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

Started Jun 29, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Re: Getting to the 500mm range without spending $10K+
In reply to plautoq, Jul 5, 2013

My solution: APS-C Canon with Canon 400mm f/5.6L (no IS) if I want autofocus (really fast!), add 1.4x TC II for situations where manual focus is fine (eg, shooting an eagle's nest with camera on tripod, pre-focusing using live view magnification). Cost: ~$1,500.00 if new. You might be able to save by buying refurbished or used.

If this is a one shot deal, it might be worthwhile just to buy one of the catadioptric mirror lenses for $100.00 to $200.00. eg the Samyang 500mm f/6.3 or 800mm f/8.  You might be able to get vintage lenses for even less. Sharpness is not as good as with a good refractor lens like the 400mm above, but if you are just shooting for 8" x 10", it can be great. Almost all catadioptric lenses are manual focus. Cat. lenses have donut bokeh - some people hate,some like the novelty.

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