Canon lens for wildlife

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by roy@carealternatives.com, Nov 27, 2005.

  1. Guest

    I am a new photographer. I have chosen to go with the canon 20D. I am
    considering the canon 100-400 IS usm-L lens. My concern is that it may
    be too slow at f/5.6. I am shootng large animals, bears, moose, etc.
    Canon says it is great for wildlife.
    Thank you
    , Nov 27, 2005
    #1
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  2. <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >I am a new photographer. I have chosen to go with the canon 20D. I am
    > considering the canon 100-400 IS usm-L lens. My concern is that it may
    > be too slow at f/5.6. I am shootng large animals, bears, moose, etc.
    > Canon says it is great for wildlife.


    And it is. Boost the ISO to 200, 400 or even 800 when you must to
    compensate for this slower lens. You will like the results, under most
    conditions.
    Charles Schuler, Nov 27, 2005
    #2
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  3. Malcolm Stewart, Nov 28, 2005
    #3
  4. SamSez Guest

    wrote in news:1133133989.467411.278520
    @g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com:

    > I am a new photographer. I have chosen to go with the canon 20D. I am
    > considering the canon 100-400 IS usm-L lens. My concern is that it may
    > be too slow at f/5.6. I am shootng large animals, bears, moose, etc.
    > Canon says it is great for wildlife.
    > Thank you
    >


    Unless you are shooting in the dark, I think you will be quite happy with
    the results. Except for very fast moving subjects, the IS will give you
    those few more stops that can otherwise only be had with a much more
    expensive [and heavy] piece of glass. The push-pull zoom may take a little
    getting used to, but I have found the 100-400's one-ring zoom/focus to
    actually be an advantage for wildlife shooting over separate zoom and focus
    rings. I have been quite happy shooting hummingbirds with this lens on the
    20d, and I suspect that 'large animals' [i.e, slower moving] would only be
    better. I even use this lens with the Canon 1.4 extender, and, while I
    have to give up auto-focus [the scotch-tape hack to restore AF just doesn't
    work well], I still get results that I think are better than an equivalent
    crop.
    SamSez, Nov 28, 2005
    #4
  5. Bill Hilton Guest

    >I am a new photographer. I have chosen to go with the canon 20D. I am
    >considering the canon 100-400 IS usm-L lens. My concern is that it may
    >be too slow at f/5.6. I am shootng large animals, bears, moose, etc


    I have a 100-400 and also the 300 f/4 L, 400 f/5.6 L and 500 f/4 L IS
    .... there is no question that the 500 f/4 is a much better lens for
    wildlife, but it costs almost 4x as much as the 100-400 ... the other
    lenses I mentioned have better image quality but this is off-set by the
    lack of IS (I have the non-IS 300) and lack of zoom ... the 100-400 is
    OK as a starter lens but a stop slow, though as others mention you can
    just bump up the ISO to get the desired shutter speed, within reason.
    To me the lens doesn't have high enough contrast or image quality as
    the corners compared to the other lenses I use, but it's OK. Not
    great, OK ... :) At least compared to the fixed focal length
    tele-photos I prefer using ... someone coming from one of the cheap
    consumer grade zooms like the 75-300 probably like the 100-400 a lot
    more.

    Here are about 40 shots I took mostly last spring, mostly of birds in
    the desert near where I live ... most were made with the 500 and a 1.4x
    t/c and a 1D Mark II (ie, 700 mm optical, about 910 mm 35 mm equiv
    f-o-v). If I had used the 100-400 I doubt I would have gotten five of
    these and none would look as good due to the lens quality and more
    out-of-focus backgrounds, I feel ...
    http://members.aol.com/bhilton665/desert/index.htm

    Since you mentioned bears and moose (Alaska?) here are a couple of bear
    shots from Sept (and a couple from years past) with basically the same
    gear ... I had the 100-400 along on this trip and shot about 20% with
    it but prefer the longer lens ...
    http://members.aol.com/bhilton665/bear_D2614.jpg
    http://members.aol.com/bhilton665/yogi.jpg
    http://members.aol.com/bhilton665/bear_D2663.jpg
    http://members.aol.com/bhilton665/bear_W2651.jpg
    http://members.aol.com/bhilton665/D3882_wolf.jpg
    http://members.aol.com/bhilton665/D4025_grizz.jpg

    >Canon says it is great for wildlife.


    It's OK but it sure isn't "great", at least in my book.

