November 24, 2014, 01:53:30 AM

Author Topic: Bought the 300mm 2.8 ii and think its huge  (Read 5834 times)

Viggo

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Re: Bought the 300mm 2.8 ii and think its huge
« Reply #30 on: April 21, 2014, 02:59:48 PM »
I used to own the 300 f2.8, and found that it wasn't the weight and size, but the FL that made it stay at home most of the time. I switched to the 200 f2.0 which weighs about the same as a 300 mk1,  and I use it very often, absolutely love it.

I tried the usual neck straps for carrying and found them to be completely hopeless, my neck was gone in 15 minutes. Bought a Black rapid and now it's just a joy to bring, it could have been lighter, but when you see the images it's just so worth it..
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Re: Bought the 300mm 2.8 ii and think its huge
« Reply #30 on: April 21, 2014, 02:59:48 PM »

Maiaibing

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Re: Bought the 300mm 2.8 ii and think its huge
« Reply #31 on: April 21, 2014, 03:11:24 PM »
I felt uncomfortable for the first time ever with this lens. Its awesome fast and sharp but wonder if the limited use will be worth tying up $7300. Any uses that would be helpful to try.

First - if you do not have one already - get a shoulder strap like the black rapid or equivalent which will make you feel much more mobile. Second, consider getting a monopod. Just to save you some weight compared to hand-holding it. I normally do not use any support, but after a skiing accident this Winter, I sometimes bring a tripod just to avoid over-exerting my still-healing arm.

For uses let me suggest:

- Wildlife - which surely is a reason people get this lens. Its far easier to lug around than the 400mm f/2.8 and takes a 1.4x really well. Go to the zoo and check it out one day!
- Its a sure hit for outdoor sports. Especially for action shots where people are moving towards/away from you. And your lens even has a special IS setting for these kinds of shots that works very well. I have taken lots of middle- and high school sports shots with a 300mm f/2.8.
- I use this lens primarily for street pictures. Not a lot of people do because its large, but to me the blur effect when shooting 300mm @ f/2.8 is just great to take away the often confusion and colourful city backdrops. Maybe a niche for you too?
- Shots covering different heights (hills, waves, rolling streets, stairs etc.) often benefit from the added compression effect of a semi-long lens.
- Water sports (at sea/ocean) is another perfect use; sailing, surfing etc. Reach is king here.
- If you are into details and abstracts you can use the ultra slim DOF and fairly long reach to take shots that others simply cannot- at least not with their iphones(!)
- Finally, take it to events such as music, open air shows etc. many people will actually give way to you and your lens as they ascertain you are shooting for a living and need the space (I don't misuse this myself, but the effect is clearly there). On the downside I understand that some events may not let you in with a big white because its a "pro" lens.

Hope you end up using it. The one thing you do not want is to have it lying around - in stead make someone else very happy with a (slightly) discounted private sale.

Happy shooting!

Steve

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Re: Bought the 300mm 2.8 ii and think its huge
« Reply #32 on: April 21, 2014, 04:11:48 PM »
Steve don't want to get off topic but if you have the sigmonster would you please start a thread and post some images taken with it and with the teleconverter.

I actually did!  I started it hoping to get some opinions before I bought it but ended up getting it before anyone replied.  I haven't had a chance to really do anything with it (I haven't even properly MFA'd it yet) because of work, school and weather but I'm hoping to get at it later this week.  I'll post samples in that thread when I can.

- Finally, take it to events such as music, open air shows etc. many people will actually give way to you and your lens as they ascertain you are shooting for a living and need the space (I don't misuse this myself, but the effect is clearly there).

This is a pretty cool effect.  I've had people hand me press releases and ask me if I want to shoot from the stage at rallies and events that I just showed up at as a spectator.  Its also really really really awesome when literally every single person you see when you are hiking wants to tell you about the great blue heron they saw or makes some joke about taking pictures of hummingbirds in orbit or whatever.  I can't even imagine how it is for you guys with the 600's.  I guess I'll find out with that Siggy!

curtisnull

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Re: Bought the 300mm 2.8 ii and think its huge
« Reply #33 on: April 21, 2014, 08:54:11 PM »
Another thing that is very very nice about this lens when shooting wide is the bokeh.  Very special.

+1 ...... Love the bokeh on this lens. It seems strange, but I often use this lens for a portrait lens for close up work.
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Dylan777

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Re: Bought the 300mm 2.8 ii and think its huge
« Reply #34 on: April 21, 2014, 11:30:49 PM »
+1...the 300mm f2.8 IS II & 400mm IS II are more likely be used for sport, however, I agree with Scott. Both lenses are quite amazing to shoot portrait - even a simple flower shot below ;)

Another thing that is very very nice about this lens when shooting wide is the bokeh.  Very special.

