Canon 500/4 IS USM vs Nikon 500/4 AF-S II?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by flatlander, Oct 14, 2003.

  1. I know this is a Canon forum and my intention is not to flame a Nikon
    vs. Canon war. That said... ( posted this to the Nikon forum, too).

    I have the Nikkor 500/f4P AIS lens now. I've been comparing the
    Nikkor 500/4 AF-I, AF-S and AF-S II lenses and thought I'd look at
    the Canon equivalent. I was shocked at the price difference.

    New AF-S II (US) is about $7,500 or so. Gray is about $5,800. NY

    I just looked up the Canon 500/4 IS USM - it's about $5,500 (US) and
    gray is about $5,300. And this is image stablized!

    Does anyone here know why the significant difference in price? Are
    they optically similar in quality/resolution/contrast etc?

    If any of you have shot both I'd like to hear your impressions on

  2. Hi Charlie,

    I think it's because Canon sells so many more of their best lenses than Nikon sells of their best lenses. When I shoot sports I'm surrounded by a sea of Canon EOS shooters and there are very few Nikon shooters in the photo pit. I doubt that they are optically that far apart, most of the Nikon shooters with newer AF-S/II lenses I know are producing excellent images. But most of them are also very open to the idea of switching to Canon for the EOS's faster AF, the fact that all the good lenses are USM (S-Wave), lenses, for IS and the more affordable prices of lenses in general. I've loaned out an EOS 1D and EF 70-200 2.8L IS and EF 300 2.8L IS to two dedicated Nikon sports shooters and they are both trying to imagine a way to switch. But as you know it will cost them very dearly so they sit on the fence for now.

    Also IS has been out for some time and the technology is widely used in consumer binoculars and some modern consumer DV cameras. This I imagine could make it less expensive to offer in a high end product like the Canon's "L" class lenses.

  3. I have not tried the Nikon 500f4 but have tried some related optics. I have owned and used both the Nikon 300f2.8 AFS and the Canon 300f2.8 IS. The Nikon lens is fast focusing and optically excellent. The Canon, IMHO, is slightly faster at focusing (though this is very subjective comment on my part) and in the case of the sample I have, is even better optically. Adding IS is just an added benefit on a good package. I have taken portraits at 1/60th using IS that were tack sharp. I also have the Canon 500 f4 IS and it is just about as sharp as the Canon 300 but results are sometimes softer because of atmospheric haze. The IS again is a great bonus.
    The Nikon 300f2.8 performed well with the 1.4x teleconverter but not so well with the 2x teleconverter. The Canon 500 also performs well with the 1.4x and goes a little soft with the 2x converter. Though I have made acceptable 8x10s with the Canon 500 with both the 1.4x and 2x teleconverters mounted on an EOS 1D. Having the Canon 500 and the 300 I have seldom used the teleconverters with the Canon 300 f2.8.

    I am sure that whichever you select, either Nikon or Canon, will be very good and have found that with a lens of this focal length results depend more on stabilisation techniques than any differences in optical formulae.
  4. I also used to own the 300/2.8 AF-S Nikkor and currently own the 300/2.8-L-IS. Optically there is virtually no difference as long as you've got the camera and lens battened down and are shooting at 1/2000 or faster with mirror lockup. Anything less and the Image Stabilization just leaps out and leaves the Nikkor in its wake. To me IS was reason enough to dump all my AF Nikon gear, and as a bonus I got shed of a whole bunch of other incompatibilities and idiotic quirks I hadn't even realized how much were bothering me.
  5. I guess that the different prices only mean different marketing strategies.

    Happy shooting ,

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