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

Started Jun 29, 2013 | Discussions thread
wazu Senior Member • Posts: 1,407
Re: Getting to the 500mm range without spending $10K+

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.


300/2.8 + 1.4x TC III is what I use. Tried the 2x TC II and III but felt the focus lag made it too,difficult. I'm using a relatively cheap 300/2.8 non IS. So total cost of that and them 1.4tc mkIII was approx $3400.

I've seen used 400mm/2.8 lenses for about the same as what I paid for the 300 but then I figured I could not handle  a beast like that without a tripod or monopod.

I have been seriously thinking about the 400DO since I own the 70-300DO and am pleased with the performance. Trouble is they are just too expensive new, and rare to find used. Especiallly ones that were not used professionaly.

Also tried a 300/2.8 sigma (new) in a store and would have gone with that since it was only slightly more than the used Canon 300/2.8. I've read so much about the focus speed and sharpness of Canons 300/2.8 that I got influenced to stick with Canon. In fact out of all the 12 lenses and two converters I own only one is not Canon.

I think your best bet is to try them out in a shop before the shops dissapear into Ebay and Amazon online outlets altogether. The size and weight coupled with the specific TC affects how well you can aim and focus. I much prefer taking my 70-200 w TC since I really don't need a mono/tripod after even several hours. The 300/2.8 lenses wear down your arms and sline quickly.

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