November 27, 2014, 05:51:50 PM

Author Topic: 500 x $10K or 600 x$13K  (Read 9793 times)

victorwol

  • Canon 70D
  • ****
  • Posts: 296
    • View Profile
500 x $10K or 600 x$13K
« on: December 30, 2012, 11:47:17 AM »
Hi! I have a hard time making my mind.... First, I'm not a pro, I do not make money with my photos, it's just something I do really enjoy and instead of spending my money on cars or bikes, I do on camera gear, I consider it less dangerous and the money can be recovered much easier by selling in case of need loosing less than when you sell a used car or bike.....

I for a looong time being thinking into get a long prime, a 500mm or a 600mm, it's a lot of money for a hobby, but I think I will enjoy it, and also have already a few repeated or overlapping focal lens glass that I will sell to help pay for the prime, like a Sigma 120-300 f2.8 (the last one) and also have the EF 70-200 f2.8 L II with the 1.4 and 2X extenders, so don't really need the Sigma, also have the 24-105 f4 L and got the 24-70 f2.8 L II and a few more that can go.....

So the thing I guess is, does the extra 100mm really worth the extra $3K on that lens? For what I was able to see, the difference in sharpness between the Canon 600 and the Sigma at 300mm with the 2X extender is abysmal, does anyone have a chance to compare these two first hand?

Am I crazy for wanting to have one of these lenses for a hobby use? Love birds, but the sort of crappy autofocus speed I'm getting with the Sigma and the 2X extender and the so so quality it's discouraging.

The bodies I have are 5D MKIII and 1D X

Thanks.
1D X - 5D MKIII - 7D - 24 f1.4L - 8-15 L - 50 1.2L - 85 1.2L - 15 2.8 - 16-35 2.8L - 24-105 4.0L - 70-200 2.8 LII - 24 TSE - 45 TSE - 90 TSE - MPE 65 - 180 f3.5L - 100 2.8L II - 580EX and a few Einsteins.

canon rumors FORUM

500 x $10K or 600 x$13K
« on: December 30, 2012, 11:47:17 AM »

pedro

  • 1D Mark IV
  • ******
  • Posts: 787
    • View Profile
Re: 500 x $10K or 600 x$13K
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2012, 12:05:39 PM »
Go for the 500, and invest the money left in a flight ticket to a dream destination for birders...Amazonia or some other place... 8) And in case you need more reach you have your extenders right with you, can't be that bad with a high quality lens.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2012, 12:10:57 PM by pedro »
30D, EF-S 10-22/ 5DIII, 16-35 F/2.8 L USM II, 28 F/2.8, 50 F/1.4, 85 F/1.8, 70-200 F/2.8 classic,
join me at http://www.flickr.com/groups/insane_isos/

cervantes

  • Rebel SL1
  • ***
  • Posts: 92
    • View Profile
    • Focrates
Re: 500 x $10K or 600 x$13K
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2012, 12:10:10 PM »
Hi!

First of all: No, its not crazy to think about those lenses as an amateur. I am also thinking very hard about getting a 500 ii in 2013 but wasnt able to totally justify it although I could afford it (I don't have a car btw.  ::)).
In my opinion the main difference between 500 and 600 is not the price but the weight. If you plan to use it handheld or on hikes your much better off with the 500. For birding on a mono- or tripod the 600 will be better.
Choose the lens that fits better to your style and what you will use it for rather than the price difference.

Stu_bert

  • Canon 70D
  • ****
  • Posts: 252
    • View Profile
Re: 500 x $10K or 600 x$13K
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2012, 01:03:56 PM »
I was lucky enough to pick up a MK 1 IS 500mm in the USA back in 2007 when the dollar was 2:1 (GBP) and the MK 1 was under USD 7K. Never regretted it. I bought it over the 600mm based on cost. The MK II versions are sharper & lighter. Do I miss the extra 100mm ? Sometimes. I've done 8 safaris but alas 3 of them without the 500mm, and yes there are times the extra 100mm would have been nice, but there are solutions some of the time...

