June 20, 2018, 02:22:11 AM

Author Topic: Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS I USM  (Read 8641 times)

chrysoberyl

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Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS I USM
« on: February 16, 2018, 03:26:57 PM »
Are there any issues with this lens?  Like getting parts for repair?  Is the II version sharper?

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Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS I USM
« on: February 16, 2018, 03:26:57 PM »

AdamBotond

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Re: Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS I USM
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2018, 02:07:33 AM »
Considering that it has been replaced by mark II 7 years ago, you might have difficulties when it comes to repair the mark I. Also, the mark II is sharper, has more contrast and somewhat reduced weight, as well. On the other hand, you can get second hand mark I for a reasonable price these days and they hold a great value (as long as you dont have to repair).
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danski0224

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Re: Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS I USM
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2018, 07:29:18 AM »
Are there any issues with this lens?  Like getting parts for repair?  Is the II version sharper?

It is a professional grade lens designed to withstand professional use.

That said, as far as repair goes, it will most likely follow the predecessor USM and no IS lenses and become difficult/impossible to repair quickly with OEM parts. It is unlikely that there is a treasure trove of expensive parts like IS modules simply laying around in a warehouse somewhere... then finding a shop with the capability to repair it back to OEM specs when the OEM does not support it any longer.

At least the VI IS lenses will still focus if there is a USM motor failure.

The IS module seems to be designed to stay at a neutral state, because it doesn't do anything when it is "off", so with the exception of an unusual failure, the lens should still be usable even with a failed IS module.

The used prices for these have dropped significantly since Canon has rendered these lenses "obsolete". Only you can decide if buying the VI is worth it over buying a "current" VII.

The only way to really ensure repairability is to buy new or current production version lenses.

Yes, all of the VII IS lenses offer improvements over the VI IS counterparts. 

chrysoberyl

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Re: Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS I USM
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2018, 04:58:50 PM »
Thanks very much!  I can't see paying $3K for a paperweight, although I do want a fast, stabilized 300mm prime very much.  Perhaps Tamron will release their rumored 300 2.8.

danski0224

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Re: Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS I USM
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2018, 05:55:53 PM »
Thanks very much!  I can't see paying $3K for a paperweight, although I do want a fast, stabilized 300mm prime very much.  Perhaps Tamron will release their rumored 300 2.8.

And what makes a 3rd party lens less of a paperweight than an "obsolete" Canon lens made for trade professionals?

I don't know anything about the Tamron, but I bet it is safe to say that it will not match OEM Canon lens performance on a Canon body and who's to say how long the Tamron would be serviceable, and how long such service might take.

Price is also an issue. How "inexpensive" can it be? If the price is anywhere near the cost of a nice used "obsolete" Canon IS VI, I know which one I would choose.

Michael Clark

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Re: Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS I USM
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2018, 12:03:36 AM »
Thanks very much!  I can't see paying $3K for a paperweight, although I do want a fast, stabilized 300mm prime very much.  Perhaps Tamron will release their rumored 300 2.8.

Look into the Sigma 120-300mm f/3.8. The latest version, the 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | S, is in the 'Sports' category of the 'Global Vision Series' that also include the 'Art' category. Compatibility with the Sigma USB dock goes a long way towards ensuring future firmware upgrades, if needed, won't require a trip to a service center. It's not quite as good as the EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS II, but neither is the original EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS. It is a bit longer and heavier than the EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS II, but then again, so is the original EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS.

It's not quite a prime, but it is a very high quality zoom that holds image quality at all focal lengths and apertures much like the EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II does.

https://www.sigmaphoto.com/120-300mm-f28-dg-os-hsm-s   
https://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Sigma-120-300mm-f-2.8-DG-OS-HSM-Lens.aspx
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chrysoberyl

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Re: Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS I USM
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2018, 06:50:49 AM »
Look into the Sigma 120-300mm f/3.8. The latest version, the 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | S, is in the 'Sports' category of the 'Global Vision Series' that also include the 'Art' category. Compatibility with the Sigma USB dock goes a long way towards ensuring future firmware upgrades, if needed, won't require a trip to a service center. It's not quite as good as the EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS II, but neither is the original EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS. It is a bit longer and heavier than the EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS II, but then again, so is the original EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS.

