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Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS

Going to continue my long road to master the Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM this month. It’s hard to only use a prime with 300mm focal lenght. It’s takes some time to fully master this lens. But it’s a fun lens to use and going to have a good time with it.

“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”
– Pablo Picasso

Update March 8 2017. Took the 300L & 2x extender with me for this morning walk from my house :

This shot I failed, had not set my camera settings yet as I was opening the front door this squirrel sat outside my house. 600mm @ f8 with 1/60 sec and no hand support had to go wrong. The squirrel ran off as a greased lightning when he ( or she ) saw me. Never seen anything move that fast. 🙂


A shot I was a little proud of. This was shot trouh heavy pine needles and the dark areas is actually in front of the bird. Had just a tiny hole through the branches to get focus. But nailed it. Thanks to Canon’s great focus system.

Some more form this morning :

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Also had a 300mm L f4 a couple of years ago. Here is two shots from back then. No extender used.

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Updated : Canon Extender EF 1.4X II +Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS testing day one.

This extender is just great. And maybe everything you need. Not so demanding as the 2x extender. The 1,4x wil focus and work on most ( if not all ) Canon EOS camera bodies. First pictures :

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This is what my 300mm + 1,4 II look like with a borrowed Canon 650D / EOS Rebel T4i camera :
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Updated : Finally.  Canon Extender EF 2X II & Canon Extender EF 1.4X II in my house. Have started the test’s. First out is the Canon Extender EF 2X II.

To start with the downsides. On the Canon 5D mk III with the EF 300mm f/4L IS lens + Canon Extender EF 2X II you only get the center focus point. Also only f8 as largest apperture. All known things to me and no suprises.
Upsides, 600mm ( oooohh yeah..love it ) fast focus ( suprise ) and looks like I’m keeping the 1.5 meters as minimum focusing distance. This was a suprise because i tought it would maybe double as well. Very good image quality.

My Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS & Canon extenders :

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So far I love the  Canon Extender EF 2X II. This thing i built like a tank and feels very solid. And here is what my Canon 5D mk III 600mm rig looks like  :

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Next up is the Canon Extender EF 1.4X II. My hopes are high that it will be very good with the Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS lens.

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This was shot with Canon 300L f4 and Canon 650D. The 300 L f4 IS and Canon 650D ( named Rebel T4i in the USA ) is a very good combo. 1,6 sensor crop and very good image quality. Picture of the SAR ( search and rescue ) helicopter shot May 19 2016 at Hvaler in Norway. Norvegian name ; LUFTFORSVARET REDNINGSTJENESTE.

 

 

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A couple of shots of my actual 300mm f4 lens. All three shot with Canon S95 point & shoot camera. An old but rock solid pocket camera. Never fails, very good quality.
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767-2016-Ulf-GregerHere is some images, they are all cropped. If I add images I dont have to crop I will add a remark in those photos.Not easy to get close enough to fill the frame with wildlife photography. All images shot with Canon 650D and Canon 5D mk III. The Canon 650D has the x1,6 crop advantage.

Only by using it often I get to learn to use a lens properly and find where it shines. One thing I have to learn is to fast find my object in the viewfinder with 300mm. Small birds in trees for example needs a bit of pratice to find fast with this lens. At least for me.

 

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The dog Scot a Boarder Collie with he’s owner Inger, shot with myCanon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM. He moved fast and it was not easy keeping up with him.  Learned a lot using the Canon 100-400mm L IS mk I last month. Found that my Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM is sharper and had a bit better contrast. The 100-400 obviously has the advantage of 400mm reach and that it’s a zoom. Sometimes 100mm is very good to have for wider shots. For me the 300mm is a better choice.
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I’m going to use this lens every day for a month. The Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM Lens is another excellent lens in the Canon L Series.

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All shots above done with my Canon 300mm L f4 IS. As you will notice this thing is sharp, has good bokeh and pretty good colors and contrast. The 300 f/4L IS is a partially weather sealed lens. A lens mount gasket is not present, but the switches and focusing ring have moderate dust and water resistance. A front filter should be used for full sealing.

Normally I would stop down a lens one or two stops, but this lens is razor sharp at f4.

This lens is well worth the money. Highly recommend it. And I’m 100% sure its sharper than the 100-400L mk I. Focus is pretty fast with this thing too. Also going to buy me a canon 2x or 1,4x extender this month. 300mm is actually not much when photographing birds and wildlife. Down below I’ll add some more of my shots with my 300L f4…work in progress.