  • Use extenders
  • Use a crop sensor for better "effective" reach
  • Use an operator who is allowed to get closer to the subject - private parks are often better
  • Have patience, sometimes waiting a while offers significant rewards

Ultimately as mentioned, it depends on what you photograph, how you photograph and where you photograph as to whether the extra 100mm would benefit you. Personally the weight is not an issue on the type of trips I do with the lens, it tends to be in a vehicle and the only challenges I have are choosing the right airline with sensible hand luggage policies, or not trying to show @ check-in that there is 17KG on my back :)

Couple of other points - 1) Consider whether you current camera bag will cope and 2) Consider good insurance - a friend of mine was out shooting deer in Berlin, walked between hides with it slung over his shoulder still on the monopod, and dropped it... fortunately he still has a 600mm and an extra 5K to spend on his next body... :)
If life is all about what you do in the time that you have, then photography is about the pictures you take not the kit that took it. Still it's fun to talk about the kit, present or future :)

7enderbender

  • 5D Mark III
  • ******
  • Posts: 635
    • View Profile
Re: 500 x $10K or 600 x$13K
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2012, 01:44:28 PM »
I'm not really a wildlife and birding expert by any means though I have done some of that in my early film days. Back then I used a Canon FD 500 reflex lens. Nothing to call home about but I'm just referring to the focal length. 500 is still short and honestly I don't think 600 makes much of a difference. For birds I often ended up putting on a 2x extender (with pretty bad results back then). If I was seriously thinking about a big white 13K lens for birds and other animals I'd go straight for the 800mm. Or see what the best combination of a cheaper lens with any of the extenders would be, e.g. 400 plus 2x or so which may turn out to be not really that much cheaper in the end...

5DII - 50L - 135L - 200 2.8L - 24-105 - 580EXII - 430EXII - FD 500/8 - AE1-p - bag full of FD lenses

natureshots

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 60
    • View Profile
Q
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2012, 03:05:58 PM »
I've been thinking about the same question.
If you are going to hand hold for more than a few shots the 800mm is out. If your goal is to always shoot at F8 with TCs and a FF camera on a tripod the 800 is your best option as long as your subject does not get too close. One other option is to shoot at f5.6 with a crop sensor which is like adding a TC. I would assume that the replacement crop sensor should handle low light better so once it comes along this will be a nice option.  When you add the 2x TC the IQ difference between the 500mm +2x and 600mm + 2X is nominal. The corners are the main issue which will not be used with the crop. The sharpness difference is not a big deal unless you like to spend all day with a magnifying glass on your images and like to put your subjects in the corners of your FF camera.
Next big consideration is knowing what you can handhold if that's something you will be doing frequently. If you're not strong and have good technique you're going to probably have substantially sharper results with the 500. Handholding the 600mm with TCs will really amplify your motion blur because of the weight and the added magnification does not help much either.
The MFD is 20ft on the 800, 15 on the 600 and 12 on the 500. You can use extension tubes but your AF goes to crap. Not only will the extension tubes make AF more difficult but it will alter your AFMA so I'd plan on MF for optimum sharpness and with the time to put on the tubes your going to have your subject close for a while. So what it really comes down to is whether or not you will go with a crop for super long distance birds, how well you can handhold the different weights if you will be doing that and how close your subjects will be. I want to get the most reach possible, I will be handholding although I'm a big guy so I don't think the weight difference will be huge between the 500/600 and I will need the better MFD of the 500/600. I feel that for me the best bet is the 600mm but the 500mm or 800mm will be the right lens for others depending on how exactly you will be using it.
 I'm praying that the 7d mkII will have a good F8 AF and low light performance like the 1d IV. If so you've got an unreal cannon (pun intended) to shoot falcons which always see me coming from half a mile away. If you are shooting alot of wildlife and you're not trying to shoot shy wablers and falcons the closer MFD, lighter weight of the 500mm will probably be your best option. Just my thoughts but I'd love to hear some real life experience although the actual images produced by the 600 seem great and there are more than a few pro bird photographers that are crazy about the 600mm especially now that they can use their 2x III TCs on their 1dx's. Arthur Morris normally uses the 800mm and has a 500mm although he sold his 600mm because he shoots at f8 usually and he was using kenkos to allow AF with the 1dx. The kenko 2x and 600mm was less than ideal. He's planning on doing the comparison soon with the 600 vs. 800 and I'm sure it will be posted on his site.  Its also worth noting that there are some reports that the 600mm AF is better than the 800mm even when you start putting on TCs. These are my thoughts about the subject albeit poorly organized, now time to go back to work :(.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2012, 03:14:55 PM by natureshots »

