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Author Topic: Canon 500 F4 IS vs Canon 300 f2.8 IS II  (Read 2967 times)

Apop

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Canon 500 F4 IS vs Canon 300 f2.8 IS II
« on: May 01, 2013, 05:45:00 AM »
Hi all,

Sorry to bother you with another ''comparison'', but i have a few questions regarding these lenses

At the moment i have the 500 f4 IS and 1.4 converter , but have a chance to sell it and get the 300 f2.8 IS II for the same price.


Some concerns i have are :

The 500 f4 is a little bit heavy ( even tho i have no problems handholding it for several hours when walking around looking for birds), It has 2 stops IS , and utilizes only 1 cross type sensor on my 1dmkiv , with or without the converter.

The 300 f2.8 IS II with 1.4 converter is quite a bit shorter than the 500(420vs500, means 41.7% more pixels on target with the 500mm lens), but  it looks to be sharper center and mid frame than the bare 500 @ f4

(http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=117&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=0&LensComp=739&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=1&APIComp=0)

Also, it can use all 39 cross type sensors on my 1dmkiv , so the autofocus accuracy should be a little bit better when tracking? ( The speed is probably too close to tell ), also it has 4 stops of IS which combined with the lower weight and smaller size should make it easier to keep my focus point on target and maybe resulting in more 'keepers'




The 500 with 1.4 converter and the 300 with 2xIII converter, the 500 will have 36%more pixels on target and probably slightly faster AF, IQ seems to be on par, with maybe a slight edge to the 300 f2.8

(http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=117&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=3&API=3&LensComp=739&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=2&APIComp=4)



At 910mm equivalent i am having a pretty hard time getting a high keeper rate when shooting BIF handheld, the trade off in weight and better IS vs less auto focus speed and maybe slight loss in IQ could be worth it if the keeper rates vastly improves.

Main goal is for safaris , it's hard to judge what focal length is ideal, a 500 can be great if you need to keep your distance when following cheetahs on a hunt, but when following dogs on a hunt it becomes useless (Atleast i cannot keep 650mm equivalent on target when sitting in a car going 40ish km/h) , Birds are everywhere and most of the time too far or too small, so having a lot of FL can help
Although I seem to be a bit focal length obsessed , in 10 years all the safari picture i have will be indistinguishable for i only have ''headshots'' and not enough pictures of animals in their surroundings.

You never know what you will see , it comes down to luck most of the time...(having a good guide and tracker can help), the only guarantee are birds hehe



Is there anyone that has experience with the 1mkiv comparing 1cross type vs 39? ( most of the time I like to use only the center point(with expansion sometimes) , and just when i completely lost the target use the normal focus to re aquire, normal focus set to af-on, center point to *

Other than the digital picture crops, any people who have used the old 500 and new 300 that can quantify some of the things on paper? ( AF speed, the difference when looking in the viewfinder )


A 650d or potentially 7d/7dmk2 will be the second body i will use, with the 70-200 (112-320 equivalent)
With the option to use 1.4/2 converters on the lenses and switch bodies between them


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Canon 500 F4 IS vs Canon 300 f2.8 IS II
« on: May 01, 2013, 05:45:00 AM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Canon 500 F4 IS vs Canon 300 f2.8 IS II
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2013, 10:32:44 PM »
I think I'd opt for the 300/2.8 II with the pair of TCs.  Only thing I'd consider is if the loss in FL means you end up with too few MP for your output format if you crop (e.g. 420mm cropped to the FoV of 500mm).  AF tracking will be better, you have a lot of flexibility, too. 

Caveat on my advice is that I've no direct experience with either lens (except a few shots taken with a friend's 500/4 MkI).
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ZoeEnPhos

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Re: Canon 500 F4 IS vs Canon 300 f2.8 IS II
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2013, 09:12:39 AM »
I think I'd opt for the 300/2.8 II with the pair of TCs.  Only thing I'd consider is if the loss in FL means you end up with too few MP for your output format if you crop (e.g. 420mm cropped to the FoV of 500mm).  AF tracking will be better, you have a lot of flexibility, too. 

Caveat on my advice is that I've no direct experience with either lens (except a few shots taken with a friend's 500/4 MkI).
+1

(my 2 cents)
The new Canon EF300/2.8L IS II USM is maybe one of the best lenses to be combined with Canons new versions III of their TC ´s, and also according to the comparison you already made between 300 II / 500 I in regard of IQ, the IQ will be in favour to the new version of EF300/2.8L IS II USM, which also have the autofocus module optimized, and it give you a much lighter rig, and therefore also more easier to transport, and handholding, and has better flare resistance etc I would also opt the same, as Neuro said, and go for the EF300/2.8L II before choosing an old version with old IS etc.

I have been using the version I of the EF300/2.8L IS USM with both versions-III of the Canons new extenders and I am quite pleased with the results - and having the new version would certainly be even to a degree better even if you use the new extenders with the lens. Other comparisons shows that the EF300/2.8L II is even sharper but not by much than the new EF400/2.8L IS II USM and that goes to the favour for the 300/2.8II when the extenders are used.

But you might need to test this combination first sir!
Also to maybe take into consideration, is that, the MFDs (Minimum Focusing Distances) is 78.7" or 2000mm for the 300 II vs 177.2" or 4500mm for 500/ I. This is important if you are really close to birds for example in a blind or hidden in a vehicle.

