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Author Topic: Please - I do need some wise advise 2choose: EF500II/EF600II/EF200-400?  (Read 4567 times)

ZoeEnPhos

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Please - I do need some wise advise 2choose: EF500II/EF600II/EF200-400?  :-\

Yesterday I visited a mini-photo-exhibition with Canon pro photo desk - where they showed the one of the two available in Europe a pro-production Canon EF200-400mm together with the two new EF500mmII and EF600mmII!

After holding and lifting and handling these three super-tele-lenses and comparing the balance and weight - I felt somehow a bit undecided which ONE to pick for my - future wildlife and predominately bird-photography that I have never really and truly invested in - to really seriously try to photographing!
The main thing is of course the hand held ability in the field.
Comparing the EF500II and EF600II made my somehow a bit surprised by the very little real difference of the weigh-factor comparing between these two long-lenses!
I spontaneously came to the impression and part-conclusion that the new EF600mm f/4L IS USM II is so close in weight to the EF500II that I think that it actually maybe would be even the better choice of the two super-tele-lenses namely for full frame DSLR?
My present two DSLR´s are Canon EOS 7D/ 5D MarkII.
I am also in need of a new DSLR body - thinking about 5D Mark III OR 1DX OR 1DMKIV - but leaning now mostly to the 5DMarkIII or who knows - maybe the new 6D with the brand new sensor could be even a bit better in lowlight compared to the MarkIII? That was the Canon Pro Photo informer´s personal un-tested impression about the new coming 6D consumer model that is cheaper than the 5DMKII?
Anyhow - my main question is this:

Investing about 100 000SEK on a new super-tele-lens - should you in my shoes - choose EF600mm f/4L IS USM II before the EF500mm f/4L IS USM II or wait for the EF200-400mm f/4L with Extender 1.4x (560mm f/5.6) with the weight around 4000gr according to the un-checked weight said by the Canon Pro Photo informator at the Canon desk!

I must say that holding the new EF600mm II was little like being very positively surprised by the big barrel that is so "light" (there is always a curve of learning and adopting to handle a big lens).
My present "biggest" tele is the old first version of Canon EF300mm f/2.8L IS USM I with both Extenders version III and also EF300mm f/4L IS and EF70-200mm f/2.8L II/ 4L IS also.
Should I sell one of the 300mm:s or one of the tele-zooms according to your valued opinons?

I would very much appreciate your experiences in handling long-tele-lenses out there in the real field work in various weather conditions etc!

Pros and cons?

Pros - EF600mm II more reach with full frame DSLR and more versatile together with the new EF Extender 1.4X and 2X converters (compared to the EF800mm f/5.6L) that this lens EF600 II, is specially adopted to perform well together with.
Cons - more expensive (but not over-all much more in relation to what EF500mm already costs) and the weight 8.64 lb (3.92 kg) compared to EF500mm II = 7.03 lb (3.19 kg) the difference is = 0.73kg or 730gr or 1.61 lb
Maybe the longer Minimum Focus Distance (EF600mm)=5.0m vs EF500mm=4.0 m
The EF600mm will be a bit bigger back-pack and to handle and to transporting in airplanes etc


(In addition - to a long-super-tele-lens there might always be the additional requirements of more high-class equipement that will add costs like - I do not yet have chosen a Gimbal or a good and light ball-head (Acratech(Arca-Swiss P0) to my tripod still without a ball-head it is a - Gitzo GT3541XLS Systematic 6X Carbon Fiber Tripod Legs - and I recently found this only carbon built Gimbal head and therefore thinking about the carbon gimbal head made by Sirui GP-20 with having low-weight pros compared to Wimberley II about 0.4kg!

I am also considering the need of purchase the Gitzo Monopod called - Gitzo GM5561T Traveler 6x Carbon Fiber Monopod - Supports 55.1 lbs (25kg) but it is really expensive!(I have already the RRS Monopod head - with quick-arcs-swiss-quick-load).

So if there is someone with some time to answer my questions and maybe who are familiar with these choices - please do share your experiences with me!

Wishing you all the very best and may you have great shoots out there in the field with photos that makes difference for you!

/Charl
« Last Edit: November 01, 2012, 08:05:26 AM by ZoeEnPhos »
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Eimajm

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Re: Please - I do need some wise advise 2choose: EF500II/EF600II/EF200-400?
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2012, 08:30:31 AM »
I personally would go with the 600 MKII and the Canon 1DX for birds. Never used either of them but 600mm is what all the pros I aspire to use and the 1DX write up by Arthur Morris was pretty excellent.

Don't however think that good equipment will get you good photos, as a pro one advised me ' i'll take fieldcraft over reach any day'.

