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Rumors => Lenses => Topic started by: cervantes on February 07, 2013, 06:10:24 AM

Title: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: cervantes on February 07, 2013, 06:10:24 AM
Hi everyone!

I started doing photography roughly two years ago. At the beginning I had a 550D and some beginner zooms but one day I made the mistake of getting an L lens, and the inevitable happened to me -> I got infected.
Aside of the 50 1.8 I only have L lenses now which are the 70-200 4 L IS, 100L and 16-35L II, and somewhere in between I also got a 5D3. So now you have an idea of my current setup.

About one year ago I started developing the idea of getting something bigger because my favorite type of photography is wildlife and my 200mm doesn’t cut it (by far). So I was looking into the 300 f4 with 1,4x and the 400 5,6 and … well that are pretty much all the alternatives you have with canon if you want to stay in a reasonable price range.

Suddenly it appeared absolutely clearly in my mind – What do you want with this chickens**t??? If you wanna do something you gotta do it right!

So 500mm f4 L IS II it is! If I get a telephoto lens – this will be it.

BUT there are some serious issues that keep me from going to the shop and ordering one:

- PRICE: Although I’m only 28 I could afford this lens. I have to work for about six months ONLY saving up for it but hey, I’m already at about 5 1/2 right now 8)! I don’t have a car, I go by bicycle everywhere, I really spend very less money regularly and I do not have any other expensive hobbies.
Additionally I believe that if I spend €9500 (which is the current price here in Austria) on this piece of equipment and use it a LOT of years (let’s say 10) I still can resell it for maybe €7000 (if I treat it well of course, and I darn sure will treat it very well!!). So the total cost of ownership will be “only” about €2500 or €250 per year which is pretty reasonable. There are more stupid ways of spending €250 per year I guess (smoking for example  ::)).
Please note that I’m a total amateur and I’m not expecting to make any money out of it.

- WEIGHT AND SIZE: I know that this thing is a BEAST. I saw it once in real life in a shop window with the hood on and I couldn’t imagine myself lugging this thing around. As already mentioned I don’t have a car so I usually go by bike or by foot everywhere. I would get an appropriate backpack for it (Lowepro 500 or something) and carry it on my back all the time (So 600 II and 500 I were not an option from the beginning). Additionally I do not have a tripod, monopod or tripod head hat supports this kind of weight, and for financial and backpacking reasons I will not get these things anytime soon, so I’m planning to use the lens exclusively handheld. 3.2 kg doesn’t actually sound like so bad but holding it to the eye for an extended period of time … I’m not so sure about that. I’m not really a strong guy, but I’m also not the “only shooting from eye-level” kind of photographer, more like the “lying in the dirt most of the time” photographer – so a bean bag or resting the tripod foot on the knee or on the ground is an option.

- CONSPICUITY: Sometimes when I use my white 70-200 and my gripped 5D3 I can notice people watching and I really dislike that. I like to work alone and undisturbed and when people watch I cannot concentrate so well on making my pictures. Compared to the 500, the 70-200 f4 is a BABY TOY lens so how will it be when I walk around with the beast? I myself have never seen such a lens “in the field” so I would be watching too if someone else had it! When I think about it I believe that I wouldn’t use it so much when there are other people around. I am living in a not too big city but I would still have to travel a bit to get to a quiet place (you do remember the no car thing do you? :P ). This would further increase the necessary effort for using this lens. Together with the weight and size issue I have the fear that I wouldn’t use it so much than I should to justify its price.

OK, after so much negative things I should state some good things I expect, otherwise every one of you will just advise me against getting the lens ;).

The pros:
+ This lens would be AWESOME.
+ IQ is absolutely as good as it gets at this time.
+ This lens would be totally AWESOME.
+ I don’t need to spend money on fitness studios when lugging this thing around (which I wouldn’t do anyways to be fair)!
+ It would give me the reach I need for all my wildlife and birding needs (I would surely get the 1,4x III after a couple of months and maybe also the 2x III).
+ It would be AWESOME in combination with my 5D3, AF- and IQ-wise!!

WOW, if you read until this point then TANK YOU! But although it helped my decision making process to write down all the advantages and disadvantages there is one more thing I would ask you to do. Please tell me your opinion:

- Did I make some serious errors in the arguments I stated above?
- Do you have experience with this kind of gear and can tell me something in general and especially about the handholdability?
- Does it really make sense for me to make such an investment or should I simply convert to Buddhism and seek my joy in meditation?
- Should I pull the trigger or not? Please do not encourage me for the sake of it but really tell me what you think. It would be cool if you could put a +1 or a -1 at the end of your post for buying or not buying respectively.

At the end I would also like to share some of my pictures with you so that you can get an idea of my skills and what I like to do normally. Due to the lack of a good tele, I concentrated on macro work during the last year. Most of those were taken with my old 550D. Critics are also very welcome!

Pictures:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ipu4mdfjxdgo11a/HBqDdcHUYi (https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ipu4mdfjxdgo11a/HBqDdcHUYi)

Hope to hear your opinions!
Greetings!




Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: untitled10 on February 07, 2013, 06:42:42 AM
I would say go for it to be honest, although if weight is an issue, have you considered the 400mm f/4 DO?

(+1(unless you like the look of the DO(then +10 to that)))
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: CharlieB on February 07, 2013, 06:48:09 AM
You're 28.  You don't have a car.  How you gonna carry that thing to places to use it?

You're 28.  Take the money you'd use for the lens, invest it in your retirement future.  Trust me, trust everyone who tells you that.  Even a modest investment now, will give you financial freedom when you're older.  A good thing! (from one who lives it)

Rent the lens when the urge happens.

~~

As a side note - there are places in the wilds, here in Florida, that I would not bring a long L lens without also bringing a handgun.  Just sayin'.... and its not for fear of alligators or bears, but for getting robbed.  Its happened.
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: tomscott on February 07, 2013, 07:14:04 AM
Im of the opinion of if you want something get it.

But these lenses are very specific, and cost a lot. My questions would be how often do you plan on using it? At nearly 4kg it doesn't sound a lot but after 20 minutes of holding this lens your arms will be burning regardless of who you are. After a day shooting or even just having it strapped to your back you will be very fatigued. They are not portable at all and a tripod is pretty much a necessity not only for your arms but also to keep the lens steady. These are another 4-5kg for a really steady one that will take the weight.

Your situation of having no car makes it even harder if you are carrying it around all the time the likelihood of it being banged or accidents happening is much higher, especially on a bicycle!

(http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2638/3778521793_059003cbb8_z.jpg?zz=1)

Also if a 70-200mm attracts attention then you will be the centre of attention with this thing.

I think for overall usability the 100-400 is a better option, it wont create the same IQ but is a 1/6th the price and you can actually take it places...

Just my 2 pence.
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: magical on February 07, 2013, 07:29:28 AM
Reading above, I too wanted the monster!  I'm a big guy (6'3"), I debated forever on the 500/4 or the 600/4 then the new ones came out, I debated on spending the big bucks on a new one!

I realize the weight of the newer models was a great change, but, I took the plunge when I saw a kijiji ad for very good condition 600/4 I, I jumped.  Paid about half of what I should new ($6400 cad). Yes its a Monster, but I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Listen to what the other guys say tho, you're going to want to invest in either a serious tripod setup or at least a nice monopod w/foot. That's the route I have gone so far and I am very impressed with my shots.  A car might not be a bad setup, but at least with a monopod you can easily swing it over your shoulder and the 500/4 might not be a bad choice for the weight consideration (you might get a good deal on a MK1 which is still a FANTASTIC lens).

My first pic that I really liked (Actually used my wife's shoulder as my tripod! (works perfect in a pinch))



(http://www.homerjsimpson.net/images/ducks.jpg)
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: distant.star on February 07, 2013, 09:28:52 AM
.
I don't want to wet blanket your enthusiasm, but three powerful things keep going through my mind:

1. Lot of money. That kind of money is usually a business investment. You'd have to derive some ENORMOUS satisfaction from the images you create to make it worthwhile.

2. Lot of inconvenience. There's a price to be paid here too. Sometimes the inconvenience makes a simple photography outing more of a chore than it's worth. Eventually, the lens ends up sitting in a closet. Human nature, unfortunately.

