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Author Topic: 300mm F4L IS  (Read 7470 times)

Caps18

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Re: 300mm F4L IS
« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2011, 10:14:41 AM »
I have the 300mm f/4, and I like it.  I would have purchased a bigger lens if money way no object...
The 70-300mm looks like a great tourist lens, and it would have made the decision much harder had it been available.

I do have a 2x & 1.4x on my copy right now (it could use another if you want to do Moon or Sun Photograpgy (with correct 99.99% silver filter).

I do like the macro ability.  You can even use the extenders with the extension tubes...
5D mark 2, 16-35mm f/2.8, 17mm TS-E f/4, 85mm f/1.8, 300mm f/4 + 1.4x, 580 EX Flash

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Re: 300mm F4L IS
« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2011, 10:14:41 AM »

docsavage123

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Re: 300mm F4L IS
« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2011, 05:44:06 PM »
Just bought one 2 weeks ago, best £730 I ever spent (2nd hand) off ebay. Just went on a shoot at Donna Nook and used it on the 1d mark II, I ended up leaving my 7D and 400mm F5.6 in the bag. Its a cracking piece of kit. I was a bit alarmed by the clunk of the image stabilisation, so turned it off. The focusing is very quick and it is not very heavy.
Canon 7D, 6D, 100-400 F4.5-5.6L IS, 400mm F5.6L, 70-200 F4L, 1.4 EXT ii, EF100 F2.8 Macro,  40mm Pancake, Sigma 24-70EX DG F2.8, Sigma 17-35 F2.8-4 HSM, Sigma 18-50 F2.8-4 OS , EX430 II.

briansquibb

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Re: 300mm F4L IS
« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2011, 06:25:06 PM »
Those people that think the 300 F/4 is razor sharp should see the output of the 300F2.8 or the 300F2.8 to understand that whilst it is good  - it is by no means the best

pwp

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Re: 300mm F4L IS
« Reply #18 on: November 17, 2011, 06:29:43 PM »
Acceptable sharpness is only from F/5.6.
Thomas

Consider taking your 300 to Canon for a health check.


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


Thomas, regarding Danish servicing costs that's your call. You could do what plenty of photographers do with less than stellar lens purchases...send them back to eBay and try another copy. I'm sure there are lenses around that have been bought and sold a dozen times....

There is always an element of risk with a pre-owned lens, or even new for that matter. Lenses do vary. I had three new 24-70 f/2.8L lenses in a row. They were all shockers. On a whim I bought a cheap, knocked around 24-105 f/4is on eBay to see me through until the new 24-70 f/2.8 ships, and it is a knockout lens. Go figure.

If you've got a piece of equipment that isn't performing as expected, my advice is to fix it or shift it. Irritations like you describe will impinge negatively on your creative process.

Paul Wright


pwp

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Re: 300mm F4L IS
« Reply #19 on: November 18, 2011, 01:48:35 AM »
Those people that think the 300 F/4 is razor sharp should see the output of the 300F2.8 or the 300F2.8 to understand that whilst it is good  - it is by no means the best

You know the saying...YMMV. My f/4 was an IQ & sharpness match for my stellar f/2.8, provided you were shooting a static or almost static subject. While the f/4 is a clear bargain buy and totally worthy of it's L designation, the f/2.8 300is is worth every penny of it's relatively high asking price. It's all about extreme high performance on a variety of levels, the very real 2.8 advantage & the incomparable "look" of the files.

They are different lenses for different purposes.

Paul Wright

briansquibb

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Re: 300mm F4L IS
« Reply #20 on: November 18, 2011, 06:02:30 AM »
Those people that think the 300 F/4 is razor sharp should see the output of the 300F2.8 or the 300F2.8 to understand that whilst it is good  - it is by no means the best

You know the saying...YMMV. My f/4 was an IQ & sharpness match for my stellar f/2.8, provided you were shooting a static or almost static subject. While the f/4 is a clear bargain buy and totally worthy of it's L designation, the f/2.8 300is is worth every penny of it's relatively high asking price. It's all about extreme high performance on a variety of levels, the very real 2.8 advantage & the incomparable "look" of the files.

They are different lenses for different purposes.

