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Which Tamron SP 150-600 is best?

jjanis
Contributor

I have been out West several times and wished I had a good telephoto lens for my Digital Rebel XSI to shoot wildlife.  With another trip coming up I am ready to make a purchase. From research am thinking of buying the Tamron SP 150-600mm lens.  However, I see there is 1 under $1000 and a newer G2 model for $400 more.  I am having a hard time seeing the difference that justifies spending that $400 more and would love some input.

 

I am also wondering what case to purchase for airtravel for the lens and what tripod might be recommended.  Is there a quick release gimball head recommended to use with that big lens?  Am in bit new working with tripod. Am wondering if the less expensive lens would be just as good and allow me some budget for the tripod and head.

 

Again, thanks for any input!  Am hoping to make a purchase soon so I can get in a bit of practice with equipment before our upcoming mid October trip.

 

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

" If you were going to upgrade from the Rebel XSI what would be the next logical jump?"

 

The next logical choice is the Canon 90D of course.  Smiley Happy

 

The problem with most all the advice you got so far is these guys are just review readers. The same as you.  Not many have actually "owned" and used both or all of them.  I have or had the entire crop of 150-600mm super zooms.  People tend to promote the lens they eventually bought as the best.  Nobody wants to think they didn't buy the best.

 

The best of the crop right now is the Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 if you want the best IQ and AF ability.  It also has a dock like most of the others.  Which lens did I ultimately decide was the best for me?  The Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens. It fits my needs and shooting style best.  And, that is what you really need to decide, which one works best for you because all of them are good. The factor of money; cost it high on the list, too.  The lens you wish you had won't take a better picture than the lens you have.

 

Something you haven't thought about and a couple lenses I am high on is the Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens.  Also, the Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM Lens along with the 1.4x tele-con. Yeah, they are primes, not super zooms but they work very well for what you want. A fixed aperture is nice. With the 300 +1.4x you get two FLs, 300mm and 420mm and a faster aperture. WHat's not to like?

 

Remember on a new 90D that would be (the 300mm + 1.4x) equivalent to nearly 700mm.  Yes, I do own and use both of these choices too!  BTW, it keeps all your gear all Canon.

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

View solution in original post

26 REPLIES 26


@jjanis wrote:

Thanks all for your valuable input.  Gives me lots to think about and more to research. All of this leads me to another question though.  If you were going to upgrade from the Rebel XSI what would be the next logical jump?


Thats a tough one.  Budget?  Intended use?  (Wildlife)??

 

Considering where you are coming from, any body could be considered an upgrade (nothing derogatory ment by that). 

 

APS-C

Low end T7i

Upper mid 90D

 

FF

Mid range 6D2

High end 5D4

 

I am a fan of mirrorless, but not yet due to their battery life.  If you buy a APS-C body (Like the T7i) then the Sigma might not be the right choice, but it would give you 240-960 effective FL.  Additional reach.  Since I only have one body, my approach is what will give me an overall "system" (and options).  My 6D2 with my current lenses covers me in the majority of shooting situations.   

 

 

 

 

 

~Rick
Bay Area - CA


~R5 C (1.0.2.1) ~RF Trinity, ~RF 100~400, +Canon Control Ring

~6D2 (v1.1.1) Retiring ~EF Trinity, others ~DxO PhotoLab Elite ~Windows10/11 Pro ~EVGA RTX 3080Ti FTW3 Ultra ~ImageClass MF644Cdw ~Pixel6 ~CarePaks Are Worth It

" If you were going to upgrade from the Rebel XSI what would be the next logical jump?"

 

The next logical choice is the Canon 90D of course.  Smiley Happy

 

The problem with most all the advice you got so far is these guys are just review readers. The same as you.  Not many have actually "owned" and used both or all of them.  I have or had the entire crop of 150-600mm super zooms.  People tend to promote the lens they eventually bought as the best.  Nobody wants to think they didn't buy the best.

