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Girlfriend thinks I Cheating, HELP

Ben120379

Active Member
Hey,

So I am trying to research and buy my girlfriend (probably should be wife after 18 years....) a decent zoom lens for her Canon EDS 600D.

Not knowing much about cameras is hard enough, but we share phones and to stop her knowing what I am thinking of getting her for Christmas I have started hiding my phone, secretly disappearing to use it, and deleting my browser history and keeping any useful information in a private password locked folder on my friend, and she is getting VERY suspicious as to what I am up to (assumes cheating 😂

So it’s either a good Christmas present of a new girlfriend at this stage, unless anyone out there helps me.

Well enough chit chat, she currently has a Canon 55-250mm lens, but the zoom isn’t enough for her to get good pictures of the wildlife (birds, koloas, kangeroos, snakes etc.) in the garden as it’s generally too far away for her current lens.

My research (google) has lead me to one of the following:

Tamron SP 150-600mm F5-6.3 Di Vc
Sigma 150-600mm 5-6.3 Contemporary DG OS
Canon EF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 IS USM

Now I sort of know that the last mm number is the distance part and the F I think is to do with lighting....

But just in case I can advise it will mostly be used on sunny days to take pictures on animals / birds that are usually not moving too much.

If someone could advise if the 3 above are in the ballpark (too much / not enough) of what I should be looking for, or if there are any alternatives I should be very grateful and hopefully not single!!!

Thank you in advance for any replies.
 

spannersatcx

Well-known Member
The 150-600 are heavy lenses and she may struggle holding it, I certainly did. I now have the canon 100-400 and it is a superior lense, still heavyish but not like the 150-600's. Plus on an APS-C camera you get extra reach 400*1.6.
 

shotokan101

Distinguished Member
Monopod with the longer lenses ?
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
I really like my Sigma C 100-400 OS, ok it does not have the widest of apertures but is very sharp wide open and is easy to hold and compact. Going by testing on lenstip it is as sharp as the canon 100-400 L but looses out a bit on the autofocus speed but is a third of the price (c.£600). Tamron do a similar lens which seems to be as good.





Here’s what it can do :D 315mm f6,3 on canon 6d


IMG_3898a
by A H, on Flickr
 

snerkler

Distinguished Member
As mentioned, the 150-600mm's are heavy and it can become a chore carrying them around. My choice would be the Tamron 100-400mm
 

Johnmcl7

Distinguished Member
I agree with the posts about the 150-600mm being an awkward size to use, I bought one for my FF DSLR which I regret purchasing as I've almost never used it as I just find it too bulky to carry with me.

I think the 100-400mm suggestions are a good idea and would be the telephoto I'd considering although it's still not going to be a huge focal length at the far end.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Other than on the 600D the 100-400 is the same as the 160-640 on a full frame.
 

Ben120379

Active Member
Thanks for everybody who replied.

So the group opinion is a 100-400mm lens. A stupid question, but how much more zoom does that provide over her current 50-250 lens. Would it be an extra zoom of say 1 and 3/5, so close to 1.5x?
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member

You can use the link above to simulate her camera and lens. Choose FX for lens type and DX (Nikons version of APS-C crop sensor similar to 600D) and then move the slider to 250mma and 400mm and you will see the difference. The image is almost twice as big at 400mm as opposed to 250mm i.e. if at 400mm the object fills the frame it will only fill half of the frame at 250mm.

I think the biggest issue is size and weight. The 100-400 Sigma/Tamron are easily hand held, the 150-600 ones need a monopod at least.

600D is 560g.
Canon EFS 55-250 IS is 375g - so with camera is 935g
Sigma 100-400 C is 1160g - so with camera is 1720g. (almost twice what she is used to)
Sigma 150-600 C is 1930g - so with camera is 2490g (almost three times what she is used to)

Size comparison here -


The other thing to think about is that her current zoom is OK but it is at the budget end of the market and as such is not the sharpest, the Sigma is significantly sharper and is very good wide open whereas as the Canon 55-250 has to be at f8.0 to get the best out of it which means you can run higher shutter speed therefore less blur from hand shakes )or ability to stop action) and has a better background isolation.

