Wildlife Lens - 300mm f/4 IS

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Keagle, Sep 29, 2007.

  1. Keagle

    Keagle TPF Noob!

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    In another thread I posted, I was advised to go for the 70-200mm f/4. However, thinking about it, there's some stuff I'm still not sure about which has made me consider longer focal lengths.

    There's deer and other birds and wildlife in my local woods, and I'm thinking 200mm is too short a range for this. I'm tempted to go for a 300mm f/4 L IS and save for a 1.4 TC. I have the Sigma 70-210mm f/4.5-5.6, but it only works if it's on maximum aperture. Otherwise I get Error 99, so I could just use that for the lower range, and get the 300mm.

    Another option would be to perhaps get the 70-200mm f/4 an get the 1.4 TC - on a Canon EOS 350D body, will AF still work? I'd like to know this for the 300mm or 400mm with a 1.4 too.

    I could go for the 400mm f/5.6, but the lack of IS on such a large lens, and I'm unsure how far back I would need to be to avoid cropping off the body, or how close I would need to be.

    I've read plenty of reviews and all say each of those lenses is great, but I don't know wether 400mm will be too long, or 200mm too short, etc.

    As I'm 14, it's kind of important I get this right first time, as I'm not made of money. My budget is probably £800max.

    Thankie :)
    :hug::
    Keagle
     
  2. Buszaj

    Buszaj TPF Noob!

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    hmm, you could look at the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM.
     
  3. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I use the 300mm f/4 L IS , and I hardly ever thought it too long when shooting wildlife. Therefore I personally do not miss the lack of zoom down to say 200 or 100 mm.

    A colleague of mine uses the 100-400mm L IS for shooting surfers and such, there the zoom seems to be an advantage. However the f/5.6 is a limitation sometimes.

    The 300mm f/4 L IS also works nicely with a 1.4 teleconverter from Kenko.
     
  4. Keagle

    Keagle TPF Noob!

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    Thank you both for your replies!

    I was considering the 100-400mm, and still am. The thing is, the deers and such are around in the morning, so there's not going to be a huge amount of light. I can't afford the f/2.8 300mm though. Thank's for the help Alex B, do you ever find the IS too noisy? That's one of the only things I've heard that people have complained about.

    Thank you for your replys!
     
  5. soylentgreen

    soylentgreen TPF Noob!

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    I have both lenses you are considering; the f/4 70-200 now the f/2.8, and to tell you the truth, the 70-200 zoom is nice but I find I use it wide open most of the time. I will probably eventually get rid of it and get some primes. The 300 f/4 IS is an amazing lens. IQ is superb and the IS works flawlessly. I practically use that lens hand-held most of the time. It's really light and easy to handle. For more timid and elusive wildlife, you may need the extra focal length. Tripod/ monopod comes out when I use the 1.4x TC. The f/5.6 with the slower AF practically requires it if you want really crisp images. You can steady against a tree or what-not if you do not want to lug one around. You really can't go wrong with either lens. I settled ont eh 300 f/4 over the 400 f/5.6 mainly due to IS and am very happy with the choice. A 1.4x TC slapped on makes it a 420 F/5.6 with IS.
     
  6. soylentgreen

    soylentgreen TPF Noob!

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    I have both lenses you are considering; the f/4 70-200 now the f/2.8, and to tell you the truth, the 70-200 zoom is nice but I find I use it wide open most of the time. I will probably eventually get rid of it and get some primes. The 300 f/4 IS is an amazing lens. IQ is superb and the IS works flawlessly. I practically use that lens hand-held most of the time. It's really light and easy to handle. For more timid and elusive wildlife, you may need the extra focal length. Tripod/ monopod comes out when I use the 1.4x TC. The f/5.6 with the slower AF practically requires it if you want really crisp images. You can steady against a tree or what-not if you do not want to lug one around. You really can't go wrong with either lens. I settled ont eh 300 f/4 over the 400 f/5.6 mainly due to IS and am very happy with the choice. A 1.4x TC slapped on makes it a 420 F/5.6 with IS anyway. The 100-400 is another to consider if it's in your budget. A lot of folks really like it.
     
  7. Buszaj

    Buszaj TPF Noob!

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    get a Canon 400mm f/2.8L IS USM:D
     
  8. Keagle

    Keagle TPF Noob!

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    Thank you so much for your in-depth advice! I'm now pretty much solidly convinced to go with the 300mm and get a 1.4 teleconverter. I have a tripod, my Dad gave it to me. However - it's very heavy, it's meant for camcorders but fits for my camera. Perhaps I should invest in a lighter one for lugging around, and use that one when I don't need mobility? I was looking at the 100-400mm, It's pretty much between that and the 300mm.

    At £6,699.99? :p Slightly over-budget.
     
  9. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    First, I would check with Sigma to see if a rechip is required to fix that error.

    I would have no problems recommending the 100-400mm L. I really like mine (paired with the 24-105 f4L).

    BUT..

    If you can get that 70-210 Sigma working again then I think you are best served by the 300 f4L. I am a bit biased towards the quality of primes and I am considering the 300 f4L to added to the primes I carry (24,50, 85, 135).

    Have you considered the Bigma?
     
  10. Keagle

    Keagle TPF Noob!

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    Yup - I'm going to call them tomorrow about rechipping. I had a look at the Bigma...but the lack of IS and it's weight puts me off, as I'm not the strongest guy. If I can't get the Sigma rechipped, would it be better to go for the 100-400mm then?
     
  11. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That is my thoughts... If you can't get the Sigma fixed my thoughts are the 100-400mm or something similar will fill in the gap just nicely.
     
  12. Keagle

    Keagle TPF Noob!

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    Thank you very much :) I'm contacting Sigma now. If they can't rechip it, or fix it, then I'll go for the 100-400mm.
     

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