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Author Topic: 300 f/2.8L and 400 f/2.8 at f/2.8  (Read 12698 times)

Apop

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Re: 300 f/2.8L and 400 f/2.8 at f/2.8
« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2013, 02:29:17 PM »
The 300 with extender images look far far better to my eyes compared with the 70-300.

But if you aren't happy with the increase of sharpness vs cost i can understand that.

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Re: 300 f/2.8L and 400 f/2.8 at f/2.8
« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2013, 02:29:17 PM »

Jack Douglas

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Re: 300 f/2.8L and 400 f/2.8 at f/2.8
« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2013, 02:47:00 PM »
Thanks Apop,

For sure the quality of the shot is better in all respects but I guess I've gotten somewhat hung up on the fact that there didn't seem to be that much difference in detail.  There is a little "open" sign on the store window that really improved with the lens stopped down - especially its color. 

I've never made such a big purchase on camera equipment and I guess that's what happens when you start second guessing your purchase.  My friend is a much more experienced photographer and he was hesitent as well and is still debating getting this 300 lens.

Jack
6D  24-70 F4  70-200 F2.8 II  300 F2.8 II  1.4X III  2X III

Apop

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Re: 300 f/2.8L and 400 f/2.8 at f/2.8
« Reply #17 on: April 14, 2013, 03:16:05 PM »
Well it is true that 10x the price is not even close to 10x the sharpness you get.

The other day i was looking at the difference of 650d+300f4+1.4tc (672mm with 18mp) @5.6 vs 1dmkiv @500f4 (650mm with 16 mp) and at first glance was surprised how 'close' the 300 with tc on a 1.6 crop body was to the 500 f4, however when taking 50+ shots with both it was clear that the 500 was quite a bit sharper and the even tho the autofocus and tracking is not bad on a 650d, the 1mkiv is on a different level. Also the noise is more pronounced on the 650d ( not the mention it had an one stop disadvantage also)

In the end having better equipment will give you a higher % chance of making the shot you are really after, but it is still limited by yourself. , for the examplewhen i take a 1 second burst there might be 1 really good image from the 650d+300+1.4 converter(from 5 frames), but the chance  that i have more than 1 good image from the 1dmkiv +500 (from 10 frames with half the iso also) is enough for me to justify the extra cost.

But it's still a numbers game , it is possible(not likely) that i dont have any good image from the 1dmkiv , while i have 2 out of 5 very good images from the 650d.

More likely is that i have a 40% hit rate with 650d and 2 nice images, vs a 60-70% hit rate from the 1d giving me 6-7 nice images  (just making up numbers , but it's the way i look at it).

But, A 300 f4 IS might be a much better purchase if you looking for a good canon prime at a more ''affordable'' price.

Naked 300 f4 is pretty close to the 300 2.8 when both looked @ f5.6, als the 300 f4 can handle a 1.4 teleconverter pretty nicely!

I was also looking at a 300 f2.8 , but decided to go for an used 500 f4 ( partially because it was less expensive and can give 700mm)
« Last Edit: April 14, 2013, 03:18:46 PM by Apop »

Jack Douglas

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Re: 300 f/2.8L and 400 f/2.8 at f/2.8
« Reply #18 on: April 14, 2013, 04:55:25 PM »
Thanks Apop,

Seems you're going through what I did a couple months back.  Because I'd heard nothing but raves about the 300 2.8 I bought it anyway.  The money is spent and the expensive lesson learned.  Funny, I could be so foolish to think that there was anything close to a proportional relationship between price and quality - it's more like a exponential of diminishing returns.  I think it's reasonable to assume that Canon will do their checks correctly and tune if needed and when I get it back I just have to shoot to the best of my ability and be happy.

Do you think that a crop camera such as the 7D II is supposed to be (LOL) could have good low light capability and give the higher resolution that I'd be happier with (I could use more reach).  Or do you think that those of us that like to look for detail we didn't even see in the original shot, would be better served by the next generation full frame with higher MP.  I think pixel peeping is silly except in the context of taking the best shot you have of bird X and then looking to see more of the detail of its features (educational). 

