Skip to Content

Telephoto Fix Lens Advice

Discuss and share your wildlife photography, filming and equipment
User avatar
bucky
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1225
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 11:41 pm
Location: Gauties .

300 F2.8

Unread post by bucky » Fri Oct 05, 2007 9:30 am

What are your feelings on this lens , for those that have it ?

What is its performance like re - Image stabilizer , with 1.4 and 2x converters .

Would I be able to do birds in flight using a 2x converter for instance , or does it loose focus speed to much .

Focus speed and whatever else compared to a 500F4 or 400F5.6 .

I don't have cash for it now , but I have to start planning ahead lol .

User avatar
NightOwl
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 328
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 3:52 pm
Location: Port Elizabeth

Unread post by NightOwl » Fri Oct 05, 2007 1:04 pm

I think this lens is absolutely AWESOME.
It's HEAVE, but not nearly as heavy as the longer lenses.
I would say that this is the borderline lens when it comes to handhold shooting.
Combined with a 1.4x I don't notice any difference in focusing speed.
Combined with a 2x I do notice a little slower focusing, but very little.

Don't forget the fact that you now have a 600mm f/5.6 lens with IS and autofocus still working when combined with a 2x converter.

I love this lens.

User avatar
Johannes van Niekerk
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 6:22 pm
Location: Lowveld - Near Kruger!

Unread post by Johannes van Niekerk » Fri Oct 05, 2007 2:56 pm

I'm sitting with the same decision, Bucky - 300 F2.8 IS or 500 F4 IS

I've done quite a bit of research on both of these. The one thing that is evident everywhere is that both of these lenses are the best optical lenses ever produced by Canon. So you can't go wrong with quality - you obviously get what you pay for!!!

So in the end it comes down to what YOU need.

I'm leaning towards the 500, but it is considerably more expensive than the 300. I'm thinking that with the 70-200 with 1.4 TC I have 280 F4 IS (with very good IQ), and the 300 will not give me that much more. If I use the 300 with 1.4 TC, I have 420 F4 IS (with very good IQ), but I have the 400 5.6 (without IS though).

For birds and far off animals, I can never have enough reach. So the 500 will fill that better, especially if I can combine it with the 1.4 TC for 700 F5.6 IS :dance: This combination will still focus on the xxD series cameras and a lot of folks are very happy with it. And I have even seen some photos taken with the 500 + 2X TC for 1000 F8 IS, that are pretty amazing. This combo wil still autofocus on the 1D cameras :dance:, but obviously will need very good (gimbal?) support.

The 300 will be better for hand holding, but the weight is already getting up there (for me!). You're a big boy and will probably be able to handle it much easier.

Decisions, decisions.... :hmz:

I WILL get one of them before the end of this year :thumbs_up:
Wish I had enough money to just buy both!!!!! :wall:

User avatar
bucky
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1225
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 11:41 pm
Location: Gauties .

Unread post by bucky » Fri Oct 05, 2007 11:34 pm

Thanks guys .
TB , I used the 500 F4 on my previous trip , and it focused with my older 2x kenko convertor , as this convertor hasnt got the info pins , that cause focus lock out on the bodies smaller than the 1d .
My 40d handled this 1000mm F8's focusing without a hassle .

For me Is is not a hassle , and I prefer it off , I find it made my shots blurry .
In low low light though its useful .

I think ultimately I would like both the 300 and 500 , but of course thats out of the question at the moment lol .

The 500 is also about 30 percent more cash , hence my idea to try kick off with the 300 , and proper canon tele convertors .

I sit in the same boat as you though , with a 70-200 F4 which can make a 280 F5.6 , and then the 400 , so in fact have all the ranges up to 400 covered .

However , and this is a big however , for Nature I think the 300 F2.8 is a winner with the low light capabilities due to the f2.8 , and also the blurred background effects etc .

If your primary aim is bird photography , then the 500F4 is the winner !

Nightowl , do you have the canon extenders ?
Are the photos still pin sharp using the 2x ?
Whats its performance like with a 2x convertor on , compared to say the 300 F4 .

User avatar
NightOwl
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 328
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 3:52 pm
Location: Port Elizabeth

Unread post by NightOwl » Sat Oct 06, 2007 5:58 am

I have both the 300 F/4.0 and the 300 f/2.8 (Until I get the f/4.0 Sold). The f4 does not auto focus with 2X extender on my 40D and I haven't taped the pins with the 300, only the 100-400. Was dissatisfied with that combinations slow focusing and hunting.
With the 2.8 and the 2x I'm still happy with the results. If you pixel peep, you will see the difference, but it's slight. Aoutofocus is slightly slower, but still satisfactory for me and seems faster than the f4 + 1.4X.
What I like in the 300 2.8 is that you get 3 lenses in 1 with the converters. 300 2.8, 420 4, 600 5.6. Makes this lens actually very economical in terms of price.
Then you have what the 500 and 600 does not have... the 2.8!!! and believe me that 1 extra stop makes a HUGE difference.
I don't think I will EVER sell this lens!!!