lrf

  • Power Shot G7X
  • **
  • Posts: 9
    • View Profile
Re: 500 x $10K or 600 x$13K
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2012, 03:39:24 PM »
I'm a hobbiest as well and am the owner of a 500mm version I.  I initially purchased it in a year I wouldn't be able to travel much and escape the city.  Birds were going to be my weekend nature escape.  While I enjoy photographing birds since owning the 500 I've found that I really enjoy wildlife travel to photograph all kinds of wildlife.  So, you may want to consider if you will only use it for birds or if you would use it for larger wildlife as well.  If you want to stick with birds the extra reach of the 600 may be better.  However if you want to use it for larger wildlife the 500 may be more versatile. 

The 500 is a little smaller and lighter which makes it easier and quicker in situations where you want to handhold it.  On a recent trip to Churchill to photograph polar bears, there just wasn't room for a tripod so I would handhold and brace it against the rail. 

Since I've owned the lens I've used it on several cameras with different crop factors 1.6, 1.3 and full frame.  Lately I've been using on a 5DIII with a 1.4 extender.  That size works well for the different wildlife sizes and if I were to upgrade I would stick with the 500. However, if I were stick with birds only, I would opt for the 600.


canon rumors FORUM

Re: 500 x $10K or 600 x$13K
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2012, 03:39:24 PM »

florian

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 37
    • View Profile
Re: 500 x $10K or 600 x$13K
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2012, 03:55:04 PM »
I know what Problem it is to decide for someone who didn´t had a big white before.
It was the same for me. I love to take pictures of birds but only had a 70-200 2.8 IS II or the 70-300L.
I only do birding on vactions, I love to take pictures of parrots but sadly there are not much here in Germany.

I went for the 600 IS II and got it delivered this month and I would do it again without any regred.
It fit´s perfectly in my Lowepro Backpack and is not problem as a carry on for flights. This was important for me.

The other thing is with the 500 you only get 700 or 1000mm with extenders and with the 600 - 840 and 1200mm. For this small shy birds 200mm more do matter a lot.

The weight is really OK. It´s getting heavy if you are standing under a tree and wait for a bridy head to pop out and after 10 to 15 Minutes you have to take longer breaks from holding it up. With a 500 it won´t be much longer before the arms get tired. So for this reason I got a Monopod with a tilthead.

You will be very happy with both lenses, there is not bad choice. The new 800 might be a very good choice too when it hits the Canon stores but this might take at least another year and with the 600 you also get 840 5.6 with the 1,4.

All you need then is a nice flash bracket with a better beamer and your are good to go.


neuroanatomist

  • CR GEEK
  • **********
  • Posts: 14981
    • View Profile
Re: 500 x $10K or 600 x$13K
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2012, 06:39:37 PM »
Photography is also a hobby for me.  I had this choice to make over last summer, I chose the 600mm II.  The extra 100mm is useful to me, and performance with the 2xIII is very good. I can carry the lens on reasonably long hikes (on a Blackrapid strap), and handhold the lens. I've shot birds in flight at 1200mm handheld with the 1D X.
EOS 1D X, EOS M, and lots of lenses
______________________________
Flickr | TDP Profile/Gear List

dolina

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1046
    • View Profile
Re: 500 x $10K or 600 x$13K
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2012, 07:42:43 PM »
I would go with the 500 if weight and money is a concern. I'd go with the 600 if you want more length.

No need to make it complicated. It will deliver what you need.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2012, 07:44:44 PM by dolina »
Visit my Flickr, Facebook & 500px and see my photos. :)

natureshots

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 60
    • View Profile
Re: 500 x $10K or 600 x$13K
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2012, 08:54:04 PM »
Photography is also a hobby for me.  I had this choice to make over last summer, I chose the 600mm II.  The extra 100mm is useful to me, and performance with the 2xIII is very good. I can carry the lens on reasonably long hikes (on a Blackrapid strap), and handhold the lens. I've shot birds in flight at 1200mm handheld with the 1D X.

