Page 4 of 7 FirstFirst ... 23456 ... LastLast
Results 31 to 40 of 61

Thread: Ultimate Supertelephoto for Travel

  1. #31
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    4,366
    Quote Originally Posted by Busted Knuckles View Post
    I had a blast with it. Likewise need to more critically at the photos.

    Somewhat had the "why isn't google earth realtime moment" coming to grips thay the 1dx couldnt full spead autofocus with 2x tc on it.... f8.

    We get accustomed to tech advancing beyond our expectations and then get surprised that physics stilk apply and it wasn't that long ago what we take for granted didn't even exist
    Ha...yeah, ultimately these are just tools. Just working through the mystic of the "Big Whites".....there are limitations. Granted, they are amazing glass.

    And then there is the thing located about 6 inches behind the lens. I am playing with the 500 II right now. I was working on AFMA it and would have these blurry shots (hand held, similar to what I've done with the 150-600S in the past) making it tough to even see the focus plane. So, ok, I know it is better to use a tripod, but this HAS worked with my 150-600S and 5D...oh wait. I am using a 5DIV now. And I seem to recall all those references to needing better technique with higher MP bodies. That talk started with the Nikon D800/800E which were 36 MP. So I wondered if it applied to the 30 MP 5DIV, backed out away from 100% viewing and....there's the focus plane.

    Amazing, but the photographer is more often the limiting factor...not the gear.

    Quote Originally Posted by HDNitehawk View Post
    This is a shot right after I bought then 500mm II.
    The grass isn't to bad.
    20150117-CQ2A2535 by hdnitehawk01, on Flickr

    With the old 500mm it would have been worse, kind of like the rail shot you posted.
    This is the closest one to showing what I am talking about that I had on flicker,


    The tiny branches are close and are unpleasing to my eye. It is a separation issue, but the new 500mm handles it better.

    I will be curious about your perception of the 500mm.
    Rick..is that a roadrunner? Great shot. I do not know if I've ever seen one.

    I'd put the 400 DO II between the MK 1 and 2 in terms of bokeh. Looks like it has a bit more of a challenge going into bright light, which is exactly what I read in some reviews

    Still forming my impression of the 500 II. Bokeh does seem smoother. Definitely bigger and heavier. I broke out my monopod that I have never used before. I can hand hold it, but pixel peeping the keeper rate wasn't great. Much better with the monopod. The images that have come in sharp are amazingly sharp.

    I think one of the important distinctions for travel telephotos are ones that you can handhold all day and those that you might occasionally handhold but you will likely use some sort of support. I had been thinking that I could hand hold the 500 II, as it is just a bit heavier than the 150-600S, which I handhold almost exclusively. But the weight distribution is different. So, my current thinking for super telephoto lenses:
    • Handholdable:
      • 400 DO II
      • 400 f/5.6
      • 100-400 II
      • 150-600C
      • 150-600S (on the big/heavy side)

    • Primarily used with support (occasional handholding)
      • 400 f/2.8 II
      • 500 f/4 II
      • 600 f/4 II

  2. #32
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Planet Earth
    Posts
    2,905
    He is a Road Runner. That is an older shot.

    I have been neglecting my photography the last year for the greater good. I have a few hundred acres of land and a few years ago started working on a building that was to have a weekend living quarters built in. The wife got hold of it and turned it in to a full fledged house and I have moved out of the City to the land. When weather started getting colder the lady bugs swarmed the house and were trying to find a place to get in and winter. On multiple days the Road Runner would come to the house to eat Lady Bugs. It is my plan that he will be a regular subject soon.

  3. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Kayaker72 View Post
    Thanks everyone. I did leave the question intentionally vague as I wanted to see a variety of responses. Perhaps push me to think about this differently. I do agree with HD's point. If the purpose of the trip is photography, then it is more about having the best gear for what you are shooting and you do what you have to in order to get the gear there.

