Which Lens should I use?

Started 6 months ago | Polls
BirdShooter7 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,011
Re: Which Lens should I use?

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

Interesting!

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.

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TheBlackGrouse
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BirdShooter7 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,011
Re: Which Lens should I use?

JasonTheBirder wrote:

TheBlackGrouse wrote:

BirdShooter7 wrote:

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

Interesting!

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

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.

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?

https://photographylife.com/reviews/sigma-150-600mm-f5-6-3-dg-os-hsm-contemporary/4

Nasim Mansurov at photography life did an Imatest comparison of these two. The sport in the center @ 600 was 2711lp/mm at f/8 whereas the contemporary at the same aperture and in the center was 1670. Similar differences held wide open.....if that test is close to typical, I can't believe the differences would not be obvious on birds at medium distances.

I don’t deny the results of that website but I have found that there are often other factors at play in perceived sharpness than how many LP/mm a lens can resolve.  For example, the original EF 400mm f/4 DO IS has been measured to have very good resolution but most of the time the images I got from it looked fairly soft without post processing.

The problem with a lot of people testing long lenses is that they compare very close-up samples only by eye where the difference is not as obvious,

When I test a lens for sharpness I do it in the sort of conditions I actually expect to be using the lens in.  Usually I test at 30-40’ on bird feathers.  I’m sure that I won’t get the final word on absolute sharpness but I definitely can get a good idea of what I can expect in actual use which is all that really matters to me.  I do agree, however, that shooting a head shot of a domestic duck in the park at near minimum focus distance pretty much makes every lens look great.  However, I have also found that testing lenses at a target 300 yards away pretty much makes every lens look awful.

or they don't have sufficient samples,

That pretty much the case with all lens testing.  Even when lensrentals tests 10 or 20 copies there is a very limited data set but I do think you can get some general idea about what to expect.  Thankfully most of us aren’t using our lenses to make precise scientific measurements so all we really need to determine is if the lens we have produces results that are good enough to please us or not

or a host of other factors. For example, if you have a bird at 4m and everything is perfect about the shot, most decent lenses will look quite sharp due to the individual feather strands being large enough. But go to 8m and even with perfect technique, the lower-resolving lenses will start to show their weaknesses, whereas you would be able to crop more and still retain a smooth, sharp look with a higher-end lens. And then of course there is sample variation, etc.

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JasonTheBirder
JasonTheBirder Senior Member • Posts: 2,088
Re: Which Lens should I use?

BirdShooter7 wrote:

JasonTheBirder wrote:

TheBlackGrouse wrote:

BirdShooter7 wrote:

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

Interesting!

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

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.

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?

https://photographylife.com/reviews/sigma-150-600mm-f5-6-3-dg-os-hsm-contemporary/4

Nasim Mansurov at photography life did an Imatest comparison of these two. The sport in the center @ 600 was 2711lp/mm at f/8 whereas the contemporary at the same aperture and in the center was 1670. Similar differences held wide open.....if that test is close to typical, I can't believe the differences would not be obvious on birds at medium distances.

I don’t deny the results of that website but I have found that there are often other factors at play in perceived sharpness than how many LP/mm a lens can resolve. For example, the original EF 400mm f/4 DO IS has been measured to have very good resolution but most of the time the images I got from it looked fairly soft without post processing.

I can definitely agree with that. There is also contrast, flaring, etc. For example, if there are bright spots on the bird (such as from harsher light sources), lenses which don't do well with such light sources will also show odd effects on the areas that are just slightly out of focus...which sometimes also leads to an image that looks less sharp than it should. There is also the weird effect of noise, which can make an image actually appear sharper than it really is but actually has less detail.

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TheBlackGrouse Veteran Member • Posts: 3,586
Re: Which Lens should I use?

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

Interesting!

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.

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TheBlackGrouse
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Active Outdoor Photographer

BirdShooter7 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,011
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

Interesting!

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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1Dx4me
1Dx4me Forum Pro • Posts: 12,018
Re: Which Lens should I use?

Red Barchetta wrote:

One thing is for sure ... most people find themselves wanting to upgrade to better lenses after they buy a mediocre one so I suggest that if you're going to spend hundreds or over a 1k for a lens to spend a few hundred more and get something that will perform well and keep you satisfied for longer.

