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Lens options for 1DMKIV for smaller birds in flight
  
 
Bsmooth
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Lens options for 1DMKIV for smaller birds in flight


I have the 100-400V2 and was thinking of either the 300 2.8 V2 or the 500 V2. I have a gimbal setup, but rarely use it. Mostly shooting handheld.
For each lens there are trade-offs and advantages. If I get the 300 2.8 I gain more Cross type focus points and speed, along with the ability to use a 2X extender, but I do lose some reach.
The 500 on the other hand has more reach, but I wonder how it would be with very fast moving small birds, and of course its almost double the price.
I'm sure most birders have used both these lenses, so what would your opinions be about either of these choices ?



Nov 02, 2017 at 01:47 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Lens options for 1DMKIV for smaller birds in flight


I use the 500/4L IS (v.1) mostly handheld and on a monopod (with MH-01). I also have the 100-400L IS II and 300/2.8 L IS. My typical birding setup was 500 + 1DIV and 100-400 + 1DX. If the birds got too close to easily track with the 500mm lens, I'd switch primarily to the 100-400L. I've been shaking up my gear over the past year, or so, and so I sold the 1DX and acquired the 5DS and SL2. Not yet sure how these'll figure into the old 1DIV + 1DX setup, but that's OK, I'll figure it out, eventually.

IOW, I'd get the 500/4L IS (I or II). The 300/2.8 L IS is an awesome lens. I use it mostly for scenic photos and events in low light. I've also used it with 1.4x III and 2x III when it wasn't convenient to bring the 500mm, but the bare 500mm is a lot better, when you want more reach.

OTOH, some of my best small bird photos were taken with the 1DIV + 70-200/2.8L IS II. This combo is great when they're close, but not so useful in most BIF situations.




  Canon EOS-1D Mark IV    EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens    200mm    f/4.0    1/3200s    400 ISO    0.0 EV  




Nov 02, 2017 at 02:01 PM
Abbott Schindl
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Lens options for 1DMKIV for smaller birds in flight


Depends on how close you are to the birds and what you're going to do with the image. I have both lenses and love them both. For following fast-flying birds like swallows, I prefer the 100-400 only because I find that the 500 gets cumbersome to move quickly (its inertia) handheld. In general, though, I prefer the 500, often with a 1.4x extender.

Close to birds and not needing to enlarge much: 100-400 (II)

Close to birds and wanting to enlarge for printing/cropping: 500

Relatively far, but bird still fills a reasonable portion of the frame: 100-400

Relatively far and bird fills little of the frame: 500

Relatively far and want to enlarge a bit: 500 + 1.4x extender



Nov 02, 2017 at 03:42 PM
Bsmooth
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Lens options for 1DMKIV for smaller birds in flight


100-400 is a great lens, but its a little slow light wise. Some one else asked why I don't use higher shutter speeds and the reason is light. The 1DMKIV is great but I would put the limit as far as ISO goes to be around 1600, Even at that it can be pretty noisy, so I generally only go to 800 myself, which leaves me with an aperture of 5.6 or 6.3 and shutter speeds of around 1/1000 to 1/1600.
I was favoring the 300 2.8 only because I would be able to shoot at lower light levels, and I think would lock on AF a bit faster than the 500. Plus the images with either Extender seem to be just as good as the lens by itself
Does anyone know or have full size bird images taken with a 300 2.8 and 2X Ext.?



Nov 02, 2017 at 04:40 PM
Pixel Perfect
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Lens options for 1DMKIV for smaller birds in flight


On the 1D4, the 500 will be a lot better in IQ and AF speed than the 300 + 2x. I have used the 300 + 2x extensively but while fine for normal sized birds not moving erratically itís not so successful for faster smaller birds. Have you considered a 1DX or maybe 5D4, they have noticeably better AF overall IMO. In fact IMO the 5DsR has better AF than the 1D4 and a 5DsR + 300 + 1.4x would put more pixels on the subject than the 1D4 + 300 + 2x. It also works brilliantly with the 500 II. 5D4 is even better as is 1DX, but 1DX is pixel challenged compared to 1D4 and youíll need longer FL. 5D4 is sweet spot, if you can live with 7fps.

My solution which Iím loving is a Nikon D500 + 200-500, better AF than the 1D4, at least as good a high ISO, probably a bit better, 10fps. The other lens people are raving about is the 300 f/4 PF. Only 750g and takes a 1.4x very well from what Iíve seen. The D500 + both these lenses is cheaper than the 300 II.

Iíll dig up some 300 + 1.4/2x shots tonight when I get home form work.



