about canon 300mm f/2.8

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by jitendra_katre, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. hello,
    how do you compare canon 300mm f/2.8 +canon 2x t.c. vs canon 500mm f/4 ? i know everybody will say 500mm is always better, but there are many plus points in 300mm. it is lighter, less conspicuous, more versatile,and much cheaper... and image quality with 2x t.c. suffers only in contrast and not in resolution..any opinions?
    thanks in anticipation....
     
  2. You can roll your mouse over the image here to switch between those lens sets...
    http://the-digital-picture.com/Revi...LensComp=117&CameraComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0
    Bear in mind there are now *two* 300/2.8 IS lenses, plus the 300/2.8 non-IS, *three* different Canon 2x TCs, and two different 500/4 IS lenses, so you have to be careful exactly what you compare.
    I've shot the 200/2 with the 2x mk II converter, and it works impressively well.
     
  3. thanks Alan..
     
  4. 300 f2.8 alone is razor sharp.
    500 f4 alone is razor sharp.
    300 with 1.4x is virtually as sharp as without the tc.
    300 with 2x in good light is fairly sharp, nowhere as good as with the 1.4 though, and not comparable with the 'bare' lens.
    You can discuss what the 'acceptable' in acceptably sharp means, but the bottom line is that used properly and carefully in the right lighting conditions, the 300 and 2x delivers results that reputable magazines will publish, delivering high quality repro across two pages. Numerous photographers have won international awards with images taken using the 300 and 2x, and printed up in the media look stunning. It is not however as sharp as the 500. Nowhere near it.
    I own both lenses, and both tc's. So I'm commenting from experience.
    For a versatile one lens kit with converters, the 300 is a stellar performer. Great as a 300, superb as a 420, and pretty good as a 600. Add a couple of extension tubes for close ups and you've got a great all round outfit. In a pinch, and shooting into the light - sunsets or sunrises for example, combining the 1.4 and 2x is also possible delivering perfectly usable results. Traveling with the 300 is easy, flying no problem. The 500 is a different prospect. I'll happily carry my 300 in a backpack all day, which is not something I'd do with the 500.
     
  5. I have an opinion :)
    The 300 f2.8 IS and MkII 2xTC do not compare in any way to the 500. Comparatively the IQ sucks, the vignetteing is a joke though correctable, the AF sucks and the combo is one stop slower.
    If you need a 500 get a 500, if you need a 300 get the 300.
    If you need a 300, an occasional 420 f4 and a get you by 600 f5.6 get the 300 and TC's. On its own the 300 IS MkI is sublime, with a 1.4 it is very very good, the dropoff when used with the 2x is more dramatic.
     
  6. It seems John and I are twins from different parents :)
     
  7. And I'm a Scot too!
     
  8. "The 300 f2.8 IS and MkII 2xTC do not compare in any way to the 500. Comparatively the IQ sucks, the vignetteing is a joke though correctable, the AF sucks and the combo is one stop slower."
    I'm sure you meant two stops slower....unless I'm misunderstanding you.
    I second the advice to get a 500 if you need a 500. Don't forget you can also add the 1.4X and the 2X to the 500 for 700 mm and 1000 mm FL.
    I also have the 300 f/4 L IS and the 500 f/4 L IS. I sometimes use the 300 with the 1.4X. I wouldn't dream of using the 2X with the 300...I would just trot out the 500....far sharper and faster to autofocus.
     
  9. Dennis, 600mm f/5.6 is one stop slower than 500mm f/4.
    Scott, are you sure about vignetting being worse with a TC? I've never noticed much vignetting when I used them. Couldn't they actually *improve* vignetting?
    TCs do add distortion, especially the 1.4x mk I and II add significant barrel distortion.
     
  10. thanks everybody for very informative response...
     
  11. My two cents:
    With the new 300/2.8 and the new 2x extender, there isn't much of an IQ tradeoff. However, with the older 300/2.8s and the older extenders, you will see some IQ drop-off. Still good enough to make publication quality images, but not as good as the 500/4.
    Keep in mind that AF will be noticeably slower with the 300+2x than with a bare 500/4. This may or may not matter to you depending on your intended application. I haven't played with the brand new 300/2.8, so this may not be as much of an issue with the newer kit, but is an issue with the older versions.
    As for versatility, for wildlife shooting, 600mm is sometimes not long enough. With the 500/4 you can always add a 1.4x extender for more reach if needed (and likely you will). Of course, sometimes 600mm is too long and the versatility of 300/2.8 with or without an extender will be quite useful. So... six of one, half a dozen of the other.
     
  12. Jitendra - all words so far, so have a look here for some comparative images made in the real world using 500 f4, 300 2.8 and f4, also 100-400, and with converters on various of the lenses. Not scientific, simply using them as you would in the field, tripod mounted, on 'real' subjects. Might be useful to you.
     
  13. thanks all, ...John, i saw the link and thanks for it, very informative...
     
  14. You can roll your mouse over the image here to switch between those lens sets...
    The difference in the center is small enough to be eliminated in PS. At the edge and corner the differences are small enough that they can be eliminated for all practical purposes, i.e. you might still see a difference while pixel peeping but you won't notice it in print.
    If you don't need the extra stop of light or faster AF of the 500 f/4 it looks like the latest 300 f/2.8 and the latest 2x TC will work fine.
     