3. Lot of risk. Putting that thing on a bicycle exposes it to great risk. I know since I get around on bicycle a lot too. I'm always wary of what photo equipment I'm putting in a backpack because a simple fall can be very expensive. You could lose it as a crime victim. There could be a fire. And that suggests more expense as you'd want insurance specifically to cover that lens.

On the other hand, maybe you'll buy it, endure the difficulties, get lucky and end up being one of the world's foremost wildlife photographers.

As Henry Ford said: "Everything is possible."
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: robbymack on February 07, 2013, 09:45:01 AM
far be it from me to tell you how to spend your money.  I would however listen to several of the comments above about how ungainly this lens is, especially if you are transporting it by bike, backpack, no car, and also really needing a serious tripod to get it's maximum use.  I do wonder since it is a bit of travel to get out to where you may use this most frequently how often you will actually use it.  That being said there are always reasons not to do something.  If you think you will get enjoyment out of it, and can handle the drawbacks I don't see any reason not to buy it.  I do however like the option of the 100-400 over the prime especially because you will find more use for it and it will be considerably (its still heavy) easier to lug around with you in the city. 
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: bchernicoff on February 07, 2013, 09:47:57 AM
Don't overlook the 400mm 2.8 L IS as a much cheaper alternative.
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: Apop on February 07, 2013, 09:53:51 AM
the 400 f2.8 IS is like 5,4 KG?

I find hand holding a 500 f4 quite a challenge and it only weighs in at 3.9 kg,

I also think for your situation a 100-400/400 f5.6 would be best....

If you really want a ''monster'', then consider the new 300 f2.8, its around 2.6 kg, it's not as long and supposedly plays very well with the 1.4 and 2 tc
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: bchernicoff on February 07, 2013, 10:00:57 AM
the 400 f2.8 IS is like 5,4 KG?

Yes, it would be trading weight for cost and focal length. Adding a 1.4 extender would get him a 560mm f/4. I agree that before he spends that kind of money, he should buy the 100-400 or 400 5.6 and only consider going bigger if those lenses truly don't meet his needs.
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: pedro on February 07, 2013, 10:20:31 AM
You're 28.  You don't have a car.  How you gonna carry that thing to places to use it?

You're 28.  Take the money you'd use for the lens, invest it in your retirement future.  Trust me, trust everyone who tells you that.  Even a modest investment now, will give you financial freedom when you're older.  A good thing! (from one who lives it)

Rent the lens when the urge happens.

~~

As a side note - there are places in the wilds, here in Florida, that I would not bring a long L lens without also bringing a handgun.  Just sayin'.... and its not for fear of alligators or bears, but for getting robbed.  Its happened.

A very sound advice. Depends on what you are aiming at. I have a 70-200 2.8 non IS. Sure, I am doing nightphotography/nightscapes. That is more WA-stuff. So according to my type of photography, I'd opt for a lens rental...Ask Canon Guy ;-)
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: RustyTheGeek on February 07, 2013, 10:35:44 AM
I think you should wait another week or month and see if you still really want this lens.  The allure may likely wear off.  I think the 100-400 lens is a good alternative, esp for your needs.  Keep in mind that even serious pros don't buy this lens often.  They rent it.  At many major events where photographers work there are tents or areas set up for them to check out the larger gear.  This way they don't have to carry it themselves, risk loss or damage, etc.  I would definitely rent this lens before you buy it and that experience may help convince you one way or the other.  There are lenses that are no brainer purchases and then there are lenses like this one that are not.  Nothing you have told us really says you should buy it other than wanting it because it is awesome.  That's sort of a red flag all by itself.  (Spoken by someone who knows.)

Another thing to consider:  How would you sell it later?  (Because I suspect you would be selling it sooner than you think.)  Buying is easy.  Selling is hard.  Keep in mind that many of the buyers for this lens would not be interested in buying it used because at this price level they would simply avoid the risks associated with a used purchase.  It's like trying to sell a used Ferrari.  There is a small niche market of folks that can afford it and will tolerate a used one.

My advice:  Just rent the thing, get your jollies and then move on and buy a smaller mainstream lens that is good enough and easier to manage and later sell.
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: ChilledXpress on February 07, 2013, 10:40:48 AM
- Did I make some serious errors in the arguments I stated above?

Where to begin... serious errors, no, "awesome" insane yes. Here is just one... you eating it on your bike and your 10K lens elements splayed all out in front of you on the pavement. Maybe rent a car and the lens all at once.

I will answer with a common saying " A, ummm, [person] and his money are soon parted..."
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: TrumpetPower! on February 07, 2013, 11:21:37 AM
- PRICE: Although I’m only 28 I could afford this lens. I have to work for about six months ONLY saving up for it but hey, I’m already at about 5 1/2 right now 8)! I don’t have a car, I go by bicycle everywhere, I really spend very less money regularly and I do not have any other expensive hobbies.
Additionally I believe that if I spend €9500 (which is the current price here in Austria) on this piece of equipment and use it a LOT of years (let’s say 10) I still can resell it for maybe €7000 (if I treat it well of course, and I darn sure will treat it very well!!). So the total cost of ownership will be “only” about €2500 or €250 per year which is pretty reasonable. There are more stupid ways of spending €250 per year I guess (smoking for example  ::)).
Please note that I’m a total amateur and I’m not expecting to make any money out of it.

Right idea, worng order of execution.

Put that €9500 into a down payment on a house -- a modest house, but one you'll be happy living in for a long time.

And every year put at least €30,000 (assuming you currently pay €10,000 or so on rent) into paying off the mortgage on said house, living just as modestly as you do today.

In just a few short years, you'll never have to pay rent again in your entire life. And all the money you spend today on rent you can use to pay for toys.

With some additional similar capital expenses, you can dramatically reduce your other operating expenses. For example, cover the roof of your new house in solar panels and pay them off right away, too. No more electricity bills. Put enough panels to also charge an electric vehicle, buy and pay off said vehicle, and you'll never again have either a car payment or a gas bill. Plant a vegetable garden and your food bill gets a lot cheaper.

If you can put up with the austerity to rapidly pay off these kinds of investments -- and you've already indicated you are -- then you could basically retire before you're 40 even if you have relatively little in your bank account. Just the occasional side gig, though it might not bring in a lot of money, will be plenty to pay what few bills you have. And that then gives you amazing opportunities to spend your time doing what you actually want to do as opposed to spend your time doing stuff to pay bills. Or, you can continue to be a wage slave, but slave away to pay for expensive toys and not to pay for basic expenses. Or some mix of both -- the point is, at that point, the choice is yours.

Cheers,

b&
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: Rat on February 07, 2013, 11:27:36 AM
I bought a 2x extender with my 70-200/4IS. Come april, my 5D3 will be an f/8 camera and I can shoot up to 400mm. AF will be slow, but that's it as far as my tele-aspirations go. Why? Because I don't have a car, that's why. I'm 6' and I work out (a little), but the 3kgs of my gripped 5D3 with 2x+70-200 and a flash is already more than I'm really enjoying. I borrowed a 100-400 a while ago, that was pushing it. If you want to actually use a 500mm, you're probably better off renting it. I'd do that anyway if I were you, just walk around with it for a day and see how you feel. And ask yourself: am I going to rent this four, five times a year for the next ten years?

-1. Sorry. I'd love to encourage you - your gallery shows some very nice shots - but unless you are incredibly disciplined or in possession of a car, I think it's a waste of money. And don't invest everything in your pension either. People die prematurely, banks topple, so live a little - but remember there's far more economical ways to get your rocks off than a 500mm. How 'bout a visit to the Grand Canyon, or the piramids, or...  (edit) or a house, trumpetpower's idea's not bad either :)
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: RS2021 on February 07, 2013, 11:35:19 AM
Bad idea given what you list in the OP...As a kid I was obsessed with telescopes... would look up 10" equatorial mount models in the 10K range with computer drives (at that time, rather new) and make elaborate plans as to how I will get it... with that kind of dedicated obsession and math skills, I could have easily solved our economy problems in the US in a day. :)

Couldn't drive a car or see over the dash at that time for that matter... looking back I laugh.