+1 ...... Love the bokeh on this lens. It seems strange, but I often use this lens for a portrait lens for close up work.

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yorgasor

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Re: Bought the 300mm 2.8 ii and think its huge
« Reply #35 on: April 22, 2014, 10:59:05 AM »
I felt uncomfortable for the first time ever with this lens. Its awesome fast and sharp but wonder if the limited use will be worth tying up $7300. Any uses that would be helpful to try.


For uses let me suggest:

...
- Shots covering different heights (hills, waves, rolling streets, stairs etc.) often benefit from the added compression effect of a semi-long lens.
...
Happy shooting!

I _love_ this effect!  I'm still trying to sneak over to a golf course to get a shot of the smooth, green rolling mounds on the course with my 300mm.  In the meantime, I got this shot of the spring blossoms on trees around the corner from my house:

Blossoms By The Road 2 by yorgasor, on Flickr

Maiaibing

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Re: Bought the 300mm 2.8 ii and think its huge
« Reply #36 on: April 22, 2014, 02:51:20 PM »
It seems strange, but I often use this lens for a portrait lens for close up work.

I don't think its strange at all. Lots of people use a 70-200mm on an APS for portraits (~280mm). Its only slightly unwieldy to wag around when directing your model(s) and the distance can also be an issue if they can't hear you over the ambient sound (i don't recommend shouting!).

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Re: Bought the 300mm 2.8 ii and think its huge
« Reply #36 on: April 22, 2014, 02:51:20 PM »

mackguyver

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Re: Bought the 300mm 2.8 ii and think its huge
« Reply #37 on: April 22, 2014, 03:52:30 PM »
It seems strange, but I often use this lens for a portrait lens for close up work.

I don't think its strange at all. Lots of people use a 70-200mm on an APS for portraits (~280mm). Its only slightly unwieldy to wag around when directing your model(s) and the distance can also be an issue if they can't hear you over the ambient sound (i don't recommend shouting!).
200mm on a crop is actually 320mm equivalent :), but that's a good point you're making.  I've used my 300mm a fair amount for portraits and while I still prefer the 85L, it has a really nice look to it and blurs out the background even better due to the magnification.

For me, the real versatility of the 300mm is in using extenders and the 25mm extension tube.  Those turn it into an excellent 420mm f/4, a very good 600mm f/5.6, and a unique 0.28x close-up lens.  For me, that allows many uses:

1. Large animal wildlife / indoor or sidelines sports lens - 300mm
2. Close smaller wildlife lens / bigger field sports - 420mm
3. Distant animal / decent birding lens - 600mm
4. Landscape lens to compress the view - any of the focal lengths
5. Portrait lens - 300mm
6. With 25mm extension tube - great flower lens to add a colorful blur behind the subject

All of these can be done handheld (though #6 is best on tripod) - easily up to 3 stops slower, and up to 4.5 stops slower.

I also like to take it out and shoot wildlife at 300 f/2.8 about 20-30 minutes before sunrise and then add the 1.4x as the sun comes up and then maybe the 2x as needed and light permitting.  With slower lenses and pre-5DIII/1D X/6D, shooting (moving) wildlife before sunrise was just a dream.  The the 400 f/5.6 (my last super-tele) or the f/4(.5)-5.6 zooms, you'll need 4x more light and thus 2 stops more ISO to get the same shutter speed.  For me, shooting wildlife in the blue hour is the very best thing about the 300 II and the #1 reason I love it.  The other uses and ability to take extenders just make it all the better.

adhocphotographer

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Re: Bought the 300mm 2.8 ii and think its huge
« Reply #38 on: April 27, 2014, 12:53:09 PM »
I would love this lens!!!! Though it is a big investment, and from what i hear, a gateway lens for it's bigger brothers!
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kaihp

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Re: Bought the 300mm 2.8 ii and think its huge
« Reply #39 on: April 28, 2014, 10:25:29 AM »
It was a wee bit too long for the distance (the guy next to me shot with a 200/2L), but I think the focal length  turned out very well: full body at the start of the catwalk, turning to half-profile size at the end of the catwalk.

Now, the only problem left is the idiot operating the buttons and setting cannot seem to find good AF settings that give consistent focus every shot (this must be the photographers version of "a classic case of PEBKAC").

