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Author Topic: Superteles: 300 vs 500  (Read 6246 times)

can0nfan2379

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Superteles: 300 vs 500
« on: July 24, 2013, 04:45:58 PM »
Hey all, I recently acquired a 300 2.8L IS Vers. 1.  It is a fantastic lens, nail bitingly sharp and the combination with my 1.4x II TC still produces amazing images.  My main use for this lens is nature / wildlife photography of mostly mammals / occasional orca and sometimes a few birds.  I usually cart my gear with me while hiking (perhaps up to 4-12 miles roundtrip).

I haven't had the lens that long to really get a lot of experience with it but an opportunity has come up to trade this lens and another for a 500 4L IS vers. 1. 

So.....the 300 has going for it sharpness, an extra stop of light, lighter weight and better portability, easily hand-holdable, fairly versatile focal lengths with TC's (haven't tried a 2x yet) but suffers a little in reach.

The 500 would give me an extra 200mm of reach natively and still decent image quality at 700mm with a 1.4x.  However this is also 3 lbs heavier and would require replacing the monopod that I currently shoot off of with a full tripod / gimbal setup.

I'm shooting a 5D3 currently, no crop bodies.  An alternative option would be to keep the 300, and wait for the 7D mark II to get the multiplier.

What would you guys do?  I know with wildlife focal length is never enough but part of me doesn't want to give up the versatility and compactness of the 300.

Decisions, decisions......
5D3  |  Zeiss ZE 21/2.8  |  Zeiss ZE 50/2.0  |  EF 85 1.2LII  |  EF 70-200 2.8L IS I  |  EF 300 2.8L IS I  |  EF 500 4L IS I  |  TC 1.4x III  |  RRS MH-01 + MC34  |  F-Stop Tilopa BC

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Superteles: 300 vs 500
« on: July 24, 2013, 04:45:58 PM »

johnf3f

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Re: Superteles: 300 vs 500
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2013, 06:46:24 PM »
I use the Canon 300mm F2.8 L IS Mk1 as well and also find it to be an excellent lens. I frequently use mine with a Canon 2 x Mk3 extender (didn't like my Mk2) which isn't bad compared to a 600 F4 L IS Mk1 in decent light. AF does slow down a bit but it is still accurate on my 1D4.
I would try out the 2 x Mk3 extender before you make your decision but, if you are going to be relying on extenders most of the time then a longer lens is possibly a better option.
I have played with a 500 Mk1 and a Mk2 and they are both excellent lenses, but as I found my 600 a bit short a lot of the time I sold it and went for a used 800 F5.6, (thank you E Bay -I could never have afforded it otherwise!) which is now my most used lens.

BrettS

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Re: Superteles: 300 vs 500
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2013, 07:13:24 PM »
I'm shooting with a 6D and 500 Mk. II. I have a Glass Taxi and Gitzo tripod for hikes. I'd like to try a monopod. I can handhold the 500, but like my 180 Macro, the money shots require the tripod. I can only tell you that I'm utterly happy with the 500. Also use 1.4x and 2.0x although not AF with the 2.0x... was hoping Canon would offer f/8 AF with a 6D firmware upgrade, but hasn't happened yet.... wondering if I should have grabbed the 5DIII instead - for that reason and the joystick, else I am completely happy with 6D. But I digress...

can0nfan2379

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Re: Superteles: 300 vs 500
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2013, 07:40:54 PM »
Johnf3f -- Not sure I'll be able to actually try my 300 with the new 2xIII.....the opportunity for the trade may not be around for long so I may need to make a decision before that.

BrettS -- For support right now I'm using a RRS monopod and monopod head....fantastic setup, weighs next to nothing for hiking and braced against my leg with the 300 it is actually reasonably solid as long as you're using an appropriate shutter speed but I fear once I get out to 500mm+ a tripod will be necessary for critical sharpness.
5D3  |  Zeiss ZE 21/2.8  |  Zeiss ZE 50/2.0  |  EF 85 1.2LII  |  EF 70-200 2.8L IS I  |  EF 300 2.8L IS I  |  EF 500 4L IS I  |  TC 1.4x III  |  RRS MH-01 + MC34  |  F-Stop Tilopa BC

can0nfan2379

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Re: Superteles: 300 vs 500
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2013, 07:42:59 PM »
John3f3 -- Do you shoot mostly birds?
5D3  |  Zeiss ZE 21/2.8  |  Zeiss ZE 50/2.0  |  EF 85 1.2LII  |  EF 70-200 2.8L IS I  |  EF 300 2.8L IS I  |  EF 500 4L IS I  |  TC 1.4x III  |  RRS MH-01 + MC34  |  F-Stop Tilopa BC

