November 27, 2014, 08:32:59 AM

Author Topic: Get a 300mm or 600mm? Oh the agony...  (Read 18108 times)

mackguyver

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Re: Get a 300mm or 600mm? Oh the agony...
« Reply #45 on: January 04, 2014, 03:48:31 PM »
I would be lusting for 600 but I refuse to pack that kind of bulk and as a result I don't get those distant shots that others do.  However, I'm getting some of what others do not when I'm creeping through the grass and bush and sitting in the briar patch smelling the roses.  It's always about compromises.  This is an endless debate.  :)
+1 for my needs.

Also, cropping a 300mm to get a sharper 600mm?  Nope.

Also, back to what I said about environmental factors.  I shot a lighthouse this morning from about 1 mile away with my 300+2x combo and even though it was 35°F, the humidity (somewhere around 50-70%) mucked up the shot with a lovely mirage pattern (waves), so depending on where you live it can be a small or a huge factor.  See below for a 100% crop, straight out of the camera.

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Re: Get a 300mm or 600mm? Oh the agony...
« Reply #45 on: January 04, 2014, 03:48:31 PM »

AlanF

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Re: Get a 300mm or 600mm? Oh the agony...
« Reply #46 on: January 04, 2014, 04:52:30 PM »
Jack and Mac
I'm with you on this - I miss some long range shots but when hiking there are so many opportunities for photoing birds if you have a camera and lens at the ready, so it's horses for courses.

Here is a possible solution to cover all eventualities. A couple of years ago I received an award in Shanghai and one of my extremely kind hosts made a speech in which he said "behind every great man is a strong woman". Little did he know that I had hurt my back and my wife had been having to lift my luggage into the overhead bins in the 747s. So, what I suggest is that you carry your 300/2.8 + 2xTC and get a strong partner to accompany you carrying a 600/4.
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kirispupis

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Re: Get a 300mm or 600mm? Oh the agony...
« Reply #47 on: January 04, 2014, 08:59:37 PM »
While I understand the 300/2.8 II is an excellent lens, I can't understand why this lens is being trumpeted without the 200-400/1.4x also being mentioned.  At 560mm with the built in extender it is just as sharp as the 300/2.8 II + 2x III and at 300mm is very close.  Add in the flexibility to go between 200mm and 560mm and this is a no brainer choice of the 300/2.8 II unless you are photographing sports where you need the bare 2.8.

Personally, I bought this lens over the 600/II.  It was a tough choice but the flexibility makes the lens more valuable.  I would of course like more reach but it does a decent job with a 2x extender.  If I were photographing exclusively birds then the 600/II would have been the better choice but the fact is I photograph a wide variety of things.
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AlanF

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Re: Get a 300mm or 600mm? Oh the agony...
« Reply #48 on: January 04, 2014, 11:45:52 PM »
While I understand the 300/2.8 II is an excellent lens, I can't understand why this lens is being trumpeted without the 200-400/1.4x also being mentioned.  At 560mm with the built in extender it is just as sharp as the 300/2.8 II + 2x III and at 300mm is very close.  Add in the flexibility to go between 200mm and 560mm and this is a no brainer choice of the 300/2.8 II unless you are photographing sports where you need the bare 2.8.

Personally, I bought this lens over the 600/II.  It was a tough choice but the flexibility makes the lens more valuable.  I would of course like more reach but it does a decent job with a 2x extender.  If I were photographing exclusively birds then the 600/II would have been the better choice but the fact is I photograph a wide variety of things.

Because it is far too heavy for the 300mm + TC fans who are looking for a portable hiking companion and it is too short for the tarzans who want every mm of length with their 600s and TCs and the sharpest combinations.
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Jack Douglas

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Re: Get a 300mm or 600mm? Oh the agony...
« Reply #49 on: January 05, 2014, 12:21:13 AM »
Isn't it funny how we all love to kick this can round and round endlessly. 

I say buy something/anything in your price range that's recognized as having high IQ and then simply force yourself to make the most of what it is capable of and have fun with it. ;)

I've had so much pleasure out of my 300 and extenders this season I have to keep pinching myself to believe it's true!  My love of nature has been renewed and I can't wait to get back to the pond in the spring. :) :) :)

Jack
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dslrdummy

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Re: Get a 300mm or 600mm? Oh the agony...
« Reply #50 on: January 05, 2014, 12:56:53 AM »
While I understand the 300/2.8 II is an excellent lens, I can't understand why this lens is being trumpeted without the 200-400/1.4x also being mentioned.  At 560mm with the built in extender it is just as sharp as the 300/2.8 II + 2x III and at 300mm is very close.  Add in the flexibility to go between 200mm and 560mm and this is a no brainer choice of the 300/2.8 II unless you are photographing sports where you need the bare 2.8.

