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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 07 Aug 2014 (Thursday) 18:15
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300/4 non-IS + 1.4x TC for Yellowstone?

 
birder_herper
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Aug 07, 2014 18:15 |  #1

My brother is going to Yosemite and Yellowstone next month (getting married in Yosemite). He and his soon-to-be bride would like to photograph some wildlife, etc out there. I found a good deal on a Canon 300/4 non-IS and will let them borrow it, with a Canon 1.4x II teleconverter and a Canon T2i and 18-55mm IS lens.

I know there is no IS, but I feel this will give them all the reach necessary. They have no experience with a DSLR but I plan on giving them the equipment sooner rather than later so they can practice at the park and zoo.

Do you think this setup will sufficient?




  
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johnf3f
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Aug 07, 2014 19:02 |  #2

I have never used the non IS version of the Canon 300 F4, but I did own the IS version for quite a while and rate it VERY highly, especially at the price.
From what I read it would appear that the earlier (non IS) version is slightly better with extenders, though mine was pretty good.
Just teach them how to keep shutter speeds at a reasonable level and they should be very happy.


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JonKline
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Aug 07, 2014 19:11 |  #3

Just send them with a tripod! IS is helpful but it doesn't stabilize the wind or the animals.


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ed ­ rader
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Aug 07, 2014 20:14 as a reply to  @ JonKline's post |  #4

70-300L or 100-400L. you're going to want IS in Yellowstone as many the animals come out in the mornings and evenings.

went there twice last year and going back for a week next month and i'll take both of those lenses as well as a FF and a crop body.


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ed ­ rader
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Aug 07, 2014 20:15 |  #5

JonKline wrote in post #17082927 (external link)
Just send them with a tripod! IS is helpful but it doesn't stabilize the wind or the animals.

yeah the tripod will stabilize the wind and animals :rolleyes:


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johnf3f
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Aug 07, 2014 20:35 |  #6

Not familiar with the OP's camera (T2i ??) but I am certainly getting more keepers since I turned the IS off, both on a tripod and hand held.
I have 4 IS lenses (24-105, 70-200 F2.8, 300 F2.8 IS and 800 F5.6 IS) and, except for literally 1 minute, I have not used IS this year - loving the results!


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1Tanker
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Aug 07, 2014 21:58 as a reply to  @ johnf3f's post |  #7

420mm without IS might be scary for a total n00b. Using a dSLR itself might seem intimidating for someone new.. let alone trying to follow the 1/FL(or faster for an 18 MP APS-C) guideline.


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birder_herper
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Aug 07, 2014 22:04 |  #8

Thanks for all comments thus far, fellas. I just got the lens today so tomorrow I will test it myself and then make a decision. Loaning them a tripod might be a good idea, too.




  
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FoxTrot
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Aug 07, 2014 22:26 |  #9

johnf3f wrote in post #17083104 (external link)
Not familiar with the OP's camera (T2i ??) but I am certainly getting more keepers since I turned the IS off, both on a tripod and hand held.
I have 4 IS lenses (24-105, 70-200 F2.8, 300 F2.8 IS and 800 F5.6 IS) and, except for literally 1 minute, I have not used IS this year - loving the results!

I was under the impression that you should have IS off when using a tripod anyways, as the IS system can actually interfere and cause bad images under such circumstances.


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1Tanker
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Aug 07, 2014 22:47 |  #10

FoxTrot wrote in post #17083250 (external link)
I was under the impression that you should have IS off when using a tripod anyways, as the IS system can actually interfere and cause bad images under such circumstances.

Yes...with the older versions(non tripod-sensing) of IS. The main issue here, is that someone not used to shooting a 12 inch lens (300L +1.4x tc ) on a dSLR..which they aren't adept at either, could be a tall order. Or.. the guy could turn out to be a natural.. with nerves of steel. ;) :lol:


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Scott ­ M
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Aug 08, 2014 06:41 |  #11

birder_herper wrote in post #17082824 (external link)
My brother is going to Yosemite and Yellowstone next month (getting married in Yosemite). He and his soon-to-be bride would like to photograph some wildlife, etc out there. I found a good deal on a Canon 300/4 non-IS and will let them borrow it, with a Canon 1.4x II teleconverter and a Canon T2i and 18-55mm IS lens.

I know there is no IS, but I feel this will give them all the reach necessary. They have no experience with a DSLR but I plan on giving them the equipment sooner rather than later so they can practice at the park and zoo.

Do you think this setup will sufficient?

There is no such thing as having enough reach in Yellowstone. There's lots of open space, and wildlife can be either quite close or a long way off. That being said, you take what you can afford. My last visit was with a 100-400L on a 7D, and I needed to crop several of my shots in post processing in order to get an acceptable framing. Other times, the wildlife was just too far away to even bother.

