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Upgrade what equipment first?

jmr6
Contributor

Currently I have a 2 year old Canon Rebel SL1/100D. I have the kit lenses that came with the camera and a Tamaron 150-600 telephoto. I am almost primarily a Landscape/Wildlife enthusiast but starting to get into street scenes. 

 

My question is this, should I upgrade from the two kit lenses first OR look into a 7D Mark 2 or an 80D and upgrade the camera first?

13 REPLIES 13

ScottyP
Authority

Lenses for sure. Kit lenses on a 7d2 will make images that look just like they did on your current camera.  

 

Also, nothing you shoot is fast moving so the particular features (complex autofocus) you pay for in a sports camera like 7d2 would not be much benefit to you, for your money. 

 

You dont have any lenses with large apertures. You should have something for low light and for shallow DOF.  Either an f/2.8 zoom or an f/1.8 or f/1.4 prime lens. 

 

Also maybe a wide angle lens. 

 

 

Scott

Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?

I should be more specific, I do a lot of Bird photography and would like something that is better for capturing birds in flight. I also would like the ability for less noise and to be able to do a good bit of cropping on occasion. 


@jmr6 wrote:

I should be more specific, I do a lot of Bird photography and would like something that is better for capturing birds in flight. I also would like the ability for less noise and to be able to do a good bit of cropping on occasion. 


The Tamron 150-600 lens is likely what is holding you back on your cropping ability. It is really only a average lens, despite having a big cheerleader here. Tamron has released a new version of the 150-600, if the first version was that great why the relatively quick upgrade cycle. 

 

The Canon EF 100-400 L IS II has unmatched image quality. It's image quality is so good that even when using a 1.4X III Teleconverter it still outperforms the 150-600s from Tamron and Sigma. However, in order for AF to with the TC you need a camera that will AF at f/8 like the 7D Mk II or the 80D.

The one thing that one can do it improve their images is to buy a better lens.  The keyword here is better.  Your kit STM lens is pretty good.  The SL1 body comes up short on low light performance, and number of AF points.  It is not well suited for tracking birds in flight, although it can be done with practice.  If you do not have a wide aperture lens, f/1.8 or better, then I suggest you invest in one.  It will teach you a lot about photography.

If you want to upgrade the camera body, then a 7D Mark II, or an 80D.  I say go for the 80D, because it has far more points that can focus at f/8 than the 7D Mark II.  While the 7D2 is built like a tank, and has a fantastic AF ssystem, the 80D AF system is nearly as good, and it produces images with lower noise than the 7D2.   

One of the best Canon camera/lens combinations for action photography, like birding, is the 7D Mark II and the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM.  I cannot say how good the Tamron is, but i can say that I am not all that impressed with the Sigma 150-600mm, either.  

  1. IMG_0044.JPG

    Good thing the Sigma has the Sigma Dock, so that I could tune the lens with AFMA.  I've been testing and tweaking if for over a year now.  That was shot with a 6D 1/2000, f/8, ISO 5000, ..., I think.  I'm not using the right PC to check the exposure.  

    But, the 7D2 and the 100-400mm is even more impressive, though.

    IMG_0029.JPG
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"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."


@Waddizzle wrote:
...
Good thing the Sigma has the Sigma Dock, so that I could tune the lens with AFMA.  I've been testing and tweaking if for over a year now.  That was shot with a 6D 1/2000, f/8, ISO 5000, ..., I think.  I'm not using the right PC to check the exposure.  

Why do you need the Sigma Dock? Doesn't the 6D have in-camera AFMA?

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA


@RobertTheFat wrote:

@Waddizzle wrote:
...
Good thing the Sigma has the Sigma Dock, so that I could tune the lens with AFMA.  I've been testing and tweaking if for over a year now.  That was shot with a 6D 1/2000, f/8, ISO 5000, ..., I think.  I'm not using the right PC to check the exposure.  

Why do you need the Sigma Dock? Doesn't the 6D have in-camera AFMA?