Personally, I bought this lens over the 600/II.  It was a tough choice but the flexibility makes the lens more valuable.  I would of course like more reach but it does a decent job with a 2x extender.  If I were photographing exclusively birds then the 600/II would have been the better choice but the fact is I photograph a wide variety of things.
According to DXO Mark the 300/2.8 II is sharper by some margin @300 than the 200-400 @ the same focal length (22 vs 19) and of course a stop faster. I think if you're looking at spending the significant extra money on the versatility of the 200-400 a more useful comparison on sharpness would be the zoom at 400mm and the 300 with the 1.4X ext. Only those who have tried the two can usefully compare. DXO also rates the 500 II as sharp at 500mm as the 200-400 at 400 f/4. Presumably the 200-400 at 560 wouldn't be quite as sharp.
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Eldar

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Re: Get a 300mm or 600mm? Oh the agony...
« Reply #51 on: January 05, 2014, 05:02:59 AM »
I would be lusting for 600 but I refuse to pack that kind of bulk and as a result I don't get those distant shots that others do.  However, I'm getting some of what others do not when I'm creeping through the grass and bush and sitting in the briar patch smelling the roses.  It's always about compromises.  This is an endless debate.  :)
+1 for my needs.

Also, cropping a 300mm to get a sharper 600mm?  Nope.

Also, back to what I said about environmental factors.  I shot a lighthouse this morning from about 1 mile away with my 300+2x combo and even though it was 35°F, the humidity (somewhere around 50-70%) mucked up the shot with a lovely mirage pattern (waves), so depending on where you live it can be a small or a huge factor.  See below for a 100% crop, straight out of the camera.
Well, if your prime use is distant architecture, then you´d run into these problems in most places on the planet ;)

If I disregard a few moon shots, I have hardly ever shot anything more than 100-150m away. The majority of bird shots are probably on average 50m away. I believe you would be able to do that in most places, regardless of heat and/or humidity.
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Re: Get a 300mm or 600mm? Oh the agony...
« Reply #51 on: January 05, 2014, 05:02:59 AM »

mackguyver

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Re: Get a 300mm or 600mm? Oh the agony...
« Reply #52 on: January 05, 2014, 01:39:53 PM »
I would be lusting for 600 but I refuse to pack that kind of bulk and as a result I don't get those distant shots that others do.  However, I'm getting some of what others do not when I'm creeping through the grass and bush and sitting in the briar patch smelling the roses.  It's always about compromises.  This is an endless debate.  :)
+1 for my needs.

Also, cropping a 300mm to get a sharper 600mm?  Nope.

Also, back to what I said about environmental factors.  I shot a lighthouse this morning from about 1 mile away with my 300+2x combo and even though it was 35°F, the humidity (somewhere around 50-70%) mucked up the shot with a lovely mirage pattern (waves), so depending on where you live it can be a small or a huge factor.  See below for a 100% crop, straight out of the camera.
Well, if your prime use is distant architecture, then you´d run into these problems in most places on the planet ;)

If I disregard a few moon shots, I have hardly ever shot anything more than 100-150m away. The majority of bird shots are probably on average 50m away. I believe you would be able to do that in most places, regardless of heat and/or humidity.
I was definitely using an extreme example and just thought it would be an interesting test while I was out yesterday in the really unusual cold weather.  In the summer, I'm typically limited to about 30-50m, however, for my wildlife photos.  When I borrowed the 800mm from Canon and tried to shoot more distant subjects, it was very noticeable.  I'll see if I can find some examples.

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Re: Get a 300mm or 600mm? Oh the agony...
« Reply #53 on: January 05, 2014, 01:55:13 PM »
Oh, the agony, indeed... this discussion is a bit rich for my blood ... but arbitrage, those 2 bird shots you put up, HANDHELD, are astounding. I don;t know what your denominator is; but those two are just gorgeous. Mazel tov.
I myself use the 300 2.8 II and absolutely love it--IQ is unparalleled and it is easy for me to manage (I'm pretty strong); I seem to seem some IQ falloff with TC's though. It is about the only lens I use routinely that is sharper than my 70-200 II. Makes me wonder whether that falloff is a function of barely-noticeable camera motion vs the extra 2 air-glass interfaces ... my distance stuff is mostly sports and mostly handheld or monopod.
John
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Eldar

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Re: Get a 300mm or 600mm? Oh the agony...
« Reply #54 on: January 05, 2014, 02:04:06 PM »
Posted below...Junco with the 600 f/5.6 IS II and Bald Eagle with the 1200 f/8 IS II both handheld.
These two are both very good, especially the bald eagle. At 1200mm, that is mighty impressive!
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MichaelHodges

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Re: Get a 300mm or 600mm? Oh the agony...
« Reply #55 on: January 05, 2014, 02:11:22 PM »
Interesting points about the 300 2.8 II and the 200-400. But...the 300 2.8 II is almost half the cost of the 200-400, and it's a sharper, faster lens. Which makes me wonder, why even bother with the 200-400? At 12k, shouldn't it have the performance of the 300?


