Canon 600mm first impressions...


TPF Noob!
May 27, 2008
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Eastern Montana
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Ok folks, we have extremely cold/snower weather here, but the sun peaked out for a few hours. I got a chance to take the 600 f/4 IS outside to the backyard for a "maiden voyage".

First, a little about why I bought this expensive piece of kit. I love wildlife photography, plain and simple. I know that the chances of making a great living at it may be slimmer than say a wedding/portrait photog, but I do it for the fun and enjoyment.

So, for the last year I shot with a Sigma 50-500. Now, that lens was always racked out to 500mm, and the max aperture was 6.3. Well, the lens was more than enough for the first few months, but as I improved, the lens began holding me back in the early morning/ late evening available light hours. Now, the Sigma is fairly sharp and for the price (I paid $1050 new) is a heck of a lens. However, the slight lack of sharpness and the CA slarted erking me. So somehow I convinced the wife I needed the Canon 600mm and all the apropriate accessories.

Back to the maiden voyage...crap weather, but a couple of sparrows in the neighbors yard. These are JPEG straight out of camera images. Only resized, no sharpening or anything. Now, my first shots I purposely centered a sparrow with a background of sunlit twigs because the Sigma almost always showed CA on the twigs. Canon 600mm.....practically zero! The last shot I did to see how well it could blur the out of focus background. And it does very well. That is a very busy background of house, trees, junk, etc. I should have taken a shot of the background to show it I guess. So here are the first shots, keep in mind I wasn't after subect matter or comp. its like zero degrees outside! LOL


600mm, f/6.3 1/1250 ISO 400


600mm, f/6.3 1/1250 ISO 400


600mm, f/5.6 1/1250 ISO 400
Be sure to click for full size. The sharpness of this lens is great! The colors are a little dull, but nothing was post processed, and camera was on auto white balance. I always shoot RAW + JPEG so I can have a quick preview and an actual file to work from. Also, I was using my backup camera, Rebel XTi. I have almost forgotten the controls on this Rebel after shooting with the 40D for so many months. Unfortuneatly, after 7 months the 40D shutter button has failed but is getting repaired under warranty. I cannot wait to get this monster out in the field!
Congrats on the new lens...I'd love to shoot with a lens like that.

Something perked my interest though...
These are JPEG straight out of camera images

If you are concerned enough about image quality to buy that lens...shouldn't you be shooting RAW instead of JPEG?
You evidently didn't read the complete post. I shoot RAW + JPEG. I just wanted to show a default camera JPEG with this lens. Thats all. Besides, these are not photos I would ever keep, they are getting tossed. No need to process a lot.
I'm imagining your neighbors looking out the window, seeing you pointing that thing at their yard and freaking out.. heh..

Nice purchase.
You evidently didn't read the complete post. I shoot RAW + JPEG.
I didn't see the 2nd was made while I was typing mine. ;)
LOL, sometimes I do shoot pics of my neighbor.

No problem. Although...I'll save my rant about how I think RAW+JPEG is a waste of space. ;)
No problem. Although...I'll save my rant about how I think RAW+JPEG is a waste of space. ;)

LOL, I agree. If I were in need of space, I would shoot RAW only. Everyone is entitled to a rant.
Doesn't that just suck when you have a new toy of this caliber and weather and lack of a good subject conspire to take half the fun away?

Kinda of like getting a pair of iceskates for your birthday in June!:lol:
Welllll......I suspect yuo will get tired of this lense quickly!!! Call me when you do!!! :drool::drool::drool:
Awesome Pictures! I love shooting wildlife myself, but I know the wife would freaking kill me if I bought that lenses. I'm envious though. You will enjoy that for years. Congrats!

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