can0nfan2379

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Re: Superteles: 300 vs 500
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2013, 07:52:18 PM »
Ultimately I think having both a 300 and something longer (500/600) would be ideal but that won't happen for at least 2-3 more years so with the chance now jump to a 500 I'm wondering if I will gain more photo opportunities by having the extra reach over the 300.
5D3  |  Zeiss ZE 21/2.8  |  Zeiss ZE 50/2.0  |  EF 85 1.2LII  |  EF 70-200 2.8L IS I  |  EF 300 2.8L IS I  |  EF 500 4L IS I  |  TC 1.4x III  |  RRS MH-01 + MC34  |  F-Stop Tilopa BC

RGF

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Re: Superteles: 300 vs 500
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2013, 10:40:24 AM »
I have both the 500 and 300 v1.  Use the 500 10-20x more than the 300.  Now that I just got the 200-400 (lots of $), I think both the 300 and 500 will see much less use.  Eventually I will replace the 500 with a 600 for the reach, especially when shooting birds.  200-400 is great for general wildlife.

I know this is much more money than you planning on spending, but it is an alternative setup. 

BTW - I would avoid 2.0 Mk 2 (soft) and the 600F4 V1 (too heavy).  500 F4 V1 is a great lens and the V2 is not much lighter.

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Re: Superteles: 300 vs 500
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2013, 10:40:24 AM »

can0nfan2379

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Re: Superteles: 300 vs 500
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2013, 11:44:12 AM »
I too think the 200-400 would be great but waaaaayyyyyyy out of my price range.  Spending 4k on the 300 2.8 was about my limit and getting the 500 is only feasible by trading the 300 and a wide angle plus putting up a few hundred cash on my end.

Congrats on the 200-400!!!! Especially on a crop body you basically have a 320-896mm zoom....covers pretty much everything
5D3  |  Zeiss ZE 21/2.8  |  Zeiss ZE 50/2.0  |  EF 85 1.2LII  |  EF 70-200 2.8L IS I  |  EF 300 2.8L IS I  |  EF 500 4L IS I  |  TC 1.4x III  |  RRS MH-01 + MC34  |  F-Stop Tilopa BC

East Wind Photography

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Re: Superteles: 300 vs 500
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2013, 12:41:20 PM »
I have the 300 2.8 mk1 and the 600 f/4L mk1 and use them on a 5DIII.  With a full frame camera you need to be able to get to 600 one way or another for wildlife.  I've contemplated downsizing to the 500 due to the weight issues but would seriously miss the extra 100mm.  On the 7D, I can use the 300 + 1.4x and get about the same.

I've even considered trading in both the 300 and 600 for the 300mkii if the IQ would stand up with the 1.4iii extender.  I'm about to get one on eval so I can make that decision in a couple of months.

So my friend it's all about what you shoot the most.  with the 500 F/4 you lose one stop over the 300 2.8, you lose some flexibility of being able to use extenders and still get a lot of light, and you probably will lose a little bit of AF speed.  On my 600 the AF speed is ok with the 5DIII but I swear the 300 2.8 +1.4iii AF's faster and more accurately.  The 300 combo also seems to better track eagles flying toward the camera (i.e. more keepers but more cropping required).

I too think the 200-400 would be great but waaaaayyyyyyy out of my price range.  Spending 4k on the 300 2.8 was about my limit and getting the 500 is only feasible by trading the 300 and a wide angle plus putting up a few hundred cash on my end.

Congrats on the 200-400!!!! Especially on a crop body you basically have a 320-896mm zoom....covers pretty much everything

johnf3f

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Re: Superteles: 300 vs 500
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2013, 06:53:03 PM »
John3f3 -- Do you shoot mostly birds?
That's mainly what I use the 800 for. I often use a 13mm or 20mm extension tube to allow closer minimum focus. I also use it on animals such as Deer when I want to get close up and personal without causing disturbance, or in the Rut.
Recently a friend of mine has been using his 600 F4 for landscape work with very interesting results, the long focal length gives a different perspective to his images. This arose out of not being able to carry additional lenses when carting the 600 around, but has now become an interest in itself.

can0nfan2379

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Re: Superteles: 300 vs 500
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2013, 09:08:17 PM »
Sounds good Eastwind.  The 500 sold so I think plan B is to look into the 2xIII as John3f3 suggested and that will get me out to 600mm on my 5d3.  When the next iteration of the 7D comes around I'll probably look at that as an inexpensive (relatively, maybe....) way to get a little more out of the 300.

Thanks for all the comments!!!!