User avatar
peterpiper
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 163
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2006 6:46 pm
Location: In the studio for now

Unread post by peterpiper » Sat Oct 06, 2007 8:34 am

About 7 years ago I bought this lens and from that day on I completely stopped thinking about lenses and what lens I wanted to own. It's the VERY best lens out there in my opinion and a lens that I will NEVER sell.
To be honest, I would find the 500mm a little bit too powerful for certain things (and I use a full frame camera, the 5D) but I am very happy with the results when used with a 1.4 converter. Strangely, after moving to digital, I am not so happy with the results when using a 2x converter nor when using the lens at f2.8, but it gets the shots I need it to get, and even for the price, I don't believe anyone will be unhappy with this one.
Home is where you hang your @

User avatar
delboysafa
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 165
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 2:48 pm
Location: From East London S.A., but living in Surrey, UK

Unread post by delboysafa » Sat Oct 06, 2007 8:53 am

In reality I wish I could have both i.e. 500mm F4 and 300mm F2.8, however, I own the 300mm F2.8 and LOVE it. Amazing lens. Use it will my 1.4 tc and af is fast on my ID MK II. I haven't got a 2x TC yet as get so many mixed reviews on it, but if the IQ is good, then I can hold off on the 500mm for another couple of years.

I have been told my Mark Tennant and Nigel Dennis that the 300mm F2.8 is one of the best wildlife lenses ever made and has great reach, extra stop - low light and IS. Obvioulsy, if you are a birder, it will ALWAY want more reach, but for general wildlife, it is a winner

User avatar
bucky
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1225
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 11:41 pm
Location: Gauties .

Unread post by bucky » Sat Oct 06, 2007 6:06 pm

Thanks a lot for the feedback guys , seems like the path I am heading for with the 300 is a good one then . :D

Louper
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 1:38 pm

Unread post by Louper » Wed Jan 23, 2008 6:38 pm

Bucky

Quick question, and one I am thinking about myself, what about the sigma 300 2.8? Having read some reviews the glass seams very close to being as good as the Canon, just you loose IS and the focus range buttons. Auto focus with converters is supposed to be better on the Sigma.

I know the manta is buy the best glass you can but putting the difference in price into perspective, with the change you could by a second hand Sigma 500 f4 or a second hand 1d MK2.

I have linked to an article below

Louper

http://www.naturephotographers.net/sigma30028.html
Louper

See www below for photos

User avatar
bucky
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1225
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 11:41 pm
Location: Gauties .

Unread post by bucky » Wed Jan 23, 2008 7:45 pm

Hi there,
Since asking questions here I managed to use a 300 F2.8 for about a month .

It is a great lens as the others say, it has one or two drawbacks when using it with a 2x tele to make it a 600 F5.6, but they are managable and at a saving of R25k over the 600F4 well, you can live with them.
I am working on a plan to get one ASAP, although I just acquired a 1d so it will have to wait a touch hehe.

Re the Sigma, I have not used that lens, but I have sat with people using it, and they consider it one of sigmas best lenses.
Looking at his results, I would say that optically I agree, although I have found the sigma optics pretty good IMO anyway for the prices.

I would love to test one and compare focal speeds however to make a definite choice, although he did track in some great moving spoonbill subjects when we where shooting, so it seems to work well.
The biggest grouse most people have with there sigma lenses are due to focus speed, or other focus related issues like hunting etc.

A very interesting alternative however, if you are looking at sigma glass is to check out there 120-300 F2.8 at around the same price, and apparently similar optical results.
I know of some sports togs that will protect this lens with there life, it would certainly be a very good range for mammals, and may even be a contender to the nikkon 200-400 F4 when coiupled with a 1.4 giving you a 168-420 F4 .
If I was going sigma, I would go this route as then any slight optical disadvantage over the 300 canon will be negated by the versatility of the zoom.

I am not that fond of IS to be honest, I like it when using a big 500 in early light, but honestly on a 300F2.8 you will get more movement from your subject than your own self when shooting from a proper beanbag over a window or similar rest.
IS also slows down focusing speed, and can even create issues when panning moving subjects etc if you forget it on(Easy peasy to do that when a subject suddenly stands up and runs)

I often switch the IS off when it is available on a lens as the noise of the IS mechanism bothers me lol.

I bet you are now even more confused hehe, but I agree with you that there is a lot of equipment you can buy for the 50 percent or so extra cash needed for the canon lens.

