Page 2 of 7 FirstFirst 1234 ... LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 61

Thread: Ultimate Supertelephoto for Travel

  1. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    1,156
    If you're going to rent from LensRentals, have it shipped "Hold At Location" to a nearby FedEx Office location.

    My vote is the 600/4 and a 1.4x. 840/5.6 is a really nice punch for long shots (better than the 800/5.6 and still lighter than it too), while keeping the 600/4 option for when the sun isn't so high. Or the 400DO II if you want some amazing portability (aside from size) - I don't know about the II version, but the old version I think had "inverse" chromatic aberration, so it took a 1.4x really, really well. Or for something a little different, try the 200/2 and a pair of TCs; 200/2, 280/2.8, 400/4 is super-cool, and the 200/2 will blow you away.
    We're a Canon/Profoto family: five cameras, sixteen lenses, fifteen Profoto lights, too many modifiers.

  2. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Planet Earth
    Posts
    2,900
    The 500mm II I can hand hold for short periods, still a monopod is prefered.
    I could hand hold the version I for short bursts, pull it up hit and release. Long holds were difficult.
    With the 600mm II has about the same weight as the 500mm I and the length is about the same as with the extender.
    The added length makes it even more difficult as the center of balance is farther away from your body.

    I wouldn't buy the 600mm thinking I was going to hand hold it very often.

    In Johnathan's picture if I didn't have my monopod I would use it just as he is, but I would be looking for a way to brace against the boat or looking for a stool to sit on for maximum support. Also how you posture makes it easier to hold to. I hold my elbow in close to the body to provide better support. I think of it like shooting a firearm, the more stabilized your elbow is the better the results.

  3. #13
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    4,123
    As I have mulled this over, I keep coming back to the 500 f/4 II and 400 f/4 DO II. The 500 f/4 II is the same size as the 150-600S extended (15.3"), and it is half a pound heavier in use weight (7.5 vs 7 lbs). So I expect I would be able to hand hold it just as I do the 150-600S now (as others have mentioned). Plus, it gives me 1 2/3 to 2 stops more light in the range (>400 mm) I am targeting, which is what I want.

    The 400 f/4 DO II is smaller, lighter, and less expensive by ~$2,000. Add an extender on it and it will be giving me a 2/3 to 1 stop advantage in the >400 mm range and ~2 stops at 400 mm.

    I have the utmost respect for the 400 f/5.6 and 100-400 II. I think they are sharper than my 150-600S at 400 mm and have a 1/3 stop aperture advantage. I would circle back to those lenses if size/weight/$$ became my biggest drivers. And there is something to be said for putting myself in better positions so I do not need 500-600 mm. I consider the 600 mm f/4 to be the ultimate supertele. But I wonder how much I would use it. I like handholding vs shooting from a mount. I take most of my supertele photos while traveling and photography is usually only part of the purpose of my travel. And the 500 f/4 II and 400 DO II are not behind in IQ, just in focal length.

    So, I am still in the evaluation process. This is a big enough purchase and I enjoy evaluating, so I have the 400 f/4 DO II coming for my meet up with Busted Knuckles in Florida and the 500 f/4 II for a Presidents Day weekend shoot locally.

    BTW, thanks for the tip to pick up lenses at a local FedEx Office. That is what I am going to do.

    Thanks everyone....
    Last edited by Kayaker72; 01-23-2018 at 03:14 PM.

  4. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Central Kentucky
    Posts
    2,990
    I'm late to the party but for what it's worth......

    I would agree with Peety .....ultimate would be the 600 f/4L and the 400 DO II .... fabulous IQ and both will take the 1.4 or 2.0 tele-extenders well but you might want to do an AF micro adjustment to really maximize performance. You probably won't be disappointed with the 500 though, it's been my "weapon of choice" for years. I would strongly recommend you have the tele-extenders available when birding.

  5. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    1,156
    A few "stories" about our Alaska cruises.

