April 29th, 2010, 11:31 AM
800mm - Is it too much
I have a 400mm 5.6 + 1.4 ex,,,with the ext,,no AF,,,which is a pain quite often.
The 600mm F4 is a great lens,,but they are few are far between S/Hand and too much for me new at £5.5K
So I've been thinking about going to a 800mm,,,the Sigma prime not the zoom
For those of you that have used 800mm,,,the question is:
Does the 800mm give you more available shots and opportunity for better shots because you can get the distance. (Often the 400mm is a little short)
Is it overpowered and your prefence is a lower length,,like the 600mm.
Any comments I'm sure will help.
April 29th, 2010, 04:54 PM
There is no doubt that the more "reach" you have for bird photography, the better. You refer to the 600 f/4, which I presume is the Canon lens? I passed on that and bought the 500 f/4 with which I almost always use a x1.4TC on a 1D body giving me 700mm. The 600 f/4 is capable of excellent results, but it is an older lens made for film bodies and many people (if you read the photographic forums) are of the opinion that it does not sit comfortably on a digital camera.
I have no experience of Sigma lenses at all other than the results I see. I have seen some excellent images from the 800mm and also some rubbish, as is the case with other Sigma long lenses, both prime and zoom. Ideally, unless you know of someone who owns this lens and would let you "have a go" with your body, I would advise on hiring it for a weekend to satisfy yourself that it is worth the money.
I am interested in getting the Canon 800mm f/5.6 and would certainly have bought one when they were first launched, but the price has now gone through the roof:
Two years ago they were half that price at my Canon Pro Dealer in the U.K. but they could not (and still cannot) get stock. Those who traveled to Asia and bought one when they were freely available say that this is Canon's best telephoto lens in terms of sharpness, image quality and ergonomics, and it is significantly lighter in weight than the 600 f/4.
Maybe it is time for you to sell the bike?
P.S. Whatever you do, do not sell the 400 f/5.6
April 29th, 2010, 08:27 PM
having played around with the 500mm 600mm and canon 800mm at the birdfair, i was incredibly amazed at how the 800mm handelled, i was kind of expecting an insanely big piece of kit, but it was just so much better than the 600mm in the way of its handling. I have spoken to a few people who have had the 800mm sigma and have been pleased with it, like wise i have seen some superb pictures taken with the 300-800mm. Once you have used the 800mm I am sure you will be impressed and not want anything else, and at least you will have the 400mm when your subject is too close for the 800mm.
p.s am i correct in thinking canon have discontinued the 600mm? I'm sure i read that somewhere...
May 1st, 2010, 07:32 AM
Many thanks Guys / Colin,, small message
Colin,,,thats how I'm affording the lens,,,today my beloved Harley goes.
The roads are so bad here on the Isle of Wight,,what with speed cameras,,the ferry fare,,I've packed it in...It just ain't fun anymore,,and its a wrench,,I'm really not happy about it.
I'm not the only one to do this either because although we pay,,the roads are dangerous for bikes here.
I'm only saying this because you mentioned it...don't worry I know you were jesting..not a problem. (Its why I'm up early,,preparing everything)
Thank for the tips lads,,,very much appreciated,,, especially the one about the old 600 F4 "not sitting well on digital cameras"..thats a gem!
The canon 600mm F4 is still being made but with Image Stabalization and because of that, is now big bucks.
Second Hand is around the £5000 mark...The canon 800mm as Colin said is just silly money at £9000 and I have'nt seen a S/H one yet.
I have been offered a sigma 800mm prime for £4100,,new and may have a chance at a secondhand one for about £3500.
However,,I think (after the row with canon about focusing) this lens needs to be tested (as Micheal suggested) before buying, which is making me dither about the S/H buy as I don't do "leaps of faith" anymore.
Invaluable help my friends,,,Many thanks.
May 2nd, 2010, 06:09 PM
UPDATE canon 600mm V Sigmonster 800 prime
I have found a chap in the states who has both lenses.
He got the 800mm sigmonster first,,,a year later the 600mm F4 IS L
He reckons that the sig is very good but the Canon (with a 1.4 ext) wins hands downs.
The canon gives better sharper results across the F range and he reckons the Sig has a yellow tinge to it.
Since he has had the Canon the sigma rarely goes out.
I have found out that the Canon lenses are a lot cheaper stateside too..a saving for a second hand one is around £700...thats a lot of beer tokens.
May 2nd, 2010, 07:34 PM
If you are looking at spending £4,000+ then I would advise thinking this through a bit more clearly. I have to state that I do not like Sigma lenses at all - I have seen some good images from some lenses, but I really do think that these are the exception. Many will disagree - fair enough, I go by results.
As Micheal said, the Canon 600 f/4 (which has, by the way, always had image stabilisation) is "on the way out" and will soon be discontinued. It really is a beast of thing and impossible to "hand hold" for even short periods.
Which leaves the Canon 500mm f/4 as a possibility, but will cost you a bit more. It is rated as Canon's second best telephoto (after the 800mm f/5.6) and takes the x1.4TCII very well (I use it 99% of the time) which gives you 700mm plus retains AF (albeit on centre point only). This lens will also retain its resale value very well. Whether you can find one second-hand, I don't know - they are much in demand.
I personally would not spend that amount of money on a Sigma - they are "third party" lenses and, as such, not of the quality of Canon or Nikon.
May 2nd, 2010, 09:12 PM
May 3rd, 2010, 04:59 PM
I do not think you can put forward websites like this to make comparisons between lenses - there are too many variables like photographer, camera body, local conditions, etc. There are some excellent photos on these sites but also a load of .... (from both lenses).
You really need to do a search on DPReview, POTN, Fredmiranda, etc to get down to the "nitty gritty" on how these lenses perform.
May 3rd, 2010, 05:27 PM
i understand your point colin.