  15. Dennis,
    By one stop slower, I meant the 300 + 2X TC, at 5.6, is one stop slower than the 500 f4.
    Alan,
    Absolutely certain about the vignetteing. See below.
    Looks like Daniel is way out of his league again though, seems nothing changes. Daniel, you keep looking at bench tests and give "advice" based on that, leave the real world stuff to the rest of us.
    00ZXdK-411215584.jpg
     
  16. I have the 300/2.8 IS which I use often with the 2x.
    If you need 600, you'll get better image quality and faster focusing with the bare 600/4. On the other hand, if you also need a 300 from time to time and cannot justify both a 300/2.8 and 600/4, then the 300 with the extender is a good compromise.
    Eric
     
  17. By one stop slower, I meant the 300 + 2X TC, at 5.6, is one stop slower than the 500 f4.​
    Oops. Well, never mind...must remember to think before typing...
     
  18. Get the focal length you need. TCs slow AF and reduce image quality. The 300 f2.8 is a great lens and very versatile The new MkII is supposed to be much lighter. If you need 500mm then get the 500 F4 as the 300 f2.8 will not do what you want unless you shoot slow moving subjects. I do not use really long lenses so the 300 f2.8 works well for me but if I shot lots of birds etc...then I would just have to buy a longer lens. The 2x (I have the MkII) has a noticeable effect on AF speed and IQ. The 1.4x has an impact but is manageable.
     
  19. Looks like Daniel is way out of his league again though, seems nothing changes. Daniel, you keep looking at bench tests and give "advice" based on that, leave the real world stuff to the rest of us.
    Looks like Scott still has the online personality of a junior high brat.
    The bench test results, made with the latest 300 f/2.8 and latest 2x TC, are in agreement with Craig's personal report above. Even for the earlier models, your "IQ sucks" claim seems pretty ridiculous against the test shots by John MacPherson.
    P.S. I wouldn't talk about anyone's "league" with that as an example of your BiF work.
     
  20. "your "IQ sucks" claim seems pretty ridiculous "
    To you maybe, but you haven't got an image to show us, don't forget John and I are in complete agreement and we both do, but you are the king of ridiculous claims Mr 7D, as always you misquote to alter the meaning of anything said. The word before "the IQ sucks" was "comparatively", kinda changes the meaning somewhat.
    As for my BIF, I don't shoot birds (as is apparent :) ) it was in the middle of a surf competition and I was checking AF tracking settings, I posted it because it is the clearest shot I have showing all corner vignetteing. I have nothing to prove here and I am happy to post illustrative images regardless of how good or bad they make me look, the image perfectly demonstrates my vignetteing point though.
     
  21. Ok, did some testing of my own.
    Lens: 70-200/2.8 IS mk I. TCs are Canon 1.4x mk II and Canon 2x mk II. Camera is a 5D mk I. EXIF is intact.
    Lens alone at 200mm f/2.8:
    [​IMG]
    With 1.4x at 280mm f/4:
    [​IMG]
    With 2x at 400mm f/5.6:
    [​IMG]
    To my ignorant eyes it appears the TCs do decrease vignetting. But I'm sure I will soon be proven wrong!
    Also I need to clean my sensor.
     
  22. Clearly, the posters above have more experience than me. I own both lenses as well as 1D Mark IV, 5D Mark II and a 7D. I shoot everything with all of them. In my view, the answer to your question is kind of omnibus - it depends upon the light. Early morning over a lake with some fog, the 500 with a 1.4x simply outperforms what I can do with my 300 with a 2x. I can't show you one osprey over another because I did not shoot it that way on the same day, but that is my view. That said, if hiking, I without question choose my 300 with converters over the 500, which is simply a beast. And, we have not even discussed those situations where the 300 in the twilight is enough and allows captures that the 500 would not. In sum, I guess I reach for my 300 more than my 500, but I am sure glad that I have both ... a pretzel of an answer.
     
  23. don't forget John and I are in complete agreement
    "the 300 and 2x delivers results that reputable magazines will publish, delivering high quality repro across two pages" is not complete agreement with "IQ sucks", even with the "comparatively" qualifier. But then your reading comprehension has always been a joke.
    but you are the king of ridiculous claims Mr 7D,
    And you're an immature child for hijacking this thread to grind a personal ax. Seriously Scott, grow the hell up.
     
  24. On the Image Quality Comparison page of Digital Image, the 300mm 2.8 shot at 600mm with the 2X extender seems to really sharpen up if you stop down from 5.6 to 6.3 and even better at 8.0. To those who have this combination, are your photos much sharper when stopped down?
     
  25. When I'm using teleconverters I generally try to stop down at least one stop. It improves the image considerably. With most 2x combinations that means working at f/8, (ie, f/2.8 lens + 2x converter gives f/5.6 lens, stopped down a stop to f/8). If you're shooting in daylight, f/8 or f/11 are usually quite usable. At night or indoors, not so much.
    In my experience the exception is the 200/2 + 1.4x converter. It's pretty much perfect at f/2.8.
     
  26. Jack:
    When possible, I step down to f/9. That's my sweet spot with the 300/2.8 + 2x. I'm rarely one to test lenses. I generally shoot close to wide open. And I do when using the bare 300/2.8.
    When I'm using the 2x, I spent time photographing wood grain patterns on my fence to determine that f/9 is sharper for me than f/8 and f/11.
    So when the light permits, I'm shooting at f/9 with that combination.
    Here are a couple examples. Click on them to see them larger:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Eric
     

Share This Page