I have a Tamron SP 150-600 mm f/5-6.3 DI VC USD and it takes some good pictures but it could be better. If I had it to do again I would've spent more on the G2 model. Also, you do not have to use a tripod or monopod with a 600mm lens, I do it handheld all the time, 98% of the time. Many others do as well. You just have to be good at holding it steady. Research your choices well and get one that suits your needs.

i had reached that conclusion many years ago, so i never settled for 3rd party jellybean lenses. i either got a nice canon "L" lens or saved money till i could afford it. when you settle for a cheap lens, then you want more, so you save money till you can afford that expensive lens, so why do it twice? why not do it once? the moral of the story is: buy a nice and decent lens in the beginning because other wise it'll cost a lot more if you settle for cheap and then move to nicer lens

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JasonTheBirder
JasonTheBirder Senior Member • Posts: 2,088
Re: Which Lens should I use?

BirdShooter7 wrote:

TheBlackGrouse wrote:

BirdShooter7 wrote:

[...]

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.

With all this talk of lenses and reach, I really think there is a market for someone to come out with a lens like a 500 f/6.3 that is as sharp as the big exotics when stopped down to f/7.1 and somewhere in between the cost of a 150-600 superzoom and the 500pf. The budget superzooms in my opinion have too many compromises and a lens like the 500pf is too costly for others.

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BirdShooter7 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,011
Re: Which Lens should I use?
1

JasonTheBirder wrote:

BirdShooter7 wrote:

TheBlackGrouse wrote:

BirdShooter7 wrote:

[...]

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.

With all this talk of lenses and reach, I really think there is a market for someone to come out with a lens like a 500 f/6.3 that is as sharp as the big exotics when stopped down to f/7.1 and somewhere in between the cost of a 150-600 superzoom and the 500pf. The budget superzooms in my opinion have too many compromises and a lens like the 500pf is too costly for others.

Personally I’d rather just pay the extra and get the f/5.6 but maybe I’m in the minority.

The funny thing about the budget superzoom (Sigma 150-600 C) is that I’ve submitted photos from mine to various publications and displayed prints from them to people who are very serious about photography and they couldn’t pick the images from the Sigma from the ones from my EF 500 and 600mm f/4’s.  Maybe they aren’t all that compromised after all.

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JasonTheBirder
JasonTheBirder Senior Member • Posts: 2,088
Re: Which Lens should I use?

BirdShooter7 wrote:

JasonTheBirder wrote:

With all this talk of lenses and reach, I really think there is a market for someone to come out with a lens like a 500 f/6.3 that is as sharp as the big exotics when stopped down to f/7.1 and somewhere in between the cost of a 150-600 superzoom and the 500pf. The budget superzooms in my opinion have too many compromises and a lens like the 500pf is too costly for others.

Personally I’d rather just pay the extra and get the f/5.6 but maybe I’m in the minority.

The funny thing about the budget superzoom (Sigma 150-600 C) is that I’ve submitted photos from mine to various publications and displayed prints from them to people who are very serious about photography and they couldn’t pick the images from the Sigma from the ones from my EF 500 and 600mm f/4’s. Maybe they aren’t all that compromised after all.

Compromises doesn't mean all images are worse. Of course there are scenarios where lenses even cheaper than the 150-600's can be top-notch. I've taken shots with my Tamron 150-600 G2 under perfect conditions, which even at 100% are virtually as good as shots I have taken with the 500PF. And I pixel peep like crazy. In fact, I just printed stunning 12x16 shot from the Tamron. It's just that the 500PF performs better more often, and in other scenarios there are shots I've taken with the Tamron that I wasn't entirely happy with that I know the 500pf would have done a better job with.

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TheBlackGrouse Veteran Member • Posts: 3,586
Re: Which Lens should I use?

BirdShooter7 wrote:

JasonTheBirder wrote:

BirdShooter7 wrote:

TheBlackGrouse wrote:

BirdShooter7 wrote:

[...]

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.