Paul Wright

Strange then that the scientific tests of the 300 f/4 dont match the owners perception with the MTF scores being very good but not exceptional - example http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/611-canon300f4ff?start=1 - with the bokeh being pretty average.


kirispupis

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Re: 300mm F4L IS
« Reply #21 on: November 18, 2011, 12:10:57 PM »
I have the 300/4 IS and do like it a lot.  I use it most often for sports and dragonflies.  I actually purchased it specifically for dragonflies as they tend to be a bit skittish.  The following are some shots I have taken with it

http://www.flickr.com/photos/calevphoto/4574322409/in/photostream
http://www.flickr.com/photos/calevphoto/6092850943/in/photostream

I find my copy to be very sharp.  For sports I almost always use it at F4.  It does not take extenders well so I never use them with this lens.  Recently for sports it has been receiving competition from my 70-200/2.8 II with a 1.4 extender.  The 300/4 has slightly better image quality but it is close enough to not matter much.  During the last season I used the 300/4 when my sons were up to bat and the 70-200/2.8 + 1.4 when they were fielding.

The AF is quite good on the 300/4 and though I do hear the IS it isn't too bad.  One thing I have noticed is when shooting action shots (fielding) at high shutter speeds the IS in the 70-200/2.8 II noticeably hurts the shot.  I therefore need to always remember to turn it off for sports.  I do not have this issue with the 300/4.  Note that for static scenarios where IS is meant for, the 70-200/2.8 II obviously blows away the 300/4 in terms of IS.

The macro ability is the main reason I am keeping this lens for now.  The 70-200/2.8 II + 1.4 also has decent macro abilities though so I am becoming less inclined to keep it.  I was planning to sell it when the 200-400 came out but since I blew all that I had saved on the 1D-X that isn't in the plans any longer...

The 70-300 is a curious competitor I never really considered.  It has .21x magnification compared to .24x of the 300/4 so it isn't that far off.  It is also a good deal smaller and more flexible with zoom.  I have heard that it is very sharp.  It of course is a stop slower.  The main reason I doubt I would pick up the 70-300 though is a similar reason I may sell my 300/4 at some point though - with the 70-200/2.8 II + extenders it is less likely to make my bag.
5D3|TS-E 24 II|TS-E 17|TS-E 90|200-400/1.4x|MP-E 65|100/2.8 IS Macro|70-200/2.8 IS II||16-35/2.8 II|EOS M

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Re: 300mm F4L IS
« Reply #21 on: November 18, 2011, 12:10:57 PM »

Tan

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Re: 300mm F4L IS
« Reply #22 on: November 18, 2011, 05:32:13 PM »
I love my 300/4 IS! It is compact (relatively that is), light (again relatively) and as sharp as you'll ever need. Easy to carry along in the bag and handhold when taking pictures. Basically that's what counts for me.

If I had the money I would gladly buy the 300/2,8, but I still wouldn't bring it along as I do with the 300/4. This is a really neat lens and great value for money!

dtaylor

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Re: 300mm F4L IS
« Reply #23 on: November 18, 2011, 08:50:30 PM »
Unfortunately for the 300 f4 the newer 70-300L has got better IQ, IS and bokeh.

Nope. The prime still retains an edge in sharpness and contrast, particularly at the edges. I doubt there's any real difference in bokeh (I'm open to being proven wrong by comparison images) considering that the prime is already incredibly smooth. IS is probably better on the L zoom, but then it's a stop slower to begin with. That stop can affect AF performance. While we're at it, the prime can be used with teleconverters.

The new zoom is an excellent and versatile piece of glass. But the prime still has its uses.

dtaylor

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Re: 300mm F4L IS
« Reply #24 on: November 18, 2011, 08:52:50 PM »
Acceptable sharpness is only from F/5.6.

Get your copy serviced. For real photographs I can see no real difference in sharpness from wide open, only in contrast. A test chart will reveal only a minor difference in sharpness. A properly adjusted 300 f/4L IS is brilliant from wide open.

dtaylor

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Re: 300mm F4L IS
« Reply #25 on: November 18, 2011, 08:57:20 PM »
Those people that think the 300 F/4 is razor sharp should see the output of the 300F2.8 or the 300F2.8 to understand that whilst it is good  - it is by no means the best

They can see it by stopping down 1 stop, i.e. a 300 f/2.8L II IS @ f/4 is about the same as a 300 f/4L IS @ f/5.6.

