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Author Topic: Which supertele?  (Read 5642 times)

asmundma

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Which supertele?
« on: March 25, 2013, 03:12:03 AM »
Hi
My lense collection is getting complete exept for a supertele. I was keen on the 300 and use it with extenders. Should i get the 300, 400 or 500 ? Plan to use it for sports and wildlife. Then I got concerned about the weight, would I bring it or use my 70-200 with extenders. Right now I leaning towords 500, due to reach and lower weight then the 400.
What's your advice?
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Which supertele?
« on: March 25, 2013, 03:12:03 AM »

cervantes

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Re: Which supertele?
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2013, 04:33:09 AM »
For sports: 300 perfect, 400 perfect, 500 good
For wildlife: 500 perfect, 400 good, 300 probably less than good
For handholdability and transport via backpack: 300 perfect, 400 bad, 500 good

Since you weren't very specific about your needs I can't give you a clear recommendation.
I use the 500L II since about two weeks frequently and exclusively handheld -> works very well for me. I don't have any experience with the 300 and 400 though.

neuroanatomist

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Re: Which supertele?
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2013, 06:45:09 AM »
For sports, it depends on where you are in relation to the action.  On the sidelines, field not too big, the 300/2.8 is ideal.  For most sports, 400/2.8 is better.

For wildlife, does that include birds?  Most of the time, and especially for birds, the longer the lens, the better.  That's why I use a 600 II for that, often with a 1.4x or 2x TC. 

Also, it would help to know what camera you're talking about...400 on 1.6x will be too long for some sports. 
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AlanF

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Re: Which supertele?
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2013, 07:22:15 AM »
I am primarily a bird photographer (though not particularly good). After much thought, I settled on the 300 f/2.8 II with the x1.4 and x2 III series TCs because I do not use a tripod and like wandering around with a relatively light weight package. Everyone who posts about the 300 II with the x2 TC raves about its sharpness - the TC hardly degrades the sharpness at all (described by someone here as the second sharpest 600mm lens). The 300 II with the 1.4 is of not much more weight than the 400mm f/4 DO and similar price but is much sharper (see the Canon MTFs) as well as being blisteringly fast auto focus for BIF. Even Art Morris has been converted to loving the 300 lens.

The 70-200 f/2.8 with extenders is not in the same league as the 300mm f/2.8, and is about the same as the 100-400mm L. Even though I like and still use my 100-400mm for travel, I have to fill much more of the frame to get an acceptable sharp photo, which means you have to get much closer to birds to produce stunning results.

If you use a tripod then there are better alternatives, albeit more expensive. The 400mm f/2.8 II is even sharper than the legendary 300mm but is far heavier, and it will give an incredible sharp 800mm with the 2xTC. The 500mm f/4 with a 1.4xTC is very popular with birders. The most serious birders go for the longer lenses.

So take your choice. 300mm ± TCs for walk around (though Neuro manages heavier lenses) or the longer heavier for tripod work or the 70-200mm but at closer distances - you are spoilt for choice.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2013, 07:31:10 AM by AlanF »
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RGF

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Re: Which supertele?
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2013, 08:44:06 AM »
ISO a lot of wildlife shooting and I have both the 500 and 300.   I use the 500 much more than the 300.   If the 200-400  were ever to appear I would seriously consider that lens

asmundma

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Re: Which supertele?
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2013, 06:01:56 PM »
Thanks a lot for useful input. Fyi using 5d3.  Whats the AF speed of 300 with 2C?
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Re: Which supertele?
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2013, 06:20:46 PM »
Hey,

Since you have the 70-200 f2.8 , I would def. go for the 500mm f4 !

The 300 is superb off course, but it is pretty close to your 70-200 in reach.

