Which 100-400 for outdoor sports?

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
BirdShooter7 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,856
Re: Which 100-400 for outdoor sports?

Budget was a factor for me as well.  I started out with the 100-400 mk2 and it is without a doubt the best of the 100-400’s.

I tried a couple of used 100-400 mk1’s but to really find one in my price range what I got was a pretty beat up copy which when I tested it appeared to be a bit de-centered so I returned it.  I later tried another one with similar issues (again a pretty tired copy).  I know there are some excellent examples of this lens around but I don’t really enjoy buying and returning...

I saw a sale for the Sigma 100-400c for $650 with the USB dock included so I gave it a try.  I like that it is light weight and so far it has been around and gotten banged around a lot and is still going strong.

When I first started using the Sigma the AF did seem a little slow but I did go in with the dock and change it to AF speed priority (or whatever they call it) and also spent some time doing AFMA at the four distances for four FL’s which was a bit tedious and required some trial and error since Sigma pretty much gives no instructions on how to use it.  After all that and a couple of firmware updates I find the AF to be quite good (quick and accurate) at least for bird photography, both perched and flying.  I haven’t used it for sports so not sure how it will do there but my guess is that it will be good.

I did also try the Tamron and it seemed to be a solid lens as well but I did like that the Sigma zoomed in the same direction as my other Canon lenses and at the time the Sigma was less expensive so I stayed with the Sigma.

if you really want to work off a monopod the Sigma might not be a good option due to the lack of collar.  I had to rig a long Arca Swiss plate to do all my calibrations but it doesn’t seem like that would work well for faster paced sports action.

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Some of my bird photos can be viewed here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/gregsbirds/

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