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Canon 7D and Tamron 150-600, which one to upgrade first?

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Old Thursday 6th December 2018, 19:53   #1
justabirdwatcher
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Canon 7D and Tamron 150-600, which one to upgrade first?

I've enjoyed my Canon 7D and Gen1 Tamron 150-600 since the day that lens first arrived at my local camera shop. Compared to my previous Tamron zoom, the 200-500, it was a huge improvement.

Now I'm in a position to invest once again in my photography hobby (mostly birds and nature) and was looking for opinions whether I should upgrade the lens or camera first?

I've often thought of buying a used Canon 400 DO, but I use the zoom feature on my 150-600 often enough that I think I want to stick with a zoom lens.

The reviews on the G2 version of my Tamron have been good but not necessarily glowing. The reviews on the 2nd generation 100-400 Canon L have been pretty outstanding.

Recently I asked someone I trust, who has more experience than me, and they suggested upgrading to a 7D MkII body first.

What say you?
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Old Friday 7th December 2018, 05:24   #2
Chosun Juan
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JABW,

I would say forget about the 400 DO MkI - from what I understand it had glare issues because of the forward placement of the DO element. The superb MkII 400 DO however is another matter entirely - the DO element is upgraded and positioned further back in the lens solving any glare issues. It also plays very nicely with the 1.4xTC. About the only drawback to this lens is the comparitively large mfd.

If money were no object, and you want the ultimate in lightweight quality that is 'relatively' affordable, this is the way I would go. Even 2nd hand (if you can get one) would be nice - with the new, better, lighter 500 f4 MkIII coming on line, perhaps a few 400 DO II owners may trade up and be prepared to wear the extra half kilo or so (and likely near double the price for what they would unload their 400 DO II for).

As far as the 100-400 f5.6 IS II goes, you would again have to attach a 1.4x TC to get back near the reach of the Tammy. I will leave it to you to research the relative merits of the Canon zoom + TC versus the bare Tammy G2. Have a look at this review (only in comparison to the G1 though) https://www.the-digital-picture.com/...-USM-Lens.aspx

Interesting that the Canon holds onto f5 for a longer focal length, while the Tammy holds onto f5.6 for a longer focal length. One thing to note is that the Canon 100-400 II with 1.4x TC will be f8, whereas the Tammy will be f6.3 at 600mm - the extra 1/2 stop of light sure would be of benefit on the 7D's (I, II, or III). The Tammy G2's MTF chart is actually pretty good for what it is, even though it doesn't have the 'L' glass of the Canon.

The Tammy G1 especially, but even G2 sharpens up a bit more when the focal length is dropped back a touch, and the aperture stopped down to f8. I think it would be an entirely reasonable comparison to pit the Canon 100-400 + 1.4xTC (for 560mm @f8) against the Tammy G2 backed off to 560mm and stopped down to f8.

Physically, the Tammy is a bit longer, and only about 200grams heavier once the 1.4xTC for the Canon is taken into account, but it's MFD is over twice as long. I suppose the real question is how much time will be spent birding (especially the little geewhizzits where reach and speed is king) , and how much time will be spent at 100 or 150mm? (I think I've only ever taken about half a dozen shots at 150mm compared to ~10,000 odd at the long end
...

There's also always the Canon 200-600 f5.6 rumoured (for a long time!) to be on it's way too, just to complicate matters! :) - though it won't be an 'L' glass category lens. It will be really interesting to see what sort of pricing and IQ this is at .......

I can say that the Tammy G2 is a worthwhile upgrade over the G1 due to the improved IQ, shorter MFD, improved 3 mode VC, 3 ranges of AF distance limits, compatability with the dedicated Tammy 1.4xTC, and the 'tunability' to your particular camera body via the USB dock. https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=330742

Arguably the Canon 100-400 f5.6 IS II is the better IQ lens, and would be more versatile (if you don't mind swapping TC's in and out. Also at its higher price point than the Tammy you could quite reasonably expect less unit to unit variation. Things like rig balance, handling and operation, AF speed, and portabilty are probably every bit as important as any optical quality differences.

I would say get the lens first, and then wait for the release of the 7D MkIII for which we may hear more about next year.
https://www.birdforum.net/showthread...48#post3777548




Chosun

P.s. ...... are you really wedded to the Canon system? Not a zoom, but a very nice lightweight rig could be had with the Nikon D500 and the just released 500mm f5.6 PF. I myself will be examining upgrades when the D500S and 600mm f5.6 PF become available

Last edited by Chosun Juan : Friday 7th December 2018 at 14:41. Reason: P.s.
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Old Friday 7th December 2018, 14:55   #3
justabirdwatcher
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Thanks for the great advice!