Here's the 6D and 300 giving some detail - but is it up to spec??  Thanks again.  Perhaps others will benifit from my mistakes.  I do like the 6D.

Jack
6D  24-70 F4  70-200 F2.8 II  300 F2.8 II  1.4X III  2X III

CarlTN

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Re: 300 f/2.8L and 400 f/2.8 at f/2.8
« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2013, 03:04:18 AM »
Jack, this last photo of the bird is plenty sharp at its eye...you just have the aperture open too wide to get the whole bird sharper than it is. 

eml58

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Re: 300 f/2.8L and 400 f/2.8 at f/2.8
« Reply #20 on: April 15, 2013, 03:19:16 AM »
Hi Bdunbar79, I didn't pick up if your Lenses are V1 or V2, I have the 300/400 & 600 all Version 2 Lenses & was having OOF shots more than I cared for, I found out that Canon have released new firmware for all 3 of these Lenses in relation to "better auto focus", Once I had the Lenses back to Canon Singapore & the new Firmware installed to the Lenses, I've found a much better hit rate than previous, anything now OOF I put down to my own poor technique.
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Jack Douglas

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Re: 300 f/2.8L and 400 f/2.8 at f/2.8
« Reply #21 on: April 15, 2013, 03:29:45 AM »
Thanks for that CarlTN,

I understand that the DOF is shallow, I wasn't really looking at it from the point of view of creating a good photograph. 

I've had difficulty coming to grips with the degree of improvement from a Nikon $600 AF-S lens to the Canon 300 2.8 that was roughly $7k and I guess I've expected higher resolution than I should have.  From today's feedback and previous I've basically said to myself that when my gear comes back from Canon, I'll quit fretting about "is it as good as John Henry's" and simple enjoy shooting with it.  I guess 6D 20 MP FF and D5100 18MP crop are not as different as I anticipated, and a 70-300 basic lens is quite good for the $600 pricetag (the Canon 70-300 at $400 appears to equal the Nikon).

Certainly I don't have complaints about the lens IQ in other respects.

Jack
6D  24-70 F4  70-200 F2.8 II  300 F2.8 II  1.4X III  2X III

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Re: 300 f/2.8L and 400 f/2.8 at f/2.8
« Reply #21 on: April 15, 2013, 03:29:45 AM »

CarlTN

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Re: 300 f/2.8L and 400 f/2.8 at f/2.8
« Reply #22 on: April 15, 2013, 03:38:20 AM »
Jack, if you live in, or ever travel to the southeast USA, I would like to try your 300 on my 6D.  I think I could determine pretty easily, if it is as sharp as it should be.  I'm not sure if your 300 is the version 1 or 2.  If it's the version 2 and you're having questions about why it isn't sharp enough, something is terribly wrong with your particular copy (in my opinion).  I've rented a Canon version 1 500mm f/4, and it was very soft.  The rental place tested it, found nothing wrong, but gave me a discount off my next rental.  The version 2 lenses, are unbelievably sharp...most especially the 300 and the 400 f/2.8's. 

bdunbar79

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Re: 300 f/2.8L and 400 f/2.8 at f/2.8
« Reply #23 on: April 15, 2013, 12:22:33 PM »
Thanks.

I have both version ONE lenses.
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Jack Douglas

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Re: 300 f/2.8L and 400 f/2.8 at f/2.8
« Reply #24 on: April 15, 2013, 12:34:00 PM »
Thanks CarlTN,

Unfortunately I live near Edmonton Alberta Canada where we still have snow on the ground this year, sadly, unlike you!  A pair of robins arrived this week and I can't imagine them finding anything to eat although I'm sure they'll provide a meal for someone else.

This is a version II and the converters are III and I indeed made the final purchase against my better judgment based on the generic comments that abound such as your are saying.  It was hard enough finding a shop that would bring it in without paying first!  If it only was as easy as comparing identical shots, but it doesn't work that way.  I'm hoping my lens is soft and that Canon can correct that but of course that's exactly why I'm concerned - will they, and if not, how do I force the issue.

