Sunday, March 2, 2014

Tamron 150-600 vs Canon 100-400 - Wing Shots

Tamron 150-600
I have still been reserving judgement on my new lens until I could give it another go on some wing shots.  My first attempts ended in total frustration with few usable shots.  After doing quite a bit of reading and talking with folks, I went out today with the intent on testing again by changing various camera settings to hopefully find a solution.

I met several other experienced photographers and together we tried various settings and talked out problems.  We even tried different cameras to rule out an issue with the camera I was using with was a Canon 5D Mk III.

My first thoughts were to increase tracking sensitivity,  Frustration on missed shots began immediately.  One of the gentlemen shooting with us said it should be reversed from what I was thinking.  I moved the tracking sensitivity to zero.  Better but still no cigar.  The lens still seemed to lose focus easily and began hunting.  I moved the lever from the full to the 15m to infinity position.  Huge difference.  Next I changed the AF point from single to area.  Another improvement.  After that the recommendation was made to change to  back focus.  A bit of getting use to but I think I will like it and it seemed to help in more quickly establishing focus on a moving bird.

By the end of the day, there was improvement from the first shots of the day.  I can only speak from personal experience but I still find that the lens is slow to focus, even in good light.  Hopefully with some additional tweaking and practice, I can nail down the idiosyncrasies of this lens.  At this point I am not sure that it will be a successful lens for wing shots.  The recommendation was made to try on a camera with a cropped sensor.  My next go round out I will take my Canon 7D out and give it a go on that one.

Canon 100-400
Trying to compare lenses, I next tried several shots with the Canon 100-400.  Definitely quicker to focus and a better quality shot.  Once thing I noticed when comparing the metadata for each of the cameras, the Tamron was registering a focal length of 600mm for each shot although I know I had backed it down from 600.  Not sure what was going on with that.

I am still pleased with the Tamron for still, portrait type shots but I am beginning to wonder if it is going to be successful for wing shots.  I am hope some additional tweaking and practice will prove it useful for those.  At this time the focus still seems very slow resulting in blurred shots for moving birds.  It is definitely not a slap on you camera lens and expect peak performance.


ME2NC said...

Maybe it will just be a practice thing, Paula. The photos are good but the Canon lens photos are much sharper. I really like the last photo where it is right above the rocks.

Paula said...

These shots from the Tamron were by the end of the day after much tweaking of camera and lens settings. I should have put some of the first really bad shots. Yes, the Canon for sure are much sharper shots. I suspect for situations where I know I will be shooting flying birds, I will use the Canon. Who knows, maybe a little more practice.