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Gear Talk => Reviews => Topic started by: Canon Rumors on June 25, 2013, 10:35:07 AM

Title: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: Canon Rumors on June 25, 2013, 10:35:07 AM
Discuss our review of the Canon EF 600 f/4L IS II (http://www.canonrumors.com/review-canon-ef-600mm-f4l-is-ii) here.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: Harry Muff on June 25, 2013, 11:05:19 AM
Nice review and pictures…




But, does anyone use a super tele here and NOT take pictures of birds?




There must be other uses!
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: kaihp on June 25, 2013, 11:10:22 AM
Nice review and pictures…

But, does anyone use a super tele here and NOT take pictures of birds?

There must be other uses!

It is also used for motorsport pictures, e.g. roadracing.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: Harry Muff on June 25, 2013, 11:11:49 AM
Nice review and pictures…

But, does anyone use a super tele here and NOT take pictures of birds?

There must be other uses!

It is also used for motorsport pictures, e.g. roadracing.




I know, it's just that it would be nice to see some occasionally instead of nothing but birds.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: neuroanatomist on June 25, 2013, 11:40:55 AM
But, does anyone use a super tele here and NOT take pictures of birds?

How about a squirrel?

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8314/8059982917_dce7f34036_c.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_brain/8059982917/in/set-72157624616702164/lightbox/)
EOS 1D X, EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM, 1/320 s, f/4, ISO 6400

Actually, it also makes a very nice indoor portrait lens.  For example, this one which was a handheld shot at 1/160 s:
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: Harry Muff on June 25, 2013, 11:43:51 AM
Much better. Now let's see a 600mm used for things that nobody would expect it to be used for.




I'd take up this challenge myself, but I don't S____ money.  8)
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: neuroanatomist on June 25, 2013, 11:58:23 AM
Much better. Now let's see a 600mm used for things that nobody would expect it to be used for.

Wait, wait...you expected a 600mm lens to be used for indoor portraits?   :o
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: pharp on June 25, 2013, 12:44:03 PM
Much better. Now let's see a 600mm used for things that nobody would expect it to be used for.

Wait, wait...you expected a 600mm lens to be used for indoor portraits?   :o

Sure, how about discrete street photography - from down the street, WAY down the street!
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: RGF on June 25, 2013, 12:48:04 PM
The review must reinforced by decision to buy the 600 II and sell my 500 I.  Only thing stopping now, is $.  Just got the 200-400 so I need to refill the piggy bank.

On the review, the last comment about the tight lens cap, most people I know use neoprene (lenscoat) caps.  At least versus the old leatherette condoms.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: RomainF on June 25, 2013, 01:07:06 PM
Nice review and pictures…




But, does anyone use a super tele here and NOT take pictures of birds?




There must be other uses!

Take it from times to times when going to the Parliament.
But portraits may sometimes look weird because of the perspectives compression.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: Harry Muff on June 25, 2013, 01:08:43 PM
Much better. Now let's see a 600mm used for things that nobody would expect it to be used for.

Wait, wait...you expected a 600mm lens to be used for indoor portraits?   :o




You've proved it can be done, Neuro. Come on this could be fun. What's the most unlikely use of a 600mm that you could actually pull off?


On your marks…  8)
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: Harry Muff on June 25, 2013, 01:09:23 PM
Much better. Now let's see a 600mm used for things that nobody would expect it to be used for.

Wait, wait...you expected a 600mm lens to be used for indoor portraits?   :o

Sure, how about discrete street photography - from down the street, WAY down the street!


Sounds good. See what you can come up with.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: Hobby Shooter on June 25, 2013, 01:21:08 PM
But, does anyone use a super tele here and NOT take pictures of birds?

How about a squirrel?

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8314/8059982917_dce7f34036_c.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_brain/8059982917/in/set-72157624616702164/lightbox/)
EOS 1D X, EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM, 1/320 s, f/4, ISO 6400

Actually, it also makes a very nice indoor portrait lens.  For example, this one which was a handheld shot at 1/160 s:
Man you have a big house!
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: Hobby Shooter on June 25, 2013, 01:23:52 PM
But, does anyone use a super tele here and NOT take pictures of birds?

How about a squirrel?

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8314/8059982917_dce7f34036_c.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_brain/8059982917/in/set-72157624616702164/lightbox/)
EOS 1D X, EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM, 1/320 s, f/4, ISO 6400

Actually, it also makes a very nice indoor portrait lens.  For example, this one which was a handheld shot at 1/160 s:
BTW, I always love a squirrel. Considering the last couple of weeks' discussions, I've been out in the garden trying to get squirrel pictures, without luck so far. Only thing I see are those deer.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: AlanF on June 25, 2013, 04:08:45 PM
Glenn argues that the 600mm gives 1.44x more magnification than the 500 (i.e. (600/500)^2) not 1.2 (600/500). But, is that relevant? The resolution of a lens, the most important factor, is a linear function of focal length, not of length squared. For example, a 600mm lens will give the same size image as a 500mm at 20% further away, not 44% further. When you use binoculars, you talk about x8 vs x10, i.e. the linear magnification, not x64 vs x100, the square. A 600mm lens would seem to me to be a 20% increase in reach, not 44%.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: dolina on June 25, 2013, 04:36:46 PM
So you want photos of non-birds...

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8252/8597057215_8eb80c879b_o.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/alabang/8597057215/)
Villa Escudero (http://www.flickr.com/photos/alabang/8597057215/#) by alabang (http://www.flickr.com/people/alabang/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: East Wind Photography on June 25, 2013, 05:07:16 PM
"For those who already own the older 600mm lens the decision becomes slightly more clouded. The new lens does not bring any real world sharpness advantages over the older version. The decreased weight and minimum focus distance however may just be worth the cost of the upgrade."

Really???  Pay another 6K just for some weight and closer focus?

He really missed the boat on the reasons to upgrade such as improved image stabilization and all but highly desired increase in AF accuracy with newer bodies like the 5D3 and 1DX due to closed loop AF system....and even with that is it still worth spending 6K to upgrade from the 600 F4L IS?  I could buy a couple more 5D3's or a 1DX with that 6K.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: AlanF on June 25, 2013, 05:13:05 PM
Contrary to most people I believe Superteles make excellent portrait lenses.

This one was made with a 500 II though.

Especially of girls who wouldn't come closer to you than 20 metres.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: cervantes on June 25, 2013, 05:59:24 PM
Contrary to most people I believe Superteles make excellent portrait lenses.

This one was made with a 500 II though.

Especially of girls who wouldn't come closer to you than 20 metres.


So you obviously know what I'm talking about eh?  ;D
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: neuroanatomist on June 25, 2013, 06:30:28 PM
"For those who already own the older 600mm lens the decision becomes slightly more clouded. The new lens does not bring any real world sharpness advantages over the older version. The decreased weight and minimum focus distance however may just be worth the cost of the upgrade."

Really???  Pay another 6K just for some weight and closer focus?

He really missed the boat on the reasons to upgrade such as improved image stabilization and all but highly desired increase in AF accuracy with newer bodies like the 5D3 and 1DX due to closed loop AF system....and even with that is it still worth spending 6K to upgrade from the 600 F4L IS?  I could buy a couple more 5D3's or a 1DX with that 6K.