Just kinda curious, if you are doing stationary birds what shutter speed do you need for tack sharp pics with an extender on it? How are you in terms of handholding big lenses technique? I'm curious to see how good that IS really is compared to the mkI series. Do you see much of a sharpness drop on your corners if you pixel peep? I know that IRL the difference is negligible from what I have seen.

neuroanatomist

  • CR GEEK
  • **********
  • Posts: 14981
    • View Profile
Re: 500 x $10K or 600 x$13K
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2012, 10:07:08 PM »
I've never done the 'how slow can I go' test, but I normally use a min shutter of 1/250 s.  As for technique, the usual - good stance, elbows against body with the left one braced to support the lens, eyecup against forehead as an additional contact point. The corners aren't as sharp as the center, but that's a relative thing - they're still sharper than most other lenses...
EOS 1D X, EOS M, and lots of lenses
______________________________
Flickr | TDP Profile/Gear List

Lnguyen1203

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 53
    • View Profile
Re: 500 x $10K or 600 x$13K
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2012, 10:54:59 PM »
Like you, I'm not a pro.  I shoot for fun and an excuse to be outdoor watching the wildlife.  I considered both the 500mm and 600mm like you and decided to go for the 500mm because

1. It's far easier to travel.  I carry a Lower pro 500 bag on all kinds of planes, even the regional planes that service Yellowstone Bozeman airport (may be a 20 seater).  No airlines has given me grief about carrying it on board.

2. Handholding - I do have a tripod with gimbal head, but it is just nice to have the option of handholding.

3. Hiking - I carry a 1DX with the 500 mm and 1.4x for 2 hours at a time without much trouble.

4. I use both the 1.4x and the 2x and are happy with both.  I suppose the same will apply to the 600 mm as well.

I suppose, the cost of a 1DX and 500mm is less half the cost of a new luxury car.  I'm still driving a 2004 Saab convertible which I bought in 2007 as a certified preened car.  Do I feel guilty for spending that much on a hobby? Absolutely not!

1DX, 5D3, T3i, 500f4 II, 70-300L, 16-35L, 1.4x II, 2x III TCs

canon rumors FORUM

Re: 500 x $10K or 600 x$13K
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2012, 10:54:59 PM »

natureshots

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 60
    • View Profile
Re: 500 x $10K or 600 x$13K
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2012, 11:09:14 PM »
I've never done the 'how slow can I go' test, but I normally use a min shutter of 1/250 s.  As for technique, the usual - good stance, elbows against body with the left one braced to support the lens, eyecup against forehead as an additional contact point. The corners aren't as sharp as the center, but that's a relative thing - they're still sharper than most other lenses...
Definitely the right technique but I've noticed some people are simply better at handholding than others. I'm guessing you haven't compared yourself to others who atleast know how to support the lens. The 1/250th is with the 2x extender on right? Other question is have you compared the resolution of a 7D and 1.4x vs a 1dx and 2x? I know you'll take a big hit in AF and probably a little more than a stop of light (I'm guessing about 2.5 stops difference in low light performance, I'm assuming the 7D at 800 is similar to the 1dx at 4000ish in RAW noise level). Important thing to think about too is the 7D has the same MP and a higher effective magnification (1x2x600=1200 vs 1.6x1.4x600=1344). I'm really interested to see how a crop sensor can measure up to a FF on focal length limited applications. I realizing I'm asking a lot but I figure it might be an interesting comparison if you feel up to it. Thanks for the info, the wheels in my pixel peeping mind are turning  ;).

In response to the OP because I'm getting off topic: If shooting is a hobby the 500mm does sound like a better option. The added weight certainly will not add to your enjoyment of photography. The extra 20% magnification is not a big deal especially when it's really only about 10-15% magnification if you are cropping because the 500 is certainly a sharper lens. Plus the cost difference is extra money for vacation and that seems like a better use of the money. Also if your subject is between 12-15 feet not having to use tubes sure is nice.

neuroanatomist

  • CR GEEK
  • **********
  • Posts: 14981
    • View Profile
Re: 500 x $10K or 600 x$13K
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2012, 11:30:50 PM »
I'm really interested to see how a crop sensor can measure up to a FF on focal length limited applications.

Me too, and I've been planning to do such a test for a while, but haven't gotten to it yet.  Besides curiosity, I want to determine if there's a point in my keeping the 7D (other than purely as a backup camera). 
EOS 1D X, EOS M, and lots of lenses
______________________________
Flickr | TDP Profile/Gear List

canon rumors FORUM

Re: 500 x $10K or 600 x$13K
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2012, 11:30:50 PM »