Cheers.
5D3  |  Zeiss ZE 21/2.8  |  Zeiss ZE 50/2.0  |  EF 85 1.2LII  |  EF 70-200 2.8L IS I  |  EF 300 2.8L IS I  |  EF 500 4L IS I  |  TC 1.4x III  |  RRS MH-01 + MC34  |  F-Stop Tilopa BC

johnf3f

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Re: Superteles: 300 vs 500
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2013, 06:40:20 PM »
Sounds good Eastwind.  The 500 sold so I think plan B is to look into the 2xIII as John3f3 suggested and that will get me out to 600mm on my 5d3.  When the next iteration of the 7D comes around I'll probably look at that as an inexpensive (relatively, maybe....) way to get a little more out of the 300.

Thanks for all the comments!!!!

Cheers.

In good light you will get some very nice results with the 2 x Mk3 and a 300 F2.8. Naturally it is a compromise but when I can't carry my long lens then it is a compromise that I am happy with.

TexPhoto

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Re: Superteles: 300 vs 500
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2013, 07:42:09 PM »
I would not make that trade, I shoot nature, but also sports, and the 300 f2.8 is a phenomenal sports lens.  i think the 300 2.8 is the more versatile of the lenses when you include teleconverters.

I would acquire the 1.4X and 2X ver III converters for more reach. You could add a used 7D

My super tele "Kit" is the 400mm f2.8 IS ver I, the 1.4X and 2X ver III converters, plus a 300mm f4 IS.  I have a 5DIII and a 7D giving me options to shoot 300mm to 1280mm (equiv.).   I shoot pro surfing, football, soccer. etc.

This young lady is just about 1 mile away, the island behind is 14 miles away:

Untitled by RexPhoto91, on Flickr
« Last Edit: July 26, 2013, 08:06:48 PM by TexPhoto »

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Re: Superteles: 300 vs 500
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2013, 07:42:09 PM »

can0nfan2379

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Re: Superteles: 300 vs 500
« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2013, 08:53:47 PM »
I've already got the 1.4x II and have been using the 300 with that quite a bit...image quality is excellent, AF speed is still pretty good.

From the reviews I've read, image quality between the 1.4x II and the 1.4x III is almost identical so I don't think I'll be upgrading that TC but since I don't have a 2x yet I will definitely be looking at getting the 2x III.

I used to have a 7d and ended up trading it in to get the 5d3.  I was never happy with the noise in my 7d images so if they improve that in the 7D II and put in a 5d3 AF I'd be all over that.

5D3  |  Zeiss ZE 21/2.8  |  Zeiss ZE 50/2.0  |  EF 85 1.2LII  |  EF 70-200 2.8L IS I  |  EF 300 2.8L IS I  |  EF 500 4L IS I  |  TC 1.4x III  |  RRS MH-01 + MC34  |  F-Stop Tilopa BC

eml58

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Re: Superteles: 300 vs 500
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2013, 10:49:37 PM »
My thoughts based on what I own & have owned.

300/400 f/2.8 Version 1 Lenses, both great, but heavy.

300 & 400 f/2.8 Version 2 Lenses, IQ I feel about the same as the Version 1 Lenses, but 30 percent less weight.

600f/4 Version 2 Lens, lightish, great IQ

200-400f/4 great versatility, great sharpness, but horrible price.

When I purchased the 200-400f/4 I sold the 400f/2.8 as I dont feel I'll use the 400f/2.8 that much anymore.

I kept the 300f/2.8 II & 600f/4 II as they do a different job, 300f/2.8 great for low light, hand holdable, all round in my view the sharpest Lens Canon make, works really well with Series III 1.4x

I kept the 600 f/4 as with the 1.4x gives me some Legs.

If you shoot Birds, at some point you will need good IQ 600 +, the 600f/4 with 1.4x will give you that with spades, clearly seen from Images from people such as Gary Samples with his Eagles.

The 300f/2.8 I will work very well with the Series III 1.4x, But for Birds I think you will find yourself short most of the time.

The 2x Converters are in my opinion almost worthless as they degrade the IQ way too much, but they give you an Image at a price in an emergency.

If you shoot mostly wildlife your 300f/2.8 plus your 1.4x converter should work just fine, look to upgrade at some point when you can afford it to the 600f/4 II if you find your shooting BIF more than other wildlife, the issue is you may then find the 600 is too long for wildlife but just fine for BIF, Life, full of difficult decisions.

Which ever way you go, good luck with the Imaging.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2013, 10:51:15 PM by eml58 »
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Re: Superteles: 300 vs 500
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2013, 10:49:37 PM »