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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 22 Jul 2009 (Wednesday) 08:44
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300/2.8 or 500/4

 
CyberDyneSystems
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Jul 23, 2009 13:06 |  #46

amfoto, I agree with everything you say about AF speed, but your wrong about "sharpness"

The entire line of Canon Super telephotos is essentially "so sharp you can't see a difference"


We could argue which is sharper of the two for ever, and even the MTF charts bare this out, regardless of our subjective view, as both lenses are better in certain aspects, and are both so good one can't make a ruling on which has a "better measurements" very easily.

Suffice it to say, all of them are sharper than every other lens Canon makes, with the exception of their siblings in the family.

My point, all the rest of what you say is a good argument to chose the 300mm, this one point however absolutely is not.


Again, it looks like the OP has already made up his mind, and agree with amfoto's advice to rent, but it sounds liek he's already shot the 500mm... so rent the 300mm if you haven't shot with it.


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Jul 23, 2009 13:16 |  #47

bobbyz wrote in post #8331110 (external link)
I prefer getting the right focal length for the job. I would take longer lens with slower aperture for birds than shorter focal length where I need to use TCs all the time.

Why? If the 300 with a TC is an overall better solution than the 400 4.6 then why would you go for the inferior option? Apart from the weight (and once you include your CF tripod and a decent head there's not going to be much difference) where does the 400 beat the 300/TC combination?

bobbyz wrote in post #8331110 (external link)
IS is not that big of a deal unless you using 500/600/800mm. Just get a cheap CF tripod or better even $100 monopod with 3 little legs and you can get awesome shots with 400mm f5.6 at low shutter speeds.

Hmm, I seem to be able to get awesome shots at 420mm f4 without having to use a tripod. Possibly because of the IS and the fact that I can use a much shorter shutter speed.


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bobbyz
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Jul 23, 2009 15:04 |  #48

hollis_f wrote in post #8331185 (external link)
Why? If the 300 with a TC is an overall better solution than the 400 4.6 then why would you go for the inferior option? Apart from the weight (and once you include your CF tripod and a decent head there's not going to be much difference) where does the 400 beat the 300/TC combination?

Go to naturescapes.net and check E.J. Peiker's tests. 400mm f5.6 Beats 300mm f2.8 IS with 1.4xTC just by a touch. I haven't done side by side testing as I sold mine before I bought my 300mm f2.8 IS. I have problem with 'inferior'. All superteles are in same range. And I would add 400mm f5.6 in same category. If someone thinks 400mm f5.6 is inferior lens, they don't know what they doing, IMHO.

Hmm, I seem to be able to get awesome shots at 420mm f4 without having to use a tripod. Possibly because of the IS and the fact that I can use a much shorter shutter speed.

For birds, having f4 is not an issue, IMHO. Bump the ISO if you need to get more ss. And I don't shoot when light is not good anyways.


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Jul 23, 2009 15:31 |  #49

BradM wrote in post #8329521 (external link)
As for the last sentence, look at the shots below, fast moving subjects are no issue for the lens with or without the an extender... with the 500mm it will still have AF on ANY body that Canon makes, with the 1D series you can use a 2x and still have AF.

While never considered a song bird, you can't find smaller subjects than hummingbirds and the 500mm does the job just fine ;), 500mm with 1.4x and 20mm extension tube and a min focus distance of ~ 12', much tighter and you can't frame the bird in the shot.

Some very Excellent Captures of Hummers' in action.

Regarding, the 500, it is an Excellent Lens. I have used it extensively on several occasions. I have also hand-held the 500 for over 6 hours, pointing at the sky. :) I was shooting an Air Show. The lens only weighs 8.5 lbs!! (The 300/2.8 IS weighs 5.6 Lbs.) And, the need for a tripod, depends on your needs. If your shooting slow shutter speeds'/ low light, then the need for a rock solid tripod is warranted. However, for Fast Moving subjects/ Bright Light, I do not believe a Tripod is necessary, though, each unto their own.

I own the 300/2.8 IS, and will be purchasing the 500/4 IS in the near future. They are both awesome lenses.


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Jul 23, 2009 16:06 |  #50

Rockies Photo wrote in post #8331933 (external link)
Some very Excellent Captures of Hummers' in action.

