Home · Register · Search · View Winners · Software · Hosting · Software · Join Upload & Sell

Moderated by: Fred Miranda
Username   Password

  New fredmiranda.com Mobile Site
  New Feature: SMS Notification alert
  New Feature: Buy & Sell Watchlist
  

FM Forums | Canon Forum | Join Upload & Sell

1
       2       end
  

Archive 2012 · Supertele Opinions
  
 
bipock
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Supertele Opinions


Due to some unfortunate circumstances, I had to sell my 500 about 4 months ago. I resigned myself to the fact that my Sigma 120-300 OS with either a 1.4 or 2x tc could handle the occassional summer time wildlife encounter. And thus far, it has done it's job.

However, with fall and winter right around the corner, images of deer and waterfowl begin to fill my mind and I know that the Sigma, as good as it is, just isn't gonna be able to handle them due to slower AF and a 5.6 aperture. So, it's time to re-fund a supertele, which will also be very useful in Alaska next year.

With current prices where they are, the Mark II versions are out, so I am only considering MkI IS versions. The 500 and 600s are roughly the same price, while, somewhat shockingly, the 400 2.8 is slightly lower.

Weight is not an issue as this will be used 95% of the time on a tripod and gimbal and I don't have to do a tremendous amount of hiking to my spots. As always, I thought I'd go 500, but then started to reconsider based on added FL with the 600 for the same price or the ability to go 400 2.8/560 4.0/800 5.6 for the same/close price including TCs.

So, my question to you guys is, if you were buying a super today, based on the current market, which one would you buy and why? Again, keep in mind tripod mounted and waterfowl as well as larger mammals is the intended use.



Aug 17, 2012 at 01:45 AM
RogerC11
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Supertele Opinions


For the purposes and conditions you state, I would get the 500/4 without a doubt.


Aug 17, 2012 at 01:52 AM
galenapass
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Supertele Opinions


The only reason I shoot with a 500mm f4 is because I can hand-hold it. But if I were tripod mounted, then why not have the extra reach that a 600 affords?


Aug 17, 2012 at 02:21 AM
RazorTM
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Supertele Opinions


galenapass wrote:
The only reason I shoot with a 500mm f4 is because I can hand-hold it. But if I were tripod mounted, then why not have the extra reach that a 600 affords?


+1



Aug 17, 2012 at 02:38 AM
cocodrillo
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Supertele Opinions


I'd buy a 600, but then I have a habit of shooting a little too tight. If weight isn't an issue, go with the extra length.


Aug 17, 2012 at 02:48 AM
bipock
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Supertele Opinions


One of the things I hadn't done was FL calculations between the 3 lenses with and without a 1.4x. Remebering my trip to Cambridge in the winter for cans with my 1d4, I know I had to do some cropping. That wouldn't be necessary with a 7d and 600 for sure. And add a 1.4 - that's shooting 1700mm FF equivalent.


Aug 17, 2012 at 03:07 AM
Pixel Perfect
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Supertele Opinions


bipock wrote:
That wouldn't be necessary with a 7d and 600 for sure. And add a 1.4 - that's shooting 1700mm FF equivalent.


600 X 1.4 x 1.6 = 1344mm FF equivalent

Not sure where the 1700 comes from?



Aug 17, 2012 at 03:43 AM
StarNut
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Supertele Opinions


When i was deciding the same question a year or so ago, I ultimately decided on the 500/4 because I can hand hold it for brief periods. I was sorely tempted by the 600/4, which could be bought in pristine condition for the same price I paid for a new 500/4, but felt the 600/4 was enough heavier that I would not ever be able to hand-hold it.

Now that I've had the 500/4 for a year, I have no regrets. Yes, I mostly use it gimbal-mounted on a tripod, but I have used it hand-held a few times. And I'm not at all sure that the 600 would fit in my backpack, which is barely small enough to qualify as carry-on.



Aug 17, 2012 at 03:46 AM
Lars Johnsson
Offline
• • • • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Supertele Opinions


StarNut wrote:
When i was deciding the same question a year or so ago, I ultimately decided on the 500/4 because I can hand hold it for brief periods. I was sorely tempted by the 600/4, which could be bought in pristine condition for the same price I paid for a new 500/4, but felt the 600/4 was enough heavier that I would not ever be able to hand-hold it.

Now that I've had the 500/4 for a year, I have no regrets. Yes, I mostly use it gimbal-mounted on a tripod, but I have used it hand-held a few times. And I'm
...Show more

Both the 600 and 800 fits in carry-on sized backpacks.



