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Old May 16, 2005, 11:37 PM   #21
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tjk3052 wrote:
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Bottom line for me...I'd rather spend reasonable $$ and revert to a tripod, than deciding on a spendy IS lens which I might not rely on the IS and end up with a super $$ lens that is also super heavy and not great for everyday handheld shooting.
Why is it that all current Canon prime L lenses from 300mm and up, except one, have IS? There must be a reason that the super long telephotos come with IS, even although they almost certainly will only be used on a tripod. I can imagine that on a tripod you can still get a tiny bit of shake (gust of wind, not completely stable footing, etc). But I cannot speak from personal experience with those long lenses. Maybe Eric can comment on the usefulness of IS on his 600mm?

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Old May 17, 2005, 6:58 AM   #22
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barthold wrote:
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Why is it that all current Canon prime L lenses from 300mm and up, except one, have IS? There must be a reason that the super long telephotos come with IS, even although they almost certainly will only be used on a tripod. I can imagine that on a tripod you can still get a tiny bit of shake (gust of wind, not completely stable footing, etc).
Indeed, with the 500mm and 1.4xII (700mm F5.6), with the lens on a tripod (I use the Manfrotto 755B leveling tripod with a Manfrotto 3421 gimbal head), even a light breeze will shake the lens. The shade sticks out like a sail. Look through the lens, and you can see it shaking in the breeze--or if you are on a wood platform, you can see it shake from people walking. Half press the shutter (using a cable release, of course), and the image instantly freezes.

Second example. 500mm with the 2xII (1000mm F 8. Manual focus required. Just touch the focus ring and the image shakes like the morning after. Half press the shutter, again w/ cable release, and the image becomes still enough for easy focusing--well, as easy as it can be with only a ground glass screen. [On that subject, I am really tempted by that 3rd party focus screen with split image focus aid, like my old Nikon F].

The thing is, Canon's IS works on their long lenses. On a 1.6 crop factor camera, the angle of view makes IS almost essential. The 500mm with 2x converter is equivalent to 1600mm on a full frame 35. Atthat magnification, dust landing on the lens can shake theimage.

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Old May 17, 2005, 7:41 AM   #23
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eric s wrote:
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Originally Posted by bobbyz
With 1.4x TC, it is f8 and I don't see any AF issues on 10D
I have used the 100-400 with the Canon 1.4 MarkII TC. If you tape the proper pins it doesn't report the true aperture.

It works, but AF is so bad the only thing you can shoot is a stationary thing like a heron or a building. Literally it huts back and forth kinda like a pendulum, with the center point being where the focus is correct. Eventually it settles down and stops with the subject focused. Eventually. Sure, the pictures are good enough… my problem isn't with optics. It's with usability. For anything that moves it effectively doesn't work, even if technically it does. I would be shocked if the Kenko or Tamron TCs were any different. Is that what it does?
Well Eric, and everyone

All I can say by default the Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 looks darn good to me... What can you get for about $2k that you can shoot handheld @ 600mm birds in flight?

-> In itself this lens is 1/2 the price of a 300mm f/2.8. You guys are talking about lenses 3x times the cost of this bargain, and I'm not debating wether IS help or not...
but so far in none of my shots @ 600mm I seem to need it! Aren't we also all excited about how a Canon can shoot at high ISO anyway...


-> This picture clearly illustrates I need more shutter speed and not IS:





BTW I have no need for tripod @ theses shutter speed, but a longer lens would just because of the heavier load! :blah:
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Old May 17, 2005, 10:05 AM   #24
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Oh, I think I forgot to mention that the IS on the 100-400 does work on a tripod, unless there is absolutely no shake (i.e. indoors w/ a controled situation.) Outdoor shooting there is always some shake and I've never have a problem using the 100-400 on a tripod, even a really good one, with the IS on.

I'm with wburychka on the reasons to have IS on long lenses. Exactly my list of reasons. It is so easy to get just the smallest bit of shake at super-long focal lengths that you take everything you can get to stop it, including IS (and I'm crazy enough to have shot with 2 1.4TCs & 1 2xTC on occasion.)