    But, for me travel is always about compromising between performance and portability. I should probably say I am very impressed with my Sigma 150-600S. I think the universal consensus has basically moved off of it as a good option, perhaps favoring the 150-600C for a consumer level supertelephoto, the 100-400 II for a more prosumer level, and Canon's big whites for ultimate durability, AF and IQ. But it has really served me well and I am getting a lot of shots I am happy with from it. In general, I disagree with the consensus I've heard (usually from people who have never used it).

    While I know that Canon's big whites test as having better IQ, I have actually never had an issue with the IQ from the 150-600S. The issue I know I have is with aperture. To get good IQ, I am almost always (98% at 600 mm) at f/7.1 to f/8. I am almost always increasing ISO (spikes at ISO 640, 1000, 2000 and 3200) and compromising on shutter speed
    (40% of my shots are 1/500 with another 35% at shutter speeds even slower than 1/500). Looking at those numbers, I am compromising too much shutter speed and I really want 1/1000 or faster.
    So, even dropping a stop would be nice and give me additional flexibility on shutter speed and ISO.

    Looking over the options, what gets me is the number of good options that exist in this market now. Good, but I would not call any of them "great". Each comes with a compromise, and this is where I get back to most of my shots being taken while traveling. The lenses with the best IQ, AF, etc are even larger and heavier than my 150-600S, which has a well earned reputation for size and weight. Of course, and I am aware of the physics involved, but to get smaller/lighter you are giving up aperture, build quality and, often, AF speed. I have always been generally aware that I use the entire focal length range of the 150-600S, but looking at my 2017 numbers, I am even surprised I am at 600 mm only 60% of the time. The other 40% is pretty evenly distributed over the rest of the focal length range. Put all that together, I would say my perfect lens would be something like the 200-600 f/5.6 that has occasionally been rumored assuming Canon doesn't make too many compromises on IQ/AF, etc. Granted, that is not that different from the 200-400 f/4 TC, which is even bigger and heavier than my 150-600S.

    I am going to kick this around a bit more, and I may end up testing a couple of combinations. First, I really do need to see if there is a difference with my 150-600S on the 5DIV. Maybe the improved sensor performance, I'll feel comfortable at higher ISO. After that, I need to consider some options, my current thoughts:
    • 300 f/2.8 II (with TCs). One of the lenses that has always tempted me. A bit short for what I want, but f/2.8, amazing IQ, and crazy fast AF.
    • 400 f/4 DO II. This may be in my future as it may be an excellent travel lens. This is high on my list for renting.
    • 400 f/2.8 II. I know this is thought of more of a sports lens. But as I've shot, sure for birds I am usually focal length limited, but for anything larger I am more often light limited. Size, weight and $$ are the issues with this lens. But f/2.8.
    • 500 f/4 II. This is the lens I have always thought I would end up with.
    • 200-400 f/4 TC. As mentioned above, if I were to replace the 150-600S, this is likely the logical choice. But, size/weight/$$. But I am very tempted to rent this one as well.


    I think the next thing for me to think about is something I know some of you already do. No lens does everything. On important events, perhaps I should have a supertele on one body and something wider on a second body.

    This is how I spend my winters.
    When using Canon DSLRS. it is best to avoid the '+1/3 stop' ISO settings (125, 250, 500, 1000, 2000, etc.) Due to the way the sensor is set at whole stop settings and the exposure/development is 'pulled/pushed' you wind up losing 1/3 stop in the highlights and increasing the noise in the shadows. It's basically the same as exposing to the left and then pushing to the right in development.

    If not burning the highlights and getting the widest dynamic range possible is your primary concern, use whole stop ISO settings (100, 200, 400, 800, etc.).

    If shadow detail is the primary concern, use '-1/3 stop' settings (160, 320, 640, 1250, etc.). You give up 1/3 stop of DR, but gain detail in the shadows the same as if you "ETTR" by 1/3 stop.