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instagram edits – to be deleted  these are NOT shot with Canon 300m f4 L IS :

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JBL 4410

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Lenco B55

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JBL L150A an later and upgraded version of the JBL L150

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Sonus faber Amati Futura

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Conrad-Johnsen CT 5 &  Conrad-Johnsen ET 250S High End Stereo Amplifers :

Wood waxing my Tannoy Prestige Turnberry loudspeakers.


All pictures is Copyright © Ulf Greger. Feel free to contact me about anything.  email :  ulfgreger2008@gmail.com

 

 

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I’m testing a pair of Franco Serblin Accordo speakers now.  Going to write some about them and post more pictures and some youtube video’s. So far I love them. More natural sound than the Sonus faber Cremona M’s. They sound bigger and more relaxed.

Franco Serblin, who died in March 2013, is remembered as the founder of Italy’s Sonus faber.

630-Franco-Serblin-Accordo-Ulf-GregerWhen Franco Serblin withdrew from Sonus faber he started production on two new speaker models, the KTema floorstander and Accordo standmount. The speakers are produced under license by Franco Serblin’s son in law Masssimilano Favella. Accordo means agreement or harmony in Italian.

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624-Franco-Serblin-Accordo-Ulf-GregerI was impressed with the Franco Serblin Accordo’s natural and big sound. Punchy midbass response. Coupled with the rest of the speaker’s sonic profile transparent highs and solid upper and midbass response made for a first class listening experience.

When playing  the Radka Toneff og Steve Dobrogosz CD Fairytales Original Master Edition the Accordo shows off what they can do. I have never heard a better speaker when it comes down to sound natural but yet keeping the heart and soul of the music. They does not sound boring, ever.

625-Franco-Serblin-Accordo-Ulf-GregerThey look like a million too. Never seen so well built speakers before. This is first class and nothing less. For the moment I’m using  McIntosh amps,  Marantz DAC, a Denon CD player and MIT6 speaker cables.

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Going to post some Youtube videos soon.

Some rare singles I got part 1 :

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Chuck Berrey – Johnny b good631-Ulf-Greger

AC/DC – Soul Stripper633-Ulf-Greger

Beatles – Magical Mystery Tour
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My old and still going strong vintage Klipsch. KG3.
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All pictures is Copyright © Ulf Greger. Feel free to contact me about anything.
email :  ulfgreger2008@gmail.com

FOREWORD
Here is my small Zeiss Makro-Planar  T* f2 100 mm ZE review. I’m not a pro reviewer, I’m just going to have fun with this lens and use it.  Share what I think about it and post the images.

First of all, this lens is MF ( manual focusing ) only. This lens is all about build and image quality. Perfect lens for portraits, macro, landscape, product and architecture.

WHAT’S IN THE BOX?

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Starting with unboxing pictures. My Makro-Planar 100 is ZE, the Canon EF mount, this lens is also availible with Nikon mount named ZF. Shot with Zeiss Distagon 2/35.

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A solid metal lenshood. Warrenty card and so on. Shot with Zeiss Distagon 2/35.

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Warpaint time. Focus on hand.
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focus point at eye.

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Here is a picture of me with the Makro-Planar 100. Shot with a Canon 650D & Canon 100 L 2.8 IS. That lens is also a very good 100mm macro. And you get IS and AF. The owner of this lens prefer this over all her other Canon lenses.  Photo by Stine Norheim.


TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS :

Focal length 100 mm
Aperture range f/2.0 – f/22
Focusing range 0.44 m – ∞
Number of elements/groups 9/8
Angular field, diag./horiz./vert. 25°/21°/14°
Coverage at close range 72 x 48 mm
Image ratio at close
range
1 : 2
Filter thread M 67 x 0.75
Dimensions (with caps) ø 76 mm, length 113-115 mm
Weight 660 g – 680 g
Camera mounts F Mount (ZF.2)
EF Mount (ZE)


BUILD QUALITY :
This lens FEEL  expensive. Heavy, all metal with a focus ring that is smooth to turn.