Nov 02, 2017 at 08:49 PM
Bsmooth
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Lens options for 1DMKIV for smaller birds in flight


Thanks, I was hoping to get a 300 2.8 then maybe get the 5D3, which though not a 5D4 is still better than my 1D4. But for now one thing at a time. As far as birds I'm hoping to get fairly close to the smaller birds, at least in flight anyways.
I just want to see what the 300 images look like at 100%.



Nov 02, 2017 at 11:27 PM
AmbientMike
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Lens options for 1DMKIV for smaller birds in flight


A 300/2.8 on a m4/3 was probably my most used lens in 2016, and the 600mm ff equivalent helped me get a lot more good bird photos than I generally get with 400mm ff equivalent, which I have used a TON.

So I'd say the 500, which is 650mm ff equivalent on the 1D4, I think. Sparrows and warblers are so tiny.



Nov 03, 2017 at 12:14 AM
Pixel Perfect
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Lens options for 1DMKIV for smaller birds in flight


Bsmooth wrote:
Thanks, I was hoping to get a 300 2.8 then maybe get the 5D3, which though not a 5D4 is still better than my 1D4. But for now one thing at a time. As far as birds I'm hoping to get fairly close to the smaller birds, at least in flight anyways.
I just want to see what the 300 images look like at 100%.


I might say my 1DX works superbly with my Sigma 150-600C. Sold the 1D4 before I got the Sigma, but it might be worth trying out one with the 1D4, I think it'll work better than the 300II +2x. The other lens I think you overlooked is the 400 f/4 DO II. Arash is getting fantastic results. 1DXII shines with the DO + 1.4xIII/2xIII, and 5D4 would be next step down. 400 + 1.4xIII will be better IQ and AF wise than 300II + 2xIII and is 300g lighter.

D500 + 300 f/4 PF would be an ideal combo for what you want. 300 f/4 will be my next lens.



Nov 03, 2017 at 01:16 AM
arbitrage
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Lens options for 1DMKIV for smaller birds in flight


Bsmooth wrote:
100-400 is a great lens, but its a little slow light wise. Some one else asked why I don't use higher shutter speeds and the reason is light. The 1DMKIV is great but I would put the limit as far as ISO goes to be around 1600, Even at that it can be pretty noisy, so I generally only go to 800 myself, which leaves me with an aperture of 5.6 or 6.3 and shutter speeds of around 1/1000 to 1/1600.
I was favoring the 300 2.8 only because I would be able to shoot at lower light levels, and
...Show more

I have many such images....1000s....I shot the 2xTC on my 300/2.8ISII more than I shot the bare lens and 1.4TC combined....





  Canon EOS-1D Mark IV    EF300mm f/2.8L IS II USM +2.0x lens    600mm    f/5.6    1/2000s    400 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS-1D X    EF300mm f/2.8L IS II USM +2x III lens    600mm    f/5.6    1/200s    800 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS 5DS R    EF300mm f/2.8L IS II USM +2x III lens    600mm    f/5.6    1/2500s    400 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS 5DS R    EF300mm f/2.8L IS II USM +2x III lens    600mm    f/5.6    1/2000s    640 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS 7D Mark II    EF300mm f/2.8L IS II USM +2x III lens    600mm    f/5.6    1/1250s    1000 ISO    0.0 EV  




Nov 03, 2017 at 02:22 AM
arbitrage
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Lens options for 1DMKIV for smaller birds in flight


The above aren't 100% crops but here are a couple non-cropped versions of two of the above so you get an idea of the detail vs the crop size.




  Canon EOS 7D Mark II    EF300mm f/2.8L IS II USM +2x III lens    600mm    f/5.6    1/1250s    1000 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS 5DS R    EF300mm f/2.8L IS II USM +2x III lens    600mm    f/5.6    1/2000s    640 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS-1D Mark IV    EF300mm f/2.8L IS II USM +2.0x lens    600mm    f/5.6    1/2000s    400 ISO    0.0 EV  




Nov 03, 2017 at 02:28 AM
 

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arbitrage
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Lens options for 1DMKIV for smaller birds in flight


This is an actual 100% crop I made of the 1D4 image. 1200px high exported to 1200px high.