It's not quite a prime, but it is a very high quality zoom that holds image quality at all focal lengths and apertures much like the EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II does.

Thanks, Michael.  The 120-300 is at the top of my list and I'll be looking at the links.  How does it perform with Canon III TC's?

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Re: Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS I USM
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2018, 06:50:49 AM »

hne

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Re: Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS I USM
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2018, 07:59:04 AM »
Look into the Sigma 120-300mm f/3.8. The latest version, the 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | S, is in the 'Sports' category of the 'Global Vision Series' that also include the 'Art' category. Compatibility with the Sigma USB dock goes a long way towards ensuring future firmware upgrades, if needed, won't require a trip to a service center. It's not quite as good as the EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS II, but neither is the original EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS. It is a bit longer and heavier than the EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS II, but then again, so is the original EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS.

It's not quite a prime, but it is a very high quality zoom that holds image quality at all focal lengths and apertures much like the EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II does.

Thanks, Michael.  The 120-300 is at the top of my list and I'll be looking at the links.  How does it perform with Canon III TC's?

I don't think I'd even bother try it considering these results comparing it to the Sigma 150-600 contemporary:
https://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=844&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=7&API=2&LensComp=990&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=7&APIComp=0
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aceflibble

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Re: Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS I USM
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2018, 03:38:43 AM »
And what makes a 3rd party lens less of a paperweight than an "obsolete" Canon lens made for trade professionals?

I don't know anything about the Tamron, but I bet it is safe to say that it will not match OEM Canon lens performance on a Canon body and who's to say how long the Tamron would be serviceable, and how long such service might take.
When you admit you "don't know anything", it's best to not say anything at all.

For the record, Tamron honour a warranty longer than any other lens manufacturer and have official repair centres in more countries than any other lens manufacturer, too. I've had to send in Canon, Nikon, Sony, Sigma, Tamron, Samyang, Zeiss, Mamiya, Schneider Kreuznach (PhaseOne), Fujifilm, Zhongyi, Tokina, and Laowa lenses for servicing at various times, and Tamron have always been by far the fastest, cheapest (when outside of warranty), and most responsive to communication.

And given the recent Tamrons compared to their Canon counterparts, it's fair to assume that any Tamron 300mm will be optically superior, optically more consistent, and have more effective stabilisation than the Canon. The build quality is also more than good enough; about even with the mid-priced L lenses. I'd expect the AF to be a touch slower than the Canon, but equally as accurate, and for manual focusing the Tamrons are typically better. (Which is also why they're slower to autofocus.)

 
There are lots of lenses where I go straight for the first-party options, but when it comes to these kinds of telephotos, Tamron and Sigma have proved their worth with their zooms in this range and I've no issue expecting a Tamron prime at this length to be anything less than fantastic.

Zeidora

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Re: Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS I USM
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2018, 09:40:12 AM »
Currently own a 300/2.8 I and consider replacing it. The Canon II sells for 6K, the current Sigma for 4K, and Tamron is vaporware at present. In that price range, the difference is not sufficient to affect decision on which one to get. One thing I look at is minimum focusing distance: Canon 2 m, Sigma 2.5 m. That is a significant point for me (venomous snake portraits). Not quite ready to pull the plug, I think a Coastal Optics 100 UV will be first.
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chrysoberyl

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Re: Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS I USM
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2018, 10:22:37 AM »
Currently own a 300/2.8 I and consider replacing it. The Canon II sells for 6K, the current Sigma for 4K, and Tamron is vaporware at present. In that price range, the difference is not sufficient to affect decision on which one to get. One thing I look at is minimum focusing distance: Canon 2 m, Sigma 2.5 m. That is a significant point for me (venomous snake portraits). Not quite ready to pull the plug, I think a Coastal Optics 100 UV will be first.

