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Author Topic: Upgrading a 300 f2.8  (Read 2084 times)

cabbit

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Upgrading a 300 f2.8
« on: September 09, 2012, 12:34:09 PM »
Hey folks i have currently a Canon EF300mm L f2.8 this is the non is version and is quite old though still what i consider excellent (Only a wee bit of paint has rubbed of near the switch lettering).

So my question is what would i gain upgrading to the latest mk2 is version in terms of IQ, i've never used IS and have a good tripod so have never felt i miss out on that. I use it mainly for birding and other animals ranging from squirrels to lions (with a 1.4x and 2x ).

I also have plans to get a 600mm f4, so if the latest 300mm is not going to give me anything huge in iq then i'll put that money into the 600mm's budget.

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Upgrading a 300 f2.8
« on: September 09, 2012, 12:34:09 PM »

TrumpetPower!

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Re: Upgrading a 300 f2.8
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2012, 01:16:01 PM »
Pretty much every supertelephoto ever made by anybody has superlative optics. Sure, newer ones are almost always better, but it's not like there's a whole lot of room for improvement in the first place.

The significant improvements in that field were first with stabilization, and now with weight.

Unless you're unhappy with the image quality you get from your current lens, there's no need on the basis of IQ alone to upgrade. On the other hand, if you are unhappy, then it's likely you'll also be unhappy with modern ones -- just not quite as unhappy as with the one you have.

Cheers,

b&

cabbit

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Re: Upgrading a 300 f2.8
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2012, 01:19:31 PM »
Yes i am quite happy with the IQ and weight, i've never missed a shot due to lack of IS ether. I am only considering upgrading due to my lens being quite close to 20 years old now so i had assumed that there may be better glass by now.

CharlieB

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Re: Upgrading a 300 f2.8
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2012, 01:28:52 PM »
Have rented each.  Not a hoot'n holler difference in IQ, in fact... the non-IS may be a hair better.

When I begin to be interested in shooting test targets and charts instead of herons, ducks, and "chicken-like marsh birds", maybe some significance in IQ will grab me by the neck, but until then....nada.

I found IS helpful... but not overly so.   Based on all that - I chose to stay with my 300/4.0L, non-IS, based mainly on weight.  That is, when you trudge thru things, weight is big factor, especially when you have a tripod and small bag of kit with you.

cabbit

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Re: Upgrading a 300 f2.8
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2012, 04:31:08 PM »
cheers CharlieB, so basically moving to one of the newer lenses all i would gain is IS. And aye if i wanted lighter then i think a f4 would be the option (i have had this but find the extra weight on my 2.8 makes it easier to get a sharp shot when handholding.)

AlanF

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Re: Upgrading a 300 f2.8
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2012, 05:26:26 PM »
You get a lens that is light enough to handhold and walk around with and take bird and nature photos easily with the IS on.  Although the improvement in IQ only appears slight at 300mm relative to the older lenses, it is real and the lens is perfectly matched to the new 1.4 and 2x III teleconverters so you can still use it handheld as a fabulous 420mm and 600mm supertelephoto with hardly any loss of IQ, for which the IS is a must. Those are great improvements on a great lens. 
5D III, 70D, Powershot SX50, 300/2.8 II, 1.4xTC III, 2xTC III, 70-200/4 IS, 24-105, 15-85, Sigma 10-20, Tamron 150-600.

3kramd5

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Re: Upgrading a 300 f2.8
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2012, 05:41:57 PM »
This is just a guess, but maybe the newer lens provides better resolution. While you may not see a major difference on a 10-20MP capture, if and when canon releases a competitor to the D800, newer glass may be required to match that resolution.
5D3, 5D2, 40D; Various lenses

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Re: Upgrading a 300 f2.8
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2012, 05:41:57 PM »

pwp

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Re: Upgrading a 300 f2.8
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2012, 06:41:03 PM »
The new lens is an absolute cracker, and so is yours. If it still delivers the goods for you, why not spend the money on a holiday, that 600 f/4 or a 1DX?