Impressive, yes. Great for someone with the money and desire to carry that much weight, yes. But realistically even at the same f/stop you can make comparable prints with either, except of course for f/2.8.

pwp

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Re: 300mm F4L IS
« Reply #26 on: November 18, 2011, 09:19:04 PM »
This may be drifting slightly off-topic, but the lens that has been demanding my attention is the new stabilized Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 zoom.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/755328-USA/Sigma_136101_120_300mm_f_2_8_EX_DG.html
http://www.sigmaphoto.com/shop/120-300mm-f28-ex-dg-os-apo-hsm-sigma1
http://www.rytterfalk.com/2011/04/30/exploring-the-new-sigma-120-300-2-8-os-lens/

The old version of this lens was never quite there, but initial responses to the new OS lens are looking very promising. If this lens works as advertised it would be a fairly compelling addition to my working lens collection.

Any CR shooters use this lens? Links to meaningful independent reviews? Even the Fred Miranda lens reviews have not passed an opinion on the new OS lens yet....too new.

Paul Wright




briansquibb

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Re: 300mm F4L IS
« Reply #27 on: November 20, 2011, 06:47:32 AM »
Those people that think the 300 F/4 is razor sharp should see the output of the 300F2.8 or the 300F2.8 to understand that whilst it is good  - it is by no means the best

They can see it by stopping down 1 stop, i.e. a 300 f/2.8L II IS @ f/4 is about the same as a 300 f/4L IS @ f/5.6.

Impressive, yes. Great for someone with the money and desire to carry that much weight, yes. But realistically even at the same f/stop you can make comparable prints with either, except of course for f/2.8.

The bokeh is rather different though ....

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Re: 300mm F4L IS
« Reply #27 on: November 20, 2011, 06:47:32 AM »

scottsdaleriots

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Re: 300mm F4L IS
« Reply #28 on: November 23, 2011, 06:49:37 AM »
I'd go with the 70-300. or the 300 f4, but i agree with everyone else who says that you will need a 2.8 aperture or larger. i had a similar problem last year trying to find a great sports (and general purpose lens that i could use in most shooting situations), so many people said to get a prime; sharper, better IQ, lighter, larger aperture, etc. Long story short I got a 70-200mm 2.8 IS II (I perfer the versatility of a zoom more). I guess it also depends on your budget too. I think you have 3 options:

1. Get a cheaper alternative (outta the lenses you mentioned or the 300 f4) and save up for a lens that you really want
2. Don't get a lens at all, so you can start saving asap (you probably wont do this as you wnt a lens asap to shoot soccer)
3. Bite the bullet (and get a loan) and get the lens you really want. e.g 300mm f2.8 or 400mm.

Good luck trying to decide, let us know what you decide to get/do

briansquibb

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Re: 300mm F4L IS
« Reply #29 on: November 23, 2011, 08:38:25 AM »
I'd go with the 70-300. or the 300 f4, but i agree with everyone else who says that you will need a 2.8 aperture or larger. i had a similar problem last year trying to find a great sports (and general purpose lens that i could use in most shooting situations), so many people said to get a prime; sharper, better IQ, lighter, larger aperture, etc. Long story short I got a 70-200mm 2.8 IS II (I perfer the versatility of a zoom more). I guess it also depends on your budget too. I think you have 3 options:

1. Get a cheaper alternative (outta the lenses you mentioned or the 300 f4) and save up for a lens that you really want
2. Don't get a lens at all, so you can start saving asap (you probably wont do this as you wnt a lens asap to shoot soccer)
3. Bite the bullet (and get a loan) and get the lens you really want. e.g 300mm f2.8 or 400mm.

Good luck trying to decide, let us know what you decide to get/do

Option 4. Get 400 f/2.8IS to go on 1d4 and 70-200 to go on 7D. Buy Black Rapid double strap to carry them on.

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Re: 300mm F4L IS
« Reply #29 on: November 23, 2011, 08:38:25 AM »