The 500 is still hand holdable and since you use full frame cameras the choice of going for 500 for sports / wildlife is even easier ! (in my view)

I briefly had the 300f2.8 IS and 500 f4 IS, but got rid of the 300 f2.8
I found 300mm not long enough (even with 1.3 crop body)

I haven't checked this but i can imagine the appearance of a subject size between lenses (ratio) can be expressed as

500^2/300^2 = 2.777 times bigger (same distance a subject would appear 2.8 times bigger)

200 vs 300 = 2.5 bigger
200 vs 500 = 6.25 bigger

bigger meaning surface area of subject ( ratio's again)
Sorry if that logic is flawed, but i think it should be pretty solid since it's a 2 dimensional problem:P
Hope it is helpful

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Re: Which supertele?
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2013, 06:20:46 PM »

bdunbar79

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Re: Which supertele?
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2013, 08:05:15 PM »
Thanks a lot for useful input. Fyi using 5d3.  Whats the AF speed of 300 with 2C?

For sports, the best lens for soccer and football would be a 400 f/2.8.  If you can practice a lot and get it right, you can get great shots with little cropping.  If you are uncomfortable with your framing, a 300 f/2.8 and cropping in post works great too.  For wildlife, I'd go 500 and up.
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Don Haines

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Re: Which supertele?
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2013, 08:19:46 PM »
The problem with wildlife is that it is wild..... and that means hard to get close to.

My longest lens is 400mm on a crop camera. It is rarely long enough to get close to shy animals.

We had a great Grey owl at work most of the winter.... I saw it every day for two months. Only once did it get close enough that 400mm x 1.6crop came close to filling the frame. The rest of the time I was thinking how nice 800mm or 1200mm would be.... and that's a large bird!

If I were going towards a super tele I would be drooling after a 600mm F4, and at that, partly because it plays well with the teleconverters (or so I am told)..... but that's just my opinion.
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AlanF

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Re: Which supertele?
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2013, 08:23:34 PM »
Thanks a lot for useful input. Fyi using 5d3.  Whats the AF speed of 300 with 2C?

On the 7D, it could be a little slow.  With the latest 5DIII and the II series lens and III series x2 TC, the AF is very fast and fine for birds in flight.  Believe me, that 600mm combination is pretty incredible and only slightly shorter than the 500 mm with a 1.4xTC, and considerably more versatile and portable.  The II series lens is far better with TCs than the I series. 
5D III, 70D, Powershot SX50, 300/2.8 II, 1.4xTC III, 2xTC III, 70-200/4 IS, 24-105, 15-85, Sigma 10-20, Tamron 150-600.

AlanF

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Re: Which supertele?
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2013, 08:41:59 PM »
Hey,

Since you have the 70-200 f2.8 , I would def. go for the 500mm f4 !

The 300 is superb off course, but it is pretty close to your 70-200 in reach.

The 500 is still hand holdable and since you use full frame cameras the choice of going for 500 for sports / wildlife is even easier ! (in my view)

I briefly had the 300f2.8 IS and 500 f4 IS, but got rid of the 300 f2.8
I found 300mm not long enough (even with 1.3 crop body)

I haven't checked this but i can imagine the appearance of a subject size between lenses (ratio) can be expressed as

500^2/300^2 = 2.777 times bigger (same distance a subject would appear 2.8 times bigger)

200 vs 300 = 2.5 bigger
200 vs 500 = 6.25 bigger

bigger meaning surface area of subject ( ratio's again)
Sorry if that logic is flawed, but i think it should be pretty solid since it's a 2 dimensional problem:P
Hope it is helpful

The logic is flawed, unfortunately - the resolving power depends on the focal length of the lens, not the length squared as it is a 1 D problem.  Two lines can be resolved if the image on the sensor has them separated by two pixels.  The size of the image depends on the focal length of the lens. So, a 300mm lens gives you 50% more reach than a 200mm, a 400mm 33% more than a 300mm, and a 700mm 16.6% than a 600mm, all things being equal. 
5D III, 70D, Powershot SX50, 300/2.8 II, 1.4xTC III, 2xTC III, 70-200/4 IS, 24-105, 15-85, Sigma 10-20, Tamron 150-600.

Stu_bert

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Re: Which supertele?
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2013, 03:01:40 AM »
Hey,

Since you have the 70-200 f2.8 , I would def. go for the 500mm f4 !

