Using super telephotos - what are your lighter support lenses?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Overread, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Ok so I'm going to tackle a question from the other end so out of curiosity for those here who have access and use lenses like the 300mm f2.8 IS L, 400mm f2.8 IS, 500mm f4 and the even heaier lenes do you have any lenses in the bag of similar ranges for when you don't want to carry around the superheavies and how often do you find yourself using them?

    I'm asking because at some point (soonish) I hope to add either a 300mm f4, 400mm f5.6, 100-400mm or a (sigma) 50-500mm OS to my lens setup as a (cheaper) long lens whilst I still continue to save for one of the super lenses (300mm f2.8 in my case). And as part of that choice I don't really want to purchase a lens and then find that I have to sell it on - I'd far rather a lens I can keep and continue to use and be happy with the results for when I don't want the super prime or can't take it.

    So what are your lighter options?
     
  2. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The way I see it, you should have two sets of lenses in your possession.

    1) Primes for ultimate IQ and fast aperture at the expense of flexibility (weight and single focal lengths)

    2) Zooms for flexibility, lightweight, and easy to pack at the expense of ultimate IQ and fast aperture.


    In my mind, that pretty much rules out 300mm f4 and 400mm f5.6. Both of which will probably be resold after you save enough for the bigger glass. This leaves the 100-400L which I like and the 50-500 Sigma.

    Its pretty much what I used to do with my Canon system:

    kit 1) 24 f/1.4L, 50 f/1.4, 85 f/1.8, 135mm f/2L, 300mm f/4L
    kit 2) 24-105L + 100-400L.
     
  3. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I'm starting to think the very same thing - and asking this question around whilst many have said "the 300mm f2.8 is a god lens you'll never want another once you get it" they mostly go on to say they have a 100-400mm for a lighter option or that they've never really found enough reason to completly get rid of the lens even though it sees less use.

    70-200mm f2.8 +1.4TC is also a popular support, but more of an in addition to the 300mm f2.8 rather than instead of - though I am interested to see how well the new 70-200mm M2 + 2*TC performs against the super zooms. In tests with the original the 70-200mm + 2*TC was noticably softer at 400mm than even the 100-400mm - the new version of the 70-200mm appears to be a lot sharper at the long end and whilst I expect it will still lose to even the superzooms it would be interesting to see by how much
    (if against all my expectations it beat the superzooms or equaled it would be my 3rd choice - sell my current 70-200mm and purchase the new and use teleconverters)
     
  4. rufus5150

    rufus5150 TPF Noob!

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    I would drop the 400mm 5.6 off of your list first -- you'll miss the IS with that kind of reach.

    Sigma recently(somewhat) added a 150-500 with OS to their lineup that's supposedly superior to the 50-500. I have nothing on it beyond that, though.
     
  5. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    True, but even more recently they've added a 50-500mm OS :) The 50-500mm was optically better than the 150-500mm (overall) but the lack of OS at the long end meant that handholding handshake would lead to superior results from the 150-500mm. Now a 4 stop OS in a 50-500mm I've been seeing silly speed shots (1/30sec) and the results are not that bad!
     
  6. Montana

    Montana TPF Noob!

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    The only two superteles I have are a prime 600 f/4 IS (canon) and a 50-500 Sigma. The sigma was purchased first. It was a cheap way to get to 500mm. (about 480 actually) Then I got the 600 and the Sigma has not been out of the closet since. If I need a supertelephoto, I grab the 600. Weight is not factored into my equation ever. Image quality is. THe 50-500 with OS looks interesting, but its still too slow for my needs. (one of the reasons I went to the 600 f/4) I do also own a 70-200 2.8 IS and both teleconverters. But very, very rarely use them on the 70-200. I do use them on the 600 quite often.

    The 400 5.6 is a fantastic lens. Very sharp. A good friend of mine shoots with one. The size/reach/image quality is fantastic.

    I'd say f you don't think you will want to be packing a monster lens all the time, then look at the 400 5.6. I really think you will be happy with it for a long time.
     
  7. rufus5150

    rufus5150 TPF Noob!

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    Gah, I had them backwards, then. Sorry 'bout that.
     
  8. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    300mmF2.8L goes out with me most times i am shooting, i used to have the 300F4L but i wouldn't put a cheap 300mm lens on my camera because it is a bit lighter wouldn't want to compromise picture quality
     
  9. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I thought you'd say that :lmao:
    And I do agree if I got the 300mm f4 now it would be sold to finance the 300mm f2.8 simply because I'd also see no point in keeping both when the f2.8 would deliver the exact same shot and have the same limits (being a prime) as the f4.

    I feel a little the same about the 400mm only that its different focal range might lead to a lot of indesision about which to use and what to do and I suspct longer term it might end up gathering dust :(

    The zooms I feel just offer something (possibly) a little more in that they are just generlistic lenses and so something for the days when its not suitable to have the 300mm f2.8 IS hanging around.
     
  10. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    .... sitting and reading with the same questions ... although my ultimate goal is the 500mm f/4, not the 300/2.8 ...

    I have a pretty big lens now (the 100-300 f/4) which I would keep if I buy the 400/5.6. I'm not sure if I'll keep it if I buy the Bigma ....

    I just wish that canon would put IS on that 400/5.6

    Ah ... decisions ... decisions .... Fortunately (I guess) I can't yet afford any new glass ...
     
  11. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    Juza's review of the new Bigma is up:

    Juza Nature Photography

    At the current price-point, his vote goes to the Canon 100-400.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2010
  12. Hardrock

    Hardrock TPF Noob!

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    Does anyone have personal experience with image quality between the 300 f2.8 and 300 f4 of pictures taken at f4? I do think the the super tele zooms just arent on par with the primes and would personally rather have a prime and deal with the inconviences then have to sacrafice image quality. But that stinking 300 f2.8 is outragous for most hobbiest! So that is why I only even considered the 300 f4. And as far as the 400 goes I figured the 300 with a 1.4tc and IS would be better than just the 400 with only f5.6 and no IS. IDK just my thoughts.
     

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