Have fun....

tron

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Re: Please - I do need some wise advise 2choose: EF500II/EF600II/EF200-400?
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2012, 09:37:54 AM »
I believe that the better focal length for an FF camera like 1Dx is the 600mm f/4 L IS II, especially for something so specialized as bird photography.

However, if I were to make a one life time tele choice I would pick the 500mm f/4L IS II for the less weight (3.2Kg is already enough), prιce, size andd probably - just probably - the possibility of avoiding the purchase of Wimberly equipment and making do with my Markins M20 head. But this lens wouldn't be dedicated for bird photography.


« Last Edit: November 02, 2012, 03:37:49 PM by tron »

ZoeEnPhos

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Thanks a lots - for answering my naive question!
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2012, 09:55:21 AM »
I personally would go with the 600 MKII and the Canon 1DX for birds. Never used either of them but 600mm is what all the pros I aspire to use and the 1DX write up by Arthur Morris was pretty excellent.

Don't however think that good equipment will get you good photos, as a pro one advised me ' i'll take fieldcraft over reach any day'.

Have fun....

Thank you sir for your answer to me!
Yes agreed with you about the "fieldcraft" whatever it is - I am not a native English language speaker - but to my understanding it could probably or maybe have the meaning of "being able to find the birds and be at the right spot on the right time in the nature" and I think I am pretty much of that being a bird-watcher (but NOT bird photographer since my very early childhood and still hiking/walking and visiting the most famous bird-spotting-areas here near the capital of Sweden near the coast to Baltic Sea and for example seeing eagles and whopper swans quite often and all the others that will both migrate and not migrate south during the change of seasons!
Also I think - if you find something in your life that gives you joy and some degree of inspiration and pleasure - why only save money on your bankaccount? Would that money make any difference when we pass away and not even used them for something that matters to you during you few days of life time?
Anyhow - I have NOT purchased either the EF500mmII alternatively EF600mm nor the EOS 1DX nor the 5DMKIII - because I am not the man who lends money to Bill Gates!
Wishing you all the very Best!
Greetings from Europe and Sweden on this first day of November 2012!

//Charl
Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun!

ZoeEnPhos

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Re: Please - I do need some wise advise 2choose: EF500II/EF600II/EF200-400?
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2012, 09:57:59 AM »
I believe that the better focal length fot an FF camera like 1Dx is the 600mm f/4 L IS II, especially for something so specialized as bird photography.

However, if I were to make a one life time tele choice I would pick the 500mm f/4L IS II for the less weight (3.2Kg is already enough), prιce, size andd probably - just probably - the possibility of avoiding the purchase of Wimberly equipment and making do with my Markins M20 head. But this lens wouldn't be dedicated for bird photography.

Dear Sir -  thank you for your valid point about the once-for-the-life-time super-tele-lens by picking the more easy handled Canon EF500mm f/4L IS USM II compared to EF600MM!

I will consider your advice!

Wishing you all the best sir!

//Charl
Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun!

dolina

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Re: Please - I do need some wise advise 2choose: EF500II/EF600II/EF200-400?
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2012, 10:20:12 AM »
I have the 200/300/400/500/800/Extender1.4/Extender2.0 lenses, 10D/40D/5D/5D2/7D/1D4 bodies, Wimberley WH-200, Arca-Swiss Monoball Z1 and the Gitzo GM5561T, GT5541LS and GT3541LS.

I shoot mostly birds and sports.

If you plan to use it for birds 80-100% of the time go with the 600 II (3920g). Reach is reach and on a full frame body that is something you will always be looking for. Friends with the original 500 (3870g) have since upgraded to the 600 II because of the 50g difference.

If traveling by plane is a possibility you may want to consider the 500 II (3190g). Weight and size does matter if you want to avoid paying for excess baggage and walking great distances will be the norm. Friends with the 400/5.6 or 100-400 have since upgraded to the 500 II or source the 500 I from owners upgrading to the 600 II.

Ballheads are a bad idea when it comes to lenses longer than a 300/2.8 because you will need to always tighten them when you let go of the camera or else an accident can occur.

Go with a gimbal like a Wimberly WH-200 or Mongoose M-3.6. I've advised friends who suffered from inferior gimbals to buy either two. They're ecstatic, beyond words and wished they switched earlier.

Fieldcraft is gained if you are an expert bird watcher or even a half assed hunter.

200-400 is reported to be within the weight of the 600 II and cost as much as the 500 II. No shipping date has been announced. What I like about it is the built-in Extender and the flexibility of the zoom. What I dislike about it is the reported weight that is heavier than a 400/2.8 IS II (3850g), price and the f/4 aperture.

It also helps if you are physically fit or workout. The hobby will have you lugging around the camera, support, bags, misc items.