5D3, 300mm f/2.8L II, ISO 400, 1/400sec, f/2.8 (un-cropped).

privatebydesign

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Re: Bought the 300mm 2.8 ii and think its huge
« Reply #40 on: April 28, 2014, 10:51:01 AM »
For the first shot, full length with the model walking, I'd use a pre chosen single point in Servo, just select the top middle point (or the next one around the edge if possible) and crop slightly to give better framing in post, often you can batch process the crop too. For the turn and half-profile shot the same AF setting will work, but I might be tempted, because I am a One Shot AF fan, to toggle to One Shot, you can program the four black buttons on the lens to do this.

Just don't get mixed up with trying to move focus points, the models move fast and if you lose one you won't have time for the AF to regain them and get your shot, choose one and stick with it. If you look at almost any runway series from any shooter they will all be shot with the same framing and point of focus. This not only makes it easier for the photographer but it gives viewers a much clearer comparison of the look the designers have created. If the publisher wants something more dynamic then the designers can crop and rotate etc to give that look.
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kaihp

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Re: Bought the 300mm 2.8 ii and think its huge
« Reply #41 on: April 28, 2014, 11:17:30 AM »
For the first shot, full length with the model walking, I'd use a pre chosen single point in Servo, just select the top middle point (or the next one around the edge if possible) and crop slightly to give better framing in post, often you can batch process the crop too. For the turn and half-profile shot the same AF setting will work, but I might be tempted, because I am a One Shot AF fan, to toggle to One Shot, you can program the four black buttons on the lens to do this.

Just don't get mixed up with trying to move focus points, the models move fast and if you lose one you won't have time for the AF to regain them and get your shot, choose one and stick with it. If you look at almost any runway series from any shooter they will all be shot with the same framing and point of focus. This not only makes it easier for the photographer but it gives viewers a much clearer comparison of the look the designers have created. If the publisher wants something more dynamic then the designers can crop and rotate etc to give that look.

Aye, this is very close to what I did. I used a (semi)fixed focus point (played around with the top/2nd-top row points), and then panned/changed composition as they walked the runway. I used the AI servo mode, though, attached to the shutter button. I previously tried some of cervantes recommended settings, so I may have been fouling up the AF settings.

privatebydesign

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Re: Bought the 300mm 2.8 ii and think its huge
« Reply #42 on: April 28, 2014, 11:46:05 AM »
Aye, this is very close to what I did. I used a (semi)fixed focus point (played around with the top/2nd-top row points), and then panned/changed composition as they walked the runway. I used the AI servo mode, though, attached to the shutter button. I previously tried some of cervantes recommended settings, so I may have been fouling up the AF settings.

That could well be your problem, BIF in good light, as per cervantes settings, are about as far away from a tuned AF set up as you can get for a model runway shoot in poorer light.

The beauty and problem with modern AF is it is so customisable that settings for one subject and situation will be very bad for another. The "twitchiness" he is inducing in his custom settings do not make so much sense for runway shooting. The Accel/Deccel setting isn't appropriate for runways, the model's speed is comparatively uniform, and the Tracking Sensitivity is the opposite of what makes sense for runways.

I'd reset to factory and work methodically from there, indeed I'd expect factory to give you a much higher keeper rate than the 30% you are getting.
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Re: Bought the 300mm 2.8 ii and think its huge
« Reply #42 on: April 28, 2014, 11:46:05 AM »

kaihp

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Re: Bought the 300mm 2.8 ii and think its huge
« Reply #43 on: April 29, 2014, 10:41:57 AM »
That could well be your problem, BIF in good light, as per cervantes settings, are about as far away from a tuned AF set up as you can get for a model runway shoot in poorer light.

The beauty and problem with modern AF is it is so customisable that settings for one subject and situation will be very bad for another. The "twitchiness" he is inducing in his custom settings do not make so much sense for runway shooting. The Accel/Deccel setting isn't appropriate for runways, the model's speed is comparatively uniform, and the Tracking Sensitivity is the opposite of what makes sense for runways.

I'd reset to factory and work methodically from there, indeed I'd expect factory to give you a much higher keeper rate than the 30% you are getting.

Good points and I totally agree on the customizability can be a trapdoor to problems. I've given the body a Factory Reset + Custom Functions Reset, and will go out tomorrow evening to give it a new try.

I think the automatic selection AF vs Zone AF mode setting (p 74 in the manual) have been messing with me, as it seemed to auto-select the AF points, despite I had selected a single AF point.

Thanks to PBD as well as mackguyver and Menace over in the 300mm thread for suggestions. I'll keep you posted on my findings.

I'll try the 61-point "full auto" selection and the manual 1/5/9-point AF modes for comparison.

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Re: Bought the 300mm 2.8 ii and think its huge
« Reply #43 on: April 29, 2014, 10:41:57 AM »