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Archive 2013 · 300 2.8 + 1.4tc or 500 f4, thoughts
  
 
mpoole
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · 300 2.8 + 1.4tc or 500 f4, thoughts


I'm currently shooting a 7D and 100-400mm for general wildlife use, often in a kayak. I occasionally do brds in flight. I have an opportunity to pick up a used EF 500 f4, but I'm wondering about the added flexibility of having 300 2.8 (II) and converters.

My primary concern at the moment is that the 500 may be too bulky to take in the kayak, and that I won't use it as much as I should. Not a huge fan of converters but it sounds like the latest batch work very well with 300 2.8, giving me more options and a low light alternative. 400 2.8 is definitely too big.

I wish Canon would build a "conventional" 400 f4.

Appreciate thoughts on 300 + converters vs 500




May 02, 2013 at 02:24 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · 300 2.8 + 1.4tc or 500 f4, thoughts


If you want 500mm, get the 500/4L IS.

I have the 300/2.8L IS, 500/4L IS, and Mk III Extenders. I use them in all combinations.



May 02, 2013 at 02:48 PM
gsmani
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · 300 2.8 + 1.4tc or 500 f4, thoughts


+1 for 500 f4 IS


May 02, 2013 at 02:51 PM
jasonpatrick
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · 300 2.8 + 1.4tc or 500 f4, thoughts


I went with the 300mm 2.8 + converters...simply because mobility is more important to me than ultimate IQ. It's nice having a 300 2.8, 420 4 and a 600 5.6. I tend to agree that if you want 500mm and that's the minimum focal length you plan on using, get the 500 (and keep the excellent 100-400).

Weight seems like it's going to be important for the uses that you have planned. the 500 ver 1 is almost double the weight of the 300 2.8 II.



May 02, 2013 at 02:58 PM
Tenn.Jer
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · 300 2.8 + 1.4tc or 500 f4, thoughts


I have used my 500 in the kayak and found it to be too unwieldy. Resting lengthways on my legs it's too awkward to deploy easily, and sideways it sticks out over the gunwales and interferes with elbow movement when paddling. For a while I used a 400 DO, but eventually settled on a 300 2.8 with extenders for the boat.

If I couldn't have both, I would probably choose the 500; kayaking isn't my only requirement. I shouldn't be trying to do anything quickly in a kayak anyway, if I'm holding $5000 in camera equipment...
Jerry



May 02, 2013 at 03:14 PM
James Eaton
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · 300 2.8 + 1.4tc or 500 f4, thoughts


I own the 300 2.8 IS, 1.4 & 2X TC's, and have "Borrowed" a 500/4 IS from CPS numerous times. As Jerry pointed out, if the Kayak is not the only requirement, then go with the 500L. It is the better buy. You can always add TC's to the 500 and really get close. 200mm between the 3 & 5 is quite significant when it comes to shooting wildlife. My next major lens purchase will be the 500/4.

Good luck with your decision. Time go shoot Horses, where I wish I had a 500L. CPS is here, but SI trumps me.



May 02, 2013 at 03:36 PM
dorian
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · 300 2.8 + 1.4tc or 500 f4, thoughts


yes, 500. i have 500/1.4/1d/7d and its great. if you want to do bird photography, you're gonna want as much Fl as possible. no way you're taking this with a 300!




piping plover in massachusetts

  Canon EOS-1D Mark IV    EF500mm f/4L IS USM +1.4x lens    700mm    f/8.0    1/2000s    400 ISO    -0.3 EV  




May 02, 2013 at 03:46 PM
tarpon6
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · 300 2.8 + 1.4tc or 500 f4, thoughts


The 500mm f/4 is wonderful, but is big and bulky. Because of the size and weight I found myself leaving it at home more often than not. I can't imagine trying to maneuver in a kayak with it. Mobility is important to me. I recently sold it and picked up a really nice 300mm f/2.8 IS I and both ver. III TC's. I just got it this week so I haven't been out yet, but can't wait to get out there!


May 02, 2013 at 04:00 PM
PetKal
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · 300 2.8 + 1.4tc or 500 f4, thoughts


The 300 f/2.8 IS (MkI or MkII) + 2xTC MkIII is an excellent alternative to any 500 (600) f/4 lens.
For one, the combo is quite a bit lighter, less bulky, and less pricey. Always highly recommended .



Edited on May 02, 2013 at 06:18 PM · View previous versions



May 02, 2013 at 04:45 PM
 

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3iron
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · 300 2.8 + 1.4tc or 500 f4, thoughts


The IQ of the 300 with extenders will never equal that of the 500. That being said, the IQ of the 300, especially with the 1.4 is very good.
I think you need both.
I have the 300 and the 600; they are a killer combo.