    In several tests done by various folks, under certain conditions ISO 125 can be noisier than ISO 1250!

  4. #34
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    4,366
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael G. Clark View Post
    When using Canon DSLRS. it is best to avoid the '+1/3 stop' ISO settings (125, 250, 500, 1000, 2000, etc.) Due to the way the sensor is set at whole stop settings and the exposure/development is 'pulled/pushed' you wind up losing 1/3 stop in the highlights and increasing the noise in the shadows. It's basically the same as exposing to the left and then pushing to the right in development.

    If not burning the highlights and getting the widest dynamic range possible is your primary concern, use whole stop ISO settings (100, 200, 400, 800, etc.).

    If shadow detail is the primary concern, use '-1/3 stop' settings (160, 320, 640, 1250, etc.). You give up 1/3 stop of DR, but gain detail in the shadows the same as if you "ETTR" by 1/3 stop.

    In several tests done by various folks, under certain conditions ISO 125 can be noisier than ISO 1250!
    Hi Michael....similar to Mark (clemmb), welcome to the forum!

    I am familiar with the theory. However, my understanding is that it this has been minimized with recent camera sensors, for a few examples looking at generations of the 5D.

    I actually recall having read that this phenomena was gone and you can see the 5DsR and 1DX exhibit almost no effect of the push/pull from the whole ISO. Interestingly, even though the 1DX II has lower read noise (on chip a/d), it is exhibiting a muted version of the push/pull effect.

    Lots of interesting stuff as you look at this, for example, the 5DIII is an example of the push/pull effect you mention. But, then some other cameras, look like they just push from base ISO (Nikon's D5, Canon 1DIII/5DI). Then, I wonder if Nikon/Sony are taking advantage of ISO invariance with the D850, and others, as they have a totally different pattern.
    http://www.photonstophotos.net/Chart...20ILCE-7RM3_14

    Bottom line, if you really want to optimize you camera, you should really understand its characteristics. While each brand has some general patterns, it does vary camera to camera within each brand. I do think more modern cameras have really minimized this effect to the point where I am not too concerned with my 5DIV.

    If you would like to discuss further, let's start a new thread as this is a great topic and I can see going back and forth, especially if you have some links I haven't seen before.

    Thanks,
    Brant

    EDIT:Made several changes, biggest, I had originally recalled this being linked to the placement of A/D converter, I think that is incorrect so I eliminated that reference. This just seems to be something brands do, mixing it up even within their own lineups.
    Last edited by Kayaker72; 02-23-2018 at 03:03 PM.

  5. #35
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    4,366

    Wink

    So, the 500 f/4 II has been returned. I was sad to see it go. That is a heckuva lens.

    A few pics:

    5DIV, 500 mm, 1/1250, f/4.5, ISO 250

    Name:  Small-5680.jpg
Views: 164
Size:  193.5 KB



    700 mm, 1/2000, f/5.6, ISO 200
    6S0A6073
    by
    kayaker72
    , on Flickr


    700 mm, 1/3200, f/7.1, ISO 12,800 (I was testing things and liked the pose)
    6S0A6165
    by
    kayaker72
    , on Flickr


    700 mm, 1/1250, f/5.6, ISO 1600
    Name:  Small-6296.jpg
Views: 162
Size:  140.0 KB



    700 mm, 1/2000, f/5.6, ISO 1250
    Name:  Small-6389.jpg
Views: 163
Size:  165.8 KB


    So, my home set up needs some work, but those were taken out my office window at my bird feeder about 35 ft away (exif is 10.4 m, seems a bit long). If correct, playing with the math, the 700 mm (500 f/4 IS + 1.4 TC)
    is 311 ppi. So, that is about the limit if I keep my home set up as is. But being able to take a break from work (I am home office when not traveling), open my window and shoot some pictures is a very nice afternoon break. Thus, the potential for 700 mm is opening up opportunities.

    Some other general observations:
    AF Speed:
    • 500 f/4. Just really fast.