I don't think he missed the boat, at all.  Sure, on test charts the 600 II is better. But the original was very sharp. The AF might be slightly more accurate with a new body - but the AF on the old superteles was already excellent. 

There's no way I'd have considered buying a 600/4 MkI, even if it cost less than a 300 MkI. The original is too heavy to hike with, too heavy to handhold.  I'd have bought the 500 I, even though it's really not long enough for me on FF.  The reduced weight of the 600 II (as the reviewer aptly stated, it's a 600/4 lens in a 500/4 package) was the main reason I bought the 600 II. 
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: acinonyx on June 25, 2013, 07:16:59 PM
(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8372/8556284524_4438ab7029_h.jpg)

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8380/8556283002_cce73ceba6_h.jpg)

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8559/8710859261_d5c6a76237_h.jpg)

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7289/9037670898_1bd4af6cf2_h.jpg)

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8341/8162513874_66d081e3d0_h.jpg)

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8200/8168005051_9c767184b2_h.jpg)
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: Click on June 25, 2013, 08:27:05 PM
Great shots acinonyx. I really like your birds ... And welcome to cr.  :)
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: jrista on June 25, 2013, 08:33:38 PM
Glenn argues that the 600mm gives 1.44x more magnification than the 500 (i.e. (600/500)^2) not 1.2 (600/500). But, is that relevant? The resolution of a lens, the most important factor, is a linear function of focal length, not of length squared. For example, a 600mm lens will give the same size image as a 500mm at 20% further away, not 44% further. When you use binoculars, you talk about x8 vs x10, i.e. the linear magnification, not x64 vs x100, the square. A 600mm lens would seem to me to be a 20% increase in reach, not 44%.

A subject in the frame is not linear, though...it exists in two dimensions. If you measure the subject from corner to corner, sure, the increase is 20%. But in terms of area, it sits on 44% more pixels. It is the increase of pixels on subject that really matters when jumping to a longer focal length, and the difference in PoT is 44%, not 20%. The reason this matters is the more pixels you can get onto the subject, the better the relationship of fine detail to noise. Noise is always a pixel-level thing...if fine detail and noise are both pixel level things, the noise can be a real problem. However, if you can get more pixels on subject, then fine detail becomes larger than a pixel, and noise quickly becomes a background (non-obvious) factor.

I recently purchased the 600/4 L II myself. I was using the 100-400mm. Aside from the superior optics and reduced weight, which are the most obvious improvements...the 600mm lens gets me a 125% increase in pixels on subject ((600/400)^2, or 2.25x). The point Glenn is making is entirely valid, and his numbers are also entirely correct (although there is a simpler way to calculate it: (longer/shorter)^2). It isn't the sole reason to upgrade or purchase this lens, but it is a good one.

For more on pixels on subject: http://clarkvision.com/articles/pixel.size.and.iso/index.html (http://clarkvision.com/articles/pixel.size.and.iso/index.html)
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: East Wind Photography on June 25, 2013, 09:29:39 PM
So I know for sure that you didn't buy the 600 just for it's weight...and since you didn't already have a 600 maybe that is justification to break a wad on the MkII....as well as the fact that you cant buy a mkI new anymore.  Either way, havning a 600 mk1, I cannot justify paying 6K on upgrading it, even all new features considered.  It's not worth 6K more than the Mk1.

But it's your money to do what you want with.

"For those who already own the older 600mm lens the decision becomes slightly more clouded. The new lens does not bring any real world sharpness advantages over the older version. The decreased weight and minimum focus distance however may just be worth the cost of the upgrade."

Really???  Pay another 6K just for some weight and closer focus?

He really missed the boat on the reasons to upgrade such as improved image stabilization and all but highly desired increase in AF accuracy with newer bodies like the 5D3 and 1DX due to closed loop AF system....and even with that is it still worth spending 6K to upgrade from the 600 F4L IS?  I could buy a couple more 5D3's or a 1DX with that 6K.

I don't think he missed the boat, at all.  Sure, on test charts the 600 II is better. But the original was very sharp. The AF might be slightly more accurate with a new body - but the AF on the old superteles was already excellent. 

There's no way I'd have considered buying a 600/4 MkI, even if it cost less than a 300 MkI. The original is too heavy to hike with, too heavy to handhold.  I'd have bought the 500 I, even though it's really not long enough for me on FF.  The reduced weight of the 600 II (as the reviewer aptly stated, it's a 600/4 lens in a 500/4 package) was the main reason I bought the 600 II.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: East Wind Photography on June 25, 2013, 09:34:52 PM
Actually I find the large 600 tele to draw the girls in...so much in fact that I sometimes wish they would leave! (Did I really just say that?)

There is no doubt that owning one you have to be prepared in advance to answer a lot of questions and/or ignore the ones with obnoxious comments about how many months rent they could pay for the cost of one.

Contrary to most people I believe Superteles make excellent portrait lenses.

This one was made with a 500 II though.

Especially of girls who wouldn't come closer to you than 20 metres.


So you obviously know what I'm talking about eh?  ;D
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: jrista on June 25, 2013, 09:53:37 PM
I think the notion that you can get any 600/4 MkI for $6000 is misguided. You can find them for that cheap...but when you look at the condition of the versions that people are selling for that low of a price, they are NOT in the greatest of condition. Nicks, scratches, enamel discoloration, missing or broken accessories, etc. I was just in the market for these lenses, and I searched every store online, including eBay and Craigs List, before finally buying a brand new EF 600 f/4 L II from Vistek in Canada (the USD price was $10,865, plus $67 shipping and a 1.5% currency exchange fee...couldn't freaking pass that deal up!!)

In my searches, however, I found that an EF 600mm f/4 L Mark I lens, in good condition, with all accessories in good, working condition, including the hard case, was closer to $9000 than $6000, and in a couple instances where the whole kit was in perfect condition, not even a nick in the enamel, AS SOLD prices on eBay were ~$9800. Assuming the condition and completeness of the kit matters to you, the difference between an old Mark I and a new Mark II is not $6000. That would be the difference between a brand spankin new, list price Mark II and a fairly beat up Mark I. The difference between a sale price Mark II and a great condition Mark II is maybe $2000 to $2500.

In that respect, if you own a Mark I, and you've kept it in good condition, have all the accessories and the hard case...your "upgrade price" is likely to be far less than $6000, possibly as little as $2000. For that price, the reduction in weight, better AF, double the IS capability, superior IQ, and a warranty (!!)...well, it's well worth it!
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: JVLphoto on June 25, 2013, 10:23:04 PM
But, does anyone use a super tele here and NOT take pictures of birds?

How about a squirrel?

