Interestingly enough I have seen a few blogs posted about the ultimate wildlife lens since my post about the Sigma 300-800mm f/5.6 lens. I often chuckle at these blogs because some of the people involved are pretty famous! They try to compare many focal lengths and weight of lenses of both the Canon and Nikon systems yet they refuse to address the versatility of the Sigma 300-800mm f/5.6 lens…….so here is my thoughts on that:
If you buy a Canon 600mm prime along with the 1.4 TC and the 200-400 with the built in TC……..you get almost the same versatility and reach of the Sigma 300-800mm f/5.6….at a weight of over 17lbs. and a cost of over $25,000.
For the Nikon shooters out there…your 600mm lens with the 1.4 TC and the 200-400mm lens with the 1.7 TC to get the range of the Sigma 300-800mm will weigh in at about 20 lbs. and cost you around $17,400.
Both of these choices will force you to change lenses in the field and given the speed and nature of wildlife photography, cost you precious seconds of photography time. Yes, all chime in at f/4……but once you add in the TC for the reach out to 800mm……they all come in at f/5.6.
The Sigma 300-800mm f/5.6 weighs in at 12.91 lbs. and a cost of about $8,000. I don’t have to change lenses. I have the versatility and speed of not changing lenses in the field although with both examples above…. they go down to 200mm….I can fill in the few millimeters they miss before 600mm and I don’t have to change lenses!
So let’s compare…..the Canon photographers will have you plunk down approximately $25,000 and carry around 17lbs of gear. Nikon shooters will save you a bit of money and only ask for $17,400 but make you carry around almost 20lbs of weight! I am a Sigma Pro for about 9 months now and I bought the Sigma 300-800mm f/5.6 over 8 years ago. I will put my images with that lens up against anybody! I can offer you a better choice. Just carry the Sigma 300-800mm f/5.6 and ask the Nikon and Canon shooters if the $9,000-$17,000 extra cost is any match for the performance and versatility that the Sigma lens offers!!!
If you need further proof…..ask them if the label on the lens makes you a “better” photographer? Just sayin’ 🙂 . It would be very easy for me as a professional to tell you to buy very expensive equipment. I’m telling you that the name on the gear won’t make you a better photographer…….so buy something you can afford!!! After all…..you can making pleasing blurs with equipment that costs a lot less than $17,000-$25,000!!!