Aug 17, 2012 at 07:55 AM
bipock
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Supertele Opinions


Pixel Perfect wrote:
600 X 1.4 x 1.6 = 1344mm FF equivalent

Not sure where the 1700 comes from?


Bad math. You just can't trust those Excel spreadsheets.



Aug 17, 2012 at 12:30 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



Tenn.Jer
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Supertele Opinions


I'll echo some of the above comments, and say that even though 90% or more of my 500mm work is on a tripod, I occasionally whip it up from my lap or the passenger seat when things were unexpectedly popping outside my vehicle...I knew this would happen, and found a rented 600mm considerably more awkward to handle in the confines of the driver's seat. And, I'm very happy with teleconverter performance with the 500...

I don't think you can really go wrong...but handling both would be nice for you...rentals can be illuminating, but expensive at this level. Only you can figure the worth of that route; I've almost always rented a lens before purchase, just because I don't enjoy selling my mistakes...
Jerry



Aug 17, 2012 at 01:17 PM
Sneakyracer
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Supertele Opinions


Id get the 500mm no question for general wildlife. If you shot mostly birds then the 800 would be the lens to get. But the 500 seems much more versatile for larger game.


Aug 17, 2012 at 01:38 PM
Lars Johnsson
Offline
• • • • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Supertele Opinions


The only reasons to buy the 500 over the longer lenses are weight,size and ability to handhold it. All those reasons disappear when using it with tripod and gimbal all the time, the 800 would be my choice. Or the 600 out of the options you write.



Aug 17, 2012 at 02:10 PM
abqnmusa
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Supertele Opinions


crop factor buys you no focal length increase (or reach)
the actual focal length is 600 x 1.4 = 840mm
your 1.6X crop sensor uses the center approx 38% of the image.
But does not increase focal length.


Edited on Aug 17, 2012 at 07:40 PM · View previous versions



Aug 17, 2012 at 03:21 PM
bipock
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Supertele Opinions


abqnmusa wrote:
crop factor buys you no focal length increase
the actual focal length is 600 x 1.4 = 840mm
your 1.6X crop sensor uses the center approx 38% of the image.
But does not increase focal length.


I am well aware of this.



Aug 17, 2012 at 03:35 PM
Gary Irwin
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Supertele Opinions


galenapass wrote:
The only reason I shoot with a 500mm f4 is because I can hand-hold it. But if I were tripod mounted, then why not have the extra reach that a 600 affords?



^^^This. If limited to a MKI and you plan on hand-holding then the 500 is really the only practical choice.

However, if you don't mind working with tripods, I'd still opt for the 500 over the 600 due to the lighter weight and smaller size...the extra 100mm is just not worth it IMO.



Aug 17, 2012 at 04:38 PM
Don Clary
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Supertele Opinions


If you shoot small birds, the 800 is the only choice.

But using any supertele prime, sometimes it does not have enough focal length, and sometimes, too much, especially for large mammals.

I've been shooting a 500 f4 for 11 years, and if I had to buy again, it would be another 500.



Aug 17, 2012 at 06:50 PM
uz2work
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Supertele Opinions


What is the best choice could vary widely depending on a number of factors, including what you want to shoot, how close you usually are able to get, what camera you are using, and what kind of pictures appeal to you. I'll comment on a couple of these factors.

First, if you are intending to shoot birds in flight or other relatively fast moving subjects and you are using a full frame camera, the 600 might well be an excellent choice, but I'm not so sure that it is a great choice with a 1.6 crop body. I can do a reasonably good job of locking in focus and tracking a flying bird with 500 mm on a 1.6 crop camera, but, when I go much past 500 mm, acquiring focus and tracking becomes much more difficult because the narrow field of view makes you feel like you are looking through a straw. Further, as that field of view becomes more narrow, that is when you end up clipping wings and, even if you don't, you have little latitude with regard to cropping to choose the most pleasing composition. I might also add that trying to track birds in flight off of a tripod is considerably more difficult than shooting hand held because, off of a tripod, the pivot point is over a foot in front of you, and you must, therefore, walk your way around the lens. When shooting birds in flight hand held, your body is the pivot point, and you can follow the action by simply rotating your hips and/or shoulders. And that makes using a 600 for birds in flight even more difficult. On the other hand, if you are usually shooting relatively static and small subjects, 600 mm (or more) might be quite useful.

