Thoughts on an FE 100-400mm F4.5–5.6 GM OSS with a Sony a7r IV

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Ewan Grantham
Ewan Grantham Regular Member • Posts: 191
Thoughts on an FE 100-400mm F4.5–5.6 GM OSS with a Sony a7r IV

Looking for a decent zoom lens for the a7r iv for a trip to Mesa Verde at the end of September. Because they have always had ranger led tours, the cliff dwellings themselves are closed, but the overlooks are open. Of course I am also hoping to get some decent shots of the Aspen in Fall Color around the same area.

Is this the right lens for that? Any issues I should be aware of with this combo?

Thanks in advance!

 Ewan Grantham's gear list:Ewan Grantham's gear list
Sony RX10 IV Sony a7R IV Sony FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 Sony FE 24-105mm F4 Samsung Galaxy S10+
Sony a7R
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darkmcs Forum Member • Posts: 54
Re: Thoughts on an FE 100-400mm F4.5–5.6 GM OSS with a Sony a7r IV
4

Take a look at the Sigma 100-400.

Really like mine, and it is much cheaper!

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Ewan Grantham
OP Ewan Grantham Regular Member • Posts: 191
Re: Thoughts on an FE 100-400mm F4.5–5.6 GM OSS with a Sony a7r IV

The Sigma is definately cheaper, but I understood it was an F5-6.3 vs the Sony F4.5 -5.6 - so almost a full stop below. Maybe that's less of an issue than I think it is?

 Ewan Grantham's gear list:Ewan Grantham's gear list
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JohnNEX Senior Member • Posts: 2,386
Re: Thoughts on an FE 100-400mm F4.5–5.6 GM OSS with a Sony a7r IV
5

Ewan Grantham wrote:

The Sigma is definately cheaper, but I understood it was an F5-6.3 vs the Sony F4.5 -5.6 - so almost a full stop below. Maybe that's less of an issue than I think it is?

Only 1/3 stop slower and irrelevant for what you are shooting.

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Sharpness scores and other stats for many FE lenses here: https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4442319
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GF Regular Member • Posts: 299
Re: Thoughts on an FE 100-400mm F4.5–5.6 GM OSS with a Sony a7r IV
2

Rented the Sony 100-400mm GM and used it for one week, I used in Zoo and Birds Park. The photo quality is awesome.

Tried the Sigma 100-400mm twice in the shops. The photo quality is average. Maybe all photos were taken indoor.

P.S. you may consider to rent one for your trip.

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AZheaven Senior Member • Posts: 1,683
Re: Thoughts on an FE 100-400mm F4.5–5.6 GM OSS with a Sony a7r IV

Ewan Grantham wrote:

Looking for a decent zoom lens for the a7r iv for a trip to Mesa Verde at the end of September. Because they have always had ranger led tours, the cliff dwellings themselves are closed, but the overlooks are open. Of course I am also hoping to get some decent shots of the Aspen in Fall Color around the same area.

Is this the right lens for that? Any issues I should be aware of with this combo?

Thanks in advance!

I rented a Sony 100-400 for a trip to FL. You could go that option. They will deliver it to the city you will be based in. That's what I've done. The Sony 100-400 is expensive, yes, but worth the money as it seems to be more versitle than the Sigma imho. I have yet to see on any forums photos of BIF's with the Sigma. Stills look pretty good.

And you have an RIV? Then you can simply go into crop mode for extra reach? You could rent a Tamron 70-180 or 28-200.

paul wassermann Senior Member • Posts: 1,860
Re: Thoughts on an FE 100-400mm F4.5–5.6 GM OSS with a Sony a7r IV
5

The Sony version is awesome! It renders beautifully; the quality of the images is outstanding.

The owls were shot in very low light, all images hand held.

 paul wassermann's gear list:paul wassermann's gear list
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Trollmannx Veteran Member • Posts: 7,464
Re: Thoughts on an FE 100-400mm F4.5–5.6 GM OSS with a Sony a7r IV
5

darkmcs wrote:

Take a look at the Sigma 100-400.

Really like mine, and it is much cheaper!

Much cheaper does not help if one want sharper and faster...