    AF Accuracy:


    • Very impressed. Very few shots needed to be deleted for an AF miss. I took the time with the 500 f/4 II to mount it to a tripod and use the LensAlign to dial in the AFMA bare and with TCs. I think this made a huge difference compared to what I experienced with the 400 DO II. Granted, once I finally dialed in the 400 DO II, it was pretty remarkable as well.


    IQ:


    • Excellent. As good as I've seen. While the bird shots at my home set up benefited by the extra reach, there is no doubt I am seeing an extra level of sharpness compared to the Sigma (which I still regard as a sharp lens...this is just better). I am seeing detail to the ridges around the birds eyes instead of just the ridges themselves.


    Portability: True Transport

    • Size: 500 f/4 II: 15.3x6.7 inches. Sigma 150-600S: 11.8x4.8 inches. I can close the zipper on my GuraGear 22L Kiboko, but I would be buying a new pack. It barely fits. This is the first lens that makes my 150-600S look small(ish).
    • Weight: 500 f/4 II: 7.5 lbs. 150-600S: 7 lbs. Not much of a difference in the bag. The balance of the 500 f/4 II is something in the field.



    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Small-1706.jpg 
Views:	27 
Size:	185.9 KB 
ID:	2685

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Small-1708.jpg 
Views:	22 
Size:	191.2 KB 
ID:	2686



    Usability:

    • For walking around, the 500 f/4 II was great. Incredibly well balanced, which makes it feel so light. I had my blackrapid strap anchored to the foot. I walked, drove, and shot snowy owls for 4 hours. When first testing the lens, had a few issues hand holding, but a few small adjustments to my technique and it is actually very hand holdable. I could stay on target with minimal movement for longer than it takes to fill up the 5DIV buffer, let it clear, and then fill it again.


    With TCs:

    • Very similar to the DO II. It may even take the TCs better. But 1.4TC is fast AF with great IQ. Very slight dip in contrast and AF speed with the 2xTC, but still very usable, probably still better at 1000 mm than the 150-600S at 600 mm.


    Fun Factor:

    • Ok...this opened up a type of photography I have wanted to do, but have been unable. I positioned my bird feeder to be able to shoot from the house. My 150-600S was ok, but if I ever posted an imaged, it was only 1-2. The quality just wasn't there. Playing with the calculator, part of that was just pixels on target. But with the 500 f/4 II + 1.4TC and the 5DIV, this is something I can do now. But it is 311 ppi, less reach, fewer MP is just not an option. So new ability = fun.
    • Compared to the DO, they are fun in different ways. I am looking for the right analogy, but the DO II is like a great high end sports car. It is light, sporty, quick, and easy to handle. It just makes you smile. The 500 f/4 II is more like a luxury sedan. Elegant, efficient, powerful, and ultimate, superb handling. The 400 DO II, you hop in and out of a car, you react quickly to birds movements, and barely notice the lens. The 500 f/4 II, you can do all those things, but it is slower. You have to think about the lens. But it works great.


    So, this has been a lot of fun. Next up is time to get a bit serious. The T-stop issue with the 150-600S has me questioning it's place in my kit. I had intended to keep it, as I have really enjoyed that lens and it has accounted for several of my favorite images each year I've owned it. Yet, since I bought it, the 100-400L II was released. I already own the 70-300L, which is a great little lens, and I do wonder if the 100-400 II and the 70-300L being in the same kit. I like each lens have its own distinct purpose. And, I am looking at these Big White Lenses.

    So, my quick plan and likely my next post, is to look at all the scenarios which I would use these lenses, and decide which lens would be best for that scenario. The trip to Florida is now an annual event as is chasing Snowys and eagles. I can rent lenses for trips, but I will continually make trips to photograph wildlife (Yellowstone in early Sept this year). I shoot loons and turtles from a kayak, and I would love to be able to take morning/afternoon breaks, open my office window and rattle off some shots of birds at my feeder.

