September 26, 2017, 12:03:18 AM

Author Topic: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sigma 150-600 Contemporary  (Read 6648 times)

AlanF

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Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sigma 150-600 Contemporary
« Reply #30 on: September 13, 2017, 12:17:51 PM »
For birds in flight, I gave up using the 1.4xTC with the 7DII. And now I tend to use the bare lens with the 5DSR as the TC slows down AF, loses a stop and goes above the diffraction limited aperture at f/8. It also narrows the field of view. My copy of the Sigma at f/6.3 and 600mm is more useful than the Canon at f/8 and 560mm.
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Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sigma 150-600 Contemporary
« Reply #30 on: September 13, 2017, 12:17:51 PM »

tjbstone

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Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sigma 150-600 Contemporary
« Reply #31 on: September 13, 2017, 04:47:23 PM »
Talys, Thanks for your clarification.

Regards

Bauldy

Talys

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Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sigma 150-600 Contemporary
« Reply #32 on: September 14, 2017, 01:17:20 AM »
Talys, it would be  95mm for the "C' version and 105mm for the "Sports".
there are some very nice UV filters available in this size from HOYA, B+W all priced under US$100.00.

105mm filters are quite a bit more expensive. Still, I was able to source  HOYA Fusion 105mm Protector recently for A$145.00 brand new.


You are right, of course!  The polarizing filter is pricy too :(   

I have to have one -- there are many shots at the lake that are just dramatically better with.  However, the only filters I own are clear and CPL, which I bought essentially when I got the lens.  Amazon.com was where I got mine (both B+W), and drove across the border to the US to pick them up.  The Canadian retailer prices were outlandish.  Ironically, the best priced protector filter I could buy local would have been a Nikon 95mm, hehehe.

Incidentally, I think every lens hood should have a little door like the one on that comes with the 100-400 to allow you to adjust a CPL without taking the hood off!


By the way, on the subject of filters for these things... it's not exactly an apples to apples comparison, but for polarizers, I have a B+W KSM filter, and for the 100-400, I'm using a Hoya HD coated Circular Polarizer (not the nano one).

I could be wrong, but surprisingly (at least to me), I think the Hoya actually lets in more light at the lowest setting.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2017, 01:35:22 AM by Talys »

SecureGSM

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Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sigma 150-600 Contemporary
« Reply #33 on: September 14, 2017, 03:29:15 AM »
Correct, by a very slight margin. I would say 1/2 stop? 


I could be wrong, but surprisingly (at least to me), I think the Hoya actually lets in more light at the lowest setting.

Talys

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Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sigma 150-600 Contemporary
« Reply #34 on: September 14, 2017, 05:29:42 PM »
Correct, by a very slight margin. I would say 1/2 stop? 


I could be wrong, but surprisingly (at least to me), I think the Hoya actually lets in more light at the lowest setting.

Yes, about that, I think.  On those BIF shots where I'm trying to squeeze out more shutter speed, that's still something, and sometimes the difference between deciding to leave it on or take it off.

One of the immutable laws of bird photography is that they watch me closely and just as I am taking off my expensive, hard to clean filter that I don't want to drop in sand, they do something really cool :D

IslanderMV

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Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sigma 150-600 Contemporary
« Reply #35 on: September 15, 2017, 07:47:00 AM »
I was surprised at the number of posters who found the Sigma 150-600 C to be heavy. I had not noticed much of a problem in the field.
Checked the weight of a 100-400L II and 1.4xTC  vs. 150-600 C.
1.81 kg - 1.95 kg, not that big of a difference.

My copy of the Sigma 150-600 C seems to have dead on auto focus. Getting a high proportion of keepers.

Talys

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Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sigma 150-600 Contemporary
« Reply #36 on: September 17, 2017, 07:51:25 PM »
I was surprised at the number of posters who found the Sigma 150-600 C to be heavy. I had not noticed much of a problem in the field.
Checked the weight of a 100-400L II and 1.4xTC  vs. 150-600 C.
1.81 kg - 1.95 kg, not that big of a difference.

My copy of the Sigma 150-600 C seems to have dead on auto focus. Getting a high proportion of keepers.


First of all, by the numbers, it doesn't seem like a big deal.  Factor in the price, and this is why I bought the Sigma 150-600C, instead of the Canon 100-400 II, originally.   The only way I can describe it is that after a friend lent me his 100-400 II for an afternoon, I wanted one, bad.

As several people have mentioned, the 100-400II with TC is a lost cause for things like handheld BIF, because autofocus is too slow.  Frankly, I think 600 @ f/6.3 is too slow, too -- I've missed a LOT of shots because AF couldn't lock until it was too late.  Most of my BIF pictures shot handheld at 600mm on the Sigma required that I acquire focus lock at 5.6, then extend to 6.3, and by then, I've mostly missed at least half the frames, if not all of them.  The more successful 600mm shots were on a gimbal, where it was already focused on the bird, before they went into flight.

