600mm options

bobby

5D IV
Sep 8, 2018
18
3
I shoot cars at the track and just wrapped up shooting my first season using a 100-400 II + 1.4x III TC + 80D. I just sold the 80D and upgraded to a 5D mark IV. With the 100-400 II + TC + 80D I was able to get close to 900mm. Occasionally 900mm wasn't enough. Now that I've upgraded to full frame, I'm down to 560mm using the 100-400 II + TC.

The problem here: I do need more than 560mm. So I've been looking into getting one of the three different Canon 600mm lenses.
They seem to be going for
EF600mm f/4L USM: $3500
EF600mm f/4L IS USM: $4000
EF600mm f/4L IS II USM: $8000

I can't afford an $8000 lens right now.
I can rent the IS mark I version for $100 for the weekend locally or the IS mark II for $150 for the weekend.

If I decide to spend a few grand on a 600mm tele, I think I'd most likely go for the IS mark I version. Would I shoot myself in the foot by doing this?
It takes about an hour to drive to the rental place and then an hour back, too. Unfortunately, they don't ship these lenses for fraud prevention reasons. So add $50 to the rental bill for gas.

Keeping all of this in mind, would I be better off just renting them for the weekend every time?
We're talking about 10 weekends each season.
 
Aug 1, 2017
257
148
Hard to overstate what a challenge it is to handle a 600 f4. You really have to lug one around for a while to appreciate what a monster it is. That goes double for the older versions that are significantly more front heavy.

I'd rent for a while to test out whether that is really the best solution to your reach problem. A cheap 7D Mark II or a Sigma 150-600 might make more sense. You also can't zoom out the prime if the action moves closer.

The price of the existing 600's should also drop a bit when the V. III becomes available over the next few months.
 

bobby

5D IV
Sep 8, 2018
18
3
True, I've heard a lot about the weight.

The Sigma is unfortunately not an option because I need f/8 at 1200mm with the 2x Extender attached for AF to work.

Not being able to zoom out is not an issue since the cars usually need to be just in the right spot.
For tracking shots I think I prefer the 100-400 II without any extenders attached. IS mode II is pretty awesome and I can get close enough to the action for tracking related stuff.

I pretty much just need 1200mm for the long straight away and one spot where cars appear at the crest of a hill. I need to be at the same elevation, so usually I'm standing on an adjacent hill. The 900mm combo required me to significantly crop the 80D shots, so I think 1200mm would be perfect (plus I've seen other photog's with 600mm + 2x lenses there).
For a lot of other stuff I'll be using it with the 1.4x or no extender attached.

Bottom line here: I think I'll just rent the 600mm IS mark I next season. If the weight becomes too much of a burden half way through the season, I'll shell out the extra money for the mark II version rental. Around this time next year, the mark II should hopefully have dropped a few grand in used market value.

How long does Canon usually service lenses after they've been replaced with newer models? Can I expect spare parts to be available for the mark II for years to come?
 
Aug 1, 2017
257
148
Sounds like you know what you need. Just wanted to put that out there about the handling. The 600 is a massive lens that attracts a lot of attention. That being said, it's an amazing lens if you can live with the hassle of lugging it around. Best IQ of any lens I've ever owned by a wide margin.

I think Canon recently announced that they were dropping repair support for the V1 lenses. I guess the V2 lenses should be OK for a while but I couldn't say how long. I have a V2 and expect to keep it for several more years and I'm expecting they'll support it for at least another 5 years. I hope the value of mine doesn't drop a few grand but It's definitely going to drop.
 

AlanF

5DSR
Aug 16, 2012
4,858
1,497
Try the Sony RX10iv at the 600mm setting. Probably better than you might think.
I use an RX10 IV as an adjunct to my 5DSR and 5DIV. It has about the same resolution or “reach” as a 100-400mm II on the 5DIV so it would be of no use to the op.
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
Jul 21, 2010
23,980
1,179
As Graphic.Artifacts says, a 600mm lens can be a handling challenge. I can walk/hike and handhold my 600/4 II, but I wouldn't try it with a MkI. Having said that, it sounds like you may be in a fixed location and if so, provided you can budget for a sturdy tripod and a good gimbal head, the MkI would be a great choice.
 

bobby

5D IV
Sep 8, 2018
18
3
I use an RX10 IV as an adjunct to my 5DSR and 5DIV. It has about the same resolution or “reach” as a 100-400mm II on the 5DIV so it would be of no use to the op.
+1. The 100-400 II + 1.4x gets pretty close to 600mm. Close enough for me. The real problem here is that I need to go beyond 600mm. If you think about it, beyond 600mm is where things get much more expensive. The "cheapest" beyond 600mm solution is probably a 400mm f/4 DO + 2x, but that doesn't entirely solve my problem. Next up would be a 500mm and then the 600mm. The 800mm isn't worth it imo.

