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Canon Lens


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#1 calepo

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 08:37 PM

I have a Canon 7D and I really need a lens for birding. Any recommendations?

#2 Grandpa577

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 08:58 PM

400mm f5.6 with monopod. Some photo examples.

#3 cabirds

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 09:29 PM

I shoot the Tamron 200-500 f/5-6.3 Di/LD (second generation) and the Canon 100-400L IS with a 1.4 TC.

I'm torn between them, but give me another month with the Canon and I'll decide. :)
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#4 canon eos

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 11:20 PM

Well of course it depends upon your budget, for one. Weight is also a major factor.
Considering 400mm with a cropped sensor such as your 7D is the minimum, the Canon 400L is both a great lens, and a very good value.

#5 Doug Herr

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 01:26 AM

Depends a lot on your desire for convenience features, your skill level, your expected results and your financial constraints.

I agree with the others, 400mm is a good place to start.

Conveniences often involve trade-offs and only you can decide what features are important to you and what you're willing to sacrifice. If you can prioritize the various features available on long lenses we can probably help narrow the choices down for you.

#6 Liam

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 06:48 PM

Agree with the Canon 400mm f/5.6L. I plan to get that one soon.

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#7 jsa47

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 01:27 AM

Agree with the Canon 400mm f/5.6L. I plan to get that one soon.

That's what I use and I love it.
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#8 guy_incognito

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 06:21 PM

If it will be used for birding only, and you usually have good light, then the Canon 400mm prime is probably best for you.

If you want to use it for other nature and wildlife photography, the versatility of the Canon 100-400mm might be useful. I have the 100-400mm and have been very happy with it. The main pros include the versatility of the zoom and the image stabilization (IS). Some people will say that IS is not necessary for birding, because if you are expecting good results, then your shutter speed should be high enough that IS adds a negligible benefit. However, I have found myself numerous times in low light where the shutter speed dropped to 1/30s with ISO 1600 or more, and I have actually gotten very respectable results. Sure they aren't going to be National Geographic worthy, but they are still respectable, and I am positive they would have been far worse without IS.

The downsides of the 100-400mm vs the 400mm prime are the increased price, increased weight, and reportedly the lens may not be quite as sharp.

Good luck with your decision, whether going Canon or third-party. I think you'll be happy with the results with any lens with focal length 400mm or higher. Just choose based on the factors most important to you (price, weight, zoom versatility, IS).

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#9 fergusonjlf

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 09:48 PM

I picked the Tamron 200-500mm because it is much lighter. I can hand hold it - and the Canon L lenses are just too heavy for me. My biggest complaint about the Tamron is that the focus seems awfully slow - but I have no idea about the quantitative performance of the lens focusing.



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#10 canon eos

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 11:18 PM

"I picked the Tamron 200-500mm because it is much lighter. I can hand hold it - and the Canon L lenses are just too heavy for me. My biggest complaint about the Tamron is that the focus seems awfully slow - but I have no idea about the quantitative performance of the lens focusing."............


The Canon is 1250g and the Tamron is 1237g. That's not really 'much lighter'.

And really, the Canon 400L is in a different class; it is tack-sharp wide open (f5.6), while the Tamron drops to a f6.3, and needs to be stopped down at least a stop for best performance.

But it is $400. less expensive!



#11 cabirds

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 10:12 AM

You found the f/5-6.3 Di/LD for $400? That seems unlikely unless it's horribly abused used. You might be looking at the first gen... (I have both the 200-500LD/Di and the 100-400 L/IS). The Di/LD is a $950 lens.

My Di/LD is 1510gr, my 100-400 L/IS is 1600gr on the nose. Both with their included lens hoods mounted. (No TC)

My Di/LD shoots sharper than the 100-400L at the longest end given good light for both. The Canon shoots sharper on the short end.

Neither shoots sharp enough wide open. The Canon gets one stop advantage over the Di/LD - but add the TC to get equivalent magnification and they're the same. In lower light the IS is a small advantage if I brace it against something. Remember the IS is only good for +/- 0.5deg. It's more about vibration than shake. Shooting from the car with the motor still running braced against the window frame, the IS is "all that and a bag of chips".

The Canon wins hands-down in focus speed and accuracy in tough environments, with or without the TC.
--- Jodie in Sacramento

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