Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Zeiss - Always on the lookout for something special – Shop now

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Have 7d, but so confused over lens...help?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.
Old Sunday 1st December 2013, 20:29   #1
Suzanne Walsh
Registered User

 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Doncaster
Posts: 21
Have 7d, but so confused over lens...help?

I have just upgraded from my old Fuji finepix bridge camera to a 7D. I debated doing this (got confused over that, so had a thread for that too lol) between another bridge, and a DSLR. However, after considering what I was told in my other thread I was cheeky and went to a local large change electricals shop to do some testing.

Being the control freak that I am I liked the control of the DSLR over the bridge camera a lot. The chap in the shop was great, and an actual photography enthusiast (has a 5Dmii and such), and was great with me. He said that an 18-55mm, and a 55-300mm lens would be fine for what I want.

As I explained in my other thread; I'm a fine detail portrait artist with a love of birds, and particularly want to try getting some BIF pics. I want sharp detail rich images (and I know my skill, or lack there of will play a big part in this too) if I can. The trouble is the following;

I have got a bundle of the camera, and three lenses. A Macro ef-s 18-55mm, ef-s 18-135mm, and a ef-s 55-250mm, all Canon. So am I right in thinking that I could not bother with the 18-135, and just use the other two? Also, instead of buying the ef 55-300mm lens said chappy told me about, I could just stick to the 55-250, and then use the money to go towards a 100-400mm lens?

Speaking of the 400mm.....I'm getting impression from reading threads that there are two different ones that people take about, though both made by Canon. I see 100-400mm and 400 f5.6 (which I thought were the same) talked of as though they are two different lenses. I can't seem to find a guide that simplistically tells me what each lens is, what difference EF and EF-S is, and what each lens is for regarding the mm measurement, and then the f+#.

I don't want tons of lenses to carry around with me. Just one for close to mid range, and one for distance good for BIF.

Sorry to have waffled on. Any thoughts appreciated.

Suzanne
Suzanne Walsh is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 1st December 2013, 23:30   #2
achilles500
Steve

 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Bridgend
Posts: 68
Short answer the 100 - 400 mm is a zoom lens. (I have this lens and find it gives excellent results).
The 400 f5.6 is a fixed or prime lens (you can't zoom with this lens).
Hope this helps and I am sure there are many who will give a better answer.
achilles500 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 1st December 2013, 23:33   #3
666taz
Phill Wain
 
666taz's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: horbury, west yorkshire
Posts: 1,941
The 100-400L is a zoom and as is a very good all round lens for anything from BIF and dragonflies to large animals I do have one and think its great the aperture changes as it zooms it also as Is which does help in the uk .The 400mm f5.6 is a prime lens so stays at the same length. It does not have Is but dosn't really need it as it is much lighter than the zoom and being a prime it is sharper ,but that is not saying that the zoom isn't sharp it is, just not as sharp as the prime.The difference between Ef and Efs is if you put a Ef lens on a crop camera ,lets say a 100mm then it would give you the field of view of a 160mm lens because of the size of the sensor and how far away the lens is from the sensor the Efs lens actually petrudes slightly into the bayonet opening so the lens is nearer to the sensor so you get the correct field of view.Thats why you carn't use Efs on non Efs cameras because the mirror in a non Efs camera would smash into the lens where it would petrude into the beyonet. So a 100mm Efs gives a true 100mm field of view.I hope this helps and isn't too rambling .
__________________
MY web sites http://imagesoftheuk.co.uk/http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/ Olympus OM-D E-5 ,M.ZUIKO ED 60mm 2.8, Macro,M.ZUIKO ED 75-300mm 4.8-6.7 ii ,M.ZUIKO ED 12-50mm 3.5-6.3 EZ .

Last edited by 666taz : Sunday 1st December 2013 at 23:39.
666taz is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 2nd December 2013, 20:10   #4
Suzanne Walsh
Registered User

 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Doncaster
Posts: 21
Thanks guys, having had a chance to use the camera today (in very dull light) with the ef-s 55-250mm I can see that I'd need to be very close to my subjects to get the type of pics I want. I was trying to get pics of Long tail tits in the trees in my front garden (which is long enough to park two cars in front of each other very comfortably on) while stood at the house. Even at the 250mm full reach they were still specs with too much space around them. Report card says I must try harder lol

I actually made a mistake above with the 300 lens, it should actually have said ef 70-300mm which probably makes more sense to people.

Just need that 100-400mm lens for sure now then, and some more nice days.

My thanks again.