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8314/8059982917_dce7f34036_c.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_brain/8059982917/in/set-72157624616702164/lightbox/)
EOS 1D X, EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM, 1/320 s, f/4, ISO 6400

Actually, it also makes a very nice indoor portrait lens.  For example, this one which was a handheld shot at 1/160 s:

That's a nice squirrel.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: JVLphoto on June 25, 2013, 10:26:14 PM
Glenn argues that the 600mm gives 1.44x more magnification than the 500 (i.e. (600/500)^2) not 1.2 (600/500). But, is that relevant? The resolution of a lens, the most important factor, is a linear function of focal length, not of length squared. For example, a 600mm lens will give the same size image as a 500mm at 20% further away, not 44% further. When you use binoculars, you talk about x8 vs x10, i.e. the linear magnification, not x64 vs x100, the square. A 600mm lens would seem to me to be a 20% increase in reach, not 44%.

But isn't he talking about an increase in pixels on the subject, not reach? I'm not doing the math here (nor will I... nor do I really care) but the point he's trying to make is that the lowered minimum focus distance allows a drastic increase in the maximum magnification of the objects shot.  Helps when you have to crop down/print etc.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: East Wind Photography on June 25, 2013, 10:30:05 PM
I disgree.  I got 600 mk1 from Adorama that was D rated for 6000.00.  Not a scratch or spec of dust.  Keys strap and manual were still in the original package.  The lens was flawless.  Plus it came with their standard 30 days return policy.  Not misguided at all if you buy from a reputable company.

I think the notion that you can get any 600/4 MkI for $6000 is misguided. You can find them for that cheap...but when you look at the condition of the versions that people are selling for that low of a price, they are NOT in the greatest of condition. Nicks, scratches, enamel discoloration, missing or broken accessories, etc. I was just in the market for these lenses, and I searched every store online, including eBay and Craigs List, before finally buying a brand new EF 600 f/4 L II from Vistek in Canada (the USD price was $10,865, plus $67 shipping and a 1.5% currency exchange fee...couldn't freaking pass that deal up!!)

In my searches, however, I found that an EF 600mm f/4 L Mark I lens, in good condition, with all accessories in good, working condition, including the hard case, was closer to $9000 than $6000, and in a couple instances where the whole kit was in perfect condition, not even a nick in the enamel, AS SOLD prices on eBay were ~$9800. Assuming the condition and completeness of the kit matters to you, the difference between an old Mark I and a new Mark II is not $6000. That would be the difference between a brand spankin new, list price Mark II and a fairly beat up Mark I. The difference between a sale price Mark II and a great condition Mark II is maybe $2000 to $2500.

In that respect, if you own a Mark I, and you've kept it in good condition, have all the accessories and the hard case...your "upgrade price" is likely to be far less than $6000, possibly as little as $2000. For that price, the reduction in weight, better AF, double the IS capability, superior IQ, and a warranty (!!)...well, it's well worth it!
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: wearle on June 25, 2013, 10:31:13 PM
To all,

Initially, I had some problems with my lens.  It was mis-calibrated at the factory.  Now it's producing the images it should have in the first place.  Here are a few non-bird images taken this year.  The last was taken with the Canon 135mm f/2.0L just for some perspective.  The fireworks were taken from 5 miles away on Emigrant Hill overlooking the Wildhorse Casino near Pendleton, Oregon.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: AlanF on June 25, 2013, 11:14:09 PM
Glenn argues that the 600mm gives 1.44x more magnification than the 500 (i.e. (600/500)^2) not 1.2 (600/500). But, is that relevant? The resolution of a lens, the most important factor, is a linear function of focal length, not of length squared. For example, a 600mm lens will give the same size image as a 500mm at 20% further away, not 44% further. When you use binoculars, you talk about x8 vs x10, i.e. the linear magnification, not x64 vs x100, the square. A 600mm lens would seem to me to be a 20% increase in reach, not 44%.

A subject in the frame is not linear, though...it exists in two dimensions. If you measure the subject from corner to corner, sure, the increase is 20%. But in terms of area, it sits on 44% more pixels. It is the increase of pixels on subject that really matters when jumping to a longer focal length, and the difference in PoT is 44%, not 20%. The reason this matters is the more pixels you can get onto the subject, the better the relationship of fine detail to noise. Noise is always a pixel-level thing...if fine detail and noise are both pixel level things, the noise can be a real problem. However, if you can get more pixels on subject, then fine detail becomes larger than a pixel, and nise quickly becomes a background (non-obvious) factor.

I recently purchased the 600/4 L II myself. I was using the 100-400mm. Aside from the superior optics and reduced weight, which are the most obvious improvements...the 600mm lens gets me a 125% increase in pixels on subject ((600/400)^2, or 2.25x). The point Glenn is making is entirely valid, and his numbers are also entirely correct (although there is a simpler way to calculate it: (longer/shorter)^2). It isn't the sole reason to upgrade or purchase this lens, but it is a good one.

For more on pixels on subject: http://clarkvision.com/articles/pixel.size.and.iso/index.html (http://clarkvision.com/articles/pixel.size.and.iso/index.html)

Signal/noise varies as the square root of the area of the image, i.e. the sqrt of the number of pixels. So, even even though you increase the area by (600/500)^2, you increase S/N only by a factor of (600/500).
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: jrista on June 25, 2013, 11:20:09 PM
Well, I think you got very lucky. I spent time on Adorama very recently (just last week). I found a 500/4 L for $7700 that was rated D, and one for $6000 that was rated E-. I found a number of E and E- rated 300/2.8 L and 400/2.8 L that were selling for $4700 to $5900, and one 800/5.6 L that was D rated and selling for $11,999! If you find a D-rated 600/4 Mark I with all accessories in the hard case for $6000, then I think you get lucky. I certainly haven't seen one in the last 14 months I've been looking...

I disgree.  I got 600 mk1 from Adorama that was D rated for 6000.00.  Not a scratch or spec of dust.  Keys strap and manual were still in the original package.  The lens was flawless.  Plus it came with their standard 30 days return policy.  Not misguided at all if you buy from a reputable company.

I think the notion that you can get any 600/4 MkI for $6000 is misguided. You can find them for that cheap...but when you look at the condition of the versions that people are selling for that low of a price, they are NOT in the greatest of condition. Nicks, scratches, enamel discoloration, missing or broken accessories, etc. I was just in the market for these lenses, and I searched every store online, including eBay and Craigs List, before finally buying a brand new EF 600 f/4 L II from Vistek in Canada (the USD price was $10,865, plus $67 shipping and a 1.5% currency exchange fee...couldn't freaking pass that deal up!!)

In my searches, however, I found that an EF 600mm f/4 L Mark I lens, in good condition, with all accessories in good, working condition, including the hard case, was closer to $9000 than $6000, and in a couple instances where the whole kit was in perfect condition, not even a nick in the enamel, AS SOLD prices on eBay were ~$9800. Assuming the condition and completeness of the kit matters to you, the difference between an old Mark I and a new Mark II is not $6000. That would be the difference between a brand spankin new, list price Mark II and a fairly beat up Mark I. The difference between a sale price Mark II and a great condition Mark II is maybe $2000 to $2500.