Though you are not a kid, your situation is not that removed from what I was doing... just the details are different. Infatuations pass.

Rent first. See if you like it.  Best!
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: charlesa on February 07, 2013, 11:56:16 AM
Some just get lucky and find a very cheap second-hand 400 mm version I a rich amateur could not use properly!
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: agierke on February 07, 2013, 12:27:42 PM
Quote
There are more stupid ways of spending €250 per year I guess (smoking for example  ::)).

depends on what you are smoking....

rent it first to see if it really fits your needs. if it does, then go for it.

i'm guessing there is no woman in your life, this type of venture seems indicative to a single persons lifestyle. :)
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: ChilledXpress on February 07, 2013, 01:29:41 PM
Put that €9500 into a down payment on a house -- a modest house, but one you'll be happy living in for a long time.

Just had to reply to this as it really put a smile on my face... I live in the bay area, San Francisco in the USA. €9500 won't buy you a door to a shack here  :'(
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: emag on February 07, 2013, 02:34:34 PM
Rent it.  Seriously.  And be sure to include the damage insurance.  Then rent a 300/2.8IS and 1.4x and 2x TC's.   Maybe even the 100-400 also.  Then sit down with your favorite adult beverage and have an honest conversation with yourself.
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: Canon-F1 on February 07, 2013, 03:45:37 PM
go out and shoot instead of wanking over gear. :)
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: Pieces Of E on February 07, 2013, 03:51:52 PM
Rent one like others are saying and you'll see for yourself. The lens is awesome, but it's also very heavy, will sway in ANY wind, becomes a target for vandalism or theft and requires a very stable tripod. Oh, and it's $13,000 dollars. Now if you are the person who won the Powerball last night, go for it. The thing takes awesome pictures and you'll be surprised at it's IS capabilities. Lug it around for a while and you'll have arms like Popeye!  ;D
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: RS2021 on February 07, 2013, 03:52:30 PM
Let me quote an important American who has become an internet sensation recently... I am sorry this will be lost on our euro friends...

"Aint nobody got time for that!!!"   ::)
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: CarlTN on February 07, 2013, 06:07:36 PM
To the OP:  The 500 f/4 is a birding lens.  Are birds the primary wildlife you like to shoot?  I've rented the version 1; the 300 f/4 IS; the 400 f/5.6; and the 200 f/2.  If you want to shoot in low light, get an f/2.8 or faster lens.  I wound up with usable results of nearly 1 second exposure (of a non-animal target), on a monopod...with the 200 f/2, and a crop camera.  It's IS is out of this world.  It's sharpness is extremely high.  It's contrast is extremely high.  It's color rendition and spectrum, are beyond that of the 85mm f/1.2L "magic canonball" (which is saying something).

The 200 f/2 is the one I would buy, and use it with TC's, if I was limiting myself to Canon.  If cost was no object, then the new version 2 of the 400 f/2.8, is the best overall choice of all the superteles, in my opinion (unless you absolutely do not need the reach of 400mm or more).

The yet-to-be-released Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 OS zoom, is said to have two fluorite elements, where the 2011 version had none.  It is half the price of the Canon 200 f/2, and less than a third the price of Canon's longer, newer superteles.  I plan to rent it soon after the rental place gets some.  It's not white, so if that is all you care about, I doubt you will even consider trying one.  Snob appeal isn't what makes great photographers, though.
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: lipe on February 07, 2013, 07:24:59 PM
go all out, it won't stop your addiction

- get the car
- work harder
- get the 600mm II
- if your really want, get the 800mm II

get the 1.4x iii

i don't have anything over 200mm f2

i want it though but wildlife isn't for me, no time to go that far

good luck, this addiction is a good thing, better than spending on something else
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: cervantes on February 08, 2013, 03:11:59 AM
Now those are some interesting responds, THANK YOU - much appreciated!

A quick summary and a few comments on what I have read so far:

- Get the 400 f4 DO: I don’t particularly like that lens: It’s big, it’s heavy, it’s also very expensive, and IQ is not up to the 500 (by far as I hear).

- Get the 100-400: I don’t need the 100-399 part so I don’t want a zoom. Besides it’s still rather big, it’s not light either and IQ is not anywhere in the same League than the 500. 400 f5,6 L would be the only “alternative” but 400 is rather short e.g. for birds and lacks IS.

- Get the 300 2.8 2: This would be a great lens without any doubt but I had a cheap 300mm and it is still too short for what I’m planning to do with it. So I would probably only use it with the 1,4x or the 2x – and doing so is not optimal.

- Get the 200 2: I have a 200. 200 is waaaaaaaaaaaay to short. I would use it with 2x exclusively and it would still be short so what’s the point?

- Get the 500 4 1: This one is too heavy. I’d rather spend more and have a more usable lens. Besides IS is better on the V2 and I plan to use it handheld so that is important to me.

- Get the 400mm 2.8 1: Are you serious? I’m not Hercules’ bigger brother!

- Use the money to buy a house / retirement fund etc.: Honestly thanks for the advice! But there are still probably 40 years left till retirement and I think it is not so likely that I will see any of the money spent again (you know economic crisis, climate change etc.). Besides we have a very good social system here in Austria. I was looking into buying a flat about a year ago but that is somewhere in the region of €300k-€400k and I do not want to lose the freedom of going anywhere I want in a couple of years. But that’s a little off topic anyways.

- Safety and Security concerns: If the lens gets stolen from my home or my home burns down the lens would be covered by insurance. If I take it out I’m on my own. The danger of damaging it in a bicycle accident (although those are extremely rare and the lens has very good impact resistance) is a real concern – thanks for that hint. Getting robbed or something like that is highly unlikely where I live since crime rates are very, very low and people are not allowed to have handguns or anything - so that is not a real concern. Although I would have to think twice to travel abroad with it, for that reason.

- Renting: Well, this would be a nice thing but I do not have really a possibility to do so here. There are some shops that rent but I couldn’t find one that rents superteles.

Let me quote an important American who has become an internet sensation recently... I am sorry this will be lost on our euro friends...

"Aint nobody got time for that!!!"   ::)
I know the “song” but I have no idea what you mean.

i'm guessing there is no woman in your life, this type of venture seems indicative to a single persons lifestyle. :)
LOL! Well, you guessed wrong! And the funniest thing is: My girlfriend totally approves this lens. If it was for her I would already have it - she even offered to pay for it! I know I'm a lucky sob...


In conclusion I am a little surprised that nearly everyone said that I shouldn’t do it. Well, I guess you are right. So my alternatives at this point are:

- getting the 400mm 5,6 (don’t think so)
- waiting for the rumored 400mm f4 (non DO) that will probably be announced this year (and then use it with 1,4x most of the time)
- forgetting about wildlife and continue to make macro shots and a few landscape and night shots in between

I will sleep a few nights over it.
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: pato on February 08, 2013, 04:26:02 AM
Hi,
have a look here: http://www.digitalkameraverleih.com/ (http://www.digitalkameraverleih.com/)
The rent lenses in Austria, but sadly don't have the supertele ones. You could rent a Canon EF 300mm f/2,8 L IS II USM with 2,4 KG, just that you get a feeling of the weight :)
I recently bought an old 400mm Sigma lens (around 1,5 KG) and already that is quite heavy to carry around and make wildlife pictures.
But if you get it, much fun with it! :)
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: trygved on February 08, 2013, 05:19:20 AM
If reach is this critical to you, I strongly suggest you pick up a 7D or wait for the 7DII
A 300 f2.8 IS FoV on APS-C = 480mm

It'd be $$$ smart + leagues more portable.
My ¢¢
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: marinien on February 08, 2013, 05:33:23 AM
If reach is this critical to you, I strongly suggest you pick up a 7D or wait for the 7DII
A 300 f2.8 IS FoV on APS-C = 480mm

It'd be $$$ smart + leagues more portable.
My ¢¢

Oh please! Don't start another "FF vs APS-C" war! Before giving advice like that, did you read what's said in this thread? (Quote below)

I'm curious - you like the 7D for the 'reach' and 'pixels on target' especially with a supertele, but have you tested a 1D X or 5DIII along side the 7D in the same scenarios?  I ask because in many cases, empirical reality trumps theory.  Case in point are some tests from AlanF.  Some time back, he posted some real-world testing of the 7D (http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=10289.msg186746#msg186746) (and note - only the 7D), and came to the conclusion that, "It doesn’t matter how superior the 5D III is than the 7D, the laws of optics and information theory dictate that at 9 m you can resolve the barbs of feathers on a 7 D but you see a blur with the 5D using a 600mm lens."  That conclusion sounds quite consistent with your comments. 