Canon camera bodies do not recognize third party lenses, just as DPP doesn't recognize them, either.  Besides, my lens was so far off as got closer to 600mm, the range of adjustment in the camera was insufficient.

The Sigma Dock gives you 16 points of adjustment, compared to the 2 points in the camera.  It's why I have been repeating tests from time to time for over a year.  You can adjust the 150-600mm at four different focal lengths, each of which can adjusted a four different focusing distances.

I haven't made any changes through the Sigma Dock since my initial rounds of testing over a year ago.  Most of my "testing" of the lens since that time, has been to simply use it normally, but take a extra shots at different focal lengths, and verifying the focus points and DOF through Lightroom.

It is still little soft when focusing at infinity at 600mm, llike focusing on the Moon, for instance.  But, it is pretty sharp at 600mm for subjects as far as up to 2-3 hundred yards, but still seems to fall off past that point, just not as badly as out of the box.

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"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."


@Waddizzle wrote:

@RobertTheFat wrote:

@Waddizzle wrote:
...
Good thing the Sigma has the Sigma Dock, so that I could tune the lens with AFMA.  I've been testing and tweaking if for over a year now.  That was shot with a 6D 1/2000, f/8, ISO 5000, ..., I think.  I'm not using the right PC to check the exposure.  

Why do you need the Sigma Dock? Doesn't the 6D have in-camera AFMA?


Canon camera bodies do not recognize third party lenses, just as DPP doesn't recognize them, either.  ....


'Taint so. I've used AFMA on several 3rd-party lenses. The camera doesn't identify them by brand name, but it does recognize them.

 

That's an apples vs oranges comparison anyway. What DPP doesn't recognize are 3rd-party lens distortion corrections, which have nothing to do with AFMA.

 

The rest of your explanation of the Sigma Dock (the part I didn't quote) does, of course, answer my question.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA


@RobertTheFat wrote:


'Taint so. I've used AFMA on several 3rd-party lenses. The camera doesn't identify them by brand name, but it does recognize them.

 

That's an apples vs oranges comparison anyway. What DPP doesn't recognize are 3rd-party lens distortion corrections, which have nothing to do with AFMA.

 

The rest of your explanation of the Sigma Dock (the part I didn't quote) does, of course, answer my question.


While you can AF micro adjust 3rd party lenses sometimes they are beyond the range of adjustment.

 

The first 3rd party lens I got for my 50D was a Sigma 70-200 f/2.8. It was near the limit of AF micro adjustment on my 50D. When I purchased my 7D it was beyond the range of adjustment for that camera. I sent it into Sigma and had them calibrate the lens. After Sigma calibrated it, it was spot on with both my 7D and my XTi which didn't have AF micro focus adjustment. It still required a small adjustment on the 50D, but, was much closer than before.


@TTMartin wrote:

@RobertTheFat wrote:


'Taint so. I've used AFMA on several 3rd-party lenses. The camera doesn't identify them by brand name, but it does recognize them.

 

That's an apples vs oranges comparison anyway. What DPP doesn't recognize are 3rd-party lens distortion corrections, which have nothing to do with AFMA.

 

The rest of your explanation of the Sigma Dock (the part I didn't quote) does, of course, answer my question.


While you can AF micro adjust 3rd party lenses sometimes they are beyond the range of adjustment.

 

The first 3rd party lens I got for my 50D was a Sigma 70-200 f/2.8. It was near the limit of AF micro adjustment on my 50D. When I purchased my 7D it was beyond the range of adjustment for that camera. I sent it into Sigma and had them calibrate the lens. After Sigma calibrated it, it was spot on with both my 7D and my XTi which didn't have AF micro focus adjustment. It still required a small adjustment on the 50D, but, was much closer than before.


Exactly.  My Sigma 150-600 was not only beyond the range of adjustment, the camera thought it was some Canon lens model.  This focusing error is exactly why I sold the 150-500, and bought the 150-600 and the Sigma Dock.  I started to send the 150-600mm lens to Sigma, but the only address I could find for Sigma USA was #I WTC, One World Trade Center.

Guess what brand of lens I will never buy again.  Sigma.

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"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."
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