In that respect, if you own a Mark I, and you've kept it in good condition, have all the accessories and the hard case...your "upgrade price" is likely to be far less than $6000, possibly as little as $2000. For that price, the reduction in weight, better AF, double the IS capability, superior IQ, and a warranty (!!)...well, it's well worth it!
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: jrista on June 25, 2013, 11:26:16 PM
Glenn argues that the 600mm gives 1.44x more magnification than the 500 (i.e. (600/500)^2) not 1.2 (600/500). But, is that relevant? The resolution of a lens, the most important factor, is a linear function of focal length, not of length squared. For example, a 600mm lens will give the same size image as a 500mm at 20% further away, not 44% further. When you use binoculars, you talk about x8 vs x10, i.e. the linear magnification, not x64 vs x100, the square. A 600mm lens would seem to me to be a 20% increase in reach, not 44%.

A subject in the frame is not linear, though...it exists in two dimensions. If you measure the subject from corner to corner, sure, the increase is 20%. But in terms of area, it sits on 44% more pixels. It is the increase of pixels on subject that really matters when jumping to a longer focal length, and the difference in PoT is 44%, not 20%. The reason this matters is the more pixels you can get onto the subject, the better the relationship of fine detail to noise. Noise is always a pixel-level thing...if fine detail and noise are both pixel level things, the noise can be a real problem. However, if you can get more pixels on subject, then fine detail becomes larger than a pixel, and nise quickly becomes a background (non-obvious) factor.

I recently purchased the 600/4 L II myself. I was using the 100-400mm. Aside from the superior optics and reduced weight, which are the most obvious improvements...the 600mm lens gets me a 125% increase in pixels on subject ((600/400)^2, or 2.25x). The point Glenn is making is entirely valid, and his numbers are also entirely correct (although there is a simpler way to calculate it: (longer/shorter)^2). It isn't the sole reason to upgrade or purchase this lens, but it is a good one.

For more on pixels on subject: http://clarkvision.com/articles/pixel.size.and.iso/index.html (http://clarkvision.com/articles/pixel.size.and.iso/index.html)

Signal/noise varies as the square root of the area of the image, i.e. the sqrt of the number of pixels. So, even even though you increase the area by (600/500)^2, you increase S/N only by a factor of (600/500).

True, SNR itself is just the root of the area, however that does not diminish the value of having 44% more pixels on the subject overall. That is a lot more detail, resulting in a sharper outcome with better color fidelity and everything else that goes along with having more pixels on the subject. Not to mention the fact that the subject is the square of the ratio larger in the frame (i.e., for me, I am gaining a 125% improvement as far as subject size in the frame by moving from 400mm to 600mm...not just a 50% improvement). I also did not mention the improvement to boke, and the ability to get a thinner DOF (which, at least for bird photography, is a big deal...I prefer to isolate my subjects, focus only on them with my DOF only an inch or two deep, and completely blur out any background detail.)

You gain on every front...less noise, more detail, sharper detail, thinner DOF, more reach, frame-filling subjects, etc.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: Dylan777 on June 26, 2013, 12:42:07 AM
I'm still leaning to one of these:

1. 400mm f2.8 IS II + x1.4 and x2 TC III --  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
                             OR
2. 300mm f2.8 IS II + x1.4 and x2 TC III -- ;D ;D ;D

Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: AlanF on June 26, 2013, 02:40:55 AM
Of course you gain by going from 400 to 600mm - I have done it. Your arguments jrista are qualitative as to the amount of gain and are hand waving that it goes up by the focal length squared.  But, the physics and maths quantitatively show it varies linearly with length. Let us just agree that it is a great improvement. 

I went up to 600mm by using a 300mm f/2.8 II +2xTC III. It may not be quite as good as the native, but it is good enough and so light that I can hold it in my elderly hand for hours. 

Here is a 100% crop of a heron 50-60 metres away  I took on Sunday.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: serendipidy on June 26, 2013, 02:46:45 AM
Great shots acinonyx. I really like your birds ... And welcome to cr.  :)

+1...I love those kingfisher shots! :)
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: serendipidy on June 26, 2013, 03:00:28 AM
Of course you gain by going from 400 to 600mm - I have done it. Your arguments jrista are qualitative as to the amount of gain and are hand waving that it goes up by the focal length squared.  But, the physics and maths quantitatively show it varies linearly with length. Let us just agree that it is a great improvement. 

I went up to 600mm by using a 300mm f/2.8 II +2xTC III. It may not be quite as good as the native, but it is good enough and so light that I can hold it in my elderly hand for hours. 

Here is a 100% crop of a heron 50-60 metres away  I took on Sunday.

Really nice heron shot, Alan. 8)
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: Hobby Shooter on June 26, 2013, 04:04:42 AM
Of course you gain by going from 400 to 600mm - I have done it. Your arguments jrista are qualitative as to the amount of gain and are hand waving that it goes up by the focal length squared.  But, the physics and maths quantitatively show it varies linearly with length. Let us just agree that it is a great improvement. 

I went up to 600mm by using a 300mm f/2.8 II +2xTC III. It may not be quite as good as the native, but it is good enough and so light that I can hold it in my elderly hand for hours. 

Here is a 100% crop of a heron 50-60 metres away  I took on Sunday.

Really nice heron shot, Alan. 8)
Poor fish  :o
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: TexPhoto on June 26, 2013, 09:47:49 AM
In general 300mm and 400mm f2.8s are for sports first, wildlife 2nd.

500, 600, 800 are for wildlife first, and sports/other applications 2nd.

I have a 400mm f2.8 IS (the first one) and a 300mm f4, plus both vIII extenders.  This gets me a wide range of telephoto options, from 300mm to 1280 (equiv. on the 7D)

The 600mm f4 II looks astonishing, but waaaay past my budjet.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: jrista on June 26, 2013, 10:14:35 AM
Of course you gain by going from 400 to 600mm - I have done it. Your arguments jrista are qualitative as to the amount of gain and are hand waving that it goes up by the focal length squared.  But, the physics and maths quantitatively show it varies linearly with length. Let us just agree that it is a great improvement. 

I went up to 600mm by using a 300mm f/2.8 II +2xTC III. It may not be quite as good as the native, but it is good enough and so light that I can hold it in my elderly hand for hours. 

Here is a 100% crop of a heron 50-60 metres away  I took on Sunday.

Perhaps an actual visual example from a world renown bird photographer can settle the argument. Art Morris, literally renown as the worlds best bird photographer, also agrees the gain is relative to the square of the difference in focal length, not the linear difference:

http://www.birdsasart-blog.com/2011/08/25/size-does-matter-the-power-of-the-square-of-the-focal-length/ (http://www.birdsasart-blog.com/2011/08/25/size-does-matter-the-power-of-the-square-of-the-focal-length/)

Anyway, great GBH shot. Love the action moment. :)
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: East Wind Photography on June 26, 2013, 10:26:23 AM
Yes so their model is to price it higher initially and if it doesnt sell, they start dropping the price.  I waited for 30 days and caught it the same day they knocked 900.00 off the price.

6K was an estimate.  Depending on the deal you get it could be more or less.  regardless you could still likely buy a 1DX for the price difference.

