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500mm or better fixed focal length lenses


gconant 3 1 United States
26 Apr 2013 2:29PM
I'm looking to buy a 500mm fixed focal length lens for my Canon, and don't want to spend what Canon wnats to get one of theirs.
We have a lots of osprey here on Lake Champlain, and lots of ops to take shots of them taking fish out of the lake. (My 70 - 300mm doesn't quite cut it.)
Any lenses in this category that you guys are familiar with and would recommend?

Glenn

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mikehit e2
5 7.1k 11 United Kingdom
26 Apr 2013 3:58PM
The Sigma 150-500 gets good reviews, but you will see from the specifcation that what you are paying for is the wide aperture at the maximum length. However, when I was researching this lens a couple of years ago, I stumbled into a few birdwatching forums and the majority opinion (by no means unanimous) seemd to be that the better option was to get the Canon 400mm f5.6 and crop the image.
example: http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1062898

I guess it depends on if you want the flexibility of a zoom, or if the ospreys are your main intention i nwhich case you will not use the lower ends of the Sigma. The Canons hold their price better so if you can get one second hand you can recoup your money if it is not what you want.

About how far are you from them? Do you have chance to get out on a boat to get closer, though this will probably require a fair bit of field craft to get the best position?
gary_d 7 575 13 Wales
26 Apr 2013 4:09PM
I had the Sigma 150 - 500 and got good results with it but recently I changed it for a Canon 400mm F5.6 L and don't regret it, it is a beautiful lens.

With the Sigma you really need to stop down to F8 for best results and shoot at about 450mm to 470mm otherwise results can be soft, however with the canon I can shoot wide open at F5.6 and the images are impressive.

You lose 50mm to 70mm but can easily make that up by cropping bearing in mind the better image quality the Canon L glass affords.

The Canon does not have image stabilization but I find I am not missing it.

There is only one to chose in my eyes but there is a price consideration as the Canon is around 400 more but worth every penny.
arhb e2
7 2.5k 68 United Kingdom
26 Apr 2013 4:19PM
Is the Sigma 500mm F4.5 more affordable?
26 Apr 2013 4:42PM
Im not a canon guy but I dont think the Canon 400mm F5.6 L can be beat for the money, only thing is you may have to bump the iso up to keep a good shutter speed, in the uk the light sucks 99% of the year. So for me that would be ISO 800 most days and for low light early morning late evening, well I'd forget it.
26 Apr 2013 4:49PM
The sigma 500mm f4.5 is a cracking lens. Remember when at long focal lengths a good tripod and long lens support for slow panning / static shots really is a must to get really sharp images, so factor that into the cost.
mikehit e2
5 7.1k 11 United Kingdom
26 Apr 2013 4:51PM
at 4 grand it should be! Grin
justin c 11 4.6k 36 England
26 Apr 2013 5:06PM

Quote:So for me that would be ISO 800 most days and for low light early morning late evening, well I'd forget it.


Why? With modern cameras capable of producing excellent results at higher ISO's, shooting in low light levels has never been easier.
Depending on what camera body is being used, you can get some perfectly acceptable results at very high iso's and very low shutter speeds.
arhb e2
7 2.5k 68 United Kingdom
26 Apr 2013 5:08PM

Quote:At 4 grand it should be! Grin


Compared to Canon's latest 500mm F4L IS offering Mike, it's pretty reasonable,
and the OP mentions Canon's offering as being too much, so I think it's worth considering.

It might help if the OP mentioned a budget?
gary_d 7 575 13 Wales
26 Apr 2013 6:12PM

Quote:Im not a canon guy but I dont think the Canon 400mm F5.6 L can be beat for the money, only thing is you may have to bump the iso up to keep a good shutter speed, in the uk the light sucks 99% of the year. So for me that would be ISO 800 most days and for low light early morning late evening, well I'd forget it.



I am not finding this to much of a problem, but there again I am shooting with a 5D3 which deals with high iso's very well so I can get pretty high shutter speeds most of the time.
NeilS e2
7 936 United Kingdom
26 Apr 2013 6:22PM
If you can afford it a second hand sigma 800mm prime or better still 300-800mm zoom may be better options if you are focally challenged, no hand holding and good support are required though

Both should be cheaper than the Canon 500mm

Why the heck canon don't produce a 500mm f5.6 I don't know sigma simply nick their sales in the cheaper end
28 Apr 2013 7:51PM
Hi I do have a Canon 500mm F4 IS but I have 1.4x extender on most of the time as the subject is pretty distance from me. Also take care of the weight if you willing to walk miles around with heavy lenses then go for Canon or Sigma 600mm or 800mm otherwise best to stick with something lighter.

R

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