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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 26 Jan 2009 (Monday) 16:57
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Canon 500mm, 600mm and 800mm owners and potential buyers please respond.

 
westernminnguy
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Jan 26, 2009 16:57 |  #1

I can afford one more long lens and I'm trying to decide which to buy.(No interest Sigma or Tamron)

re: the 500mm seems the most practical. Handheld and with the 1.4 TC a serious contender for reach.

re: the 600mm. Great lens but most of the folks out there tell me that they need a tripod and I don't see huge differences over the 500mm with a T.C.

Finally, the 800mm 5.6. Needs light, great reach and about the the same with a 600mm +1.4.

Owners, users, please respond.

If you own or use on a regular basis a 500mm (+ TC.), 600mm (+ TC ) or 800mm...please respond if you have some useful experience to add.

Tx.

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gasrocks
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Jan 26, 2009 17:06 |  #2

Get the 500. Best compromise for what you are after. There are some other options. How do you feel about a tripod only lens in general? I'll let you guess where I am headed. Myself, I'd get the 800 if I had the money but I already have a 300, 500, and the SIgmonster.


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gjl711
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Jan 26, 2009 17:06 |  #3

I'm just subscribing as I believe I am forgoing a 5D2 upgrade and looking for a long lens as well.


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KenjiS
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Jan 26, 2009 17:10 |  #4

westernminnguy wrote in post #7192940 (external link)
I can afford one more long lens and I'm trying to decide which to buy.(No interest Sigma or Tamron)

re: the 500mm seems the most practical. Handheld and with the 1.4 TC a serious contender for reach.

re: the 600mm. Great lens but most of the folks out there tell me that they need a tripod and I don't see huge differences over the 500mm with a T.C.

Finally, the 800mm 5.6. Needs light, great reach and about the the same with a 600mm +f.4.

Owners, users, please respond.

If you don't own or use on a regular basis a 500mm + TC., 600mm or 800mm...please respond only if you have some useful experience to add.

Tx.

:)

What camera will you be using it on?

For me personally, the 500 plus converter would be the most practical choice...but thats just me and how i feel personally..

I wouldnt buy the 800 to be honest, I think its a tidge too long, and while the quality is worth it, i think the VERY narrow field of view would make composition and subject tracking very difficult in many situations...and for me personally i think its just a bit too long [I could be wrong on this, i've never shot an 800..]

600 would be runner up after the 500, not handholdable..i imagine a sturdy monopod would be acceptable, but youd probubly want a tripod 90% of the time...whereas the 500 would probubly be good on a good monopod...I'd think [Its about 2-3lbs heavier..] and the extra 100mm might be apreciated if you're shooting full frame


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TooManyShots
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Jan 26, 2009 17:16 |  #5
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The 800 is insanely expensive....Got money, go for it. However, not sure how much IS can help in stabilizing that lens. Maybe a monopod isn't even enough for it. This is the way I see. If you only have the budget for a 600, get the 500mm and invested in a full gimbal head and sturdy tripod ($800). I won't call the 500L hand holdable. For a brief 10sec. Don't expect to hike with it. Monopod is the least support you should bring it with you. The AF does slow down a bit when a converter is added onto the 500L. Not as lighting fast without one. The IS on the 500 should allow you to shoot at 320s shutter speed at least on a monopod. On a full gimbal head and tripod support I believe you can even go lower. The 500L is "light enough" and portable enough to hike around in the trail, just makes sure you bring your monopod.

I believe the 600 is strictly tripod only due its weight and size.


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Anders ­ Östberg
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Jan 26, 2009 17:21 |  #6

For me the 500 is the only choice; both price, weight and focal length are more useful than the longer lenses. The 600 is too heavy and pricey, the 800 is too long for anything other than birds, the 500 I can use for both birds and motorsports.

As always though, "it depends", on what your needs, budget, shooting style, etc are.


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TooManyShots
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Jan 26, 2009 17:22 |  #7
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gjl711 wrote in post #7193013 (external link)
I'm just subscribing as I believe I am forgoing a 5D2 upgrade and looking for a long lens as well.

On a full frame. May not be enough reach for song birds. On a 1d body, I think the reach is OK--you can get close enough without scaring the birds. You can fill in the subject 1/3 of the frame. I normally add an extension tube to enlarge the subject a bit more. On a FF body, maybe you want a 600mm. Wait a second, the money you save to buying a 500 instead of the 600 you can grab a 40d or 50d with it....:)


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gasrocks
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Jan 26, 2009 17:29 |  #8

"Too long.." Boy, for wildlife I thought I'd never hear that. My best Hummingbird pix are when they sit and groom about 22 feet away and I have a 1.4x on the SIgma at 800 on the 50D.


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5Dmaniac
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Jan 26, 2009 17:30 |  #9

I have the 500 and use it mostly with a 1.4x. There is never enough reach with any lens - so I understand why your are also looking at the other options. I would love to own a 800 for stationary birds, but for BIF, I just don;t see how anything longer and heavier than the 500 would work. For me the 500 is the prefect compromise between reach and manageability. In any case, I would invest in a full Gimbal head!




  
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TooManyShots
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Jan 26, 2009 17:35 |  #10
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gasrocks wrote in post #7193199 (external link)
"Too long.." Boy, for wildlife I thought I'd never hear that. My best Hummingbird pix are when they sit and groom about 22 feet away and I have a 1.4x on the SIgma at 800 on the 50D.

Sigma 800 with a converter??? Wow, that's a whole another ball game of shooting techniques to master....as well as shooting location logistics.....:)


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gasrocks
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Jan 26, 2009 17:38 |  #11

Come for a visit. I teach a class in wildlife photogrpahy.


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Anders ­ Östberg
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Jan 26, 2009 17:39 |  #12

Of course it's great to have more reach, especially for the birdies, but fact is the pictures get much better if you try to get closer instead. Often very hard to do for sure but a better strategy - and cheaper too. :)


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gasrocks
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Jan 26, 2009 17:42 |  #13

Yes, I teach all my students that getting closer is ultimately the best thing to do ( and can also be the hardest) and can also save some money. Did you miss the part where I said 22 feet?


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Anders ­ Östberg
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Jan 26, 2009 17:49 |  #14

No I got it. I think many who haven't tried photographing small birds don't realize that even with a supertele you still don't fill the frame at MFD, you may even need extension tubes, so there's never enough reach and/or you're never close enough.

Still, as much as I'd sometimes want a longer lens the 500 is to me more useful overall. If I had the money I'd love to own one of the Sigmas too, maybe the 300-800 zoom, though I'd hate to lug it around.


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KenjiS
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Jan 26, 2009 18:04 |  #15

gasrocks wrote in post #7193199 (external link)
"Too long.." Boy, for wildlife I thought I'd never hear that. My best Hummingbird pix are when they sit and groom about 22 feet away and I have a 1.4x on the SIgma at 800 on the 50D.

Perhaps bad choice in words...

I just feel that flexibility wise, you can throw a converter on the 500 and get a 700, you cant make that 800 shorter..not to mention the fact if i was shooting such a lens id have it bolted on a 1.6 or a 1.3x crop camera [To take advantage of the 1.6 or 1.3 crop conversion factor] which you do as well...

You DO have a point, length is important...I just dont think I'd personally drag that big 800mm lens around..

The Sigma 300-800 maybe though....because its more flexible

I guess for myself i only see myself owning one of these massive teles at one time, so flexibility sorta factors very heavily into it....As it is id debate a lot between having the 300 f/2.8, 400 f/4 or the 500 f/4!


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Canon 500mm, 600mm and 800mm owners and potential buyers please respond.
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