Subesquently, Alan got himself a 5DIII and actually tested it along side the 7D - he concluded (http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=12767.msg228235#msg228235), "... the 5D III is just about as good for detail as the 7D (now my back up) and has all the advantages of much better focussing and lower noise," and also stated (http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=12730.msg227863#msg227863), "...in practice the higher IQ and lower noise of the 5D III more than makes up for the loss of crop factor."

Personally, I had planned on keeping my 7D even after getting  the 1D X, for the (supposed) 'reach advantage' in focal length-limited situations.  In practice, I came to the same conclusion as AlanF, and my 7D has been a very nice paperweight (ok, that was a little harsh...let's say, a very nice backup camera  ;) ).
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: trygved on February 08, 2013, 06:03:03 AM
Oh please! Don't start another "FF vs APS-C" war! Before giving advice like that, did you read what's said in this thread? (Quote below)

Hahahaha! Then let me adjust my statement!
If reach is this critical to you, I strongly suggest you pick up a 7D or wait for the 7DII.
If they throw in a couple more MP and improve the high ISO noise & AF the way I imagine they will, cropping down a FF to match the FoV won't be as neck and neck.

And heaven forgive me if this turns into another bloodbath of a debate.
I just ❤ APS-C FoV, and do not find cropping every image to be a realistic alternative.
I acknowledge that I may be in a distinct minority here.
What can I say? I'm a Rebel.

... which has a very different connotation here. Hahaha
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: J.R. on February 08, 2013, 07:07:57 AM

And heaven forgive me if this turns into another bloodbath of a debate.

+1 Yeah, I know ... physics of the sensor, 14 stops of DR, Nikon d800 and more blah! ... Surely hope it won't go that way!
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: RobPan on February 08, 2013, 07:58:45 AM
Would the new EF 200-400 IS (forthcoming) be something for you? It has a built-in 1.4x converter, so you can have a 560mm lens if you wish. Don't know about the price.
You make some very good pics, why not try to sell some? At least you could earn some money back.
I am curious about your cycling. Austria is a mountaineous country, do you avoid high places altogether or do you have 24+ gears or what? I could not imagine myself cycling in Austria but then I am from Holland which is a flat as a pancake (and ideal for cycling in my opinion).
Kind regards,

Rob.

Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: Mr Simpleton on February 08, 2013, 08:11:50 AM
There is one major flaw here: Owning the lens for ten years and calculating the deprication to €2500.
IF you buy the lens, write it off immediatley! IF you then want to sell it later on anything >0 will be a bonus.

What if Canon decides in 5 years from now to bring out a new lens mount?? That is vastly improved... what will happen to the value of your lens?

Interests come and go, and you do the right ting, saving up to spend on expensive stuff! Do start save, if you reach your goal of €10k maybe you found something else to get, still you do have the cash, and Cash is King
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: marinien on February 08, 2013, 08:17:57 AM
And heaven forgive me if this turns into another bloodbath of a debate.

Hahaha, then I'll pray for you  ;D.
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: emag on February 08, 2013, 09:11:15 AM
Given this added info, I retract my former advice.  Go for it and enjoy.
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: EchoLocation on February 08, 2013, 09:50:32 AM
something about a bicycle and a 500mm just doesn't sound right to me...
in this case, i might actually say to wait for the 7DII. I'm thinking the 7DII might be a monster APS-C body, on par with the 5DIII, and around 2500 bucks.
i am a tried and true full frame lover, and i NEVER recommend APS-C, but in this case, it might be worth waiting for the (hopefully for you) cutting edge 7DII, and pairing it with a 100-400 or another slightly smaller lens. I honestly cannot imagine anyone handholding a 500mm for more than a few random shots.
is there ANYONE on here that uses the 500mm handheld exclusively? this doesn't sound like a recipe for great shots.... and it is really expensive.
but hey, if you really want it, and you can handhold it, and no other lens works for you, i don't think it's the worst thing you could spend your money on.
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: BrettS on February 08, 2013, 09:57:55 AM
I've wanted this lens for years myself, so I think that I understand your predicament. I can also relate to your situation, although I'm a little older and a little better positioned - I have saved the money to buy this lens cash if I so desire - rather than putting that money towards the mortgage or new car or furniture or...

Anyways, after a full frame body, it's the final stage of my photographic needs & wants, as a gear knob amatuer.

There has been some extremely good advice in this thread about taking that money and investing in some manner instead of spending it. From experience, I cannot argue with that.

But - hey, some people in my neighbourhood put their money towards large boats or a cottage. In past, I've spent lots of money on rock climbing, adventure racing, sports gear, etc. You only live once and you don't know what tomorrow brings.

But - then, back to fiscal responsibility...

However, I looked through your excellent pictures, and I read through your reasoning. I think you seem to have a fairly good handle on advice, and your alternatives, wants, and needs.

+1 bro.
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: marinien on February 08, 2013, 10:07:14 AM
I honestly cannot imagine anyone handholding a 500mm for more than a few random shots.
is there ANYONE on here that uses the 500mm handheld exclusively? this doesn't sound like a recipe for great shots.... and it is really expensive.
but hey, if you really want it, and you can handhold it, and no other lens works for you, i don't think it's the worst thing you could spend your money on.

The 5DIII+500mmII is a little more than 4kg. For portrait sessions, I've handheld that weight (1D series + 580EXII + glass). My backpack is often >10kg. And I'm only 1m68 and 50kg. So I guess it depends on the person.

Sure, I never enjoyed the weight. I am trying to bring less gear and work with what I bring.
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: Don Haines on February 08, 2013, 10:51:58 AM
I hike and canoe a lot.... and I see lots of birds and wildlife, usually about where the 1200mm f5.6 would be ideal. Even if I could afford it, I couldn't carry it.

My experience with teleconverters has been that they reduce the resolving power of the lens... the image is bigger, but less sharp. To be fair, I have not tried them on any of the BIG super-telephotos.... but since those lenses are too big for me to carry, the answer is moot.

About the best lens that I have seen for my purposes, the balance of reach, size, and quality, is the 400 f5.6.... a reasonable amount of reach, sharper than the zooms, and affordable. Although it is a nice chunk of glass, it is not of the same optical quality as the series II superzooms. I found that resolving power was the same (close as I can tell) on the 60D, 7D, or 5DII... so I carry along the 60D with a 18-200 lens (crappy lens but makes for lightweight covarage of a wide range) and a 120-400 f5.6, which I bought before I realized how little I really needed zoom in a longer lens. On multi-day hikes the 120-400 stays home...

If I were to buy today, I would get a 7D and the 400f5.6. If I were to wait a bit, I would wait for the 7DII and hope for an updated 400/5.6 with improved optics and IS. (IS is very important when shooting from a canoe).
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: randym77 on February 08, 2013, 11:09:38 AM
If your girlfriend's paying...get the 600mm.  :-D

The weight difference is less than a kilo. 
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: K-amps on February 08, 2013, 11:51:43 AM
You're 28.  You don't have a car.  How you gonna carry that thing to places to use it?

You're 28.  Take the money you'd use for the lens, invest it in your retirement future.  Trust me, trust everyone who tells you that.  Even a modest investment now, will give you financial freedom when you're older.  A good thing! (from one who lives it)

Rent the lens when the urge happens.

~~

As a side note - there are places in the wilds, here in Florida, that I would not bring a long L lens without also bringing a handgun.  Just sayin'.... and its not for fear of alligators or bears, but for getting robbed.  Its happened.

+1

I am much older and could afford it... but those funds goto where they are needed more.

When I was your age.... I used to dream about buying $10k audio amplifiers.... My wife talked sense into me... I then spent 2k on a nice Krell KAV-250a which still serves me well... turns out I didnt need the KSA-300S. 