I wish you many exciting and great coming shoots!
All the Best!

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

Apop

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Re: Canon 500 F4 IS vs Canon 300 f2.8 IS II
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2013, 09:51:18 AM »
Thanks for the responses ,

I had decided to go for it and have been using the 300 f2.8 IS II for about a week now,
The image quality and auto focus speed seem even better than the 500 f4 IS

I have been using it with the 1.4 II extender a lot(not III unfortunately), but am pleasantly surprised by the autofocus speed and image quality with that combination, The lens is really small and light compared to the 500
I had no issues hand holding the 500, but what i was hoping seems to be the case, with slightly less mm's(420 vs 500) ,less weight/length and better IS, it is much easier to keep focus on target for me.
The autofocus seems more accurate , and gaining initial focus appears to be faster as well.
I am not sure if this is because of I can use 39 cross type sensors now instead of 1, or that it's just in my head.

I hope that with the tc2III the experience will be equal when compared to the 500 with 1.4 tc.

Now i will need to get he version 3 of the 1.4 and 2.0 extenders in the coming weeks and test those, but so far it has been great!

This is a lens I am going to keep for the next ten years, unless I am forced into selling it due to unforeseen circumstances


jasonsim

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Re: Canon 500 F4 IS vs Canon 300 f2.8 IS II
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2013, 10:16:57 AM »
Hiya,  I think you made the right choice with going with the 300mm f/2.8L IS II.  I had the 500mm f/4L IS for about 2 years and it was good, but the 300mm f/2.8L II has a clear advantage in IQ.  The new IS is awesome and there is a new mode 3.  The AF speed is stellar with the new Mark III teleconverters.  I use the 2x III on the 300mm and the images are super sharp at f/5.6 (wide open).  Pared with a crop sensor camera and you have a beastly setup.

Needless to say...I also picked up a 600mm f/4L IS II which mostly lives with a 1.4x III or 2x III on it.  It works great too, but I still think the 300mm f/2.8L IS II is the sharpest.  I don't think I will ever get rid of the 300mm unless for the replacement version. 

Best of luck and happy shooting!
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ZoeEnPhos

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Re: Canon 500 F4 IS vs Canon 300 f2.8 IS II
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2013, 05:40:57 AM »
Hiya,  I think you made the right choice with going with the 300mm f/2.8L IS II.  I had the 500mm f/4L IS for about 2 years and it was good, but the 300mm f/2.8L II has a clear advantage in IQ.  The new IS is awesome and there is a new mode 3.  The AF speed is stellar with the new Mark III teleconverters.  I use the 2x III on the 300mm and the images are super sharp at f/5.6 (wide open).  Pared with a crop sensor camera and you have a beastly setup.

Needless to say...I also picked up a 600mm f/4L IS II which mostly lives with a 1.4x III or 2x III on it.  It works great too, but I still think the 300mm f/2.8L IS II is the sharpest.  I don't think I will ever get rid of the 300mm unless for the replacement version. 

Best of luck and happy shooting!
+++1
Thank you sir for this enlightening notes from your experiences from using the EF300/2.8L IS II USM! The combination of EF300 II with both Extenders III and with the addition of the remarkable sharp EF600mm f/4L IS II USM is so far the ultimate combination to capture birds and wildlife.

(As a little side note - of course we might wait and looking for, if Canon will upgrade - the old EF800/5.6 I to maybe a optimized new Canon EF800mm f/5.6L IS II USM? ... but today these two new version II lenses mentioned above, is maybe the best options to bring outdoors, with you for the best results also together with the both Extenders version III!

Wishing you all the very Best and many many great keepers!!

Spring Greetings from Sweden!
C
(PS. BTW, I have recently placed an order for the new EF300/2.8L II)
Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun!

AlanF

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Re: Canon 500 F4 IS vs Canon 300 f2.8 IS II
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2013, 05:31:03 PM »
I have been using the 300mm f/2.8 II with the 1.4 and 2x TCs III for nearly a year with initially the 7D and now the 5D3 for bird photography. It is so sharp with the 2xTC that the 1.4 stays in its grey leather pouch unless the bird is too close. The camera and lens are sufficiently light that an old geezer like me can carry them around all day. By the way, the lenses perform even better on the 5D3 than on the 7D.
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: Canon 500 F4 IS vs Canon 300 f2.8 IS II
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2013, 05:31:03 PM »

East Wind Photography

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Re: Canon 500 F4 IS vs Canon 300 f2.8 IS II
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2013, 07:12:13 PM »
Due to smaller pixel density, smaller noise patterns (so you can crop deeper), and the new Mk II lens paired with the 5D3 offers closed loop AF for better accuracy and repeatability.

And not to diminish the fact that it has 4 stop IS so handheld is rock solid even with the 2XIII attached.

I have been using the 300mm f/2.8 II with the 1.4 and 2x TCs III for nearly a year with initially the 7D and now the 5D3 for bird photography. It is so sharp with the 2xTC that the 1.4 stays in its grey leather pouch unless the bird is too close. The camera and lens are sufficiently light that an old geezer like me can carry them around all day. By the way, the lenses perform even better on the 5D3 than on the 7D.

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Re: Canon 500 F4 IS vs Canon 300 f2.8 IS II
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2013, 07:12:13 PM »