation.

The 300 L was sharp, nice and a stop faster so it took a 1.4x converter. But, it was shorter than I wanted and not as flexible without the zoom.

The 400 5.6 L is light and sharp but doesn't have IS and since it isn't a zoom it also isn't as flexible and it takes up a lot of space due to its length.

While the 100-400 L is not quite as sharp as the 70-300 L, it is sharp enough and the extra 100mm is pretty critical for shooting critters.

The 70-300 Tamron is as sharp as the 100-400 and the 55-250, which means it is sharp. It does have a tendency to hunt a little on autofocus sometimes. Not sure what the problem was and it may have just been an anomaly. A minor nuisance, not a deal breaker.

Since the 55-250 doesn't work for your needs (full frame) I would say the lowest cost solution is the Tamron VC. Is it as good as the Canon L? Obviously not, but it's almost $1,000 cheaper. If you don't need a zoom, then maybe the 300 f4 or the 400 f5.6 would work for you, but for the marginal difference in price, I went with the zooms.

I got my 100-400 L as a refurbished. They haven't had it in stock for awhile, but there have been some good prices lately, still, it is also about $1,000 more than the Tamron. 

All in all, I'd say the Tamron is the best value 70-300 lens out there next to the 55-250 (which you can't use.) If you need longer length, you are going to pay for it.

I thought the opinion of someone who actually has owned or rented these lenses might help.
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jthomson

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Re: best NON L long lens
« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2013, 05:17:23 PM »
+1 for the Tamron 70-300mm VC USD.  I used it on a Rebel and the focus and VC were really good.

Probably kind of short for birds on a full frame, but all the 400mm lenses are at L price levels.

Dantana

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Re: best NON L long lens
« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2013, 05:20:23 PM »
Does anyone that has used it have an opinion on the Canon 200mm 2.8 L, paired with a 1.4x?
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AlanF

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Re: best NON L long lens
« Reply #25 on: March 15, 2013, 05:22:28 PM »
Sigma 400mm f5.6 HSM APO MACRO (needs to be that exact model, the last generation, to work on an D-EOS) optically the peer of the Canon EF 400 5.6L, better in fact according to photozone.de, but cheap.

As I say, any other model has the potential to brick on your camera, but this one is a goody if you can find it.
http://www.photozone.de/canon-eos/306-sigma-af-400mm-f56-hsm-apo-macro-test-report--review?start=2


I agree nearly 100%.  The 400mm Tele macro is a better lens than the Canon L. It won't brick your Camera if it is an older model, it will give an error message if you stop down but works perfectly well at f/5.6 where it is still very sharp.  My non-HSM Tele Macro works at all apertures.  So go for any Sigma 400mm f/5.6 Tele Macro - the words Tele Macro are the key ones.
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wickidwombat

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Re: best NON L long lens
« Reply #26 on: March 15, 2013, 07:25:02 PM »
Honestly $400 on the tamron 70-300? it's a waste if you look around i'm sure you will find a decent priced canon 300f4L or 300 f4L IS

try KEH or craigslist in the US or gumtree in australia
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Re: best NON L long lens
« Reply #27 on: March 15, 2013, 09:25:37 PM »
While there are many lenses that reach 300mm + and are non-L most of those are not  going to make even back yard photographers happy. 

Granted the thread premise is a non-L lens with 300+ tele power, the reality is that the best bet is probably to get a used L lens and be happy with the result, as opposed to getting a sub-par lens and giving up on getting a good picture.  While this doesn't address the ops question, it is  what it is.

A budget based criterion (how much do you want to spend) as opposed to a model based plan would probably be better.  By the time you spend enough for a poor lens you could probably get a point and shoot with better optics and response. Case in point a PowerShot SX500 IS Digital Camera with 720mm equivalent can be had for $300 at bhphotovideo, and there are others with more reach that should compete in the "not gonna be the best optically, probably noisy, slow autofocus" category.  Really I am trying to be helpful.
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Re: best NON L long lens
« Reply #27 on: March 15, 2013, 09:25:37 PM »

TexPhoto

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Re: best NON L long lens
« Reply #28 on: March 15, 2013, 10:35:44 PM »
If you can swing a used 300mm f4 IS, i highly recommend it.

One combination I recommend to many photographers is a 70-200 f2.8 (Canon Sigma etc,), and 2X converter.  Thats because i think the 70-2002.8 belongs in you bag long before a birding lens does, and with the 2X converter, your have a 400mm f5.6.  A friend of mine has this combo as a Sigma, and does quite well.

Halfrack

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Re: best NON L long lens
« Reply #29 on: March 15, 2013, 11:42:24 PM »
Does anyone that has used it have an opinion on the Canon 200mm 2.8 L, paired with a 1.4x?

Loved the combo on the 7D and T1i, the 200/2.8L is the one lens I have wanted back ever since I sold it.

Long lenses to also consider, Sigma 50-500 and Tamron 200-500mm, but they may not be ideal for the situation.

The only thing bad about renting is when you rent something too good that is out of your price range to buy.
I'm still trying to recover from the Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM that lens is amazing!

Give up, there isn't any recovery from the 300/2.8, especially once you've handled the mk II version.
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Re: best NON L long lens
« Reply #29 on: March 15, 2013, 11:42:24 PM »