Weights and lengths without hood are --

Canon 100-400LII - 1.59kg, 193mm retracted, 260 extended
Sigma 150-600 - 1.93kg, 260mm, 335 extended

That's quite a big difference; the 100-400II is essentially the same dimensions as the 70-200/2.8, and the combination of collapsed length, short MFD and 100mm make it so that it's a lens that I can take around anywhere, and that opens up a lot of interesting opportunities.

The Sigma is just too large to do that.  But the biggest difference, actually, is that handheld, the Sigma is becomes very heavy if you use the manual focus and switches.  When you use them, the leverage created by the distance to the heavy front elements puts a lot of downwards force.  Try holding up the Sigma for just 2 minutes continuously, by the manual focus ring, pointing it at one spot, and you'll see what I mean.

The MF ring on the Canon is much better balanced (not to mention, it's a thousand times better).  And when I have it on, the extender actually moves the MF ring and switches forward, which balances the camera better.

It's fair to say a lot of folks don't use MF much.  For me, On very agile smaller subjects like songbirds, hummingbirds, or dragonflies in flight are really hard to catch with autofocus (usually AF focuses on something other than the bird).  Even on larger birds, if they're in the trees, AF gets it wrong often.  Or, if they're in flight but not against blue sky, AF might lock onto whatever is 100 yards behind them.  So, even when I use AF, I want the option to quickly turn it off and MF, so my hand tends to be close to the ring/switches.

Now, please don't get me wrong.  I think the 150-600 C is an awesome lens, especially for the price.  For me, it's not going anywhere.  But that doesn't mean that the 100-400II doesn't have it's definite advantages, either.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2017, 07:54:31 PM by Talys »

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Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sigma 150-600 Contemporary
« Reply #36 on: September 17, 2017, 07:51:25 PM »

IslanderMV

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Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sigma 150-600 Contemporary
« Reply #37 on: September 17, 2017, 10:39:19 PM »
I have two friends in my area who are wildlife photography enthusiasts. For some time we all had the same gear, a 7D, and the 100-400mm.

They both recently updated to the mark two versions and added the 1.4xTC. One of them agrees with the comments about slow autofocus with the extender, and takes it off for bifs. Still, both love the combo and are glad they made the considerable investment.

I took a different direction. A full frame and a sweet stable of version ā€œLā€ lenses. (This was done to help break a bird photography obsession.) I use the Sigma C with a full frame and I am pleased with the combo.

I am presently salting away some cash for the rumored 200-600mm-5.6, from Canon. THAT should be something. The extended reach of the Sigma with all the virtues of Canon design, performance and construction.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2017, 10:43:18 PM by IslanderMV »

Talys

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Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sigma 150-600 Contemporary
« Reply #38 on: September 18, 2017, 12:44:28 AM »
I've uploaded a whole bunch of photos that I took on the 100-400 L II, including this one, which was shot handheld (though it was the best of 4 taken at the same exposure) - 1/400 f/6.3 ISO 100 with Mode 3 IS on:


Full Image: http://talys.icxi.com/cr/20170917/crHeron-Portrait-05_FW.jpg

Here is the head with the eye , only reduced a tiny bit, to fit forum width.  The link above is 100%.  I've only had the 100-400II for a couple of weeks, and this was not a level of crispness I could have ever dreamt of handheld on the 150-600C.  Part of it is also the mode 3 IS, which is just phenomenal.

For me, my favorite bird portraits capture the eye crisply, with a glint of a reflection of light in them.  I find also that when they're printed, this gives them a lot more dimension.



This duck's eye is also a handheld shot.  The cute little thing wandered very close to me, not knowing that I happen to think that BBQ duck is delicious  ;D




A whole bunch more photos here -  I think most of them are taken with the 100-400II, though.

http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=33475.msg686773#msg686773
« Last Edit: September 18, 2017, 12:47:44 AM by Talys »

AlanF

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Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sigma 150-600 Contemporary
« Reply #39 on: September 18, 2017, 04:22:01 AM »
Talys
There is a distribution of strength and age in this forum and the wider world, varying from some who can hand hold a 600mm f/4 and 1DX to the other extreme of those who find a 70-200mm f/4 heavy. I am at the old and weak end of the spectrum, but find the Sigma 150-600mm C easy to hand hold for extended periods of time. It makes no real difference to me whether I am using the Sigma or Canon both weight and IQ wise, but the Canon is better for packing for travel.

