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Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
87 219065 Nov 29, 2016
Recommended By Average Price
97% of reviewers $5,521.41
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.91
8.75
9.9
ef500mmf_4_1_

Specifications:
Next-generation super telephoto L-series lens with an Image Stabilizer, it's one of the world's best lenses for wildlife and nature photography. The optical system is newly designed with a maximum aperture of f/4. One fluorite element and two UD-glass elements effectively correct aberrations resulting in sharp and excellent delineation.


 


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joeldalmas
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Registered: Dec 14, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 349
Review Date: Nov 2, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $5,350.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, Sharp, SHarp SHARPE!!!!!!! and awesome focal length - i have tried out the 1.4x TC on it and still lost barley any sharpness. beautiful lens.
Cons:
COST!!!!! Stupid Lens Cover - Really needs a replacement piece for it.. and its a little heavy, cant really hand hold it for more than 1 shot.... also you will need a new case for it, the one it comes with is a bit rediculous.

For Some time i was deciding weather to get the 600f4 or the 500f4 for my surf photography, so i went out and i tried them both... the 600f4 seemed to be alot larger of a lens, much more heavy, and less easy to manouver around -

Most of the surfing photographers use the 600f4, but they also mostly use the Film bodies... When i combine my 1d and my 500f4 i get a very beautiful 650mm combo which actually puts me in closer than the guys on the beach with the 600f4 and the film bodies.... then for even more reach stack on a 1.4x TC and you are in the money with a whopping 910mm - and it can fit in my backpack!

My biggest concern now after owning the lens is that i need to get a good tripod head for it - i think i am going to go with the bogen 3421 as it is as far as from what ive read and been told, just as good as the wimberly and 1/4th the price..

Sharpness: I only have one other lens to compair this lens to, which was my Sigma 170-500mm lens which is the absolute cheapest 500mm you could possibly buy... I will say that this lens focus's 100x faster and is at least 10x sharper with 10x the contrast and saturation than my Sigma was! Although i did get a few decent images with my Sigma 170-500mm and i was able to make a prety penny with it, it will be no match for my 500f4....

I will be posting photos of the lens and shots taken with the lens as soon as i get a little further.... if you are shooting surf,,, and have a digital body - i recomend this lens to you.........

*update*
Tonight i went out and shot some photos of the moon and am using them to compair with photos taken 2 nights ago with my Sigma 170-500mm - when i saw the results of tonights shots, i almost fainted - i had NO IDEAAA what this 500f4 IS L was capible of! its absolutely rediculous! just to say they were both shot on the exact same settings and both at 500mm and BOTH on a tripod. i think the rest speaks for itself, if you are thinking of buying a sigma glass and wondering " why should i spend the extra money on the canon? " well here's why.....

http://www.mylittlehands.net/FM/sigmatocanon.jpg

Joel
www.mylittlehands.net/joelphotography


Nov 2, 2004
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JWilsonphoto
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Registered: Jan 16, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 19268
Review Date: Oct 31, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $5,500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, Fast Autofocus, IS
Cons:
None

I've borrowed this lens a number of times from my friends at Canon. My evaluations have been with an eye toward adding the 500 to my arsenal which includes the 600 F4. After a half dozen extensive trials, I sold the 600 and have never looked back. The 600 is a wonderful lens but my work is almost all hand held and the difference between the two in that mode is considerable. Sharp as a tack with the 1.4, 700 on the 1Ds and 910 on the MkII ! My tack sharp keeper ratio was higher than you would ever expect hand holding a 600 but with the 500 it has doubled at least. It's worth it's weight in gold, which, coincidentally is just about what it costs.

