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Author Topic: Things to get when you purchase a 600mm?  (Read 10751 times)

Morlin

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Re: Things to get when you purchase a 600mm?
« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2013, 01:52:20 AM »
Looks like we lost morlin, I guess he is overseas dreaming about his new 600, sigh. oh well, doesn't stop us from yammering.


Haha. Actually I was sleeping a bit. I live in Sweden.

Really good suggestions from you all. Will look into most of them. The stuff from RRS seems so good but not sure if there is a way to get them except buying directly from them when you live in Sweden. With taxes and transport costs and all it will be expensive. The difference in cost is HUGE between gear in the US and here. It would be less expensive for me to fly over and spend a weekend in New York, buying the 600mm and take it with me home than purchase it directly from a store here.

The replacement foot from RRS will be bought.

Someone else who has suggestions for the gimbal head. If I should go with the sidemount or not? Seems like a good choice to me with less moving parts.

Guess I need to sell my car soon also =) But the car is not good in the forrest anyway so why don´t get a donkey instead and spend the rest on more gear? =)

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Re: Things to get when you purchase a 600mm?
« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2013, 01:52:20 AM »

Eldar

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Re: Things to get when you purchase a 600mm?
« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2013, 02:57:58 AM »
Looks like we lost morlin, I guess he is overseas dreaming about his new 600, sigh. oh well, doesn't stop us from yammering.


Haha. Actually I was sleeping a bit. I live in Sweden.

Really good suggestions from you all. Will look into most of them. The stuff from RRS seems so good but not sure if there is a way to get them except buying directly from them when you live in Sweden. With taxes and transport costs and all it will be expensive. The difference in cost is HUGE between gear in the US and here. It would be less expensive for me to fly over and spend a weekend in New York, buying the 600mm and take it with me home than purchase it directly from a store here.

The replacement foot from RRS will be bought.

Someone else who has suggestions for the gimbal head. If I should go with the sidemount or not? Seems like a good choice to me with less moving parts.

Guess I need to sell my car soon also =) But the car is not good in the forrest anyway so why don´t get a donkey instead and spend the rest on more gear? =)
There is no question that a complete package from Really Right Stuff would fulfill all your requirements. But since you're Swedish, you share the same problem as I have, being Norwegian. RRS is not sold here. You would have to pay both transport and VAT, which makes it a very expensive solution. But if you know anyone who can pick up the stuff for you in the US, I would strongly recommend them.

I use the Gitzo GT3542LS tripod, with Winberley Gimbal II, a combination I am happy with, even though some say the 3-series isn't sturdy enough. That is not my experience. I have used it with a 600 f4L IS II, 2xIII extender and a 7D body. That is equivalent to 1920mm. How tall the tripod needs to be is of course something you should pay some attention to. I am 183cm tall and I have not felt the need for the XLS version of the tripod, even when I shoot birds in the air or in trees.

A good point regarding the head, as Neuro pointed out, is that the RRS side mount packs very efficiently, whereas the Wimberley is a substantial chunk of metal. When you hike in the area around Kebnekaise and there about, you'll be happy for every gram and cm3 you can save. Even though I have the Wimberley, I am thinking of getting the RRS.

A good leveling base is essential when you use a gimbal head. That saves you a lot of time during set up on uneaven ground. I have not found anything that competes with the RRS bases, so again, look for a friend in the US. Or alternatively, go there anb buy everything yourself. The cost saving will pay for business class airfare and a stay at Waldorf Astoria for a week ;)

Good luck and I hope you have a decent budget, because you have entered the really expensive side of your hobby ;)
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East Wind Photography

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Re: Things to get when you purchase a 600mm?
« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2013, 08:18:35 AM »
One area where an straight long leg is useful is when you have to shoot on the side of a hill or steep shore of a lake.  The extra length will extend below and still give you a comfortable height.  Now packing one is a bit more difficult.  All depends on where you shoot the most.

mackguyver

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Re: Things to get when you purchase a 600mm?
« Reply #18 on: November 15, 2013, 09:42:17 AM »
The RRS foot plate seems really good. Do they fit in any gimbal head or do I need some kind of "quick release kind of thing"?

Never thought of extension tubes but a great advise.

Will look around a lot for a good bag also. I know that Lowepro has one that some people recommend.

This will get expensive! But it´s my only interest so. I sold my motorbike recently to be able to afford a great white instead =) It was a hard separation but I guess and hope I will enjoy having a 600mm.
Yes, the RRS foot is fully Arca-Swiss compatible and has removable safety stops, making it great for all types of heads.

Extension tubes are great for closer shots, but might not be as helpful on safari as they are when you have time to get close and add the tubes.

As for the bags, LowePro are great, but keep in mind that they don't include lens hoods in their measurements, which is a big problem for big glass. 

Also, I would agree on the circular polarizer, which is obviously great around water, but is also good in late morning light because it can tone down the harsh sunlight.

