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Sigma or Canon 100-400

Discussion in 'Lens Matters' started by Wavemachine, Aug 20, 2017.

  1. Wavemachine

    Wavemachine Member

    I am looking at getting a more portable zoom lens, currently I have a Sigma 150-600 C which whilst a great lens is a bit of a lump, at the other end I have a Tamron 70-300SP which is okay but I tad soft and want a little more reach.

    I am torn between a brand new Sigma 100-400 C or a second hand Canon 100-400L IS (older version),as I see it the Canon is a faster lens but it is much older and I have read that the Sigma out of the box has poor OS which can be fixed by tweaking some settings in the USB Dock (which I already have), I have also read that dust can be an issue on the Canon due to the trombone zoom mechanism so I will need to be very careful if picking up a second hand one.

    I will be shooting primarily on a 7D mkII and have to say that whilst I am leaning more towards the Sigma based on it being a newer lens, having a 3 year Warranty and great IQ the Canon seems to be a good solid lens.

    I will at this stage say that I can't justify or afford the 100-400L IS2 around £800 is my budget.

    Primary usage for the lens will be aircraft, birds and general wildlife.

    I would appreciate opinions on this.

    Many thanks
  2. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    That's an old wives' tale; it really doesn't suck in lots of extra dust. A little dust is inevitable on any used lens, and the 100-400 is actually no worse than any other for this.
  3. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    Dust is only an issue in most lenses if people make it one. Recently I listed a lens which has a few tiny dust particles on Ebay, I declared them in the item description, I had contacts from two "buyers", both very concerned that a lens could have dust in it! I suggested that they check their own lenses carefully.
  4. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    the 100-400 mkii is vastly better than the mk I. If you specifically want to use it mostly at 400 you can look at the 400 F5.6 L. It has no stabilisation but it is relatively light and very sharp wide open. I bought one for a first birding lens. Today if I had The choice I'd buy the 100-400 ii because it is reputedly as good as the prime and has IS but I'm happy to keep using the 400.
  5. Wavemachine

    Wavemachine Member

    Thanks for the replies, so the dust thing is no more of an issue than any other lens which is good to know.

    I have looked at the 400mm prime but really I need the flexibility of a zoom rather than zooming with my feet ;)

    I am still torn between the canon and sigma despite an afternoon of watching videos and reading reviews, I certainly can't go up to the 100-400 ISii but as it turns out a local camera shop has a used canon and a new Sigma in stock so maybe I should try both and see which I prefer.
  6. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    This is probably your best option. The old style trombone or push/pull zooms are a bit of a 'Marmite' choice... When I took up photography these kind of zooms were the more popular as you could zoom by pushing the collar backward and forward and focus by turning the same collar - this was the days of manual focus. A popular term at the time was one touch zoom (as opposed the old two touch design with one ring to zoom and one to focus). Now everything is AF the issue with separate zoom and focus isn't really an issue and most zooms are now the two ring type.

    I have a mix of the two, most are the two touch type but I do have some push/pull AF zooms. If I'm honest with modern AF I do find the two touch design easier to use - it's far less bother and generally easier to turn a ring than push or pull a largish collar over what can be quite a distance - my 200-400mm Tamron more or less doubles in length when you zoom from minimum to maximum and it's not the most compact lens to start with. I also would say the ring type zooms are generally easier to frame properly - the push pull mechanism seems inherently harder to be precise with when changing focal length.

    Give both types a good work out on camera - I suspect you'll soon come to a decision...
  7. Wavemachine

    Wavemachine Member

    Many thanks El Sid, funny enough I found a friend of a friend who had a mark 1 100-400 and borrowed it for a couple of hours, I do have a Sigma 100-600 so know what to expect with the 100-400.

    I got on with the canon lens very well and quite liked the Zoom, the image quality seemed nice as did the AF, it is also one stop faster which will help so I have decided to go with the canon, you were bang on with "Give both types a good work out on camera - I suspect you'll soon come to a decision... "

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