Eldar

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Re: Get a 300mm or 600mm? Oh the agony...
« Reply #56 on: January 05, 2014, 02:22:05 PM »
Interesting points about the 300 2.8 II and the 200-400. But...the 300 2.8 II is almost half the cost of the 200-400, and it's a sharper, faster lens. Which makes me wonder, why even bother with the 200-400? At 12k, shouldn't it have the performance of the 300?
the 200-400 is actually a razor sharp 200-560mm f4-5.6 lens. I was thinking really hard about getting the 300 at the time I bought it. But today I don´t regret it. It gives you a flexibility that is unsurpassed. Because it is a zoom lens, I throw away much less image area due to less need for cropping. So in practical terms, I make up for the (very minor) IQ penalty. But for very fast action, the AF on the 300 is still the one to beat. It is still high on my wish list, but there is a limit to how many lenses I can justify having ... ::)
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mrsfotografie

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Re: Get a 300mm or 600mm? Oh the agony...
« Reply #57 on: January 05, 2014, 02:43:18 PM »
Interesting points about the 300 2.8 II and the 200-400. But...the 300 2.8 II is almost half the cost of the 200-400, and it's a sharper, faster lens. Which makes me wonder, why even bother with the 200-400? At 12k, shouldn't it have the performance of the 300?
the 200-400 is actually a razor sharp 200-560mm f4-5.6 lens. I was thinking really hard about getting the 300 at the time I bought it. But today I don´t regret it. It gives you a flexibility that is unsurpassed. Because it is a zoom lens, I throw away much less image area due to less need for cropping. So in practical terms, I make up for the (very minor) IQ penalty. But for very fast action, the AF on the 300 is still the one to beat. It is still high on my wish list, but there is a limit to how many lenses I can justify having ... ::)

And for a lens at such a price level, it's great if it can offer this kind of flexibility. Perhaps in the future I can justify purchasing the 200-400. It will help when and if the price comes down some...
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Re: Get a 300mm or 600mm? Oh the agony...
« Reply #57 on: January 05, 2014, 02:43:18 PM »

Jack Douglas

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Re: Get a 300mm or 600mm? Oh the agony...
« Reply #58 on: January 05, 2014, 04:55:57 PM »
Only one year into Canon via my 6D and I realized that I had a serious gap between 70 and 300 so bought the 70-200 2.8 II.  This impulse came when I learned of the opportunity to shoot bison as they are being handled at the national park here.  In agonizing over this, just like the 300 in February, I read lots on CR and am hoping that the new lens plus my already purchased converters would be useful for BIF since my ability to lock on a with the 300 X2 has been dismal. 

As Eldar and others point out a zoom is flexible.  I generally don't need that flexibility for the little birdies perched in the tree but sometimes I have a bit of a challenge finding them initially.

Which brings me to another item that maybe should be in a new thread but I'll mention it here.  70 -200 2.8 - almost as heavy as 300, and I immediately missed having my Jobu lens mount "handle".  So I put in a day fooling around with a scrap of aluminum and came up with this.  Now here's where it gets interesting.  I can sight down this "handle" like a gun barrel and be very close to dead on the center of my viewfinder and I'm thinking, hey I can shoot from the hip so to speak without the viewfinder.  Is this potentially useful, from you folk who have done a lot of BIF, or a totally dumb idea??

Jack
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candc

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Re: Get a 300mm or 600mm? Oh the agony...
« Reply #59 on: January 05, 2014, 08:18:09 PM »
Only one year into Canon via my 6D and I realized that I had a serious gap between 70 and 300 so bought the 70-200 2.8 II.  This impulse came when I learned of the opportunity to shoot bison as they are being handled at the national park here.  In agonizing over this, just like the 300 in February, I read lots on CR and am hoping that the new lens plus my already purchased converters would be useful for BIF since my ability to lock on a with the 300 X2 has been dismal. 

As Eldar and others point out a zoom is flexible.  I generally don't need that flexibility for the little birdies perched in the tree but sometimes I have a bit of a challenge finding them initially.

Which brings me to another item that maybe should be in a new thread but I'll mention it here.  70 -200 2.8 - almost as heavy as 300, and I immediately missed having my Jobu lens mount "handle".  So I put in a day fooling around with a scrap of aluminum and came up with this.  Now here's where it gets interesting.  I can sight down this "handle" like a gun barrel and be very close to dead on the center of my viewfinder and I'm thinking, hey I can shoot from the hip so to speak without the viewfinder.  Is this potentially useful, from you folk who have done a lot of BIF, or a totally dumb idea??

Jack

I see this issue brought up here, not being able to get the subject in the viewfinder at long focal length, finding the target and then zooming in. Instead of that as in rifle shooting with a scope. Try shooting with both eyes open and not concentrating on the viewfinder. You will then see your AF points floating in your normal vision. Once you see that you are on the subject then shift your visual concentration to the viewfinder.

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Re: Get a 300mm or 600mm? Oh the agony...
« Reply #59 on: January 05, 2014, 08:18:09 PM »