PS: If your girlfriend is for it... then the situation is a bit different :P
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: Eimajm on February 08, 2013, 12:35:43 PM
If you think a 400 f5.6 is, as you put it, chickens**t, then it shows your ignorance about this lens and wildlife photography in general. It seems that you think that having a 500mm will somehow make you into a great wildlife photographer which in itself shows you have a huge amount to learn about wildlife photography.
A car would be a much better investment as others have said.
That said if you want one go and get one, why you need to ask complete strangers for their opinion is beyond me....
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: babiesphotos on February 08, 2013, 12:45:02 PM
OP, I LOVE your pictures.

And I too lust over photo equipment and spend unreasonable amounts of money. This one is a bit much though, find something cheaper to obsess over :)
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: distant.star on February 08, 2013, 12:54:43 PM
.
If you get the lens, may I borrow it next time in Austria??
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: emag on February 08, 2013, 01:30:11 PM
.
If you get the lens, may I borrow it next time in Austria??

Heck with that.  Your girlfriend got a sister???? ;D ;D
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: Gaf on February 08, 2013, 01:36:51 PM
I have the 500mm II and the majority of the time I use it hand held on a FF.  Besides 500mm being my preferred focal length, the weight was one of the reasons I chose the lens over the 400mm and 600mm II's (it's not a massive difference, but it is noticable).  I walk with the 500mm on a BR strap for several hours without issue.  I've never been a big tripod user...although a good tripod/monopod does help to stabalize this lens for those times when you are more stationary.  Oh yes the IS is remarkable...I've shot stationary subjects at 1/20th with great results.  I still use my 300mm f/4 IS with a 50D for those times I want less weight (and less attention) the 500mm will certainly get you some looks.
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: CarlTN on February 08, 2013, 02:05:38 PM
K-amps, I too owned a Krell KAV-250a.  I enjoyed it a lot.  Bought it used in 1999, sold it in 2003.  I still enjoy music and audio (and even home theater), but don't spend much money at all anymore.  If I ever get rich again, I will.
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: K-amps on February 08, 2013, 04:47:34 PM
K-amps, I too owned a Krell KAV-250a.  I enjoyed it a lot.  Bought it used in 1999, sold it in 2003.  I still enjoy music and audio (and even home theater), but don't spend much money at all anymore.  If I ever get rich again, I will.

Got mine 1997... still have it... love it  :) It now drives the tweeters and mids in my HT.
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: CarlTN on February 08, 2013, 04:53:44 PM
K-amps, that is sweet.  My home theater is in a state of change, I sold my projector...and at this point buying a camera makes more sense than a new projector...unless I can get my brother to chip in.

I bought and sold loads of exotic speaker cable and interconnects, and ac power cords...rented a lot from fatwyre as well.  It was all very fun stuff.  I don't know if even photography is as rewarding as listening to great music on a great system...but listening isn't creating anything, or being productive.  It's leisure.  I find myself absorbed with one thing at a time, then the time is gone...haha.
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: agierke on February 08, 2013, 07:19:14 PM
Quote
LOL! Well, you guessed wrong! And the funniest thing is: My girlfriend totally approves this lens. If it was for her I would already have it - she even offered to pay for it! I know I'm a lucky sob...

lol...thats awesome! get it, it might turn her on.

my wife still insists that the first time she saw me shoot with my hasselblad she thought it was sexy. cant say i blame her but it surprised me a non photo person would think of it in such a way.

she still says i shouldn't sell it every time i have thoughts of cashing it out.
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: AlanF on February 09, 2013, 04:32:14 AM
I take 1000s of bird photos and look at even more, where I always note the lenses used. There is no doubt that the guys with the 500s and 600s and the 1.4xTCs produce the sharpest, and get a quality that is beyond mine. So, I constantly worry that perhaps I should join them. But look at the cost, as aside from the cash. I see them sitting in hides all day long with their Glitzos front legs splayed out on the shelves and sitting immobile. That's not for me. I use a 300mm f/2.8 II with the 1.4 and 2xTCs. I can walk for miles with it in my hand, don't need a tripod and get very high quality shots. Also, because it is swinging from my hand, I have more impromptu opportunities. So, I keep persuading myself not to buy a 500mm.

Now for the other lenses mentioned, two of which I have considerable first hand experience. The 400mm f/5.6 is not often used nowadays. It is not tack sharp and lacks IS. I was never happy with its quality. The 100-400mm is a very popular lens, and rightly so. It has similar sharpness at the centre to the 400mm f/5.6, and has all the advantages of IS (and it is a good 2+ of stops) and zoom, which is useful. Again, even though I use it as a travel lens, the sharpness limits is usefulness to larger targets. The 400mm f/4 I have seen used only once. It has a bad reputation for lack of contrast and the tests on The-Digital-Picture.com (as well as Canon's published mtfs) confirm its poor image quality.

So, I'll continue to look for a cheap used 500mm, but hope I won't find one.
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: CarlTN on February 09, 2013, 05:15:58 AM
Hate to beat a dead horse, but I rented a 500 f/4 (version 1), and it wasn't as sharp as the 400 f/5.6 that I rented a year later.  Obviously, the longer reach would factor in.  The 500 had more contrast and color.  I think something was off about it, but it was tested and supposedly nothing was wrong.

Alan, I do agree that a shorter faster lens is more practical.  It's what I am working towards eventually buying, I have tried one in the past...about to try another...probably the 300 f/2.8 version 1.

My cousin owns the 600 f/4 version 1.  It is spectacular, as I'm sure you know.

Here is a crop at 100% I recently posted in another thread, taken via the 400 f/5.6, and my crop camera.  Whether this is "tack sharp" or not, is subjective.  I have others that might illustrate it better, but I haven't gone through them all.  The subject itself doesn't really lend to tack sharpness...and I realize compositionally it's not remotely a good picture.
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: AlanF on February 09, 2013, 12:24:47 PM

Here is a crop at 100% I recently posted in another thread, taken via the 400 f/5.6, and my crop camera.  Whether this is "tack sharp" or not, is subjective.  I have others that might illustrate it better, but I haven't gone through them all.  The subject itself doesn't really lend to tack sharpness...and I realize compositionally it's not remotely a good picture.

Is this a 1057x701 crop? What was the size before cropping?
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: cervantes on February 11, 2013, 06:27:38 AM
If reach is this critical to you, I strongly suggest you pick up a 7D or wait for the 7DII
A 300 f2.8 IS FoV on APS-C = 480mm

It'd be $$$ smart + leagues more portable.
My ¢¢

Thanks for the input, but i don't believe in crop factor reach advantage. Furthermore the 300 f2.8 isn't cheap either and the money one loses on a semi-pro body is in the long run about in the same league than on a supertele.

Would the new EF 200-400 IS (forthcoming) be something for you? It has a built-in 1.4x converter, so you can have a 560mm lens if you wish. Don't know about the price.
You make some very good pics, why not try to sell some? At least you could earn some money back.
I am curious about your cycling. Austria is a mountaineous country, do you avoid high places altogether or do you have 24+ gears or what? I could not imagine myself cycling in Austria but then I am from Holland which is a flat as a pancake (and ideal for cycling in my opinion).
Kind regards,

Rob.

Hi Rob,

well i don't really see the advantage compared to the 500. My major concerns - size and weight - will be about the same (or maybe more?) and price will also be higher i suppose. As already said I don't need a zoom - i need reach. 500 seems to be the better option for me in all categories.

I don't know about selling pics. Who would like to buy those?  ::) Also, I like to photograph - I'm not a marketing guy...

About the cycling: In the part of Austria that i live now it's rather flat so cycling is a relatively fast and convenient method of transportation (especially within the city). Otherwise you are right - I'm originally from the province Tirol where this is a complete different thing...

.
If you get the lens, may I borrow it next time in Austria??

Heck with that.  Your girlfriend got a sister???? ;D ;D

Borrowing: ...  ::)
Girlfriend's sister: No, unfortunately she doesn't have sister. She has a brother though so if the lens is worth it to you...  :P

I have the 500mm II and the majority of the time I use it hand held on a FF.  Besides 500mm being my preferred focal length, the weight was one of the reasons I chose the lens over the 400mm and 600mm II's (it's not a massive difference, but it is noticable).  I walk with the 500mm on a BR strap for several hours without issue.  I've never been a big tripod user...although a good tripod/monopod does help to stabalize this lens for those times when you are more stationary.  Oh yes the IS is remarkable...I've shot stationary subjects at 1/20th with great results.  I still use my 300mm f/4 IS with a 50D for those times I want less weight (and less attention) the 500mm will certainly get you some looks.