Well, I think you got very lucky. I spent time on Adorama very recently (just last week). I found a 500/4 L for $7700 that was rated D, and one for $6000 that was rated E-. I found a number of E and E- rated 300/2.8 L and 400/2.8 L that were selling for $4700 to $5900, and one 800/5.6 L that was D rated and selling for $11,999! If you find a D-rated 600/4 Mark I with all accessories in the hard case for $6000, then I think you get lucky. I certainly haven't seen one in the last 14 months I've been looking...

I disgree.  I got 600 mk1 from Adorama that was D rated for 6000.00.  Not a scratch or spec of dust.  Keys strap and manual were still in the original package.  The lens was flawless.  Plus it came with their standard 30 days return policy.  Not misguided at all if you buy from a reputable company.

I think the notion that you can get any 600/4 MkI for $6000 is misguided. You can find them for that cheap...but when you look at the condition of the versions that people are selling for that low of a price, they are NOT in the greatest of condition. Nicks, scratches, enamel discoloration, missing or broken accessories, etc. I was just in the market for these lenses, and I searched every store online, including eBay and Craigs List, before finally buying a brand new EF 600 f/4 L II from Vistek in Canada (the USD price was $10,865, plus $67 shipping and a 1.5% currency exchange fee...couldn't freaking pass that deal up!!)

In my searches, however, I found that an EF 600mm f/4 L Mark I lens, in good condition, with all accessories in good, working condition, including the hard case, was closer to $9000 than $6000, and in a couple instances where the whole kit was in perfect condition, not even a nick in the enamel, AS SOLD prices on eBay were ~$9800. Assuming the condition and completeness of the kit matters to you, the difference between an old Mark I and a new Mark II is not $6000. That would be the difference between a brand spankin new, list price Mark II and a fairly beat up Mark I. The difference between a sale price Mark II and a great condition Mark II is maybe $2000 to $2500.

In that respect, if you own a Mark I, and you've kept it in good condition, have all the accessories and the hard case...your "upgrade price" is likely to be far less than $6000, possibly as little as $2000. For that price, the reduction in weight, better AF, double the IS capability, superior IQ, and a warranty (!!)...well, it's well worth it!
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: Zv on June 26, 2013, 12:23:10 PM
I'm still leaning to one of these:

1. 400mm f2.8 IS II + x1.4 and x2 TC III --  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
                             OR
2. 300mm f2.8 IS II + x1.4 and x2 TC III -- ;D ;D ;D

I thought you said you were done for this year? Is this next years wish list?
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: jrista on June 26, 2013, 12:55:10 PM
In general 300mm and 400mm f2.8s are for sports first, wildlife 2nd.

500, 600, 800 are for wildlife first, and sports/other applications 2nd.

I have a 400mm f2.8 IS (the first one) and a 300mm f4, plus both vIII extenders.  This gets me a wide range of telephoto options, from 300mm to 1280 (equiv. on the 7D)

The 600mm f4 II looks astonishing, but waaaay past my budjet.

I actually like the 300/2.8 II for wildlife, especially deer and other ungulates. During this time of year especially, the males seem pretty docile. With as little as tan pants and a tan/light greenish camo shirt, they seem fearless enough to let me get well within 300mm range...even as close as 100mm range for a head shot. The weight and balance of the 300mm is a lot better, IMO, for your average walk-around wildlife photography than the 600mm (not that the 600mm isn't a great lens for that as well when you have more stationary or dangerous wildlife subjects.)
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: AlanF on June 26, 2013, 01:41:45 PM
Of course you gain by going from 400 to 600mm - I have done it. Your arguments jrista are qualitative as to the amount of gain and are hand waving that it goes up by the focal length squared.  But, the physics and maths quantitatively show it varies linearly with length. Let us just agree that it is a great improvement. 

I went up to 600mm by using a 300mm f/2.8 II +2xTC III. It may not be quite as good as the native, but it is good enough and so light that I can hold it in my elderly hand for hours. 

Here is a 100% crop of a heron 50-60 metres away  I took on Sunday.

Perhaps an actual visual example from a world renown bird photographer can settle the argument. Art Morris, literally renown as the worlds best bird photographer, also agrees the gain is relative to the square of the difference in focal length, not the linear difference:

http://www.birdsasart-blog.com/2011/08/25/size-does-matter-the-power-of-the-square-of-the-focal-length/ (http://www.birdsasart-blog.com/2011/08/25/size-does-matter-the-power-of-the-square-of-the-focal-length/)

Anyway, great GBH shot. Love the action moment. :)

Support for an opinion may be comforting but doesn't prove or settle arguments. Art Morris often changes his mind. For many years, he much preferred the 400 f/5.6 (his "toy" lens) over the 100-400mm. Then he decided the zoom was better. For years, he argued against the 300mm f/2.8, then recently he changed his mind and decided it was great for bird photography.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: jrista on June 26, 2013, 01:55:11 PM
Of course you gain by going from 400 to 600mm - I have done it. Your arguments jrista are qualitative as to the amount of gain and are hand waving that it goes up by the focal length squared.  But, the physics and maths quantitatively show it varies linearly with length. Let us just agree that it is a great improvement. 

I went up to 600mm by using a 300mm f/2.8 II +2xTC III. It may not be quite as good as the native, but it is good enough and so light that I can hold it in my elderly hand for hours. 

Here is a 100% crop of a heron 50-60 metres away  I took on Sunday.

Perhaps an actual visual example from a world renown bird photographer can settle the argument. Art Morris, literally renown as the worlds best bird photographer, also agrees the gain is relative to the square of the difference in focal length, not the linear difference:

http://www.birdsasart-blog.com/2011/08/25/size-does-matter-the-power-of-the-square-of-the-focal-length/ (http://www.birdsasart-blog.com/2011/08/25/size-does-matter-the-power-of-the-square-of-the-focal-length/)

Anyway, great GBH shot. Love the action moment. :)

Support for an opinion may be comforting but doesn't prove or settle arguments. Art Morris often changes his mind. For many years, he much preferred the 400 f/5.6 (his "toy" lens) over the 100-400mm. Then he decided the zoom was better. For years, he argued against the 300mm f/2.8, then recently he changed his mind and decided it was great for bird photography.

I think all that is beside the point. Just look at the animated image...the bird clearly grows four times larger in area...not two times. It goes from covering about 20% of the frame to 80% of the frame. That is what I was trying to demonstrate. If you halve your angle of view, you halve it in both the horizontal and vertical...which means a 600mm lens covers 1/4 the scene area as a 300mm lens....if you shoot the same scene from the same physical spot with a 300mm lens and a 600mm lens, you could produce the same angular result with the 600 if you photographed the upper left, upper right, lower left, and lower right areas, and stitched them together.

That isn't a matter of opinion or personal preference...it's a matter of physics and math. Art Morris can't change his mind about that.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: serendipidy on June 26, 2013, 02:00:39 PM
"That isn't a matter of opinion or personal preference...it's a matter of physics and math."

Absolutely true (in a relativistic  sense).....however,
Newton changed math and Einstein changed physics :)
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: jrista on June 26, 2013, 02:07:05 PM
"That isn't a matter of opinion or personal preference...it's a matter of physics and math."