Your comments about birds in flight need modification. For large, slow flying birds or distant ones, the Sigma C at 600mm or the 100-400mm II + 1.4xTC are more than adequate. My wife has got some great shots of beeeaters in flight using the 100-400mm II at 560mm on a 5DSR, and all she does is point, back button focus and shoot.

If you are serious about BIF you need the right equipment and technique; fast AF and fast focussing lenses - read Ari Hazeghi's site to see how a pro tackles it with a 1DXII and  400mm DO II. A 6DII, I am afraid, is not designed for this job.  I use a 5DIV plus bare 400mm DO II for fast birds in flight close (extenders slow even this combo down, and I like a wide field of view).

I am not sure whether your settings are optimal. I would not use iso100 at 1/400s.  There is no need for such a low iso for what you are doing, and high shutter speeds are far more important. I would use iso 400 and 1/1600s or most frequently iso 640 in decent light. Also, for birds perched in a tree I would use Mode 1 IS not Mode 3.  Mode 3 is designed for action shots where you don't want a lag caused by IS, and it can cause trouble when you are trying so distinguish a bird from foliage and your image stabilization doesn't operate until you press the button. (Manual focus on a tripod is not in my repertoire, or come to that even a tripod).
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Talys

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Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sigma 150-600 Contemporary
« Reply #40 on: September 18, 2017, 01:12:03 PM »
AlanF,

I am rarely looking to take photos of bird portraits, so usually, my camera will be set to 1/2000 or 1/4000 (depending on light), and Mode 3 IS.   When I wander a good opportunity, like the photo above, I start taking handheld shots at 1/2000, and work my way down in ISO an EV or two at a time, then keep the lowest ISO shot at good focus.  Basically, click click, turn dial, click click, turn dial click click.  You need a few shots anyways, in case the bird closes its eyes.

At the end of it, if I have ISO 100, 200, and 400 shots of the same thing, all at good focus, I'll keep the ISO 100 :)   On the above shot, I was amazed that I captured it that crisply at ISO 100.  I actually have another heron portrait on my 6DII sample images thread where I took it at 1/30, again, perfectly focused!  Of course, I didn't start at 1/30; it just happened that one of the 1/30 photos was shockingly focused.

I usually don't switch to IS Mode 1, because at any moment, I could be trying to catch a BIF.  Also, in mode 3, I don't have to fight IS to manually focus.  My thumb usually moves between the focus ring and the MF switch (and sometimes the focus limiter switch), rather than the IS switch at the bottom.

Of course, I'm not saying that it's impossible to get BIF shots on at 6.3 of f/8.  And, I don't doubt the AF system on a 5DIV is superior to than 80D or 6DII -- but this is a camera that I won't ever buy, even excluding the price, because it is missing a flippy screen, which I need for other things.  Even with an 80D, I've gotten tons of great handheld BIF shots at 600mm. 

However, I've missed a lot more than that.  I have had occasions where I've tracked the bird for several seconds, and every single shot is out of focus.

On the other hand, at 400mm,  if I successfully track a bird for a couple of seconds, there will be at least some shots with the bird perfectly focused (of course, some will have AF on the wrong subject). 

Even against blue sky in perfect lighting with the sun behind me, it's possible at 600mm for the AF to just wander and not lock, which I find infuriating (because that's a missed, potentially perfect shot).  If I reduce zoom to about 450mm, it locks fine, and when I zoom back to 600mm, AF will continue to track.  You may be entirely correct that this is a problem with the 6DII -- others who own both lenses and a 5DIV will need to chime in.

About the weight -- I agree, there is a wide distribution of people who are comfortable holding heavier lenses than others.  To be clear, I don't have a problem handholding the Sigma 150-600C.    I do have a problem handholding it for an afternoon of shooting, which could be anywhere from 2 - 5 hours, with a very high percentage of the time holding the lens at wildlife and waiting for a moment.

Most of the time, unless it's something I've never photographed before, I want more than an in-focus photo of a bird or an animal.  What I'd really like is for that animal to do something interesting, and to catch that, I need to be patiently watching it through the viewfinder, and usually for more than a few seconds.

The difference between the 150-600C and the 100-400II is that on the former, I need at least a monopod if I'm going to do that more than a couple of times.  Maybe some people can go all afternoon holding up a 150-600C for minutes at a  time, but I don't think that's the majority of photographers.  On the 100-400II, even if I pack a monopod or tripod, I will often not use it, unless I'm at a location that I know I'll be staying out for a good long time.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2017, 01:15:50 PM by Talys »

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Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sigma 150-600 Contemporary
« Reply #40 on: September 18, 2017, 01:12:03 PM »