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Long telephoto experiences? IQ, length and OS

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samfieldhouse View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote samfieldhouse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Long telephoto experiences? IQ, length and OS
    Posted: 27 December 2021 at 11:47
Hi all, I continue to read all the user reviews but wondered if anybody could add any specific thoughts and advice?

My current tele is the Sigma 120-400 (DG APO HSM OS) which I'm generally pleased with. The OS is good, colours are lovely and in bright conditions its very sharp at f/8 400mm. It focus hunts a bit and in less than bright conditions the lower aperture settings quickly degrade IQ.

Why would I change it? I wouldn't mind some additional reach, or faster focussing. Or actually something lighter!

I've been eyeing the following alternatives:
Sony 70-400 G SSM - in the belief that it may be "better"... I have no experience of G lenses.How far does that f/4 go?
Sigma 150-500 - longer but slower at the long end. Where can I find out what the minimum aperture would be at 400mm?
Tamron 150-600 - Super long! Also f/5 at 150 same as my current Sigma.

As you can maybe guess I don't think of myself as a photographer - I just like taking photos. I do a lot of sailing and walking, so a bit of reach is nice for birds and boats. The lack of OS in the Tamron worries me slightly?

Any thoughts appreciated.
 



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QuietOC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote QuietOC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 December 2021 at 13:15
The Sigma 150-500 OS I tried wasn't well aligned at all at the far end, but so was a Sony 70-400 G SSM. I had used another 70-400 G that was probably fine. Just there are no guarantees with telephoto zooms. Another example of your current one might be just as likely better than a random example of some other design.

I found Sigma OS useful with their 70-200 F2.8. The panning mode works well. Sony could use a panning setting for in-body stabilization.

There is little difference between 400 and 500 mm. Even 600 mm is not much of a bump from 400 mm. I opted to get the 1.4x converter for the 200-600--840mm is nice to have when I really need reach.

I have two copies of the Minolta 100-400 APO right now which are ok. They are one of the lightest 400 mm lenses available, but they only F6.7 at that end. That leads to more focus hunting.

I have an HSM version of the Sigma 400 F5.6 APO Tele Macro that is very good. These aren't easy to find in good shape. It is nearly as big as the 200-600 G.

Edited by QuietOC - 27 December 2021 at 13:24
Sony A7RIV NEX-5T HVL-F45RM LA-EA5 Metabones-IV Sigma MC-11 Yongnuo EF-E II TLT ROKR MD-NEX KR-NEX DA-NEX
Minolta Maxxum 600si
Pentax Q7 5-15 15-45/2.8 8.5/1.9 11.5/9 AF-P/Q
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addy landzaat View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 December 2021 at 14:05
I doubt the Sony 70-400G will be that much better then your Sigma. If the wider side is important, yes, the Sony makes sense, but else, I probably wouldn't bother.

If you want to update, I think the 150-600 makes the most sense. It gives you most improvement in range - but those lenses are huge imho. Your camera has IBIS (in body image stabilisation) so you do need really need OS in your lens. It'll be fine.
Why not follow me on Instagram? @Addy_101
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ffrolvaag View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ffrolvaag Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 March 2022 at 15:59
I just checked my copy of the 70-400G and here is what I had for max aperture as I zoomed through the range.
F4.0 @70mm
F4.5 @100mm
F5.0 @200mm
F5.6 @300mm

I don't have any experience with your specific lens. However, my 70-400G is great, but in general like all long telephoto will suffer from hunting at the long end depending on light and the camera used, and are softer wide open vs. stopped down. Having several different long lenses (70-400G, 300 f2.8, 500mm f8, 600 f4, 1000mm f8) additional reach is always nice, but comes with the compromise of needing increasing amounts of stabilization (monopod or tripod). I put the 70-400G and 300mm f2.8 at my limit of hand holding, so if hand-holding is important, check out the weight and length of the lenses.

This class of lens is generally too expensive to just buy on a whim for most people. I would recommend that if you can rent or try out a lens, you can make a comparison before purchase.

Good luck!
Franz



a900, a700, 5600hs, 1200 (w/MFC-1000), 3x converted f1.2 (Rokkor 58, Nikon 50 ais, and Pentax 50), 85mm f1.4, 100mm f2.8, 70-400G, and way too much other stuff to mention
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