Regarding, the 500, it is an Excellent Lens. I have used it extensively on several occasions. I have also hand-held the 500 for over 6 hours, pointing at the sky. :) I was shooting an Air Show. The lens only weighs 8.5 lbs!! (The 300/2.8 IS weighs 5.6 Lbs.) And, the need for a tripod, depends on your needs. If your shooting slow shutter speeds'/ low light, then the need for a rock solid tripod is warranted. However, for Fast Moving subjects/ Bright Light, I do not believe a Tripod is necessary, though, each unto their own.

I own the 300/2.8 IS, and will be purchasing the 500/4 IS in the near future. They are both awesome lenses.

I have been using a 500 for 2 years now. To keep the 500 level and still for longer than 10 seconds without drifting is nearly impossible. To do it time after time will tire you out very quickly until you will have trouble keeping it level and still for just a few seconds. I would like to hear what other 500 owners say about this.


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Jul 23, 2009 16:53 |  #51

Why is the title of this thread "300/2.8 or 500/4" if it's too expensive and too heavy? Sounds like you need validation for your 300 2.8 purchase.

I can speak from experience and say the 500 (700 5.6, very good IQ the 1.4x) is a better bird/wildlife lens than the 300 (600 5.6, sub par IQ w/ the 2x)

Personally, I'm not sure about the 400 5.6 but I have seen some dyn-o-mite shots from Duane N and his 400mm.

Here's some shots since you asked for them:

300 2.8 IS w/ 1.4 TC sitting near a feeder (none of my 2x shots were worth keeping, sorry)

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500 w/ 1.4 TC stalking
IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
Byte size: ZERO | Content warning: NOT AN IMAGE

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bobbyz
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Jul 23, 2009 17:07 |  #52

Goshawk wrote in post #8332140 (external link)
I have been using a 500 for 2 years now. To keep the 500 level and still for longer than 10 seconds without drifting is nearly impossible. To do it time after time will tire you out very quickly until you will have trouble keeping it level and still for just a few seconds. I would like to hear what other 500 owners say about this.

I am small handicapped person and I have no problem hand holding 500mm f4 IS with 1dmk2 for much much longer than 10sec. Just need to practice more and work on how you hold it. I do BIF shooting exclusively HH. Being hand held gives you more mobility, particularly when doing BIF. But when I am shooting perched birds, having it on wimberley head is much easier as I am mostly waiting for right moment, angle to shoot.

Actually weight was the main reason I didn't buy 500mm f4 for so long. First time I tried it when I met a person at local park with 1 series body and 500mm f4, I put my order to B&H. I find it to be reasonable for small guy like me. Being handicapped, I don't walk around for miles with it. But even being able to walk 1/4 mile with it for me is more like 2-3 miles for able bodied folks. I have tried 400mm f2.8 IS and that I would say I can only hh for 10 seconds or so. I have even tried 500mm f4 IS and 70-200mm on another body when shooting sports for a while. I routinely shoot 1dmk2 with 300mm and 70-200mm f2.8 on another body when shooting night time football. If I can do it, so can others.

Check Jim Neiger's technique on naturescapes.net. He also offers training classes if someone needs them.


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Jul 23, 2009 21:07 |  #53

Goshawk wrote in post #8332140 (external link)
I have been using a 500 for 2 years now. To keep the 500 level and still for longer than 10 seconds without drifting is nearly impossible. To do it time after time will tire you out very quickly until you will have trouble keeping it level and still for just a few seconds. I would like to hear what other 500 owners say about this.

I would say, unless, you have a handicap or disability, then 10 seconds' is totally not normal, for shooting with the 500/4 IS. IF you were hand-holding, the 400/2.8 IS, 600/4 IS, 800/5.6, then I could see that being a possibility, but I don't see that as being normal for the 500/4 IS. I'm not superman, but rather tall & lanky, however, I can hold the 500, whether it be level, or aimed for the skies, for 3-5 minute intervals, with a 1.4x TC & my 1D2N. I've done it on numerous occasions, over the course of several weeks, and in the course of a couple hours in one day.

I've also had the pleasure, of shooting with the 800/5.6 for about 30-40 minutes, during a Blue Angels Routine/ Demonstration. The 800 is a BEAST!!! It requires a completely different holding technique, and a man of steel. :cool::cool: I could only hold it for about 10-20 seconds at a time, without using a Monopod. For shooting Field Sports, a Monopod, works great to distribute weight & maintain field of view, but when shooting constantly changing subjects, distances, and elevations, the monopod gets in the way.


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Jul 23, 2009 21:43 |  #54

Rockies Photo wrote in post #8333425 (external link)
but when shooting constantly changing subjects, distances, and elevations, the monopod gets in the way.