I do agree with the others that say a 420mm lens without IS will be difficult for someone not familiar with dSLRs to handle -- even with IS, they may struggle. A decent tripod would help, but they will need to understand a little about exposure and keeping a faster shutter speed when hand holding.


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mpbowyer
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Aug 08, 2014 07:00 |  #12

I have that lens, and a 2x tc on a 60d.

The 2x ruins autofocus, but I hear the 1.4 does not.

The 300 by itself will make extremely good pictures, and is just small enough to put in a backpack with a bunch of other stuff. Any "better" or longer lens is going to be much huger for someone who isn't making their main purpose of the trip photography.

At f/4 it is going to allow in-flight bird pictures with fast shutter speeds.

In the daylight, teach them to use Av ad F/5.6 with iso set to auto (or 100 if they're out in the open in the sun). My favorite hiking setting. If you see some random wildlife just shoot it. Then crop later.




  
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hrblaine
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Aug 08, 2014 08:12 |  #13

"Loaning them a tripod might be a good idea, too."

Probably but I use a monopod and I like it.




  
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jt354
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Aug 08, 2014 08:46 |  #14

IMO a tripod or monopod would be essential for that lens/TC combination. For me, the bare minimum shutter speed I'd use handheld with a 420mm f/5.6 is 1/500, which can be difficult to achieve in dawn/dusk conditions (or in forest areas). A tripod would allow you to shoot wildlife at 1/125 or so (for relatively static subjects), for two stops of additional light. That could make the difference between a grainy ISO 3200 shot and an acceptable ISO 800 photo.


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amfoto1
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Aug 10, 2014 11:21 |  #15

FoxTrot wrote in post #17083250 (external link)
I was under the impression that you should have IS off when using a tripod anyways, as the IS system can actually interfere and cause bad images under such circumstances.

Not necessarily...

IS can be left on when using a tripod with a "loose" head... with the panning and tilt not locked down, allowing you to track with moving subjects such as wildlife.... such as the gimbal mounts often used with wildlife. Similar can be done with other types of tripod heads, though the gimbal is the smoothest with a large lens.

Plus, it depends upon the lens.... the 300/4 IS happens to be one of those with the simpler IS that should be turned off manually if the lens is locked down solidly on a tripod, otherwise IS can go into sort of a feedback loop where it creates movement rather than correcting it. Others IS lenses of this type I know for certain include the 24-105L, 100-400L and 28-135.

But many other Canon lenses use a more sophisticated form of IS that will "self-detect" lack of movement and automatically turn off, such as when fully locked down on a tripod. For certain these include all Canon 70-200 with IS, as well as all versions of 300/2.8, 400/2.8, 500/4 and 600/4. It's pretty safe to assume the 200/2, 400/4 DO, 800/5.6 and 200-400/4L 1.4X also use this type of IS. I bet the 100L Macro will, too, since a macro lens is very often used on a tripod.

Other IS lenses... who knows!? Just watch for it in the viewfinder. You can see when the problem occurs and turn the IS off then. It won't harm camera or lens if it occurs. Just can cause blurred images.

I agree with some other suggestions... you might consider a monopod instead of a tripod. A monopod can double as a walking stick when hiking. In fact there are some actual walking sticks that have a camera mounting screw on top. If the lens were IS, I would leave it on when used on a monopod. But since it's not, they'll still need to keep shutter speeds reasonable, but a monopod can be a big help if somewhat slower shutter speeds are necessary.

A monopod can be the difference, allowing for slower shutter speeds. These were shot at about 1/160 or 1/200 if memory serves, 300mm lens with a 1.5X teleconverter (no stabilization), on a monopod...

IMAGE: https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8157/7314606954_1ed9c64f59_b.jpg
IMAGE: https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5104/5637973004_c1901f1233_b.jpg

This was shot with Canon EF 300/4L IS and 1.4X teleconverter, 1/250 shutter speed (EOS 5D Mark II, ISO 1600, f8), on a monopod, with IS on...

IMAGE: https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3820/9268150759_fcb18983b8_b.jpg

Above examples are all "full frame". Using 300mm and effective 420mm on a crop sensor camera such as the T2i will be a bit more challenging.

Teach the folks who will be using your gear to watch those shutter speeds and a little about ISO. Should be no problem using ISO 1600 with that camera. If they were to shoot RAW + JPEG, should be able to use as high as ISO 3200 with a T2i.... applying a little noise reduction to the RAW conversion later. (Note: If they use the point-n-shoot style Scene modes on the T2i, RAW won't be possible. Those also prevent making other settings... varies depending upon which Scene mode is used.)

I don't have any problem recommending using some of the auto exposure modes: Av, Tv or P. I would never use "auto ISO" (if T2i has it), in combination with the other auto exposure modes. Too hard to say what would happen with an auto-auto setup like that.

Alan Myers (external link) "Walk softly and carry a big lens."
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300/4 non-IS + 1.4x TC for Yellowstone?
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