May 02, 2013 at 04:51 PM
mpoole
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · 300 2.8 + 1.4tc or 500 f4, thoughts


Thanks to all for your input! Many good points of view here.

Is anyone aware of a smaller replacement hood for the 500, it seems unduly large?

Thanks
Mike



May 02, 2013 at 06:03 PM
Jo Dilbeck
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · 300 2.8 + 1.4tc or 500 f4, thoughts


3iron wrote:
The IQ of the 300 with extenders will never equal that of the 500. That being said, the IQ of the 300, especially with the 1.4 is very good.
I think you need both.
I have the 300 and the 600; they are a killer combo.


I have to disagree. I have a 300 F2.8 w/2xIII and compared it extensively against the 500 F4. I found no discernible difference in IQ or AF speed. I DID learn quickly that I was never going to hand-hold the 500, and it would probably be a "working from the back of the Tahoe" lens, vs being able to carry the 300.

So, for ME, I stayed with the 300 + 2X III for the cost savings and the weight difference. Would I like 500 with a TC, of course, but the 300 is much more versatile.

Jo



May 02, 2013 at 07:41 PM
Monito
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · 300 2.8 + 1.4tc or 500 f4, thoughts


When you are in the 300 f/2.8 and 500 f/4 league, a 1.4x Mark III is not an either or proposition. It works well with both lenses.

Get the 1.4x regardless of which lens you get. And get the lens you want. The cost of the 1.4x compared to those lenses is small.

Personally, I would build up by getting the 300 before the 500.



May 02, 2013 at 09:58 PM
Plinian
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · 300 2.8 + 1.4tc or 500 f4, thoughts


I shoot all the time from a kayak, and started with a 300 f/2.8 ii + both TCs. IQ and weight are terrific, but I really wanted longer reach, and was lucky enough to pick up a 500 f/4 ii about a month ago, and have now tried the 500 f/4 (with both TCs) extensively.

The 500 is amazing, and I love having the extra reach. Handholding the 500 is a little harder than the 300, but not so hard that I have ever wanted to reach for the 300. (In fact, I hate to part with the 300, but I suspect it will get very little use now).

Caveats: the 500 ii is about a pound and half lighter than the 500 i, but I think I could probably handle an extra pound and a half, and I'm a wimp. Plus, I recently had a great opportunity to shoot with Tim Kuhn, who handholds an 800 all the time. Also, one of the big reasons I went for the 500 was the chance to use the 2x TC (I have a 5d3 which can now AF at f/8).

Bottom line: If you think you might upgrade your body, and if you are in moderately decent shape (I'm a wimp), I would recommend the 500 i.



May 02, 2013 at 10:06 PM
nrohrbacker
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · 300 2.8 + 1.4tc or 500 f4, thoughts


If you are often in a kayak, as you stated, the 300 is the better option. I have both and have used the 300 +TC in a dry bag between my legs. Just putting the 500 + camera in a dry bag and taking it out of the bag while on the water will be much more cumbersome.


May 03, 2013 at 12:30 AM
Pixel Perfect
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · 300 2.8 + 1.4tc or 500 f4, thoughts


mpoole wrote:
I'm currently shooting a 7D and 100-400mm for general wildlife use, often in a kayak. I occasionally do brds in flight. I have an opportunity to pick up a used EF 500 f4, but I'm wondering about the added flexibility of having 300 2.8 (II) and converters.

My primary concern at the moment is that the 500 may be too bulky to take in the kayak, and that I won't use it as much as I should. Not a huge fan of converters but it sounds like the latest batch work very well with 300 2.8, giving me more options and
...Show more

Why not try a 400 DO before dismissing it. Plenty or feedback here showing it can attain great results and to me it's better to start with more FL and add less TC's. Even though I have a 300 f/2.8 and use 2x TC regularly I'd rather have 400mm and use 1.4x. If nothing else AF will be faster and from what I've seen IQ is as good. I only bought the 300 since at the time the 300 was around $3600 new and the DO was the same price as the 500 f/4. The new 300 f/2.8 is an obscene price IMO and now makes the DO look good value, plus you can get SH DO's for around $4K



May 03, 2013 at 02:43 AM
Imagemaster
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · 300 2.8 + 1.4tc or 500 f4, thoughts


Re kayaking and lens choice, that depends on your kayaking ability and handholding ability. I know there are a few photographers on this site that shoot with 500, 600 or 800mm from kayaks.

What the advocates of the 300 f2.8 fail to mention is the options with the 500 f4 of having a 700 f5.6 and a 1000 f8.

What you really need is: http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1207350/0?keyword=500#11503981

Tony



May 03, 2013 at 04:19 AM





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