The only other thing that would beat the 600mm is the 1200mm unicorn lens. I'd rather buy a house though. Depending on the location of the house, both seem to be going for about the same price when the 1200mm ends up on the market (every few years).

Sounds like you know what you need. Just wanted to put that out there about the handling. The 600 is a massive lens that attracts a lot of attention. That being said, it's an amazing lens if you can live with the hassle of lugging it around. Best IQ of any lens I've ever owned by a wide margin.

I think Canon recently announced that they were dropping repair support for the V1 lenses. I guess the V2 lenses should be OK for a while but I couldn't say how long. I have a V2 and expect to keep it for several more years and I'm expecting they'll support it for at least another 5 years. I hope the value of mine doesn't drop a few grand but It's definitely going to drop.
Thanks, do you have a reliable source for the servicing info on the V1? I think predicting price drops for big white primes is kinda hard. They're pro tools and buyers of new ones seem to be holding on to them for a rather long time.

As Graphic.Artifacts says, a 600mm lens can be a handling challenge. I can walk/hike and handhold my 600/4 II, but I wouldn't try it with a MkI. Having said that, it sounds like you may be in a fixed location and if so, provided you can budget for a sturdy tripod and a good gimbal head, the MkI would be a great choice.
I pretty much only need it in two different locations around the track. If anybody cares, we're talking about the Nürburgring Nordschleife here. At 21km/13miles it's pretty long. So that means not much hiking with any 600mm lenses. I usually use a scooter to get around, but since I don't have to lug the 600mm around all day, putting it in a car and driving to a location might be an option, too. One of the two spots does require a 1km hike from the closest road.
 
Aug 1, 2017
257
148
No reliable source on the discontinued service. Just a post I read from a V1 owner who was told by Canon USA that service had been discontinued as of January 1, 2018. I think there was also a post here on Canon Rumors regarding V1 service. I don't know if Canon makes an official announcement on service retirement. I did a quick search on line and didn't find any additional info. I'd check directly with Canon in your home market if you are considering a V1 purchase.

Never been to the Nürburgring. The photo ops must be great. Good luck.
 
Reactions: bobby

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
Mar 25, 2011
15,231
527
I've also seen posts indicating the ver 1 is lenses are no longer supported by Canon, but service by 3rd parties should continue for a few more years. Call Canon and ask.

I believe that when the pro mirrorless camera arrives, and you can autofocus with a f/11 combination or maybe f/13, a slower lens would work. I've used a 2X + 1.4X stacked with my R, and it focuses fine as long as the focus is already in the general vicinity. Autofocus changes from say 200 ft to 2000 ft is almost instant.
 

kaihp

I'm not new here
Mar 19, 2012
847
4
Bottom line here: I think I'll just rent the 600mm IS mark I next season. If the weight becomes too much of a burden half way through the season, I'll shell out the extra money for the mark II version rental.
I'd rent the Mk I and Mk II on back-to-back events to see what the difference it would get me. Either you have a one-time additional cost of USD50 (€30?) and you know that the Mk I is the right thing for you or not.

I did a weekend on the Nordschliefe in 2002 on my bike and on my way back from a roadtrip to Spain/Portugal last summer I stopped by. Unfortunately the track was rented out for some kind of private car test. If would have been fun to take a spin on it again after so many years.

I rented the Mk II over the weekend this summer for the Red Bull Cliff Diving and was surprised how much shallower the DOF was at 1200mm f/8 vs 600mm f/5.6 (600/4 II vs 300/2.8 II + 2xTC III). It's definitely a hefty lens/setup to lug around when you also need a large tripod and a gimbal.

As Mt Spokane and Graphic.Artifacts suggest, call CPS Deutchland and ask them.
 

Gman

Canon 5D Mark IV, 6D, 60D, 600mm f4 II, 70-200 2.8
Jun 23, 2015
23
0
The EF600mm f/4L V1 is not practical for carrying over sustained distances and periods of time. Simply too heavy. I've owned V2 for three years, and with a monopod on your shoulder it is very doable. I've used the V2 with full frame to cover golf and tennis. And, it works v.v. well with the 2xTC III.