Quote:
The Tammy G1 especially, but even G2 sharpens up a bit more when the focal length is dropped back a touch, and the aperture stopped down to f8.
This is already how I shoot my G1 Tamron, at f8 and usually a tad under full reach. I can see the difference in the images vs. f6.3 and 600. It's not huge, but it's there.

The 100-400 w/ 1.4X doesn't worry me at all, for that reason, and I shoot enough portraits and nature images at the lower end that 100mm sounds more useful to me than the last 40mm on the long end.
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Old Sunday 9th December 2018, 03:59   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justabirdwatcher View Post
Thanks for the great advice!



This is already how I shoot my G1 Tamron, at f8 and usually a tad under full reach. I can see the difference in the images vs. f6.3 and 600. It's not huge, but it's there.

The 100-400 w/ 1.4X doesn't worry me at all, for that reason, and I shoot enough portraits and nature images at the lower end that 100mm sounds more useful to me than the last 40mm on the long end.
OK, sounds pretty settled on the lens then! Canon 100-400 f4.5-5.6L IS II it is then (with a 1.4xTC for when you need the extra reach). There should be some good specials available coming up to the holiday season - so be ready to pounce!

The question then becomes when you will be able to upgrade to a 7D MkIII ........ AND .......... will it be EF mount DSLR, or an R mount Mirrorless APS-C via adapter ?

As far as I can tell, no-one really knows for sure. Canon typically plays things very close to the chest, but there is not really too much concrete info at the moment. Will it be 2019? or 2020? You can follow along on the latest developments in this thread: https://www.birdforum.net/showthread...86#post3793086

There are reasonably strong rumours of an EOS 80D successor next year of around 28~32MP.

There is a great need for the 7DMkIII, with the Nikon D500 running away with the show for years. Now there is also the Fuji XT-3 on the scene, as well as the m43 Oly OM-D E-1 MkII, plus whatever Sony will come out with.

There's the whole Pro level Mirrorless APS-C question for both Canon and Nikon. All we know for sure is that they will definitely be in 'R' and 'Z' mount respectively. We also know for sure that both companies don't have any short term plans to produce long telephoto lenses in native mirrorless mounts. I think very much what one leads with, the other will follow.

Rather than a straight DSLR upgrade, there may be a splitting of the streams somewhat - with stills leaning rigs being handled by the DSLR'S, and video-centric models coming out in mirrorless.

If I was in your position I would pay very close attention to the stills framerate and RAW shot buffer of the EOS 80D successor. If it is way up there, it may indicate that it is the 7D MkII DSLR replacement.

Also keep a close eye on whether there are rumours or announcements of a Nikon D500 replacement (D500S DSLR). Such a successor would strongly point to a DSLR 7D MkIII. Personally, if I had to place a bet, this is the way I would jump. Both companies only need to get to 24+MP, with the same 10 or 12fps performance as now, and 4K video (could even be cropped) at 60fps. This would allow both companies more time to work on their mirrorless APS-C offerings.

All very interesting ! :)



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Old Tuesday 11th December 2018, 16:29   #5
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Yes, the idea of a 7D Mk III on the horizon does give me reason to pause on the camera body. If for no other reason than there will be a lot of Mk II's on the used market and that will bring the prices of those down.

I don't put any more $ into my photography hobby than I absolutely have to, usually buying the "latest and greatest" bodies and lenses about 5-6 years after they are introduced, and their users are on to the next great thing.
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Old Wednesday 12th December 2018, 08:22   #6
Roy C
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I have owned both the original Tammy 150-600 and the Sigma 150-600 Contemporary (better than the Tammy IMO).
I then bought a 100-400 MkII and also kept the Sigma 150-600 so I could compare directly. The 100-400 is a far superior lens IMHO so I sold the Siggy as I was not using it any more. Of course the 100-400 is more expensive so you would expect it to be better - the Siggy is very good value for money though.

The 100-400 MkII also takes a 1.4x converter very well although you do need a Camera that focusses up to f8 to get AF with the combo (I use it with both 7D2 and 5D3 so both AF fine).