Absolutely true (in a relativistic  sense).....however,
Newton changed math and Einstein changed physics :)

I wouldn't say they changed anything...simply added to the body of knowledge. ;)
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: tron on June 26, 2013, 02:14:00 PM
I'm still leaning to one of these:

1. 400mm f2.8 IS II + x1.4 and x2 TC III --  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
                             OR
2. 300mm f2.8 IS II + x1.4 and x2 TC III -- ;D ;D ;D

I thought you said you were done for this year? Is this next years wish list?
;D
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: Dylan777 on June 26, 2013, 03:15:06 PM
I'm still leaning to one of these:

1. 400mm f2.8 IS II + x1.4 and x2 TC III --  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
                             OR
2. 300mm f2.8 IS II + x1.4 and x2 TC III -- ;D ;D ;D

I thought you said you were done for this year? Is this next years wish list?
;D

It's more likely end of 2014 or early 2015 for 400mm. I'm putting $500 to $600 to Dylan777's saving account. You know... the account that the wife doesn't have access to it ;D ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: serendipidy on June 26, 2013, 03:23:14 PM
"That isn't a matter of opinion or personal preference...it's a matter of physics and math."

Absolutely true (in a relativistic  sense).....however,
Newton changed math and Einstein changed physics :)

I wouldn't say they changed anything...simply added to the body of knowledge. ;)

Is that a matter of opinion ;D
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: RVB on June 26, 2013, 04:12:22 PM
This lens is awesome (i held one recently .. so much lighter than the mk1) but the super tele I really want to see is the 800mm mk2..
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: AlanF on June 26, 2013, 06:49:45 PM
"That isn't a matter of opinion or personal preference...it's a matter of physics and math."

Absolutely true (in a relativistic  sense).....however,
Newton changed math and Einstein changed physics :)

I wouldn't say they changed anything...simply added to the body of knowledge. ;)
There is a difference to adding to the body of knowledge and changing its direction. There are people whose discoveries or theories are so radical that they do cause the world to think anew. Newton was in the next door College to mine. Even though we are big rivals, I have to admit that he was a paradigm shifter, along with Einstein. My college produced William Harvey, who discovered the circulation of the blood, and Francis Crick who proposed the structure of DNA (along with Jim Watson). Those guys also changed the direction of medicine and science.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: TexPhoto on June 26, 2013, 08:29:20 PM
In general 300mm and 400mm f2.8s are for sports first, wildlife 2nd.

500, 600, 800 are for wildlife first, and sports/other applications 2nd.

I have a 400mm f2.8 IS (the first one) and a 300mm f4, plus both vIII extenders.  This gets me a wide range of telephoto options, from 300mm to 1280 (equiv. on the 7D)

The 600mm f4 II looks astonishing, but waaaay past my budjet.

I actually like the 300/2.8 II for wildlife, especially deer and other ungulates. During this time of year especially, the males seem pretty docile. With as little as tan pants and a tan/light greenish camo shirt, they seem fearless enough to let me get well within 300mm range...even as close as 100mm range for a head shot. The weight and balance of the 300mm is a lot better, IMO, for your average walk-around wildlife photography than the 600mm (not that the 600mm isn't a great lens for that as well when you have more stationary or dangerous wildlife subjects.)

Are you trying to tell me that your new $6800 lens takes good photos!!?  And it's easier to carry than a lens 2X bigger and heavier!!!?   Never! :)
 
I am sure it's an awsome lens.  I wish you lived next door so I could borrow it.  I realy like my 300mm f4 for a walk around anytime.  My walk around/hiking "kit" is a 5DIII, 7D, 8-15, 24-105, 300 f4, and 1.4X III

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7368/8715257309_d6a6c0f9ec_z.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/12047900@N06/8715257309/)
Untitled (http://www.flickr.com/photos/12047900@N06/8715257309/#) by RexPhoto91 (http://www.flickr.com/people/12047900@N06/), on Flickr.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: jrista on June 26, 2013, 08:37:59 PM
In general 300mm and 400mm f2.8s are for sports first, wildlife 2nd.

500, 600, 800 are for wildlife first, and sports/other applications 2nd.

I have a 400mm f2.8 IS (the first one) and a 300mm f4, plus both vIII extenders.  This gets me a wide range of telephoto options, from 300mm to 1280 (equiv. on the 7D)

The 600mm f4 II looks astonishing, but waaaay past my budjet.

I actually like the 300/2.8 II for wildlife, especially deer and other ungulates. During this time of year especially, the males seem pretty docile. With as little as tan pants and a tan/light greenish camo shirt, they seem fearless enough to let me get well within 300mm range...even as close as 100mm range for a head shot. The weight and balance of the 300mm is a lot better, IMO, for your average walk-around wildlife photography than the 600mm (not that the 600mm isn't a great lens for that as well when you have more stationary or dangerous wildlife subjects.)

Are you trying to tell me that your new $6800 lens takes good photos!!?  And it's easier to carry than a lens 2X bigger and heavier!!!?   Never! :)
 
I am sure it's an awsome lens.  I wish you lived next door so I could borrow it.  I realy like my 300mm f4 for a walk around anytime.  My walk around/hiking "kit" is a 5DIII, 7D, 8-15, 24-105, 300 f4, and 1.4X III

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7368/8715257309_d6a6c0f9ec_z.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/12047900@N06/8715257309/)
Untitled (http://www.flickr.com/photos/12047900@N06/8715257309/#) by RexPhoto91 (http://www.flickr.com/people/12047900@N06/), on Flickr.

Hah! Well, I don't actually own it. I rented it a couple times, and will probably buy it within a year or two, because I really do love it for wildlife work. I opted to get the 600mm first, though, as I'm currently really into bird photography (with the intent of mastering it/becoming pro with it in some fashion, before moving back to wildlife and nature in general for the rest of my life :P), and the 600mm gets me so much more for birds than the 300mm does.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: neuroanatomist on June 26, 2013, 08:58:03 PM
I opted to get the 600mm first, though, as I'm currently really into bird photography...

That's why I got the 600 II.  I do often use it with the 1.4xIII.  I suppose if there'd been an 800/5.6 II available, I'd have had a more difficult decision, but since the 600 II + 1.4xIII is a longer FL, lighter than the 800L, and delivers better IQ, choosing between them was easy.

I'm planning to get the 300/2.8 II in the foreseeable future, though...
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: expatinasia on June 27, 2013, 01:41:53 AM
It is a nice review, though very light in comparison to the excellent reviews at TDP.

I did find this strange:

Quote
Who it’s not for: This is definitely not a lens for the weekend warrior to start with. Those considering buying their first long lens would be better off starting with a shorter focal length such as the Canon 300mm f/4 L IS and then “graduating up to the bigger glass.

