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Author Topic: Question for Michael/Andy Biggs  (Read 3957 times)
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« on: January 23, 2004, 12:04:09 PM »
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The Sigma 300-800mm is a monster. We met a photographer in Tanzania who was using one, and he literally had a porter along to carry it.

If you've traveling internationally the weight restrictions aren't a problem. You're allowed two checked bags of 70Lbs each. But depending on the airline carry-on weight restrictions can be a problem.

I flew KLM to Europe and then Tanzania and return, and carried on a 35Lb Mini-Trecker and also the Canon 500mm f/4L IS. The lens was "naked", just over my shoulder with a strap. I was way over the carry-on limit but no one said a word on 4 flights.

On our internal flights in Tanzania there was a 33lb weight restiction but it wasn't enforced since the plane wasn't full. Worst case you might have to pay for an extra seat.

As for the Sigma, if you do go for it don't even think about doing anything other than carefully set-up tripod & heavy Gimbal mounted shooting. What you gain in focal length you'll loose in versatility.

Michael
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abiggs
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« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2004, 06:22:25 PM »
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Tim-

what kind of a camera would you be using a 300-800mm lens on? I ask, because on any camera that is not a full frame camera, that might be too much lens. Too much lens from a size / weight standpoint, but also in length. I mean, that lens is a doozy. Big time.

Let's put it this way. I shoot with a 10D and a 1D, and use a 300mm f/2.8 IS for my long lens, and use a 1.4xII teleconverter off and on. I just don't think you need that kind of a lens. You would be better off with a 500mm lens and a 1.4xII TC. That would give you an f/5.6 lens, and would be very sharp.

I am not aware as to the optical qualities of the 300-800mm, but I doubt it is as good as a 500mm prime + 1.4x teleconverter.

Just my $.02
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Andy Biggs
http://www.andybiggs.com
Africa Photo Safaris | Workshops | Fine Art Prints
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« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2004, 09:26:12 PM »
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I wonder if you can find one used? If it doesn't fit your needs, you could sell it for what you bought it for. It is definitely a large lens, and I would not want to haul that baby around for very long!
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Andy Biggs
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Africa Photo Safaris | Workshops | Fine Art Prints
Tim Gray
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« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2004, 09:23:19 AM »
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I'm thinking seriously about the Sigma 300-800mm - I'd really like to do some Polar Bear shots in Churchill - but it weighs 12 lbs, almost 2x the Canon 500mm.  How big a problem would that be on one of your African trips?  Do I remember correctly that there was a 33 lb weight restriction?

I know you can AF (centre point only) with an  f5.6 and a 1.4x on a Canon 1d/1ds but will the 400 DO 4.0 AF with a 2x?  And I suspect framing would be a lot easier - find your subject at 300mm and zoom in from there.   Not many  reviews of the Sigma, but the few I've run across are fairly positive.
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« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2004, 12:32:10 PM »
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Thanks, I've built a Wimberly (not sidekick) into the budget.
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Tim Gray
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« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2004, 08:35:08 PM »
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The camera depends on what canon does - I use a 1D now and will likely replace it with whatever comes closest to 8mp over the next year. 800 is interesting, particularly if it comes out fullframe... I'm used to the 1.3 on the 100-400 and use the 1.4 x tc occasionally (but for obvious reasons am not enamoured of that combination, although af does work after a fashion).  the 500 is several thousand dollars more and I like the concept of finding the subject at 300 and zooming in to 800.
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