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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

 
rakesh
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Jul 22, 2009 08:44 |  #1

Hi

I'm planning to upgrade to prime lens. I need experts advice on following combinations :

What do you feel about the following lens for wildlife :

300/2.8 and 500/4

Which one will give better results if 1.4x and 2x TCs are used.

Any sample would be fine.


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CyberDyneSystems
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Jul 22, 2009 09:12 |  #2

For wildlife, go long...

The 300mm takes 1.4x TCs very well,. but so does the 500mm.
The 300mm takes the 2x a little better than the 500mm, but so what? You'll get 600mm with the 2x on the 300mm, and 700mm on the 500mm with a 1.4x. That's the winning TC combo deal right there.

Samples from both can be found in our Lens sample archive sub forum;

300mm -> https://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=141298
500mm -> https://photography-on-the.net …?t=226121&highl​ight=500mm


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Goshawk
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Jul 22, 2009 09:33 |  #3

They are both sharp and fast. It is going to be up to you to work out which one will be the most practical for you.
If you are mostly going to shoot from a distance, like to shoot small birds/animals the 500 will be the most practical.
If you going to do most of your shooting in a Zoo and shoot at closer distances maybe a 300 will be more suitable.
I love my 500 but admire the 300 also. I just see no practical reason for me to buy one as my 70-200 + 1.4 TC fills that gap.
If you are going to travel a lot it might be more practical to get a 100-400 zoom. Neither the 300 or 500 is very easy travel lenses(by air I mean)
Primes is great, their only negative is that you are restricted to one focal length. So make sure you know what you are going to shoot before buying one.


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davidinjp
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Jul 22, 2009 10:13 |  #4

I notice on your flickr stream you have the Sigma 2x TC. I am not familiar with it. But if quality is an issue, you probably will want to invest in a Canon 2x TC to get the best quality from your significant lens investment.

Either are awesome lenses from all the research I have read and detailed samples I have reviewed, (my 300 2.8 arrives tomorrow). As they say, the best camera and lens are the one you have with you when you want to shoot. So you should consider if the size of the 500mm might lead you to carry it with you less frequently than the 300mm. If not, it just depends on how much reach you need to get the job done.




  
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gasrocks
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Jul 22, 2009 10:21 |  #5

Yes, general rule for a birding/wildlife lens: get the longer one even if it is slower. As far as TCs go, I have 5 used to have 6 of them. On my 300/3.8 IS lens, the Tamron SP 2x gave the best IQ, even over the Canon but it was a very, very close race.


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rakesh
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Jul 22, 2009 11:25 |  #6

Hi All

My prime use for going to prime is that it should be easy holdable and sharp and can shoot both birds and mammals but not in Zoo environment but in open forest areas.

So, please advise on this basis. The 2X TC I've was never used because I did not have compatible lens till now.


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hollis_f
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Jul 22, 2009 12:09 |  #7

My friend bought (second hand) a 300 2.8 for our Africa trip, with a view to probably selling it afterwads. She's been really impressed with what my 300 does and her 500 was just too big to take on a plane.

Now, a month later, she's decided to sell the 500! Not only was it too big for the plane, she's decided it's too big for her. The combined weight of the 500, Wimberly head and tripod (both of which were a neccessity) was just too much to carry around when going birding. The 300 is much easier to carry about all day and can be readily handheld.

I use my 300 with a Sigma 1.4x attached to it most of the time. I do own a 2x but I rarely use it (not sure why - must take it out a bit more often). If you're after wildlife in a forest environment then I'd suggest that, a lot of the time, it's going to be reasonably close so 420 mm may suffice. As for 'easily holdable', well there's no doubt in my mind that the 300 fits that description much better than does the 500.


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CyberDyneSystems
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Jul 22, 2009 12:13 |  #8

rakesh wrote in post #8324545 (external link)
Hi All

My prime use for going to prime is that it should be easy holdable and sharp and can shoot both birds and mammals but not in Zoo environment but in open forest areas.

So, please advise on this basis. The 2X TC I've was never used because I did not have compatible lens till now.

