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Old October 7th, 2009, 10:45 PM   #1
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Sigma 100-300 f/4 or 50-500 f/4-6.3 for wildlife?

I'm looking to get a longer lens for my XL2 because the 20x lens is not long enough. I like the Sigma | 100-300mm f/4 EX DG IF HSM Autofocus Lens | 134101 | B&H for it's fast and constant aperture, sharp optics, good focal length, and the price isn't to bad. On the other hand there is the Sigma | 50-500mm f/4-6.3 EX DG HSM AF Lens for Canon EOS with no constant aperture so you have to readjust it and listen to it click when you zoom, optics aren't to sharp, focal length is amazing but can I control the shake?, and the price is really good especially on eBay (around $500 to $800). So which one would you recommend?

Thanks,

Caleb
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Old October 8th, 2009, 03:57 AM   #2
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Haven't you answered your own question? The 50-500 has only one thing going for it, while the 100-300 has everything (at least - you haven't pointed out any drawbacks) unless price is a major factor.

I used to use the Sigma 170-500 for stills, great lens - so long as you had lots of light at f8 you would get a sharp image. But then, you are not looking for the same magnification in the final product, or a still image, when doing video.
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Old October 8th, 2009, 04:07 AM   #3
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The Sigma 100-300 f/4 is the one to go for. It is by far the best optic - one of the best zooms ever made in that range, and perfect for the XL2.
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Old October 8th, 2009, 07:50 AM   #4
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I have two 50-500's. They're both very sharp when handled correctly - most people I see using this or complaining don't handle long lenses well. But for video use, I would suggest the 100-300/4 as well. With the XL2, isn't the crop/mulitplier factor something like 6x? A 3000mm equiv lens would indeed be very hard to keep steady as the 50-500 extends as it zooms but the 100-300 is internal zooming (constant length). I have the big brother to the 100-300/4, the 120-300/2.8 and zooming is much smoother than the 50-500.

Another factor in favor of the 100-300/4 is weight. The 50-500 is about twice the weight of the 100-300.
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Old October 8th, 2009, 09:37 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kin Lau View Post
.....With the XL2, isn't the crop/mulitplier factor something like 6x?.....
Kin, The crop factor is 7.2x.
Thank you everyone for your help.

Caleb
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Old October 9th, 2009, 07:13 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Tony Davies-Patrick View Post
The Sigma 100-300 f/4 is the one to go for. It is by far the best optic - one of the best zooms ever made in that range, and perfect for the XL2.
May I ask, apart from its versatility on XL2, would the Sigma 100-300 f/4 be anything like as good as the Canon 400 for stills using 40D?
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Old October 9th, 2009, 08:02 AM   #7
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May I ask, apart from its versatility on XL2, would the Sigma 100-300 f/4 be anything like as good as the Canon 400 for stills using 40D?
Which Canon 400 lens you are talking about. Is it the Canon 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 IS, 400 f/5.6, 400 f/4 DO IS, or 400 f/2.8 IS?
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Old October 9th, 2009, 08:17 AM   #8
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Thank you Caleb; I was thinking of the fixed f/5.6 but thanks to your intervention, what I really need is comparison of the Sigma 100-300 f/4 with ...

the Canon 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 IS

The difference in focal length is obvious; it's the quality of glass and AF speed and BIF image holding I'm interested in learning about?
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Old October 9th, 2009, 11:21 AM   #9
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The Sigma 100-300mm f/4 actually has better image quality than the Canon 100-400mm, although the Sigma doesn't need to stretch the design limits as much as the Canon does in it's telephoto reach and IS.

Regarding the Canon prime 400mm f/5.6, the Sigma matches it again for image quality, although the 400mm f/2.8 would pip it at the post. In real-world image terms, all three would be hard to tell apart.
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Old April 17th, 2010, 05:19 AM   #10
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Tony, what sort of comparison test did you do with these lenses?
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Old April 17th, 2010, 08:09 AM   #11
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I'm going to go against the grain on this one. I had a sigma 100-300 F4 and while its good I don't rate it as great (my copy at least). However I recently got a 100-300 F5.6 Nikon (Manual ai) lens which is probably 25+ yrs old. - I think its as sharp or sharper than the sigma although it can pick up some ca in out of focus hightlights (not bad though). I also have the 80-200 F2.8 ED lens and I'd say the 100-300 isn't far off this from an IQ pov. - I bought it as a punt really and was quite surprised, the best point however is it only cost 100 !

(I use them on a JVC GY HD110)
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