Suzanne
Suzanne Walsh is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 2nd December 2013, 20:33   #5
666taz
Phill Wain
 
666taz's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: horbury, west yorkshire
Posts: 1,941
I have put mine up on you know where now iv'e got the 300mm 2.8.I will miss it Sob Sob.
__________________
MY web sites http://imagesoftheuk.co.uk/http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/ Olympus OM-D E-5 ,M.ZUIKO ED 60mm 2.8, Macro,M.ZUIKO ED 75-300mm 4.8-6.7 ii ,M.ZUIKO ED 12-50mm 3.5-6.3 EZ .
666taz is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 3rd December 2013, 08:43   #6
Tony c
Tone

 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Cumbria
Posts: 32
If you are mainly photographing birds you will be at 400mm virtually all the time so go for the prime, its sharper than the 100-400 and better for bif, wouldn't be without mine you wont regret getting one but you may regret going the other way? TC
Tony c is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 3rd December 2013, 10:59   #7
johnf3f
johnf3f

 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: South Wales UK
Posts: 1,146
Just a personal view - but I would favour either the Canon 300mm F4 L IS or the Canon 400 F5.6 L over the 100-400. I had the 100-400 for around 5 years and it is a great lens, the other 2 are just better in terms of image quality. A friend of mine quickly traded his 100-400 for a 300 F4 L IS once he tried mine!
I have not found the lack of zoom to be an issue.
johnf3f is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 4th December 2013, 07:04   #8
Gashead
Registered User
 
Gashead's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Lincolnshire
Posts: 1,000
I'm probably upgrading from 100-400 to a 400 prime. My 100-400 has been in for repair 3 times in ten years and now needs to go for a fourth time, every time it's the same problem with a collar or screw falling loose inside the barrel. Hopefully a 400 prime has less tendency to do this plus its lighter, cheaper and I shoot 90% of the time at 400 anyway.
__________________
Lincolnshire - 143 (Spotted flycatcher)
UK - 185 (Whinchat)
World - 1,477 (White-rumped sandpiper)
Gashead is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 4th December 2013, 22:38   #9
Suzanne Walsh
Registered User

 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Doncaster
Posts: 21
Thanks for that guys.

I've been out today with just the ef-s 55-250mm as it's the longest range I have. Apart from some messing about shots I was of the frame of mind that even if I'd had the extra of the 400 I'd have been at the end of it all the time.

Looks like it's the prime for me then when the budget allows.

I did get some shots that for my first time using the camera I was rather pleased with. Considering that I am a complete point-and-click photographer who does not think of composition, or basically most of the stuff other people do, I was happy with what I got. It's nice knowing that as I get to know how the camera works correctly, and such my pictures should get better.

I shall try to post a couple, but have no idea how that will work out......please don't laugh!

Suzanne
Suzanne Walsh is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 4th December 2013, 22:52   #10
Suzanne Walsh
Registered User

 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Doncaster
Posts: 21
So if this works there should be a Mallard (which I liked the best), a Goldfinch (I think, it was quite far away), a Pigeon, and my first BIF, a Gull. Nothing exotic I know, but there weren't many birds out today.

Suzanne
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1377crop.jpg
Views:	119
Size:	132.4 KB
ID:	475104  Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1424crop.jpg
Views:	124
Size:	186.4 KB
ID:	475105  Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1455crop.jpg
Views:	146
Size:	391.8 KB
ID:	475106  Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1469crop.jpg
Views:	110
Size:	171.9 KB
ID:	475107  Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1520resize.jpg
Views:	111
Size:	451.9 KB
ID:	475108  

Suzanne Walsh is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 4th December 2013, 23:19   #11
Malcolm Stewart
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Milton Keynes
Posts: 624
Hi, looks like a good start to me. You have chosen some difficult subjects - birds in trees, so make use of your 7D's Spot AF facility. With luck it may help to get more shots with the bird in focus.
See:
http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct...57155469,d.Yms

Good luck.
__________________
- - - - - - - - -
Malcolm Stewart
Milton Keynes, UK
Malcolm Stewart is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 5th December 2013, 19:23   #12
primeone
Registered User
 
primeone's Avatar

 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Israel
Posts: 48
You actually have a few more options than the 100-400.

To my mind there are 5 options:
Sigma 120-400
Sigma 150-500
Sigma 50-500
Canon 100-400
Canon 400

The last lens is perhaps the best if ALL you're doing is birding. The others are much more versatile. The other lenses range from Very Good to Excellent and simply put, the more expensive the lens, the better it is.

I chose a cheaper lens and used the money I saved on a birding holiday.

If you can wait, Tamron is about to start selling a 150-600 lens.