Love mine. It is not the Sigma. 

flbrit
flbrit Veteran Member • Posts: 4,712
Re: Thoughts on an FE 100-400mm F4.5–5.6 GM OSS with a Sony a7r IV
2

I have that combo and it is amazing.(used to own a Nikon D800E and 200-400 f4)

Also the TC 1.4 works wonderfully. Together with the crop mode, i use the lens function button to activate it, you will not need any longer lenses unless you inherit, win the lottery, or can employ  a schleper.

Brian

 flbrit's gear list:flbrit's gear list
Sony a7R IV Zeiss Loxia 21mm F2.8 Zeiss Loxia 35 Zeiss Loxia 50 Sony FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 +11 more
alma175w Forum Member • Posts: 95
Re: Thoughts on an FE 100-400mm F4.5–5.6 GM OSS with a Sony a7r IV

GM is expensive, yet so impressive. I haven’t shot as much on the rIV but the results are beautiful, yet lots of images on the rIII and it delivered incredible results.

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PWPhotography Forum Pro • Posts: 10,818
Re: Thoughts on an FE 100-400mm F4.5–5.6 GM OSS with a Sony a7r IV
2

I have already owned 100-400 GM well before the release of Sigma lens. But even from scratch, I likely will still get Sony lens - 1) So far I still trust and only bought OEM long lenses, Canon or Sony, never ever own any Sigma or Tamron long lenses; 2) in this case, Sony can use TCs while Sigma has no option, or even later Sigma released TC, may still inferior as we see in EF/F mounts; 3) 1/3-stop faster and would be 2/3 stop faster with 1.4x TC provided Sigma ever released 1.4x TC. Sure Sigma is cheaper and lighter that are not really an issue to me.

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AZheaven Senior Member • Posts: 1,683
Re: Thoughts on an FE 100-400mm F4.5–5.6 GM OSS with a Sony a7r IV
1

PWPhotography wrote:

I have already owned 100-400 GM well before the release of Sigma lens. But even from scratch, I likely will still get Sony lens - 1) So far I still trust and only bought OEM long lenses, Canon or Sony, never ever own any Sigma or Tamron long lenses; 2) in this case, Sony can use TCs while Sigma has no option, or even later Sigma released TC, may still inferior as we see in EF/F mounts; 3) 1/3-stop faster and would be 2/3 stop faster with 1.4x TC provided Sigma ever released 1.4x TC. Sure Sigma is cheaper and lighter that are not really an issue to me.

I have yet to see any shots with the new Sigma of BIF's. And I'm on Fred Miranda, and the Sony Alpha Wildlife Shooters Facebook page. A majority of photos are with the 100-400 or 200-600. Sure, the stills with the Sigma look great. But performance with BIF's is missing. And it's that f6.3 at the long end of the Sigma that I'm not crazy about.

dkeller Senior Member • Posts: 1,568
Re: Thoughts on an FE 100-400mm F4.5–5.6 GM OSS with a Sony a7r IV
1

Why would you want to buy an expensive, high resolution camera then compromise image quality by using a lens too short to do the job correctly?  I've shot Mesa Verde and you want all the range and quality you can get when shooting across that canyon.

Be sure to have a wider lens, I used my 24-105 effectively, when shooting from inside the ruins you can tour.  I do confess, I had to stich panos in some cases and could have good wider to good advantage.

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flbrit
flbrit Veteran Member • Posts: 4,712
Re: Thoughts on an FE 100-400mm F4.5–5.6 GM OSS with a Sony a7r IV
2

Yep

back in day I too aiming across the canyon, with a Nikon D300 (crop camera) with a nikon 200-400 f4 and TC got some great  shots.

These days I doubt the TC would be needed because of the hi rez crop of the A7RIV.

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Brian

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tonyz1 Contributing Member • Posts: 556
Re: Thoughts on an FE 100-400mm F4.5–5.6 GM OSS with a Sony a7r IV

AZheaven wrote:

PWPhotography wrote:

I have already owned 100-400 GM well before the release of Sigma lens. But even from scratch, I likely will still get Sony lens - 1) So far I still trust and only bought OEM long lenses, Canon or Sony, never ever own any Sigma or Tamron long lenses; 2) in this case, Sony can use TCs while Sigma has no option, or even later Sigma released TC, may still inferior as we see in EF/F mounts; 3) 1/3-stop faster and would be 2/3 stop faster with 1.4x TC provided Sigma ever released 1.4x TC. Sure Sigma is cheaper and lighter that are not really an issue to me.

