Thoughts on long zoom choices

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rōken

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Nov 30, 2021
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chuck
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Sigma Sport 150-600 worked well for a couple of years. I had it on Nikon D500 (1.5X crop factor) hand held. We have some very specific problems that combination solved. When raptors are flying towards the camera along a cliff, that camera and lens is able to lock focus on the bird and not the cliff. Same problems and same solution for birds flying over, under and through reeds and vegetation. When the focus comes off the bird, it’s possible to grab the focus ring and manually help focus catch up with your eye still in the viewfinder. But what didn’t work well was maintaining focus lock while zooming. Other lenses from Canon and Sony are able to stick to focus lock while zooming. Please keep in mind there’s quite a number of settings in the camera body and also custom settings for the lens that may make focus stick better for a given situation. I didn’t mount the Sigma on a tripod but because the front of the lens extends when zooming, balance is an issue and of course more of an issue when shooting video. After a couple of years of constant use, the zoom wore out and I sent the lens in to a factory authorized service center and had the rack replaced. The lens never worked right again. I sent the lens back to the repair shop, had the camera serviced by Nikon, tweaked autofocus micro adjustment, turned image stabilization and other settings on and off but didn’t ever get the image quality the photos had when the lens was new. After too many tries and too many blown shots, sold the lens “for parts or not working” on eBay.

Fast forward to 2021: autofocus on the Sony cameras is amazing and the 200 - 600 is a bargain. Just wish it was f4. And wish I could twist the focus ring to manually correct autofocus. Plus wish I could turn “hunt when autofocus impossible” off. If we stray into the realm of speculation, it would be great if Sony creates their version of Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4X and Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 180-400mm f/4E TC1.4X FL ED VR Lens.

America has laws prohibiting price fixing. Retailers can sell things for any price they choose, but if they advertise a price lower than MSRP the manufacturer will cut off their supply of new product. Something that sometimes works is: go into a brick and mortar store and tell them the best price you can get for that item and let them know they have to match that price if they want you to buy it from them. Sometimes they will throw in a card or battery for free so they don’t have to make out a receipt for less than MSRP.
 

Kari Koohete

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Kari Korpihete
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I'm in the market for a new daypack for short hikes of about a half day +. While at the local shop yesterday we checked out some bags for fit, along with the 200-600. It was a struggle to find a backpack it would fit. This got me to thinking, which is never a good idea.

A long zoom is definitely going to happen. I've narrowed it down to 3 choices:

* The 200-600. 12-1/2" L X 4.8" D
* The Sigma 150-600. 10.5" L X 4.3" D
* The Sony 100-400 W/2 X TC. 8" L X 3.8" D

I had not considered the 100-400 before because there's typically IQ degradation with a TC. However, after looking through samples and reviews I'm thinking that it's not very significant. I've seen some jaw-dropping shots made with the combo at 800mm. Another plus is that when shooting M-4/3 at the drag strip the PL 50-200 is my go to, it covers virtually all of the FL's I need when shooting down the wall. In equivalence it's the same FL as the 100-400. The considerable difference in size between it and the 200-600 is enticing. The downside with this combo is the limited aperture with the TC, that being f/11 at the long end. With the A7 IV purported to have good AF down to f/22, that shouldn't be an issue in normal light.

Another option is the Sigma. The 150 wide end is 'close enough' to 100 that it wouldn't change much in that venue. I'd need to move down the wall a bit more but not much. Still, I have my favorite spots. With a savings of 2" in length over the Sony and not needing TC, it too is attractive.

I think the 100-400/TC would be the most versatile but the TC still scares me a bit. Does anyone use this combo? Which would you choose, and why?
I have a Sony 100-400mm FE GM OSS lens which is a really good and sharp lens. I bought a Sony + 1.4 tele-extension for it, but when shooting with it, the blurred background was distracting and unpleasant. I experimented with different exposures and apertures as well as the electronic shutter, but I wasn’t happy with the result so I sold the teleconverter out. This was just my own experience of it.
 

spudhead

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Oct 28, 2020
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Gary
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I'm in the market for a new daypack for short hikes of about a half day +. While at the local shop yesterday we checked out some bags for fit, along with the 200-600. It was a struggle to find a backpack it would fit. This got me to thinking, which is never a good idea.

