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Thread: Does anyone have the canon 300mm f2.8 IS USM or the 400mm f2.8 IS USM??

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    Member Satine's Avatar
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    Does anyone have the canon 300mm f2.8 IS USM or the 400mm f2.8 IS USM??

    I'm currently on the search for a second hand or new supertelephoto lens and was looking at either the 300 or 400mm f2.8 IS USM lenses. Has anyone used either of these??? Has anyone used them with a 1.4 or 2 x teleconverter and what were the results like? I'm trying to decide between the lenses, I think the 300mm might get more use as it's just lighter, but the 400mm would be great also and I think i'd like the extra reach. What I want is something really really sharp, mostly for wildlife photography and a bit of sports. I'd like to take the lens on a trip to Alaska and Yosemite next year and i'm heading to Vail skiing this year and would like to take it there as well.

    I'm hoping someone can shed a bit of first hand knowledge on the lenses. I don't want to get the 300mm lens and then wish I had the 400mm.

    I wish there was somewhere nearby the stocked them so I could have a play.

    Also, I was looking at a 300mm 2nd hand and the person says it doesn't have a serial number??? Where does he find the serial number on the lens, i'd like to ring canon to make sure it's not stolen.

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    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser DAdeGroot's Avatar
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    I have used the 300/2.8L IS before, with a 2x TC too. It is hand-holdable, but not for long periods of time.

    Long held belief is that it's Canon's sharpest and fastest focussing lens (or at least it was until the 200/2 was released, now there's some debate).

    Here's a sample taken with the 2x TC attached:



    Shot with a 400D, so excuse any noise you might see ;-)
    Dave

    http://www.degrootphotography.com.au/
    Canon EOS 1D MkIV | Canon EOS 5D MkII | Canon EOS 30D | Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM | Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM | Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM | Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM | Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM | Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L & some non-L lenses.

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    Wow, i'd be pretty happy with that result with a 2x!! Gorgeous Photo!! Is this hand held or with a monopod or tripod?

    Thanks for the info.

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    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser DAdeGroot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satine View Post
    Wow, i'd be pretty happy with that result with a 2x!! Gorgeous Photo!! Is this hand held or with a monopod or tripod?

    Hand held but resting on the rock wall of the enclosure at Taronga.

    There's a few more samples I've shot over here.

    The lens, alas, isn't mine but belongs to fellow APer Xenedis.

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    Thanks, all great shots, I certainly wouldn't be complaining about the 2x with that lens!!

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    Lovely pic.
    .
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    f o t o w o r x

    People taking the time out to give me CC is always very much appreciated

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    Quote Originally Posted by Satine View Post
    I I was looking at a 300mm 2nd hand and the person says it doesn't have a serial number??? Where does he find the serial number on the lens, i'd like to ring canon to make sure it's not stolen.
    Soundfs a bit suss
    Photoshop CS4 and lightroom 2 (lI know a little bit but am learning )
    Constructive Critique of my images always appreciated
    Feel free to re work my images, just please let me know what you did, and how you did it so I can learn
    Stu .
    my website
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    Yeah, the alarm bells are going off, so just want to check it out thoroughly before I even think of a bid. Wish I had the time to go and have a look, the guy lives in Cairns and i'm at Tweed Heads though.

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    I don't think you would want to take a 400 f/2.8L IS around, that's Canon's heaviest non-discontinued EF lens!

    Both lenses take TC's very well. I haven't got either but I have the 200 f/2L IS which also takes TC's quite well.

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    To be honest, the weight is the only factor that's making me think twice about it. Of course when I win lotto i'll just get both..lol!!

    The 200 f2 sounds great, another one for my lotto win. Good to know they all go well with the TC's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Satine View Post
    I'm currently on the search for a second hand or new supertelephoto lens and was looking at either the 300 or 400mm f2.8 IS USM lenses. Has anyone used either of these???
    I own a 300/2.8L IS.

    I've used the 400/2.8L IS.

    Quote Originally Posted by Satine View Post
    Has anyone used them with a 1.4 or 2 x teleconverter and what were the results like? I'm trying to decide between the lenses, I think the 300mm might get more use as it's just lighter, but the 400mm would be great also and I think i'd like the extra reach.
    I use both TCs on my 300/2.8L IS, and they both deliver excellent results.

    The high-res test shots someone posted on dpreview.com using the 300 and 2x TC convinced me to buy the 2x TC.

    The 1.4x TC is universally regarded as the better of the two, and I wouldn't consider using the 2x on anything other than a fast super-tele.

    The 300 is significantly lighter than the 400 (ie, 2,550g vs. 4,370g).

    IME and IMO, the 300/2.8 is definitely hand-holdable (I just about always hand-hold mine), but the 400/2.8 is not. That one really needs a monopod.

    Quote Originally Posted by Satine View Post
    What I want is something really really sharp, mostly for wildlife photography and a bit of sports. I'd like to take the lens on a trip to Alaska and Yosemite next year and i'm heading to Vail skiing this year and would like to take it there as well.
    Both are tack-sharp. You'd have a hard time telling the difference, if there is one.

    The deciding factors are focal length, size, weight and cost. The latter three are quite significant.

    For sports, a 400 is a better choice, but if you can afford to lose a stop (and push the ISO up a stop accordingly), the 300 + 1.4x TC is a good combination.

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    Some images of mine taken with the 300/2.8L IS natively, with the 1.4x TC and with the 2x TC:


    Native (300mm at f/2.8):




    1.4x TC (420mm at f/4):




    2x TC (600mm at f/5.6):


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    Does anyone have the canon 300mm f2.8 IS USM or the 400mm f2.8 IS USM??

    I have both of these lenses, but the 300 is the non-IS version, and yes both lenses are sharp, but the 300 is sharper; in fact the non-IS version is the sharpest of all of these.
    The 400 doesn't like the 1.4x TC, I have never been happy with the IQ from this combo, whereas the 300 has no issues with the same TC, and image quality is still excellent. The 400 is also slightly slower to focus as well probably due to the weight of the glass in the internal focusing mechanism, whereas the 300 is blindingly fast to focus.
    Depending on which camera you use, ie the size of the sensor could determine your decision.
    For example, most FF users will need a 400mm to photograph a football match, but if you have a cropped sensor then you will not need as much reach, and get away with a 300mm.

    The 200/2 is also an insane lens and should also be considered...

    Both lenses are amazing though, and you will need to use a monopod for both. If you live in Victoria, you are welcome to have a try of mine...

    My preference is still the 400 though, but if you are considering travel, the weight must be taken into consideration. I use the 400 more than 300 on my 1.3 cropped sensor.... I love it...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Assassin View Post
    The 400 doesn't like the 1.4x TC, I have never been happy with the IQ from this combo, whereas the 300 has no issues with the same TC, and image quality is still excellent. The 400 is also slightly slower to focus as well
    Interesting; I'd never heard either of these things about the 400.

    Quote Originally Posted by Assassin View Post
    The 200/2 is also an insane lens and should also be considered...
    It's a beautiful lens; I looked at it at PMA Australia (2008) when it was quite new. Marginally smaller than the 300, but the same weight and same sort of image quality.

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