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Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
86 210522 Apr 24, 2012
Recommended By Average Price
97% of reviewers $5,514.13
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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Photonic
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Registered: Apr 24, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 678
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: 381
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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Location: United States
Review Date: Apr 12, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $5,600.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: wonderful images--sharp and contrasty, relatively light, fast focusing, IS
Cons:
none (really!)

okay, so i bought this, used it and then started thinking *600*--supposed to be the 'ultimate' you know. well, i bought the 600 and while a great lens, i really missed this one---so much so, i went and traded back for it. why? the 600 is wonderful but so is this one and it weighs in about 4 lbs lighter. so you say, who cares, you are going to bolt it on a wimberley and sink the tripod in concrete anyway; but some of us like to be able to hike the long lens up and down cliffs and trails. you can shoot this off a monopod and get GREAT results. MTF curves on both are awesome, so don't even waste a discussion on image or contrast quality. couldn't be happier with my final choice. works great with the 1.4 and images are clean with the 2.0 (on the wimberley!)
finally, it is a stylish airline carry-on accessory.


Apr 12, 2004
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raceroy
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Registered: Jul 21, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 54
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
86 210522 Apr 24, 2012
Recommended By Average Price
97% of reviewers $5,514.13
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.91
8.75
9.9
ef500mmf_4_1_


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