    So, I probably could justify about 5 different lenses.... hmmmm.... ok...have a good weekend everyone.
    Brant
    Last edited by Kayaker72; 02-23-2018 at 10:26 PM.

  6. #36
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Planet Earth
    Posts
    2,905
    Interesting car analogy, my comparison would be the 500mm is more like the new Ford Raptor, it is a quick rugged beast that gets results in brutal conditions, it is not pretentiousness in that it does what it claims it will do, it is at home in the woods or a foot ball game, most of all it is just fun to play with.

  7. #37
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    4,366
    I had the opportunity to borrow John's (Neuro's) EF 600 II a bit ago for a quick photoshoot. While I didn't get to use it over multiple days, really, what I wanted to get a sense of was size/weight, how handholdable it was, and what it felt to walk around with it on my Blackrapid strap.

    My basic impressions are really pretty predictable, but it is nice to have them confirmed:
    • The 500 F4 IS Mk1 was widely considered to be handholdable. Guess what? The 600 f/4 II is about the same weight. It is very much handholdable. I even find the disclaimer of "not for extended periods of time" to be both true and misleading. It is true in that I wouldn't want to handhold it for 10 minutes without a break, but that is true with just about any lens. I easily held it on target for multiple bursts as I followed some cardinals foraging on the ground. Probably ~1 minute. That is all I want, therefore, it is a handholdable lens, IMO.
    • Walking around. Both it and the 500 f/4 II are both so well balanced that walking around with them is pretty easy. I did notice the extra weight and size of the 600 f/4 II cause a bit more movement/sway while walking compared tot he 500 f/4 II, which barely moved. Not a big deal, but the 500 f/4 II was easier to walk around with.
    • Weight. Yep, it is a bit bigger and heavier than the 500 f/4 II. Noticeable, but not unwieldy. It really is only 1.8 lbs heavier than the 500 f4 II. Actually, I think John's reaction was telling as we swapped the 150-600S for the 600 II, his perception was that it was "about" the same weight, when it is 2.35 lbs lighter. None of these lenses are a 70-200 f4 IS. You notice all of them and the balance of the Canon's really helps in the handling.
    • Size. The 600 II is ~2.3" longer w/o the hood and 3.3" longer w/ hood mounted compared to the 500 f/4 II. The diameter of the lens is only 0.14" wider than the 500 f/4 II without the hood, but 0.85" wider (almost 8") with hood. This is actually somewhat significant as carryon luggage is typically limited to 9" depth, and you need a bit of space for the padding/luggage. John did confirm that the max diameter seems to have been measured at the nut, so he can fit the 600 II into his Storm IM2500 (which I also have), that can fit in most overhead bins. But that was without the normal padding of the storm. The 500 f/4 II fit into the Storm with padding and into my Gura Gear Kiboko 22L (tight, but see pic above), which I have barely fit into the overhead bins of smaller airplanes.



    With that, I'll continue my general impressions with the same format used for the 400 DO II and 500 f/4 II.

    AF Speed:

    • Really fast. Actually, again John's impression is telling, he noted right away how slow the 150-600S was in comparison.



    AF Accuracy:




    • Very impressed.



    IQ:




    • Excellent.



    Portability: True Transport



    • Size: 600 f/4 II: 18x 6.85 inches without hood. 500 f/4 II: 15.3x6.7 inches. Sigma 150-600S: 11.8x4.8 inches. Didn't even try to fit it in my current larger bag (kiboko 22L). I'll be buying the Firstlight 40L for a new large bag.
    • Weight: 600 f/4 II: 8.65 lbs (without hood). 500 f/4 II: 7.5 lbs. 150-600S: 7 lbs.


    See above

    Usability:



    • For walking around, the 600 f/4 II was great, just a bit more movement and heavier than the 500 f/4 II. But, really, with any of these lenses, I was fine walking around.



    With TCs:

    • Did not try, but I know it works well.



