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Old Dec 23, 2010, 10:25 PM   #1
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Default Some bird samples at 300mm/f5.6 from my Canon 70-300mm L

Hello friends

Yesterday evening (23 Dec 2010) I took some photos at a wetlands area on which is a few minutes from my home. Below are some samples from the lens that I took along, my new Canon 70-300mm L f4-5.6 IS USM.

All are at 300mm f5.6. Note that with the birds being just a few metres away, the depth of field at this focal length is very small (only a few centremetre or so). As the birds were moving, it was quite challenging taking photos and having the bird's eye critically in focus. Thankfully the 7D body and 70-300mm L lens combination did a good job (I aim to improve with more practice).

Hopefully 3 samples below (photo resized for this forum post and then a crop of each) give an indication of the level of detail that this incredible lens is capable of. First sample ISO200, last one ISO1600.

I'm sure that if I had a 'sitting' duck (ie perfectly stationary) and used tripod, mirror lock up, live view, etc - I could have squeezed out another bit of sharpness. However these were all 'real world' situations - hand held photos of moving subjects in changing light.

Given that, the outcomes are impressive to me, and I'm very thankful. Your comments are welcome.

Wishing one and all a very happy, safe & blessed Christmas!

Paul

#1 - Photo A - full view resized



#2 - Photo A - 100% crop



#3 - Photo B - full view resized



#4 - Photo B - 100% crop



#5 - Photo C - full view resized



#6 - Photo C - 100% crop
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Old Dec 24, 2010, 8:57 AM   #2
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Great detail Paul. Are these straight out of the camera or did you do some sharpening? This is looking more and more like it is going to make it into my wife's kit to go along with her T2i.

Thanks for posting.
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Old Dec 26, 2010, 7:32 PM   #3
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Hi Mugmar

The delay in my reply is understandably due to Christmas :-)

I have don't overdo my in camera settings - aiming for a neutral JPEG outcome. I can then best manage sharpening and other aspects in post processing. Thus I applied a conservative amount of unsharp mask (sharpening) in my photo editting software to these photos.

I don't overdo sharpening - to limit any JPEG artifacts. Certainly more sharpening could be done, the photo files come up particularly well with the right amount degree of sharpening.

Initially I was thinking to get the new Tamron 70-300mm VC USD lens which is a good value consumer telezoom lens: well built with decent optical performance. However the output I've seen from the Tamron lens was noticably less sharp and less contrasty than the Canon 70-300mm L IS USM. I prefer the Canon colours too. After considering the pros and cons, I bought the Canon.

Please let me know your outcome - whether you'll be getting one for your wife's kit - to complement her T2i. The only thing you might also wish to consider is that the Canon 70-300mm L is a noticably weightier lens than the Tamron. While the Canon is not massive, or extremely heavy - I did notice it is not comfortable for me to hold with one hand on my Canon 350D. Most of my other lenses (including my Canon 28-135mm, and Canon 100-300mm) I can hold in one hand while mounted on my Canon 350D for some length of time.

However the 350D's smaller grip and less "balanced weight" with the Canon 70-300mm L means that I can't really hand hold it with one hand for longer than a few seconds without my hand cramping up. However I can hand hold (one handed) on my 7D for a longer period of time without discomfort. Most of the time I shoot zoom photos using two hands anyway, (one on the camera grip, the other towards the end of the lens).

Regards and all the best!

Paul
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Old Dec 26, 2010, 10:18 PM   #4
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Paul,

thanks for the info. We are going to wait for a couple of months before getting the lens, but looking forward to it.
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Old Jan 6, 2011, 11:50 AM   #5
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Very nice Paul enjoy your new lens which is another great lens by Canon, myself I am buying the new EF 70-200 2.8 IS L II next month
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