Finally! Canon replaces nearly-antique Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 Lens

clip_image001Canon shooters who don’t want to lug a huge and expensive telephoto zoom along with them, and haven’t wanted to go third party have had only one option for the past 16 years (believe it or not, that’s how long it has been). Finally Canon has introduced a totally revamped model, the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS II USM Lens. The new lens has all the right specs:


Alaskan Bears: One safari, one camera, one lens: Life with the new Nikon 80-400mm AF-S VR Lens

_djc5685Every July I return to Alaska to photograph the amazing Coastal Brown (aka “Grizzly”) Bears. Over the course of 15 years I’ve used over a dozen different cameras, and at least that many lenses to capture images. Typically at least one of my lenses would be a massive telephoto (400mm f/2.8 or 200-400 f/4, or 120-300 f/2.8). This year, as part of my ongoing effort to identify lighter, less expensive alternatives to large and extremely expensive lenses, I decided to shoot for the entire two safaris with “just” a Nikon 80-400mm AF-S VR lens attached to my Nikon D610. My hope was to see whether this new, sub-$3K lens could do a good job of subbing for larger, more expensive alteratives….


Sigma 24-105mm f4 Global Vision Lens Delivers the Goods in our Field Test

by David Cardinal

There is no question that Sigma has really upped its game with its new family of Global Vision lenses. I love the GV-version of the Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 OS HSM Lens, and continue to feel it is the world’s best lens for vehicle-based wildlife photography. This month I’ve had the pleasure of shooting with its new Sigma 24-105mm OS HSM Lens on both a Nikon D4S and a Nikon D7100. The short version is that the lens lives up to the Global Vision brand, but read on to see whether it might be the right mid-range zoom for you:


Nikon D7100 and Nikon 70-200mm f4 Lens: Action-friendly DSLR and lens combo for under $2500

For those looking to photograph wildlife, sports or other action without breaking the bank, you can’t do better than the Nikon D7100 DSLR coupled with the new Nikon 70-200mm f/4 lens. After shooting with them for two weeks in Alaska (as my second body & flight lens) I was thoroughly happy with both their performance and the resulting images. Sure, they are not going to deliver the same results as a Nikon D4 coupled with the new Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 OS HSM Lens or Nikon 200-400mm f/4 Lens, but they are a fraction of the cost and much smaller and lighter. Read more »

New Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 lens: Nikon and Canon 200-400mm killer?

Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Lens for NikonThe original Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 was a favorite safari lens for many pros. It fell behind with the introduction of the Nikon 200-400mm f/4 lens with built-in Vibration Reduction. It's subsequent model -- including Optical Stabilization -- regained it respect, but left it a bit behind the Nikon in usability and build quality. That has changed dramatically with the new version – the Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 OS HSM Lens. Every bit the equal of the Nikon in both optical and build quality at a fraction of the cost, the Sigma is again likely to become the favorite safari lens of many pros and enthusiastic amateurs alike. Read more »

New Nikon 80-400mm AF-S Lens: Ultimate optics for safari-goers and soccer moms

936121No lens has been more eagerly awaited, or for longer, than the replacement for the aged Nikon 80-400mm zoom telephoto. After well over a decade Nikon has finally rolled out its successor – the Nikon 80-400mm AF-S VR lens, with massively improved VR and focusing speed, as well as completely redesigned optics. While it is a technical marvel, its high price and large size may mean it isn’t for you. We’ve got a review unit here in the office, and will be posting more over the next few weeks, but we wanted to get our first impressions out to those of you curious about the new lens… Read more »

All new Superzooms face-off: Nikon 18-300mm, Sigma 18-250mm, Tamron 18-270mm

djc_1116With all the well-justified hype over the full-frame camera launches this fall, APS-C (Nikon DX) format shooters may be feeling a little unloved. Without a D400 or D7100 to crow about, they’re left with a short list of fun, new stuff. Fortunately, there has been activity in the smaller-sensor lens space. Over the last year Nikon, Sigma and Tamron have all released updates on their superzooms. Purists will continue to eschew these lenses, but those desiring an all-in-one lens they can couple with their camera body for a travel-friendly package have some new options. I’ve been shooting with all three of them over the last month… Read more »

Field test of the Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 Lens: A pro lens at a prosumer price

Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 DI VC USD Lens for Nikon CamerasUnless you make a lot of money with your mid-range zoom lens, or are willing to spend what it takes to get the best, $1900 for the 2 pound Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 lens is a hard price to justify. For that price, you get an ultra-sharp, ultra-fast, lens, but you don’t even get VR. I’ve enjoyed using Sigma’s version, the Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 lens that I reviewed in 2010. It is much less expensive, but not as solidly built and also isn’t stabilized. Until now there hasn’t been a value-priced version of a 24-70 f/2.8 that could measure up to the Nikon. That’s why I was excited to work with the new Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 Lens, which not only featured a fast focus motor but unique among mid-range pro zooms, also has image stabilization….
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Superzoom faceoff: Canon PowerShot SX260 HS versus Nikon Coolpix S9300

Canon PowerShot SX260 HS Digital Camera (Black)[NOTE: If you're looking for the Sigma 50-500mm lens review, click here. Sorry about that]

As impressive as improvements have been across the board in point and shoot cameras over the last few years, none have made greater strides than the superzooms. Formerly more of a novelty and avoided by anyone serious about performance or image quality, new models are finally worth serious consideration for anyone needing to isolate subjects with a small, light camera. For this project I borrowed a Nikon Coolpix S9300 and a Canon PowerShot SX260 HS and carried both around for a few weeks as my point and shoot camera. I knew that neither would live up to the speed or image quality of my personal favorite point and shoot, the Canon PowerShot S100, but of course that isn’t the point. These models have amazing zoom ranges, and actually cost less. I was pleasantly surprised by what I found… Read more »

Nikon unveils sweet little 85mm f/1.8 lens, Sigma adds micro 4/3 & Sony NEX lenses, DSLR-compatible 180mm f/2.8 macro

Sigma 180mm f28 macroCES featured plenty of new cameras, but there were also several exciting lens announcements from some of our favorite lens makers, Nikon and Sigma. Nikon's new 85mm f/1.8 lens is refreshingly small for what it does, while Sigma a new line of lenses for Micro 4/3 and Sony NEX – called DN for Digital Neo, plus an impressive 180mm f/2.8 Macro lens for Nikon & Canon DSLRs... Read more »