Enjoy!
Robert
primeone is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 5th December 2013, 20:08   #13
Brian2
Registered User
 
Brian2's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: essex
Posts: 1,216
I'd also recommend the 400 5.6 FWIW.
Brian2 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 5th December 2013, 22:06   #14
jimthomson
Registered User
 
jimthomson's Avatar

 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Burlington Ontario
Posts: 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by primeone View Post
You actually have a few more options than the 100-400.

To my mind there are 5 options:
Sigma 120-400
Sigma 150-500
Sigma 50-500
Canon 100-400
Canon 400

The last lens is perhaps the best if ALL you're doing is birding. The others are much more versatile. The other lenses range from Very Good to Excellent and simply put, the more expensive the lens, the better it is.

I chose a cheaper lens and used the money I saved on a birding holiday.

If you can wait, Tamron is about to start selling a 150-600 lens.

Enjoy!
Robert
Actually both the Sigma 50-500 and the Canon 100-400 are more expensive than the Canon 400mm f5.6L Neither has better IQ. For birding the 400mm is by far the best lense. I do agree that the zooms have their place.
__________________
Jim
Canon EOS T1i/500D, 5D3, Canon 400mm F5.6L USM, Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 OS HSM, Tamron160-600mm USD VC,Canon 500mm f4L USM IS II Panasonic G3, G-vario 100-300mm OIS
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jim4496/
jimthomson is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 5th December 2013, 23:19   #15
barnstormer
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: shotton colliery
Posts: 379
I have to agree that prime lenses are sharper than zooms. I have the 100-400 and unless you get the focus absolutely spot on and fairly close it can be a bit soft.
I have seen above someone recommending the Sigma 150-500 now I have only seen 3 of these and they had the noisiest autofocus on the planet so I wouldn't go for that. In my opinion save up for a second hand 300mm 2.8.
__________________
My Kit Canon 7d 300mm 2.8 mk ii Lens

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bryanwatts
barnstormer is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 6th December 2013, 00:57   #16
lmans66
Registered User
 
lmans66's Avatar

 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: South Jersey, USA and Tuscan AZ, USA
Posts: 1,888
Blog Entries: 12
The 400mm is clearly the BIF lens...period..... While zooms have their place, honestly, you are not going to find you use the lower end of the zoom much and if you find yourself in a hummingbird haven, you have your other lens to select from.
__________________
lmans
lmans66 is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Friday 6th December 2013, 12:26   #17
jalethbridge
I like sea-watching
 
jalethbridge's Avatar

 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: london
Posts: 1,035
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gashead View Post
I'm probably upgrading from 100-400 to a 400 prime. My 100-400 has been in for repair 3 times in ten years and now needs to go for a fourth time, every time it's the same problem with a collar or screw falling loose inside the barrel. Hopefully a 400 prime has less tendency to do this plus its lighter, cheaper and I shoot 90% of the time at 400 anyway.
the 400 prime has zero tendency to do this
__________________
If you've never stared off in the distance, then your life is a shame - Counting Crows
http://wansteadbirder.blogspot.com/
http://justbirdphotos.com/
jalethbridge is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 8th December 2013, 17:59   #18
Suzanne Walsh
Registered User

 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Doncaster
Posts: 21
My thanks again Guys!

Malcolm, yes this is me all over, if it's difficult I'll probably be trying to run before I can walk lol I had a go at your suggestion too, however, I found it rather fiddly to try and get to grips with. Not only did it mean that the camera was constantly trying to focus on the foreground rather than the bird, but by the time I'd done trying to set it up the bird was gone. I didn't find any of my shots better for trying to use the AF.

This of course could totally be that I still need practice, and/or that there is something that I'm not understanding in the set up. All I do know is that I became just as frustrated by the lack of control as I did in my Bridge, which is why I didn't get another in the first place. I do see the benefits of this though for tracking BIF shooting, so I shall certainly get more practice in. Thank you for posting the link for me!

Suzanne
Suzanne Walsh is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 23rd December 2013, 06:37   #19
Stephen Powell
Registered User
 