I have yet to see any shots with the new Sigma of BIF's. And I'm on Fred Miranda, and the Sony Alpha Wildlife Shooters Facebook page. A majority of photos are with the 100-400 or 200-600. Sure, the stills with the Sigma look great. But performance with BIF's is missing. And it's that f6.3 at the long end of the Sigma that I'm not crazy about.

I've shot with the Sony 100-400mm, Sony 200-600mm, and the Sigma 100-400mm. You're not going to see much of a difference between the Sony and Sigma versions for bird in flight since the main constraint is lack of reach. The Sigma is more than capable of handling that job except maybe if you're shooting tiny and fast moving birds and that's purely a function of the Sony 100-400mm having a slightly better AF motor - you're probably better off investing in a tripod and being patient instead.

I also don't think the ability to use teleconverters is an advantage - I don't see much of a difference between f5.6 and f6.3 but f6.3 vs f8 is big. At that point, it just makes sense to get a Sony 200-600mm if you really want 600mm.

I use the Sigma for a compact walking around telephoto lens but if I ever find time to get back into bird in flight - I'd re-buy the 200-600mm as a tripod mounted setup.

Note that some of these images are cropped so resolution isn't apples to apples.

Sony A7R III + Sony 100-400mm + 1.4x TC

Sony A9 + Sigma 100-400mm

Sony A9 + Sigma 100-400mm

Sony A9 + 200-600mm

Sony A7R III + Sony 100-400mm

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Ewan Grantham
OP Ewan Grantham Regular Member • Posts: 191
Re: Thoughts on an FE 100-400mm F4.5–5.6 GM OSS with a Sony a7r IV
1

Unfortunately they aren't doing any ruin tours this year (COVID), and so I will be doing most of my shooting from the overlooks you are allowed to go to. I think 400 will be fine, but we'll see.

Thanks!

 Ewan Grantham's gear list:Ewan Grantham's gear list
Sony RX10 IV Sony a7R IV Sony FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 Sony FE 24-105mm F4 Samsung Galaxy S10+
dkeller Senior Member • Posts: 1,568
Re: Thoughts on an FE 100-400mm F4.5–5.6 GM OSS with a Sony a7r IV

On that camera it will be good.  I wouldn't want to do it with much less though.

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paul wassermann Senior Member • Posts: 1,860
Re: Thoughts on an FE 100-400mm F4.5–5.6 GM OSS with a Sony a7r IV

tonyz1 wrote:

AZheaven wrote:

PWPhotography wrote:

I have already owned 100-400 GM well before the release of Sigma lens. But even from scratch, I likely will still get Sony lens - 1) So far I still trust and only bought OEM long lenses, Canon or Sony, never ever own any Sigma or Tamron long lenses; 2) in this case, Sony can use TCs while Sigma has no option, or even later Sigma released TC, may still inferior as we see in EF/F mounts; 3) 1/3-stop faster and would be 2/3 stop faster with 1.4x TC provided Sigma ever released 1.4x TC. Sure Sigma is cheaper and lighter that are not really an issue to me.

I have yet to see any shots with the new Sigma of BIF's. And I'm on Fred Miranda, and the Sony Alpha Wildlife Shooters Facebook page. A majority of photos are with the 100-400 or 200-600. Sure, the stills with the Sigma look great. But performance with BIF's is missing. And it's that f6.3 at the long end of the Sigma that I'm not crazy about.

I've shot with the Sony 100-400mm, Sony 200-600mm, and the Sigma 100-400mm. You're not going to see much of a difference between the Sony and Sigma versions for bird in flight since the main constraint is lack of reach. The Sigma is more than capable of handling that job except maybe if you're shooting tiny and fast moving birds and that's purely a function of the Sony 100-400mm having a slightly better AF motor - you're probably better off investing in a tripod and being patient instead.

