A fast prime lens with just the right focal length makes for perfect portraiture. Matthew Richards searches out the best.
Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.8G — Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.4G — Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.8G — Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G — Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM | A — Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM | A — Tamron SP 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD — Tamron SP 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD
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Super-size your telephoto reach with a monster zoom lens. Matthew Richards searches out the best buys for your Canon camera.
Sometimes a standard telephoto lens can simply come up short. A typical 70-300mm zoom can lack sufficient telescopic reach when you’re shooting anything from birds in the garden to animals in the wild, or from sporting events to air shows. For greater reach, you’ll need a longer lens with more pulling power.
Over the next few pages, we’ll compare all of the latest super-telephoto zoom lenses currently manufactured to fit Canon DSLRs. Sizes go from large to enormous, and there’s an even broader spread of prices. However, all of them stretch to a focal length of at least 400mm, and some go extra-long to as much as 600mm. They’re also all fully compatible with both full-frame and APS-C format camera bodies. The latter gives a 1.6x crop factor, further boosting the effective telephoto reach.
A perennial problem, when shooting at such long focal lengths, is camera-shake. It’s therefore no surprise that every current super-telephoto zoom lens on the market for Canon cameras has optical image stabilization built in. They also feature fast and whisper-quiet ring-type ultrasonic autofocus systems. Even so, when it comes to additional features and build quality, there are major differences between some of the lenses on test. Let’s take a closer look…
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Super-Tele Zooms by Matthew Richards
Canon vs Sigma vs Tamron
via PhotoPlus – Issue 130 – Sept 2017
Matthew Richards tests eight long telephoto zoom lenses that really go the distance
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM
Nikon AF-S 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR
HD Pentax D FA 150-450mm f/4.5-5.6 ED DC AW
Sigma APO 50-500mm f/4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM
Sigma150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM | C
Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM | S
Sony 70-400mm f/4-5.6 G SSM II
Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD
The Sporty Sigma Takes Top Spot
Sigma’s new 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM S wins out
Sigma’s 150-600mm S-class lens is the new champion of reasonably priced super-telephoto zooms. It’s packed with high-end features, has excellent handling characteristics and delivers superb image quality. Indeed, image quality is better than from other lenses on test at focal lengths of around 300-400mm, and also beats that of the Sigma C-class and Tamron 150-600mm lenses in the extended 400-600mm range. The only catch is that it’s about 50 per cent heavier than some lenses in the group– and nearly twice the weight of others.The Canon 100-400mm and Nikon 80-400mm lenses are very good performers but lack the extra reach of the 150-600mm lenses, and they’re more expensive to buy. The Pentax is another classy lens with some exotic features but it’s a bit lacking in sharpness, and there aren’t yet any full-frame Pentax D-SLR bodies to make the most of its full-sized image circle. The Sony 70-400mm isn’t quite as sophisticated as the Pentax, but proved a little sharper at both ends of the zoom range. It’s directly supported by the A99 full-frame body and other A-mount APS-C format cameras,and can be used with Sony E-mount bodies via an adaptor. In the budget stakes, it’s a close call between the Sigma C-class and Tamron SP 150-600mm lenses. They’re both very similar in size, weight and image quality, but the feature set of the Sigma is a little more advanced, making it better value at the price.
Digital Camera World – September 2015