Finally, yes, all very expensive stuff, especially in Sweden.  It's now my only hobby, too, I can't afford another one!
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neuroanatomist

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Re: Things to get when you purchase a 600mm?
« Reply #19 on: November 15, 2013, 09:48:52 AM »
As for the bags, LowePro are great, but keep in mind that they don't include lens hoods in their measurements, which is a big problem for big glass. 

That can be an issue for their Lens Cases (e.g. the 13x32 for the 300/2.8, where >15 cm diameter hood won't fit in the 13 cm diameter case) , but the 600 II with hood reversed fits just fine in my Lens Trekker 600 AW II. 
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mackguyver

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Re: Things to get when you purchase a 600mm?
« Reply #20 on: November 15, 2013, 09:56:18 AM »
As for the bags, LowePro are great, but keep in mind that they don't include lens hoods in their measurements, which is a big problem for big glass. 

That can be an issue for their Lens Cases (e.g. the 13x32 for the 300/2.8, where >15 cm diameter hood won't fit in the 13 cm diameter case) , but the 600 II with hood reversed fits just fine in my Lens Trekker 600 AW II.
That's good to know for the Trekker line.  I had the "didn't fit the hood" experience with their Flipside 400 and 500 packs, and the 13x32 lens case and my 300 2.8
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Morlin

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Re: Things to get when you purchase a 600mm?
« Reply #21 on: November 15, 2013, 10:46:43 AM »
One area where an straight long leg is useful is when you have to shoot on the side of a hill or steep shore of a lake.  The extra length will extend below and still give you a comfortable height.  Now packing one is a bit more difficult.  All depends on where you shoot the most.

Yes I want a tripod that is flexible for landscape and other stuff also and as you mention uneven ground might need longer legs. I am 187cm. Not very long but not short either. Also a thought is that I sometimes photograph wild boars and they can be pretty angry so I prefer sitting on a stone or a tree branch and with the Gitzo XLS I can have the gear standing on the ground while I am a few feet up. Maybe sounds strange for you guys but at least that is one of my thoughts with the longer legs.

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Re: Things to get when you purchase a 600mm?
« Reply #21 on: November 15, 2013, 10:46:43 AM »

WPJ

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Re: Things to get when you purchase a 600mm?
« Reply #22 on: November 15, 2013, 11:38:41 AM »
I would also get one of don's lens caps, I dislike the canon ones.  I second a heavy duty tall tripod, my largest lens now is the 300 is f2.8, but knowing I was going down that route I started with a manfroto 550, the sales guy wanted me to get a 190, but it only came up to the middle,of my chest where the 550 comes up to mu neck, and it it much heaver than the 190, it would have been,so shaky.

neuroanatomist

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Re: Things to get when you purchase a 600mm?
« Reply #23 on: November 15, 2013, 11:48:23 AM »
I would also get one of don's lens caps, I dislike the canon ones. 

Have you used the lens caps from the MkII lenses?  The leather 'condoms' for the MkI's are a pain, but the MkII superteles have a nice nylon cover with a velcro closure, they go on and off very easily.   
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arbitrage

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Re: Things to get when you purchase a 600mm?
« Reply #24 on: November 15, 2013, 12:00:51 PM »
Tripod if you want to use one.  I use RRS 34L but I actually handhold the lens more often.

I use Jobu-Designs HD3/LD3 gimbal head, I can convert to full swing arm or lighter/compact side mount.

LensCoat:  I used it without one for 8months but since I was always walking through bush, I decided to get it and protect from scratches.

If you get LensCoat then the included lens cap with the 600II doesn't fit very well so either a LensCoat Hoodie XXXX or a Don Zeck cap is in order.  Without LensCoat the new markII caps work great and no need for an aftermarket one.

Replacement foot, I use RRS one now but have the 4th Gen convertible CRX-5 low mount one on the way (intended to use with my new 300II but I'm going to try it on the 600II also).

I have the Tamrac long lens bag if I just want to take out the 1DX and 600 with TCs.  Otherwise I use Gura Gear Kiboko 30L for carrying more gear and the 600.

Hope this helps.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2013, 12:29:48 PM by arbitrage »
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WPJ

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Re: Things to get when you purchase a 600mm?
« Reply #25 on: November 15, 2013, 12:52:38 PM »
I would also get one of don's lens caps, I dislike the canon ones. 

Have you used the lens caps from the MkII lenses?  The leather 'condoms' for the MkI's are a pain, but the MkII superteles have a nice nylon cover with a velcro closure, they go on and off very easily.

I have seen them, but used it, they look better but the leather is a pain in the ass on my mark I, as I use the lens changer 300 from think tank.

