July 01, 2016, 01:26:45 PM

Author Topic: EF 500 OR EF 600?  (Read 3192 times)

Mick

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EF 500 OR EF 600?
« on: June 11, 2016, 04:46:52 AM »
Hi all. I guess this is a question for EF 600 owners. I own the latest 500 prime and have done for about three years. I used it with a MK4 and the mk3 extender. I wont bore you as you all know its a top of the line performer. I travel around the UK and fly of to Europe on occasion. Since I moved over to full frame a few years ago with the 1DX I notice that the image quality is outstanding but even with the extender I came up short a lot and I am using the 7D2 a lot more. I guess the species I photograph isn't large animals its birds, small mammels, seals, a lot distance stuff. In short with wildlife you do need a lot of reach. I get 700mm with the extender 800mm with the 7D2 and nearly 1200mm 7D2 and extender. As I want to use the 1DX as much as possible my thoughts have moved to the 600. Yes its only 100mm but with the extender its up to 840mm a usefull jump.

Now im not rich, I work hard and save as much as I can to fund my hobby (crap clothes, cheap car, etc) and was wondering, for those lucky enough to have a 600, how do they handle, is the weight a big factor,the angle of view, is that extra reach over a 500 that noticeable and above all, can you get it in an overhead flight bag like my think tank.

I do like my 7D2 but it isn't an x and I really do want to use the X more. Oh, I don't like to crop to much.

Thanks to anyone who can help as I don't want to invest my savings and regret it.

Mick
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EF 500 OR EF 600?
« on: June 11, 2016, 04:46:52 AM »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: EF 500 OR EF 600?
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2016, 07:05:05 PM »
I bought my 600L from a bird photographer who had bought a 800L.  For birds, longer is better.  I had the original 600 non IS, it was a monster. 

You will lose any practical ability to handhold a 600.  It can be done, but for short periods.

You will be chasing ever longer focal lengths forever, you should probably resist the temptation until the 1000mm f/5.6 arrives.  Some waited 10 years for the 100-400mm II, it should not take more than twice that for the 1000 ;)

privatebydesign

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Re: EF 500 OR EF 600?
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2016, 09:11:10 PM »
Just get the EF 800 and be done with it.

The 600 works fantastically with the 1.4TC indeed many will say it is as good as the naked 800, but the 800 with a 1.4 is 'better' than the 600 with a 2x and if you are regularly focal length limited get the focal length you need.

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=459&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=1&API=1&LensComp=336&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=2&APIComp=0
Too often we lose sight of the fact that photography is about capturing light, if we have the ability to take control of that light then we grow exponentially as photographers. More often than not the image is not about lens speed, sensor size, MP's or AF, it is about the light.

neuroanatomist

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Re: EF 500 OR EF 600?
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2016, 09:43:58 PM »
Just get the EF 800 and be done with it.

The 600 works fantastically with the 1.4TC indeed many will say it is as good as the naked 800, but the 800 with a 1.4 is 'better' than the 600 with a 2x and if you are regularly focal length limited get the focal length you need.

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=459&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=1&API=1&LensComp=336&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=2&APIComp=0

Just get the 600 II and be done with it.   :)

Personally, I can handhold the 600 II for routine shooting – I hike reasonable distances with it on a left-side BlackRapid strap, have scrabbled over rocks with it, etc.  FWIW, I'm not a big guy or a weightlifter, but I have been frequently carrying a kid in my left arm for >8 years.   ;)

@PBD, your TDP link compares the 800/5.6 with the older 600/4 MkI, both with MkII extenders.  The OP has the current 500/4 MkII and 1.4xIII, and presumably would get the 600/4 MkII as well.  When you compare the 800 to the 600 II + 1.4xIII, or the 800 + 1.4x (either) to the 600 II + 2xIII, you see that the 600 II is better in both cases, plus the 600 II is lighter (600+1.4 is ~500g lighter than the bare 800), a bit longer FL with the respective TCs, and (at least in the US), the 600 II is cheaper.

IMO, there's no reason to consider the 800mm f/5.6, it offers no significant advantages over the 600/4L IS II.  I suppose it could be argued that the AF speed will be faster with the bare 800, but the 600 II + MkIII TCs focuses quite fast, more than sufficient for the birds/wildlife that I shoot with it.
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Mick

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Re: EF 500 OR EF 600?
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2016, 05:57:44 PM »
Thanks fellas. Just wondered if any of you guys fly with the 600? What backpack/case do you use? Can you fit it in a backpack/case for flying? The 800 may be a bit to long for flights.

Mick
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neuroanatomist

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Re: EF 500 OR EF 600?
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2016, 06:04:41 PM »
Thanks fellas. Just wondered if any of you guys fly with the 600? What backpack/case do you use? Can you fit it in a backpack/case for flying? The 800 may be a bit to long for flights.

I haven't flown with mine, but the 600 II with hood reversed fits in my Pelican Elite 22" Carry-on (the right panel is the 30", 27" and 22" cases nested).

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iaind

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Re: EF 500 OR EF 600?
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2016, 04:29:23 PM »
I have 600mm mk1 IS and have had acceptable results with 2xIII on 1D4 (1560MM)
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Re: EF 500 OR EF 600?
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2016, 04:29:23 PM »

Mario

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Re: EF 500 OR EF 600?
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2016, 06:33:55 PM »
Thanks fellas. Just wondered if any of you guys fly with the 600? What backpack/case do you use? Can you fit it in a backpack/case for flying? The 800 may be a bit to long for flights.

