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Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
31 153865 May 10, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
97% of reviewers $6,195.32
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.90
8.81
9.9
ef600mmf_4_1_

Specifications:
This lens is ideal for sports and wildlife photography. The newly designed optical system has one fluorite element and two UD-glass elements to obtain high resolution and high contrast. Also, the minimum focusing distance was reduced to 18 ft. (5.5m). Extender EF 2x II can be attached to increase the focal length to 1200mm while retaining AF (at the center focusing point with the EOS-1v and EOS-3).


 


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phillik
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Registered: Sep 11, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 30
Review Date: Jan 20, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $6,995.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Image Stabilization, Sturdy Build, Focus Presets
Cons:
Cost, physical size and weight

Having tested both the 500/4 and 600/4 to compare image quality and weight/handling, I went for the big gun. I never removed the 1.4x TC from the 500, and rarely remove it from the 600! The mass of the 600 quells most shake, the IS removes what's left, and you can actually hand hold it for a short while. I usually hike with the lens on a monopod with a tilt-head, slung over my shoulder ... comfortable for five or six miles. Image quality on 20D/1D/1Ds/1D2 is remarkable, with negligable degradation whilst using the 1.4x TC, moderate with the 2.0x, and perfectly usable images with both stacked.
If you need the focal length and can afford this lens, you'll find it not too much more to handle than the 500/4, despite other opinions. If it doesn't kill you, it will make you stronger, with better birdie images to boot.


Jan 20, 2006
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FCWquest
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Registered: May 12, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 315
Review Date: Nov 23, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $7,800.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Rocket fast and silent AF, tack-sharp pictures, 600mm!, works great in all conditions and for all sports.
Cons:
HEAVY! Need a heavy-duty mono-pod and a lot of energy to lug this thing around all day, f/4 (not 2.8), it's just huge!

This lens is a joy to work with, especially for sports. It is the perfect length for football and soccer and is good for use with the 400, if you can lug both around. The lens is tack-sharp and the AF is super fast, which is to be expected by spending this much money. But this thing is REALLY HEAVY, be ready to buy a big mono-pod and be ready to have to haul this thing around all day, but at the end of the day, it'll be worth it.

Nov 23, 2005
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nsbca
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Registered: Aug 2, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 385
Review Date: Aug 4, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast, crisp, white and plenty of reach.
Cons:
IS softens the image.

Great lens for my work in the rookery. Can't think of anything I could replace it with.

Aug 4, 2005
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Thang
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Registered: Jan 25, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 8531
Review Date: Mar 12, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, sharp, sharp wide open AF is extremely fast Sharp, sharp, sharp with 1.4x TC
Cons:
None

Mine is the non IS version. I purchased it from one of the members of FM over at the Buy & Sell forum. The lens is simply awesome. Weight is not a big deal. I expected that. This lens opens a whole new world of nature photography. Images are tack sharp wide open. With a 1.4x TC, it's sharp. Here are some examples:

with TC

http://www.pbase.com/tnt_imaging/image/40697451/original

http://www.pbase.com/tnt_imaging/image/40697322/original


Mar 12, 2005
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PParker
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Registered: Dec 3, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 605
Review Date: Feb 14, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $7,200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp
Cons:
Weight and length. We can't have it all!

This is a fine lens. I have to state that IS is of significant advantage and noticably increases the percentage of keepers.

I use this lens with the Gitzo 1548 and Whimberley Gimbal Head. One feature I really like is the ability to remove the lens foot and replace it with a Whimberley Plate.

I primarily use this lens for Wildlife. I also have a full size vehicle door mount that supports this lens, Whimberley, flash and Better Beamer Flash extender on the exterior of the door.

Since purchasing this lens, I have to say I have added to my portfolio much faster than when I was using a 400 mm. I find myself rarley wanting more focal length than the 600 f4 + 1.4X Teleconverter.


Feb 14, 2005
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ed woo
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Registered: Oct 28, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 1003
Review Date: Oct 24, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Focal length, color, contrast, sharpness & great bokeh
Cons:
Weight & cost

I originally got the lens for shooting surfing & this is the lens for it. I never saw the lens performance until I used it for soccer recently. All I can say is "WOW".

The lens was always on a tripod & a Wimberley head when shooting surfing so the weight was never a factor. When the lens is on a monopod for shooting soccer, the lens weight is noticeable.


Oct 24, 2004
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Unregistered
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Location: United States
Review Date: Jul 14, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $7,900.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Exceptional in low light, great images, and the IS makes the toughest shots possible. Even with the 1.4, the images are extremely good, especially if you have to have the shot. Wouldn't trade it at all!!
Cons:
Heavy yes, and tripod highly recommended, but HH possible.



Jul 14, 2004
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Chris Anderson
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Registered: Dec 23, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 841
Review Date: Jun 3, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $7,500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: REACH is the key word here!
Cons:
I have a 500f4 as well as the 600 and I must say, that only being a few more pounds in weight heavier, isn't that bad like many ohers have said. But, it will require a heaver duty tripod than what you might use with the 500.