    Fun Factor:

    • In terms of walking around, the 500 f/4 II with a 1.4 TC mounted might be more "fun". Just a bit lighter, smaller, etc. But really, this was a bit more reach for a bit more weight. Still a lot of fun, and the 600 II is probably the best tripod mounted birding lens out there. So there is fun in that, even though I didn't mount it to a tripod.



    So, I am almost done. I have purchased the 100-400 II and am comparing it with a TC against my 150-600S. I am also planning a final "what lens meets my needs" evaluation, and hope to order something this week.

    Thanks,
    Brant

  8. #38
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    81
    Thank you for sharing your reviews and comparisons Brant. Someday I'm hoping to purchase a super-telephoto and your input is helping me make my decision.

    I happen to own the Mindshift Firstlight 30L and I'm very pleased with the bag (I realize you are getting the larger 40L). The only real downfall I have with the bag is the weight (empty). I'm sure there are lighter bags, but I'll deal with the added weight to have my gear protected. Bag is a little over two years old and looks like it's new, very well made and good access to outside pockets (laptop, paperwork, etc.). Granted practically every airplane I've been on was a 737 (or equal) since I got the bag, but there were no issues with fitting the bag in the overhead bins.
    Scott

  9. #39
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    4,366
    Thanks Scott. It is good to hear someone is interested in this rabbit hole I've chosen to go down.


    So, I have a fundamental problem in that I haven't had much time to shoot lately. Work, personal life, family, etc is keeping me pretty busy. But I have had time at different random moments internet a number of different things...

    So, I thought it would be interesting to look at how other photographers have built their kits. What do they use.

    I actually started with a few people from different forums:



    And a few others....But then I decided to check out Canon Explorers of Light (EOL) and the equivalents in the EU. As I am looking at a wildlife lens, I tried to focus on wildlife photographers. For the EOLs, it was easy as I simply looked at each photographer under their "Wildlife" genre. For EU, for some, it was more of a guess, so I may have missed a few there. But, 5 in the US, 5 in the EU, what I hope is a reasonable sampling is summarized it in the following table:

    Name:  EoL and EU Photographer Gear (2).jpg
Views: 93
Size:  184.4 KB


    A couple of things jumped out at me:

    1. 15 mm fisheye?? This is the second most popular lens. Wow.
    2. Zooms vs Primes. You have to think, these are the types of people Canon is going to be consulting when planning.
      1. Technically, more primes were owned. But look a bit more closely.
      2. I do not see a single "holy trinity" of primes, yet most has some version of the holy trinity of zooms (gray).
      3. Primes are mostly what I would consider "specialty" lenses: macros, TSE and, of course, supertele. I am sure this would change if I looked at portrait photographers, for example.
      4. There is a difference in favor between most US EoLs and EU photographers.
      5. Very interesting as this is the direction I have settled in as well: Zooms for most work, primes for specialty purposes.


    3. Everyone in the US has the 100-400 II. Most owned lens.
    4. Could be that the webpage hasn't been updated, but there are selective about new lenses, lots of old gear. What was interesting, is I was seeing newer bodies (1DXII, 5DIVs, and 5DsRs). But there were some Mk 1 versions of the superteles. All the 16-35 f/2.8's was the version II, not III, etc.
    5. There is a real efficiency to most of the kits. Right there around 8 lenses.