 

snerkler

Distinguished Member
Thanks for everybody who replied.

So the group opinion is a 100-400mm lens. A stupid question, but how much more zoom does that provide over her current 50-250 lens. Would it be an extra zoom of say 1 and 3/5, so close to 1.5x?
It's very difficult to think about focal lengths in terms of 'zoom' as it's not quite a simple as that tbh. For example a 25-100mm is a 4x zoom, but so it a 100-400mm. Also, the longer the focal range the less you notice a change in the framing of an image. For example if you take one photo at 16mm and another at 24mm the difference in the shot will be quite dramatic, however take one at 600mm and another at 800mm and the difference won't be 'that' much.

In this situation though going from 250mm (400mm eq) to 400mm (640mm eq) will make a difference and will be worthwhile imo. The simulator posted above is a good way to see what difference a different focal length will make. Just remember to choose the DX camera as the 600D is a crop sensor body (DX in Nikon terms). It won't be 100% exact as Canon has a crop factor of 1.6 and Nikon 1.5, but it will be near enough.

From the simulator with a scene like this (50mm which is kind of how the eye sees it)
Screenshot 2019-12-02 at 13.48.02.png


at 250mm (400mm eq) you get this
Screenshot 2019-12-02 at 13.47.02.png


and 400mm (640mm eq) you get this
Screenshot 2019-12-02 at 13.47.35.png
 
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newbie1

Distinguished Member
Haha, the title got my attention!

With wildlife, generally people want as much reach as possible. Do you think she would prefer a handholdable 100-400 or a 150-600 that will likely need a monopod or tripod but will get much closer to the subjects?

Next is the question of how much light? If she is shooting in bright sunshine this is much less of an issue, if she likes to shoot with less light e.g. dawn or dusk then canon has an edge as it lets in more light.

Looks like a useful comparison of the canon vs sigma here Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3 Contemporary Review - DustinAbbott.net

Personally I have the canon 100-400 mk2 and very happy with it, but can't compare to the other options.
 

shotokan101

Distinguished Member
<SNIP>


Well enough chit chat, she currently has a Canon 55-250mm lens, but the zoom isn’t enough for her to get good pictures of the wildlife (birds, koloas, kangeroos, snakes etc.) in the garden as it’s generally too far away for her current lens.


<SNIP>

But just in case I can advise it will mostly be used on sunny days to take pictures on animals / birds that are usually not moving too much.

<SNIP>
Anyone else actually read the OP? 👿 :rolleyes:

....not actually shooting in the hills above Greenock in October now is she? :p

600mm
600mm
600mm
600mm

Telephoto all the way every day.... ;)

And a collapsed monopod makes an excellent stabiliser aid for gand held longer lenses if required especially when mounted on a lens collar :)

Jim
 
Last edited:

Ben120379

Active Member
Thanks for the link and issues for the zoom comparison.

Also Jim thanks for your reply, a telephoto was also mention in the previous comments, but not knowing anything about cameras / telephoto / monopod (maybe an animal) I would have to look into this further.

is a telephoto / monopod an obvious solution or are there disadvantages with going down this route.

I live in Australia, which I assume was obvious but just to confirm in case someone thought I lived next to a zoo. So we do have amazing landscapes etc. to take photos of, but I always here her day she wishes the zoom was better on her camera, hence why I looked at the above lens as a starting point.

😄
 

newbie1

Distinguished Member
Big disadvantage can be cost.... Canon 600 f4 is about $13k!
 

snerkler

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the link and issues for the zoom comparison.

Also Jim thanks for your reply, a telephoto was also mention in the previous comments, but not knowing anything about cameras / telephoto / monopod (maybe an animal) I would have to look into this further.

is a telephoto / monopod an obvious solution or are there disadvantages with going down this route.

I live in Australia, which I assume was obvious but just to confirm in case someone thought I lived next to a zoo. So we do have amazing landscapes etc. to take photos of, but I always here her day she wishes the zoom was better on her camera, hence why I looked at the above lens as a starting point.

