300 f/4 too short for nature? - my $0.02


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erwinx

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Occasionally, you have people with 300 f/4 or equivalent (100-400, 70-200 with TC etc) complaining that their lens is too short for photographing birds.

My own take is that 300 f/4 focal length is adequate for quite a few birds especially with the 1.6x FLM. Also remember that the focal length of 10D + 300 f/4 + 2xTC is LONGER than that of 1D+500 f/4+1.4x TC. Of course, the latter will give you better image quality.

I've photographed lots of species with 300 f/4, not just Sunbirds. The above 5 pics are a few sample pics. By current standards not fantastic, but I still like them and find the quality ok. If you cannot photograph birds with a 300 f/4 equivalent focal length (as mentioned earlier, 10D+300+2x TC is actually longer than 1D + 500 f/4 + 1.4x), are you sure that getting a longer lens will help?

I salute clubsnappers like Madcat who push the limits of their equipment (sigma 50-500) rather than complain 'my lens not long enough'

p.s. The first 4 are taken with a Nikkor and the last with a Canon.
 

Harlequin

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Just to add on to erwinx comments, the 300mm F4 is actually a pretty good piece of lens for nature photography.

As you can see, the pictures taken by a 300mm can deliver excellent results too.

I don't own a 300mm (its on my wish list) but have tried it before for flight shots and its good.

Its a matter of the right approach method. Sometimes
a longer lens doesn't mean you have the upper hand.

A 300mm F4 + 1.4TC in the right hands can deliver excellent handheld shots.
 

ccplim

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Thanks for sharing those info erwinx. 300mm is actually a very nice range to be use for bird shooting both tripod mount and handheld.
 

ccplim

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Harlequin said:
Just to add on to erwinx comments, the 300mm F4 is actually a pretty good piece of lens for nature photography.

As you can see, the pictures taken by a 300mm can deliver excellent results too.

I don't own a 300mm (its on my wish list) but have tried it before for flight shots and its good.

Its a matter of the right approach method. Sometimes
a longer lens doesn't mean you have the upper hand.

A 300mm F4 + 1.4TC in the right hands can deliver excellent handheld shots.
Zun bo? Hard to believe that you don't have this lens. I have been aiming for this lens too but too bad, I don't think I will be able to get it by end of the month (you should know what I mean right ;) ).
 

Niccon

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Harlequin said:
I don't own a 300mm (its on my wish list) but have tried it before for flight shots and its good.
WHAT GOOD ONLY? IT IS BRILLIANT (Though I am not sure what system you use, canon 300 f4 come with IS should be better). For the price 1680 (nikon) at tcw (last piece with tcw own warranty for 1 yr), its weight 1300+ and the quality picture; it is a very good buy. If I am not wrong, I understand that it seems to have discontinued here but not in US. May be everyone is buying 300 f4 and affects the sales of f2.8 here.

Try it, you will love it. Now with TC17E II , even better combination. With 1.52 crop on dslr also good. Three add togather then 770+ should give good enough distance to keep from small bird.

Only thing, wish we could have more nature ground in singapore
 

Hi Erwinx,

thanks for the compliment... I love my 50-500mm even though it is a slow lens (f6.3 at 500mm can be a problem sometimes :sweatsm: )

300mm f2.8 prime indeed can perform better even with 2x TC (600mm f5.6),
300mm f4 with 2x TC oso good :thumbsup:

Nice pics u got there :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
 

Harlequin

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ccplim said:
Zun bo? Hard to believe that you don't have this lens. I have been aiming for this lens too but too bad, I don't think I will be able to get it by end of the month (you should know what I mean right ;) ).
Very zun one....bo lui liao !

Was testing one piece yesterday in HK. Cost about S$1500.00
 

Harlequin

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Niccon said:
WHAT GOOD ONLY? IT IS BRILLIANT (Though I am not sure what system you use, canon 300 f4 come with IS should be better). For the price 1680 (nikon) at tcw (last piece with tcw own warranty for 1 yr), its weight 1300+ and the quality picture; it is a very good buy. If I am not wrong, I understand that it seems to have discontinued here but not in US. May be everyone is buying 300 f4 and affects the sales of f2.8 here.

Try it, you will love it. Now with TC17E II , even better combination. With 1.52 crop on dslr also good. Three add togather then 770+ should give good enough distance to keep from small bird.

Only thing, wish we could have more nature ground in singapore
Me on F mount. Its good as compared to what i'm using but its uses are different from longer primes. Again it depends on your shooting style.
 

oeyvind

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Well that's the longest lens I have... works well.


EF 300mm f/4 L IS USM on 1.3x body


EF 300mm f/4 L IS USM + EF 2x II on 1.3x body


EF 300mm f/4 L IS USM + 1.6x body


EF 300mm f/4 L IS USM + EF 1.4x II on 1.6x body
 

ccplim

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Harlequin said:
Very zun one....bo lui liao !

Was testing one piece yesterday in HK. Cost about S$1500.00
Great! And thanks for the info on the price. At least now I know what is the price range like :) Hopefully I can get it by end of the year.
 

Niccon

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Harlequin said:
Again it depends on your shooting style.
This, I can agreed on. It is very personal.

I actually wished to own a 2.8 version because lens size, weight & $ (even a used cost about 5000+), I choosed the 4 version. Of course, 300 with a TC is hard to match other 400/500/600 prime in picture quality & speed but to me it is excellent value in term of what I have/willing to fork out.

Good thing about AFS 300f4 is that its AF is fast enough for most nature/wildlife action & at 77mm I can use cokin filter but the collar design a little let down.

Yes, a Cser recently mentioned to me that AFS 300 f4 cost 1500 in HK (grey set) & AF 300 f4 (old version) cost about 1000+ there (again grey set).
 

erwinx

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Madcat II said:
Hi Erwinx,

thanks for the compliment... I love my 50-500mm even though it is a slow lens (f6.3 at 500mm can be a problem sometimes :sweatsm: )

300mm f2.8 prime indeed can perform better even with 2x TC (600mm f5.6),
300mm f4 with 2x TC oso good :thumbsup:
just using you as an example as i know you are using 50-500 ;) I'm sure many others are also using 'lesser' equipment and taking great shots.

All the CSBF members are great too. The photographs they take are due mainly to the effort they put in rather than the equipment they own.

Good to see many other people interested in shooting birds... places like BG, SBWR, MOG are good places to start and you can get good pics at these locations as well.
 

ccplim

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erwinx said:
just using you as an example as i know you are using 50-500 ;) I'm sure many others are also using 'lesser' equipment and taking great shots.

All the CSBF members are great too. The photographs they take are due mainly to the effort they put in rather than the equipment they own.

Good to see many other people interested in shooting birds... places like BG, SBWR, MOG are good places to start and you can get good pics at these locations as well.
Fully agreed with you :thumbsup: Equipment are just a tool to help us get the job done. It's always the man behind the equipment that counts.
 

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