    2010: I rented the 500/4 v1 but had no monopod. I used the tripod on occasions and had a ton of fun. It didn't feel heavy until the trip home.
    2012: I rented the 400DO v1 and had no monopod. I also rented a 1Dx and a 1.4x TC, used exclusively on the 400DO. That sucker was FUN! I felt like Quick Draw McGraw: I shoot YOU! I shoot YOU! I aim anywhere I want with a flick of my wrist and I shoot YOU!
    2014: I rented the 200-400 and really liked it. It gave me some versatility, and although I learned to think of it as a 200-560, I eventually got tired of the only 2x zoom range and the not-all-that-impressive aperture (given the physical size/weight). On the premise that most of us shoot zooms at either ends of the zoom range and rarely in the middle, it made carrying a 70-200 almost redundant. Not totally, but almost.
    2015: I rented the 600 and a 1.4x and fell in love. Paired with a 100-400 and a 16-35, I rarely felt that the 35-100 hole was a problem. I got really comfortable carrying the 600 on my left shoulder, sometimes even hands-free (I probably put a lot of stress on the EF mounts, but I found that the 1Dx/1.4x/600 combo had enough length to fit on my shoulder, and the collapsed monopod still put the center of gravity down low enough that it would stay put). One time I did try the 600 on a Wimberley head on a monopod: too much weight and too squirmy to carry.
    2017: 600/1.4x again, only this time on a 5DsR. Damn. Erectrifying, if you know what I mean. I ended up with a 70-300 on my 1Dx (wife "claimed" the 100-400; I may rent a second 100-400 next time) and a 24-70 or 14/2.8 on a 5D3.
    Next time, I think I'd leave the 1.4x home and just crop if necessary; the 5DsR isn't as forgiving if you push the ISO so keeping the lightway open helps. If I do skip the 1.4x, I'll probably stick to the 70-300 and also punt to the 16-35 and leave a lens home or perhaps bring a Zeiss Milvus 100/2 Makro "for something completely different".
    We're a Canon/Profoto family: five cameras, sixteen lenses, fifteen Profoto lights, too many modifiers.

  6. #16
    Senior Member neuroanatomist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    3,716
    Quote Originally Posted by Kayaker72 View Post
    Another question, for those of you that have used big white lenses. Knowing that I am more of a handheld wildlife shooter and that is the primary purpose of the supertelephoto lens for me, which would you recommend?
    We've typically gotten together for winter raptors, where patience is key and that means the supertele is on a tripod. But on many occasions, I walk around carrying the 600/4 II (usually with the 1.4xIII) on a Blackrapid strap (the left-handed version), and shoot handheld. I generally bring along a monopod and use that if I'll be standing in one place for a while.

    This was on a blustery November day at Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge in Rhode Island:



    You may get a chance to compare your rented 500/4 II head-to-head with my 600/4 II on that President's Day weekend shoot...

  7. #17
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    4,123
    Quote Originally Posted by Joel Eade View Post
    I'm late to the party but for what it's worth......

    I would agree with Peety .....ultimate would be the 600 f/4L and the 400 DO II .... fabulous IQ and both will take the 1.4 or 2.0 tele-extenders well but you might want to do an AF micro adjustment to really maximize performance. You probably won't be disappointed with the 500 though, it's been my "weapon of choice" for years. I would strongly recommend you have the tele-extenders available when birding.
    Ha....it's all good. This party is still going. I appreciate the input as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by peety3 View Post
    A few "stories" about our Alaska cruises.