To complicate things more, I'm only one year into DSLR's via the Nikon D5100, which I praise for the dollar.  My daughter inherits it now.  I was facinated with Canon's lenses way back in the mid 70's when I had my F1 and couldn't afford much glass.  This time I determined to afford some glass and be content with the 6D over the 5D3 and I'm not sorry on that account.  Trouble is I'm a bit of a perfectionist - once I realize what is considered good I strive for it persistently.

This photo was AI Servo AF spot metering on the eye, although displays on the left ear.  To cut file size it's maybe 5/8 the original width and cropped in height significantly.  I'm hoping it might provide some region in focus that you can judge if it's soft in your eyes.

6D 300 F2.8 II  2X III  F5.6 1000th  +2/3 exp ISO 250  IS was 1 or 3 can't remember - hand held 

Jack
6D  24-70 F4  70-200 F2.8 II  300 F2.8 II  1.4X III  2X III

CarlTN

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Re: 300 f/2.8L and 400 f/2.8 at f/2.8
« Reply #25 on: April 16, 2013, 03:00:17 PM »
Jack, you live too far north, haha...but I'm sure it's nice up there.  I want to tour Montana this summer.

The entire head is not focused, but the tail is closer to being focused.  For a shot like this, I wouldn't have been in servo mode.  I would have used single shot mode and multiple half press of the shutter to perfect the autofocus.  I assume center point was on the squirrel's eye?  As you might have noticed, the center point on the 6D, is not as precise in its coverage area, as the square indicator in the viewfinder is.  It seems to me, that it simply grabbed the brighter lit, higher contrast portion...the tail...and attempted focus on that.

(Hopefully you have learned to make use of the "focus stop" button on the lens, which gives you a nice shortcut to switch back and forth between servo and single shot focus modes...At this time I'm not discussing the fine tuning of the servo AF via the menu...) 

To test it more precisely, try fixed high contrast targets (street signs, etc.), preferably at the average distance you usually shoot at...and outdoors...and in single shot mode (not servo).  Then see if it needs any AF microadjustment.  Also try various aspects like mirror lock, IS on and off...and mounting on a tripod.  We want to isolate whether it's an issue with optics, autofocus (accuracy or mode), stabilization modes, motion, or some combination.

Once I install a TC, the AF microadjustment almost always changes...usually to the extreme in the direction the lens alone required.  Even if the lens didn't require any microadjustment, it's possible that once a TC is installed, it still might require some.  My version two 2x TC, requires a +20 AFMA, when coupled to my 135 f/2...where the 135 by itself, only needs +2.  This TC/combo also varies a bit with distance.  If I know I will be focusing closer than 2 meters, I back off a bit on the AFMA.  It's inconvenient, but necessary.  Still better than manual focus!

Jack Douglas

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Re: 300 f/2.8L and 400 f/2.8 at f/2.8
« Reply #26 on: April 16, 2013, 05:22:55 PM »
Thanks CarlTN,

That's a lot to digest but I understand all you've said to some degree.  It's not so much that I don't know as it is I don't think, but isn't that how it tends to be.  The focus should have been on the eye but later displayed on the left ear, which as you've said may really have been the tail.  Do you think the tail or anything else in the shot aligning with the tail is as sharp as it should be for the 300 2.8 II?

Given the gear is now in Canon's possession I really should just relax and not be probing so much but I can't help being concerned.  I had a dream last night where lots of birds were flying all over and a pheasant lit on a guys hand and I didn't have my camera!

Montana is only half a days drive from me and the Canadian Rockies (Banff/Jasper) in a slightly different direction and if you got to Montana it'd be a shame not to go further.  I'm about 4 hours from Jasper, which is pretty much straight west.  Beautiful country for sure.

So, come up here and help me evaluate my gear, since I can't come to you  ;)

Here's a shot of trees in the distance with the 6D 300 X2 - not really sharp - right?

I've modified my test board to include a parallel dominant image right at the center point of the "Mitutoyo" script on the rule.  I think it will now work for AFMA when I get my lenses back??

