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Thread: Lens advice

  1. #1

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    Lens advice

    Hi all

    I am thinking about investing in a zoom lens - up to 400mm - does anyone have an opinion on the best one to buy? Was thinking of the Sigma, I have seen mixed reviews on the 120-400mm - - all feedback appreciated

  2. #2
    jeeperman's Avatar
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    Re: Lens advice

    There could be more than one answer here. It would help if we knew what is "best" to you. Price, quality......best quality for low price and so on. Also what do you shoot camera wise.

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    Re: Lens advice

    Yah I am sure there will be a Nikon lens you must have but as I think you have a canon a Sigma lens may be a better option. I have a semi retired 70-300 Apo Sigma that gave me great results back in the days of film and that until a year ago I used it on my D200. A 120-400mm might be a very useful lens depending on your interests.
    Last edited by pnodrog; 8th February 2013 at 01:14 AM.

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    Re: Lens advice

    Quote Originally Posted by jeeperman View Post
    There could be more than one answer here. It would help if we knew what is "best" to you. Price, quality......best quality for low price and so on. Also what do you shoot camera wise.
    Hey Paul - have a Canon 650D

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    Re: Lens advice

    A 120-400mm might be a very useful lens depending on your interests.[/QUOTE]

    Thanks mate - yes I have a Canon 650d - most of the reviews on the 120-400mm Sigma seem quite good

    Regards

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    jeeperman's Avatar
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    Re: Lens advice

    Well, I think that will help get you some suggestions. I shoot Sony so I can't be of much help to you other than to say....if you can afford the canon 100-400, I know many very happy with it.

    I know little of the sigma 120-400 but the 500mm bigma is said to be a fairly sharp albeit heavy lens.

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    Re: Lens advice

    Quote Originally Posted by HAZZA View Post
    Thanks mate - yes I have a Canon 650d - most of the reviews on the 120-400mm Sigma seem quite good

    Regards
    Be good for the large bats in the park near the Opera house and in Kings Cross goodness knows what you may get to photograph. Have you looked at the 150-500mm Sigma?

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    Re: Lens advice

    Quote Originally Posted by pnodrog View Post
    Be good for the large bats in the park near the Opera house and in Kings Cross goodness knows what you may get to photograph. Have you looked at the 150-500mm Sigma?
    Lol Paul - yes Kings Cross could be very interesting!! I may need a bodyguard though! And yes I did also look at the 150-500m Sigma - might need someone to help me carry that one! haha - will do some more studying

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    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Lens advice

    I suggest you look at the EF 100 to 400 L IS.
    If you are buying a zoom lens, primarily to use it as a 400mm lens, then look at the 400/5.6 L.

    What other lenses do you have?
    What will be the general purpose / uses ofthe lens?
    What's your budget?

    There might be other, creative solutions for you . . . but a litlle bit more information is required.

    WW

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    Re: Lens advice

    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post
    I suggest you look at the EF 100 to 400 L IS.
    If you are buying a zoom lens, primarily to use it as a 400mm lens, then look at the 400/5.6 L.

    What other lenses do you have?
    What will be the general purpose / uses ofthe lens?
    What's your budget?

    There might be other, creative solutions for you . . . but a little bit more information is required.

    WW
    Hi Bill, I only have an 18-55mm and a 55-250mm currently. I go to a number of sporting events throughout the year so was looking at the lens mainly for that although wildlife photography also interests me - I am also going to England in July for 2 Ashes cricket matches and thought the lens would be good for that as well.

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Lens advice

    My wife has the Sigma 150-500mm lens that she uses on her Nikon D90. It is made in Canon mount as well, and really the only difference is the lens mount. It is the last Sigma we will ever buy.

    We bought one on the recommendation from a friend who was quite happy with his. I already had the Nikon 80-400mm, so buying a second copy of the same lens did not make a lot of sense at the time. The Sigma died twice within the first 6 months of her buying it (perhaps we should have tweaked to the quality issues as it came with a 10 year warranty). The first time the lens focus motor and electronics had to be totally replaced and the second time (which happened when we were touring in Etosha National Park in Namibia) the focus electronics went again. Sigma seems to have had some quality issues with their equipment a number of times over the past few years, especially with their longer lenses.

    From a performance standpoint, the lens is okay, but not brilliant. The focus motor is reasonably quick for a long lens, and there is a bit of softness at the longer end. The zoom turns in the opposite direction to how Nikon (and Canon?) turn, but this is something you get used to quickly. The mechanical build quality is okay, but certainly not spectacular (not that one would expect that for the price). It is not a blazingly fast lens, ranging from f/5 at 150mm and f/6.3 at 500mm). I'm not sure how the Canon autofocus will like it as I have read that it needs f/5.6 or faster.