 

The best of the crop right now is the Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 if you want the best IQ and AF ability.  It also has a dock like most of the others.  Which lens did I ultimately decide was the best for me?  The Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens. It fits my needs and shooting style best.  And, that is what you really need to decide, which one works best for you because all of them are good. The factor of money; cost it high on the list, too.  The lens you wish you had won't take a better picture than the lens you have.

 

Something you haven't thought about and a couple lenses I am high on is the Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens.  Also, the Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM Lens along with the 1.4x tele-con. Yeah, they are primes, not super zooms but they work very well for what you want. A fixed aperture is nice. With the 300 +1.4x you get two FLs, 300mm and 420mm and a faster aperture. WHat's not to like?

 

Remember on a new 90D that would be (the 300mm + 1.4x) equivalent to nearly 700mm.  Yes, I do own and use both of these choices too!  BTW, it keeps all your gear all Canon.

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

"couple lenses I am high on is the Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens.  Also, the Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM Lens along with the 1.4x tele-con"

 

So many choices I hadn't thought about.  Makes my head spin. Any thoughts on used?  Was looking at a family owned shop in Indy that gives 180 day warranty on items.

 

We leave Oct 9th so hope to make upgrades in time to play with these a bit.  Am sure there will be a learning curve.  Thankfully this is a pretty laid back trip with days I can just play with equipment, too. We have the privilege of staying on site for a few days at a ranch in the mountains where we have seen grizzlies in the past at dusk. My main hope is to get some decent pics of those and then be able to use my equipment for birding back home..

Another vote for the Sigma Sports lens.  I tried out their current version 150-600 sports that a friend bought and I was impressed with the image quality.  The widest aperture doesn't meet my needs for night HS sports (especially because widest available aperture has a big impact upon AF speed and accuracy) but if I were shooting only in daylight it packs a lot into a fairly compact and light package at a very reasonable price.  It may just be personal bias, but I view Sigma as having made a serious effort for many years to play at a higher level AND maintaining value while Tamron is emphasizing price a bit more than image and focus performance.

 

A wide range telephoto is an extremely useful and versatile lens.  I really wanted to love the Canon 200-400 F4 with its built in extender to instantly create a 280-560 F5.6 on the fly and have rented it twice but after shooting with the 300 and 400 2.8 primes, the focus speed isn't quite there-especially in low light and although it is an excellent lens it doesn't produce quite the same incredible sharpness and contrast of its prime siblings.  For a lot of shooting, nothing beats a good prime and Canon's own 400 F5.6 is an incredible bang for the buck if you don't absolutely need zoom.  It plays well with the Canon 1.4X on most bodies providing a 560mm F8 and it is just a great and highly reliable lens.  Mine doesn't get a lot of use after I bought the faster primes in that range but when there is plenty of light it is far more pleasant to hand hold than my 400 2.8 and it has gone on numerous long hikes in the mountains without missing a beat. I haven't quite wrapped my head around upgrading to the newer, lighter, and far better balanced 400 2.8 yet but it is very tempting if Canon decides to run a rebate on it in the future.

 

Rodger

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, M6 Mark II, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video

Roger you have missed the boat if you have never tried the  Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Sports Lens.  For round ball and BB it is a winner.  I see lots of them court side and at BB games in the pit.

 

"I really wanted to love the Canon 200-400 F4 with its built in extender..."

 

It makes no sense to build a lens that is the best lens ever made if 90% 95%of us can't afford it.  Yeah, I understand it costs money to make great but at some point there is a limit. You for one obviously have the resources to buy top of the mark many thousands of dollar lenses.  Most of us don't.

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


@ebiggs1 wrote:

Roger you have missed the boat if you have never tried the  Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Sports Lens.  For round ball and BB it is a winner.  I see lots of them court side and at BB games in the pit.

 

"I really wanted to love the Canon 200-400 F4 with its built in extender..."

 

It makes no sense to build a lens that is the best lens ever made if 90% 95%of us can't afford it.  Yeah, I understand it costs money to make great but at some point there is a limit. You for one obviously have the resources to buy top of the mark many thousands of dollar lenses.  Most of us don't.