The 300 is superb off course, but it is pretty close to your 70-200 in reach.

The 500 is still hand holdable and since you use full frame cameras the choice of going for 500 for sports / wildlife is even easier ! (in my view)

I briefly had the 300f2.8 IS and 500 f4 IS, but got rid of the 300 f2.8
I found 300mm not long enough (even with 1.3 crop body)

I haven't checked this but i can imagine the appearance of a subject size between lenses (ratio) can be expressed as

500^2/300^2 = 2.777 times bigger (same distance a subject would appear 2.8 times bigger)

200 vs 300 = 2.5 bigger
200 vs 500 = 6.25 bigger

bigger meaning surface area of subject ( ratio's again)
Sorry if that logic is flawed, but i think it should be pretty solid since it's a 2 dimensional problem:P
Hope it is helpful

The logic is flawed, unfortunately - the resolving power depends on the focal length of the lens, not the length squared as it is a 1 D problem.  Two lines can be resolved if the image on the sensor has them separated by two pixels.  The size of the image depends on the focal length of the lens. So, a 300mm lens gives you 50% more reach than a 200mm, a 400mm 33% more than a 300mm, and a 700mm 16.6% than a 600mm, all things being equal.
But does not the reach expand your subject in both axis/dimensions, therefore if you are talking surface area or % of the sensor covered, then what apop says is correct? Agreed, reach, but not % of sensor...
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AlanF

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Re: Which supertele?
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2013, 03:37:58 AM »
Resolution and signal to noise, which are linear functions of focal length, not surface area are the factors that are important, because you can enlarge an image. You can increase the area of the image from say a 200mm lens  to be the same size as for a 300mm lens on the same camera by increasing the number of pixels in each dimension in PS by 1.5 in each dimension, and the difference between the two images will be a factor of 1.5 in resolution, not 1.5^2. Or, in the good old days of film, you would have enlarged the negative by 1.5 times more to give the same size photo but with 1.5x less resolution.  You also increase noise to signal on enlargement, but N/S depends on the square root of the area of the image, i.e. its linear dimension.

Consider an analogous example: an APS-C has a crop factor of 1.6 because the image is effectively larger by 1.6 in both axis directions. We all say that the crop has a 1.6 times advantage in reach, not 1.6^2 (= 2.56), the increase in area. The S/N is worse than a FF by, in theory, a factor of 1.6, not 2.56.

What a telephoto lens does is, in effect, to let you get closer to your subject proportional to the focal length of your lens. Suppose a bird is 100m away. Then you will get the same size image when you have a 200mm lens 20m away, a 300mm lens, 30m away, a 500mm lens 50m away, a 600mm lens 60m away, a 700mm lens 70m away etc.  It is focal length and not focal length squared that is important.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2013, 04:47:51 AM by AlanF »
5D III, 70D, Powershot SX50, 300/2.8 II, 1.4xTC III, 2xTC III, 70-200/4 IS, 24-105, 15-85, Sigma 10-20, Tamron 150-600.

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Re: Which supertele?
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2013, 03:37:58 AM »

Apop

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Re: Which supertele?
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2013, 05:49:04 AM »
Yeah that was what i was thinking
that same subject is +/-270% the surface area the subject would have been if taken with 300mm , when you use a 500mm for the same subject

I have never really given the 300+tc's much thought, it does sound very interesting for the weight, 300 f2.8/420f4/600f5.6

I can imagine you want to stop down to 6.3? maybe even more when at 600mm? or is it comparable to a bare 500 ..., thedigitalpicture for what its worth shows indeed that the 300 IS II works very well with converters

However, a 500f4 vs 600f5.6 (possibly 6.3/8) still makes some difference to me (when you need that shutterspeed for action)
I wonder how auto focus speed would compare ( i can imagine the bare being faster, but by how much)


A new 300 f2.8 IS II is also slightly more expensive than a used 500 mm f4 IS
I picked up a 500f4 IS in mint condition (production yr 2009 or so) in a store with 1 year warranty and a 1.4 tc for over 1000 euros less than the cost of a new 300 f2.8 IS II, that also made the choice a lot easier for me.