Bags I've used are the LowePro Lens Trekker 600 AW II that fits the 800+body+extender with hood reversed easily but is not handcarry compliant.

The ThinkTank Airport Accelerate v2.5 can fit the 500-only with hood reversed. A much larger ThinkTank bag called the Airport Accelerator can accommodate the 600-only with hood reversed without a problem. ThinkTank Airport bags comply to most major airline hand-carry dimensions and also accommodate other items.

If you frequent South East Asia like Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong or Manila you can get the lens earlier and cheaper. Let me know if you need help in sourcing from any SEA city.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2012, 12:58:20 PM by dolina »
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florian

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Re: Please - I do need some wise advise 2choose: EF500II/EF600II/EF200-400?
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2012, 10:35:41 AM »
Hi Charl,

I went through the same for month and finally ordered my 600 II last week.
I use the 5D III and as backup the 5D II which I hope to trade in for a 1D X soon.
With the new AF Firmwareupdate you also can go 1200mm with the 2x for really small birds.
1DX give you the great benefit to give you spot metering on you focus points. This will get your wildlife shots a lot better, because sometimes you don´t have time for a second or third shot. And of course the frame rate. Thats the only things I miss on my 5D and they are only for 1D´s.

I use the Lowepro Flipside 500AW for transport and the 600 Lens will fit with no camera attached.
So perfect for the transport and Handluggage on a flight.

Delivery times in Germany are about 5 month at the moment.

Only pro for the 500 II was you save about 2500 EUR in Germany and save some weight. But I wasn´t sure if I would ask my self the whole time why I didn´t got the 600 II.

Good luck with whatever you order they are all the best lenses you can get.



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Re: Please - I do need some wise advise 2choose: EF500II/EF600II/EF200-400?
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2012, 10:35:41 AM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Please - I do need some wise advise 2choose: EF500II/EF600II/EF200-400?
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2012, 11:23:22 AM »
...should you in my shoes - choose EF600mm f/4L IS USM II before the EF500mm f/4L IS USM II or wait for the EF200-400mm f/4L with Extender 1.4x (560mm f/5.6) with the weight around 4000gr according to the un-checked weight said by the Canon Pro Photo informator at the Canon desk!

I was in your shoes, so to speak, I chose the 600 II and it's a great lens for birds/wildlife.

This is the second report that the new 200-400 + 1.4x is heavier than the 600 II.  Also, the 200-400 reportedly does not take a 1.4x TC (seems believable given how close the drop-in filter slot is to the mount), meaning 560mm is as long as you get with Canon (a Kenko 1.4x is an option).  The 1D X and soon the 5DIII can AF at f/8, but you can't add reach to the 200-400mm.  The 600 II takes even a 2xIII very well.

I use the Lowepro Flipside 500AW for transport and the 600 Lens will fit with no camera attached.
So perfect for the transport and Handluggage on a flight.

Does the 600 II fit in there with the hood reversed?  Thanks!
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florian

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Re: Please - I do need some wise advise 2choose: EF500II/EF600II/EF200-400?
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2012, 11:55:01 AM »
I´ve got a roll from some posters I´ve ordered and I cut it down to the lenght of the lens and it did fit.
It was not the diameter with lenshood. I can let you know when I get my lens delivered.
Because for me it was important to fit into a carry on luggage sized back pack that I could also use when I´m trekking for birds.

I think it will fit but I might go with the AquaTech Soft Hood, because I can throw this in my suitcase and it does the job. And it saves me some weight in the carry on. With my upcoming 6 1/2 weeks Australia trip next year I need this, because the in country flights won´t be easy, they often control your carry on for weight. And Jetstar they give you 3 extra KG don´t have every route I need.

I´ve had the Flipside 500AW already because the 5D II with underwaterhousing from Ikelite and 2 big underwater strobes didn´t fit in any other bag I tried.
I was also thinking about the 200-400 but 560 on a full frame was too short for me. With a 7D this lens would do nice I guess. But why guess and wait for a price that will knock you off your feet, when a 600 is already availible.

neuroanatomist

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Re: Please - I do need some wise advise 2choose: EF500II/EF600II/EF200-400?
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2012, 12:35:03 PM »
Thanks, florian.  I'm using a Lowepro Lens Trekker 600 AW II for transport (fits 600 II with 2xIII and 1D X mounted), but that won't work for air travel.  Without hood, the lens fits in my Storm im2500 carryon hard case.  I'm not planning any trips with it soon, but my current plan would be to take the lens (and other gear) as carry on in the hard case, and pack the hood in the Lens Trekker with clothes and check that as baggage.