    2010: I rented the 500/4 v1 but had no monopod. I used the tripod on occasions and had a ton of fun. It didn't feel heavy until the trip home.
    2012: I rented the 400DO v1 and had no monopod. I also rented a 1Dx and a 1.4x TC, used exclusively on the 400DO. That sucker was FUN! I felt like Quick Draw McGraw: I shoot YOU! I shoot YOU! I aim anywhere I want with a flick of my wrist and I shoot YOU!
    2014: I rented the 200-400 and really liked it. It gave me some versatility, and although I learned to think of it as a 200-560, I eventually got tired of the only 2x zoom range and the not-all-that-impressive aperture (given the physical size/weight). On the premise that most of us shoot zooms at either ends of the zoom range and rarely in the middle, it made carrying a 70-200 almost redundant. Not totally, but almost.
    2015: I rented the 600 and a 1.4x and fell in love. Paired with a 100-400 and a 16-35, I rarely felt that the 35-100 hole was a problem. I got really comfortable carrying the 600 on my left shoulder, sometimes even hands-free (I probably put a lot of stress on the EF mounts, but I found that the 1Dx/1.4x/600 combo had enough length to fit on my shoulder, and the collapsed monopod still put the center of gravity down low enough that it would stay put). One time I did try the 600 on a Wimberley head on a monopod: too much weight and too squirmy to carry.
    2017: 600/1.4x again, only this time on a 5DsR. Damn. Erectrifying, if you know what I mean. I ended up with a 70-300 on my 1Dx (wife "claimed" the 100-400; I may rent a second 100-400 next time) and a 24-70 or 14/2.8 on a 5D3.
    Next time, I think I'd leave the 1.4x home and just crop if necessary; the 5DsR isn't as forgiving if you push the ISO so keeping the lightway open helps. If I do skip the 1.4x, I'll probably stick to the 70-300 and also punt to the 16-35 and leave a lens home or perhaps bring a Zeiss Milvus 100/2 Makro "for something completely different".
    Ok...that was fun. Great to get your impressions of everything and you touch on many topics. First, in a good number of the articles I am reading about the 400 DO, there is just a level of excitement, almost a love for the lens. This always catches my eye and that is one of the reasons that I will be giving it a try in 10 days. Plus, it just checks a lot of boxes.

    The 200-400 f/4 tc. This seems to be a favorite of Bryan's. Not that I've ever asked, but he takes a lot of great pictures with it. Combine that with how often I see the lens mounted at different events, it has made me consider it. But....I suspect I'd end up where you did. It is an amazing lens and I am sure I would like shooting with it, but for that money/size/weight, I think I would want something else. Plus, for what I do, it may make more sense to have a second lens covering that range.

    Which gets us to another point to touch on, the overall construction of the kit. Do you want a zoom supertele if you already have a 70-300, 100-400, or 70-200 with you? Do I go to a two camera system as a large number of you have for photo expeditions. If so, I need to think about pairs, and not a single lens and I already own the 70-200 II and 70-300 L and happen to have not sold my 5DIII yet.

    Also, you seem to rent, not buy. Just playing with the 600 f/4 II, A 10 day rental would be ~$675 and a 5 day would be ~$425 for an average of $550. Three of these per year is $1,650/yr. I like the idea that we are renting our lenses even when we buy them because they do hold value. Say I buy the 6000 f/4 II for $11,500 and get 60% when I sell it, so my "renting" costs $4,600. Then it is 2.8 years and I am passed the breakeven point and I've saved money buy owning it.

    Huh....that is a thinker.....

    Quick math and 400 DO II, 500 f/4 II are in the 2.6 to 3 yr range breakeven point as well. If only renting these once a year changes the break even point to between 7.8 and 9 yrs. Of course, renting let's a person try a number of different lenses. A bit like dating versus marriage. Ok, not really, but you know what I am getting at.... ;-)

    Quote Originally Posted by neuroanatomist View Post
    W

    You may get a chance to compare your rented 500/4 II head-to-head with my 600/4 II on that President's Day weekend shoot...
    I hope so. Let us know if you can make it. I am seeing a bunch of pics of snowys and have yet to go out and chase them. It would be great to meet up.
    Last edited by Kayaker72; 01-24-2018 at 08:27 PM.

  8. #18
    Senior Member Dave Throgmartin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Northern Illinois
    Posts
    994
    I'm not the target market here so take it for what it's worth... I can't imagine buying the 200-400 rather than a 500. The 500 would be a no-brainer better pick.

    Dave

  9. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Planet Earth
    Posts
    2,900
    I would be interested to know how often a user of the 200-400 uses the tc. If not often it is dead weight you are always carrying.

  10. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Central Kentucky
    Posts
    2,990
    My perspective is the 200-400 is probably a premier choice for larger animals like on a safari for example but it will most likely leave you wanting more focal length in many birding situations.

    There are many places where the birds are very approachable....if you are living close to one of these places I am sure you could do great with the 200-400.

    I have seen many amazing images made with the 200-400 and would have no reluctance about IQ BUT if birds are your main interest I would go for the 500 or 600 f4 if possible and of course the 400 DO is a killer for flight images due to it compact size and lighter weight.

    I don't get to travel much and mostly I image birds from a set up in my yard and even in this controlled situation 500mm is way better than 400mm. For small birds I will often add the 1.4 TC to reach 700mm.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •