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Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS USM

ef600mmf_4_1_
Review Date: Jan 19, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $7,600.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, fast focus, image stabilization.
Cons:
It's heavy and expensive!

I got this lens to replace my Sigma 300-800 f/5.6 lens that was my favorite for birding. My 300 f/2.8 got me hooked on IS, and I really wanted IS on a longer reaching lens.

I sold the Sigma in good faith that I would like the Canon 600 better and was not disappointed. My first outing with the lens was to photograph Atlantic Puffins. I used it with a 50D body and it delivered excellent results. Puffins fly very fast and this was no problem for focus speed and tracking. Very sharp shots.

I would not use this lens (or any large lens) without a gimbal mount. My choice is a Jobu designs Black Widow Pro. It balances the considerable weight of the lens easily and makes tracking moving targets more feasible.

The lens also works well full frame on a 5D mark2 when the extra reach is not needed. I have recently paired it with a 7D (replacement for my 50D) and the combo is working very well though I have not used it extensively (yet). The high pixel count and crop factor with this lens is killer for birding!