Telephoto Zoom Lens

Discussion in 'Canon Lenses' started by connyd, Aug 2, 2016.

  1. connyd

    connyd TPF Noob!

    Aug 2, 2016
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    I need a new telephoto zoom lens for my Canon 40D.
    Research has now boiled down to one of those two:
    Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L is ii usm
    Tamron for Canon SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 di vs usd
    I will use the lens mainly for surf photography, hence fast moving objects, fast shooting, difficult light (dusk, dawn, hard shadows in sunlight).
    I need:
    - long focal length
    - sharp pics
    - fast autofocus
    - wide aperture would be beneficial (wish I could afford a f/2.8)
    Not so important is:
    - weight
    I was keen to get a Canon, but to my surprise found out that the Tamron lens produces sharper photos! However it seems as if Canon has the better autofocus.
    At 400mm the two lenses work with the same maximum aperture, so I figured the Canon lens has no advantage over the Tamron.
    That leaves the following questions:
    - Will I have issues with any of the two lenses in poor light?
    - Will the Tamron autofocus be reliable enough (especially at dawn or dusk)?
    - How important is Canon's dust and water seal for my beach location?

  2. goooner

    goooner Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Oct 4, 2014
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    Just to add another spanner in the works, the 2 Sigma lenses 150-600 C and S are also very good. Personally I would rent 3 of them and see which one performs best for my needs. I've heard very good things about all 4 lenses. On your 40D I doubt you will see much difference in image quality between these lenses. We have a couple of photogs around here who have posted some stunning surf photos, not sure what they were using though.
  3. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 1, 2008
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    Thing is to get a better maximum aperture you're looking at prime lenses where you've got the 300mm f4 IS L - the 400mm f5.6 L and then there's a massive price jump to things like the 300mm f2.8; 400mm f2.8; 500mm f4 etc... (even bigger if you go new and go for the new MKII versions of those lenses).

    So the best you could get for around 400mm would be the 400mm prime; that might be a viable option to consider as it would optically beat those zooms (though from what I've seen the Canon 100-400mm MII is a very fine performer).

    I've never shot surf so I've no idea how much things move around and thus if a zoom has a distinct bonus over a prime. If you'd always be at the long end then a prime might well be the best option and then get a second body with a second prime on that or a zoom for closer shots.

    For dust and water sealing - esp salt water - I would say that weather sealing on the Canon gear is nice but not going to be perfect. You will want to back it up with a good rain cover (a dirt cheap option is an OPTtech rainsleeve; functional if not durable) so that you can block out the most of any spray (depending how close you get). If you use a tripod you will also want to look into plastic bags or wraps to protect the lower sections of the legs; if you're in the water then you'll want agood tripod that you can take apart fully (eg Manfrotto) to fully clean it out with distilled water to keep the salt from getting into it.
  4. beagle100

    beagle100 No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Mar 31, 2015
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    actually the Canon produces sharper pics (and better "IQ") at 400mm but it doesn't go to 600mm
    So if you primarily shoot at 600mm get a Sigma 150-600
    If you shoot a lot of field sports get the Canon

    [​IMG]Untitled by PhotosCW, on Flickr
  5. spiralout462

    spiralout462 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2014
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    Canon 300mm f4 l is....

    Canon primes for the win!!

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