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Old Jun 14, 2006, 9:05 PM   #1
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After much research on the web and after getting a second mortgage on my house, I ordered a 300MM F2.8 IS lens. I have heard nothing but good things about the sharpness of this lens. I was wondering if any of you have any experience with using it and can suggest any tips or God forbid any gotchas you might have encountered. I have Canons 1.4 extender and also ordered the 2.0 extender. I will be using this lens on my 10d. One worry I have is that it might be too much lens for my camera. Any help would be appreciated.
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Old Jun 20, 2006, 8:20 AM   #2
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I don't have the 300mm, I do have the 400 f/2.8.Couple suggestions Ihave (as it relates to the 400 so may be true of the 300 as well). Don't pick up the combination of lens/camera with just the camera (in other words, always pick it up by both or by the lens). The weight of the lens will put undue stress on the connection between the camera and lens (IMHO).

I have a lens plate on my 400 along with a Quick release on my monopod. Makes for quick inastall and removal. I'd suggest a lens plate with stops on both ends. (Wimberley has the stops, don't know if others do or not). The stops will help make sure that the lens/camera can't just slide off the plate if the quick relase loosens up.

I've used my 400 on my Mark II N and my 20D both with a 1.4 and without. No issues to speak of.

Joe
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Old Jun 20, 2006, 9:26 PM   #3
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This is going to sound dumb but don't discount it. I used one of those heavy pistol grip ball heads on my monopod. For a couple of reasons...

1) I'm 6'3"

2) It is quite annoying to have the monopod completely vertical. I put about a 5 degree "kink" in the pod by offsetting the head. (not sure I explained that) What that means is that the pod leans into my body for the camera to be level. That makes it much easier to deal with at the end of a long football game. Plus if you mount the camera directly on the pod it is "top heavy" wanting to fall away from you or to the side. My way it falls toward you and your two (human) legs make a tripod.

3) When I'm out and about, I can take the strap off my camera bag and lash the monopod to something steady. Then I have a nice pistol grip ball head for compisition. I was once on the roof of a building in San Fran and tried the monopod to a ladder for a fire escape and took an award winning pic of Alcatraz island that way. (in 30mph winds with a 400mm lens)

I forget right now which head I use... It is the big heavy gray one that is all metal and the grip level goes up instead of down... OH It's a bogen ... model number something-something-25 I think. (might be wrong)

Anyway, get a big solid pistol grip head. You'll be glad you did.... Even if the other photogs look at you funny.
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Old Jun 20, 2006, 9:36 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info Joe. Sounds like good advice. The lens, although not as heavy as your 400mm is still a small brick so I will make sure I hold the whole shebang somewhere by the lens right in front of the camera. Maybe right under the tripod ring.
You mention a lens plate which I believe is what I have on my tripod. This plate has a screw that attaches it to the camera and is then attached to the tripod. Is this plate you mention bigger than what comes with the tripod?
I have not yet tried the camera and lens on my tripod. I am somewhat worried about all that weight connected by just one screw to the tripod.
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Old Jun 20, 2006, 9:48 PM   #5
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Thanks geektog. I am am getting the impression that I need to get a better tripod head than what I currently have. When I bought this lens I did not realize that the lens purchase was just the beginning of more purchases. This photography hobby is getting pretty costly. If my wife finds what I am spending i am in deep poop!
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Old Jun 20, 2006, 9:52 PM   #6
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Why would you need any 'pod' for a 300mm f/2.8 (especially with IS)??? :idea:

Isn't this lens perfectly handholdable? - Check theses shots out with the 120-300 f/2.8 all with a 2x teleconverter on pointing downward (pretty awkward for any 'pod') from a cliff: :lol: :-) :G
http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=11

-> Plus don't you have to carry all that equipments up the climb to the top? :?
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Old Jun 21, 2006, 7:54 AM   #7
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The lens plate I'm talking about sounds different than what you have on your tripod. If you go to Wimberley or RRS sites you can see them. Basically it's a metal plate that attaches to the lens where the rotation ring is. They are _NOT_ required. I have one that works with my Quick Release (QR), the QR is attached to my pod.

The lens plate itslef stays attached to the lens, and the QR never comes off the pod. Many folks, including me, will carry the lens/camera over their shoulder when attached to a pod. The Wimberley lens plate has two stop screws that will prevent the lens/camera from sliding off of the QR.

I assume that NHL is right on hand holding the 300, but since I don't have a 300 I can't say that I ever have.

The 400mm absolutely requires a different style of shooting than any other lens I've used. A monopod is a must, sure you could take a few handheld shots with itbut this beast is just really toolarge to hand hold.

Joe
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Old Jun 21, 2006, 9:43 AM   #8
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IMO that's the beauty of any 300mm f/2.8... (i.e. To be able to handhold)

The 400mm f/2.8 is equal in weight to the 600mm f/4 and will require a different shooting style - This is before you add the tripod or the Kimberley (which in itself weights as much as the 300mm f/2.8 already...)

Think about it -> 600mm with a 2x with the lost of just 1-stop(f/5.6) and still be quite mobile... :idea:
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Old Jun 21, 2006, 11:00 AM   #9
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Hi,
Maybe I am just reading this wrong, but just in case.
With large heavier lenses you attach the quick-release plate to the tripod collar on the lens not to the camera itself.

Some tripod collars like the Sigma TS-41 also have a good grip on them to hang on to, and an attachment point for a carry strap.


dlearyfun wrote:
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You mention a lens plate which I believe is what I have on my tripod. This plate has a screw that attaches it to the camera and is then attached to the tripod. Is this plate you mention bigger than what comes with the tripod?
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Old Jun 21, 2006, 10:01 PM   #10
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nhl wrote

Why would you need any 'pod' for a 300mm f/2.8 (especially with IS)???

I don't need a tripod, however if I am shooting a sporting event that goes for hours and I am basically standing in a certain area and not moving very much, a tripod or even a monopod can be very helpful in reducing fatigue. I received the lens a few days ago and did take it down to the lake to take some shots without a tripod and it was fairly easy to handle. One plus is that the tripod ring can be removed if not needed. I am not sure this is the case with the larger primes.
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