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      12-26-2020, 02:51 PM   #1
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Good telephoto lens?

I'm a hobby photographer shooting on a 80D and recently noticed that I've been maxing out the focal length on my EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS.

I've been wanting to get something around 400mm range, but not break the bank. Lately, I've been renting a EF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6L IS II USM and the results are absolutely stunning, but it's glass that's really out of my budget. Can anyone recommend a good alternative?

Shot at 360mm on EF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6L IS II USM
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      12-26-2020, 03:22 PM   #2
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That's a pretty picture.
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      12-26-2020, 04:13 PM   #3
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Canon's 70-300mm (non-L) is a decent lens. Not quite the reach of the 100-400, but it's under $600. Note that you should avoid the 75-300 lens. That one is junk.

https://www.amazon.com/Canon-70-300m...dp/B01LXTX4WY/

There's also the Sigma 100-400 for about $700.

https://www.the-digital-picture.com/...rary-Lens.aspx
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      12-26-2020, 06:02 PM   #4
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You don't mention what your top price range is, so in addition to Mark's recommendations above, you can get a Sigma 150-600 for 899 right now. It's pretty well reviewed as long as you don't expect miracles.
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      12-26-2020, 08:07 PM   #5
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You can probably find the 100-400mm EF L 4.5-5.6 IS for under $600. Great lens and does not break the bank, example attached.
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      12-27-2020, 12:30 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capt_slow View Post
I'm a hobby photographer shooting on a 80D and recently noticed that I've been maxing out the focal length on my EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS.

I've been wanting to get something around 400mm range, but not break the bank. Lately, I've been renting a EF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6L IS II USM and the results are absolutely stunning, but it's glass that's really out of my budget. Can anyone recommend a good alternative?

Shot at 360mm on EF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6L IS II USM
What are you trying to shoot and how much do you want to spend?

On your 80D, the focal length is actually 1.6x longer due to the crop sensor so the 100-400mm is effectively a 160-640mm.

I shoot fashion as a hobby and use fairly expensive and fast lens such as the Canon 70-200 II 2.8 and Sigma 120-300 2.8. Both are heavy but are super sharp and great in low light. Samples of shots attached.

I prefer constant aperture lens (ie fixed aperture at all focal lengths) and fast aperture but if you're shooting landscape, it doesn't matter when using a tripod and a remote. The more affordable zooms don't have constant aperture or are as crisp as the premium lens but they will work fine if you know how to use them

The Sigma 150-600 and Tamron G2 are good affordable long zoom with the edge going to the G2. (Stay away from the older versions of these lens).
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ....html/overview
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ..._5_6_3_di.html

And learning to use Photoshop Elements or another editing tool will do wonders for your pictures. PS Elements has a guided mode if you don't want to deal with the complexity of manually editing.
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      12-27-2020, 01:17 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Itsed65 View Post
You don't mention what your top price range is
Quote:
Originally Posted by PcarDefector View Post
What are you trying to shoot and how much do you want to spend?
Oops. My budget is around the $500 mark, sub-$700 if possible. That said, it would end up being the most expensive lens I have, as these are the others I have:

Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM
Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS

I usually shoot landscapes as part of my travels and had been using my 10-18 more. This one was shot at 10mm, f/7.1, 1.3s, ISO100


However, I've recently starting using my standard zoom lens more to capture subjects from farther away. This was one example where I hit my 135mm cap, taken on my last trip before the pandemic hit:
135mm, f/5.6, 1/1250, ISO100


And thanks for the recommendations! Sigma 150-600 sounds ideal, and I see it for $819 on the outlet store. It's a bit of a stretch of the budget, but I do like that it goes up to 600mm.
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      12-27-2020, 01:59 AM   #8
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The Sigma and Tamron 150-600s are about the same in image quality, so that might expand your search. Don't be afraid of used gear. Check out keh.com, natcam.com, and mpb.com. I've bought stuff from all 3 and have never had a bad experience.
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      12-27-2020, 07:07 AM   #9
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So I used to shot a lot more than I do and I've just started getting back into it. Since nobody has mentioned it yet have you considered used. We have a place called Henry's in Canada, they are a pretty big chain and usually have a good selection of used equipment and I think they stand behind it with warranty etc. You might get more lens for your budget than going new. Just my two cents.

