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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎11-22-2017

telephotos for crop sensor

I'm looking for a telephoto zoom, either first or third party for my crop sensor. I doubt I'll ever upgrade to FF since I like the crop factor for wildlife (national park animals) and zoos. Don't really do BIF. I've used 70-300's before and find them decently sharp and fast enough as I don't do low light unless it's in a heavily shaded part of a zoo. Thinking about going to 100-400's, the sigma or new tamron versions perhaps. I tried the canon 70-200 f4 but the reach isn't enough for me and adding a 1.4x would make it f5.6 so the same as 70-300. And the 150-600 is too big/heavy. So I'm thinking either stick with 70-300 or try a 100-400. It's kind of a weight vs. reach decision. Thoughts anyone?

Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,608
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: telephotos for crop sensor

Seems to me that your mind is already made up.  You just need someone to say, "Yeah, that is a good lens."  So, yeah, go ahead buy whichever one you mentioned, except for the Sigma and Tamron 100-400 lenses.

 

You have not mentioned a camera body, which makes it difficult to offer informed insight.  But, not matter the camera body,I would recommend the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L II IS USM with any Canon DSLR, except for Rebels.  I do not think Rebel bodies are tough enough for such a big lens, care must be exercised.

 

Besides, if you shoot RAW, and use post processing on your images, then you want to stick with Canon lenses because the DPP software from Canon does not know how to correct for non-Canon lens distortions.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
VIP
Posts: 8,242
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: telephotos for crop sensor

It really makes no difference what camera you have the best of the bunch is either the Sigma or Tamron 150-600mm.  WIth the edge going to the Tamron G2 model.  Ruling that out the second best choice is the new Canon ef 100-400mm zoom.

 

Ruling out even the fantastic ef 100-400mil, too, however, makes no difference which one you choose.  They are all pretty much similar.  None are even in the same zip code as the Siggy or Tamron or Canon 100-400mil.

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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎11-22-2017

Re: telephotos for crop sensor

In what way are the 150-600 models the best of the best? I'm assuming the main reason is the focal length versatility? I'm thinking the 3rd party 100-400's are a bit more handholdable since they aren't as bulky as the canon version. I use lightroom, so don't care too much about brand choice.

VIP
Posts: 8,242
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: telephotos for crop sensor

I have all three of the mentioned models.  However there is a more professional version of the Sigma 150-600mm called the Sport model.  It is full on pro level in every aspect.  It is not a lens for the masses.  It is heavy and it is more expensive but it is my choice and favorite.

 

First the obvious is the native 600mm focal length over the 100-400mm models.  The consumer grade of the Tamron and SIgama are the desired choices. Again the slight edge goes the the Tamron G2 newest model.  It has some effort at weather sealing whcih the Sigma C model does not.  The AF is better on the G2, also.

A lot of Canon stuff. Along with, a lot of other stuff.
Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,608
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: telephotos for crop sensor


jli3 wrote:

In what way are the 150-600 models the best of the best? I'm assuming the main reason is the focal length versatility? I'm thinking the 3rd party 100-400's are a bit more handholdable since they aren't as bulky as the canon version. I use lightroom, so don't care too much about brand choice.


If you want one of the Tamron/Sigma compact 100-400mm lenses, then go for it.  

 

All of the 150-600mm lenses from Sigma and Tamron are big heavy beasts.  The Canon 100-400 is arguably identical in size and weight as their top of the line 70-200.  If that is still too large and heavy, then go for one of the compact 100-400s.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎11-22-2017

Re: telephotos for crop sensor

Any difference image quality wise between these 100-400's vs. a 70-300?
Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,608
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: telephotos for crop sensor


jli3 wrote:
Any difference image quality wise between these 100-400's vs. a 70-300?

I have no experience with the compact 100-400s.  I would regard any consumer reviews of the lenses wit a BIG grain of salt.  However, the compact 100-400s are newer lenses, one could expect some improvements over the older 70-300 design, but I would not count on it.

You complained that the Canon 70-200 f/4L with a 1.4x extender gave you an f/5.6 aperture.  Well, the compact 100-400s have even narrower apertures.  Any extender WILL slow down the AF system, but if you are shooting zoo animals, then I would not  expect AF speed to be a major issue.  

 

But, someday you may venture outside of a zoo environment.  BTW, forget about using a 2x extender on anything but an f/2.8 lens.  And, it does make a difference what camera body you are using, if you use an extender.  Most consumer camera bodies take a noticeable performance hit when used with an extender.

 

As for image quality, I would review technical reviews to see if there are any issues with chromatic aberration, or softness at the top and bottom of the zoom ranges.  I think the 100mm gain in focal length is not a whole lot to brag about.  But, it is something, and you say that 300mm is not long enough.  You can always crop 300mm photos in LR to get images similar to a 400mm lens.

Me?  I like the Canon 70-200mm f/4L with the 1.4x extender better than the compact 100-400s, which does not mean they are my first choice.  I think the jump in image quality is more significant with the Canon 100-400mm, which would make the slight gain in maximum focal length worth the investment.  With the Canon 100-400mm you would not take a hit in AF performance, and it is faster than the compact 100-400s.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
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VIP
Posts: 8,242
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: telephotos for crop sensor

Right now, today, the best 'reasonable' super tele id the Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2.  It is $100 bucks off right now, too!

Is it perfect?  Pretty close but not totally, I suppose.  It is big.  It isn't as heavy as it looks.  It will have a learning curve since it has that amazing 600mm focal length.

 

"Any difference image quality wise between these 100-400's vs. a 70-300?"

 

Here again the truth is you may not be able to tell a difference in IQ between any of these lenses.  They are all very good. You can be happy with any of them, I am sure. Today most camera/lens combos are better than the person using them.  So this means you must put in the effort to learn how and what to do.

 

That 600mm is nearly 1000mm of focal length on your camera.  That is serious focal length in anybodies book.  Not only is the tele magnification multiplied but all the mistakes are also. Camera shake,  subject motion, etc, all of it.  You need to get it, use it and learn it.

 

Remember one thing super teles like the Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 are for frame filling.  A small bird will still be small if you think you can photograhp from a great distance since you have a super tele zoom.  A the same nominal camera distances you shoot from a super tele can produce some wonderful frame filling shots.  Of course subject size wiletermine this.  Just one of the things you will need to learn.

 

Check out  the Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2.  Smiley Very Happy

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