cancel
Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Looking for lens recommendations

chrispiela
Apprentice

Hi All - I have an EOS T5i and am looking for recommendations for a zoom lens primarily for wildlife photography (Mostly bigger, slower wildlife. But need capability to shoot twitchy birds occasionally as well as big wildlife on the move.) Will occasionally be holding camera on long walks so weight is a minor consideration. But more interested in great image quality and sharp focus. Open to an adapter if your lens recommendation is for mirrorless body. I would like to keep cost under $2,000. Thanks for thoughts.  

9 REPLIES 9

deebatman316
Mentor

Hi OP, what are you exactly looking to do upgrade your body or get a new telephoto lens. If you plan on going to a new body. Would you like to stay with APS-C or go to Full Frame if you decide on upgrading your camera body. If you go with a Full Frame DSLR camera such as the 5D Mark IV. You won't be able to use any EF-S. EF-S lenses won't mount on any Full Frame body. On the EOS-R series Full Frame camera body. EF-S lenses that you adapt will cause the camera to operate as an APS-C camera. You will also have a loss of megapixels because only the center of the image sensor is used. For instance the Canon R5 has 45 megapixels in Full Frame mode. But in 1.6x crop (APS-C mode) the camera can only produce a 17.3 megapixels now. Here are a few lens options below.

  • Canon EF-S 55-250mm F/4-5.6 IS STM
  • Canon EF 70-300mm F/4-5.6L IS USM
  • Canon EF 70-200mm F/2.8L III IS USM

-Demetrius

40D, 5D IV, EF 16-35mm F/2.8L III, EF 24-70mm F/2.8L II, EF 28-135mm F/3.5-5.6 IS USM, EF 50 F/1.8 STM

430EX III-RT & 600EX II-RT

Tronhard
Elite

If you are keeping your existing camera, then no mirrorless lenses will fit that and there are no adapters.

Given the budget, I would suggest the Sigma 150-600 Contemporary lens.  On your current body, because of the nature of the crop sensor, it will have a Field of Capture (FoC) equivalent to that of a 240-960mm lens.  I have one, and use it with a wide range of bodies, including crop-sensor bodies like yours and it is a fabulous lens.  If you ever decide to go to a Full-frame camera it will work seamlessly with that, and I have used it on the new R-series bodies via the Canon EF-RF adapter, and it has given me no issues.

The following are a couple of video reviews:
First, from Pangolin Wildlife, Review - they offer reviews of the gear they use on their photography safaris.

The second video review is from Justin Abbott at: THIS LINK 

Finally, a video by respected bird photographer Duade Paton: HERE using the EOS 90D

I have been a wildlife shooter for over 40 years and can definitely recommend this lens for its optical performance and lightness - making hand-held wildlife photography much easier.

The following two images are taken with the Sigma and are both significantly reduced in resolution to be able to post, yet they still show the performance of this great unit.

Canon EOS 7DMkII, Sigma 150-600@560mm, f/8, 1/50sec, ISO-200 - hand-heldCanon EOS 7DMkII, Sigma 150-600@560mm, f/8, 1/50sec, ISO-200 - hand-held

Canon EOS 7DMkII, Sigma 150-600c@600mm, f/6.3, 1/800sec, ISO-640 - hand-heldCanon EOS 7DMkII, Sigma 150-600c@600mm, f/6.3, 1/800sec, ISO-640 - hand-held

Canon EOS 7DMkII, Sigma 150-600@ 403mm, f/8, 1/800sec, ISO-100Canon EOS 7DMkII, Sigma 150-600@ 403mm, f/8, 1/800sec, ISO-100

I would recommend getting the docking station from Sigma, as it is handy for doing firmware upgrades and customizing the configuration of your lens


cheers, TREVOR

Before you ask us, have you looked in the manual or on the Canon Support Site?
"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
"

Hello, and welcome to the forum!

Trevor's recommendation of the 150-600 is a good choice. However, I would recommend the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM II. Yes, you will give up some focal length, but that will be made up for in IQ, IMHO, and I have never had a  problem getting close enough to my subjects that 200mm made that big a difference, but I am an exceptional stalker 😉 Being an "L", you will get other benefits like some weather sealing, a very solid lens, and it's one of the few Canon zooms, if not the only, that has a fluorite and super UD element. It's probably twice the price, but you can pick one up refurbished from the Canon store at just over your budget, Click Here. I've used this lens on several Rebels (T4i, T6s, T7i), 7D mark II, 5D mark IV, R5, and R6 (with adapter) over the years, and consider it one of the best and most versatile lenses I have ever owned. It is fairly heavy, but I have no trouble carrying it through the brush or holding it steady while I watch a warbler or insect to get that perfect shot. It focuses so close, 3 feet IIRC, that it is near macro quality. I shoot insects and flowers with it as well as birds.

