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Author Topic: New Fast Telephoto Suggestions  (Read 2267 times)

bcphoto

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New Fast Telephoto Suggestions
« on: December 09, 2011, 03:49:42 PM »
I am looking for a new telephoto lens that will be used mainly for aviation.  I have come across two options that could work without having to go up to a 300 prime which is a bit out of the budget.

Sigma 120-300 2.8 OS
Canon 70-200 2.8 IS II + extenders

My main concerns with the sigma is it seems to have weak border performance on the photozone charts, its weight and, quality control issues.

With the Canon I am concerned about image quality loss with the extenders and of course losing the 2.8.  With a 1.4x extender it is about $450 cheaper than the sigma though.

What do you think?


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New Fast Telephoto Suggestions
« on: December 09, 2011, 03:49:42 PM »

sb

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Re: New Fast Telephoto Suggestions
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2011, 04:21:22 PM »
Well if you are ready to lose the 2.8 (due to the extender) then why not Canon 100-400mm L IS?


unfocused

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Re: New Fast Telephoto Suggestions
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2011, 04:26:59 PM »
Well if you are ready to lose the 2.8 (due to the extender) then why not Canon 100-400mm L IS?

Exactly.

You said a 300 mm prime is out of your budget,  but an f 2.8 lens with a 1.4 extender will have the same aperture as Canon's much lower cost f4 300mm L prime (and won't be as sharp.) With a 2x converter, it becomes a 5.6, which is the same as the Canon 100-400 L zoom (which is also less expensive).

If you don't need a zoom, then the Canon f4 is the cheapest, fastest option.
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jcns

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Re: New Fast Telephoto Suggestions
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2011, 05:19:07 PM »
if by aviation you mean taking shots of flying planes, then 300mm will not be enough.
If you mean, going to air shows and taking shots of planes on the ground 200-300 might be enough.
like others suggested the 100-400 is a good option.  I have one and glad I bought it.  I shoot motorsports, sports,

Edwin Herdman

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Re: New Fast Telephoto Suggestions
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2011, 11:10:55 PM »
My main concerns with the sigma is it seems to have weak border performance on the photozone charts,
Look at Photozone's sample pictures.  Do those images look bad to you?  If you are using this on a crop camera (as I do), then there's even less to worry about.
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its weight
It is heavy, and if you are thinking about handholding it all day, you might not want this one.  It's 6.5 pounds (or so) and feels like it.  It's about double the 70-200mm IS II's weight.
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quality control issues.
You either get a bad copy, or you don't.  If you get a bad copy, return it.  That's it.  The stories I've heard about 120-300mm OS lenses shipping with dead or damaged focus motors were easily determined from the start.  Mine had no problem.  What exactly do you want us to tell you here?

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With the Canon I am concerned about image quality loss with the extenders and of course losing the 2.8.  With a 1.4x extender it is about $450 cheaper than the sigma though.
You lose IQ with either lens and a TC.  With the Sigma 120-300mm and an EF Extender 2X III, there is noticeable quality loss, but wide open the lens still seems to perform better than the Sigma 120-400mm OS APO (a fairly recent design) ever will.  I can't make a comparison to the 100-400mm L.
You said a 300 mm prime is out of your budget,  but an f 2.8 lens with a 1.4 extender will have the same aperture as Canon's much lower cost f4 300mm L prime (and won't be as sharp.) With a 2x converter, it becomes a 5.6, which is the same as the Canon 100-400 L zoom (which is also less expensive).
You can't make this comparison the way you want to, either.  In the case of Sigma, I found the 120-300mm with a TC still outperformed the 120-400mm.  For Canon, it's not clear that the 100-400mm is as bad a performer as the Sigma 120-400mm, but the zoom may similarly leapfrog the performance of the older lens with a TC (there are some comparisons out there that should give a decent idea either way).

I can't stress enough how helpful f/2.8 is when you need it and you can do without a TC, either at 200mm or 300mm.

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If you don't need a zoom, then the Canon f4 is the cheapest, fastest option.
Undoubtedly true, but you can't turn the 100-400mm into a 600mm equivalent lens while retaining AF (ignoring for a moment that many people have said the 120-300mm OS's 300mm length is something more on the order of 280mm or so; it's well above 540mm at the shortest).

wickidwombat

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Re: New Fast Telephoto Suggestions
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2011, 12:37:15 AM »
the new 100-400 is on its way sometime next year probably, I would got with the 70-200 and TC for now and look at the 100-400 when i comes out, the 70-200 is such a sweet lens for anything else anyway
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Re: New Fast Telephoto Suggestions
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2011, 02:45:29 AM »
I think as jcns hinted you'll need to be a bit more specific about the kind of aviation photography you have in mind. I took this snap with a 70-200 at the 70mm end on a crop, so 110mm effective. Obviously it's not a very good photo, but this was taken from a public road across from the runway so depending on the size and altitude of the aircraft sometimes you might not need as much focal length as you'd think.


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Re: New Fast Telephoto Suggestions
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2011, 02:45:29 AM »

funkboy

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Re: New Fast Telephoto Suggestions
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2011, 06:33:45 AM »
Another lens to consider is the new Canon 100-300; it's definitely the most portable of Canon's long telezooms.

But if you've got the cash then the new 70-200 f/2.8 II is amazing.  The 1.4x TC will get you pretty close to 300mm.

Have a look at the lens comparison tools over on The Digital Picture.  They're about as extensive as it gets.

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Re: New Fast Telephoto Suggestions
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2011, 06:33:45 AM »