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I've a mind to try out a Sigma 120-300mm OS, Canon 300mm f2.8 as well as probably having a look at a 400mm f5.6; however outside of Wearhouse Express I don't know any shops that would have all those to hand or would be willing to order them in for a comparison.
I'm not heading out just yet to compare (won't do so for a few months till I have the money saved up enough to at least afford the Sigma) but I'd be keen to know any good references for shops within easy reach via train of the East of the Lake District. I'm sure there must be one in Carlisle or somewhere which would be able to do this (would Jessops be able to order them in? I know many smaller shops won't unless you are purchasing, but being a chain surely they can shift stock around a little more freely?)
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The days of shops bending over backwards are over, thanks to everyone using the internet they cant afford to move stock around and order things in to test , and to be honest I would struggle to get that level of service in the cities of the north east so I think you would have no hope with carlisle. They do have a camera shop in their shopping centre i noticed it on a visit there at xmas but it wasnt huge. Your only bet is to remember the distance selling regulations which mean you can return an item bought online in 7 days is it ? if youre not happy ....
True, I totally realise that shifting and ordering in this very expensive stock is very limiting; sadly I wanted a chance to seeing the lenses performing side by side and to feel their weight differences and ergonomics (something I really can't pick up from online reviews).
Last ditch I can travel down to Wearhouse Express since they tend to have stock to display for this - and that would be cheaper than renting the options (though it will still cost)
i don't know about shops in those areas but i do recommend the sigma 120-300mm f2.8.
I tried the canon 300mm f2.8 and the sigma 120-300mm and both were excellent could not tell the difference between them and that was on a computer blowing the 2 images up to 100%.
Imho an absolute bargain of a lens compared to the expensive canon equivalent.
Yeah same reason its really tempting me. Had my eye on the 300mm f2.8 for several years, but also watched the price go from £2.5K all the way up to £5.5K and sadly that latter price is just way too restrictive. £2K for a 600mm and good quality capable lens is ideal for me; freeing up money for additional gear and letting me get that longer reach much earlier.
You might try Wilkinsons in Kendal/Carlisle/Lancaster + 6 others.
They're the only place I ever saw a 120-300 f/2.8 to try [in Preston] and they might be able to pull the lenses in question from various shops.
I'll give them a try (once I can actually afford things of course) and it looks hopeful.
Sadly I've not the greatest hope that Jessops will be able to order things in; big chainshop they might be, but I don't recall reading of them having a great recovery so I suspect much of their higher order stock is still being ordered direct when orders are placed; thus meaning that there is little active stock in their own network to be shifted around the stores.
A couple of years ago afew of my local Jessops stores did have display items of L series lens but now I think I would have to travel into Birmingham to see any on display - assuming they re-stocked them after the summer riots when they were looted! The local Jessops stores now only seem to be sort of satellite stores where you just pick up pre ordered items with just a few cameras & lens on display - everything else is bags, batteries etc. - maybe this is the way they are going?
Wilkinsons in the Lanes Centre in Carlisle are very good, done lots of business with them over the years. Very helpful staff. They can obtain an item for you so that you can try it in the shop before buying as they have a central store.
They also have a branch in Kendal.
I recommend them.
Quote: Wilkinsons in the Lanes Centre in Carlisle are very good, done lots of business with them over the years. Very helpful staff. They can obtain an item for you so that you can try it in the shop before buying as they have a central store.
They also have a branch in Kendal.
I recommend them.
I wish I'd thought of that
Since I really inquire as yet each recommendation and view point, even on the same store, helps
Sadly Wilkinsons could only order the lens in as a special order so its back to the drawing board for trying to find a shop
A shame you are so far North as my local camera shop, Park Cameras in Burgess Hill, West Sussex has both of the Canon lenses in stock and I am almost certain that they could get, with no obligation to buy, you the Sigma as well.
I did check Park Cameras, but yeah rather a bit too far south sadly . I know there are probably one or two big shops in London and there is Wearhouse Express off in Norfolk - downside is that makes it a 3 day event and higher costs just to try out the lens.
I've nosed around and thus far London Camera Exchange in Manchester is going to have a search of their shop inventories to see if one can be found anywhere - all the other places basically had the lens on special order - fine for buying but not for trying
Have you spoken to Calumet in Manchester? Even if they do not have new ones, they may have used ones in their rental department that you could handle and get a feel of.
Just a thought.
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