GuyF

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Re: Things to get when you purchase a 600mm?
« Reply #26 on: November 15, 2013, 01:39:44 PM »
After buying the 500mm v2 I was too cheap to buy a camo lens coat so bought a sheet of camo neoprene from here http://www.ewetsuits.com/acatalog/camouflage-neoprene-sheets-ukl.html and made my own. Use their Black Witch neoprene adhesive to bond the seams. The sheet is large enough that I made a coat for my 300mm IS v1 too and still have enough left over to make anther couple of coats. Overall saving was over £100 compared to the price of two "pro" lens coats. Okay, there's the time factor involved too but it was a reasonably straight forward process to make them.

Glad I made them as I was out last weekend when it was a bit cold (some ice on local lake) and the 500mm was fine to hold with my bare hands against the neoprene - I touched the metal body and was amazed at how cold it was! No way could you hold it without some protection....or maybe just a cheap pair of gloves!

One point though - the neoprene is about 3mm thick so neither Canon lens hood now fits and the 500mm won't fit in the flightcase. Ah, well.... Anyway, I use Optech Hood Hats for both as they're cheap and effective.

Also got the Lowepro Lens Trekker AW II - it's okay but I find the velcro collar which holds the lens in place is a bit of a hassle as one part of it seems too deep so that the lens isn't held vertically in the bag, it gets pushed away from vertical  - attached pic doesn't show too well but you might get the idea.

Finally, in case you wonder why I got the 500mm rather than the 600mm - it was a mixture of cost, weight and range.

(In the pic below of the two lenses together, the 500mm also has the 1.4x mk3 attached)

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Re: Things to get when you purchase a 600mm?
« Reply #27 on: November 15, 2013, 02:22:03 PM »
Think about picking up a small pop-up blind. Available in hunting shops. Depends, of course, on what sorts of critters you are shooting and how shy they are.
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Re: Things to get when you purchase a 600mm?
« Reply #27 on: November 15, 2013, 02:22:03 PM »

jthomson

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Re: Things to get when you purchase a 600mm?
« Reply #28 on: November 15, 2013, 03:18:43 PM »

LensCoat:  I used it without one for 8months but since I was always walking through bush, I decided to get it and protect from scratches.

If you get LensCoat then the included lens cap with the 600II doesn't fit very well so either a LensCoat Hoodie XXXX or a Don Zeck cap is in order.  Without LensCoat the new markII caps work great and no need for an aftermarket one.

Replacement foot, I use RRS one now but have the 4th Gen convertible CRX-5 low mount one on the way (intended to use with my new 300II but I'm going to try it on the 600II also).


+1 For a lenscoat for scratch protection. You can get plain ones, they don't have to be camoflage. I cut the       transparent plastic off to give me access to the controls
+1 For the LensCoat Hoodies for when you have a lenscoat on 
+1 For the CRX-5, I'm using it on a 500mm

DHaass

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Re: Things to get when you purchase a 600mm?
« Reply #29 on: November 15, 2013, 03:21:21 PM »
I don't have the 600mm, but I do have the 500mm v1. 

I can echo similar requirements to buy as others have here.  I bought the Gitzo 3541XLS because I got tired of bending down to look through the viewfinder when shooting landscapes.  It's also a pain shooting up into trees at birds if you cannot get high enough to allow for the camera body dropping below your shoulders.  The 3541XLS solved that problem.  Is it a pain to pack...yep, but I manage.

Just recently purchased the Canon 52mm drop in circular polarizer for shooting birds and whatnot in, around and on the water.  I can't believe I waited so long to get one.  It just works.

Wimberly II Gimbal...heavy, but works great.  Had a sidekick.  Movement in the Gimbal is so much more natural.

Lenscoat...get it.  My tripod head fell off because I didn't check the set screw on my tripod head on a regular basis.  There was a warning on it about 4 years ago.  Everything hit the gravel trail, breaking my Canon 1.4x vII extender in two pieces.  One piece stayed with the Canon 1DX, the other on the 500mm lens mount with the Wimberley.  Not one scratch on the lens exterior. Can't say the same for the meniscus glass element in the front.  The coating got dinged by all the gravel that bounced up into it.  At least it's replaceable.  The newer 500mm and 600mm Canon lenses don't have it.  That's one way they lightened them up.

Insurance...see above.

I purchased the Lenscoat hood cover to replace the bulky one from Canon.  Like someone mentioned (maybe Neuro) it's a pain to slip on without dang near pulling your tripod and gear over onto you or the ground.  Something with a velcro strap would be better.

Canon 1.4x III extender is imperative to have.

The Canon 25mm Extension tube + the Canon 12mm extension tube are nice additions to the toolbox.  I shoot a lot of small critters with these attached.  They help get a larger image size by getting in closer to your subject.  One caveat when using them...loss of infinity focus.  If you are staying with closeup stuff, no biggie.  If you go back to shooting birds in flight or wildlife, remember to take them off.

Leg wraps...purchased or made.  I made mine with camo tape and pipe insulation.  Not so much for the cold; more for padding against my sore shoulder.

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Re: Things to get when you purchase a 600mm?
« Reply #29 on: November 15, 2013, 03:21:21 PM »