https://www.henrys.com/Categories/29...al-Lenses.aspx
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      12-27-2020, 08:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capt_slow View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Itsed65 View Post
You don't mention what your top price range is
Quote:
Originally Posted by PcarDefector View Post
What are you trying to shoot and how much do you want to spend?
Oops. My budget is around the $500 mark, sub-$700 if possible. That said, it would end up being the most expensive lens I have, as these are the others I have:

Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM
Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS

I usually shoot landscapes as part of my travels and had been using my 10-18 more. This one was shot at 10mm, f/7.1, 1.3s, ISO100


However, I've recently starting using my standard zoom lens more to capture subjects from farther away. This was one example where I hit my 135mm cap, taken on my last trip before the pandemic hit:
135mm, f/5.6, 1/1250, ISO100


And thanks for the recommendations! Sigma 150-600 sounds ideal, and I see it for $819 on the outlet store. It's a bit of a stretch of the budget, but I do like that it goes up to 600mm.
Save a little more and Spend the extra money on the lens. The difference is about the price of 1 tire! 😀

Be aware that they are both heavy lens in the range of 7 pounds.A tripod is recommended for for steady shots, low light and long exposures
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      12-27-2020, 11:45 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PcarDefector View Post
Be aware that they are both heavy lens in the range of 7 pounds.A tripod is recommended for for steady shots, low light and long exposures
This is an important point to consider. Years ago I bought the Sigma 120-300 f2.8 so I could use a 2x multiplier and have 600mm f5.6 that would still autofocus with my 5D3 and 7D2. It works very well and is quite sharp, but I ended up not using it as much just due to the weight. If you're ok with a tripod or monopod most of the time, the weight isn't a big deal. But toting that weight around, whether you're shooting or just transporting it on vacation or whatever, can get old. Especially if you also have to tote a tripod/monopod.

I'm not trying to talk you out of the 150-600. I'm just highlighting the weight consideration.
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      12-27-2020, 12:16 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Murf993 View Post
So I used to shot a lot more than I do and I've just started getting back into it. Since nobody has mentioned it yet have you considered used.[/url]
I'm ok with used. We have a similar shop here called Samy's Camera and I've been browsing. It's actually the same place where I rented the 100-400.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PcarDefector View Post
Be aware that they are both heavy lens in the range of 7 pounds.A tripod is recommended for for steady shots, low light and long exposures
Quote:
Originally Posted by M_Six View Post
If you're ok with a tripod or monopod most of the time, the weight isn't a big deal. But toting that weight around, whether you're shooting or just transporting it on vacation or whatever, can get old. Especially if you also have to tote a tripod/monopod.

I'm not trying to talk you out of the 150-600. I'm just highlighting the weight consideration.
I'm used to hauling around my camera gear and have a tripod with me most of the time. The Sigmal Sigma 150-600mm has a weight of 4.25lbs. By comparison, the Canon 100-400 weighed in at 3.61. I'm more concerned with my Manfrotto Befree tripod as it was struggling to keep still with the Canon lens installed to my 80D.
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      12-27-2020, 12:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M_Six View Post
This is an important point to consider. Years ago I bought the Sigma 120-300 f2.8 so I could use a 2x multiplier and have 600mm f5.6 that would still autofocus with my 5D3 and 7D2. It works very well and is quite sharp, but I ended up not using it as much just due to the weight. If you're ok with a tripod or monopod most of the time, the weight isn't a big deal. But toting that weight around, whether you're shooting or just transporting it on vacation or whatever, can get old. Especially if you also have to tote a tripod/monopod.

I'm not trying to talk you out of the 150-600. I'm just highlighting the weight consideration.
100% agree about weight which is why I rarely use my Canon 70-200 2.8 or Sigma 120-300 if I am moving around or need to carry equipment for long stints. I also have a Canon 70-200 4.0 for lightweight. Lens don't take as much room as car parts.