I would say that anyone thinking of buying a big white should buy the length that best suits their photography at that moment, and in the foreseeable future. It would be extremely costly to start collecting lenses, and if you can afford a 600 then get it, don't get the 300, then the 400, then the 500 unless you are Bill Gates, or possibly a neurosurgeon, or even a neuroanatomist!   :P 8)

Also, isn't there an error in the:

Quote
A bit on Image Stabilization (from Justin’s text)
“Optical Image Stabilizer technology makes hand-held photography more practical at slow shutter speeds*” (*Canon USA). IS helps free the camera and photographer from the tripod and gives you a bit more latitude to how and where you shoot. As a guide, it’s suggested that photographers’ shutter speeds should match the apparent focal length of the lens. So ideal shutter speeds on a full frame camera like the 1DX, 5DMKIII, or 6D, would be about 1/300th of a second at 300mm

As this is a review of a 600mm lens, shouldn't it be 1/600th? It looks like someone copy and pasted from a 300 review. But I am often wrong about these things.  ;D
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: RVB on June 27, 2013, 03:18:16 AM
http://franzfoto.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/canon-ef600mm-f4l-is-mkii-vs-the-canon-ef800mm-f5-6l-is/ (http://franzfoto.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/canon-ef600mm-f4l-is-mkii-vs-the-canon-ef800mm-f5-6l-is/)

This is a short article comparing the 600mkii with extender to the 800...
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: neuroanatomist on June 27, 2013, 04:32:00 AM
http://franzfoto.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/canon-ef600mm-f4l-is-mkii-vs-the-canon-ef800mm-f5-6l-is/ (http://franzfoto.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/canon-ef600mm-f4l-is-mkii-vs-the-canon-ef800mm-f5-6l-is/)

This is a short article comparing the 600mkii with extender to the 800...

That's what we call a quick and dirty test.  His own 800, probably AFMA'd on his camera, vs. a borrowed 600 II, almost certainly not AFMA'd on his camera.  Grain of salt needed here.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: acinonyx on June 27, 2013, 05:49:34 AM
I opted to get the 600mm first, though, as I'm currently really into bird photography...
I'm planning to get the 300/2.8 II in the foreseeable future, though...

These are my actual 2 great whites. The 300/2.8 II is the sharpest lens of my whole collection. Light and easy to handle. If you habe both FF and aps-c, this focal lenght is a logical addition. this lens is really excellent ;-)
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: AlanF on June 27, 2013, 07:24:31 AM
Of course you gain by going from 400 to 600mm - I have done it. Your arguments jrista are qualitative as to the amount of gain and are hand waving that it goes up by the focal length squared.  But, the physics and maths quantitatively show it varies linearly with length. Let us just agree that it is a great improvement. 

I went up to 600mm by using a 300mm f/2.8 II +2xTC III. It may not be quite as good as the native, but it is good enough and so light that I can hold it in my elderly hand for hours. 

Here is a 100% crop of a heron 50-60 metres away  I took on Sunday.

Perhaps an actual visual example from a world renown bird photographer can settle the argument. Art Morris, literally renown as the worlds best bird photographer, also agrees the gain is relative to the square of the difference in focal length, not the linear difference:

http://www.birdsasart-blog.com/2011/08/25/size-does-matter-the-power-of-the-square-of-the-focal-length/ (http://www.birdsasart-blog.com/2011/08/25/size-does-matter-the-power-of-the-square-of-the-focal-length/)

Anyway, great GBH shot. Love the action moment. :)

Support for an opinion may be comforting but doesn't prove or settle arguments. Art Morris often changes his mind. For many years, he much preferred the 400 f/5.6 (his "toy" lens) over the 100-400mm. Then he decided the zoom was better. For years, he argued against the 300mm f/2.8, then recently he changed his mind and decided it was great for bird photography.

I think all that is beside the point. Just look at the animated image...the bird clearly grows four times larger in area...not two times. It goes from covering about 20% of the frame to 80% of the frame. That is what I was trying to demonstrate. If you halve your angle of view, you halve it in both the horizontal and vertical...which means a 600mm lens covers 1/4 the scene area as a 300mm lens....if you shoot the same scene from the same physical spot with a 300mm lens and a 600mm lens, you could produce the same angular result with the 600 if you photographed the upper left, upper right, lower left, and lower right areas, and stitched them together.

That isn't a matter of opinion or personal preference...it's a matter of physics and math. Art Morris can't change his mind about that.

If you double the linear dimension, you quadruple the area. That is simple arithmetic. But, as any mathematician or scientist knows: the resolution of a lens depends simply on the linear dimension - you get twice, not quadruple the resolution on doubling the focal length; and the increase in precision or S/N depends on the square root of the area (number of pixels of the same sensor used) - you get twice the S/N, not quadruple. I can double the length and quadruple the area of a photo in Photoshop or with an enlarger and have the same size photo as produced by a lens of twice the focal length. By doing, so I get the same size image, so arguments based solely on image size are negated, but the S/N and resolution will both deteriorate by a factor of 2, not 4, compared with using the longer lens.

Those are the physics and maths. Now, show me the maths and physics that says otherwise, not hand waving. But, I will write no more about this subject.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: neuroanatomist on June 27, 2013, 09:45:08 AM
...the gain is relative to the square of the difference in focal length, not the linear difference:
If you double the linear dimension, you quadruple the area. That is simple arithmetic. But, as any mathematician or scientist knows: the resolution of a lens depends simply on the linear dimension - you get twice, not quadruple the resolution on doubling the focal length

Exactly.  How is the spatial resolution of a dSLR lens generally specified?  In line pairs per millimeter (LP/mm).  That's a linear measurement, not the corresponding area measurement (mm2).

Jrista is correct in that the linear increase applies in both dimensions in terms of the area of the sensor covered with an increase in focal length, but AlanF is right on the physics and maths as pertains to resolution and S/N.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: jrista on June 27, 2013, 01:18:21 PM
Of course you gain by going from 400 to 600mm - I have done it. Your arguments jrista are qualitative as to the amount of gain and are hand waving that it goes up by the focal length squared.  But, the physics and maths quantitatively show it varies linearly with length. Let us just agree that it is a great improvement. 

I went up to 600mm by using a 300mm f/2.8 II +2xTC III. It may not be quite as good as the native, but it is good enough and so light that I can hold it in my elderly hand for hours. 

Here is a 100% crop of a heron 50-60 metres away  I took on Sunday.

Perhaps an actual visual example from a world renown bird photographer can settle the argument. Art Morris, literally renown as the worlds best bird photographer, also agrees the gain is relative to the square of the difference in focal length, not the linear difference:

http://www.birdsasart-blog.com/2011/08/25/size-does-matter-the-power-of-the-square-of-the-focal-length/ (http://www.birdsasart-blog.com/2011/08/25/size-does-matter-the-power-of-the-square-of-the-focal-length/)

Anyway, great GBH shot. Love the action moment. :)

Support for an opinion may be comforting but doesn't prove or settle arguments. Art Morris often changes his mind. For many years, he much preferred the 400 f/5.6 (his "toy" lens) over the 100-400mm. Then he decided the zoom was better. For years, he argued against the 300mm f/2.8, then recently he changed his mind and decided it was great for bird photography.

I think all that is beside the point. Just look at the animated image...the bird clearly grows four times larger in area...not two times. It goes from covering about 20% of the frame to 80% of the frame. That is what I was trying to demonstrate. If you halve your angle of view, you halve it in both the horizontal and vertical...which means a 600mm lens covers 1/4 the scene area as a 300mm lens....if you shoot the same scene from the same physical spot with a 300mm lens and a 600mm lens, you could produce the same angular result with the 600 if you photographed the upper left, upper right, lower left, and lower right areas, and stitched them together.

