Author Topic: Brighter days = photography  (Read 5037 times)

Brighter days = photography
on: April 07, 2016, 06:11:31 AM
Now the weather and daylight hours are improving my photography itch has started again.

Upgraded to the Canon 7D mk2, I want to update my lens to the mk2 version to but its a bit of an expensive move.

Couple of images from the weekend at BTCC Brands Hatch, I haven't yet had a chance to get through all of them:

Tripod by Adam Woodford, on Flickr

Different Line by Adam Woodford, on Flickr
Last Edit: April 07, 2016, 06:13:24 AM by Binary Shadow #187;

  • Offline zpyder

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Re: Brighter days = photography
Reply #1 on: April 07, 2016, 09:11:37 AM
Dude, you're not tempted by the sigma 150-600? Apart from the weight it's pretty sweet...cheaper than the mkii too.

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Re: Brighter days = photography
Reply #2 on: April 08, 2016, 04:21:25 AM
The Sigma is actually quite heavy.

Second issue is getting any better results from it. In motor sports you need as much light in as you can get.

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Re: Brighter days = photography
Reply #3 on: April 09, 2016, 22:03:05 PM
I know it's heavy, blooming heavy! I've got one!

However, going from a crop sensor to full frame, I found 400mm just didn't cut the mustard any more. That left me with either the Tamron or Sigma 150-600 options.

I started out with the Tamron, it's actually quite a good lens, not too bad, did the job. Took it to Canada and took it on some hikes, got a few good shots:

Eastern Kingbird by Chris Moody, on Flickr

Least chipmunk by Chris Moody, on Flickr

North American beaver (Castor canadensis) by Chris Moody, on Flickr

So yeah, light is a bit of an issue. But one other benefit of going full frame, is you can get away with higher ISO. That beaver shot is at 3200, and was taken at dusk in very low light. I raised the exposure in post processing to bring it back to daylight levels. Yes if you look at it 100% there's noise, a stock agency likely won't take it, but it's still useable.

Yet for some reason I decided, that despite getting a good number of keepers, the Tamron wasn't for me. I traded it in and ended up with the Sigma 150-600mm Sport edition. Given that even the lens hood is metal, it's a good kilo heavier than the Tamron, and I seriously doubt I'd have been able to lug the Sigma around and up through the Rockies like I did the Tamron.

However, weight is the only real downside... autofocus is very reliable, the build quality also is nuts, so I know the lens will last me a good long while. To answer the question about needing the light for the motorsports, and if you're thinking the subjects in the above shots were stationary, the following weren't exactly slow movers, and were even photographed in this country in October last year, where the daylight isn't necessarily that great:

Curlew by Chris Moody, on Flickr

Kestrel with cricket by Chris Moody, on Flickr

And this one was stationary, but it shows the detail obtainable:
Ruff by Chris Moody, on Flickr



So all in all, on a full frame that does well in low light / high ISO, the smaller max aperture isn't too much of an issue. I'd be curious what Binary has to say about the noise on the 7DMkII compared to the 7D, which I found to be exceptionally bad.

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Re: Brighter days = photography
Reply #4 on: April 12, 2016, 02:27:07 AM
I bought the earlier 150-500mm version of the Sigma, which is a little lighter. It's a pain to try to hold steady and I doubt if I will take it out much in the future.

Then my old canon is an APS-C sensor, so it effectively ended up equivalent to 225-900mm. At the longer end it was a pain to use.

A number of professionals claim a 400mm with 1.4X teleconverter is a better option. Lighter, better quality image.

Then does motorsports really need a 600mm focal length? You can normally get close enough to use a 200mm lens without being in excessive danger. What do you actually want to see? The hairs in the drivers nostrils? ;D

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Re: Brighter days = photography
Reply #5 on: April 12, 2016, 11:38:10 AM
Problem with the 400 +teleconverter is cost, when the 100-400 MkII is more than the sigma without the telecoverter on top, you'd also end up with an f-stop less light.  Depending on what you read as well there are some comparisons that suggest that there really isn't much in it in terms of image quality.

