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.
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" 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.
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.
Thank you for your very kind comments! I still have a ways to travel however the journey is fun.
I am fortunate to be able to enjoy this activity during retirement and I consider it the payoff for the long hours I spent doing risk management consulting for many years in addition to my real job as a professor. I think it probably runs in the family, my maternal grandmother was a photo processor in the very early days of the profession and one sister was a photojournalist and I very much enjoyed working with her in her darkroom while she was in high school and college. The only thing close to a photography class I have taken was a high school elective in journalism which was far more interesting than sitting in study hall. I have been fortunate to learn from the work of some very talented individuals in addition to spending time with some excellent books.
And I really miss the Kodak 1400 dye sub printer I bought shortly after I bought my 1D Mark 2 back in 2005, the paper made three trips in and out of the printer as each color segment of the thermal ribbon was applied with a final trip to lay down the protective clear top coat and it was very much like watching a print develop. Unfortunately the paper and ribbon supplies for this printer were one of the many casualties of Kodak's market and subsequent financial failure.
"The only thing close to a photography class I have taken was a ..."
I have never taken a class either although I have taught them. Those were not common in the olden days. I guess the stone tablets were to heavy to carry around.
"Any thoughts on used?"
I consider any of these super zooms a good candidate to buy on the used market. Quite frankly most of them sit in a bag a lot of their life. They get very little use! Any of the white Canon lenses are built for the long haul. So, again a good value on the used market. You can add that almost any and all Canon lenses can be and are worth servicing if needed.
At my point in my life I am in the process of getting rid of gear/lenses that I don't use or don't use very often. There are a few that I will keep to the end, though. Two of them are that Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens and its little twin brother the Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Sports Lens. These two lenses have no peers. They are in a class of their own.
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