Which Lens should I use?

Started 6 months ago | Polls thread
BirdShooter7 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,024
Re: Which Lens should I use?

TheBlackGrouse wrote:

BirdShooter7 wrote:

TheBlackGrouse wrote:

BirdShooter7 wrote:

TheBlackGrouse wrote:

Doug Greenberg wrote:

I have both the Tamron 150-600 g2 and the Sigma Sports 150-600. The latter is just a tad sharper at wide-open aperture, which is why I can't bear to part with it. But it's heavy, so in the field I end up using the Tamron much, much more.

As a previous poster commented, ten years ago we would have thought we died and went to heaven had we had either of the two lenses you mentioned available. So either way you will be fine. I like some of the ergonomic features of the Tamron, including the push-pull zoom lock and the built-in Arca lens foot.

Not to pick an argument, but as good as Canon's 100-400mm zoom is (it seems to be the "standard" among birders-who-bring-a-camera-along), you aren't going to get the same quality from even the best 400mm as from a good 600mm image that can be cropped or enlarged less. The 100-400mm is smaller and just a tad faster (aperture) and lots and lots of people seem happy with it. but I really like to have at least 500mm focal length for birds in the field (as opposed to out my kitchen window).

If you are in the Nikon system and can scrape together the money, the 500mm f5.6PF is a dream lens, absolutely fantastic. It is light, incredibly sharp, and plays well with Nikon's teleconverters, especially on a mirrorless body. But it costs 3x what the Tamron and Sigma zooms cost, and it's fixed focal length. Having zoom capability is worth something.

Doug Greenberg

Not to pick an argument but the Sigma Contemporary and Tamron G1 are no match for the cropped (to 600 mm) Canon 100 - 400 II. That said, it's not a fair comparison since the Canon is twice as expensive. And I've met many Sigma/Tamron owners who were extremely happy with their lenses.

The Tamron G2 and Sigma Sports are very good. The cropped Canon 100 - 400 II has more or less the same sharpness when using the 7DII. Probably the Sigma Sports is the winner. Believe me, I didn't want to buy the 100 - 400 II because it's extremely popular, too popular, but there is no better option unless you are willing to pay at least 6000 Euros for the big white primes and want to lug around all that extra weight.

I don’t want to pick a fight either but do you happen to have any side by shots that demonstrate this? I have tested the Sigma C and S side by side and they were so close it Was very difficult to pick a winner. I wish I still had the test shots handy to show. I even asked the Sigma folks about it at the Crane festival at Bosque del Apache and they said that my experience was expected. They said the main difference optically would be seen in the corners and at the edge of the frame and the big reason to go for the S vs the C was for more robust build quality and weather sealing. As good as the 100-400 II is, I’ve never been able to get the same quality of results from it that I can with the 150-600 C for FL limited subjects. Now, if you’re close enough that you don’t really need to crop at 400mm then yes, the 100-400 does look better to my eyes but when you’re so far that you need to crop at 400mm then almost always the 150-600 is the winner. The exception is when the subject is so far away that neither look good. That’s my experience at least


The Sigma Sports is hard to find in nature, there are former owners who sold it because of the weight

That’s my experience here too, I don’t see a lot of 150-600 S’s floating around.

The Contemporary is used by many, we did tests in nature, side by side comparisons in the first few years after its introduction. Not the best tests but they give a good impression. In those first years there were many discussions about the lens, 150-600 was quite special.

I was able to get good results from mine but on my 7d mk2 it really needed AFMA to get the most from it. With mirrorless, getting good results is much easier.

Although I fully believe you I wonder if there are sample issues. Did earlier versions have more copy variation? Maybe the camera brand plays a role? Was it more visible with the 7D than with the 7DII?

It’s definitely possible that there could be sample variations at play. At this price point I’d be surprised if they weren’t pretty significant. I can definitely say that getting better results was easier with the 7d mk2 and 90d than with the OG 7d. The more advanced live view made AFMA way easier.

Just out of interest I started searching the internet about the IQ of the 150 -600 lenses vs the 100 -400 II (cropped to 600). Again, not to pick an argument but I just want to know

The Digital Picture only shows examples of a 100 -400 II with a 1.4 tele converter and then, looking at the Sigma Contemporary, the Canon wins. However, that's not a fair comparison since the price of the Canon combination is about 2.5 times higher. And with the converter everything is different. For me, Sigma and Tamron did a great job by introducing these 150 -600 lenses, it changed the field of the tele zooms. It showed that is was possible to produce good lenses at a price level we did not expect.

To be fair, I think we should look at the Sigma Sports versus the cropped 100 - 400 II. Same price, same class (weather sealing), same age etc. But it's hard to find images.

Yes, I wouldn’t be surprised if the 100-400 plus the 1.4x could be better than the 150-600 C wide open, however to be fair the 100-400 w/TC is f/8 so the Sigma should also be at f/8 and at that setting based on my own experience, the sigma is at least as good.  The 100-400 w/TC claim, however, isn’t the one that I find dubious though.  The claim that I don’t buy is that simply cropping the 100-400 mk2 image at 400mm produces a superior result to the Sigma 150-600 C at 600mm.  When that claim started floating around the internet I did my own comparisons and found that the Sigma lens actually has a pretty obvious advantage.

That’s also true what you say about price and the difference is even bigger when you bring the 1.4. TC into the picture.  Last I checked, those were selling for around $400 which is about half the cost of the Sigma lens.  Not only that, using the TC is a lot less convenient than just having the longer zoom.  I think that’s exactly the reason Canon made the 100-500 L the way the did.  It’s basically like having the TC built in but without the disadvantages of image quality loss at shorter FL’s.

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

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