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Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
6 20436 Jul 22, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
100% of reviewers $12,399.33
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
10.00
7.80
10.0
EF-600mm-F4L-IS-II-USM

Specifications:
Featuring Fluorite optics that deliver sharper images with less chromatic aberration, the new large-diameter EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM super telephoto lens also takes advantage of magnesium and titanium construction for a lighter weight and a Fluorine coating that keeps soiling, smears and fingerprints to a minimum. Because image stabilization technology in super telephoto lenses may inadvertently over-compensate and interfere with composing and framing distant or moving subjects, the EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM includes an advanced third Image Stabilization mode (Mode 3) that activates IS only when the shutter button is fully pressed. This allows users to pan fast-moving subjects and then activate IS only when it is precisely required. Because all three IS modes give the equivalent effect of up to four extra stops of performance, and because plus the Power Focus mode enables smooth focus change when shooting video, the EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM is ideal for capturing rapid-fire action. Other improvements such as better dust- and waterproofing make the Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM super telephoto lens an ultra high-performance Digital Age tool combining Canon hallmarks of superb ease-of-use with excellent durability.

Focal Length & Maximum Aperture 600mm f/4.0
Lens Construction 16 elements in 12 groups (Including drop-in rear filter, Fluorite: G2 and G4, UD Lens: None)
Diagonal Angle of View 410'
Focus Adjustment Inner focusing system, with focusing cam
Closest Focusing Distance 4.5m / 14.77 ft.
Filter Size 52mm Drop-In
Max. Diameter x Length, Weight 6.6" x 17.6", 138.3 oz. / 168 x 448mm, approx. 3920g


 


      
Aichbus
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Registered: Jan 22, 2009
Location: Germany
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 22, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: weight, sharpness, no distortion, IS
Cons:
some say pricey, but I think it is worth it.

I still own the old 4/500 L and recently upgraded to this one (plan to sell the 500). The new 600 is superb in every aspect. I upgraded to have 100 mm more focal length at essentially the same weight. Also it is very remarkable that is has no distortion at all. You can photograph millimeter paper if you want to. (not important for most applications but I do gigapixel photography, where this feature is very usefull, because it adds to the stitching quality!)

Although the lens has no faults, I think that for most uses (no, I don't do BIF) the new 500 is the better choice, because of its lower weight. Performance with extenders of the new super teles is extremely good. But when I compared my old 500 to the new 600 I found that the quality difference is not that huge. My 500 already was extremely sharp, even with extenders. But it is with extenders where you mainly see the difference in image quality. Also, when using the 2x with my 5DII and 6D, I have to focus manually. This is easier with the new lenses due to the better IS.

If I could afford both, I'd take both (500II + 600II ;-)


Jul 22, 2013
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iammikie
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Registered: Oct 20, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 461
Review Date: Dec 12, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $12,500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Weight, balance, Improved IS, AF speed
Cons:
Somewhat pricey

I was very surprised at just how light this lens is, you can read about it but until you actually put it into use, it just does not register. I recently acquired it, but my initial impression is that it is just a fabulous lens, which can be hand held easily, IQ is great, and improvbements to the IS is noticable. If you can afford it, go for it!

Dec 12, 2012
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dioladetus
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Registered: Oct 21, 2009
Location: Denmark
Posts: 165
Review Date: Dec 9, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharpness, foreground/background, tracking, af-speed, colours, contrast, weight.
Cons:
price, but you get what you pay for.

This lens is very similar to the rest of the version 2 super teles.
It is a big step up from the previous version.
Colour, contrast, sharpness, speed, weight, everything is better here, also the build quality.
I think the balance here is better than in the old 500, I can hand hold this one equally as good as the old 500, but the tracking and speed is much better in the new series.
It takes extenders extremely well, I can almost not see the difference between using the 1.4 (v3) or not.
Highly recommended.