😄
Monopods are useful as they take the weight of the camera and lens,... when stationary. However, walking around you obviously have to carry the gear, which if you have a monopod means carrying this too. Some also find shooting with monopods awkward as they can hinder your movement when shooting.

Just for your info 150-600mm lenses weight 1.9-2kg, whereas the Sigma and Tamron 100-400mm lenses weigh around 1kg. Now we all want long reach, but I’m a big guy (6’4”) and I found carrying 3kg of gear (150-600mm plus camera) around zoos etc tiresome. Going out into the countryside was even more of a chore.

I’ve actually now swapped systems for wildlife and have the Olympus EM1-II and 100-400mm which gives me effective focal length of 200-800mm and a package weighing 1.4kg in total :smashin:
 

shotokan101

Distinguished Member

AMc

Distinguished Member
Also Jim thanks for your reply, a telephoto was also mention in the previous comments, but not knowing anything about cameras / telephoto / monopod (maybe an animal) I would have to look into this further.

is a telephoto / monopod an obvious solution or are there disadvantages with going down this route.
Telephoto - just means a lens that allows you to see a distant subject. Tele meaning over a long distance. All three of your suggestions are telephoto zooms - meaning you can adjust how much they magnify the image.
Tripod - is 3 legged camera support, lets you adjust the height and angle so the camera is held steady handsfree.
Monopod - is a 1 legged camera support. Lets you support the weight of a camera and lens and move more quickly but can't stand up on it's own. More flexible than a tripod but won't allow you to let go!

The obvious disadvantage of the longer lenses - with the larger focal lengths in mm - are they're heavier. As various people have suggested that might be a real problem for anyone.

As Ugg pointed out in post #9
Ugg said:
Sigma 150-600 C is 1930g - so with camera is 2490g (almost three times what she is used to)
That might be a real problem to hold unsupported. It's 2 1/2 bags of sugar which you need to hold really steady to not get a blurry shot.

However if you're shooting from your back porch and have something to lean on then it's not as much of a deal as if you were planning on carrying everything for a 3 mile hike.
 

Johnmcl7

Distinguished Member
Anyone else actually read the OP? 👿 :rolleyes:

....not actually shooting in the hills above Greenock in October now is she? :p

600mm
600mm
600mm
600mm

Telephoto all the way every day.... ;)

And a collapsed monopod makes an excellent stabiliser aid for gand held longer lenses if required especially when mounted on a lens collar :)

Jim

Jim
Sorry Jim I'm perhaps missing your point but the OP did ask about 150-600mm vs a 100-400mm:

Tamron SP 150-600mm F5-6.3 Di Vc
Sigma 150-600mm 5-6.3 Contemporary DG OS
Canon EF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 IS USM
I'm possible misunderstanding your list of 600mm's though.

A monopod only helps when the camera is sitting in position and it's still awkward to carry around the lens, I find the slightly smaller 100-400mm lenses a lot more usable and don't feel you're losing that much range in practice as the comparison above shows. That said it's my personal preference and I wouldn't want to make an expensive choice like this for someone else.

John
 

shotokan101

Distinguished Member
Sorry Jim I'm perhaps missing your point but the OP did ask about 150-600mm vs a 100-400mm:



I'm possible misunderstanding your list of 600mm's though.

A monopod only helps when the camera is sitting in position and it's still awkward to carry around the lens, I find the slightly smaller 100-400mm lenses a lot more usable and don't feel you're losing that much range in practice as the comparison above shows. That said it's my personal preference and I wouldn't want to make an expensive choice like this for someone else.

