Canon 300 2.8 IS vs. Canon 300 2.8

Discussion in 'Nature' started by bart_breslow, Dec 11, 1999.

  1. Has any one out there had a chance to compair the new and old Canon
    300 2.8's
  2. If anyone has actually USED these two lenses, first hand
    reports would be welcome, but let's not clutter up the database
    with speculation or comments on other IS lenses which may or may not
    be similar. Remember the new IS system is different from the old one
    and is now designed to work with the lenses mounted on a tripod as
    well as hand held.

    Again, USER comments are welcome.
  3. I would like to thank BoB Atkins for clarifing my question.
  4. Just before christmas I took the plunge and bought a Canon 300mm f2.8 IS. Needless to say, never before had I spent even close to 5k on any lens. Unfortunately for my savings, lately I have become addicted to bird photography and needed a lens to reach 600mm and not have to worry about always shooting at high speeds or lugging my big and heavy Gitzo tripod and ball head. The new lens allows me to get very sharp pictures using a Gitzo Monopod at reasonably low speeds. At 300mm I can regularly shoot down to 1/30 and get superb results. My old 300mm lens required at least 1/200 for consistent results of the monopod. With the 2X converter, the differences are more startling. I can safely shoot down to 1/90 and the sharpness by f8.0 defies belief. The old lens never got this sharp and even on a tripod speeds of 1/90 and below were risky (mirror slap perhaps?). In short, the new lens brings performance to a level unatainable before. Of course, buying a good tripod and head is cheaper than IS technology. But who can put a price on the convenience and flexibility of using a 600mm of a monopod. Besides, now that I do not have to deal with the weight of a tripod, I can bring more film and other equipment along.
  5. I own the old 300/2.8 and have used the IS version for ice hockey photography. I'm shooting on Fuji Superia 800 so I'm not going to notice any optical quality difference. I found the IS offputting since it takes a short but noticeable period to 'lock on' and I ended up turning it off. I would find IS useful, however, on the 70-200/2.8 (which I haven't yet bought) since that lens would be very useful for candids of the players without using flash.
    Both 300s are, of course, superbly sharp and I doubt I'd personally ever see the difference in my kind of work. I will also be using mine for wildlife in conjunction with the new Mk.II version of the 2x teleconverter.

    In sports photography, subject movement is the main issue and you need fast shutter speeds to freeze the action; IS isn't going to show its advantage there. However, please keep in mind that this forum is about nature photography.

Share This Page