    As for the supertele lenses I have been looking at:

    Name:  EoL and EU Photographer  Supertele (2).jpg
Views: 95
Size:  96.1 KB


    Couple of interesting things:
    • Technically, the 500 f/4 is used more by the photographers I looked at, but really...pretty close between the 500 f/4 and 600 f/4.
    • I was surprised to see people still using the 800 f/5.6 as I've considered it pretty well established that the 600 f/4 II plus 1.4TC is actually a bit better. But, 3 photographers in EU still list it.
    • Really surprised to see only two people using the 200-400 +TC and only one using the 400 f/2.8 II.
    • Not a single 400 DO II


    So, if you are interested:
    Searched by wildlife under genre---EOLs: https://www.usa.canon.com/internet/p...orers-of-light
    EU: http://cpn.canon-europe.com/content/.../andy_rouse.do

    Almost done with my rabbit hole. But, off to go kayaking as the thunderstorm threat has passed.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	EoL and EU Photographer Gear.jpg 
Views:	9 
Size:	143.3 KB 
ID:	2703   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	EoL and EU Photographer Gear.jpg 
Views:	8 
Size:	181.7 KB 
ID:	2704  
    Last edited by Kayaker72; 06-02-2018 at 05:25 PM.

  10. #40
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    4,366
    A quick pivot from the 400 v 500 v 600 mm lens selection to talk about the Sigma 150-600S vs EF 100-400 II.

    So, a quick comparison, mostly of the 100-400 II with 1.4 TC against the Sigma 150-600S.

    Size/Weight
    Let's get this out of the way.

    • In use weight 100-400 II plus 1.4xTC: 4.25 lbs
    • In use weight 150-600S: 7 lbs


    Big Edge: 100-400 II plus TC


    • Size of 100-400 II: 3.7" x 7.9"; 1.4 tc: 2.8" x 1.7"; combined extended with hood ~15"
    • Size of 150-600S: 4.8" x 11.8"; extended with hood ~19"


    Big Edge: 100-400 II plus TC


    IQ--Sharpness/contrast
    Painfully similar. Bryan's test charts really mirror what I see in my test shots. But, these are two nice lenses.

    https://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=972&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=5&API= 2&LensComp=978&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp =7&APIComp=2

    In his tests, I give the center to the Sigma, but the edges to the 100-400 II w/TC. In practice, both are producing great images.

    Push

    IQ-Bokeh
    I have loved the bokeh from my 150-600S, and at first, I thought it was better than the 100-400 II + 1.4TC. But, after I adjusted for focal length.

    Push

    Focal Length
    Theoretically, they are pretty similar, 600 mm vs 560 mm (with TC). However, neither lenses is truly as advertised. Playing with the distances to target that Bryan lists in his spec page, I think the Sigma is 575 mm. I am not sure how this was calculated, but Bryan has estimated the 100-400 II at 383 mm at the long end, not 400 mm. So, 383 x 1.4=536 mm. Again, using calcs based the target size and distance on the product spec page, I calculate the 100-400 II to be actually 392@ "400 mm", and 534 mm at "560 mm."

    So, really, this is comparing a 575 mm lens (150-600S) to 534 mm (100-400 II + 1.4 TC) lens. And that played out in my testing. I initially thought the bokeh was better on the 150-600S because I was comparing each lens at their extremes. When I compared equivalent framing, the bokeh was very similar. This similar framing was achieved with the Sigma set to 534 mm.

    The 8% loss of resolution with the 100-400 II + 1.4TC compared to the Sigma 150-600S is not inconsequential. Really, when you want reach, you want as much as possible.

    Edge-150-600S.

    EDIT---I am playing around with this difference in reach. As I write these things down, sometimes it takes a second to sink it. Yes, there is a difference and I regularly noticed the high contrast targets being larger with the Sigma. But in looking at some side by side shots, there may not be much difference in resolution. More later.

    AF Speed
    I ran a couple of tests:

    Outdoor, variable light, oscillating between two targets, first about 30 ft (~10 EV), second about 50 ft from me (~13 EV), alternating between two for 60 pics.

    • 400 mm (AI Servo): 100-400 II (no TC): Avg 0.97 secs between shot; 150-600S: Avg 0.93 sec between shots
    • 600/560 mm (One Shot): 100-400 II w/ 1.4 TC: 0.83 sec between shots; 150-600S: Avg 0.87 sec between shots.