NHL, I'm not claming that the 100-300 f2.8 should be passed over. I'm not saying that it's a bad lens. I'm not saying that f2.8 is better or worse than than having IS. I've never used it so I can't make those claims. I've never used a long lens without IS. I can only say that I'm happy with the 100-400 and I like having IS on it. Maybe if I was steader at hand holding (which is at least partially a learned skill) then I could do without IS at 400mm f5.6, I don't think I'd want to shot at 600mm hand held (except maybe flight shots which can be less than tac sharp and still be good.)

It's a great day when I shoot at 1/1000 and I have found that I get better shots on a tripod than not. Just a simple fact for me. So having IS and shooting from a tripod costs me shots some times (due to the tripod) but helpes me get more better shots.

We've gotten a little away from the original question.
The 100-300 f2.8 is certainly a good lens. It can work as a slightly more expensive starter lens for birds, and the zoom would be nice for other wildlife. It's ability to take a TC and still AF is nice. And it seems fairly sharp with a TC, but I don't know that for a fact.

It's bigger/heavier than the 100-400 (3lb vs 5.7lb.) It requires changing TCs, which can cost you the shot, for more reach (but at least you can get that reach and still AF.) And can introduce dust.

Min focusing distance is closer on the Sigma, which is nice.

f2.8 is really nice when you need/want it (But only out to 300mm.)

This is one of those photographic "tough choices" that I'm glad I don't have to make. Would I pay $2,700USD for a 200-600 f5/6 (I would probably rarely take off the 2xTC)? I don't know, depends on how optically good it was. But it can't really be compared to the 600mm f4 (and no one really is) because you're really buying that for its ability to take the 1.4TC with AF and no optical loss. And 600mm f5.6 doesn't really compare to 840mm f5.6... when you need the reach, you have no choice.

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Old May 17, 2005, 10:44 AM   #25
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I did some more tests with 1.4xTC on the 100-400L. In good light, results were fine with me but only for static birds. In this regard, 1.4xTC works much better on the 400f5.6. AF was slow so I would advice using the 1.4xTC on 100-400 only in situation when you want to have the shot.

Eric - I will try keeping IS on when on the tripod.

100-400 is more a "can do everthing (almost)" kind of lens. If you specifically looking for bird shots then you need more reach. I will take a slower but longer lens over a faster lens with smaller reach. 400f5.6 is approx 2.8 pounds. One of the best flight lenses. I have read good reviews about the sigma 100-300 F2.8. Don't know how the quality holds up using 2xTC on it but with 1.4xTC, it will only go for 420. And not to mention the heavy weight Eric also mentioned (5.7lbs).

Another lens you should look for is the sigma 50-500mm. Best reach for the money.

Also check this link http://www.birdsasart.com. Artie anwers some questions about lenses.

Here some shots from 100-400L.







The following one are using 1.4xTC (hand held, with IS)





100% crop








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Old May 17, 2005, 12:18 PM   #26
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I may be wrong here(not unusual) but I think this is wrong.
The true lens focal length in this case is 1000mm, and the crop factor is virtual. The lens is 1000mm whether used on a full frame camera or a 1.6 crop camera. The image circle is the same in both cases just one camera cuts the center out, and the other uses the whole thing. So IMHO the 1.6 crop factor is not true magnification, and does not affect lens shakeability(I create new word :-) ).

BTW: it is possible to use a 1.4 tc and a 2.0 tc together by inserting a short extension tube between them.
This gets you a long, not very sharp, slow lens that won't AF or focus to infinity :blah: :blah: :blah:

Peter.

wburychka wrote:
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On a 1.6 crop factor camera, the angle of view makes IS almost essential. The 500mm with 2x converter is equivalent to 1600mm on a full frame 35. At that magnification, dust landing on the lens can shake the image.

Bill
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Old May 17, 2005, 4:14 PM   #27
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PeterP wrote:
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I may be wrong here(not unusual) but I think this is wrong.
The true lens focal length in this case is 1000mm, and the crop factor is virtual. The lens is 1000mm whether used on a full frame camera or a 1.6 crop camera. The image circle is the same in both cases just one camera cuts the center out, and the other uses the whole thing. So IMHO the 1.6 crop factor is not true magnification, and does not affect lens shakeability(I create new word :-) ).

BTW: it is possible to use a 1.4 tc and a 2.0 tc together by inserting a short extension tube between them.
Peter you are absolutely right...and absolutely wrong. You are correct that 1000mm is just that regardless of the image size you record. But what makes that crop factor virtual? If the lens were a 1000mm EF-S, then it would project an image the size of a 10/20/300D. Would it then be real, rather than virtual? Both the EF and the EF-S versions would be 1000mm. I contend it is the image size you USE that makes the difference.

I have read many explanations, ranging from scientificthrough imaginary to fanciful, of the affect of the smaller sensor. However, the one I think makes the most sense is this one.

It is the angle of view that dictates the "shakiness" of the image, and that is a function of the focal length and image size. Let me give an example. If you have experience with formats other than 35mm, this will start to make sense. Take an angle of view of approximately 4 degrees. Here are the focal lengths that provide that angle for various formats:

1/4" Video CCD 50mm
Canon 10/20D 300mm
35mm film 500mm
6x7 medium 950mm

50mm is a normal lens on a 35mm film camera. Hand holding such a lens is a pretty ordinary thing . On the other hand, 50mm on a consumer camcorder is a telephoto that is not easily handheld without IS. If you've ever watchedyour cousin'svacation video, you've probably seen such telephoto video footage and come close to losing your chips and cheese dip.

For this reason, I believe the so-called crop factor needs to be applied to the focal length for purposes of determining the amount of image shake to expect.The viewfinder/image from a500mm lens on a 10/20/300D is going to shake like 800mm on a full frame 35. Yes, it is still 500mm, but that focal length has a different meaning on a 20D.

Oh, and the Canon 1.4xII and 2xII teleconverters will stack without any spacers at all, retaining all (manual) focus capability, including infinity,of the lens on which they are installed. Of course, these TCs will only fit a handful of Canon lenses. I've taken a few shots with this combination on the 500mm F4. It works if your only objective is to get the shot, but the picture is nothing you'll see Canon bragging about.

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Old May 17, 2005, 4:28 PM   #28
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I have this to add...

"Shakiness" also varies with distance - try it at short distances, one can shoot way below "1/focal" quite easily

I've gotten excellent shots @ 1/180s of small preys with the 420mm with no IS :blah:
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Old May 17, 2005, 9:38 PM   #29
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Interesting, the new mkII TC's must have been redesigned, the older TC's I am familiar with would not allow stacking.

wburychka wrote:
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Oh, and the Canon 1.4xII and 2xII teleconverters will stack without any spacers at all, retaining all (manual) focus capability, including infinity, of the lens on which they are installed.
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Old May 17, 2005, 9:51 PM   #30
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PeterP, yes... the MarkII versions of the TCs can be stacked in ways the old ones can't. But it isn't perfect, 2 1.4x's can't be mated.

Since this conversation turned to stacking TCs, here is my example.


Believe it or not, this was shot with:
20D + 1.4xTC + 2xTC + smaller extention tube + 1.4TC + 600mmf4 (I think that is the order.)
With a full adult pushing down on the lens over the tripod color, and a bag of gear hooked over the full wimberley handle (centered over the tripod) on a Gitzo 1345 + full wimberley head (everything locked down at tight as possible.)

This is full frame, reduced. I was shocked at how well it came out, but then again it was a *very* bright day so we got a decent shutter speed (I forget what) even at f22? (f4-f5.6-f8-f11?-f22?) This is 3763.2mm, including the 20D's crop. Needless to say, that Northern Hawk Owl likes the top of the highest tree and that one was really high.

wburychka, I like your explanation of how the crop factor does effect steadyness. Makes sense to me.

Eric

<ps. attribute corrected.>
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