09-17-2019 09:44 AM - edited 09-17-2019 09:50 AM
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).
Low end T7i
Upper mid 90D
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.
09-17-2019 10:16 AM - edited 09-17-2019 10:17 AM
" 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.
09-17-2019 10:25 AM
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.
09-17-2019 12:22 PM
"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..
09-17-2019 01:33 PM
09-18-2019 10:18 AM - edited 09-18-2019 10:18 AM
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.
09-18-2019 10:36 AM
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.
09-18-2019 10:40 AM
"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.
09-18-2019 10:50 AM
" 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!