    Bill
    Bill Hilton, Nov 28, 2005
    #5
  6. JohnR66 Guest

    <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >I am a new photographer. I have chosen to go with the canon 20D. I am
    > considering the canon 100-400 IS usm-L lens. My concern is that it may
    > be too slow at f/5.6. I am shootng large animals, bears, moose, etc.
    > Canon says it is great for wildlife.
    > Thank you
    >

    300mm f/4 IS. Sharp wide open, a stop faster than the zoom.
    John
    JohnR66, Nov 28, 2005
    #6
  7. Dirty Harry Guest

    "JohnR66" <> wrote in message
    news:s2tif.99434$...
    > <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    > >I am a new photographer. I have chosen to go with the canon 20D. I am
    > > considering the canon 100-400 IS usm-L lens. My concern is that it may
    > > be too slow at f/5.6. I am shootng large animals, bears, moose, etc.
    > > Canon says it is great for wildlife.
    > > Thank you
    > >

    > 300mm f/4 IS. Sharp wide open, a stop faster than the zoom.
    > John



    For someone new I would think the 100-400 would be a better choice. The
    300f/4 is great but no zoom can make framing things a bitch, its also a
    tank. For pros who can afford a range of primes sure...for someone new
    something more versatile would be better. The 100-400 isn't going to need
    to be ultra fast since most wildlife photography happens in the day with
    lots of light.
    Dirty Harry, Nov 28, 2005
    #7
  8. Jim Townsend Guest

    wrote:

    > I am a new photographer. I have chosen to go with the canon 20D. I am
    > considering the canon 100-400 IS usm-L lens. My concern is that it may
    > be too slow at f/5.6. I am shootng large animals, bears, moose, etc.
    > Canon says it is great for wildlife.
    > Thank you


    I've got a Canon 100-400IS lens.. It's great for daytime wildlife
    shooting. I'm pleased with the quality of the images.

    But to address your concern, I do find the f/5.6 at the long end starts
    getting noticeably slow as the sun sets or on dark heavily overcast days.
    Jim Townsend, Nov 28, 2005
    #8
  9. On 27 Nov 2005 15:26:29 -0800, in rec.photo.digital
    wrote:

    >I am a new photographer. I have chosen to go with the canon 20D. I am
    >considering the canon 100-400 IS usm-L lens. My concern is that it may
    >be too slow at f/5.6. I am shootng large animals, bears, moose, etc.
    >Canon says it is great for wildlife.


    Under cover of forest? During what time of day?
    --
    Ed Ruf Lifetime AMA# 344007 ()
    See images taken with my CP-990/5700 & D70 at
    http://edwardgruf.com/Digital_Photography/General/index.html
    Ed Ruf (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!), Nov 28, 2005
    #9
  10. Bill Hilton Guest

    >Harry writes ...
    >
    >The 300f/4 is great but no zoom can make framing things a bitch


    I agree with this part ...

    > ... its also a tank.


    But not this ... the 300 f/4 is a bit smaller than the 100-400
    extended, weighs about the same or a little less, and transports easier
    because the hood is built-in while the 100-400 hood isn't. Maybe you
    were thinking about the 300 f/2.8 L, which is much larger?
    Bill Hilton, Nov 28, 2005
    #10
  11. Guest

    Thank you for sending your photos. They are wonderful. I took some
    great brown bear photos, great pictures with a point and shoot. I have
    shown my pictures to some pro's who thought they were special. They
    also told me I needed a "real" camera. So I am getting all my research
    done. I get sooo confused. Thanks for your input.
    , Nov 29, 2005
    #11
  12. Bill Hilton Guest

    >I took some great brown bear photos, great pictures with a point
    >and shoot. I have shown my pictures to some pro's who thought
    >they were special.


    If you're getting great brown bear pics with a point and shoot then
    you're a better man than me, that's for sure :)

    >They also told me I needed a "real" camera. So I am getting all my
    >research done. I get sooo confused


    It sounds like you have safe access to bears at close range (since
    you're doing well with the point-and-shoot) so the 100-400 would be OK
    at close range ... assuming that's your budget I'd personally get the
    70-200 f/4 L and the 400 f/5.6 L instead, which together cost about the
    same as the 100-400 IS (maybe slightly more). The optics on these are
    definitely better than the 100-400 (between my wife and I we have all
    of these and have compared apples to apples) ... get a 1.4x converter
    and the 70-200 will cover out to 280 mm with very little image quality
    loss.

    But the joker in the deck is the IS feature of the 100-400, a feature
    neither the 70-200 f/4 nor the 400 f/5.6 L have (the 70-200 f/2.8 L has
    it but then you blow your budget). I go to Alaska twice a year in bad
    years and four times in good years and Alaska is a place where IS is
    really useful, in situations like the shuttle bus thru Denali (where I
    shot the grizzly and wolf pics) or the platform at Brooks in Katmai or
    from a plane or from a boat on the coast or standing knee-deep in a
    river with the water pushing against the tripod as a bear walks up to
    you ( this guy got to 10 ft before he turned away ...
    http://members.aol.com/bhilton665/yogi.jpg ... this was with the 500 IS
    and a 1.4x, though I didn't really need the 1.4x as this is uncropped
    vertically ) ... probably the only reason I keep the 100-400 IS is for
    Alaska situations ... but I always feel the images could be better when
    compared to the 500 f/4 L ... but images from the 100-400 should be a
    lot better than you could get with a point-and-shoot, I'd think.

    Anyway, if you have a spot where you can get close to bears safely let
    me know, I'd like to try it myself :) I'll be in Alaska in February,
    July and Sept next year. Thanks for any info you can provide.

    Bill
    Bill Hilton, Nov 29, 2005
    #12
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