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 Post subject: Purchase of New Lens - Opinions Please....
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:04 am 
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Posts: 70
Location: Port Elizabeth, South Africa
I want to upgrade and buy myself my first L lens.
The two choices I have in mind are:
100-400mm L lens
or
70-300mm L lens (Just come onto the market).
The prices are very similar and within my budget.
I am leaning towards the 70-300 because I think I will get more everyday use out of it and it will be handy for our yearly visits to KNP or KTP but am I duplicating what I have in my kit?
My kit at the moment is very basic:
Canon 550D
EF-S18-55 mm
EF-55-250 mm
Any input will be appreciated.
Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Purchase of New Lens - Opinions Please....
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:58 am 
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Hi Joubie,
:hmz: I'm a Nikon man but lenses are more or less the same for both.
I have a 80-400 and I continue telling myself I need a little extra reach when I'm in the parks. Have recently got myself a super 300mm 2.8 but I'm looking into getting myself a 150-500 in the ear future.
My opinion is to go for the 100-400mm, you're OK up to 100mm with your 55-250 and in the bush you need something on the 300-500 focal.
Just my opinion!

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 Post subject: Re: Purchase of New Lens - Opinions Please....
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:25 pm 
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My option would be go for the 400 F 5.6 L (shaper then the zoom ) and for kruger use you will mostly use your zoom on max anyway. Then save and buy a second body and use the 55-250 on the second body and the 400 F5.6 on the 550D. and when u have saved up alot then try the 70-200 F4 or 2.8 L :) with a canon 7d

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 Post subject: Re: Purchase of New Lens - Opinions Please....
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:28 pm 
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As usual very good advice is given here on the forum, but it all boils down to a few things.

- To photograph wildlife you need reach and I find that even with a 500mm you come up short many times, but it is a very good basic length.
- The size of what comes out of your wallet.
and most important
- Do you know how to use your equipment and get the most out of it.

One can buy the most expensive equipment in the world, but if you do not know how to use it, it is basically rendered useless. :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: Purchase of New Lens - Opinions Please....
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:09 pm 
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Massimo wrote:
My option would be go for the 400 F 5.6 L (shaper then the zoom ) and for kruger use you will mostly use your zoom on max anyway.

There I don't agree. I do use my 100-400 on the max often, but not always. That's the power of a zoomlens, you don't need to move your car back when the <leopard, lion, birdie> moves closer. You just zoom out.
With the 100-400 you have another advantage, birds in flight. Find and follow them zoomed out, then quickly zoom in and take the shot(s).
With 400 only you'll loose track of the bird as your FOV (Field of view) is too small.

The 70-300 I would not go for. At the shortest end it's over 100mm on a crop camera, way too long for landscapes and such. This means you are unlikely to use that end.
300 mm is simply not long enough, as has been said above, especially if you are a birder, or may become one.

I would choose the 100-400, well, I have already. ;)

But! I have my eye set on an upcoming lens, also L, and also expensive, like the 500mm ones actually.
That's the 200-400, with build-in 1.4 extender. Yummy!

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 Post subject: Re: Purchase of New Lens - Opinions Please....
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:43 pm 
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DuQues wrote:
Massimo wrote:
My option would be go for the 400 F 5.6 L (shaper then the zoom ) and for kruger use you will mostly use your zoom on max anyway.

There I don't agree. I do use my 100-400 on the max often, but not always. That's the power of a zoomlens, you don't need to move your car back when the <leopard, lion, birdie> moves closer. You just zoom out.
With the 100-400 you have another advantage, birds in flight. Find and follow them zoomed out, then quickly zoom in and take the shot(s).
With 400 only you'll loose track of the bird as your FOV (Field of view) is too small.


I'm sorry, I don't agree. The 400 F5.6 is a killer lens and knocks the socks off the 100-400.. Prime will anyway always be better than any zoom! 400mm is generally never long enough for nature anyway.. and if something does come a bit closer, you just back up slightly.