Thank god I'm not the only one considering to use this handheld. Good to hear that it's possible. You wouldn't coincidentally have some pictures to share would you?  :)

Quote
LOL! Well, you guessed wrong! And the funniest thing is: My girlfriend totally approves this lens. If it was for her I would already have it - she even offered to pay for it! I know I'm a lucky sob...

lol...thats awesome! get it, it might turn her on.

my wife still insists that the first time she saw me shoot with my hasselblad she thought it was sexy. cant say i blame her but it surprised me a non photo person would think of it in such a way.

she still says i shouldn't sell it every time i have thoughts of cashing it out.

 ;D I have never thought about that effect. I'll definitely consider this when making my decision...  ;)

-----------------------------------------

Meanwhile I found out that a local photo-dealer has a Sigma 500mm 4,5 on display. That lens is only a few cm smaller than the Canon and has nearly the same weight. I'll pay him a visit this week and will try to find out if the weight would work for me. If it does, the probability that I buy the Canon is quite high.
I'll of course post some images in case I really get it.

Thank you all for your help!
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: AlanF on February 11, 2013, 09:35:16 PM
The Sigma 500 has a problematic aperture for autofocus.  f/4.5 means that a 1.4xextender gives an aperture greater than f/5.6 so in order to use it you will need a 1D or have to wait until after April for the 5D III to have a firmware update to go up to f/8 for AF. The extender won't give AF on other models. A 2xextender will give f/9, which will not autofocus on any Canon.
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: CarlTN on February 11, 2013, 09:41:32 PM
Cervantes, how could you not believe in crop factor reach advantage???  The only reason to not use it, is in low light...which...well...I agree is more fun.  More wildlife comes out, the light is more interesting, etc.
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: CarlTN on February 11, 2013, 09:49:14 PM
Alan, here's a scaled down version of the un-cropped original (to save server space)...However I could post the full size one too if it looks like I'm being dishonest or something.  The original size is 15.1 MP, 4752 x 3168.  Hope you can tell this is the actual picture.  I don't have anything on flickr or anywhere right now.  I could even send you the raw file if you like, I suppose.  To me it looks like other sites would be better than flickr, because they make it harder to steal the picture.  I haven't really decided which to use.  I need my own website at some point.  The only public place I have put some of my (small) pics is on facebook, and hardly anybody looks at them on there, haha.  Not that this particular shot is worthy of being stolen...hahaa. 
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: cervantes on February 12, 2013, 01:21:44 AM
The Sigma 500 has a problematic aperture for autofocus.  f/4.5 means that a 1.4xextender gives an aperture greater than f/5.6 so in order to use it you will need a 1D or have to wait until after April for the 5D III to have a firmware update to go up to f/8 for AF. The extender won't give AF on other models. A 2xextender will give f/9, which will not autofocus on any Canon.

Thanks, but I'm not considering the Sigma (I can see now my statement from yesterday was quite misleading - Sorry). I was only trying out the weight of the Sigma (since it is the same as the Canon) at the shop yesterday. Didn't feel so bad and wasn't as heavy as expected after all! After trying I can really imagine to use it handheld.

Cervantes, how could you not believe in crop factor reach advantage???  The only reason to not use it, is in low light...which...well...I agree is more fun.  More wildlife comes out, the light is more interesting, etc.

I had APSC (550D) and I have FF (5D3) and I can assure you that the former hasn't any advantage regarding resolving power than the latter, regardless of ISO. Actually it's the other way round. An APSC-sized crop of the 5D3 shows at least the same level of detail then an uncropped 550D image, despite having vastly less MP (8.6 vs 18MP). I have done lots and lots of macro shots with both cameras and before i got the 5D3 I was concerned about losing max. magnification - that didn't happen.
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: Gaf on February 12, 2013, 01:44:42 PM
Thank god I'm not the only one considering to use this handheld. Good to hear that it's possible. You wouldn't coincidentally have some pictures to share would you?  :)

Couple of recent handheld shots w/ relatively slow shutter:

5D2 - 500mm II
1/20th - f/16 - ISO:100
(http://www.pbase.com/ricked_wicky/image/148184431/medium.jpg)
http://www.pbase.com/ricked_wicky/image/148184431

5D2 - 500mm II
1/320th - f/4 - ISO:400
(http://www.pbase.com/ricked_wicky/image/148314623/medium.jpg) 
http://www.pbase.com/image/148314623
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: CarlTN on February 13, 2013, 01:24:52 AM
Cervantes, I don't doubt you get great image resolution with a 5D3.  However, if you do some simple math, you will find that something like a 7D resolves detail within its cropped area, equal to that of a 46 MP (or so) full frame...which exceeds that of a D800, let alone a 5D3.  My own 15.1 MP crop camera, resolves detail within its cropped 1.6x field, of a 38.5 MP full frame.  So, just by the math, and guessing, I'd say mine resolves a similar amount of detail to a D800, and perhaps a bit less than a D800E (not discussing dynamic range, etc.)

The 1D Mark 4, has a pixel size which is equal to approximately 25MP on a full frame, within its 1.3x crop area. 

So there is more detail there for a 1.6x...gobs of it (provided the ISO is reasonably low of course).

In a recent review, I saw where the detail falls off sharply on the 6D above ISO 6400, where it doesn't fall off until above ISO 12,800 for the 5D3.  Interesting.

The ~24MP 1.6x crop sensors of the future, will resolve so much detail that I highly doubt anyone will ever be able to produce files with a 100% crop, where the lens will resolve as much as the pixels will resolve.  I've seen a similar problem with the full size images from the Sigma SD1, which can theoretically resolve anywhere from 30 to 40 MP, via its 1.5x crop sensor.  That's a full frame equivalent of well over 100 MP. 

There are other factors at play, and I suggest your experience with a 550D, is at least in part due to a lack of AFMA...if not a very wimpy autofocus sensor...or both.  The processing comes into play also.

That's the problem with going from a Rebel to a 5D3.  You missed out on the best part of the crop camera experience!

If you're arguing about switching to a longer lens for a similar field of view on full frame, then that's apples and oranges...but yes, a longer lens on a full frame camera with larger pixels, will mean the lens itself need not be as sharp, as a shorter lens needs to be, in order to make use of a crop camera's smaller pixels...to produce a similar amount of detail for a similar subject size, over the same pixel area of the competing files.

However, there is a law of diminishing returns.  The rare, expensive, and old Canon 1200mm lens on a 5D3, will probably not resolve what the newer, less expensive, 800 f/5.6 will do, mounted to a 7D.  I could be wrong, but certainly from what I have seen online, the 1200mm isn't all that sharp at all (even manually focused on a stationary target, which was Manhattan in the shot I'm remembering, I think.)

So that gets back to my point.  If you need a long telephoto in low light, then the best choice would always be a full frame, or otherwise whatever has the lowest noise sensor and the best autofocus (and likely it would have the larger area for each photosite, diode, or pixel...and the larger autofocus sensor).  If you need a long telephoto for shooting unusually fast or agile targets...you probably need to couple it to a 1Dx.  If they aren't moving very fast, you can probably get by with a 7D on an even shorter lens.  I'm not stating anything new there, I don't think.

Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: J.R. on February 13, 2013, 01:28:13 AM
Cervantes, I don't doubt you get great image resolution with a 5D3.  However, if you do some simple math, you will find that something like a 7D resolves detail within its cropped area, equal to that of a 46 MP (or so) full frame...which exceeds that of a D800, let alone a 5D3.  My own 15.1 MP crop camera, resolves detail within its cropped 1.6x field, of a 38.5 MP full frame.  So, just by the math, and guessing, I'd say mine resolves a similar amount of detail to a D800, and perhaps a bit less than a D800E (not discussing dynamic range, etc.)


