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      01-22-2017, 10:42 PM   #1
Terry989
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Canon 300mm f/2.8 IS USM II

Since I'm considering this lens, just checking to see if anyone on this form has this and can comment on performance and handling?

I enjoy macro and nature photography. My longest lens is currently a Sony FE 70-200mm f/4, which is not quite the reach I need for birds or other shy animals.

I will be using this on a Sony A6300 and will move up the A7III or A7RIII when released. I usually do hiking and no blind work, so I want to keep the weight reasonable. I have also considered the Canon 400mm f/4 DO USM II, but after poring over the all of the Flickr images for these two lens' I find the bokeh of the 300mm more pleasing. The ultimate would be the 400mm f/2.8, but the size and weight would limit the hikes I can do.
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      01-23-2017, 12:34 AM   #2
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I am not familiar with that particular lens as I shoot Nikon. However, a fast 300 will work nicely with a 1.4 extender or even a 1.7.
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      01-23-2017, 05:55 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response. Use of the 1.4X extender is another reason I'm considering this lens - - - added flexibility at incremental cost. While it won't have quite the Auto Focus speed and flexibility of a Canon body, it does work good enough on the Sony A7/A6 series until native longer lens's are available.
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      01-26-2017, 01:35 PM   #4
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I use Canon lenses on Canon bodies, so YMMV, but I shoot long lenses, out to 1000mm focal length. I'd suggest going with the 300/f4. It's a lot less load and will AF very well on the Canon bodies, even with the 1.4x teleconverter attached. Weight is an issue when hiking after shy birds and animals.

The only real benefit of the 300/f2.8 II over the 300/f4 is that the IS is good for 2-more stops. 4 vs. 2, which is very real if you, like me, hand hold almost everything. The comparison of the two lenses shows no difference in IQ:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/R...mp=0&APIComp=3

Consider buying used. The Canon super-telephoto lenses hold their value, after the first small burst of depreciation.

Dave
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      01-26-2017, 04:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcstep View Post
I use Canon lenses on Canon bodies, so YMMV, but I shoot long lenses, out to 1000mm focal length. I'd suggest going with the 300/f4. It's a lot less load and will AF very well on the Canon bodies, even with the 1.4x teleconverter attached. Weight is an issue when hiking after shy birds and animals.

The only real benefit of the 300/f2.8 II over the 300/f4 is that the IS is good for 2-more stops. 4 vs. 2, which is very real if you, like me, hand hold almost everything. The comparison of the two lenses shows no difference in IQ:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/R...mp=0&APIComp=3

Consider buying used. The Canon super-telephoto lenses hold their value, after the first small burst of depreciation.

Dave
The 300 2.8 II may be the sharpest lens Canon has ever built. It truly is the benchmark that all my other "sharp" lens are measured against - 85 1.8, 70-200 2.8 II, etc. The bokeh is also truly special, it's simply smooth in a way that zooms never seem to accomplish.

I am one of the likely few people that have owned both a 300 2.8 II and a 400 DO II, and have sold both for a 500 II now. I think the 400 DO II outperforms the 300 2.8 II with a 1.4x tele but bare the 300 has a slight (!) edge on absolute sharpness and I definitely found the bokeh more pleasing.

All of these options are a bunch of money and large and imposing. The idea of taking the absolute top of class autofocus performance that the superteles bring to the table and throw it away by using it via an adapter on a non Canon body seems somewhat a waste to me. I am not taking away from what nice images some of the other bodies can produce, but autofocus is absolutely the name of the game for birds in flight, and anything that compromises would not be worth it for an increase in dynamic range, etc.

In my humble opinion, if you are going to spend the money on a super tele, you should try it with a top quality Canon body paired to it. A truly incredible combo.

Mark

300 2.8 II @ F2.8:



300 2.8 II + 1.4x III @ F4.0:

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      01-26-2017, 06:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowside67 View Post
The 300 2.8 II may be the sharpest lens Canon has ever built. It truly is the benchmark that all my other "sharp" lens are measured against - 85 1.8, 70-200 2.8 II, etc. The bokeh is also truly special, it's simply smooth in a way that zooms never seem to accomplish.

....

All of these options are a bunch of money and large and imposing. The idea of taking the absolute top of class autofocus performance that the superteles bring to the table and throw it away by using it via an adapter on a non Canon body seems somewhat a waste to me. I am not taking away from what nice images some of the other bodies can produce, but autofocus is absolutely the name of the game for birds in flight, and anything that compromises would not be worth it for an increase in dynamic range, etc.

In my humble opinion, if you are going to spend the money on a super tele, you should try it with a top quality Canon body paired to it. A truly incredible combo.