The Flipside 500 AW would be worth considering, though.  I have both the Flipside 300 and the Flipside 400 AW, useful for different loads.
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Re: Please - I do need some wise advise 2choose: EF500II/EF600II/EF200-400?
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2012, 12:38:15 PM »
I have the old 500mm f4 and a 7D. I'd suggest getting either the 500 or the 600. I don't know what the IQ on the 200-400 will be but I'd be very surprised if it can match these primes. I know my 500 is simply outstanding. I got the 500 instead of the 600 for cost reasons.
As far as another body is concerned, I've been holding off buying another one because I was hoping to see Canon come out with an answer to Nikon's high megapixel FF but I'm beginning to think that's not going to happen anytime soon. So, one thing to think about before you commit all that money to lenses - how important is a high Mp FF to you? If its important, you might think about jumping to Nikon.

ZoeEnPhos

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Re: Please - I do need some wise advise 2choose: EF500II/EF600II/EF200-400?
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2012, 03:33:15 PM »
Hi Charl,

I went through the same for month and finally ordered my 600 II last week.
I use the 5D III and as backup the 5D II which I hope to trade in for a 1D X soon.
With the new AF Firmwareupdate you also can go 1200mm with the 2x for really small birds.
1DX give you the great benefit to give you spot metering on you focus points. This will get your wildlife shots a lot better, because sometimes you don´t have time for a second or third shot. And of course the frame rate. Thats the only things I miss on my 5D and they are only for 1D´s.

I use the Lowepro Flipside 500AW for transport and the 600 Lens will fit with no camera attached.
So perfect for the transport and Handluggage on a flight.

Delivery times in Germany are about 5 month at the moment.

Only pro for the 500 II was you save about 2500 EUR in Germany and save some weight. But I wasn´t sure if I would ask my self the whole time why I didn´t got the 600 II.

Good luck with whatever you order they are all the best lenses you can get.

I wish to address to you Florian a very BIG THANK for your most valued advice and the added points of the DSLRs 1DX and 5D MarkIII! --> "1DX give you the great benefit to give you spot metering on you focus points. This will get your wildlife shots a lot better, because sometimes you don´t have time for a second or third shot. And of course the frame rate. Thats the only things I miss on my 5D and they are only for 1D´s." This I did not know but it sounds really good to have this option in 1DX Florian!
Wishing you many happy shootings and great images and much joy with you excellent equipement!

All the Best to you Florian!

Carl
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florian

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Re: Please - I do need some wise advise 2choose: EF500II/EF600II/EF200-400?
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2012, 04:06:42 PM »
Thanks Charl,
glad to help. I hope you get a few nice shots when you got all your equipment and post a few here for everybody to enjoy.

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Re: Please - I do need some wise advise 2choose: EF500II/EF600II/EF200-400?
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2012, 04:06:42 PM »

florian

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Re: Please - I do need some wise advise 2choose: EF500II/EF600II/EF200-400?
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2012, 12:41:20 PM »
just got my EF600 II Lens today. Wow that was really quick. I had only to wait one month. instead of the 5 month they told me first.
Just want to let everyone know that it fits fine into the Loewepro Flipside 500AW.
With and without attached lenshood. This makes air travel very comfortable and also trekking with a lens like this.
I could also put my 5D III with 70-200 2.8 IS II in it and my 16-35 II and there is some space left.
Sorry for the bad pic quality. It from my phone. Haven´t ordered my 1DX yet.
I hope for some better weather on the weekend to take my new lens out for a test drive.

ZoeEnPhos

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Re: Please - I do need some wise advise 2choose: EF500II/EF600II/EF200-400?
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2012, 02:25:09 PM »
just got my EF600 II Lens today. Wow that was really quick. I had only to wait one month. instead of the 5 month they told me first.
Just want to let everyone know that it fits fine into the Loewepro Flipside 500AW.
With and without attached lenshood. This makes air travel very comfortable and also trekking with a lens like this.
I could also put my 5D III with 70-200 2.8 IS II in it and my 16-35 II and there is some space left.
Sorry for the bad pic quality. It from my phone. Haven´t ordered my 1DX yet.
I hope for some better weather on the weekend to take my new lens out for a test drive.


Hello Florian!
What a great news! A warm congratulations to you and your brand-new super-tele-lens that will give you most outstanding photos and the new lens will most likely also set your photographs apart from the crowd, and also being a very nice and of course a great addition to your kit! (not even yet mentioning your future ownership of the flagship - the 1Dx!)

I am glad to read that you can also travel comfortably using your Lowepro Flipside 500AW, with your new EF600 II! Very good and excellent and handy!

Wishing you Florian many wonderful moments outdoors, when you approach the wildlife together with your brand-new equipement the outstanding EF600 II!

Best Greetings from Sweden!

Charl
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Re: Please - I do need some wise advise 2choose: EF500II/EF600II/EF200-400?
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2012, 02:25:09 PM »