Depending on what wildlife you encounter both can work fine, but i think a 300 mm on a full frame can ask for some heavy cropping from time to time.
I had a d800 and 200-400 out on safari, it delivered great images, however even with 400 mm and the good cropping ability i came up short for pretty much all smaller birds(for my liking), some eagles, even some mammals , and at other times 200 mm was way 2 much :p






Hey,

Since you have the 70-200 f2.8 , I would def. go for the 500mm f4 !

The 300 is superb off course, but it is pretty close to your 70-200 in reach.

The 500 is still hand holdable and since you use full frame cameras the choice of going for 500 for sports / wildlife is even easier ! (in my view)

I briefly had the 300f2.8 IS and 500 f4 IS, but got rid of the 300 f2.8
I found 300mm not long enough (even with 1.3 crop body)

I haven't checked this but i can imagine the appearance of a subject size between lenses (ratio) can be expressed as

500^2/300^2 = 2.777 times bigger (same distance a subject would appear 2.8 times bigger)

200 vs 300 = 2.5 bigger
200 vs 500 = 6.25 bigger

bigger meaning surface area of subject ( ratio's again)
Sorry if that logic is flawed, but i think it should be pretty solid since it's a 2 dimensional problem:P
Hope it is helpful

The logic is flawed, unfortunately - the resolving power depends on the focal length of the lens, not the length squared as it is a 1 D problem.  Two lines can be resolved if the image on the sensor has them separated by two pixels.  The size of the image depends on the focal length of the lens. So, a 300mm lens gives you 50% more reach than a 200mm, a 400mm 33% more than a 300mm, and a 700mm 16.6% than a 600mm, all things being equal.
But does not the reach expand your subject in both axis/dimensions, therefore if you are talking surface area or % of the sensor covered, then what apop says is correct? Agreed, reach, but not % of sensor...

Apop

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Re: Which supertele?
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2013, 06:14:32 AM »
the d800 with 36mp, when you take a crop image (1.5 crop factor), the pixels that remain on target = 36/1.5^2 =36/2.25= 16

So essentially a 300mm vs 500mm lens means that you got the ratio of those 2 squared --> more pixels on target

(500/300)^2 is about 2.778 as many pixels on target  ( surface area of subject)

I think thats much more important then saying it's only 1.6667 times the focal length

200 to 300 may be only 1.5 times the focal length , but its 2.25 times as many pixels on target
So an object appears 2.25 times larger in your view finder as well.


and 420mm f4 vs 500mmf4, it may onle be a 1.19 factor difference in Focal lengths, you still get over 40% more pixels on target with the 500mm





Resolution and signal to noise, which are linear functions of focal length, not surface area are the factors that are important, because you can enlarge an image. You can increase the area of the image from say a 200mm lens  to be the same size as for a 300mm lens on the same camera by increasing the number of pixels in each dimension in PS by 1.5 in each dimension, and the difference between the two images will be a factor of 1.5 in resolution, not 1.5^2. Or, in the good old days of film, you would have enlarged the negative by 1.5 times more to give the same size photo but with 1.5x less resolution.  You also increase noise to signal on enlargement, but N/S depends on the square root of the area of the image, i.e. its linear dimension.

Consider an analogous example: an APS-C has a crop factor of 1.6 because the image is effectively larger by 1.6 in both axis directions. We all say that the crop has a 1.6 times advantage in reach, not 1.6^2 (= 2.56), the increase in area. The S/N is worse than a FF by, in theory, a factor of 1.6, not 2.56.

What a telephoto lens does is, in effect, to let you get closer to your subject proportional to the focal length of your lens. Suppose a bird is 100m away. Then you will get the same size image when you have a 200mm lens 20m away, a 300mm lens, 30m away, a 500mm lens 50m away, a 600mm lens 60m away, a 700mm lens 70m away etc.  It is focal length and not focal length squared that is important.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2013, 06:16:57 AM by Apop »

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Re: Which supertele?
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2013, 06:14:32 AM »