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What zoom to buy?

Norm53
Enthusiast

I put up a bird feed at the edge of a woods about 80 feet from my lunch table behind a french door. My Canon EOS Rebel T3i with EF 75-300 mm 1:4-5.6 will not bring into focus the birds, large and small.

 

What lens do I need to buy that will do the job? Cost is no object.

 

Thanks, Norm

 

112 REPLIES 112

This is a very valuable procedure that I intend to paste it into my WP photo notes as soon as I understand the word "platform". Here is the list of items I plan to purchase at B&H for my T3i, which later will be used on my 7D Mk ii, assuming they are compatible:

 

2-Transcend 16GB SDHC Memory Card Premium Class 10 UHS-I
*Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens for Canon EF
Manfrotto MT055CXPRO3 Carbon Fiber Tripod
Wimberly WH-200 gimbal tripod head II
Wimberly P-10 quick release plate

 

Is the "platform" the P-10 where the lens is attached?  Also, you talk about the camera being mounted. As I understand it, it's actually the lens that should be mounted on the P-10, not the camera. Please clarify.

 

*The Sigma 600 specs say "for Canon EF". From another excellent thread, I think it also works on Canon EF-S compatible cameras (APS-C) like the 7D and T3i. Someone confirm, please.

 

Norm

 

"

Is the "platform" the P-10 where the lens is attached?  Also, you talk about the camera being mounted. As I understand it, it's actually the lens that should be mounted on the P-10, not the camera. Please clarify.

 

*The Sigma 600 specs say "for Canon EF". From another excellent thread, I think it also works on Canon EF-S compatible cameras (APS-C) like the 7D and T3i. Someone confirm, please."

 

The P-10 is a "quick release" plate that can attach to the bottom of a camera, or onto a tripod foot of a big lens.  A quick release plate is made to fit into a quick release bracket, which locks the plate in place.   The Sigma 600 comes with a tripod foot, wich is where a quick release plate should be attached, NOT on the camera.

 

Take a look at the image of the Fiesol model that I posted again.  The "platform" is the horizontal plate in the center of the image that holds the quick release bracket.  It is the one that can be precisely raised and lowered to align the center of gravity of the camra/lens setup with the horizontal tilt axis, as Tim Campbell described in his second adjustment.

 

The Sigma 600 that Ernie described will work on either a full  frame camera body, or an APS-C camera body like the 7D or the T3i bodies.  Any Canon "EF" lens that can fit a Canon full frame body will fit onto an APS-C body, but not vice versa.  Any "EF-S" lens can fit onto any APS-C body, but not a full frame body like a 6D, 5D, or 1D.

 

Tim Campbell mentioned that he owns the Induro gimbal, and seems to be quite satisfied with it.  I got the impression that he doesn't feel spending nearly 50% more for the Wimberly 200 is worth it.  I know I don't, which is why I have had the Induro on my wish list. 

 

Although, I think the identically priced Benro GH3, which comes with a protective bag, may be a better value than the Induro.  Both the Induro and the Benro gimbals come with a quick release plate included.  My favorite NYC superstore, B&H, allows you to return items if they do not fulfill your needs.  I'd suggest buying the same Induro gimbal that Tim Campbell owns, and if it proves to be inadequate then return it for the Wimberly gimbal.

 

The final choices of tripod and head are yours, of course.  Happy Holiday.

--------------------------------------------------------
"The right mouse button is your friend."

The P-10 is a "quick release" plate that can attach to the bottom of a camera, or onto a tripod foot of a big lens.  A quick release plate is made to fit into a quick release bracket, which locks the plate in place.   The Sigma 600 comes with a tripod foot, wich is where a quick release plate should be attached, NOT on the camera.

 

Am I correct in assuming that the purpose of the quick release plate is to quickly remove the lens (with attached camera) from the tripod in order to take a hand-held shot elsewhere?

 

The Sigma 600 that Ernie described will work on either a full  frame camera body, or an APS-C camera body like the 7D or the T3i bodies.  Any Canon "EF" lens that can fit a Canon full frame body will fit onto an APS-C body, but not vice versa.  Any "EF-S" lens can fit onto any APS-C body, but not a full frame body like a 6D, 5D, or 1D.

 

Thanks for the confirmation.

