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| p.1 #1 · first impressions of new 600mm |
I thought some here may like to know what I have experienced with my new 600mm Canon lens. At $13,000 it is not something to buy without thought! My old 500 was so sharp that I hesitated to change but I always had a 1.4x teleconverter on my 500 so I knew I needed the extra reach. (Sold the 500 here on FM to a lucky buyer!) I also wanted the improved IS. My first thought when I opened the case was that this lens is big! It barely fits depth wise in my rolling camera bag but it does fit. However, when I lifted it I was surprised how light it is. It weighs about the same as my old 500mm with TC in place. Out of the box it was sharp with and w/o the new version 1.4x TC but disappointing with the new 2xTC. I did my sharpness tests on a tripod of course but I also found it remarkably easy to shoot handheld. I subsequently spent several hours calibrating it using the Lensalign tool (original version) with the 2 TCs to my 2 1D4s and my 5D3. (I did not calibrate the 2x to my 5D3 because auto focus will not work on the 5D3 at f8 but I think a fix is coming) Because of the winter weather, I did all calibrations inside at a distance of about 60 feet which is not recommended but seemed to work fine. (My wife was gone and I moved furniture to get the max distance possible!) Bare and with the 1.4x TC I had to dial in a little compensation of about +5 on all 3 bodies. The disappointing 2x required +10 and +13 on the 2 1D4s which is more than I ever had to do on any other lens so that was a surprise. But it is sharp as a tack now. I never could get my old version 2x TC to be sharp so Canon really did improve the new one. After calibration, i took it outside and photographed the bird feeder up close, the calibration target at about 40 yards and the hinge on my shed at about 90 yards for a real world confirmation of my calibrations. All I can say is wow! AF with the 1.4x TC is really fast. AF with the 2x is slow but dead on now. All combinations are tack sharp, My only slight disappointment is the IS which does not seem much better than on my old 500mm. I have only done a little handheld shooting and nothing in detail to test it but that is by feeling now. I may be wrong. All in all, I am excited about the new lens.