White Peacock Butterfly.White Peacock Butterfly.Great Crested Flycatcher.Great Crested Flycatcher.Spiderwort.Spiderwort.

Newton

I have some sympathathy with Newton's suggestion.  I too have the EF 100- 400 L MkII, and it is a great lens. So, one might well ask why I did not suggest that.  For me, the differences are two- fold

First is the fact  birds are part of you subject group, where even though I consider myself reasonably accomplished as a bird stalker, the extra 200m (actually 320mm equivalent) of the Sigma difference in capturing performance means I can start to shoot further away with the Sigma and get images before I move closer to get better results but risk spooking my subject. Actually, shooting larger animal: in one case male grizzlies, I was happy to keep as much distance as possile between me and my subject.

Second: while the lens might stand cropping optically, the challenge is the sensor performance in the equation. As one crops and magifies that is done by pixel magnification and any flaws as well as the image are magnified too.

In the end, much depends on the exact situations one shoots under.

You have two great lens choices either way you look at it! You might consider renting each of them for a few days to see what works best for you.


cheers, TREVOR

Before you ask us, have you looked in the manual or on the Canon Support Site?
"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
"

ebiggs1
Legend

Although you will not get the build quality of the  EF 100- 400 L MkII, the Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 is weather sealed to a degree. The Sigma C is not.  It is also a tad sharper than the current Siggy C.

The Tamron G2 will more than make up for itself over any small IQ differences compared to the EF 100- 400 L MkII offering its 200mm FL advantage. The old photographers saying, "You can never have too much focal length.", rings true in wildlife and birding

When giving up FL over cropping in post edit, you must always decide which is best for your situation. Most of the time it is marginal but usually native FL wins out. This includes the use of a tel-con which in my opinion is to be avoided at much as possible.

These 150-600mm super zooms are not real heavy and should be no problem especially if you use a Black Rapid strap for carrying them. Personally I carry a Sigma S 150-600mm on a Canon 1DX with a Black Rapid Sport strap.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

ebiggs1
Legend

"The following two images are taken with the Sigma and are both significantly reduced in resolution to be able to post, yet they still show the performance of this great unit."

 

chrispiela,

Doesn't confirm IQ. You can increase apparent visual sharpness by reducing the physical size of the image you are viewing. It is no different than just viewing it from a greater distance. However it does show the current crop of 150-600mm super zooms are extremely capable optics.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

Ha, Ernie I can always rely on you to provide a counterpoint and that is a good thing.  Actually, I think it is good that you have brought up the Tamron, which also features in videos to which I gave a reference. Had you looked at the reviews, which I understand is not something you do, you might have seen direct comparisons of the Tamron and Sigma lenses in which the Sigma was given slightly better marks for resolution.

The Sigma has some weather sealing, but the Tamron is better in that respect. Still, the T7 is not weather sealed, so if anything is the weak point it is the camera body in this situation.  The question is whether the OP is likely to put themselves in that situation without some kind of protective cover.  Even with my own fully sealed gear, I still carry a plastic protective shield, so I don't have to rely on one level of protection.

As to image quality, I provide images to give an idea of what one can expect from a lens, but as I am sure you are fully aware, much depends on what one does with an image as to the viability of a system.

I think that either lens would be a good solution for the OP, in which case availability and price might be the greatest delineator for them.  I hope they find this all useful and get something that works for them.


cheers, TREVOR

Before you ask us, have you looked in the manual or on the Canon Support Site?
"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
"

ebiggs1
Legend

"...which also features in videos to which I gave a reference. Had you looked at the reviews, which I understand is not something you do, you might have seen direct comparisons of the Tamron and Sigma lenses in which the Sigma was given slightly better marks for resolution."

 

You must have more time than Solomon has gold to watch all that YouTube you do.Plus time spent on forums.

I own both! (Perhaps I should say I have owned all varieties of the 150-600mm zooms made.)(Even the 150-500mm zooms.)  Plus the Sigma S. I do my own "reviews" so I don't need to watch others. It makes no difference to me what others say or think.  I know what I saw and found. But in either case, most likely, it is only one example. Hardy an honest or definitive study. Those reviewers you love so much all have an agenda. Youtube is to get "views", so they get compensation, sometimes a great deal of it. Others are brand loyal, others are manufacturer supported. They can, believe it or not, even lie! Oh, but Ernie they show photos and samples, Yeah, right!

