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Canon 300 2.8 +2x vs 600 f4

Peter Emmons , May 29, 2012; 08:02 p.m.

Has anyone compared the image quality between these 2 combinations? Any comments? Thanks, Peter

Responses


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Richard Hatch , May 29, 2012; 08:18 p.m.

I have a 300 2.8 and use it alone, with a 1.4X and a 2X. I have not used a 600 f4. Having looked at many images with a 600 f4 I would say there is a very noticeable difference. Hands down the 600 f4 wins except in the cost department (and it won't shoot at 300mm :) ) In the "Good Better Best" the 600 is the best while the 300 + 2X is Good.

Richard

JDM von Weinberg , May 29, 2012; 09:40 p.m.

I don't have either, but the statement that a single prime focal length lens is likely to be better than a lens not specifically designed for that focal length alone (including adding on more optics in the form of the extender or a zoom lens) holds as a general principle.
It is not impossible for a 'doubled' 300mm lens to be better than some particular 600mm lens, especially if the 600mm is a "Girlwatcher" 2-element Galilean special from the early Renaissance.
I would think that the likelihood that the extended lens would be would better for two given Canon L lenses is astonishingly small.

The best review I personally have ever seen of any "telXtender" type product (especially one that is not designed as a part of the original design of a lens combo) was that the extended lens was "almost as good as" the longer lens.

Bob Atkins , May 29, 2012; 10:11 p.m.

I've not used the current 300/2.8 and 600/4L but I have shot with earlier versions and with a 2x on the 300. While the 300+3x images can be pretty decent, they are no match for the 600/4 prime images. The 300+2x is smaller lighter and cheaper, but as far as image quality goes, the 600/4 wins every time.

Alan Bryant , May 29, 2012; 11:02 p.m.

I've used the 2X mark II with the 200mm f/2. It works quite well. Not as sharp as the 200/2 alone, but still sufficient for many purposes.

So I have no doubt that the 600/4 will beat the 300/2.8 + 2X, but the 300 might still be good enough for whatever use you have in mind. And it weighs and costs significantly less.

Rent them or borrow them if you need to be sure...

Scott Ferris , May 29, 2012; 11:43 p.m.

If you need a 600 then get a 600, the 300 + 2xTC (though it is superb alone or with the 1.4) is absolutely no match for the 600. Focus speed is the biggest functional issue, the 300 + 2xTC is much slower than the 600, but image quality also suffers, with corner sharpness being particularly badly hit, and you lose one f stop.

Eric Merrill , May 30, 2012; 07:10 p.m.

I've used the 300/2.8 IS with both the 2x I and 2x III. Wide open, that's f/5.6. I've found the best performance at about f/9 (i.e. closed down slightly more than a stop).

While I haven't used a 600/4, I have seen the resulting files. I've seen and used files from a 500/4.

If you want absolute image quality, the prime by itself is the way to go.

If, like me, you wanted to get to 600mm without the cost of the 600/4, then the 300 + 2x will yield good images.

Here are some examples:

http://canid.com/nature/prairie_chicken_displaying.html

http://canid.com/nature/prairie_chicken_in_flight.html

http://canid.com/nature/ring_necked_pheasant.html

http://canid.com/west_river/mount_rushmore_cyark_laser_mapping_003.html

John Crowe , May 30, 2012; 07:36 p.m.

With Canon FD lenses I found that a 400/2.8 with 1.4x was significantly sharper than a 300/2.8 with 2x, and similarly a 400/2.8 was significantly sharper than a 300/2.8 with 1.4x.

I would thus also imagine that the EF 600/4 would be more than significantly sharper than the EF 300/2.8 with 2x.

Over the years I have not been impressed with 2x converters, while I have found that 1.4x converters have had little effect on resolution. The other drawback to 2x converters is additional CA, which may or may not be a problem.

I would not hesitate to use any of the EF 300/2.8 L lenses with a 1.4x, in fact I just used my Canon EF 300/4 L with EF 1.4x on my 5D II and got very good results, though still not as good as my 25 year old Nikon 400/2.8 with 1.4x. Mind you the 300/4 L and 1.4x had no CA, but I had to correct the CA of the 400/2.8 in Photoshop.

Peter Emmons , May 30, 2012; 08:33 p.m.

First of all, I'd like to thank everyone for their responses. The info has been helpful. I am currently using a 300 2.8 with an EF2x (1) I guess since there is no number. I'm almost pleased with the combo, but not quite as I used to be, shooting with an FD 500 4.5. Although I only do this as a hobby, I'm kind of anal about quality, but find it hard to justify the cost and weight of either a 500 or 600. As I suspected, and all have confirmed, from a quality perspective the longer prime is the way to go. Now it's just my head vs my wallet. Thanks, Peter

Scott Ferris , May 30, 2012; 09:39 p.m.

Peter,

Have you thought about the Mika FD to EOS convertor for the FD 600?

http://www.canonrumors.com/tech-articles/fd-fl-lenses-on-your-ef-body/


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