Jack
6D  24-70 F4  70-200 F2.8 II  300 F2.8 II  1.4X III  2X III

CarlTN

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Re: 300 f/2.8L and 400 f/2.8 at f/2.8
« Reply #27 on: April 17, 2013, 03:49:10 PM »
Interesting setup, I'm sure it would work...again the main concern, is that you test and set the AFMA at the average distance you're shooting targets (assuming any AFMA is required after you get the lens back from Canon).  If that average distance is over 100 feet, you might need a setup with slightly deeper-spaced targets to measure the focus accuracy.

Regarding the tree limb image...I assume it's heavily cropped?  If you shot it at f/2.8 (or with the 2x TC, you're saying it's a 600mm image at f/5.6??), then it's possible that is getting near the full sharpness of the lens.  It's hard to tell.  It does look like some of the limbs are softer than others, by a bit...which is normal (and even desired) at a wider aperture.

One thing is certain...the 2x T/C, even the new series 3 one...will indeed produce an easily noticeable softness at the pixel level, when compared to the 300mm lens with no T/C.  This is clearly shown in canon's own published mtf chart comparison.  Also, certainly autofocus speed and accuracy will be affected, especially in servo mode.  The T/C that is supposed to be the better compromise, is the 1.4x iii.  But of course that is "only" 420mm, instead of 600mm.

Again, (I digress but here goes...) The 500 f/4 that I rented (version 1) back in 2011, I used combined with a rented "new" 1.4x iii T/C.  The results at 700mm (mounted on either carbon fiber tripod or monopod, and via manual focus live view...since AF would not work accurately no matter what)...were ok for maybe an 8x10 print (when closed to f/8), but that's not saying much.  Certainly it was softer than what you have posted so far.  Of course this was on a 1.6x "crop" 50D...so full frame "equivalent" was 1120mm.  However, as I have realized after buying the 6D, it's hard to equate the difference from one to the other, since the sensor and processing of the 6D, are so vastly superior...that it really does seem it has more than 20 MP resolution...especially in the lower ISO range.  Even at say ISO 2500, it doesn't lose as much resolution as the 50D loses, at ISO 800.  I might even venture to say the 6D's sensor is superior to the 5D3's.  Of course the 5D3 starts out with a few more pixels.  I assume their processing is "identical"...but surely there is some tailoring.  Of course the 5D3's AF in good light is far superior (and apparently to most every other camera in existence save for the 1DX, and including the 7D), but that is pretty much common knowledge.  It's in very low light, where the 6D's AF is either superior, or at least doesn't give up anything to the 5D3.  Which is good, since the sensor's output at higher ISO is noticeably better, in my experience. 

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Re: 300 f/2.8L and 400 f/2.8 at f/2.8
« Reply #27 on: April 17, 2013, 03:49:10 PM »

Jack Douglas

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Re: 300 f/2.8L and 400 f/2.8 at f/2.8
« Reply #28 on: April 18, 2013, 12:25:04 AM »
Thanks CarlTN for the helpful reply.

I was going to repost the original image but something went wrong.  Anyway this previous one is cropped ever so slightly just removing maybe 20% to the right of the trees, which were more centered originally.

I'll get back to this topic in a new thread if an when I get the 6D and 300 back since I have limited samples right now, and I'll be able to post much better then.  Others may be interested in the actual resolution one gets with the 6D and the 300, 420, and 600 combinations, so I need to do a better job of it.

Jack
6D  24-70 F4  70-200 F2.8 II  300 F2.8 II  1.4X III  2X III

expatinasia

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Re: 300 f/2.8L and 400 f/2.8 at f/2.8
« Reply #29 on: April 18, 2013, 02:26:46 AM »
Wow, talk about hijacking a thread! Seems this one has been more kidnapped than hijacked!

bdunbar79 - have you fixed your issue?

I know in the past you have said that you like to turn AF off. Did you turn it off for both?

Also are you sure you did not change the AF points at all?

I had an issue recently where I had forgotten that I had changed a setting and I just could not get the 1D X to do what I wanted. I eventually remembered I had change a setting, changed it back and all was well.

1D X + backup + different L lenses etc.

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Re: 300 f/2.8L and 400 f/2.8 at f/2.8
« Reply #29 on: April 18, 2013, 02:26:46 AM »