Bottom line is the G2 is a better lens. Not only that but the G2 in the 70-200mm f2.8 vs the Siggy 70-200mm f2.8, the Tamron wins. Where, likely you and most, everyone else miss the point is you dwell on a single spec; usually IQ and ignore most of the other attributes of a lens. This is not to say the Sigma C is a bad lens. It is a wonderful lens and will make any photographer happy. I've resisted selling mine but since I got the S, I never use it anymore. Or, matter of fact the Tamron, that helps hold down the shelf they sit on, needs to find a good home.

I prefer the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens. Why, it may only be a tad bit sharper? It is a lot more expensive. It is heavier.  But, because it has other features I want and require, I prefer it. 

Is it the best of the bunch, yes, it is. That's my review! And that's all the time I have today as I have 75+ HS Seniors to photograph which will occupy most of the next two weeks extra time.

 

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

Tronhard
Elite

Ernie prefers not to respect 3rd reviews, or opinions other than his and that is absolutely his right.  However, I have a different philosophy and like to seek other inputs that I consider trustworthy and authoritative - in much the same way as others come to this site to get other opinions, and I think it is only reasonable to reference them so everyone can see the quality of my information.  The reviewers I have selected - Justin Abbott and Duade Paton, are examples who do make their living by doing reviews, and they get a following because they do give unbiased and detailed reviews - that is actually the attraction.   Certainly, there are many others who are on You Tube to push gear for suppliers, and I avoid them, but that does not negate all reviewers.

I would suggest that the OP consider both the Sigma and Tamron lenses, and perhaps try borrowing or renting examples to assure yourself that you have the best unit for you.

As regards the significance of weather resistance, I suggest listening to the following podcast from Lens Rentals, the biggest rental company in the US and is HIGHLY respected: HERE.


cheers, TREVOR

Before you ask us, have you looked in the manual or on the Canon Support Site?
"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
"
Announcements
11/22/2022: New firmware available for EOS R3, EOS R7 and EOS R10
11/16/2022: We're thrilled to be ranked among the Best Employers for Veterans in 2022 by Forbes.
10/14/2022: Help ensure your autofocus is properly aligned with a Canon Precision Alignment
09/19/2022: New firmware version 1.0.4.1 is available for EOS C70
08/31/2022: New firmware version 1.1.1 is available for RF 70-200mm L IS USM
08/09/2022: New firmware version 1.2.0 is available for CR-N 300
08/09/2022: New firmware version 1.2.0 is available for CR-N 500
07/28/2022: New firmware version 1.2.1 is available for EOS-R3
07/21/2022: New firmware version 1.6.0 is available for EOS-R5
07/21/2022: New firmware version 1.6.0 is available for EOS-R6
07/21/2022: New firmware version 1.1.0 is available for EOS-R7
07/21/2022: New firmware version 1.1.0 is available for EOS-R10
07/14/2022: New firmware version 1.0.1 is available for CR-X300
07/01/2022: New firmware version 1.3.0 is available for PowerShot PICK
06/10/2022: Service Notice:UPDATE: Canon Inkjet Printer continuous reboot loop or powering down
06/07/2022: New firmware version 1.3.2 is available for PowerShot G7 X Mark III
06/07/2022: New firmware version 1.0.3 is available for EOS M50 Mark II
05/31/2022: Did someone SAY Badges?
05/26/2022: New firmware version 1.0.5.1 is available for EOS-C500 Mark II
05/26/2022: New firmware version 1.0.3.1 is available for EOS-C300 Mark III
05/10/2022: Keep your Canon gear in optimal condition with a Canon Maintenance Service
05/05/2022: We are excited to announce that we have refreshed the ranking scale within the community!
04/26/2022: New firmware version 1.0.1.1 is available for EOS R5 C
03/23/2022: New firmware version 1.0.3.1 is available for EOS-C70
02/09/2022: Share Your Photos is back!
02/07/2022: New firmware version 1.6.1 is available for EOS-1DX Mark III
01/19/2022: READY FOR ANYTHING EOS-R5 C
01/13/2022: Community Update. We will be retiring the legacy profile avatars on 01/20/2022. Click this link to read more.
01/05/2022: Welcome to CES 2022!