I would've agreed w/ you up until the point where I started using a tilt head on my monopod. I actually makes a monopod useful for birds/planes in flight. Tripods are a little more finicky having to remember to step over the legs instead tripping over them. :-)


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Jul 23, 2009 21:46 |  #55

Love the 500mm on a Monopod with a Tilt only head,..

Another way to go is add a Sidekick,. I know it sounds funny,.. but if the 'pod is tall enough, you can do some serious Ack Ack fire with a gimble mount on the 500mm!


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bps
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Jul 23, 2009 22:12 |  #56

Good night Tim. Those are some stellar shots!

I already know my destiny: I will own an 85 1.2, 300 2.8, and 500 4. It's just a matter of when...

Bryan


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Jul 23, 2009 22:20 |  #57

bps wrote in post #8333712 (external link)
Good night Tim. Those are some stellar shots!

I already know my destiny: I will own an 85 1.2, 300 2.8, and 500 4. It's just a matter of when...

Bryan

Thanks Bryan! My destiny is unclear, it's possible that I don't have one:-)


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Jul 23, 2009 22:21 |  #58

KenjiS wrote in post #8328598 (external link)
Forgive a bit of rambling on the subject...

the 500/4 is great yes, but as stated, you not only need a 500/4, but also a good tripod and a good wimbley head, likely running you $700+ [probubly closer to $800] on top of the money you're spending on the 500..

Then theres the fact that while yeah, you can shoot it handheld in a pinch, its not really easy to do for an hour or two from what i can gather and such...so the tripod and that just add to the amount of stuff you're carrying...

The 300/2.8 is a lot lighter, even with a 2x Tcon, and its considered to be handholdable for quite a while...And theres less overall stuff to carry, so your overall load is lighter...making it easier to tote around even if you cant get it quite as long, but its easier to manage and also slightly more discrete [As discrete as it can be]

Worst case you can get away with a monopod for one, which is substantially less expensive even with a decent head....and a lot less cumbersome and bulky to carry and store...

Even though my primary target is birds i still personally feel id be better with a 300 f/2.8 over the 500, the 500 is just too big bulky cumbersome and conspicuous [Yeh i know...] compared to the 300...Is there something wrong with that feeling? Even if im primarily slapping a 1.4x or 2x Tcon on it?

Kinda makes me wish there was a 400mm f/4 non-DO, a nice middle ground between the 300 and the 500....From what i saw on some test charts [yeh yeh i know] the 400mm DO isnt even as sharp as my 100-400 sadly, and certainly not as good as a 300 f/2.8 + Tcon... Which is sad, i like the premise of DO but i dont think, at least from what i've seen in reviews...the results justify the price

Ah well ignore the ramblings of someone who sits and is planning his system out quite a bit...or comment :) I dont care

I'd be careful about comments like that. The 400 f4 DO I have was sharper than the 400 f5.6L that I upgraded from. So I don't see how the 100-400 zoom would be sharper than either prime. I'm selling the lens due to a current financial hardship so I have some test shots here: https://photography-on-the.net …php?p=8333582#p​ost8333582 Then a few months after, I came across a guy doing tests with his 400 f4 which seemed a bit sharper than what I was getting; naturally I was bothered so I sent it in for calibration and lucky for me it came back a touch sharper.


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rakesh
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Jul 23, 2009 23:01 |  #59

Hi All

I've not yet made my mind to go for 300 or 500 actually. I am exploring the options.

Though I've 400/F4DO in mind as well but in India, there is no place where I can get a Lens on Rent for testing purpose. The thing is that I checked 500 mm earlier when I went for a shoot and my friend who bought 500 at that time who now graduated to 800 mm and I've seen him handholding 800/5.6 most of the time.

Secondly, in India when we go for wildlife/bird shoot, most of the places we can't even carry our tripods or monopods becaue of difficult terrain or like that and we have to shoot handholding.

I sold my earlier 50-500 because it was lacking stabilization though the lens was fantastic. Then my another friend bought 400/5.6, it is quite light in weight and easy to handhold. I also checked 100-400 but in my opinion the sharpness of a tele-zoom can't be matched with a prime lens hence instead of opting for 100-400 I narrowed down to 300/2.8 (where using TCs I can get longer reach upto 840 mm, without compromising on weight) and on the other hand 500/f4 is much better suited for birds.

My main concern is to shoot Birds and Large and small mammals as well.


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bps
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Jul 24, 2009 00:04 |  #60

rakesh,

A word of advice: you may want to wait a few months and see what's in store...

Bryan


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