A long zoom is definitely going to happen. I've narrowed it down to 3 choices:

* The 200-600. 12-1/2" L X 4.8" D
* The Sigma 150-600. 10.5" L X 4.3" D
* The Sony 100-400 W/2 X TC. 8" L X 3.8" D

I had not considered the 100-400 before because there's typically IQ degradation with a TC. However, after looking through samples and reviews I'm thinking that it's not very significant. I've seen some jaw-dropping shots made with the combo at 800mm. Another plus is that when shooting M-4/3 at the drag strip the PL 50-200 is my go to, it covers virtually all of the FL's I need when shooting down the wall. In equivalence it's the same FL as the 100-400. The considerable difference in size between it and the 200-600 is enticing. The downside with this combo is the limited aperture with the TC, that being f/11 at the long end. With the A7 IV purported to have good AF down to f/22, that shouldn't be an issue in normal light.

Another option is the Sigma. The 150 wide end is 'close enough' to 100 that it wouldn't change much in that venue. I'd need to move down the wall a bit more but not much. Still, I have my favorite spots. With a savings of 2" in length over the Sony and not needing TC, it too is attractive.

I think the 100-400/TC would be the most versatile but the TC still scares me a bit. Does anyone use this combo? Which would you choose, and why?
ok so 200-600 no brainer given the quality at the price point , but there are images on here from tamron 150-500 that look good to me
 

Brownie

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Oct 22, 2021
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It's all off for now. I didn't get the 200-600 and canceled the A7 IV. Not sure which direction I'll be going, maybe something completely different.
 

Brownie

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Oct 22, 2021
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Back on again...I feel like a ping pong ball! I won't go into the details about what happened, but it was enough of a concern that the store owner called me. This has been a very odd experience. We ended up communicating via email. He apologized and offered the lens at the same price, less another sum of money for my trouble. I accepted the offer of the lens but declined the money insisting it isn't necessary. The one caveat I had was that since I had cancelled the A7 IV, and not knowing how long it will take to have them in stock for off-the-shelf purchases, I would have no use for the lens unless my place in the queue was restored. He did so and said one would be set aside for me on launch day, 12/23 (I'm betting they already have them in). He again insisted on the money and told me that amount had been deposited in my 'account' to use toward my purchase. I accepted reluctantly and promised to send as many people his way as possible.

Without a doubt the most incredible customer service I've received in decades, and maybe ever. These things should never be decided by the event itself, but the response and resolution.

If you ever get to Ann Arbor, by all means stop in at the Camera Mall.
 

AlphaWorld

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Apr 8, 2021
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Tony
Back on again...I feel like a ping pong ball! I won't go into the details about what happened, but it was enough of a concern that the store owner called me. This has been a very odd experience. We ended up communicating via email. He apologized and offered the lens at the same price, less another sum of money for my trouble. I accepted the offer of the lens but declined the money insisting it isn't necessary. The one caveat I had was that since I had cancelled the A7 IV, and not knowing how long it will take to have them in stock for off-the-shelf purchases, I would have no use for the lens unless my place in the queue was restored. He did so and said one would be set aside for me on launch day, 12/23 (I'm betting they already have them in). He again insisted on the money and told me that amount had been deposited in my 'account' to use toward my purchase. I accepted reluctantly and promised to send as many people his way as possible.

Without a doubt the most incredible customer service I've received in decades, and maybe ever. These things should never be decided by the event itself, but the response and resolution.

If you ever get to Ann Arbor, by all means stop in at the Camera Mall.

Having a good relationship with a camera dealer can make a huge difference. It doesn't always mean paying more, either - I have received excellent discounts from a bricks-and-mortar store.

Good luck with your purchase!
 
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Jeff A

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Jeff
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Congratulations, again! I think that you are probably correct in your assumption that they probably already have the camera. Just imagine a store the size of B&H, who probably have a shocking amount of Back Orders, start shipping a handful of cameras each day for how long? Joe Smith is going to hear that Ben Jones got his camera and he didn't! There could be a potential for a lot of pissed off customers. I think that they are probably handling it fairly, AS LONG AS I GET MINE FIRST! :LOL:
 
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