Mark
Hey Mark,

I agree with almost everything that you say, but the EF 300/f4 also has stunning IQ. Look at the comparison link. Bokeh with the Canon super-teles at 300mm is stunning at every f-stop, IME.

I think our OP is at entry level. That's part of the reason that I suggested the 300/f4 used. He can get in at low cost and see how much he's shooting. If he finds himself shooting 10,000 image per month, like me and probably you, then he'll want to move up to the 400/f4 DO or 500/f4 S-II, etc.

Another lens to consider is the 100-400/f4.5-5.6 II. On the bodies, from the 7D2, up to the 1DX MkII, the AF is excellent, even with the EF 1.4x TC-III attached. With Sony, all bets are off, but he can investigate that at a good store.

Dave
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      01-26-2017, 06:52 PM   #7
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Yes, I would agree with that. I don't think there is a use for the 300 F4 unless it's a very cheap used one as the 100-400 II (which I also own and would agree is a top quality lens with IQ that you will need a super tele to exceed) really is better in most every way.

Mark
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      01-26-2017, 11:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowside67 View Post
Yes, I would agree with that. I don't think there is a use for the 300 F4 unless it's a very cheap used one as the 100-400 II (which I also own and would agree is a top quality lens with IQ that you will need a super tele to exceed) really is better in most every way.

Mark
Yes, the 100-400 II is almost always the lens on my 2d body. I also recommend it to my personal friends. It's incredibly flexible.
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      01-27-2017, 01:56 AM   #9
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Re: 300/4
A good lens but not great, mine sits unused since I picked up the 100-400 ii. When returning a lens rental I asked to shoot a few frames with the 300/2.8. Really sizeable compared to the f4 and the IQ is very noticeably better.
One of these days I'll pick up a 300/2.8ii
If you hike that much and can carry the weight the 2.8 lens has the best IQ for the money.
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      01-27-2017, 05:09 PM   #10
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I had no idea the 100-400 ii was that good. I have the v1 which I think is...eh. I've looked into the 300 2.8 v1, but maybe should give a look at the 100-400 v2.
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      01-27-2017, 05:26 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by apexlocator View Post
I had no idea the 100-400 ii was that good. I have the v1 which I think is...eh. I've looked into the 300 2.8 v1, but maybe should give a look at the 100-400 v2.
For Canon users, it's a great piece of gear. The IQ is great bare and the AF performance holds up well with the 1.4x TC-III attached. The minimum focus distance is close and the Image Stabilization is incredible. I think that even the price is a bargain.

Dave
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      01-27-2017, 08:13 PM   #12
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Just like Dave, I always have my 100-400II with me on at least one of my bodies. It's super versatile with excellent image quality. I sold off my 300 f4 a long time ago. However, I will say since getting the 5DIV I have been using my 300 2.8 with a 2X on it as a light weight (comparatively!) 600mm setup and have gotten some really great results, and that is with the V1 300, not the newer model.
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      02-12-2017, 06:55 PM   #13
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The 100-400 Mk2 is a stunning lens - one of my favourites.

This was taken through glass at a Safari park last year near Inverness.
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      02-13-2017, 07:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowside67 View Post
The 300 2.8 II may be the sharpest lens Canon has ever built. It truly is the benchmark that all my other "sharp" lens are measured against - 85 1.8, 70-200 2.8 II, etc. The bokeh is also truly special, it's simply smooth in a way that zooms never seem to accomplish.

I am one of the likely few people that have owned both a 300 2.8 II and a 400 DO II, and have sold both for a 500 II now. I think the 400 DO II outperforms the 300 2.8 II with a 1.4x tele but bare the 300 has a slight (!) edge on absolute sharpness and I definitely found the bokeh more pleasing.

All of these options are a bunch of money and large and imposing. The idea of taking the absolute top of class autofocus performance that the superteles bring to the table and throw it away by using it via an adapter on a non Canon body seems somewhat a waste to me. I am not taking away from what nice images some of the other bodies can produce, but autofocus is absolutely the name of the game for birds in flight, and anything that compromises would not be worth it for an increase in dynamic range, etc.

In my humble opinion, if you are going to spend the money on a super tele, you should try it with a top quality Canon body paired to it. A truly incredible combo.

Mark

300 2.8 II @ F2.8:



300 2.8 II + 1.4x III @ F4.0:

Man that goose photo is spectacular. I've tried the 300 f/2.8 and its just too heavy for me. At that focal length i much prefer the f/4 on size and usability, but if you have a great tripod and don't mind the weight... And i agree with Dave, the bokeh on the 300s is good regardless.
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