Apart from birds the 100-400 MkII has a minimum focus distance of 980mm so makes it useful for larger insects when you do not have a macro lens with you. Attached shot was taken handheld at 400mm to give you an idea of the versatility of the lens - not up to a proper macro lens but not to shabby IMO.
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Old Wednesday 12th December 2018, 20:10   #7
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Thanks Roy. That's a great image!

I have no doubt I'll own a 100-400 ii someday. That's just far too good and useful of a lens for someone who shoots the things I shoot, from people to nature to landscapes to birds. I like my 150-600 really well but I can see the difference in the images I've viewed from the newer Canon.
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Old Thursday 13th December 2018, 10:38   #8
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Originally Posted by justabirdwatcher View Post
Thanks Roy. That's a great image!

I have no doubt I'll own a 100-400 ii someday. That's just far too good and useful of a lens for someone who shoots the things I shoot, from people to nature to landscapes to birds. I like my 150-600 really well but I can see the difference in the images I've viewed from the newer Canon.
If the 100-400 mkII is a step to far for you at this stage then I would recommend you stay with your 150-600 Tammy for the moment. Yes the newer Tammy 150-600 and the Sigma 150-600 'C' are better lenses but not that much better IMO.
Like as already been mentioned I would set f8 when shooting at the long end of your Tammy (something I did with both my 150-600 lenses), easing back a bit from 600mm also helps with sharpness.
One reason I like the 100-400 MkII is that it is pin sharp wide open at f5.6 but at the end of the day you get what you pay for - the 150-600's are still excellent value for money IMO.
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Old Thursday 13th December 2018, 22:47   #9
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I agree. My 150-600 Tammy is an obvious upgrade from my old 200-500 Tammy, and I have some excellent images from that lens. I'm not unhappy with it but I know eventually I'll want to upgrade.

Looks like I'm leaning toward the 7D II body next, but that nagging question in my mind about mirrorless keeps coming up.
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Old Yesterday, 01:47   #10
Chosun Juan
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Go for the Canon 100-400L IS II lens first, especially as you have use for its versatility. I'd be looking at ways of taking advantage of upcoming specials. There will be nothing new on the lens front for quite some time.

As far as the body goes, the 7DII is not that much of a step up over the 7D, I don't think it is a great use of funds at this point in time. I'd be looking to skip the II series of 7D altogether.

On the nearish horizon, Canon have a higher MP EOS80D replacement coming out. As I said earlier, this could in fact be the defacto new "7DMkIII" depending on specs (particularly AF system, fps, and RAW buffer) - keep an eye on those things and you'll have a clearer idea. Or there may well be a proper DSLR 7DMkIII released as well ...... it's well and truly due.

As far as a 'PRO' Mirrorless APS-C goes, it's possible, maybe even late next year, or 2020. Such a beast will be R mount for sure, but you can guarantee that when it is released the majority of lenses you would use on it would be adapted, and this situation would continue into the mid term, even for such seeming 'standards' as the 100-400.

Either way, there would be a suitable body upgrade option in the offing in the next year or two, and if funds are limited, that should see a group of used 7DMkII's come on the market at that time anyway.


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Old Yesterday, 09:00   #11
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JABW,

I'm not sure what contistutes a great 'jump on it now' price for the Canon 100-400L IS II, but it seems to be USD400 off until tomorrow (15th Dec) from reputable retailers = 1799USD.
https://cameralandny.com/spec-sheet....#91;0]=1159021
https://www.adorama.com/ca1004002ua.html

I have seen the lens for a further ~$150 cheaper than this on fleabay, but have no idea of the reliability and reputation of these sellers.

Perhaps now is the time ...... ?



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Old Yesterday, 13:44   #12
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Chosun,take a look at this link.http://www.birdsasart-blog.com/2014/...-usual-idiots/ I am not saying that you are an idiot by the way,I am using this lens I had to mfa it to sort a bit of back focussing out.Other than that I am happy with it.


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Old Yesterday, 14:36   #13
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That link is to an old post on the 400 DO ?

A lot of the 'issues' with that lens were solved with the 400 DO MkII. The gains in sharpness (mainly with TC's) weren't huge, and I'm sure those with the older Mark I have evolved techniques to work around glare issues, but the Mark II is superb and more versatile in that regard.

The OP does a fair bit of various portraiture at the short end - hence the consideration and recommendation of the 100-400L IS MkII. Certainly the sub 1m MFD kills the DO models. Seems there's about a day left to jump on it from the big retailers at that price.

Personally it's the 600 f4 DO I'm waiting on ......... :)

Hurry up already Canon !!!



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