Camera lenses - Canon 100-400 vs Sigma 150-500

To: Chris Ross <>
Subject: Camera lenses - Canon 100-400 vs Sigma 150-500
From: Allan Richardson <>
Date: Wed, 4 Apr 2012 00:05:39 +1000
Hi Chris, (and everyone else)

Sorry about the cross posting, I sent the previous email before yours but 
another email held it up from going. I went off to do something else and found 
I'd flicked the same website advice to John as yourself after you had posted it.

Allan Richardson

On 03/04/2012, at 10:06 PM, Chris Ross wrote:

> John,
> more focal length is generally better for birds if it's sharp enough, the 
> sigma lens is a touch soft at 400-500mm.  Here's a comparison test for the 
> two lenses featuring 100% crops from a test target:
> <>
> bear in mind this is a severe test and is pixel level view at 100% and an 
> actual image won't look quite as bad, but the Canon lens is clearly much 
> sharper and will also AF better, the Sigma is f6.3 at the long end and the AF 
> is a bit slow because of that, in fact it lies to the camera as Canon bodies 
> (except 1 series) do not allow AF at slower than f5.6.    The quality of the 
> Canon is such that you can crop the image down to the same framing as the 
> sigma at 500mm and still be ahead on image quality.
> I shoot with a Canon 300mm f4 IS + 1.4x and it is also a lens I think you 
> should consider, it will be 420mm FL with a 1.4x, and at that it focuses down 
> to 1.5m for a magnification of 0.37x.  Add a 25mm extension tube and if gives 
> near 0.5x (half life size) at a distance of about 900mm, making it an 
> excellent long macro suitable for dragonflies, butterflies, reptiles, larger 
> wildflowers as well as being a good bird lens.  The IS allows you to handhold 
> under those conditions and still get very sharp results.    I have had zooms 
> in the past and I've found for nature work it's at max zoom and wanting more 
> 99% of the time.  You can select and compare image quality with other lenses 
> from the drop down menus above, you can also look at the effect of stopping 
> down and removing/adding tele converters.
> You can see some results from the 300mm f4/1.4x  combo on my website, look 
> mostly in the insect galleries at the butterflies/dragonflies, there's also a 
> few bird images, though I mostly use a Canon 500mm f4 for birds, but that's 
> an entirely different beast.  Note that the smaller damselflies, skippers and 
> grass blues and the like were taken with a 200mm macro lens as they are very 
> much smaller insects.   The 300mm f4 will also produce good images with the 
> latest 2x converter, but AF ( a bit slow but usable) is only available when 
> using a 1 series body.  This image was with the 300mm f4 + 1.4x:
> My website is here:
> regards,
> Chris Ross
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