Another thing you might want to do is to check out the archive threads for photos.
See which lens is being used more for the way you want to shoot;

500mm
https://photography-on-the.net …?t=226121&highl​ight=500mm
https://photography-on-the.net …?t=639717&highl​ight=500mm

300mm
https://photography-on-the.net …?t=141298&highl​ight=300mm
https://photography-on-the.net …?t=561483&highl​ight=300mm


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bobbyz
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Jul 22, 2009 14:50 |  #9

Rakesh,

Since you mention birds, 500mm f4 all the way. I have both and in case of birds reach beats aperture hands down. With 500mm you can slap 2xTC and still get good results at f11. 300mm f2.8 IS with 2xTC is very very good at f8.

Regrading HH, 300mm f2.8 IS is easier but then 500mm f4 IS is not that big of a deal as some folks make it out to be. With 500mm f4 you will need to invest in quality tripod and gimbal head like wimberley.

BTW - In between I would recommend 400mm f5.6. Very very light compared to above and much cheaper. Quality is very good, on same par with superteles. Doesn't need fancy tripod/gimbal head. Best for birds in flight paired with 1 series. You can use non reporting 1.4xTC and still get AF in good light. AF will slow down but picture quality is quite good at 560mm f8.


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Goshawk
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Jul 22, 2009 15:29 |  #10

rakesh wrote in post #8324545 (external link)
Hi All

My prime use for going to prime is that it should be easy holdable and sharp and can shoot both birds and mammals but not in Zoo environment but in open forest areas.

So, please advise on this basis. The 2X TC I've was never used because I did not have compatible lens till now.

Well if you are looking for a easy holdable lens I think you should remove the 500 from your list. It is holdable but for how long depends on your arm strength. I can only hold it level and still for a few seconds.
The 400 f/5.6 is a much better lens for hand holding and has quite a following between the BIF shooters.


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Jul 22, 2009 16:36 |  #11

Goshawk wrote in post #8325833 (external link)
The 400 f/5.6 is a much better lens for hand holding and has quite a following between the BIF shooters.

But is it as good as a 300 f/2.8 with a 1.4x TC?


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Goshawk
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Jul 22, 2009 16:50 |  #12

hollis_f wrote in post #8326173 (external link)
But is it as good as a 300 f/2.8 with a 1.4x TC?

Is there anything as good as the 300 2.8 in that focal range out there I think not. The 400 5.6 I think is popular for a few reasons. IQ is very good for the price. It is a much easier lens to hand hold and swing around than the 300 or 500 and also a easier lens to travel or hike with.


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S.E.V.
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Jul 22, 2009 17:45 |  #13

500mm fr + 1.4x TC, I love my combo. and I have even stacked the 2.0x an 1.4x on the 500mm and manual focused. But for wildlife go long like CDS said. Hell get the 800mm:rolleyes:

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BradM
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Jul 22, 2009 21:18 as a reply to  @ S.E.V.'s post |  #14

If you are going to shoot birds and wildlife focal length is everything. Between the 300 f/2.8 and 500 f/4 image quality might lean a bit to the 300 when no extender is used, or even when one might be, but it is going to a pixel peeping exercise to see it.

Focus speed of the 500 is incredible, Canon rates it as their fastest (and the fastest in world when using a 1D series body) according to Lens Work III. Even with a 1.4x behind it AF speed is still very quick and accurate. And if you shooting a 1D series body going to 1000mm and stil having AF is just peachy and still with very nice IQ. And even stacking the 1.4x and 2x and have AF, albeit slow it still very nice.

The real drawbacks to this over the 300mm is the fewer areas where the lens can be used, sports the 500 can be just too long if you aren't shooting across a pitch or field. The added weight and size can be a problem for some as well, however with both you are going to want to invest in quality support. A ballhead doesn't really cut it so it it is either a sidemount or a gimbal and CF tripod to help keep the overall weight down.

While you can go longer with the 600mm or even the 800mm, the 500mm strikes a wonderful balance between focal length, weight, IQ, and adaptability using extenders. Worth every penny IMO.

A few examples using differing focal lengths and extenders:

A wood duck at 500mm

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A hummer at 700mm

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A goose at 1000mm

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A goose at 1400mm

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scot079
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Jul 22, 2009 21:59 |  #15

500L, accept no substitutskys :-)


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