John
Hi @Johnmcl7 - my point was that I felt that some posts mentioned the better low light performance irf the shorter focal length zooms and I was saying that given the info about the subjects and environment in the OP then that wasn't likely to be an issue and for wildlife longer is usually better - and the use of a lightweight monopod is a viable cheap workaround to counter the extra weight of the longer lens and can also serve as a make-do handgrip :)

HTH :)

Jim
 

snerkler

Distinguished Member
Hi @Johnmcl7 - my point was that I felt that some posts mentioned the better low light performance irf the shorter focal length zooms and I was saying that given the info about the subjects and environment in the OP then that wasn't likely to be an issue and for wildlife longer is usually better - and the use of a lightweight monopod is a viable cheap workaround to counter the extra weight of the longer lens and can also serve as a make-do handgrip :)

HTH :)

Jim
Not seen that but only skimmed through tbh. Seen someone mentioning stopping down the OP’s lens to get the best from it though.
 

shotokan101

Distinguished Member
Not seen that but only skimmed through tbh. Seen someone mentioning stopping down the OP’s lens to get the best from it though.
Nope - not rising to the bait...... ;)
 

snerkler

Distinguished Member
Nope - not rising to the bait...... ;)
No bait, just not had time to read every post properly so haven’t seen anything about low light performance :smashin:
 

shotokan101

Distinguished Member

Johnmcl7

Distinguished Member
Hi @Johnmcl7 - my point was that I felt that some posts mentioned the better low light performance irf the shorter focal length zooms and I was saying that given the info about the subjects and environment in the OP then that wasn't likely to be an issue and for wildlife longer is usually better - and the use of a lightweight monopod is a viable cheap workaround to counter the extra weight of the longer lens and can also serve as a make-do handgrip :)

HTH :)

Jim
I think the disagreement here in views on the lens highlights why I think it needs to be the girlfriend that should make the choice as it's all different trade offs. I would agree with the point about the wider aperture being beneficial not so much for darkness but because if you're handholding a long focal length in the UK's often far from bright daylight, you can find yourself needing a high iso to get a usable shutter speed. I've only used a 150-600mm to shoot during the day but many of my shots are at iso 6400.

Personally I'm not a fan of monopods as I find it much easier to compose the shot handheld and the monopod itself adds more bulk to an already bulky solution.

I'm not saying a 150-600mm is the wrong choice and I can appreciate the points you're making, if the OP's girlfriend is aware of these trade offs but wants the longest lens possible then the 150-600mm would likely be the better choice. I'd just be concerned if it's bought blind she may find it more hassle than it's worth and end up not using it which is a lot of money to waste.
 

newbie1

Distinguished Member
How about make the present a voucher for lens of her choice? Then she can decide on the best trade offs for what she wants?
 

newbie1

Distinguished Member
... I wouldn't worry about the difference in light gathering between f5.6 and f6.3 tbh :smashin:
It's not a lot of light but can give an edge.

More important, and I forgot to mention before it also effects which autofocus points work. Need to check the manual, but I recall 5.6 being the minimum for AF points to work on a lot of canons. For 6.3 might be limited to center point only or possibly liveview still works I can't recall exactly.
 

snerkler

Distinguished Member
It's not a lot of light but can give an edge.

More important, and I forgot to mention before it also effects which autofocus points work. Need to check the manual, but I recall 5.6 being the minimum for AF points to work on a lot of canons. For 6.3 might be limited to center point only or possibly liveview still works I can't recall exactly.
It's weird as it didn't make a difference on the older Nikon 51 point AF but it does on the newer 153 point AF system, ie you get the reduced AF points at the long end using f6.3 lenses.
 

newbie1

Distinguished Member
It's weird as it didn't make a difference on the older Nikon 51 point AF but it does on the newer 153 point AF system, ie you get the reduced AF points at the long end using f6.3 lenses.
I must be miss remembering, perhaps 5.6 is the limit for cross-type AF? Sorry for the confusion.
 

snerkler

Distinguished Member
I must be miss remembering, perhaps 5.6 is the limit for cross-type AF? Sorry for the confusion.
Depends on the camera, most can now shoot with a max effective aperture of f8 but you are restricted on the focus points, some being centre AF point only. Most will allow use of all AF points using lenses with a max aperture of f5.6, but f6.3 is somewhere in between so on some cameras (like the D750) I could use all AF points using an f6.3 lens at the long end, yet on the D500 and D850 only a limited number of AF points worked using an f6.3 lens at the long end.

The manual will tell you what AF points are usable at what max aperture, but they're only listed in full stops, therefore if you have one that's an 'in between' stop aperture it's a case of try it and see.
 

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