The prime also focuses faster than the zoom so is great for BIF.

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 Post subject: Re: Purchase of New Lens - Opinions Please....
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:56 pm 
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Location: Red sand, why do I keep thinking of red sand?
It's sharper and faster yes. Definitely.
The original question however was:
Quote:
I am leaning towards the 70-300 because I think I will get more everyday use out of it and it will be handy for our yearly visits to KNP or KTP

So mostly used outside of the parks, and then the versatility of either of the zooms counts heavily.

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 Post subject: Re: Purchase of New Lens - Opinions Please....
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:06 pm 
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My bad! I lost sight of the OP question. In this case the 100-400 will most prob suit their needs better than the prime.

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 Post subject: Re: Purchase of New Lens - Opinions Please....
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:11 am 
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Location: Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Thanks everybody for your valuable input.
It is interesting how everybody looks at things differently and that has also made me aware of other options. At the moment my BANKER has given me a budget of R15 000 and I realise now that I will definitely want the extra length when I'm in the parks.
So it looks like it's going to be 100-400.
Decisions, decisions!


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 Post subject: Re: Purchase of New Lens - Opinions Please....
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:50 am 
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Read some tests
The 70-300 is sharper then the 100-400
but can not be used with a 1.4 extender
So you will miss out on birdies as Duco said

btw, i also own a 100-400 and the lens i use for wildlife
Can get a close-up of a ellie eye or portrait 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Purchase of New Lens - Opinions Please....
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:25 pm 
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Location: London UK
Are you going to get into wildlife photography in a very serous, [very, very expensive], way?

Yes.

Then go for 70-200 and “big white” prime. 400 L 5.6 up to 800 L 5.6
Depending on which bank you rob!


No, just very keen but honest.

100-400 is a no brainer
I have even used a 1.4 TC very successfully with mine on my 30D when there was plenty of light but not too much heat haze.
Just pop the 18-55 or the 55-250 in your pocket and you have a pretty good kit for a Kruger holiday. You’ll hardly ever take the 100-400 off though!


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 Post subject: Re: Purchase of New Lens - Opinions Please....
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:30 pm 
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I shoot video but my wife used to have the Canon 100-400 zoom and it was fine to 300 but then fell off fast towards 400.

She now has the 400 f5.6 and what a difference. Her pics are sharp and she uses that with a 70-200 f4...perfect as we were told by a pro photographer that any more than a 3x zoom is no good so 70-200 is fine and so is 200-400 but 80-400 (Nikon) and 100-400 (Canon) not. She swears by her 400 f5.6


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 Post subject: Re: Purchase of New Lens - Opinions Please....
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:45 pm 
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The 400mm L 5.6 is a wonder of excellence for serious wildlife photographers on a “budget”, especially for birds in flight as it has very fast auto focus, is comparatively light and is sharp as a razor.

However it does not have image stabilization and you would not be using it very often for family occasions!

My 100-400 is not as sharp as the 300 2.8 L, but I have a gallery of sharp A3+ prints mostly taken at 400mm and wide open [f5.6] to prove that it is pretty darn good!


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 Post subject: Re: Purchase of New Lens - Opinions Please....
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:47 pm 
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Location: Red sand, why do I keep thinking of red sand?
I have the feeling Trombone may be using an UV filter. At 400 my lens is still sharp, actually I can't see the difference between 300 and 400 mm....

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 Post subject: Re: Purchase of New Lens - Opinions Please....
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:58 pm 
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Location: Pretoria
i think you have been provided some good advice and options on the lense. i want to make another suggestion (may get shoot for this!). :sniper:

You stated your banker limit is R15k, then i would consider importing from somewhere like BH as you will get more bang for your buck and i have found their service to be excellent.

Importing lenses does not attract duty only VAT. Duty only comes into play when importing bags , batteries etc

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