Last I checked Adam still did a bit of wildlife photography as well so yeah, it's all personal choice. The weight is an issue but for what I do its my best option.


Re: Brighter days = photography
Reply #6 on: April 12, 2016, 18:45:04 PM
Not sure on the sigma, I have had:

70-200 F2.8
150-500

Both were complete sh*t and so soft it was pointless using them.

Yep still into wildlife as well as motorsport and air shows. Using a crop body helps with the focal length.

I believe the noise on the 7d2 is better than the 7d but I haven't done a direct comparison.
Last Edit: April 12, 2016, 18:50:45 PM by Binary Shadow #187;

Re: Brighter days = photography
Reply #7 on: April 20, 2016, 06:06:03 AM

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Re: Brighter days = photography
Reply #8 on: April 20, 2016, 21:30:03 PM
Yeah, must admit I am now rethinking things a bit and am seriously considering trading in my Sigma due to the weight and size, as we'll be finally going on our honeymoon in June and there's no way I can lug the sigma around the world!

Having said that, I still maintain that it is a damn good lens for the money. Yes it may not be as sharp as the Canon, but the difference is only really noticeable at pixel peeping levels, the main difference to me is the size and weight. I'll be having a play with the 100-400 and an extender in a shop sometime in the near future, if I can get the OK from the other half haha.

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Re: Brighter days = photography
Reply #9 on: May 04, 2016, 14:49:57 PM
So I ended up biting the bullet, as my wife and I still plan on doing a nature blog in the future, and our looming honeymoon is too good an opportunity to miss in terms of getting photographs of more exotic species. As a result the Sigma 150-600 is out and has been replaced with the 100-400mkII + a 1.4x II extender.

Initial thoughts:

  • It's so much easier to carry around, I can actually fit it in my backpack without issue, and have it on a neck strap all day. In comparison, when I took my Sigma in to be part-ex'd, the only bag I had big enough for the box was a bin bag!
  • Autofocus is very fast and accurate, more so than the sigma, which to be fair was perfectly adequate anyway.
  • The 1.4x II extender brings the focal range almost in line with the 150-600...and it's fine for static, large, or slow moving subjects. Small fast moving subjects are a no go, could not achieve focus on some sand martins against a clear blue sky. without the extender the lens kept up easily. On the bonus side, my MP-E 65mm 1:1-5 macro can now be extended to 1:7 macro, which is pretty nuts.
  • Unless pixel peeping, image quality isn't improved enough to warrant the upgrade. The main thing is size and weight.

So ultimately, I've given up some convenience of an all in one lens, for a lighter smaller package. The rest of the differences are minor enough to not factor in the decision making process really.

I am curious as to whether I'd have noticed any significant performance boosts if I'd bought the 1.4x III extender, but a second hand II model for £100 was too good an opportunity to miss.

Re: Brighter days = photography
Reply #10 on: May 12, 2016, 05:51:16 AM
Nice!

for a lighter smaller package.

Some might say that this is actually more convenient as you can take it more places and not have it pull your arms off.

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Re: Brighter days = photography
Reply #11 on: May 15, 2016, 15:01:12 PM
Carrying a 70-300mm zoom is certainly more convenient than a 150-600mm - I can shove the smaller lens in my pocket.

Been considering a fishing waistcoat. BIG pockets to carry photographic stuff.

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Re: Brighter days = photography
Reply #12 on: June 26, 2016, 02:39:20 AM
Something like this might be useful. It's meant for carrying two cameras but many bigger lenses have a tripod mount included for balance. You can screw one fastener into the camera and the other (there was two on the one I got, even if not in the illustration) into the camera base.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fotga-holdster-Shoulder-Adjustable-Panasonic/dp/B00UXA3BJO

Seems to be same one as being used by the middle photographer in this youtube. Does have some issue with the other two talking over his head though.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hbli8lh9Pcw

Re: Brighter days = photography
Reply #13 on: August 12, 2016, 09:33:14 AM
Well iv gone for it, ebayed some kit and ordered the 100-400mk2, looking forward to it :D

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Re: Brighter days = photography
Reply #14 on: August 16, 2016, 22:57:27 PM
You won't regret it. It really is a good lens.

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