Canon 300mm F2.8 is mk1 and teleconvertors

Dubaiian

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Hello everyone,

i love prime lenses and go on safari twice a year to Africa etc. I also enjoy shooting birds but need a lot of practise on my technique. Currently my go to lens is a 100-400 but i never get what I feel are the standard I expect. Sometimes my 70-200 mkII with a teleconvertor is better.

Now, on my local eBay equivalent there is a 300mm f2.8 at what I feel is a fair price for this part of the world (around usd4k). I've not seen it yet but the seller states its near perfect. Couple of questions to people who have used this kit

1. Is this lens dramatically better than my 100-400? If it is, I may sell my 100-400 to help pay for the new lens

2. I have mkIII 1.4 and 2x canon teleconvertors so this lens could have significant reach on my 5diii and even more on my 7d. Question, how much degradation would I see? I know that I would lose some f stops, but as my 5d autofocuses to f8 this should be ok.

Please, any advice from people with actual experience is greatly appreciated, please don't suggest Sigma 150-500 as I owned that and never really got on wi it either due to the lack of low light ability. African lions wake up VERY early!!!

Many thanks in advance

ian
 

kathyt

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I just had the 300mm 2.8 IS II for three weeks. Are you referring to this lens or the non-IS version? I used the 2x Canon teleconverter with it some of the time, and then without. I am also a lover of primes. So much so that I am also thinking of purchasing this lens. I also shoot with the Mark III. I do not have any experience shooting with the 100-400, but I will say that the quality that I got with the converter on the 300 was far beyond my expectations. The 300mm was such a good length for me for everything. If I wanted a little extra reach I would just throw on the converter. It was sharper then a son of a gun and super fast! I shot everything from birds, to two weddings ceremonies, you name it. I think this was the only lens I really dreaded shipping back to CPS. I might have shed a tear or two, or three. This lens is NOT for everyone. It has a very selective market I'm sure. It is heavy, huge, and people will look at you funny. It has its own suitcase. The lens hood is the size of my thigh. For real. I like my 70-200mm 2.8, but it is not a prime. It just isn't. There is no comparison on the what the two lenses can produce in my opinion. If I were a zoom lover I would probably hold out for the new Canon 200-400 with built-in teleconverter. Buying a lens for this much money on eBay would be hard for me. That is just me though.
 

Overread

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The canon 300mm f2.8 IS L is a very popular high quality lens used by many both alone and with teleconverters. You will see image quality degradation, but honestly even with the 2*TC you will still get some very sharp shots. It's a fantastic lens and certainly worth considering getting for wildlife. You'll certainly see a step up in quality from your zoom lenses and honestly the only way to get better than it is to either get a 500mm f4 or the 600mm f5.6.

The newer MII version of the 300mm (and many of the other supertelephoto lenses) are very new to the market and whilst they do make a gain on the older versions they don't invalidate the older versions which are still widely used today.
 

Tony S

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the 300mm 2.8 IS will give you much better images than the 100-400... I used to have the 300, upgraded to the 400 2.8 IS as I needed the extra reach. I also have the 100-400 and between images taken with the two lenses you can definitely tell which lens is being used. If you had nothing to compare to the 100-400 is adequate, but if you go back and forth there is no comparison. Toss the 1.4 TC on the prime and you notice no image quality fall off, go to the 2x and you get useable images but there is a fall off in quality.
The version II is even better, but then there's that little $$ issue that gets in the way, and if you even think of the new 200-400 you better be ready to really make money with your images for it to pay off. Just a bit spendy to be a hobbiest lens.
 
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Dubaiian

Dubaiian

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It's crazily expensive (from my point of view), but the new Canon 200-400 f/4L with built in teleconverter could suit your needs well.

Thanks Jolair, I have seen the 200-400 but that is way outside my budget as an amateur, I can dream of winning the lottery ;-)

I just had the 300mm 2.8 IS II for three weeks. Are you referring to this lens or the non-IS version? I used the 2x Canon teleconverter with it some of the time, and then without. I am also a lover of primes. So much so that I am also thinking of purchasing this lens. I also shoot with the Mark III. I do not have any experience shooting with the 100-400, but I will say that the quality that I got with the converter on the 300 was far beyond my expectations. The 300mm was such a good length for me for everything. If I wanted a little extra reach I would just throw on the converter. It was sharper then a son of a gun and super fast! I shot everything from birds, to two weddings ceremonies, you name it. I think this was the only lens I really dreaded shipping back to CPS. I might have shed a tear or two, or three. This lens is NOT for everyone. It has a very selective market I'm sure. It is heavy, huge, and people will look at you funny. It has its own suitcase. The lens hood is the size of my thigh. For real. I like my 70-200mm 2.8, but it is not a prime. It just isn't. There is no comparison on the what the two lenses can produce in my opinion. If I were a zoom lover I would probably hold out for the new Canon 200-400 with built-in teleconverter. Buying a lens for this much money on eBay would be hard for me. That is just me though.

Its the MK1 Kathy which I understand is not quite as good as the MkII but, again, I am at the outer limits of what I can talk the Management (my wife) into letting me spend. I too adore my 70-200, but its just not long enough a lot of the time.

The canon 300mm f2.8 IS L is a very popular high quality lens used by many both alone and with teleconverters. You will see image quality degradation, but honestly even with the 2*TC you will still get some very sharp shots. It's a fantastic lens and certainly worth considering getting for wildlife. You'll certainly see a step up in quality from your zoom lenses and honestly the only way to get better than it is to either get a 500mm f4 or the 600mm f5.6.

The newer MII version of the 300mm (and many of the other supertelephoto lenses) are very new to the market and whilst they do make a gain on the older versions they don't invalidate the older versions which are still widely used today.

Thanks Overread

the 300mm 2.8 IS will give you much better images than the 100-400... I used to have the 300, upgraded to the 400 2.8 IS as I needed the extra reach. I also have the 100-400 and between images taken with the two lenses you can definitely tell which lens is being used. If you had nothing to compare to the 100-400 is adequate, but if you go back and forth there is no comparison. Toss the 1.4 TC on the prime and you notice no image quality fall off, go to the 2x and you get useable images but there is a fall off in quality.
The version II is even better, but then there's that little $$ issue that gets in the way, and if you even think of the new 200-400 you better be ready to really make money with your images for it to pay off. Just a bit spendy to be a hobbiest lens.

Thanks Tony, this is what I was really looking for. I would expect the 300mm with 1.4x (effective FoV 420mm) to be significantly better than my 100-400 and it sounds like you are validating that for me. I dont make money from my pictures and am just an amateur with more money than sense, but I have to have a limit somewhere :)

Thanks everyone, if I manage to negotiate the lens off the seller for the price that I want, I will let you know and hopefully post some images in the near future.
 

ai6pg

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For shooting birds, I recommend a 12ga shotgun with #6-#8 shot.

Smiles :)

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
 

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