Canon 300 f/2.8L IS vs 500 f/4.0L IS

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by phototrek, Jul 7, 2009.

  1. phototrek

    phototrek TPF Noob!

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    If you had the chance to buy and use either the 300 f/2.8L IS with a 1.4 converter or the 500 f/4.0L IS by itself, which would you buy? I know the longer the better for wildlife photos but if I want to save money would the 300 with the converter work out for wildlife? I am thinking about buying these lenes before I buy the 5D2 or maybe the 50D or later model in the future.
     
  2. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    My opinion is that a teleconverter is a "last resort" type of thing... nice to have.. but shouldn't be depended on. Before dropping that type of investment, I would rent the two focal lengths to determine which one fits your needs. There is absolutely no way for anyone here to tell you which of the two focal lengths will serve you best. If you shoot 300mm most of the time and every-once-in-a-while need to x1.4 or x2 then go that route. If you find yourself needing longer, I think you are better off investing in the 500mm at the very beginning.
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I think I'd probably go for the 300mm and the TC...maybe both the 1.4X and the 2X. Besides being cheaper, it's more versatile. The quality should still be excellent.

    It's not on the same quality level as those prime lenses, but the 100-400mm L IS, is a pretty good lens for wildlife shooting.
     
  4. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Oh yeh.... knowing how I use the 100-400L, I would probably go with the 300mm f/2.8 with both the 1.4 and 2x in my pocket. I know one other person (likes to shoot wolves) who would probably rather go with the 500mm as that's usually what he rents.
     
  5. Montana

    Montana TPF Noob!

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    You can never have enough reach for wildlife. I own the 600 f/4 IS and 75% of the time the 1.4x is mounted on it. And 90% of the time the 40D is mounted on it over the 5D for added "reach". I would love a 300 f/2.8, but only to shoot sports with.
     
  6. phototrek

    phototrek TPF Noob!

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    Thnaks for the info. Time is running out on the Canon rebates. So I have to decide on getting the 300 or 500 lens or buy the 16-35 f/2.8L and the 70 - 200 f/4.0L. I already have the 100-400L. Never used it with a TC. I hear the 500 is a great lens for wildlife. IF I buy it then I have to buy a tripod and head for it.
     
  7. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Wow.. you are all over the spectrum.

    16-35 f/2.8L + 70-200 f/4L
    300L
    500L

    If I were in your shoes, I would re-examine my past years photos to remind myself which is important (fast aperture vs packability, zoom vs prime, wide vs telephoto). This is especially true if you already have the 100-400L. Examine what are the most used focal lengths used with that lens.

    Also remember with either the 500L or 300 f/2.8L, you'll want to consider the cost of a strong and stable tripod with not just any head but a Wimberly Tripod Head. With heavy lenses like those two, I would trust anything lesser.

    Wimberley Tripod Head II WH-200 Review
     
  8. phototrek

    phototrek TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, you are right. The 70-200 f/4.0L IS is to use during hiking instead of bringing my 70-200 f/2.8L non-IS. I already have the 24-70 f/2.8L and a 20 f/2.8 lens. So I don't know if buying the 16-35 f/2.8L II is over kill. I think the 500 f/4.0L is way too much money.
     
  9. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    That also sounds like overkill to me. Unless you are a serous hiker and count every ounce that you carry.
     
  10. phototrek

    phototrek TPF Noob!

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    I have the 24-70 f/2.8L and the 20 F/2.8. DO you also think the 16-35 f/2.8L is overkill? Do you think I should take my money and upgrade my 70 - 200 f/2.8 non-IS to the IS version?
     
  11. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    What would you be shooting with the 16-35mm? Reporters like this lens because it's wide and fast...but for less demanding shooting, landscapes for example, the 17-40mm F4 L, is probably a better option. Large apertures really aren't all that important with wide angle lenses anyway. Besides, the 17-40mm is a great bargain for an L quality lens.
    Tough question...but if you can sell the non-IS for a good price...I'd probably go for it.
    When I bought my 70-200 F2.8 IS, I knew that if I went with one of the cheaper models, I would regret it sooner or later...and I'd always be wondering if I'm missing out. At least when you have the F2.8 IS, you know you have the best lens (not counting the primes, of course) and that peace of mind goes a long way.

    Another issue is just how much quality to you actually need. A photographer that makes their living with a telephoto might need the quality of a long prime...but most others would probably be happy with the 'lesser quality' from using TC and/or zoom lenses. For example, I've used a 70-200mm F2.8 lens with both a 1.4X and a 2X TC attached. I've always recommended against this because of the quality loss...but it really wasn't all that bad, especially in the centre of the frame. (granted, I was using a crop body, a full frame might have much worse edges).
     
  12. phototrek

    phototrek TPF Noob!

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    I was also thinking in a addition to upgrading to the IS version that I can pick up a prime lens. Have you used any of the following: 35 f/1.4L, 85 f/1.2L, 135 f/2.0L, and the 200 f/2.8L. Which would you recommend? I shoot landscapes some wildlife.
     

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