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Old July 25th, 2009, 02:30 PM   #1
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XL2 and 70-300 lens

I own an XL2 and the focal length of the stock lens is just not enough, so I am looking into getting the Canon EF adapter and a Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS lens (see link below).
I think the focal length is good but what about the image quality.
I shoot mainly small birds, deer and other wildlife in the forest.

EOS (SLR) Camera Systems - Telephoto Zoom - Telephoto Zoom Lens - EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM - Canon USA Consumer Products

Thanks in Advance,

CJ
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Old July 25th, 2009, 06:29 PM   #2
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Hi Caleb,
I have no experience with this lens but I think you should consider the following:
The more expensive/higher quality lens you get - the better image quality will be.
I bought the Nikon 200-400 f4 G VR for just over 6 grand. Lately I was thinking maybe I made a mistake for not even considering the four times cheaper Nikon 80-400.
However, yesterday I had to use another decent Nikon lens the 80-200 f2.8 (which costs about 1 grand) and was surprised as to how inferior image quality is compared with the Nikon 200-400. Quite severe chromatic aberration, colors not as vivid and even sharpness is not at the same league.
My advice to you - get the best lens you can afford - the video camera is not more forgiving than the SLR camera IMO.
Cheers,
Ofer Levy Photography

Last edited by Ofer Levy; July 25th, 2009 at 09:29 PM.
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Old July 25th, 2009, 07:37 PM   #3
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Old July 25th, 2009, 08:06 PM   #4
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Caleb,
I used the 70-300mm for years with the XL-2, and the XL-1s, shooting small birds, just like you. The image quality is fine. It isn't quite as good as the 100-400, but at less than half the price, and less than half the weight, you won't go wrong. My only complaints with the lens were that it gets soft above f/16, and the manual focusing (you do not get autofocus with the EF adapter) is very sensitive, and shows no mercy for tiny errors. With the XL-2's crappy viewfinder, that can be an issue.
If Canon still offers two versions of the 70-300, don't buy the cheaper one.
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Old July 25th, 2009, 09:34 PM   #5
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[QUOTE=Steve Siegel;1176663]
My only complaints with the lens were that it gets soft above f/16, [QUOTE]

Hi Steve, as far as I understand image obtained with all lenses when stopped to around f16 - f22 looks soft because of the small size of the sensors.
Cheers,
Ofer
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Old July 26th, 2009, 12:18 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Siegel View Post
Caleb,
I used the 70-300mm for years with the XL-2, and the XL-1s, shooting small birds, just like you. The image quality is fine. It isn't quite as good as the 100-400, but at less than half the price, and less than half the weight, you won't go wrong. My only complaints with the lens were that it gets soft above f/16, and the manual focusing (you do not get autofocus with the EF adapter) is very sensitive, and shows no mercy for tiny errors. With the XL-2's crappy viewfinder, that can be an issue.
If Canon still offers two versions of the 70-300, don't buy the cheaper one.
Thanks for the info Steve, sounds like that is the lens for me, just one thing though, what tripod and head do you use with the XL2 and 70-300 lens?

Thanks for the info all,

CJ
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Old July 26th, 2009, 03:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ofer Levy View Post
yesterday I had to use another decent Nikon lens the 80-200 f2.8 (which costs about 1 grand) and was surprised as to how inferior image quality is compared with the Nikon 200-400. Quite severe chromatic aberration, colors not as vivid and even sharpness is not at the same league.
Ofer Levy Photography
Must have been dropped.

My 80-200f2.8 is as razor sharp the day I bought it fifteen years ago, and that was solid news gathering work.

Perhaps it needs collimating?

Ben
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Old July 26th, 2009, 05:50 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Ben Longden View Post
Must have been dropped.

My 80-200f2.8 is as razor sharp the day I bought it fifteen years ago, and that was solid news gathering work.

Perhaps it needs collimating?

Ben
Hi Ben, I have tested the lens and there is no problem with it. However, the image quality I get with it at 200mm compared with what I get with the Nikon 200-400 f4 G VR at 200mm is like chalk and cheese.
I guess it shouldn't be such a surprise when you compare the costs of these two lenses. (1500AUD and nearly 9 grand) What I find especially bad is the level of the chromatic aberration in certain light conditions. There is almost no CA with the 200-400 but very noticeable one with the 80-200.
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Old July 27th, 2009, 02:01 AM   #9
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[QUOTE=Ofer Levy;1176678as far as I understand image obtained with all lenses when stopped to around f16 - f22 looks soft because of the small size of the sensors.[/QUOTE]

Yes, that's the case. One should not stop any lens too much but instead use a ND filter.
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Old July 28th, 2009, 02:08 PM   #10
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Caleb,
I use a Bogen 316 head on a (very old and heavy) Gitzo Studex tripod. It works OK, but I have added some "homemade" stuff and the weight is pretty much at the limit of what that head can handle. Just the camcorder and lens should be fine, however. Don't expect the slick smoothness of a Miller, Vinten, or Sackler head.
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