Stephen Powell's Avatar

 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Melbourne Australia
Posts: 833
Hi Suzanne:
I've been using a 100-400 since 2008. Have you changed the default settings to include the fine focus point? For some reason the 7D comes with the 2 most useful focus screens unavailable by default and must be enabled to use. The first is the fine or spot focus which is perfect for focusing through grass or branches and the other is the AF point expansion: use this for birds in flight.. See C.Fn 111-6. to activate these.
Another suggestion is to set your Multi-controller to control the AF focus point CFn1V -1. Moving the focus point to enable better framing of an image helps a lot.
Stephen Powell
__________________
A computer expert is someone who has blundered for a little longer than you have _,,,_^.,.^_,,,_
Confirmed Life List: Australian 322 Photos Digital: African 337 Australian 250
http://www.stephenpowell.com.au Steve's Blog http://www.stephenpowell.com.au/wordpress/
Stephen Powell is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Monday 23rd December 2013, 08:15   #20
Farnboro John
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Farnborough
Posts: 13,247
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Powell View Post
Hi Suzanne:
I've been using a 100-400 since 2008. Have you changed the default settings to include the fine focus point? For some reason the 7D comes with the 2 most useful focus screens unavailable by default and must be enabled to use. The first is the fine or spot focus which is perfect for focusing through grass or branches and the other is the AF point expansion: use this for birds in flight.. See C.Fn 111-6. to activate these.
Another suggestion is to set your Multi-controller to control the AF focus point CFn1V -1. Moving the focus point to enable better framing of an image helps a lot.
Stephen Powell
Thanks very much for these tips as they had me playing with my 7d in about 30 secs to turn these features on and particularly to move the AF focus point control as suggested.

Hope you have a really good Christmas, you've certainly improved mine!

John
Farnboro John is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 23rd December 2013, 09:32   #21
Roy C
Occasional bird snapper
 
Roy C's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Barnstaple,North Devon,UK
Posts: 16,298
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farnboro John View Post
Thanks very much for these tips as they had me playing with my 7d in about 30 secs to turn these features on and particularly to move the AF focus point control as suggested.

Hope you have a really good Christmas, you've certainly improved mine!

John
Spot focus can be very useful at times especially when trying to nail a birds eye but beware if you try to us it all the time - because the AF spot is much smaller than the normal size AF area you can get problems when the AF area does not contain adequate contrast. I most certainly would not use it for all situations.
Roy C is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2007 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Monday 23rd December 2013, 09:41   #22
Tarsiger
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: London
Posts: 652
Even though it may be a little softer I would still opt for a stabilised lens with the UKs weather. It's all very well getting a sharp shot on a sunny day but how many shots will you miss, assuming you don't want to lug a tripod/monopod around.
If you can convince yourself that you ONLY want to photograph BIF on a sunny day
Then the fixed 400 is the way to go.
Russ
Tarsiger is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 23rd December 2013, 11:02   #23
Roy C
Occasional bird snapper
 
Roy C's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Barnstaple,North Devon,UK
Posts: 16,298
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarsiger View Post
Even though it may be a little softer I would still opt for a stabilised lens with the UKs weather. It's all very well getting a sharp shot on a sunny day but how many shots will you miss, assuming you don't want to lug a tripod/monopod around.
If you can convince yourself that you ONLY want to photograph BIF on a sunny day
Then the fixed 400 is the way to go.
Russ
With the non IS 400/5.6 it is just a matter of getting the right shutter speed to get sharp shots handheld, with the 7D it is a piece of cake, just use auto ISO and TV mode - dial-in the shutter speed you want and fire away (what shutter speed you want is depended on the individuals hand holding technique but I would suggest trying 1/800 sec to start with, of course for flyers you need a faster shutter speed to freeze the action but that applies to any lens regardless of I.S.).

HERE is a link to just a few of the handheld shots I have got with the 400/5.6 in all kinds of weather. I never used a tripod with this lens.
Roy C is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2007 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Monday 23rd December 2013, 11:33   #24
Farnboro John
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Farnborough
Posts: 13,247
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy C View Post
Spot focus can be very useful at times especially when trying to nail a birds eye but beware if you try to us it all the time - because the AF spot is much smaller than the normal size AF area you can get problems when the AF area does not contain adequate contrast. I most certainly would not use it for all situations.
Also noted. Thank you very much.

John
Farnboro John is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 24th December 2013, 23:40   #25
Silverwolf
Registered User
 
Silverwolf's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Southern California
Posts: 4,436
For someone like me, who focuses on butterflies and insects as well as birds, the 100-400 is more versatile. Even then, there are times where I have to back up because 100 is too close! But for just birds, with the exception of the birds that come really close (it does happen), 400 sounds better ultimately.
Silverwolf is offline  
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Now Im really confused grantlumsden Digiscoping cameras 0 Sunday 13th April 2008 12:05
Totally confused - which Sigma lens for birding? Cuckoo-shrike Sigma & Other Third Party Lenses 31 Saturday 14th July 2007 08:26
confused on id johnnyoxygen Bird Identification Q&A 2 Sunday 10th December 2006 12:32
totally confused - lens question for Canon Sunshine68 Canon 5 Thursday 2nd November 2006 14:48
confused rkulla Bird Identification Q&A 5 Friday 7th April 2006 00:34

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.36410093 seconds with 38 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 03:17.