I must thank you for THAT!
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: AlanF on February 13, 2013, 02:40:22 AM
Cervantes, I don't doubt you get great image resolution with a 5D3.  However, if you do some simple math, you will find that something like a 7D resolves detail within its cropped area, equal to that of a 46 MP (or so) full frame...which exceeds that of a D800, let alone a 5D3.  My own 15.1 MP crop camera, resolves detail within its cropped 1.6x field, of a 38.5 MP full frame.  So, just by the math, and guessing, I'd say mine resolves a similar amount of detail to a D800, and perhaps a bit less than a D800E (not discussing dynamic range, etc.)


I must thank you for THAT!
It is absolutely true that simple maths tells you that the crop sensor should resolve greater detail.  And, if you take photos of the moon and other black and white objects you will indeed resolve more fine detail.  Under ideal conditions this is also true with photos of wild life.  But, in practice, the better IQ of the 5D III with better contrast and noise negates the reach advantage of the 7D in many real life situations.  A 7D II may reverse the situation and, if so, I will rush out and buy one.  Meanwhile, I use both my 7D and 5D III - both are great cameras. 
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: J.R. on February 13, 2013, 03:53:32 AM
Cervantes, I don't doubt you get great image resolution with a 5D3.  However, if you do some simple math, you will find that something like a 7D resolves detail within its cropped area, equal to that of a 46 MP (or so) full frame...which exceeds that of a D800, let alone a 5D3.  My own 15.1 MP crop camera, resolves detail within its cropped 1.6x field, of a 38.5 MP full frame.  So, just by the math, and guessing, I'd say mine resolves a similar amount of detail to a D800, and perhaps a bit less than a D800E (not discussing dynamic range, etc.)


I must thank you for THAT!
It is absolutely true that simple maths tells you that the crop sensor should resolve greater detail.  And, if you take photos of the moon and other black and white objects you will indeed resolve more fine detail.  Under ideal conditions this is also true with photos of wild life.  But, in practice, the better IQ of the 5D III with better contrast and noise negates the reach advantage of the 7D in many real life situations.  A 7D II may reverse the situation and, if so, I will rush out and buy one.  Meanwhile, I use both my 7D and 5D III - both are great cameras. 

Thanks ... But what I was really thanking CarlTN for, was for not going into the aspect of the dreaded "DR"  ;)
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: CarlTN on February 13, 2013, 04:03:14 AM
It's really all a matter of if the final image you get via a 5D3 needs cropping much.  If you like to fill the entire picture with a small bird or other small animal at a distance, and the bird in the shot is about 10% of the image area with a 500mm...then you're still talking about needing to use an 800mm lens on a 5D3, vs. a 500 for a crop camera.  The lower noise is really only a factor above ISO 800 or so.  I mean, my own camera is not quite as good at noise as the 7D, yet...at ISO 800 I can get more than enough color and contrast, with all the noise edited out, and very little detail loss.

Again...in low light, I would definitely choose a 5D3, or preferably a 1DX...for the speed, AF, and noise.  For extreme low light, then a Nikon D3S (and definitely not a D800).

Haha J.R...yea I mean, as for DR...if you wanna be a real man, then just use film or something, and a freeze ray to stop the motion of the wildlife while that good old slow film gets a nice exposure.  Or better yet, just set up a bunch of satellite-operated strobes all over the wilderness, and somehow trigger whichever ones you're aiming the lens at.  You might even be able to get some shots of sasquatch mating dances or something...
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: Zv on February 13, 2013, 05:46:54 AM
If you had a crop camera like a 7D, you could just buy the 300 f/2.8 plus 1.4x tele convertor to give you 672mm effectively at f/4. Surely thats a cheaper option than the 500?? I don't do wildlife but if I had to I would go the 1.4x tele way using a good 200 or 300 prime lens. Then you have a practical and very useful lens plus the ability to have longer reach if required.

I'd also wait to see what the 7DII has to offer. 
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: AlanF on February 13, 2013, 06:16:05 AM
I use the 300mm f/2.8 II with a 2xTC. But, I had a shock when last month I taught my wife how to use the 7D with a 400mm Sigma Apo Tele Macro attached. On her first photographic session ever with an SLR, she got the following (the full at reduced resolution and a 100% crop, wide open at f/5.6) which was as good as I got on the 5D III and 600mm at the same time. I do witter on about the Sigma, but it is a better lens than the Canon f/5.6 400mm. For light weight travel, I might use the 7D/Sigma combination from now on (it is so much better than the 100-400).
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: J.R. on February 13, 2013, 07:21:03 AM
I use the 300mm f/2.8 II with a 2xTC. But, I had a shock when last month I taught my wife how to use the 7D with a 400mm Sigma Apo Tele Macro attached. On her first photographic session ever with an SLR, she got the following (the full at reduced resolution and a 100% crop, wide open at f/5.6) which was as good as I got on the 5D III and 600mm at the same time. I do witter on about the Sigma, but it is a better lens than the Canon f/5.6 400mm. For light weight travel, I might use the 7D/Sigma combination from now on (it is so much better than the 100-400).

Thanks AlanF,

I'm just curious, how well does the 600mm stack up with the 7D as compared to the 5D3?

May I mention here that I fully understand all the crop factor magnification real / illusion stuff and don't want this thread to spiral out into an APS-C Vs. FF brawl. I'm only looking for a real world opinion  :)
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: AlanF on February 13, 2013, 10:24:51 AM
It's very good on the 7D. The worst drawback of the 7D is its poor consistency of focus (not just me - see the Lensrental tests) and so you have to take several shots to make sure one is in sharp focus. Like you, I hate these crop/FF brawls. On a good day or with the right subjects, the 7D will outperform the 5D III at long distances. But, on other occasions the more modern FF wins. I can live with either camera. I am sure a 7D II with more modern AF and sensor will be a winner.
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: J.R. on February 13, 2013, 10:36:13 AM
It's very good on the 7D. The worst drawback of the 7D is its poor consistency of focus (not just me - see the Lensrental tests) and so you have to take several shots to make sure one is in sharp focus. Like you, I hate these crop/FF brawls. On a good day or with the right subjects, the 7D will outperform the 5D III at long distances. But, on other occasions the more modern FF wins. I can live with either camera. I am sure a 7D II with more modern AF and sensor will be a winner.

Thanks ... In that case I remain interested n the 7D2 :)

If all goes to plan I should have a 500mm/ 600mm by Christmas and would like to use it on a better focusing, better high ISO performing, 8-10fps crop camera.
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: applecider on February 13, 2013, 04:29:18 PM
For what it is worth my experience with the current crop 7D and 5Diii is that the FF is at least equal to the crop sensor when the images are framed the same.

Given the same lens (600 +1.4) and switching bodies and framing the same scene without moving the setup the FF plus Monster yields better images than the crop in any conditions that I've seen in nature.  This becomes  most evident in post processing when the FF stands up to 100%, while noise starts into the crop at somewhere between 33-50% and efforts to remove noise degrade the image in my experience.

Hopefully the 7dii will have a sensor that has low enough noise to allow post cropping   so that the theoretical advantage of a crop will be seen in reality.

A friend of mine gets very good images of birds and bif with 1dx coupled with the 400mm f 5.6 canon and the 1.4ext iii.  That setup  is much more mobile and hand holdable than the one that I have. Given that that setup starts with a aperture of 8 and he likes to keep shutter speed at least at 1/1000 or higher (ideally at 1600), the low iso sweet spot of the crop sensors never comes into play in real life bird in flight photos.

So i'd second cervantes assertion that there is no crop camera reach advantage in real life. 

YMMV
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: CarlTN on February 14, 2013, 03:03:18 PM
Alan, I'm surprised you can allow yourself to be seen in the public wilderness with anything less than a white lens.  The sasquatch community will rebuke you at their next frolic.  It will be funny to hear them growl and shriek "He uses a Sigma, can you believe that?  And we're the unevolved ones?  I wouldn't even use a Sigma to communicate my tree knocks in morse code!  Pardon me, do you have any grey poop on?"  :-D

Applecider, if a subject is "framed the same", going from a 5D3 to a 7D (with whatever lens or TC switching is necessary to perform the task), then the 5D3 not only has more pixel density, image dimensions, and a larger sensor area that receives more photons...but also a sensor with more mimamic grange (I won't type the correct spelling for fear of snipers and illiterate interweb bullies who pile on).  The 5D3 also has the better, larger AF sensor array, more computing power, the list goes on.  So to specifically frame close to exactly the same...is to intentionally handicap the 7D...and not a fair comparison, because the 5D3 would always win that.  It has more resolution, more gigantic strange, a beefier, meatier, more robust, more masculine sensor...etc.  Its sensor has more mistresses than the one doing the shutter snapping. 