However it may depend on the subject matter you tend to work with. In my case upgrading from the non-IS version to the newer version with IS delivered tangible benefits. I'm often shooting in corporate environments where I'm shooting as slow as 1/30th or 1/60th on a monopod. The IS delivers a lot more keepers .

But for most birds, wildlife and sports, high shutter speeds are the order of the day and the IS advantage is barely relevant. I say keep your current lens.

-PW

cabbit

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Re: Upgrading a 300 f2.8
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2012, 06:53:33 PM »
Aye pwp i think i'll put the money into a 600mm or perhaps rent a new 300 for a weekend and see for myself what it gives.

I'll hold of the 1DX for a while, i have a 5D3 on order to replace my 550d (which has not had visible af points for the last 3 months so it will be lovely to have usable af again and hopefully improved iq).

canon816

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Re: Upgrading a 300 f2.8
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2012, 07:24:26 PM »
Hey folks i have currently a Canon EF300mm L f2.8 this is the non is version and is quite old though still what i consider excellent (Only a wee bit of paint has rubbed of near the switch lettering).

So my question is what would i gain upgrading to the latest mk2 is version in terms of IQ, i've never used IS and have a good tripod so have never felt i miss out on that. I use it mainly for birding and other animals ranging from squirrels to lions (with a 1.4x and 2x ).

I also have plans to get a 600mm f4, so if the latest 300mm is not going to give me anything huge in iq then i'll put that money into the 600mm's budget.

It really depends on how you foresee using your camera going forward.

I have the Version I IS of this lens.  I use it both on a tripod and handheld (often in a kayak).  When I have my lens on a tripod I leave IS turned off as it causes problems with vibration and motion.  I beleive the new version has a tripod setting for IS so it would not be a problem on the Version II.  When I am handheld I use the IS and could not live without it.  I love being able to shoot handheld at 1/250 sec and get tack sharp results. 

That said, if you are leaving it on the tripod... you might find another lens to complement your kit instead of updating this one.  If you want to use handheld a lot... the upgrade would be well worth the investment.

Happy shooting!

risc32

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Re: Upgrading a 300 f2.8
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2012, 08:11:23 PM »
i do believe that the 300mm 2.8 IS V1 is also tripod sensing so leaving IS on is just fine. better than fine, it's good, as it'll reduce the chances of vibration from the mirror or whatever else. that''s the way mine works anyway. BTW- i'd agree with everyone here. I'm sure that the latest has better IQ but when you are talking about a Canon 300mm f2.8, there wasn't a whole lot of room for improvement at any cost. Weight reduction would be welcomed, but i can hack it. now if i shot a 400mm f2.8, the V2's weight reduction would be very important to me.

CharlieB

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Re: Upgrading a 300 f2.8
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2012, 12:15:24 AM »
Cabbit:

My own personal thoughts from someone who has lugged his share of photogear thru all sorts of sippery sloggy mosquito infested trails in The Everglades..... I'd put my dollars into a body that can focus quick as lightning.  Your lens is up to it, maybe not the very best of the focus speed, but not a slagger either.   For sports, nature, especially birds, focus speed gives you more keepers than a lens with 2% better IQ.

There have been times, photographing limkins, scarlet ibis... that tend to stick to the shadows, and come out late and early when the light is not the best... that I could have used IS.  Then again, the last time I slogged thru the 'glades I had film and digital that went to 1600 max, and up to 800 was "ok" with noise.   Better body, higher ISO with acceptable noise... that IQ difference is seeming smaller and smaller.  What makes the keepers?  IN FOCUS makes keepers, and catchlights... get a fast focusing body, get a flash and beam extender Fresnel on the front...for those all important catchlights... if nature is your thing. 

cabbit

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Re: Upgrading a 300 f2.8
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2012, 08:22:14 AM »
Just out of interest, will my 300mm fit into this case (the original leather one is near its end)?

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/280944711454?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649#ht_13088wt_1050

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Re: Upgrading a 300 f2.8
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2012, 08:22:14 AM »