Like most people who spend thousands of dollars on a super telephoto lens, for years, I fell in love with the very tight close-up/portrait types of shots. In recent years, my thinking has changed. I started to realize that, while other photographers like to "ooh" and "aah" over the amazing detail that can be shown in those tight shots, after a while those tight shots all start to look the same regardless of the species in the photo, and I started to feel like I was just taking the same shots over and over again. Further, I began to realize that those tight shots are not the photos that usually have visual appeal to non-photographers. I started to visit the websites of successful wildlife/nature photographers and tried to figure out which of their photos appealed to me. And I visited the galleries of a few very successful nature wildlife photographers to see, not only which of their photos appealed to me, but also to see which ones appealed to other visitors to those galleries. What I found was that the photographs that appealed to me and that also seemed to appeal to other visitors to those galleries were ones that were taken, at least, with a somewhat wider field of view and that incorporated more of the environment.

I began to compare looking at photographs to reading a novel. In a novel, regardless of how well defined the characters are and how compelling the plot may be, without sufficient emphasis on the setting, the story lacks context and feels lacking. In the same way, I began to realize that overly tight shots, while they may look nice in a birding field guide, lack context, and they are not the kind of shots on which my eyes want to linger or to return to often to enjoy.

As a result of my evaluation of what kind of photos appeal to me, in the last couple of years, I've tried to concentrate on shooting wider than I used to. For years, I would have regularly used my 500/4 with a 1.4x. Now, I'm usually shooting with either my 400 DO or with the bare 500. Shooting wider has forced me to become more aware of backgrounds and to be more creative in my shooting, and, if my skills as a photographer have grown in any way, it would be related to these changes in my shooting.

What I've also found is that, regardless of whether I have 400 mm or 500 mm or 700 mm on my camera, there are always going to be some shot opportunities for which I'm too close and some for which I'm too far away. Even though portrait types of shots have little appeal to me anymore, I still get many opportunities to take them, and I do take them when those opportunities present themselves, but I no longer seek them out.

I have an article about this subject on my website titled "How much focal length do I need?" Since I posted it about a year ago, I have gotten considerable positive feedback about it. And regardless of whether someone agrees with the conclusions to which I've come, I think there is some value in thinking about some of the issues that I raise in the article. I know that there are many here who will disagree with my conclusions, and that is okay, and I know that there are many here who subscribe to the theory that "you can never have enough focal length", but I also know that, after years when my growth as a photographer was quite static, abandoning that theory has been the main factor that has caused me to start growing as a photographer for the first time in quite a few years.

http://www.wildlifeimagesbyles.net/Technique/focal_length/focal_length.html

Thus, I'm not sure that there is a "one size fits all" answer to which super telephoto is the best choice, but I do reject the notion that longer is always better.

Les

Edited on Aug 17, 2012 at 09:38 PM · View previous versions



Aug 17, 2012 at 08:13 PM
eleff
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Supertele Opinions


You shot with a 500 previously. Was the 1.4x always mounted on it? Then get the 600 (The 800 is currently listed on the BS for $10K). But if the 500 is occasionally too long for your style of shooting larger animals, then go with the 500. Finally, if you are happy with your sigma + 1,4x to get 300 and 400 then I would jump to the 600. Having said all that, I would echo the other statements that I really like the fact that I can remove the 500 from my tripod and easily shoot hand held for 10 minutes.


Aug 17, 2012 at 08:17 PM
pKai
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Supertele Opinions


uz2work wrote:
What is the best choice could vary widely depending on a number of factors, including what you want to shoot, how close you usually are able to get, what camera you are using, and what kind of pictures appeal to you. I'll comment on a couple of these factors.

First, if you are intending to shoot birds in flight or other relatively fast moving subjects and you are using a full frame camera, the 600 might well be an excellent choice, but I'm not so sure that it is a great choice with a 1.6 crop body. I can do
...Show more

I'm with you on the "wider has more appeal" thing.... I had a very similar epiphany when I purchased a 5D2. I had been shooting a 20D since it came out and then later a 7D with both 400 and 600 primes. About a year ago I got a 5D2 and took it to my usual spots where I am limited in how close I can approach the subjects. I started noticing that I was liking the results better than my previous work. My initial assumption was that the 5D2 has "that" much better IQ/contrast/low-noise/whatever..... After examining hundreds of images, it dawned on me that none of that was "it" -- the big difference is in coverage..... Instead of a body/blurry background on a snowy egret (for example) now I had a more pleasing composition with slightly more coverage.

I'd get a 500/4, 1.4 and 2.0 version III TCs.



Aug 17, 2012 at 08:26 PM
1
       2       end




FM Forums | Canon Forum | Join Upload & Sell

1
       2       end
    
 

You are not logged in. Login or Register

Username   Password    Reset password