That isn't a matter of opinion or personal preference...it's a matter of physics and math. Art Morris can't change his mind about that.

If you double the linear dimension, you quadruple the area. That is simple arithmetic. But, as any mathematician or scientist knows: the resolution of a lens depends simply on the linear dimension - you get twice, not quadruple the resolution on doubling the focal length; and the increase in precision or S/N depends on the square root of the area (number of pixels of the same sensor used) - you get twice the S/N, not quadruple. I can double the length and quadruple the area of a photo in Photoshop or with an enlarger and have the same size photo as produced by a lens of twice the focal length. By doing, so I get the same size image, so arguments based solely on image size are negated, but the S/N and resolution will both deteriorate by a factor of 2, not 4, compared with using the longer lens.

Those are the physics and maths. Now, show me the maths and physics that says otherwise, not hand waving. But, I will write no more about this subject.

I am not sure why you are talking at me about SNR. I said noise becomes a background factor, I did not say SNR changes by a factor of four anywhere in my posts so far. The SUBJECT grows in the frame by a factor of FOUR, fine detail grows by the same factor, which results in noise that was probably an issue when the subject only filled 20% of the frame no longer being an issue when the subject fills 80% of the frame. I never mentioned SNR specifically, because that really ultimately depends on how bright your subject is relative to the overall exposure (i.e. you may photograph a darker subject against midtoned or lighter surroundings...the SNR of the subject is still going to be relatively low), not it's size in the frame.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: acinonyx on June 30, 2013, 06:52:02 PM
The optical module for the 600 f/4 II lens is now available for the users of DXO optics software.
Works nicely  ;)
(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5347/9176412645_e5e8b12edb_h.jpg)
HD here : http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5347/9176412645_6605aee817_o.jpg (http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5347/9176412645_6605aee817_o.jpg)
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: tron on July 01, 2013, 05:21:20 AM
The optical module for the 600 f/4 II lens is now available for the users of DXO optics software.
Works nicely  ;)
Very nice picture. And much more on topic  :)
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: serendipidy on July 01, 2013, 01:22:19 PM
The optical module for the 600 f/4 II lens is now available for the users of DXO optics software.
Works nicely  ;)
Very nice picture. And much more on topic  :)
+100
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: Vern on July 01, 2013, 04:30:54 PM
Not a bird - though sunsets w a supertele are no surprise.

And a bird just for fun.

I love this lens.

Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: Click on July 01, 2013, 04:34:41 PM
Not a bird - though sunsets w a supertele are no surprise.

And a bird just for fun.

I love this lens.

Yes it's a great lens. Nice shots Vern...And welcome to cr.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: serendipidy on July 03, 2013, 05:21:19 AM
Not a bird - though sunsets w a supertele are no surprise.

And a bird just for fun.

I love this lens.

Yes it's a great lens. Nice shots Vern...And welcome to cr.

Well done Vern 8)
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: Mr Bean on July 03, 2013, 08:43:26 AM
The optical module for the 600 f/4 II lens is now available for the users of DXO optics software.
Works nicely  ;)
(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5347/9176412645_e5e8b12edb_h.jpg)
HD here : http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5347/9176412645_6605aee817_o.jpg (http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5347/9176412645_6605aee817_o.jpg)
Stunning pic. Love the detail and the colour :)
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: Mr Bean on July 03, 2013, 08:44:42 AM
Not a bird - though sunsets w a supertele are no surprise.

And a bird just for fun.

I love this lens.
Beautiful pics Vern. The sunset is great :)
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: Click on July 03, 2013, 08:46:14 AM
The optical module for the 600 f/4 II lens is now available for the users of DXO optics software.
Works nicely  ;)

HD here :
Stunning pic. Love the detail and the colour :)

I agree. Awesome picture. I love it too.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: rumorzmonger on July 03, 2013, 10:26:39 AM
I would have like to see some photos in the review taken without flash, to get a true idea of how well the lens performs.  Flash always make the images look artificially sharp, now matter how good (or bad) a lens is...
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: tron on July 03, 2013, 12:14:30 PM
I would have like to see some photos in the review taken without flash, to get a true idea of how well the lens performs.  Flash always make the images look artificially sharp, now matter how good (or bad) a lens is...
I am pretty sure that the sunset has been photographed without ... flash  ;D  ;D  ;D
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: Vern on July 03, 2013, 09:19:25 PM
I would have like to see some photos in the review taken without flash, to get a true idea of how well the lens performs.  Flash always make the images look artificially sharp, now matter how good (or bad) a lens is...

The eagle shot is without flash. I was lucky to have a light cloud cover so the contrast was not too high and the whites and dark feathers were both exposed OK (1DX, ISO 1600, f4). Bald eagles in direct sunlight are tough. Processed only in DPP w some brightening to the shadows.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: serendipidy on July 04, 2013, 01:13:27 AM
The optical module for the 600 f/4 II lens is now available for the users of DXO optics software.
Works nicely  ;)

HD here :
Stunning pic. Love the detail and the colour :)

I agree. Awesome picture. I love it too.

+1 :)
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: serendipidy on July 04, 2013, 01:14:56 AM
I would have like to see some photos in the review taken without flash, to get a true idea of how well the lens performs.  Flash always make the images look artificially sharp, now matter how good (or bad) a lens is...
I am pretty sure that the sunset has been photographed without ... flash  ;D  ;D  ;D

LOL ;D...not even fill.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: Click on July 04, 2013, 06:11:30 AM
I would have like to see some photos in the review taken without flash, to get a true idea of how well the lens performs.  Flash always make the images look artificially sharp, now matter how good (or bad) a lens is...
I am pretty sure that the sunset has been photographed without ... flash  ;D  ;D  ;D

Ha ha ha  ;D
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: acinonyx on July 04, 2013, 11:14:33 AM
No flash on my pics. Thanks for the kind comments. Bald eagle pic is a great one !
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
Post by: TexPhoto on August 06, 2013, 11:59:40 AM
In general 300mm and 400mm f2.8s are for sports first, wildlife 2nd.

500, 600, 800 are for wildlife first, and sports/other applications 2nd.

I have a 400mm f2.8 IS (the first one) and a 300mm f4, plus both vIII extenders.  This gets me a wide range of telephoto options, from 300mm to 1280 (equiv. on the 7D)

The 600mm f4 II looks astonishing, but waaaay past my budjet.

I actually like the 300/2.8 II for wildlife, especially deer and other ungulates. During this time of year especially, the males seem pretty docile. With as little as tan pants and a tan/light greenish camo shirt, they seem fearless enough to let me get well within 300mm range...even as close as 100mm range for a head shot. The weight and balance of the 300mm is a lot better, IMO, for your average walk-around wildlife photography than the 600mm (not that the 600mm isn't a great lens for that as well when you have more stationary or dangerous wildlife subjects.)

I agree, and you can stalk football players, baseball players, track and field athletes as well.  You don't even have to worry about camo.  :)   300mm easier to carry than 600mm?  Now that's just crazy.