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Author Topic: 300mm F4L IS  (Read 7244 times)

wickidwombat

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300mm F4L IS
« on: November 16, 2011, 06:12:14 PM »
Hi, I was wondering if i could get some feedback from other owners of this lens
I picked one up vey cheap a while back and while its obviously older its in very good condition no scratches came withcase and manual and everything functions fine and takes nice sharp images.

just a couple of things i was wondering others experience with this lens
1 its noisey makes alot of clunking when focusing, this is probably the older style IS i guess but its alot louder than my 28-300 used to be

2 the focus ring is not firm like all my other L Lenses its turns smoothly and works perfectly there is just a bit of slop in the tolerance and it has some play in the direction along the barrel

any feedback would be great.

still IQ is fantastic and having that extra stop at 300 is great over a5.6
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300mm F4L IS
« on: November 16, 2011, 06:12:14 PM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: 300mm F4L IS
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2011, 06:23:37 PM »
That was my experience when I had a 300/4 IS - the IS engaged with a 'clunk' and was pretty audible when operating.
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Viggo

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Re: 300mm F4L IS
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2011, 06:47:12 PM »
Yup, same noise with the one I had, and that wasn't used at all.. Maybe the weatherseal in a few other L's make them tighter when focusing or zooming (?). My guess is that it's perfectly alright.
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Harv

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Re: 300mm F4L IS
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2011, 07:13:54 PM »
That's standard for the 300/4L IS.  I've had 3 copies of that lens over the years and all had very noisy IS systems.

If you were to read all the reviews on that lens on Fred Miranda, the vast majority of users had the same noise.  Still a great lens though.
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Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: 300mm F4L IS
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2011, 08:31:57 PM »
I recently bought a used one, and noted a clunk about the time it reached focus, so I thought it was the AF.  I tried it again just now, and it does seem to be the IS making a clunk as it actuates.  I just bought a new hearing aid and now can hear all the focusing and IS noises that I could not hear before.  It definitely makes a lot of noise.

AprilForever

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Re: 300mm F4L IS
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2011, 10:11:42 PM »
It's a kicking lens! It is the second best lens ever (in some ways...)! Especially with a 7D, this is a amazing lens I have used mightily, and love it!
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pwp

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Re: 300mm F4L IS
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2011, 10:50:55 PM »
I bought a 300mm f/4is in 1996 or 1997 which I used solidly for years. It was pin-sharp wide open.  It's the size of a 70-200 and weighs a lot less.

When threads like this pop up I still get pangs of sellers-regret. I traded this incredibly useful piece of glass when I bought my 300 f/2.8is. While I completely love using the f/2.8 300, I don't tend to just leave it in the bag like I did with the f/4. Among other things I used to shoot food with it for a client who loved the look...minimum focus distance is WAY closer than the f/2.8. There is room in any photographers kit for both these 300's. I'm on the lookout for another f/4.

With the improved AF and radically improved high iso performance that is available to us now, an f/4 lens doesn't cramp your style in the same way as it did in the days of sleepy AF and a reluctance to shoot beyond 100 iso.

For the past 15 or so years the 300 f/4is has been a genuine "sleeper" bargain in the Canon L range. You'll barely hear a negative comment about them.

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Re: 300mm F4L IS
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2011, 10:50:55 PM »

wickidwombat

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Re: 300mm F4L IS
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2011, 11:50:47 PM »
I love the balance of the lens and i leave the tripod foot off so its handled more easily
and I love that build in lens hood, dunno why this concept didn't pop up on more lenses
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briansquibb

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Re: 300mm F4L IS
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2011, 12:24:20 AM »
Unfortunately for the 300 f4 the newer 70-300L has got better IQ, IS and bokeh. Add in the fact that that the 70-300L is smaller and of course the bonus of being a zoom means that it is going to take sales away from the 300 f4.

The improved iso performance of todays bodies means that unless you really need F4 instead of f5.6, the 70-300L looks a better buy. I know, I had both and the 300f4 lost out.

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alek35

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Re: 300mm F4L IS
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2011, 03:21:21 AM »
My 300 F/4 only becomes noisy when I use extension tubes and the focusing seems to reach its limits.
The IS seems very quiet.

I am however very disappointed with the sharpness of my unit wide open. On top of that it is front focusing pretty heavy, so much I find it useless on my 20D. On my new body (5D) I had to set MFA to +16 to get proper AF.

Acceptable sharpness is only from F/5.6.

BTW does anybody know if it is possible to do MFA on the lens by dissambling it ? My unit is past warranty anyway...

Best regards,
Thomas
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pwp

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Re: 300mm F4L IS
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2011, 06:49:37 AM »
Acceptable sharpness is only from F/5.6.
Thomas

That's rare...go to the Fred Miranda reviews and most of the bazillions of reviews for this lens report stellar sharpness wide open, as do most of the posts in this thread.

Consider taking your 300 to Canon for a health check.

Paul Wright

Steve Campbell

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Re: 300mm F4L IS
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2011, 07:18:33 AM »
I recently picked one of these up and so far so good. The minimum focal distance of 1.5 meters is a plus, and I like the retracable hood. As for comparisons to the newer 70-300L, I can't say as I have never used one. No doubt it's nice, but it is more expensive. You don't see many used ones and when you do they won't be in the sub $1000 range, which can happen with the 300L. Constant apperture is nice too and it works well with the 1.4 TC's from reports I've read. That gives you the option to go to 420mm at 5.6. I don't believe the 70-300L takes a TC.

wickidwombat

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Re: 300mm F4L IS
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2011, 07:54:37 AM »
Yeah after having used the 28-300 max aperture of 5.6 compared to 4 is a BIG difference and one that just bumping up the iso isnt a good fix in my eyes also i can stick on a TC and get 420mm at 5.6 stop it down to 8 with the TC and it IQ is back to awesome. They dont show up alot even on ebay so i consider myself lucky to get it at a bargain
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Re: 300mm F4L IS
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2011, 07:54:37 AM »

alek35

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Re: 300mm F4L IS
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2011, 08:57:58 AM »
Acceptable sharpness is only from F/5.6.
Thomas

That's rare...go to the Fred Miranda reviews and most of the bazillions of reviews for this lens report stellar sharpness wide open, as do most of the posts in this thread.

Consider taking your 300 to Canon for a health check.

Paul Wright

Paul,

The reason I got the 300mmF/4 IS over the 100-400mm was that extra stop of light @300mm and because I had seen got opinions about it (also on FM site) and had expected it to be sharp.

Would love to give it a health check - but Canon service is pretty expensive here in Denmark (150Eur/hour).

Do you think that a lens can be calibrated for sharpness at all ?

The only calibration I've heard about is AF adjustment - which I have done myselft on my 5DmkII

Best regards,
Thomas
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TexPhoto

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Re: 300mm F4L IS
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2011, 09:00:15 AM »
As with the comments above, love it. Macro ability of the lens is a serious plus.

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Re: 300mm F4L IS
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2011, 09:00:15 AM »