Oct 31, 2004
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Photonic
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Registered: Apr 24, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 698
Review Date: Sep 10, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $5,300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Extremely sharp, extremely useful IS, nice balance for such a large lens.
Cons:
Cost

I purchased this lens specifically for a photo safari in South Africa. Without it I would have missed some of my very best shots. My keeper rate with this lens was nearly 100%. Focus is super fast and accurate. The IS was indispensible helping me to overcome wind and car vibration (shot from the roll bar of a Landrover and the side view mirrors, roof and hood of a rental car, all with beanbag). I was also able for brief period to hand hold (this lens balances nicely) and got my first really good in-flight bird shots. Make no mistake, however, you really want a mono/tripod/beanbag to support this monster for extended shooting.

The tripod collar support both 1/4" and 3/8" threads the later providing a much better balance point. The supplied case is great for general storage, but you will really need a long lens bag (Kinesis makes a very nice one) for field work.


My only real issue with this lens is the cost. I have owned cars that cost less. On the other hand if you need the reach and speed you will never regret spending the money to own this lens. Its just one of those lenses that produces stunning images everytime out and is a pure pleasure to use.


Sep 10, 2004
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Keith Flood
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Registered: Nov 25, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 392
Review Date: Jul 19, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $5,200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build quality and performance.
Cons:
None

This is an incredible lens for birds or other hard to reach wildlife. I decided to get the 500 instead of the 600 due to weight and porability. I have found that it works great with my Gitzo Reporter tripod with the Acratech Ultimate Ball Head and Wimberly "sidekick" gimble mount. If I had gotten the 600 this would not have worked. If you get this lens, then get the 1.4 TC to give you 700mm lens when needed.

Jul 19, 2004
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raceroy
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Registered: Jul 21, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 56
Review Date: Mar 9, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $5,150.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Light Weight, IS, Build
Cons:
Price, Price, Price

You remember when you were young and you were given the advice.. When you are conflicted as to which product is best for you.. and you have 2 choices one is cheap but not quite as good and then there is the good one that is way more expensive..It is better to save your money and buy the good one when you can??? Do you remember that?? This is one of those times ... I didn't listen.. I bought a 50-500 and figured that the loss of light could be made up for by nice bright days.. WHAT was I thinking!!! What about the other 200 days a year .. What about IS .. What about that extra Fstop or two .. What about ... What was I thinking??? This lens is built to last for ever.. The lens produces images that are Super Sharp in contrast to that 50-500 which took a LOT of hard work to get kinda sharp images. The IS is a god-send for those occasional hand held shots and with the weight of this lens I do not doubt that this was the right lens to buy.. I too had the deamon argument 600is vs 500is... the weight of the 500 scored the win.. And I will tell you the 1.4x extender renders Very Sharp images with no extra effort.. and the AF works just fine Thank You!! I even tried this lens with the Sigma APO 2x from my 180macro.. I was truly amazed.. these images were beyond my expectations.. not 500 with 1.4 sharp but close. Would I buy this lens again.. In a heart beat... Good to use the right tripod and head.. try the Gitzo CF 325 and a Wimberley.. In combination for the investment of $6400 you have telephoto heaven. Color quality, build quality, Sharpness, Weight and a lens case that is worthless.. This lens is a true winner..

Mar 9, 2004
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Chris Anderson
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Registered: Dec 23, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 841
Review Date: May 4, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $5,699.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp, and portable.
Cons:
None

This is a great lens, that too me, is easily portable with out a problem. I would highly recommend it!

May 4, 2003
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Jack Flesher
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Registered: Oct 23, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 3489
Review Date: Apr 1, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, reasonably lightweight for its size.
Cons:
None

What can I say, I LOVE this lens! It is a dream to use and like the other big L guns, it focuses rapidly and delivers excellent images. Additionally, when either converter is stacked behind this lens, image quality remains VERY high. In fact, stacking BOTH converters behind this lens still delivers very useable images.

Apr 1, 2003
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Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
87 219065 Nov 29, 2016
Recommended By Average Price
97% of reviewers $5,521.41
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.91
8.75
9.9
ef500mmf_4_1_


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