My whole point was that a crop camera, makes it so things are not framed the same with the same lens, the lens can be smaller and shorter focal length...advantage crop sensor.  Also, because of the smaller pixels...the lens' true resolution can be employed, or exceeded.  But to replicate the same framing via full frame, by simply throwing gobs of money at the situation, buying a lens that is twice the size for 3x the price, is also not a fair comparison, and smacks of snobbishness...no offense though.  If I could afford it I would just buy at least one of everything out there, and let my own horde of concubines carry it from place to place for me, at my whim. 
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: And-Rew on February 14, 2013, 04:38:06 PM
Having given this thread a good read, and some thought, my 2 penneth worth is as follows:

Carrying that weight around all day - don't see an issue. Used to walk around with a 5D2 with BG + 70-300 L on for 8-10 hours without an issue. Some times even had a 580 EXII attached  :o A lot of people were unable to handle that combination due to weight, yet i never once felt it to be heavy. So don't let weight put you off.

As said in a previous reply - when ever you look at the pics of birds that jump out, then check the kit used - you always see something in the region of 500mm being used, and just as often with a 1Dxx body - and these are just hobbyists.

Price - yes, it is a lot. But it's your money - and if your GF is just as interested in you getting the lens - then get it. This is your hobby, your interest and you have to work to live, not live to work. Photographing birds generally seems to involve a beast of a lens, and as much as i loved the 70-300 L, i can happily accept that it struggled with reach on occasions - but i don't shoot birds, nor do i do much shooting that requires 300mm let alone 500mm!

Theft, accident, fire and all those other things - you live in Austria not the 'States'. Sorry guys, but things are just a little bit more relaxed in many parts of Europe - especially Austria (along with a few others).

Travelling around on a bike - surely the real question here is 'why can't you get a bike panier to carry photographic kit safely?'  ??? Again, in Europe we don't all have pick ups or 4x4's as a standard mode of motorised transport. A bike is not only quieter, but can often get you places where a car won't! You can also park it up very quickly for the 'chance shot' you see when travelling at 10-15mph as opposed to 30-70mph!  8)

So, with all the above in mind, my only caveat would be to rent it if possible, if not - then heck, it's your money and your life... 
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: TrumpetPower! on February 14, 2013, 04:45:01 PM
Travelling around on a bike - surely the real question here is 'why can't you get a bike panier to carry photographic kit safely?'

I'm all for bicycles as primary modes of transportation, but I couldn't in good conscience recommend to somebody to carry a Great White on a pannier. You're talking about ten pounds of precision optics that costs a thousand dollars a pound. It's very common to take a spill on a bike, and just one would wreck that lens.

Sure, you could get a custom case that would properly protect the lens against a bike wreck, but there's no way you're going to fit it on a pannier.

I could see carrying a Great White in the cargo section of a larger velomobile, such as a Quest. But not on an open-frame bicycle.

Cheers,

b&
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: CarlTN on February 14, 2013, 05:03:55 PM
Trumpet, excellent point.

I'm just a dumb American, I thought everyone in Europe mostly stayed home, since they only work 2 days a week?  The smallest vehicle I have ever seen over here, is a Hummer.  Of course those never leave the pavement...:-D  Fear not, sooner or later all of us will be out of work, so we can take up cycling and be cool like you.

I'd love to tour Europe, but pretty sure I wouldn't tour it with a big white lens.  A white 70-300L on a future 46 MP full frame would probably work well, although the pixels outside the center would usually be blurred.  Would be ideal on a FF under 30 MP.  Of course I am thinking about all the architecture I'd shoot, and not really wildlife.  I'm sure I would regret being without the reach then.
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: Daniel Flather on February 14, 2013, 05:05:55 PM
Man up and buy it ffs.
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: Rat on February 14, 2013, 05:33:58 PM
I'm all for bicycles as primary modes of transportation, but I couldn't in good conscience recommend to somebody to carry a Great White on a pannier. You're talking about ten pounds of precision optics that costs a thousand dollars a pound. It's very common to take a spill on a bike, and just one would wreck that lens.

Sure, you could get a custom case that would properly protect the lens against a bike wreck, but there's no way you're going to fit it on a pannier.
This wholly depends on your proficiency, and that is gained by using the damn things. Here in the Netherlands, it is NOT 'very common' to fall of your bike (most ppl do that up to the age of five, and after that only when drunk), no matter if there is a passenger and a week worth's of groceries on the bike as well. And as for the 'pannier' thingies, I wouldn't carry a Great White on those either. I would buy a 'transportfiets', which can handle loads of 50-100 lbs easily. Exemple gratia:

(http://www.defietsfabriek.nl/images/mm/big-wim-gepersonaliseerd-zwart-2_d54f36_800x800.jpg)
Costs less than a 135L and will hold 80kg of big whites  8)
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: jthomson on February 14, 2013, 05:39:38 PM
[ It's very common to take a spill on a bike, and just one would wreck that lens.
/quote]

its not that common to take a spill.  I've actually seen a birder around my area with a case built onto his bike frame for carrying either a telescope or a big lens.

Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: cervantes on February 15, 2013, 04:13:32 AM
And-Rew:

Thanks for bringing this thread back on track by contributing the first on-topic post since a few days...  ;)
Actually after (shortly) trying out the similar sized Sigma 500 this week I'm completely with you on the weight issue. Its far less than I expected at the beginning. Absolutely no problem to carry around in a backpack (that brings the weight to the hips) and probably no problem to carry in my hands for extended periods of time. Holding it to eye-level without support will still be a different story. But I'm sure I can find something to rest my arms on.

It's very common to take a spill on a bike, and just one would wreck that lens.

I had two accidents in the last three years (since I'm going by bike regularly) - both within the same week. It was wet, there were some leafs on the ground, I was going too fast... you know the story.  ::)
I don't make those mistakes when carrying expensive gear so it's not very common to take a spill for me, plus canon claims that the V2 has "twice the impact resistance" than the V1. Of course I could get hit by a car - but my gear wouldn't be my first concern then.

Rat: Thanks for the hint but the weight will be no problem for my bike.

Man up and buy it ffs.

Couldn't you have told me this right at the beginning - then we could have spared ourselves the trouble of this huge thread...  ;D

---------------------------

At the moment I clearly tend to the buying side. I will not get it before April though, so I have still some time to think about it.
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: Jan Jasinski on February 22, 2013, 11:48:25 PM
The 500 f/4L weight doesn't sound AS bad as it is ;)
2 years ago when I was 14 I met someone at an airshow with the 500 I and it was a jaw dropping lens.
Of course back then I only had the 55-250 IS I was quite torn by the weight but was expecting it to be nearly impossible to pick up...
I managed to handhold the lens for 3 consecutive hours... It was a bit painful and tiring after those 3 hours but totally worth it. Yet I would recommend a tripod or at least monopod.

My dream is also the 400 II and 600 II but i'm 15 right now so it'll be a few LONG years before I can actually get one...

Did you look at the 300 f/2.8L IS? It goes for >4000$ used right now and gives great IQ with a 1.4x and 2x extenders giving you 420mm, 600mm & 780mm. Of course the 300 II is lighter and slightly better (IS, design, weight) and costs about 6700$ but if you have the money that would be your best bet in your case. The 300 II + 1.4x III IQ is very comparable to the 500 MKI.

Jan

Btw here's me with the 500 back when I wasn't as strong :P
(http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6174/6179469378_c8f8852521_z.jpg)
Title: Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
Post by: Saurus on February 23, 2013, 12:24:57 AM
Why don't you try renting one to check out how well you can handle it on a bike and hand-held?

If it is too big/heavy/expensive, try the 100-400. It is slower and the IQ is not quite as good but I was very happy with mine for a number of years until I could upgrade.