I will shortly upload shots taken with this on my website www.phodiography.com


Dec 9, 2012
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wfr2
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Registered: May 14, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 1339
Review Date: Dec 4, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $12,999.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: weight, IQ, IS
Cons:
size

There have been enough reviews of this lens so I will just add a few opinions. I was surprised how light this lens is compared to the old one. It is bulky and looks like it should be a lot heavier. Reminded me of when I first picked up a 400DO and it was lighter than it looked. Tack sharp after calibration even with the new 2x teleconverter (which needed a lot of adjustment). First super tele I have had that was sharp with the 2x TC.
Barely fits in my roller bag but it does fit. Price is hard to justify because a used 500mm v1 is so good and less than 1/2 the price but that is a personal decision. (I just sold my old 500 here on FM and that was a great lens) Conclusion: The new 600 is a remarkable lens in all respects but not twice as good as the old 500mm.


Dec 4, 2012
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lcd32bit
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Registered: Nov 9, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 297
Review Date: Nov 2, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $11,699.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: "lightweight" for a 600mm, extremely fast focusing with and without 1.4x III, image quality with and without 1.4x III, well balanced wit 1dx, smooth bokeh
Cons:
Price (of course), massive lens hood

Let me start off by saying that I own the 500/4L II and previously owned the 500/4 L I and 800/5.6L.

Compared to the 500/L I, this lens has no CA, and youre getting 100mm extra for the same weight. Focusing with extenders is much, much faster, and the 4-stop IS is a Godsend. If you can afford it, it's a no-brainer.

Compared to the 500/L II, this lens is heavier, larger, and more expensive. Image quality and AF speed of both is excellent, but the 500 II is considerably more handholdable. Something about the 600 II that makes it more uncomfortable to handhold.

Compared to the 800/5.6, this lens is lighter, but fatter which makes keeping it in the car on your lap more difficult. Minimum focusing distance improvements is welcome, as I kept an extension tube on my 800/5.6 all the time for smaller birds which tended to come close. Focusing speed with 1dx is of course excellent and with the 1.4x III is at least as fast as the bare 800. If you are using a 1d mk IV i would recommend the 800 over the 600 + 1.4x since hunting performance is slower on that body with extenders. One other improvement over the 800 is that with the 1.4x, the 600 exhibits less vignetting - the 800 has quite stong vignetting on FF. However, personally, I think the 800 was slightly more comfortable to handhold than the 600/4 II for some reason.

I have yet to take the 600 on a real outing, just trips to the local park and such, but already I think I'm going to be living with this lens for many many many years to come. It's tack sharp, easy to handle on a tripod, and the focusing is ridiculously fast. I would recommend this lens be used with the 1Dx and the v3 extenders. I would also recommend a solid tripod and gimbal - RRS Series 3 or Gitzo Series 5 (Gitzo Series 3 is not stable enough for focal length), along with a full Wimberly or Mongoose head.

As for buying it, if youre not in a rush, wait for a Crutchfield "double points" special. With my points from buying this lens, I got $1,300 in gift cards from which you can use on other fun stuff, like a 1Dx or a new Flatscreen!


Nov 2, 2012
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PetKal
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Registered: Sep 6, 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 24843
Review Date: Jun 15, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: All around performas as expected, no surprises in either direction.
Cons:
None of any significance

This only a tentative review as I used the lens for no more than 45 minutes, mostly for hand-held BIF shooting, courtesy of a local friend who let me use his brand new lens.

600 II behaves very similar to 500 II, in fact if it wasn't for the additional heft, I could be fooled into believing I was shooting with the 500 II.

However, some aspects of AF response are similar to 800L.

Lastly, the lens is noticeably more difficult to handle than 500 f/4 MkI and 400 MkII, although all those lenses are of similar weight. After about 1/2 hr of fairly intense swinging the lens to and fro, my back began to hurt.


Jun 15, 2012
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Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
6 20436 Jul 22, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
100% of reviewers $12,399.33
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
10.00
7.80
10.0
EF-600mm-F4L-IS-II-USM