    Good Light---push
    Ok...this surprised me. The 150-600S feels slower, and I think it may be when you first get it going, but alternating targets, it did great. Very comparable. Second, the 1.4xTC did not seem to harm the AF performance of the 100-400 II. I will say it occasionally hunts with the TC, but speed going back and forth between targets was not impacted. Third, One Shot seems faster than AI Servo. Just a bit.

    Indoor, artificial light (~6-7EV)

    • 560/600 mm: 100-400 w/ 1.4TC: 1.6 sec between shots; 150-600S: 1.9 sec between shots.


    Edge: 100-400 II w/ 1.4TC

    Lose 3-6 stops of light, get artificial light and AF speed is twice as slow compared to outdoors.


    F-Stop vs T-Stop
    The 150-600S @ 600 mm is f/6.3, but I use it at f/7.1 to get sharp images. The 100-400 II is f/8 at 560 mm and is sharp there. But, yet again, same aperture and shutter speed, the 150-600S is needing ~1/3 to 2/3 stop higher ISO to get the same exposure. So, again, the T-Stop of the 150-600S is probably 0.5-2/3 stops higher than the 100-400 II.

    100-400 II only---advantage

    100-400II w/tc, v slight advantage as I can use the 150-600S at f/7.1


    IS
    Played with it and I am looking at a pretty solid 4 stop IS with the 100-400 II w/ and w/o the TC. (EDIT)---the Sigma holds it's own here, may even be a bit better. I will say, that the IS in the 100-400 II really steadies the image in the viewfinder. The Sigma only a little (almost mode 3, but Sigma doesn't have mode 3), but in terms of the actual image, I was running into issues at 1/25-1/40 of a second for each lens (560 mm vs 600 mm).

    Push

    Ease of Use
    This is really the size/weight combined with IS, but I can more easily hold the 100-400 II on target than the 150-600S. The IS

    Advantage 100-400 II

    MFD
    I underappreciated how fun the MFD of 3ft with the 100-400 II would be. The 150-600S is actually really good with a MFD of 7.5 ft, especially compared to the Big Whites. But a 3 ft MFD is another world.

    Both impressive, but 100-400 II more so.

    Where I am at:
    I have actually always thought I would get the 100-400 II as soon as I upgraded to the 5DIV. The reason is pretty simple, to get greater than 400 mm I would need to add a 1.4TC to the 100-400II, that would make it an f/8 lens. On my 5DIII, f/8 was limited to center point only and really pretty slow/inconsistent AF at that. But, f/8 is every point on the 5DIV. I've played with it, great AF across the range. So, after my purchase of the 5DIV last fall, this was really part of the plan. That said, the 150-600S has been my second most used lens and each year has produced some of my favorite pictures. The size/weight are an encumbrance, but manageable. What I have really run into an issue with shutter speed/ISO balance if light is limited at all given this whole T-stop/F-stop issue I've discovered.

    The 100-400 II will be much better natively, getting f-stops that are f/4.5 to f/5.6 with T-stops only 1/3 to 1/2 a stop higher. But add the 1.4xTC, and this essentially becomes a 1/3 of a stop issue between the lenses, so a bit better but not much.

    So, this gets back to what has always been obvious, size/weight vs reach with the MFD of the 100-400 II a factor. If I was only to have one combination, I might actually stick with the 150-600S. Reach is why you get a long lens, 8% more resolution is a noticable difference (500 mm to 600 mm is only 20% increased resolution and think of the size/weight/$$ difference there) and could be worth the size/weight trade off.

    But, given that I am looking at the 500 f/4 II or 600 f/4 II, and one of those will be my "long" lens, that factors in whether or not I am keeping the 150-600S. My current thought is that if I get the 500 f/4 II, I sell the 150-600S. If I get the 600 f/4 II, I at least consider keeping the Sigma.

    OK, hopefully you are finding this interesting. I'll get back to picking the 500 or 600 in the next post.

    Last edited by Kayaker72; 06-08-2018 at 12:00 AM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •