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Old May 2, 2012, 12:37 PM   #1
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Default Hmmmm... A dilemma

Hi everyone,
I was wondering on peoples opinions on a little dilemma I have..
I've some money put aside to buy a 1Dx when they become available in mid june time (I currently own a 5Dmkii)
Now, i have the opportunity to buy a second hand 500mm f4 IS (mk1) for around the 4.5k mark (sterling), i have nothing of that focal length, i do own a 200mm f2 which is a cracking lens, but far too short for wildlife, so I've sort of left that aspect of photography aside for now.
The 5dmkii autofocus is pants for anything that moves really, so upto now my main subjects have been people and landscapes.
Anyway my question is this, would you buy the 1DX or the lens? there is an option for me to buy the lens and spend another year saving up for a 1DX, good glass is always good glass, but bodies come and go.
Oh i just don't know........
What would you do?

Last edited by burnsoid; May 2, 2012 at 1:46 PM.
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Old May 2, 2012, 6:41 PM   #2
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Hi burnsoid

If I was you - I'd look at what the 'going price' for the Canon 500mm f4 IS mkI is in the UK. If you are saving a lot of money, AND you can be sure (by testing, etc) that the 2nd hand copy you're getting is very good condition -then it might be worth getting that lens, if you're going to be using it often / enough.

I know that when I upgraded from the Canon 350D to the Canon 7D, a lot of my lenses had a 'better lease on life' - both due to superior AF and handling of the 7D, as well as the higher resolution (eg ability to crop, etc). So I can also see where you're coming from - the 1DX promises to be an awesome camera body!

Personally, if I was an avid bird / wildlife shooter, and needed the 500mm length - then getting that lens 'as a bargain' (if it is...) would be a good first step. The 5DmkII is not the strongest in the AF / FPS department for birds / wildlife... but maybe you can get the 5DmkIII (saving some money instead of the 1DX?) - as the 5DmkIII from accounts has a vastly superior AF and FPS ability to the mkII.

Please let us know your decision!

Paul
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Old May 3, 2012, 12:29 PM   #3
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Thanks for your input pj!
500 f4 mk1's aren't all that common anymore second hand it seems, although i'm sure the odd onewill pop up every now and then, 4 to 4.5k seems a ballpark figure for them, i have found 1 internet seller that wants nearly 6k for a new one
What I've decided i'm going to do for now is try my 200f2 with a canon 2x extender mkiii and examine the results before i make a descision, comparing them on the digital picture . com at f5.6 there doesn't seem a lot in it, obviously 100mm shorter but if its acceptable quality to me, i could look at buying a 7d body to get the extra focal length.
I think in my mind i want to buy the lens first and then get a 1DX later but I'm still undecided, I'll post my thoughts on the 200f2/ extender combo when it comes and then i'll go from there.
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Old May 4, 2012, 6:12 AM   #4
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Well, problem solved!
I received my mkiii 2x converter today, excitedly went outside into the garden and rattled off a few shots to test it out.
First thing that struck me is how fast the 200 f2 still snaps into focus, i was expecting it to be rather slow, even on a dull overcast English day the resulting images just blew me away, f4 is maybe very slightly soft, but at f5.6 it's awsome!!.
Don't know what i was expecting but very very pleasantly surprised, guess its because the last time i used an extender it was on an Olympus OM20, 25 years ago!and that was dire, mind you that was when iso 400 looked like you'd chucked a handfull of sand over the print!
So 1DX here i come! one very happy camper, and if i can figure out how to post an image i will....

Last edited by burnsoid; May 6, 2012 at 4:19 AM.
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Old May 5, 2012, 11:50 PM   #5
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Don't know what these will look like, file size is rather small!!
A Nuthatch and a rather perky Robin!
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Old May 8, 2012, 5:33 PM   #6
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Hi Burnsoid

Thanks for sharing your experiences, decision and the photos!

The Canon 200mm L f2 IS USM is a great lens, that can produce absolutely stunning images. I think the fact that it is f/2 rather than f/2.8 helps both image quality and focus speed on the Canon mkIII 2x teleconverter not be degraded too much.

I particularly like the first photo you shared, it appears very sharp (where it needs to be) - with great colours, contrast and bokeh too. So that combination of lens / tele-converter makes it something like a 400mm f3.5 IS USM lens, which in itself is great!

The 2nd photo is also good - perhaps the eyes of the robin are not tack sharp - that being due to a dof issue I think (I'm judging - using the reduced resolution photo).

Even with the English grey / overcast skies, the images 'sing'! (And I lived for some years in London, so I know what you mean!) Thanks for sharing.

Glad to hear the good outcome. I'm very jealous of your Canon 200mm f2 lens!

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Old May 9, 2012, 9:24 AM   #7
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Excellent, the combination seems to work very well.
Yes the modern matched teleconverters work very nicely!
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