I do enjoy your input - I'd never heard of the Coastal Optics 100 UV!  It looks quite nice.  As far as 300mm goes, I've been patient for years and will be so until one feels right.  Snakes are favorite subjects for me, too.

NancyP

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Re: Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS I USM
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2018, 10:37:58 AM »
Main issues for third party lenses are 1. long term firmware compatibility with newer camera bodies 2. reverse-designed auto-focus protocols usually make AF slightly or markedly slower than OEM lenses.

Sigma has promised to deal with problem #1 by the lens dock for updating firmware. This may also allow better reverse-designed AF protocols to be introduced.

I have several superb non-OEM lenses (2 manual focus: Voigtlander Apo and Zeiss; 1 Sigma Art 35mm f/1.4), but I will say that I don't shoot action with them. My birding lens is OEM, the lowly but reliable (and portable) 400 f/5.6L

NancyP

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Re: Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS I USM
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2018, 10:42:20 AM »
lovely snake, Zeidora.
180 macro, with or without 1.4x TC, is my current snake kit. Always with TC, for cottonmouths, who are cranky beasts. Other local venomous snakes are pretty laid back / predictable / downright shy if treated with respect.

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Re: Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS I USM
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2018, 10:42:20 AM »

NancyP

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Re: Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS I USM
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2018, 10:50:56 AM »
Sorry, lovely snake portrait, CHRYOSBERYL!   :-[

aceflibble

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Re: Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS I USM
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2018, 11:10:59 AM »
Currently own a 300/2.8 I and consider replacing it. The Canon II sells for 6K, the current Sigma for 4K, and Tamron is vaporware at present. In that price range, the difference is not sufficient to affect decision on which one to get. One thing I look at is minimum focusing distance: Canon 2 m, Sigma 2.5 m. That is a significant point for me (venomous snake portraits). Not quite ready to pull the plug, I think a Coastal Optics 100 UV will be first.
I think in this kind of case, where you're evidently looking and able to purchase any of them, the Canon is definitely the better buy. IS and weather sealing alone put it way ahead of the Sigma. One has to assume Sigma will rework the 300mm with OS and sealing as part of the Sport range, and Tamron will put out something similar. Until that happens, while I will vouch for Tamron's service and Sigma's quality in general, for specifically 300mm, first-party wins.

Main issues for third party lenses are 1. long term firmware compatibility with newer camera bodies 2. reverse-designed auto-focus protocols usually make AF slightly or markedly slower than OEM lenses.

Sigma has promised to deal with problem #1 by the lens dock for updating firmware. This may also allow better reverse-designed AF protocols to be introduced.

I have several superb non-OEM lenses (2 manual focus: Voigtlander Apo and Zeiss; 1 Sigma Art 35mm f/1.4), but I will say that I don't shoot action with them. My birding lens is OEM, the lowly but reliable (and portable) 400 f/5.6L
So far, Sigma and Tamron have both kept up-to-date with their USB docks and the latest cameras.
The focus is definitely a bigger problem, but I think in Tamron's case it's not too bad. Tamron have elected to nail focus accuracy and consistency, at the cost of some speed. This is my preference, even in sports & wildlife lenses, because being quick is no good if the shot is blurry anyway. I also find the new Tamrons lenses are about as fast as the early-2000s Canons; not as fast as modern ones or the 90s lenses, but fast enough. My usual test for any long lens is to nip down to the nearby bird rehab and try to catch some shots of a resident Lanner falcon they have there. (Born in captivity at a zoo, too tame to survive in the wild, but is allowed to fly freely nearby.) That thing is around 24" all-round and flies at about 160mph; if a lens can keep up with that, it's good enough in my book. So far the Tamron 100-400 and 150-600 G2 have both kept up, even in English overcast light.
Wish I could say the same for Sigma... but then, Sigma's main market these days is portrait & landscape art shooters, so I understand why focus isn't their #1 priority.

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Re: Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS I USM
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2018, 11:10:59 AM »