  Canon EOS-1D Mark IV    EF300mm f/2.8L IS II USM +2.0x lens    600mm    f/5.6    1/2000s    400 ISO    0.0 EV  




Nov 03, 2017 at 02:33 AM
arbitrage
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Lens options for 1DMKIV for smaller birds in flight


After all the examples I'll give my thoughts as I've owned most of these lenses but not the 500mm. I did shoot for about 4hrs of straight bird/BIF photography with the 500II and used it with 1.4 and 2.0TCs (thanks surfnron) but only on 5D4 and 1DX2 so not sure how it does on 1D4. But I did shoot my 600II on 1D4 so I think I have an idea as the 500 and 600 seem to be pretty much equals in everything besides size, weight, price and 100mm.

I really don't find much difference in AF speed from 2.8-5.6 lenses (either bare or TC combos). I'm sure it is there but I've never noticed it enough to even think about it. I really only start to notice AF slowdown with my f/8 TC combos like 600/2x, 400DOII/2x etc. That said I've made those 2xTC combos work for me but not on small BIFs. Eagles sure...ravens sure....magpies...not very often. 1DX2 makes the f/8 combos much more useable for BIF, especially 400DOII/2x and 100-400II/1.4x. The 5D4 improves on older cameras because it has all the modes/points but I don't find it all that great for f/8 combos for fast smaller birds and it even struggled a bit on ravens (lower keeper rate).

I will say after using the 500II I could see myself being very satisfied selling the 600II, 400DOII and having just a 500II instead. Would keep 100-400II for portability. I'm looking at buying a 500E for my Nikon kit and it will be the only big lens I see myself buying for Nikon.

Between the 300II and 500II it really depends if you are okay with 600mm or want 700-1000mm and if you are okay taking around the much bulkier 500mm lens. Personally I don't really like being out in public parks/preserves with big lenses. I would much rather walk around with 100-400 or 300 or 400DO, not my 200-400 or 600 or even a 500.

Finally, I will second what Whayne said above....the Nikon D500/200-500 and/or 300/4PF is my most used system right now. For small, fast birds against busy backgrounds where you are reacting fast to unpredictable action/timing only the D500 has been able to get me a high % of keepers in that type of scenario. Just throwing that thought out there because if someone came to me for advice and wasn't invested into a brand yet I'd heavily push them towards that Nikon combo at this point in time.

The 500II was very good with AF and TCs but again I only really shot it on the newest bodies so not sure how it would do on 1D4.






5D4 with 1.4x

  Canon EOS 5D Mark IV    EF500mm f/4L IS II USM +1.4x III lens    700mm    f/5.6    1/2000s    800 ISO    0.0 EV  







1DX2 with 2x

  Canon EOS-1D X Mark II    EF500mm f/4L IS II USM +2x III lens    1000mm    f/8.0    1/2500s    800 ISO    0.0 EV  







1DX2 with 1.4x

  Canon EOS-1D X Mark II    EF500mm f/4L IS II USM +1.4x III lens    700mm    f/5.6    1/2500s    320 ISO    0.0 EV  




Nov 03, 2017 at 02:52 AM
arbitrage
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Lens options for 1DMKIV for smaller birds in flight


But even the massive 600II can get big birds IF with the 2xTC so I'm sure the 500 could nail lots also and is easier to swing around than the 600....

And note the bodies that pulled these shots off...




  Canon EOS 5D Mark III    EF600mm f/4L IS II USM +2x III lens    1200mm    f/9.0    1/2000s    640 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS 7D Mark II    EF600mm f/4L IS II USM +2x III lens    1200mm    f/11.0    1/1250s    400 ISO    0.0 EV  




Nov 03, 2017 at 03:03 AM
technic
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Lens options for 1DMKIV for smaller birds in flight


Pixel Perfect wrote:
My solution which Iím loving is a Nikon D500 + 200-500, better AF than the 1D4, at least as good a high ISO, probably a bit better, 10fps. The other lens people are raving about is the 300 f/4 PF. Only 750g and takes a 1.4x very well from what Iíve seen. The D500 + both these lenses is cheaper than the 300 II.


Extrapolating from my experience with flying dragonflies (probably one step more difficult than small BIF) I think the D500 with 4/300PF is the best choice for that, of course assuming that you can get close enough. For small and fast/unpredictable subjects a small and reasonably lightweight system is very important, otherwise tracking the subject becomes too difficult. I have seen some stunning D500 examples on the Nikon forums like tracking flying butterflies against a busy background and there are also some nice examples of small BIF. But the 4/300PF still seems to have its IS woes with several bodies, nothing is perfect ...



Nov 03, 2017 at 05:01 PM
Tapeman
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Lens options for 1DMKIV for smaller birds in flight


I had the 300 and sold it to help pay for my 500II. While I miss my 300, it was the right decision for me as I mostly shoot birds.


