Tag Archives: Canon Extender EF 1.4x II

Experience review Sigma 120-300 f 2.8 APO EX DG OS HSM

Sigma_120-300_blauThe one or the other may have read my reviews of e.g. the Canon EF 400mm f / 4 DO IS USM of the Canon EOS 1 DX camera. My latest lens now is the Sigma 120-300 f 2.8 APO EX DG OS HSM, the predecessor of the present S (for Sport).

While the Canon EF 400mm f / 4 DO IS USM is the lens of diverse usability – especially when traveling – I was looking for something different now. In preparation of the purchase of the Sigma I searched after a bright lens for the “borderline” situation, for available light photography. I am bird photographer who specializes in photographing as many species of birds for scientific purposes and therefore it is not always sunshine when I am on expedition.

I have checked my needs carefully. In recent times – e.g. during a stay at Ole Martin Dahle near Trondheim in Norway – I had spent many hours in photo hides. Unlike when traveling in Continue reading Experience review Sigma 120-300 f 2.8 APO EX DG OS HSM

Erfahrungsbericht Sigma 120-300 f 2.8 APO EX DG OS HSM – Vorgänger vom S

Sigma_120-300_blauDer ein oder andere hat vielleicht meine Erfahrungsberichte u.a. zum Canon EF 400mm f/4.0 DO IS USM oder zu den EOS 1– Profikameras schon gelesen. Mein neuestes Objektiv ist das Sigma 120-300 f 2.8 APO EX DG OS HSM, der Vorgänger vom jetzigen S (für Sport).

Während beim Canon EF 400mm f/4.0 DO IS USM vor allem die Möglichkeit der vielfältigen Nutzbarkeit – vor allem auf Reisen – im Vordergrund stand, hatte ich mich in Vorbereitung auf den Kauf des Sigma insbesondere nach einer lichtstarken Linse für die „grenzwertigen“ Fotografiersituationen umgeguckt. Ich bin Vogelfotograf, der sich auf das Ablichten möglichst vieler Vogelarten für wissenschaftliche Zwecke spezialisiert hat und daher nicht nur bei Sonnenschein unterwegs ist.

Auch hier habe ich meine Bedürfnisse genau geprüft. In der letzten Zeit – u.a. bei einem Aufenthalt bei Ole Martin Dahle nahe Trondheim in Norwegen – habe ich doch etliche Stunden in Fotoverstecken und Hides verbracht. Anders als beim Reisen im Gebirge auf 2500m NN oder im Regenwald spielt Gewicht beim Ansitz Continue reading Erfahrungsbericht Sigma 120-300 f 2.8 APO EX DG OS HSM – Vorgänger vom S

Canon 400mm f4 DO, an experience review for flight shots

Canon EF-400 mm F4,0 DO IS USMIn the reviews of my blog I often see, that photographers are scanning 400mm f4 DO-articles especially concerning its ability for birding photography. As I mentioned already, this lens brings out a diverse range of opinions. The summary focusses on the optical “disadvantages” like:

  • Sharpness is very good, but falls off dramatically with TCs
  • Contrast very low

Concerning the optical performance I do not comment. Everything what has to be said has to be claimend / denied in the internet………..

I want to focus on the practical aspects, here for the usage of the Canon 400mm f4 DO as a flight shot lens:

  • Very light
  • Portable for a large aperture lens
  • AF – button
  • Old-fashioned IS

As said, I decided for the Canon 400mm DO f4,0 in combination with a Canon 1D Mark IV because I am bird photographer who has specialized in photographing many species of birds for scientific purposes also in their behavior. For this purpose the Canon 400mm f4 DO is absolutely great. Flight shoots of big birds such as raptors or storks/herons are perfectly possible.

Here you can see some nice flight shots of bigger birds I shot during a trip to the Pantanal – mainly on the the Pousada Pouso Alegre south of Poconé in Mato Grosso/ Brazil – during December 2012/ January 2013. For bigger images please click on the link in the text “Full size is 1800 × 1125 pixels” below the image in the gallery.

If the Autofocus matches the small passerine (song-)birds, flight shots of these birds are perfectly possible, too. It might take more time, patience and experience.

Some remarks for the usage of Canon 400mm f4 DO as a flight-shot lens:

Canon 400mm f4 DO review; a practical experience

This lens, perhaps more than any other Canon lens, brings out a diverse range of opinions. Of course, as with any major purchase, opinions are always going to be influcenced by emotions and financial factors.
The quick and dirty summary normally is:
• Sharpness is very good, but falls off dramatically with TCs
• Contrast very low (but might be adjusted if shooting RAW via Photoshop)
• Very light and portable for a large aperture lens (not only for a 400mm)
• High price
• Old-fashioned IS
As an dissatisfied Nikon-Photographer I was looking for a completely new photographic system.
I am bird photographer who has specialized in photographing as many species of birds for scientific purposes as possible. First I checked my needs exactly. I hike a lot in different areas to find birds – in the mountains at 2500m asl or in the rain forest. Weight plays a major role. The lens should fit into a (not-too-big) backpack

Continue reading Canon 400mm f4 DO review; a practical experience