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

Started Jun 29, 2013 | Discussions thread
mjkshots
Forum MemberPosts: 60
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Re: Getting to the 500mm range without spending $10K+ SAVE A BIT, GET ALOT!
In reply to garyknrd, Aug 27, 2013

Hi there, I just saw this and had to throw out some feedback from my experiences. I have had a couple images published in a magazine using a SIGMA 500MM F4.5 APO lens during one of the events I attended, so it is up to par with the media standards.....

I bought a 500mm f4.5 sigma apo lens (the older eos mount one) it was a smoking good deal, I bought insurance for it from square trade, thank God. I used this lens for about 3 months and it worked ok, at the time I also owned a canon 400mm f5.6 L lens and a 35-350mm L lens. So I was already spoiled so to say with the knowledge of how great the canon L series lenses work.

I shot with my newly purchased sigma 500mm apo lens for 1 day on location for a (surf) photo shoot, I failed to get any really crisp images that day, I tried all that I Knew I could change and adjust on my camera canon 1d mkII to get crisp shots but the auto focus was just not up to par compared to my usm canon lenses. I ended up shooting in manual focus with this lens and it produced crisper images, with a lot more work and frustration, but the range of the lens was ideal for what I needed to shoot and the price was well worth it.

After a couple months I shot a contest and other events and I also spent hours shooting small birds and a couple red tail hawks that I was stoked to see and have the power of this lens to fill the viewfinder. Around 80% of the time I was shooting on manual focus.

During the last month I owned this lens I took it on a hike up to the top of a summit, around 3-4 miles 1000' altitude gain to shoot the moonrise and the sunset from a wonderful vantage point. I had the lens in the lens trunk and carried it up in my backpack to keep it safe. I set up my tripod and threw on the lens. I went to tighten the tripod knob and was unable to do so. the knob had broken internally, the issue with the knob was there when I first got it but never froze like now. it was frozen so I COULD NOT TIGHTEN IT. I shot photos that night and got a couple good shots but was unable to shoot some long exposure images as the camera would slightly rotate and had play.

I got home and tried to fix the knob, I could not get the tripod ring off any way I tried. I ended up sending it in to squaretade and they took a couple weeks to work on it and failed to fix it, they ended up refunding my money. I paid just over $1000 for this lens and was a bit sad to not have it any more, I wanted to have it back even though it had issues. that was untill recently.

I recently bought a Canon ef 500mm f4.5 L lens with a broken tripod collar knob, I paid a bit more for this lens but it was at another bargain price. I was able to take the tripod collar off this lens and replace the knob with a new knob. I am able to shoot in auto focus 99% of the time and produce crisp images. I am no longer sad that my sigma lens is gone, I was happy to have had it and it did help me get a few bucks but I would highly recommend to any one looking to buy a long lens that they need to either save up a bit longer and buy a used canon 500mm f 4.5 L lens or a 600mm, or to purchase a brand new 400mm f5.6 L lens, I have yet to try out the newer sigma lenses but the apo lens was no where near as nice as my canon 500mm f4.5L lens. I am very happy that I was refunded money and saved up a bit longer to purchase my broken (now fixed) used canon 500mm f4.5 L lens. I paid just over $500 more for this canon lens than I did for that SIGMA 500MM F4.5 APO lens and I would save longer and WOULD BE WILLING TO pay more for a canon EF 500mm f4.5 L LENS

LENSES I RECOMMEND FOR CANON EOS MOUNT. (price, weight, size, and power all considered.)

CANON EF 400MM F5.6 L NEW AROUND $1200 (SHARP! AFFORDABLE! POWERFUL! LIGHT, GREAT TRAVEL LENS)

CANON EF 500MM F4.5 L (USED) AVERAGE GOING RATE $3400)SIGMA 500MM NEW AROUND 5 GRAND) BEST LENS I HAVE EVER USED! SHARP, SMOOTH, FAST, STRONG, AMAZING!

-mike

these images were resized but un altered to show the lens capability.

CANON 400MM F5.6L CANON 1DMKII BODY NATHAN HEDGE  PH-MIKE-KOTOWSKI

canon 500mm f4.5 L 1D MKII BODY PH-MIKE-KOTOWSKI

SIGMA 500MM F4.5 APO CANON 1D MKII BODY. BRANDON SMITH  PH-MIKE-KOTOWSKI

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