User avatar
Peter Betts
Posts: 857
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2006 8:38 pm
Location: Port Elizabeth

Telephoto Fix Lens Advice

Unread post by Peter Betts » Sat Jul 19, 2008 1:39 pm

Back in film days all my cameras were full frame and a 400mm lens was the lens of choice in KTP...now for example everyone seems to think a 500mm plus 1.4 x convertor on a crop camera is sort of marginal. I need to geta second body for "insurance" purposes in some of the work I do...The D300 is cheaper sure but apart from brilliant AF it is so close to my current D200...I would rather wait for the "D400" The FX is dam expensive especially if bought in RSA and I dont like the 95% coverage...same as my current camera but full frame is temptingeven if my 200-400 loses its 300-600 crop factor status...What are your thoughts...are there any Canon 5D or 1Ds wild life shooters out there...I know quitea few Nikon D3 shooters and they seem happy..love to hear your views ...Madach, JDH, Delboysafa and gang
2009
Punda Maria Sept 27,28
Bateleur Sept 29,30 (free award)
Tamboti Oct 1,2,3,4
Biyamiti Oct 5,6,7,8

FGASA Local Area Guide

Nikon D700 FX, Nikkor 24-70 G f2.8, Nikkor 70-200VR f2.8, Nikkor 200-400 VR f4, Nikon 1.4 & 1.7 Convertors

User avatar
bucky
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1225
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 11:41 pm
Location: Gauties .

Unread post by bucky » Sun Jul 20, 2008 2:28 pm

I would only start considering full frame if I had a 500 or 600 F4 .

The 400's are just a little short, and even with the 1d's 1.3x I reckon you need a 500 .

If you have a 1.6x body for your 400, and then plan to use the full frame on a 70-200 or similar lens then thats a good option also, and something I did consider.

User avatar
Peter Betts
Posts: 857
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2006 8:38 pm
Location: Port Elizabeth

Unread post by Peter Betts » Mon Jul 21, 2008 6:22 am

Thanks JDH ...Probably will stick with D300 1.5 x crop as an upgrade/backup but a friend has just returned from KTP and he uses the D3 and 200-400 which I have plus he hasa 500 and 1.4 attached = 700mm. My 200-400 witha 1.4 will give me 560mm...a shortfall of 140mm...not worth the R100000 to get the 500 IMO plus I dont have that sort of loot :shock:
2009
Punda Maria Sept 27,28
Bateleur Sept 29,30 (free award)
Tamboti Oct 1,2,3,4
Biyamiti Oct 5,6,7,8

FGASA Local Area Guide

Nikon D700 FX, Nikkor 24-70 G f2.8, Nikkor 70-200VR f2.8, Nikkor 200-400 VR f4, Nikon 1.4 & 1.7 Convertors

User avatar
madach
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 614
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2005 9:55 pm

Unread post by madach » Mon Jul 21, 2008 8:53 am

I'd only consider a full frame body in combination with a 500mm. A 300mmon a FF body is too short and a 400mm would be the bare minimum to use in my opinion.

In the old days I used to use a 300 f/4 + 1.4x converter on an EOS3 and I struggled with that combination. Even on my 30D I found that the combination of a 300mm + 1.4x was too short while that in effectively was a reach of 672mm (300 * 1.4 * 1.6). That just about equals the reach of a 500mm + 1.4x converter on a FF body....

User avatar
delboysafa
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 165
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 2:48 pm
Location: From East London S.A., but living in Surrey, UK

Unread post by delboysafa » Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:11 am

PB,

I saw a lot of 1ds MK II and 1ds MKIII on my recent trips to the parks. Lens of choice was the 500mm F4. When I asked why not the MK III or MK IIn instead of supposed slower AF, Buffering, File Speeds, FPS shortfalls, were made up for IQ in their opinion. It all seemed to be about MP with them and their ability to crop.

I always believed that full frame camera's were best for landscapes, portrait etc. Would never have them down for Wildlife, but Andy Rouse (a popular Wildlife Tog over in the UK), used to shoot with the 1ds MK II all the time, before he switched over the dark side, with the D3 and he believes the D3 is a better camera for wildlife than the Canon full frame offerings. He uses the 200-400mm for most of his shots. What about a second hand 500mm F4?

If you get the D3 or the D700, you will still have your D200 for those times when you need extra 'reach' on your 200-400mm F4, which is a great lens and the reason I have dual systems (about a month away from buying one now :lol: ).


Return to “Wildlife Photography Enthusiasts”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


Webcam Highlights

Addo
Submitted by Ton&Herma at 12:30:10
orpen
Submitted by Ton&Herma at 12:13:26
satara
Submitted by Ton&Herma at 12:29:28
nossob
Submitted by Mischief at 12:31:56