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    Re: Lens advice

    Thanks Manfred, interesting feedback, I'm not rushing into anything and your feedback has made me think twice, unless you just got a lemon which can happen with anything these days,

    Regards

  13. #13
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Lens advice

    Quote Originally Posted by HAZZA View Post
    Thanks Manfred, interesting feedback, I'm not rushing into anything and your feedback has made me think twice, unless you just got a lemon which can happen with anything these days,

    Regards
    After we started having problems I started Googling and lemons seem to be more common with this brand than with some of the others. The 150-500mm and the 120-400mm seem to pop up more regularly than they should.

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    Re: Lens advice

    Hi Harry,

    another vote from a very happy Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L user. There's a pretty decent review here:

    http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-100-400mm-f-4.5-5.6-L-IS-USM-Lens-Review.aspx


    It is reasonably heavy (3lb/1.4Kg), which isn't a problem if using a monopod/tripod but hand held it starts to feel twice the weight after a few hours, especially if you are mostly using it at the long end.

    Some folk have mixed feelings about the 'trombone' zoom but personally I like having a single hand on the end of the lens managing both zoom and focus. I also have the 70-300mm L IS and while in some respects I prefer that as a general purpose (particularly in bad weather) zoom I do find it's more conventional one ring for zoom and one ring for focus isn't as quick and intuitive.

    Cheers,
    Ady

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    Re: Lens advice

    When I was looking for something for long-landscape stuff, I assessed that the Sigma 120-400 F4.5-5.6 APO DG OS offered the best value for money in terms of my available budget at the time.

    I haven't been disappointed.

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    Re: Lens advice

    I don't think the difference between 250 and 400 is enough to justify buying a new lense ... the numbers are impressive perhaps but the angle of view is not that greatly different .... can you get a tele converter for the 250 lens? [ Not a DSLR user so don't know the details, pros and cons]

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    Re: Lens advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    When I was looking for something for long-landscape stuff, I assessed that the Sigma 120-400 F4.5-5.6 APO DG OS offered the best value for money in terms of my available budget at the time
    Thanks Donald, it's good to know you have one and are happy with it
    Last edited by Donald; 9th February 2013 at 07:10 AM. Reason: Inserted 'close quote' tag

  18. #18

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    Re: Lens advice

    Quote Originally Posted by jcuknz View Post
    I don't think the difference between 250 and 400 is enough to justify buying a new lense ... the numbers are impressive perhaps but the angle of view is not that greatly different .... can you get a tele converter for the 250 lens? [ Not a DSLR user so don't know the details, pros and cons]
    Thanks mate, could be an option ( don't forge to edit your profile and add your name)

  19. #19
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Lens advice

    A tele extender is NOT a very viable option for the EF-S 55 to 250. You might be able to get a third party extender (e.g. Kenko) to mount on both the camera and the lens, but, for example, even if you adapt a x1.4 tele extender you will lose one stop (F/5.6 to F/8) and thus lose Auto Focus – and the viewfinder will be quite dark (sometimes) and Manual Focus will be challenging to say the least.

    For shooting sports, for example Cricket, the difference between (using) 250mm with the existing 55 to 250mm lens and then CROPPING the image to MAKE the equivalent of using a 400mm Lens – OR – using a 400mm lens, WILL BE SIGNIFICANT: the 400mm lens will win and noticeably so.

    If you are considering this purchase as an ‘upgrade’ from the 55 to 250 – i.e. you will sell that lens (or just not use it), then you should consider the range of options which include buying one of the 70 to 200L lenses and a Canon Tele Extender – when considering this you need to evaluate how often you actually need (will use) 200 to 400.

    On the other hand – if you are happy with your 55 to 250 lens (and it is surprisingly good value for money) then you should the types of situations where you want the 200 to 400 range and would that be suitable convenient for you to use a Prime Lens in those situations – a very interesting and useful option might be to get the 300/4 L IS and a x1.4 MkII Tele extender – quite a marvellous addition to any xx to 200 zoom.

    If you do go with purchasing a 100 to 400 zoom lens, I suggest the Canon EF 100 to 400F/4.5~5.6 L IS USM is a better purchase than the Sigma: I would save for it. I too have had a poor experiences with Sigma Lenses and that bias I carry with me: but I have NOT used that particular Sigma lens. I have used all the Canon lenses I have mentioned and also we have the two lenses which you have at the moment.

    WW
    Last edited by William W; 9th February 2013 at 11:17 PM.

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    Re: Lens advice

    To put Manfred and Donalds posts together, The glassworks in Sigma lenses is good. Certainly the ones with APO elements in them. The build quality however is a bit flimsy and parts wear out quite easily (focus/zoom creep). Probably good enough for the average photographer, but not if you realy make it work for it's money. Mine got retired after two years of heavy use due to focus- and zoom creep making it quite hard to work with.

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