Nov 03, 2017 at 05:22 PM
Mike Jacks0n
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Lens options for 1DMKIV for smaller birds in flight


I shoot mostly birds and wanted to keep the possibility of doing some hand held shooting so I went with the 500 II. I'd assume it would be great on a 1.3 crop body, but I love it on FF and it's good on a 1.6 crop body.

That said, if hand held shooting is your thing maybe consider the 400 DO II. I choose the 500 II because it was a good hedge, but I shoot handheld maybe 5% of the time. If you plan to shoot handheld more than 40% of the time I'd swing to the 400 DO II. Its substantially easier to carry because it doesn't get in the way as much as the 500 II. They are also found a little cheaper than the 500 II's, but be warned the extra 100mm is significant.



Nov 03, 2017 at 05:45 PM
Bsmooth
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Lens options for 1DMKIV for smaller birds in flight


That Nikon combo of the D500 and 200-500 is amazing I've seen quite a few shots from it and it looks to be great. I'm not sure though at this point If I'm ready to switch camps. I shot with my 1D4 and 100-400V2 today very early. Most of my shots in the 1st hour were just too dark. then again I think the 1D4 needs light and lower ISo's. I had mine at 800, and it was OK, but limited my max shutter speed to about 1/1000, which is iffy with faster moving ducks. So its either a more speedy lens (300 2.8 II) or a camera that shoots better in low light.
I noticed no one talked about the 5D3, granted it isn't a 5D4, but it does do well in lower light and has a better AF system than the 1D4 I thought.



Nov 04, 2017 at 01:08 AM
arbitrage
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Lens options for 1DMKIV for smaller birds in flight


Bsmooth wrote:
That Nikon combo of the D500 and 200-500 is amazing I've seen quite a few shots from it and it looks to be great. I'm not sure though at this point If I'm ready to switch camps. I shot with my 1D4 and 100-400V2 today very early. Most of my shots in the 1st hour were just too dark. then again I think the 1D4 needs light and lower ISo's. I had mine at 800, and it was OK, but limited my max shutter speed to about 1/1000, which is iffy with faster moving ducks. So its either a more
...Show more

Biggest minus for me with the 5D3 was only 6FPS. High ISO is good with 5D3 but you need to nail the exposure as raising shadows brings up a huge mess of banding and purple etc.



Nov 04, 2017 at 02:09 AM
Mike Veltri
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Lens options for 1DMKIV for smaller birds in flight


For birds big or small focal length rules imo.
Had that combo, 500 & 300 and Mark IV and if it was me I would definitely go with the 500.

Although the 300 may take the 2x well, it would not be a combo I would shoot often. The 300 and 1.4 yes but not so much with the 2x.

The blur of the 500 and reach would always make me grab the 500 before the 300 unless I was going to do a lot of walking down trails or looking for warblers where the mfd of the 300 was a better solution than the 500.

Eventually the 300 became a very expensive door stop that sat at home or in the trunk of the car. In most cases I could get the same or similar results with my 70-200 2.8 and extenders.

Sold both lenses and purchased the 600 and never ever missed the 300mm focal length.

I do wish Canon would re-issue a new 300 f/4 as that was a great little lens for butterflies and dragons but not so good with an extender and birds imo.




Nov 04, 2017 at 10:15 AM
Pixel Perfect
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Lens options for 1DMKIV for smaller birds in flight


Belatedly dug up some photos with the 1D4 + 300 f/2.8L v1 bare or with 1.4x or 2x




  Canon EOS-1D Mark IV    EF300mm f/2.8L IS USM +1.4x lens    420mm    f/4.0    1/800s    1600 ISO    +0.3 EV  






  Canon EOS-1D Mark IV    EF300mm f/2.8L IS USM +1.4x lens    420mm    f/4.0    1/1600s    400 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS-1D Mark IV    EF300mm f/2.8L IS USM +2.0x lens    600mm    f/9.0    1/800s    400 ISO    +0.7 EV  






  Canon EOS-1D Mark IV    EF300mm f/2.8L IS USM lens    300mm    f/4.0    1/400s    400 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS-1D Mark IV    EF300mm f/2.8L IS USM +2.0x lens    600mm    f/6.3    1/1000s    640 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS-1D Mark IV    EF300mm f/2.8L IS USM +2.0x lens    600mm    f/6.3    1/640s    800 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS-1D Mark IV    EF300mm f/2.8L IS USM lens    300mm    f/2.8    1/5000s    400 ISO    +0.3 EV  




Nov 05, 2017 at 09:51 AM
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