With all this talk of lenses and reach, I really think there is a market for someone to come out with a lens like a 500 f/6.3 that is as sharp as the big exotics when stopped down to f/7.1 and somewhere in between the cost of a 150-600 superzoom and the 500pf. The budget superzooms in my opinion have too many compromises and a lens like the 500pf is too costly for others.

Personally I’d rather just pay the extra and get the f/5.6 but maybe I’m in the minority.

The funny thing about the budget superzoom (Sigma 150-600 C) is that I’ve submitted photos from mine to various publications and displayed prints from them to people who are very serious about photography and they couldn’t pick the images from the Sigma from the ones from my EF 500 and 600mm f/4’s. Maybe they aren’t all that compromised after all.

Greg, looking at your websites, you are not the average birdshooter. Probably you get great results with a cheap superzoom too

Experienced birders/photographers know their gear and adapt intuitively because they already 'see' the end result (including the post processing possibilities) when pushing the shutter.

These comparisons are difficult but it's just fun to find out.

And I really like the way you add the landscape, the bird habitat to the image.

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TheBlackGrouse
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Active Outdoor Photographer

BirdShooter7 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,011
Re: Which Lens should I use?

JasonTheBirder wrote:

BirdShooter7 wrote:

JasonTheBirder wrote:

With all this talk of lenses and reach, I really think there is a market for someone to come out with a lens like a 500 f/6.3 that is as sharp as the big exotics when stopped down to f/7.1 and somewhere in between the cost of a 150-600 superzoom and the 500pf. The budget superzooms in my opinion have too many compromises and a lens like the 500pf is too costly for others.

Personally I’d rather just pay the extra and get the f/5.6 but maybe I’m in the minority.

The funny thing about the budget superzoom (Sigma 150-600 C) is that I’ve submitted photos from mine to various publications and displayed prints from them to people who are very serious about photography and they couldn’t pick the images from the Sigma from the ones from my EF 500 and 600mm f/4’s. Maybe they aren’t all that compromised after all.

Compromises doesn't mean all images are worse. Of course there are scenarios where lenses even cheaper than the 150-600's can be top-notch. I've taken shots with my Tamron 150-600 G2 under perfect conditions, which even at 100% are virtually as good as shots I have taken with the 500PF. And I pixel peep like crazy. In fact, I just printed stunning 12x16 shot from the Tamron. It's just that the 500PF performs better more often, and in other scenarios there are shots I've taken with the Tamron that I wasn't entirely happy with that I know the 500pf would have done a better job with.

The thing is that it’s not only under “perfect” conditions. The Sigma actually is quite a good lens.

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

JasonTheBirder
JasonTheBirder Senior Member • Posts: 2,088
Re: Which Lens should I use?

BirdShooter7 wrote:

JasonTheBirder wrote:

BirdShooter7 wrote:

JasonTheBirder wrote:

With all this talk of lenses and reach, I really think there is a market for someone to come out with a lens like a 500 f/6.3 that is as sharp as the big exotics when stopped down to f/7.1 and somewhere in between the cost of a 150-600 superzoom and the 500pf. The budget superzooms in my opinion have too many compromises and a lens like the 500pf is too costly for others.

Personally I’d rather just pay the extra and get the f/5.6 but maybe I’m in the minority.

The funny thing about the budget superzoom (Sigma 150-600 C) is that I’ve submitted photos from mine to various publications and displayed prints from them to people who are very serious about photography and they couldn’t pick the images from the Sigma from the ones from my EF 500 and 600mm f/4’s. Maybe they aren’t all that compromised after all.

Compromises doesn't mean all images are worse. Of course there are scenarios where lenses even cheaper than the 150-600's can be top-notch. I've taken shots with my Tamron 150-600 G2 under perfect conditions, which even at 100% are virtually as good as shots I have taken with the 500PF. And I pixel peep like crazy. In fact, I just printed stunning 12x16 shot from the Tamron. It's just that the 500PF performs better more often, and in other scenarios there are shots I've taken with the Tamron that I wasn't entirely happy with that I know the 500pf would have done a better job with.

The thing is that it’s not only under “perfect” conditions. The Sigma actually is quite a good lens.

Yep, I realize that.... Never said it was only under perfect conditions. Just gave an example.

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My personal website: https://jpolak.org/

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