Good lens choices for shooting at 300mm to 400mm

Started Jun 15, 2012 | Discussions
doctorxring
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Good lens choices for shooting at 300mm to 400mm
Jun 15, 2012

.

I've been thinking about getting 70400G lens for my SLT. And I'm sure I
will someday.

But I feel my primary reason for wanting it is the sharpness it delivers
at 300 and 400mm. What I would like to know is if there are other (cheaper)
lens choices out there that will deliver that sharpness at these focal
lengths, but maybe are not as fast or have as wide a focal length
range. Or maybe prime lenses ? I had a 500mm F8 Reflex for a while,
but just couldn't stand the donut bokeh. Primary use would be birding
or other wildlife.

thanks for any ideas on this, Chris

.

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joel avery
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Re: 70400g
In reply to doctorxring, Jun 15, 2012

Chris...

I was in your shoes and tried several possible alternatives. When I found a decent deal on a used 70400g I finally understood what all of the hoopla was about and how the other lenses (even the 70300g) weren't in the same class. I like the 500 reflex but it's nowhere near as versatile and I still have a Sigma APO prime 400mm .... none of those three lenses could a candle to the iq of the 70400g.

When I got my a850 the lens went to a whole new level. With better high iSo performance the slow aperture issues were overcome. I've even used the lens for portraits and beauty photography.

There might be some alternatives but I pretty sure if you decided to save and wait till you can get the silver beast you won't be disappointed. (but, then again, I like the donut bokeh in the 500mm so who knows). ;->

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brian14478
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Re: Good lens choices for shooting at 300mm to 400mm
In reply to doctorxring, Jun 15, 2012

the minolta 100-400apo might interest you?at dyxxum reviews a couple users shooting 24mp ff are using it and g zooms..good luck and happy birding,brian

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HobbiesAreFun
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Re: Good lens choices for shooting at 300mm to 400mm
In reply to doctorxring, Jun 15, 2012

Sigma 50-500mm f/5-6.3 HSM or Tamron 200-500mm f/5-6.3.

Try those if you can get used copies at decent prices.

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doctorxring
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Re: Good lens choices for shooting at 300mm to 400mm
In reply to HobbiesAreFun, Jun 15, 2012

.

Thanks for the feedback guys. Especially you Joel. I just need to stick
to my original plan and keep scrounging for that 70400G.

Chris
.

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Yemble
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Re: Good lens choices for shooting at 300mm to 400mm
In reply to brian14478, Jun 16, 2012

brian14478 wrote:

the minolta 100-400apo might interest you?at dyxxum reviews a couple users shooting 24mp ff are using it and g zooms..good luck and happy birding,brian

There is no doubt that the APO is a great, light and compact lens for its range, however, it is rather slow, hunts a lot and is probably not best suited for birding. It does work well with aeroplanes.

Unlike the 70-400mm G, the 100-400mm APO is most definitely portable!

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busch
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Re: Good lens choices for shooting at 300mm to 400mm
In reply to doctorxring, Jun 16, 2012

Go for the Sony 70-400, you won't be sorry!
Warning, do not try one if you aren't going to buy one; you'll be hooked.

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El Profe
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Re: Good lens choices for shooting at 300mm to 400mm
In reply to doctorxring, Jun 16, 2012

The 200-500mm Tamron. It is affordable and really good in the 300 to 400mm range.

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maxeythecat
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Re: Good lens choices for shooting at 300mm to 400mm
In reply to HobbiesAreFun, Jun 16, 2012

Anotjher suggestion for you, especially if you're on a budget: The Tamron 200 400 f/5.6. Built like a tank with plenty of reach, it's alot of bang for the buck and it's a very capable birding lens. It's a bit on the heavy side but that doesn't deter you from getting some excellent razor sharp critter shots without getting too close to scare them off:

Though not quite as good as the G lenses or the Tamron lens that replaced it, it's still some pretty damned good glass that can be had for around $200.

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HobbiesAreFun
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Re: Good lens choices for shooting at 300mm to 400mm
In reply to maxeythecat, Jun 16, 2012

As you said, good for the price... I own the lens as well. If you can spend the extra $300-400 to get the used 200-500 instead of the 200-400, it's definitely worth it. The 200-400 gives you the reach but comes with a fair amount of CA and it isn't that sharp at 400mm. (At 200mm it's very sharp, though).
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maxeythecat
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Re: Good lens choices for shooting at 300mm to 400mm
In reply to HobbiesAreFun, Jun 17, 2012

Yeah, those are the only downsides to this bad boy but it can and does take some really beautiful shots and let's face it it's unbelievably cheap when compared to the Gs and the newer Tammies. I'll eventually get me one of them gorgeous f2.8s but until I can save up the $ or win the lottery I'll stick with my built-like-a-brick youknowwhat-house for now.....it's a real shoulderbuster though but you get used to it.

'

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maxeythecat
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Re: Good lens choices for shooting at 300mm to 400mm
In reply to HobbiesAreFun, Jun 17, 2012

Oops...double post ...

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doctorxring
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Just picked up a mint 70400G for $1500
In reply to maxeythecat, Jun 17, 2012

.

Great shots MaxeyTheCat !

I really like the one with the two gulls in flight.

Well, all I have to say is "Cha Ching !"

I just bought this lens off of Ebay, still in warranty -- I guess
that's what credit cards are for -----

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=180908514036&ssPageName=ADME:X:RTQ:US:1123#ht_500wt_1182

.

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doctorxring
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Re: Just picked up a mint 70400G for $1500
In reply to doctorxring, Jun 17, 2012

.

The site won't take the link I was going to post.

Anyway, I got the 70400G. Can't wait !!!

Happy Father's Day to me. Hahaha

Chris

.

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maxeythecat
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Re: Just picked up a mint 70400G for $1500
In reply to doctorxring, Jun 17, 2012

And that was taken on an overcast day too. I usually don/'t have very much luck with cloudy days, but...guess the photo gods were smiling on me that afternoon. That one shot of the two gulls, that was a real spur of the moment one..one gull was landing at the exact same time the other was taking off right above me...needless to say I'm rather fond of that one.

doctorxring wrote:

.

Great shots MaxeyTheCat !

I really like the one with the two gulls in flight.

Well, all I have to say is "Cha Ching !"

I just bought this lens off of Ebay, still in warranty -- I guess
that's what credit cards are for -----

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=180908514036&ssPageName=ADME:X:RTQ:US:1123#ht_500wt_1182

.

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skeudenn
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Re: Good lens choices for shooting at 300mm to 400mm
In reply to El Profe, Jun 17, 2012

I agree about the 200-500 ( Used it on the a77 as well as a 70-400 )
and it doesn't go past f5.6 before 420mm!
I just hope tamron will develop a pzd or usd ( hsm ) version of it

Also, it is only 1.2 kg

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joel avery
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Re: Just picked up a mint 70400G for $1500
In reply to doctorxring, Jun 18, 2012

Congratulations on the good deal!

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