Sigma 120-300 2.8 is a bargain compared to Canon L lens.

Nice shots btw. Love the airplane and insect shots.
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      12-28-2020, 11:02 AM   #14
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Depending on your budget, perhaps a used EF300/4LIS or Sigma 180-300/2.8 would be good options. I borrowed the Sigma to shoot a hockey tournament and was impressed.
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      12-30-2020, 01:53 PM   #15
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My local Samy's Camera had the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG Sports lens for rental, so I took it out for a spin. The Contemporary version of this lens wasnt up for grabs.

ISO100 600mm, f/10, 1/640s


ISO200 210mm, f/10, 1/80s


I havent had time to ID the differences between the Sport and Contemporary versions of this lens, but I agree this thing is big and heavy. The Canon 100-400 I rented last time could at least fit in my bag, but this Sigma lens has its own bag! As expected, I'm probably going to need a beefier tripod as this setup is prone to wobble, but I can work that out.

I'm also running into some whitebalance issues at 600mm, when subjects are really far away (40 miles). Not sure if its just me, the UV filter, or the lens.
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      12-30-2020, 06:28 PM   #16
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Nice images. Love the compression.

My Sigma 120-300 f2.8 is also a beast. Even on a beefy tripod, and using a lens foot, it's still a bit wobbly. Trying to get something like the moon to stay in the center of the lens for fine tuning manual focus can be a pain. I have a 3-axis tripod head that helps, but that's also quite beefy. So between the lens, the tripod, the tripod head, and the 5D MkIII with the battery grip, the whole kit weighs in at slightly less than a ton. (Ok, not quite that bad, but close.)
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      12-30-2020, 06:40 PM   #17
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Try to get a lens with a 2.8 aperture. It will allow you to do a lot more.
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      12-30-2020, 09:44 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capt_slow View Post
As expected, I'm probably going to need a beefier tripod as this setup is prone to wobble, but I can work that out.
Quote:
My Sigma 120-300 f2.8 is also a beast. Even on a beefy tripod, and using a lens foot, it's still a bit wobbly.
What tripods are you guys using? I find my Manfrotto 055XPROB4 I grabbed for $5 at a church rummage sale (yes, really, and no, I didn't talk them down from anywhere) with a super sturdy ball head I got in a bag of camera stuff from eBay (it's from amvona.com, which isn't a thing anymore) to be all sorts of stable when I've used a Sigma 150-600 Sports. No wobble, fine tuning was easy.
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      12-31-2020, 11:44 AM   #19
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What tripods are you guys using?
Here's mine:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...el_tripod.html
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      12-31-2020, 12:16 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longm1985 View Post
What tripods are you guys using?
Here's mine:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...el_tripod.html
That one is a bit on the flimsy side. I'd get something beefier if you can. There are deals to be found if you know where to look.
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      12-31-2020, 01:32 PM   #21
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What tripods are you guys using? I find my Manfrotto 055XPROB4 I grabbed for $5 at a church rummage sale (yes, really, and no, I didn't talk them down from anywhere) with a super sturdy ball head I got in a bag of camera stuff from eBay (it's from amvona.com, which isn't a thing anymore) to be all sorts of stable when I've used a Sigma 150-600 Sports. No wobble, fine tuning was easy.
I have a bunch of tripods, including some beefy ones. It's the ball head that was giving me fits the other day. But I didn't have the time to swap it out with my heavy duty head. The planets would have been out of sight by the time I did.
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      01-01-2021, 10:53 AM   #22
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I have a bunch of tripods, including some beefy ones. It's the ball head that was giving me fits the other day. But I didn't have the time to swap it out with my heavy duty head. The planets would have been out of sight by the time I did.
I've found that fluid heads are fantastic with long lenses. My ball head just happens to work, but that's more of an exception, not a rule.

I have the same ball head on a monopod too for shooting motorsports, which I usually do at Road America. That's a fantastic combination. Absolutely no help to your situation lol
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