Getting to the 500mm range without spending $10K+

Started Jun 29, 2013 | Discussions thread
Howard S
Senior MemberPosts: 1,834
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Re: Getting to the 500mm range without spending $10K+
In reply to plautoq, Jul 1, 2013

plautoq wrote:

What are your thoughts on getting to the 500mm range ? Canon IS 100-400, Sigma OS 150-500mm, Canon IS 300mm with 1.4 extender (close enough), Canon non-IS 400 with 1.4 extender or other alternatives ? What is your experience so far if you own any (or all) of those lenses ? I saw a lot of comments, but it seems like there is no clear winner. Of course, north of 10K is a no brainer with all available options. Maybe you can share your experiences with cropping as well to reach the same equivalent magnification.

Cheers.

First I think the difference in focal length between 400mm and 500mm isn't why a lot/most buy a big white. Especially when you look at the vast price difference. I think that especially for birders it's the ability to have 700/5.6 or 840/5.6 which is the driver. I just checked and of the images I can easily access (some will be duplicates) 39% were at 500mm, 47% were at 700mm and 14% at 1000mm. The last % surprised me.

I sold my 500/4 mk1 and my longest lenses are now the 400/5.6 and 300/4 IS +1.4x. Of course with extenders I can go longer but unless I'm desperate and on a tripod or having fun I tend not to. I tried a second copy of the 100-400 but it wasn't quite sharp enough and focus not quite fast enough. I could have gone for a Sigma zoom but doubt they would better the 100-400.

So I guess what I'm saying is that unless you want to splash out on a Canon big white, I'd go with either the 400/5.6 and/or 300/4 IS + 1.4x. If BIF is your goal I'd say make it the 400/5.6.

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