Mick

After a long search for a backback that was big enough for the 600 II and still meet the hand luggage dimensions, I bought the Boris model of  Mr Jan Gear.

http://mrjangear.com/shop/boris/

Hope this helps,

Mario

Mick

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Re: EF 500 OR EF 600?
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2016, 12:49:11 PM »
Thanks everyone. Still mulling over selling the 500...decisions decisions (all be it a nice decision). The Boris looks great.

Mick
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Re: EF 500 OR EF 600?
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2016, 01:20:37 PM »
Thanks everyone. Still mulling over selling the 500...decisions decisions (all be it a nice decision). The Boris looks great.

Mick

I had an old 500 Mk1 and sold it.  Got my $ out and bought the 600 II.  Much better lens, not that much heavier. than the 500 M1.

Only "pain' is travel. It takes up 1/2 of my Gura Gear 32L backpack.  With 500 I had some room left in the side with the lens.


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Re: EF 500 OR EF 600?
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2016, 05:36:39 PM »
Very partial to the 600 II w/1.4X on the 1DX series.  Usually enough range for everything from hummingbirds to much larger birds/wildlife.  When I fly, everything goes in one of my Mystery Ranch packs, each item covered in at least one layer of neoprene, the 600 and smaller lenses in a second covering.  Depending on how you fly, i.e. first, business, etc, if you are scheduling late and end up in scum class, they will try to assist you if your bag/case has wheels by chuckin...err 'checking' them for you.  So far with the backpack I have never had to check it as it will fit, even with all that gear, under a seat though I usually have overhead space.

seatguru.com is usually good for pointing out the problem seats to avoid.



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AdamBotond

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Re: EF 500 OR EF 600?
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2016, 06:51:50 PM »
600 II would certainly give you more reach for your bird photography, but maybe not nearly as much as you hope for. Based on my personal experience, chasing focal length could easily become a never ending story. IMO 600mm (+1,4X III) must be enough reach for even bird photography, if it isn't I would say you are not in an ideal position to photograph from. I would not underestimate the weight differential, either. I'm not familiar with your planned locations, but I can tell its only matter of distance how each and every 100 gramms could become a burden after certain distance. Not long ago, I was carrying a 500 II in a hardcase, my backpack, a tripod through the swamp reaching to my knees in the dark for few hundres meters to approach my position before dusk. I must say after taking few hundred meters with my stuff in the swamp in the dark, I had second thoughts that maybe my 400 5.6 would had been good enough instead of 500 II.

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Re: EF 500 OR EF 600?
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2016, 03:53:02 AM »
Not an easy decision, and definitely not a cheap one. I had the old 500 f4L IS MkI, which was due for retirement. I initially decided to go for a 400 f2.8L IS II, because I could get 640 and 800 with extenders and both respectable IQ and autofocus. Then Canon released the firmware for f8.0 on the 1DX and the 600mm f4L IS II temptation became a bit too much. However, just having the centre point for AF is a bit limiting, so my experience is that I seldom went beyond the 840mm with the 1.4xIII extender.

I then upgraded to the 1DX-II, which provides (near) full AF functionality at f8.0 and expected to use 1.200mm quite a bit. However, my experience so far is that I keep on using 840mm as the max. 1200mm is OK for static subjects, but a bit long when they start moving around. Another thing worth considering is the effect of humidity and haze. At 1200mm you will often have a lot of air between you and the subject and the images will suffer.

A 1DX/7DII combo, with the 500 you have is very good. The 600, on top of being quite expensive, is larger, heavier and that extra 100mm is not That much. I would rather spend my money on a 1DX-II and/or a 5DSR.

I am crossing my fingers for a 600 f4 DO, or even better, a 1000mm f5.6 DO.

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Re: EF 500 OR EF 600?
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2016, 03:53:02 AM »

DaveWales

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Re: EF 500 OR EF 600?
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2016, 05:17:02 PM »
I have owned all four versions. First the 600Mk1 but as I travel abroad a lot I had to get a 500Mk1 for air travel if I intended taking the lens as hand baggage. When the Mk2 came out I sold them both to pay for the 500Mk2 but then I  sold my crop 1DMk4 to buy a 5D3 then a 1DX. Full frame left me feeling short on reach so I tried a 7D2 but didn't see the benefit and bought a 600Mk2. So yes, I have tried everything!
The 600's 20% extra reach with or without converters vs the 500 is significant. I think both work extremely well with the 2.0x too however, the previous comment about "bad air" is extremely valid. Sometimes distance cannot be overcome by optics no matter how good they are.
If I could own only one of the two lenses though, I'd choose the 500. It is very hand holdable, I find the 600Mk2 which weighs the same as the 500mm Mk1 just a bit too much to hold for more than a few moments.
The Gura gear 32L does hold the 600 and is just above cabin baggage size but it does fit in the overhead lockers and I haven't had a problem so far, provided the airline weight restriction isn't restrictive.
If budget isn't a problem get both but like me you might wonder if it was really necessary when you have satisfied that bit of lens lust.
If I were you I would consider trading the 1DX for a 1DX 2 as then you can get better AF performance when using your 2x TC and have the extra reach created by more pixels to play with amongst other benefits.

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Re: EF 500 OR EF 600?
« Reply #14 on: Today at 10:10:55 AM »

If I were you I would consider trading the 1DX for a 1DX 2 as then you can get better AF performance when using your 2x TC and have the extra reach created by more pixels to play with amongst other benefits.

 :o Or he could save a few thousand $$$ and just get a 5D Mark III for even more extra reach than the 1DX Mark II :o :o :o

You know... because there are so many extra pixels. :)
« Last Edit: Today at 10:16:24 AM by CanonFanBoy »
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Re: EF 500 OR EF 600?
« Reply #14 on: Today at 10:10:55 AM »