I guess some lenses are expected to be bought not by the user, but by his/her employer. You've probably had that experience, Ernie, as have I.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA

"...some lenses are expected to be bought not by the user, but by his/her employer."

 

Some, yes, but there are a lot of free lancers out there.  A lot of small town newspapers. I.E. bring your own gear. Yeah, at Hallmark, stuff like a lens is just an entry on a spread sheet but there is only one Hallmark!  Far more simple, work a day, photographers that can't even dream of a $10,000+ lens or two.

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

" The widest aperture doesn't meet my needs for night HS sports..."

 

Kinda funny, I watched a couple kids on the HS Year Book staff photographing last Friday's FB game with a Tamron 150-600mil and their shots were quite good. (With a Rebel, BTW)  Maybe not SI quality but pretty darn good. Perhaps they are't aware that they need a faster lens! 

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

Ernie,

 

Thanks for the recommendation of the 120-300 2.8! I will definitely take a close look at it soon because that is a VERY versatile range.

 

I have been to a couple of private high school fields where the lighting is nearly equal to D1 university level lighting but most are very poorly illuminated even in the center 66% of the field with the end zones being far worse.  For fields with good lighting or even for a lot of plays on poorly lit fields, a wide variety of glass and bodies will work well and I have seen some quite nice images captured by parents in the stands.

 

This first image from last Friday night was captured while there was still plenty of natural light and it didn't push the camera or lens capabilities but once full darkness fell the combination of fast glass and a great camera body are in their element where fast focus and decent noise performance at ISO 10,000 or higher in some cases are extremely helpful.  I shot a lot of daylight soccer with the Canon 400 5.6 and 1D Mark 2 which did a great job as would many of the "slower" aperture high quality zooms on any decent DSLR but for fast action plays at a dimly lit football game I am sure I would find it extremely frustrating and would have to change my focus to different aspects of the game  if shooting with a lens that is wide open at F5.6 or higher.  Night soccer on a poorly lit field is the most challenging field sport I have photographed because the very fast and often unpredictable ball movement makes extremely fast AF under low light conditions critical and even the 1DX series don't do nearly as well with slow glass under these conditions.  But if it were easy, there wouldn't be any real challenge or fun 🙂 

 

I suspect those high school kids wisely chose to shoot subject matter and scenes that matched with the equipment they had available and wisdom goes further than technology.  I have worked with a lot of yearbook kids over the years and working with these HS kids is a big part of the fun of high school sports.  They are in large serious and very eager to improve their craft and you really can't ask for more.  Just like the athletes they are rightfully proud of what they are accomplishing and they understand how to make the most out of a photographic opportunity unlike a lot of adults. I was in the CO Rockies a few years ago and several people were in a group trying to photograph bighorn sheep which were far too distant for their gear.  A woman with this group spotted and got some great photos of a butterfly and some birds while her companions at best captured some poorly detailed and rather fuzzy images of distant large animals.  She knew what she was doing.

 

And those high school kids were shooting with a lot better equipment than I did at their age because the technology has come so far in the past decades that a pretty basic consumer level DSLR can do things that a film SLR user woudn't have dreamed of when I was in high school.  I suspect the ultimate future is full wideband capture of the visible light spectrum very much like military signal intercept does now with the radio frequency range where a very wide spectrum is continuously captured and then data analysis and DSP will choose what you want in perfect focus.  At that point cameras and photographers as we know them now will be obsolete.

 

Rodger

 

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EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, M6 Mark II, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video

Rodger what can I say. Those are outstanding shots and are probably SI worthy.

 

"Thanks for the recommendation of the 120-300 2.8!"

  You bet. I have owned two of them.  An early version and now the Sport.  I bought it used from a fellow pro photographer that shot the KU basketball games. It is an almost twin of the 150-600mm Siggy Sport.  It is another lens Canon should have made.

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