 

Tim Campbell mentioned that he owns the Induro gimbal, and seems to be quite satisfied with it.  I got the impression that he doesn't feel spending nearly 50% more for the Wimberly 200 is worth it.  I know I don't, which is why I have had the Induro on my wish list. 

 

Not knowing very much about any camera gear, I picked the Waverly because it received 5 stars, whereas the Induro received 4.7 stars around the Internet. OTOH, I must also consider what gear is used mostly by the forum members, so that if I run into trouble, someone here can help me. Maybe I need to rethink the side bracket gimbal choice.

 

Although, I think the identically priced Benro GH3, which comes with a protective bag, may be a better value than the Induro.  Both the Induro and the Benro gimbals come with a quick release plate included.  My favorite NYC superstore, B&H, allows you to return items if they do not fulfill your needs.  I'd suggest buying the same Induro gimbal that Tim Campbell owns, and if it proves to be inadequate then return it for the Wimberly gimbal.

 

Problem I have with the GH3 is that I can't find reviews of it. When I buy something with which I am not familiar, I search the Internet to find out what all kinds of users think of the product.

 

Norm

 

As far as the Benro GH2 and GH3 heads go, it is safe bet that the GH2 is virtually identical to the Induro model.  I have found a couple of reviews of the GH3 at UK web sites, but they were neither insightful or helpful.  The reviewers seemed to be quite satisfied, however, with their Benro gimbals, which really doesn't mean much.  A Big Mac hamburger tastes fantastic if you have never eaten a hamburger before.  Basically, their reviews said, "Yummy".  They were one sentence long.

 

I think the Benro would be a bigger roll of the dice than the Induro.  But, I suspect the differences are small.  Again, always purchase your equipment from a reliable vendor with good post sale customer service.

--------------------------------------------------------
"The right mouse button is your friend."

Checked the Induro and Benro heads again. Induro spec says, "Suitable for Lenses Up to 400mm". I will be buying the 600, so will I have a problem?

 

A Benro GH2 review: "I tried this gimbal head and while the pan movement was very smooth the tilt was not. This made it hard to frame a shot with my Sigma 150-600 Sport lens. The tilt movement felt smooth until I added the weight of the lens and camera assembly at which point it became tighter and resulted in a jerky motion. The design appears to use a sleeve bearing and not ball or roller bearings. I returned this one and bought a custom brackets gimbal head instead." 

 

Might be too light for the 600?

 

About the Benro GH3, the only difference I can see betwen the GH2 and GH3 is weight capacity, 50# and 55# respectively. So maybe the GH3 can handle more weight than the GH2. I'm curious why you would chance the GH3 w/o the benefit of some user reviews.

 

Norm

 

When you don't get the bird in the right settings, move it.

 

_52D1384-Edit.jpg

 

 

_52D0353-Edit.jpg

 

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

When you don't get the bird in the right settings, move it.

 

Gorgeous! You used your Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.1, or Lightroom 6.2 to change the scenery?

 

Norm

 

Photoshop CS6.

I am just an average users not anywhere near an expert.  Some guys can do amazing stuff.  I just know a few 'clicks'!

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

"Gentlemen, I'm overwhelmed with tech info. At this point, I need a recommendation on which tripod and which gimbal or ball head (or both) that attaches to the lens (not the camera) to buy."

 

I did !  Smiley Frustrated

 

"Buy the lens.  Buy the tripod.  Buy a gimbal head.  That's all.  Don't go further until you learn more. No dock (beyond you at this point). No Ac converter (the camera goes to sleep). No trigger (almost worthless)."

 

The brands you decide to get is not that important.  Get the one(s) you like or can afford.  At this point you need to get your feet wet and do or don't.  Get in there and start learning.  You need to actually use this gear so you know what is for you and not.  What wroks and what does not for you.  I gave you a precise starting point so go buy that gear.  Today!

The reason you get people with different schemes is that is waht they like.  It is what they have seen work for them.

 

The gimbal head should be attached to the lens.  Never to the camera body.  Weight is not the single issue.  Balance is also to be considered.  IMHO, is you are going to be disappointed by the distance.  But that is just me.

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

OK, Ernie, I will buy the Manfrotto MT055CXPRO3 Carbon Fiber Tripod as you suggest. However, are you absolutely sure that the gimbal head will give me the quickest and steadiest response to vertical and horizontal lens movement at the main feeders, the horizontal movement along the ground below the main feeders, and the shift to the hummingbird feeder half way between?

 

Norm

 

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