Jun 3, 2004
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samirkharusi
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Registered: Sep 16, 2002
Location: Oman
Posts: 16
Review Date: Jun 2, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $7,500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp, even with extenders, corner to corner. IMHO comparable to high-end astronomical APO refractor scopes, but with the addition of a very flat image field, fully covering the 35mm format
Cons:
Heavy and big. A 500/8 mirror lens looks like a toy thingy next to it.

Checking out its suitability for astro use:
http://www.geocities.com/ultimaoptix/c14firstguide.html
Checking its ability to take extenders, the 1.4x, 2x, and the two stacked, wide open:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1029&message=8729070
IMHO the stack does yield more detail than either extender on its own. This is quite different from whether the prints will all look equally sharp. A lot depends on atmospheric seeing (shimmer). If you need more reach, just stack the thingies :-)


Jun 2, 2004
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rfaster
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Registered: Jul 23, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 22
Review Date: Mar 15, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $7.80 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: It's a clear choice for Birders - It's that simple - 600F4IS
Cons:

If you are like me you have never had a lens that was long enough for birding (my 500F4IS has not been out of its case since the 600 arrived). The 600 solves this problem as much as any lens can solve it. I use my 1.4TC on it nearly all the time - and the results are excellent. I'm all about using the right tool for the job - and in this case I'd recommend going with the IS version although I have never used the non IS. If you are in the market for this lens you already know that you need a heavy duty tripod and head - Most folks including myself use the Gitzo 1548 and Wimberly - its really a KILLER combo.

My Advice - If you want Long don't settle for anything less than the 600IS.


Mar 15, 2004
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spartan123
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Registered: Nov 9, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 3683
Review Date: Feb 11, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $6,800.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp and fast.
Cons:
User manual sucks. Very heavy.

Like other users it took a bit of getting used to all the buttons and switches.

On a Wimberly Gimbal the setup is a blast to use.


Feb 11, 2004
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dougorama
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Registered: Jul 7, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 31
Review Date: Feb 1, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $100.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Amazingly sharp. Amazing contrast. Still sharp with 1.4. I know everybody loves the 300mm 2.8. The 300 sample I rented clearly improved @ 4.0. This 600 IS can shoot all day wide open. I rented this 600, since then, you can forget the 500 4.5. Presently I can't afford to own gear outright, and I really wish Canon would put in more cross hair sensors in their bodies ala the D2H. IS allows this lens to be handheld- I mean it! This shares top honors with the 200 1.8, 400 2.8 and 35 1.4. I'd get the 600 for shear reach over the faster 400.
Cons:
Only works on Canon bodies. Heavy of course. Surfers easy w/ Wimberly but you can chase birds around and get a few shots HH.

Wow

Feb 1, 2004
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bOgY
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Registered: Apr 15, 2003
Location: Austria
Posts: 41
Review Date: Sep 7, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $6,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, great detail (Using 1D/1Ds), nice colors... its grey!!!!!!!! :-) Oh i love this lens!
Cons:
Very heavy, but also good so wind and shutter are not shaking the lens.

I have got one of the last without IS(9/2003), but i think thats not realy a problem. Its very heavy so you cant hold it longer than minute. I recommend a big tripod, so i think the IS is not so necessary. If anyone is interessted and wants to see originalfiles, just kontakt me.

Sep 7, 2003
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danks
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Registered: Apr 5, 2002
Location: Canada
Posts: 289
Review Date: Jul 28, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $8,600.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Image stabilization makes this long lens preferable to all competing products.
Cons:
None really. Of course it DEMANDS adequate mounting.

I have used this lens since May, 2001. I bought it in lieu of the 800mm f5.6 IF-ED Nikkor which I had used for years. Fortunately, for new buyers, the price has dropped considerably from what I paid back then.

There is little to be said about the lens really. It does everything it is supposed to do. The IS is the feature that made it an irresistible choice over the long Nikons and I do not regret the switch. The community, I feel at least, has progressed way beyond the point of a few years ago where the questions were: “Does the IS work?” and “Does the IS degrade the image quality?”

One thing . . . images with the EF2X II teleconverter are soft. I try to avoid using the 2X but, in a pinch it works. For the curious, an image using the 2X converter on the EF600/4L IS is located at http://danks.netfirms.com/1200heron.htm


Jul 28, 2003
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macfab
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Registered: Jan 1, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 183
Review Date: Mar 31, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $7,199.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, Fast for it's size,
Cons:
Cost, Size, Weight.

Still learning about this lens... Just rec'd it last Thursday and then went out of town over the weekend and could not take it with us -- With the Wimberly head it is weightless (balanced) and with the EF 1.4 TC you can really make the reach you need to get a jump on those nervous birds out there.. B and H Photovideo made this an easy transaction. Although they did not insure it and did not ask. I was very fortunate that nothing happened to the lens in transit.

Mar 31, 2003
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Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
31 153865 May 10, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
97% of reviewers $6,195.32
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.90
8.81
9.9
ef600mmf_4_1_


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