I also don't think the ability to use teleconverters is an advantage - I don't see much of a difference between f5.6 and f6.3 but f6.3 vs f8 is big. At that point, it just makes sense to get a Sony 200-600mm if you really want 600mm.

I use the Sigma for a compact walking around telephoto lens but if I ever find time to get back into bird in flight - I'd re-buy the 200-600mm as a tripod mounted setup.

Note that some of these images are cropped so resolution isn't apples to apples.

Sony A7R III + Sony 100-400mm + 1.4x TC

Sony A9 + Sigma 100-400mm

Sony A9 + Sigma 100-400mm

Sony A9 + 200-600mm

Sony A7R III + Sony 100-400mm

All excellent of course...but there is just something about the rendering and detail of the 100-400 as seen in the last photo that catches my eye and has been my experience of quality with that lens in my own personal use.

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LarryInVA Regular Member • Posts: 132
Re: Thoughts on an FE 100-400mm F4.5–5.6 GM OSS with a Sony a7r IV
2

Keep in mind that I am only an advanced amateur. In my opinion, you will be fine with the Sigma 100-400 DN. Unlike many third party lenses, it is designed for the Sony mirrorless cameras. I did a lot of research before buying mine and am happy I chose it over the Sony version. Take a look at the Dustin Abbot review on YouTube. Sharpness is not an issue with this lens!

Personally, one reason I initially went to mirrorless for my recent cameras is size and weight. Howwver, the Sony A7R4 is not a small camera, all things considered. Adding the Sony 100-400 will increase the load and potentially take some of the fun out of the trip for little or no gain. The Sigma is substantially lighter and easier to handle.

I avoid teleconverters when I consider the A7R4. You can program one of the buttons to switch between 61mp full frame to 26 mp apc frame which is the same as using a 1.5x teleconverter. That will turn either 100-400 lens into a 150-600mm without losing the stop or image degradation you would with a teleconverter. A 26mp image beats many of the other Sony cameras.

With the money you save buying the Sigma version you could pick up another lens to use with landscape views. I have the 24-105 which is highly rated by many in these forums. I love it.

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PWPhotography Forum Pro • Posts: 10,818
Re: Thoughts on an FE 100-400mm F4.5–5.6 GM OSS with a Sony a7r IV

LarryInVA wrote:

Keep in mind that I am only an advanced amateur. In my opinion, you will be fine with the Sigma 100-400 DN. Unlike many third party lenses, it is designed for the Sony mirrorless cameras. I did a lot of research before buying mine and am happy I chose it over the Sony version. Take a look at the Dustin Abbot review on YouTube. Sharpness is not an issue with this lens!

Personally, one reason I initially went to mirrorless for my recent cameras is size and weight. Howwver, the Sony A7R4 is not a small camera, all things considered. Adding the Sony 100-400 will increase the load and potentially take some of the fun out of the trip for little or no gain. The Sigma is substantially lighter and easier to handle.

I avoid teleconverters when I consider the A7R4. You can program one of the buttons to switch between 61mp full frame to 26 mp apc frame which is the same as using a 1.5x teleconverter. That will turn either 100-400 lens into a 150-600mm without losing the stop or image degradation you would with a teleconverter. A 26mp image beats many of the other Sony cameras.

Depends on what lenses. 1.4x TC still performs very well on 100-400 GM and 200-600 G. I'd avoid 2.0x TC unless Sony super-tele prime lenses.

With 1.4x TC, you get 580mm/F8.0 FL and still have full 61mp FF IQ on A7r IV. with APS-C crop mode, you get 600mm/F5.6 but only 26mp APS-C IQ (resolution/sharpness, DR, high ISO etc). FF has at least one-stop advantage over APS-C in DR and high ISO. I have all these lenses and 1.4x TC. 100-400 GM with 1.4x TC at least have the same if not better overall IQ than bare lens under APS-C mode if we compared at the same output size.

With the money you save buying the Sigma version you could pick up another lens to use with landscape views. I have the 24-105 which is highly rated by many in these forums. I love it.

 PWPhotography's gear list:PWPhotography's gear list
Canon EOS-1D Mark III Sony a7R IV Canon EF 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Sigma 150mm F2.8 EX DG OS Macro HSM +16 more
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