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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 07 Oct 2013 (Monday) 21:12
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Should I make the move from 500mm to 600mm?

 
SVTmaniac
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Oct 07, 2013 21:12 |  #1

I lusted after the Canon 500mm f4L IS for years. I saved my pennies and waited and waited and finally bought one about 6 months ago. At the time, I had only shot crop sensor cameras and mainly my 7D. Then I moved to full frame, and I don't ever want to touch my 7D again. The unfortunate side of that is my 500mm now seems shorter than my 400mm f5.6 did on my crop camera. I know I can slap a TC on it to make up the difference, but on top of a loss of image quality, I lose a stop and that defeats the purpose of this lenses.

Lately I've been thinking of trying to swap my 500 for a 600, but I'm just not sure I'm going to like that move. I've rented the 600 before and it's a nice lens, but the size and weight difference has me wondering if I will regret it. I can handhold my 500 all day long and not break a sweat, it fits easily into a carry on luggage and in the overhead bin on a plane, I'm extremely happy with the image quality of it, but I'm sure the 600 will match it. I can sell the 500 and pretty much fund a 600 for about the same price or just a couple hundred dollars more. I'm just not sure if that's the right move.

I mainly photography wildlife, birds and aviation. The 500 is perfect for aviation on my full frame, but when it comes to the wildlife and the birds.. it's starting to feel too short again. Moving back to a crop camera is not an option for me at this point. I'm addicted to the full frame quality. What should I do?


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ed ­ rader
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Oct 07, 2013 21:45 |  #2

SVTmaniac wrote in post #16354244 (external link)
I lusted after the Canon 500mm f4L IS for years. I saved my pennies and waited and waited and finally bought one about 6 months ago. At the time, I had only shot crop sensor cameras and mainly my 7D. Then I moved to full frame, and I don't ever want to touch my 7D again. The unfortunate side of that is my 500mm now seems shorter than my 400mm f5.6 did on my crop camera. I know I can slap a TC on it to make up the difference, but on top of a loss of image quality, I lose a stop and that defeats the purpose of this lenses.

Lately I've been thinking of trying to swap my 500 for a 600, but I'm just not sure I'm going to like that move. I've rented the 600 before and it's a nice lens, but the size and weight difference has me wondering if I will regret it. I can handhold my 500 all day long and not break a sweat, it fits easily into a carry on luggage and in the overhead bin on a plane, I'm extremely happy with the image quality of it, but I'm sure the 600 will match it. I can sell the 500 and pretty much fund a 600 for about the same price or just a couple hundred dollars more. I'm just not sure if that's the right move.

I mainly photography wildlife, birds and aviation. The 500 is perfect for aviation on my full frame, but when it comes to the wildlife and the birds.. it's starting to feel too short again. Moving back to a crop camera is not an option for me at this point. I'm addicted to the full frame quality. What should I do?

get the 800mm :D. seriously I think I will buy the 500L in the next year. I also shoot FF and have no desire to shoot crop. a lot of what I shoot is in tough lighting condition and I want to be able to shoot at iso 3200 - 10000 and get keepers.

unless I were a hardcore birder I wouldn't get the 600. hey you're always going to want more reach!


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Snydremark
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Oct 07, 2013 22:16 |  #3

Are you talking about the new, MkII or the old 600? If the older one, I'm not sure I'd go that route, given the weight difference unless you're always shooting from a tripod. The difference between 8lbs and 11lbs, for hand-holding, is going to be a large one.

Plus, while TCs do reduce IQ by some amount, the big primes are exactly what those things are made to be used with; heck, take a look at DuaneN's shots. IIRC, a number of his are done using the 500 + 1 or more TCs, and they come out fantastic ;)

Now...if you're feeling like putting on the Ritz, so to speak, the 600 MkII might work out ok :p


- Eric S.: My Birds/Wildlife (external link) (R5, RF 800 f/11, Canon 16-35 F/4 MkII, Canon 24-105L f/4 IS, Canon 70-200L f/2.8 IS MkII, Canon 100-400L f/4.5-5.6 IS I/II)
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bobbyz
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Oct 07, 2013 22:57 |  #4

600mm f4 IS II if you afford it. Weight wise that is the one. Of course lot more money.


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Oct 07, 2013 23:20 |  #5

I chose the 500 because for me it is small enough to travel with and I believe that I would not take the 600 with me as much. (I almost always have the 500 with me.)

I do however, use it mostly on a 1.3 crop body.

The new 500 (and 600 I hear.) takes both Canon MK III extenders very well. BTW, my 1D4 autofocuses with f/8 lenses.

On the other hand, you can never have too much reach.:)


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Oct 08, 2013 02:14 |  #6

Chris,

500mm on a full frame really isn't very long, at least not for wildlife & birds. You've got to pretty much be right on top of something in order to get a nicely detailed image with "just" a 500mm when shooting with the big sensor.

I would try using the 1.4 TC on it. I use my 1.4 constantly with my 400 f2.8. The combination works so well together, I can not tell any difference in IQ, even when pixel-peeping on a big monitor! At least give it a shot - the results may just impress you!


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Oct 08, 2013 03:57 |  #7

If you haven't tried using the 1.4x on the lens then give it a go. I use a 1.4x on my 500 a lot of the time and the IQ is still outstanding, one of the best things about the lens is how well it works as a 700 f5.6. That said if I could afford a 600 mkII I would make the change without hesitation, but would still use the tc as I shot birds and almost always want more reach. I have been considering changing to a mkI 600 but know I would regret it as it is so much bigger and heavier. One of each would be nice...


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Oct 08, 2013 04:46 |  #8

What about using the 7D again? Cheapest option and hell its one of the best cropsensor body out there in canons lineup..


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Oct 08, 2013 05:00 |  #9

Are you shooting from any hides or even under camo mesh? I have the 400/2.8 on 7D and I use more 12mm extension tube to reduce MFD than TC 1.4X III. I am thinking now to swap 7D for 5D III to eliminate crop factor, get higher ISO and most important - the silent shooter. One of my friend want to swap 600mm into 500mm because it is too heavy and too long.


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Oct 08, 2013 05:03 |  #10

It'd be sad if you bought a 600, only to leave it at home because it's too big and heavy.


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Radders
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Oct 08, 2013 05:17 |  #11

I would try a TC on it before committing to the 600mm.

I might be wrong, but I'm sure this was with a 500mm + 1.4TC on a 5D3 - http://www.flickr.com/​photos/mbridger68/9276​438290/ (external link)

He is on here as bridge99


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Oct 08, 2013 06:51 |  #12

Another option would be buy a used 1D. There you have a crop factor without losing too much ISO performance...


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Oct 08, 2013 08:18 |  #13

I have the 1.4x on my 500 more often than not. Very pleased with the images.


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SVTmaniac
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Oct 08, 2013 10:01 |  #14

Thanks for the replies everyone, I do use the extender quite often with my 500 and I think it looks pretty good, but still no where near how good it looks without the extender. Maybe I should try swapping out the 1.4xii for the iii. I may rent the 600 again and play around with it to see just how much heavier it is. And yes, I'm talking about the Version 1 of both lenses, not the new Version 2's I'm not ready to spend that much on a lens yet.


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Snydremark
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Oct 08, 2013 10:04 |  #15

Does the body you're using offer MFA? If so, go through that with the TC in place and see if that makes any difference for you.


- Eric S.: My Birds/Wildlife (external link) (R5, RF 800 f/11, Canon 16-35 F/4 MkII, Canon 24-105L f/4 IS, Canon 70-200L f/2.8 IS MkII, Canon 100-400L f/4.5-5.6 IS I/II)
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