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Thread: Suggestions for an airshow lens?

  1. #1

    Suggestions for an airshow lens?

    Hello,
    I am a plane spotter from Philadelphia that usually spots at PHL. I am starting a thread to ask what kind of lens would you buy if you were in my situation! I own a Canon T5 with a 18-55 EFS lens, as well as an EF 75-300. My lenses aren't going to make the magic happen for airshows, so I need a new lens.

    Here is my schedule:

    Manassas Airshow
    Arsenal of Democracy
    Milville Wings and Wheels
    Great New England
    Jones Beach
    Rhode Island Airshow at Quonset State
    MAAM WWII Weekend
    Ocean City, MD
    Greenwood Lake Airshow
    New Garden- N57
    Atlantic City Thunder over The Boardwalk
    Reading, PA
    Andrews AFB
    NAS Oceana
    Ocean City, NJ

  2. #2
    Senior Member megatop412's Avatar
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    This is entirely dependent on how much money you have to play with. New, the Sigma 150-500OS is a great deal for what you get. Otherwise if you want better optics you're looking at used glass(which is fine)

  3. #3
    Administrator Landing Lights's Avatar
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    I agree 100% with what William said. The first step is to set your budget so you know what you can afford. You also need to look at what is available. There are great upgrade options from both Canon and third party manufacturers that will serve you well. I personally researched several and ended up with a used Canon 100-400L.

    If you're going to buy used (and it can be a great way to save some money), you need to learn how each dealer grades their used inventory. Then, you need to decide what grade you are willing to pay for. Then you need to find one, which can take a little bit of time, although there are free tools out there that will monitor various outlets for lenses that meet your criteria. I decided I wanted a 100-400L that was in very good condition, and ended up with a copy that arrived looking brand new for several hundred less than new would cost.
    Ben Granucci, Wappingers Falls, NY
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  4. #4
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    Canon 500 F/4. At least if money is no object ;-)

  5. #5
    Senior Member Zee71's Avatar
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    Although I'm not a Canon shooter consider may be the new Sigma 150-600mm or definitely the new Canon 100-400mm. As mentioned .... it all depends on how much you want to spend. The Canon 500 f/4 sounds sweet, but it's a beast and heavy to lug around .... trust me, I have the Nikon 500mm f/4. Before you purchase anything, do your research as well. You can always consider renting a lens, before purchasing the lens of your choice to see which may be the best fit for you.
    Mark
    Queens, NY

    My website: http://mbsphotography.smugmug.com
    My photos at: JetPhotos and ANet

  6. #6
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    The new canon 500 is half as bad as the old one! Still heavy though.

    More seriously, the 100-400 seems pretty popular. I would definitely rent before you buy. Way to better to spend $30-$50 to know for sure then buy and suddenly be disappointed.

  7. #7
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    Agreed on the rent before you buy thing (unless you've got a friend who has the lens who is willing to let you try). If I were in your position (as I currently am), I'd be taking a pretty close look at the new 150-600 lenses from Tamron and Sigma. If those are tough to come by I'd also look at the Sigma 150-500 or 50-500. I've got a few friends shooting airshows consistently and getting great results with those lenses on older Canon bodies. I don't think you could go wrong with the 100-400 either if it's in the budget.

    For what it's worth I'm leaning towards the Sigma 150-600 Sport, but they're hard to come by right now and a I've still got some saving up to do.

  8. #8
    Administrator Landing Lights's Avatar
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    For what it's worth, LensAuthority (LensRentals sales arm) has the Canon 100-400L (the older model) for between $855 and $935 right now depending on condition. Thats a smoking deal of about $300 off of what the used price was before the new model was released. https://www.lensauthority.com/produc...-5-5-dot-6l-is
    Ben Granucci, Wappingers Falls, NY
    NYCAviation Senior Editor & Director
    On Twitter @blgranucci
    More photos on Flickr
    [email protected]

  9. #9
    So about two weeks ago, I started testing the Tamron 150-600mm lens and loved it! $1,100 well spent!

  10. #10
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    Congrats on the Tamron 150-600! I just got a Sigma 150-600 earlier this week and found the range to be perfect for airshows. Can't wait to see some shots from the Tammy!

  11. #11
    Senior Member Big Tim #70's Avatar
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    I just purchased and started shooting with the Tamron 150-600mm as well. Only sports so far, but I love it. The only downside that I've seen is that it can be quite slow in low light. But then again, the Canon 100-400L isn't great in low light either.

    pics are tac sharp between 300-500mm. They do tend to get soft above that but I've been very happy with it so far.
    EVERYONE IS THERE TO SEE THE SHERPA!

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