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Old Dec 11, 2004, 6:29 PM   #1
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Finally a break in the weather and a chance to test out this newly purchased 300mm.

I like this new lens, it's sharp and very light. These were minus tripod but with a 20mm extension tube attached to the base for CU focusing.

F4 lens:

Nuthatch



Woody 1



Woody 2



And a chickadee of course


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Old Dec 11, 2004, 8:46 PM   #2
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wonderful shots, the second one made me smile, that bird sure does have a mustache:-)
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Old Dec 11, 2004, 10:57 PM   #3
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Wonderful shots, Norm! Is this the Canon 300mm f/4 IS prime lens? I was thinking of buying that one and what I see of it from these pictures makes me think it would be a very wise purchase!

Have you used the Canon 1.4x TC with it? If so, how much does it detract from the sharpness?
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Old Dec 12, 2004, 12:15 AM   #4
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Hi geoff, this is not the IS version.

I have the 1.4 Kenko 300pro, which works fine,and the Canon is on it's way as I got a good deal on a used one online ($150 peeling paint but perfect working order). Figured I'd give it a try also.

With Canon 2x it single point auto focuses with the Mark II but not with the Rebel. Results with the extenders is as expected, very good with 1.4x and good with 2x. However, without extenders is the best. My suggestion, however, is to pick up a set of Kenko extension tubes for close focus as this lens has a minimum focus, without tubes, of 2 1/2 meters. I used a 20mm tube on these shots and it worked wonderfully.

The IS version focuses at 1 1/2 meters but as you probably well know some claim that it isn't as sharp as the non-IS version, plus the fact that it's twice as expensive. I gotmy non-ISon photo.net for $575, without tripod mount (I don't need the mount with this light lens and the only reason I'd get one is for resale value. Since I'm not planning to sell it soon I need not be concerned).

If weather holds out tomorrow I'll shoot a few with the 1.4x and 2x to demo quality.
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Old Dec 13, 2004, 1:30 PM   #5
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Nice shots Normcar.

geoffs - 300F4 is a nice lens. Lots of people use it with 1.4x tc. 2x would be pushing it. If you need reach, you should also take a look at 400f5.6. You can use 1.4x tc (with taped pins or using 3rd party tc) with it.
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Old Dec 13, 2004, 3:01 PM   #6
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Norm, is the non-IS version of the 300 f/4 a discontinued item? I can't find anything but the IS version of the 300mm lens on B&H's website (or anywhere else for that matter).

Bobby, the 400 f/5.6 is an interesting alternative. Given that the 300 with a 1.4x TC is going to be at f/5.6 anyways and will only give me 20mm more reach, the two seem about equivalent. OTOH, the lenses cost about the same but the 300 is IS for that price and the 400 is not. So, the questions are, 1. Will I miss the IS (at these FL's I'll have it on a tripod anyway, right?), and 2. Since I'll have a 70-200 as my next FL step down, will I miss having something between 200 and 400mm (I guess with the 1.4x TC I'll have something inbetween)?

Getting the body was one thing, but getting the lenses is much, much more confusing...
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Old Dec 13, 2004, 4:07 PM   #7
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Geoffs - I agree, getting the lenses is much tougher. I got the 100-400L to start with. Now I wish I would have bought the 400f5.6 as it is sharper and much better for flight shots. Seems to work fine with 20D and 1.4x (taped pins) Lately I have been shooting with IS off (I think one doesn't need IS for flight shots anyway) so I don't think I will miss it much. With 20D's low noise, you can bump the ISO to get fast shutter speed. But 300F4 with IS does have the new version of IS (if I am correct).

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"If I were do buy again, I would get 70-200F4 (for low weight) and 400F5.6. Would be nice to get 500F4 but too expensive & heavy for me.
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Old Dec 13, 2004, 8:03 PM   #8
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Bobby, go to FM forum's buy and sell string and you'll have that 100-400 sold or traded in a flash, and for a very satisfactory price. The 100-400s go very quickly. You could have gotten a trade for a 400 on it last week.

Geoff, you won't find the 300 non IS anywhere but on EBay and at used lens forums, and there are lots of good online forums and stores. You'll find a list of them here: http://www.the-digital-picture.com/C...on-Lenses.aspx

The reason I recently chose the 300 over the 400 was that, first, a great deal came up, second, I wanted to have the F4 aperture, third, the MTF results on the 300 have beenexcellent as opposed to the very good on the 400. Respecting the IS 300, it seems to me that less lens elements is going to make for a potentially sharper instrument, but that's just my viewpoint.

It would be nice to have that 400mm without the need for extender, though, so havingBOTH would be best :lol:

Hence, the 400 is on my next list for bird lenses. Just waiting for a good second hand deal to arise. But the 300's gonna stay in my bag for sure. It's so darned sharp, and it almost floats it's so light. Not to mention that you can pick one up pretty cheap online.
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