OPTICS :
Bokeh : This lens delivers smooth and wonderful bokeh. All Carl Zeiss lenses I have 2/35 mm Distagon – 85 mm 1 ,4 Planar ( sold ) – Makro-Planar 2/100 mm  really kicks a** when it comes to bokeh.
Only Leica lenses comes close ( or better in some cases ) in my opinion.
Nikon and Canon also has some wonderful bokeh lenses:
Canon 50 L f1.2
Canon 300 L f2.8 IS mk II
Canon 200 L f2.0 IS
Nikon 105mm Macro
Nikon 58mm f1.4 G,
Canon 85 L f1.2 mk II
Canon 135L f2.0 …..to name a few of the best.

Sharpness : Very sharp wide open and great microcontrast, maybe the sharpest lens I have ever used. . At f4 and up it’s ridiculous sharp. Great for lagre prints way beyond A3.
Colour: This is what I bought this lens for, the colors from this lens is very good. In low light it really shines.

IMAGE SAMPLES :

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Large file – 1500x1000px. Just to show some details.

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Large file – 1500x1000px. Just to show some details. Metal dice on very shiny plastic cover in direct sunlight.

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Other samples from the  Makro-Planar 100.

I personally love this lens. If you should choose this Zeiss over a Canon 100mm L macro or a Nikon 105mm macro you have to figure out for yourself.

Hope this small review helped you in some way.

I used a Canon 5D III for this review.

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Please email me about anything related to this blog or if you want portraits or any photos shot by me. ulfgreger2008@gmail.com.

All pictures is Copyright © Ulf Greger.

“Photographs open doors into the past, but they also allow a look into the future.” Sally Mann

April 30.  Today Canon has reached their 100 million produced EF lens. Congratulations Canon.
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Image borrowed from Canons Facebook page.

April 26.  I’m currently working on a small Zeiss Makro-Planar 100 f2 ZE review. So far this lens has been amazing.  This is one great lens to use for portraits and product photography.
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Gaming time. Shot @ f2 with Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/100 ZE and Canon 5D mk III. ( for my Zeiss MakroPlanar 100mm ZE review )
April 25
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Shot with Zeiss Makro-Planar 100 ZE

April 24  Starting a small Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T*  f2 100mm ZE review. Just got this lens today. Bought on a Easter offer from Japan Photo’s webshop. 20% off normal price. This is not a new lens on the market. It’s been around in ZE ( Canon ) mount since 2009.

Just some fast unpacking shots, done with my Zeiss Distagon 2/35 ZE – and last shot with the Makro-Planar 100 of my Distagon.
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Zeiss Makro-Planar 2/100

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Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/100 ZE

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Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/100mm ZE ( shot with the 35mm..obviously )

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Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/100mm ZE

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My Carl Zeiss Distagon 2/35 ZE – Shot with Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/100mm ZE.

Sold my Canon lenses except a 50mm 1,4 that comes in handy with paid jobs for local newspapers etc where I just sometimes need to shoot fast and dont have the luxury to manual focus.  That 50mm f1.4 is small, fast, lightweight and stays in my camera bag with a small flash for same reason. It’s a workhorse of a lens and never seems to fail me.

Sold my Canon 300 L F4 IS after only a couple of weeks owning it. Regret selling the 300 L.

Also sold my Carl Zeiss Planar T* 85mm 1.4 ZE.
The Makro-Planar T* 2/100mm ZE covers about same focal lenght and also needed to free up some cash, so the 85mm had to go.  That said, the Zeiss Planar 85 was a great lens that gave me many sharp portraits with great color and bokeh. For me it’s now Makro-Planar 100 f2 that are going to be my portrait lens .

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Test shot of an Orchid. Shot with Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/100mm ZE.

April 20
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Bought some ND filters. Did go for the Cokin Z system because it’s pretty good quality at a low price.  Did some test shots with ND filters, just for fun and learing. The reason I needed the ND filters is some sunny mid day f2 portraits outdoors. I’m not much into landscape, but they are useful for that too.

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These was shot with Zeiss 35/2 + ND 4.  All shot’s wide open at f2. Last one mid day in the sun. Looks like ND4 is going to work fine for sunny f2 portraits. When shooting fast lenses wide open in the sun the problem is the camera’s max shutter speed is exceeded. Adding a ND filter get the shutterspeed down and give me creative opportunities on sunny days.

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Orchid in window light.

 

April 17

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Fishing boats in harbor. All shot handheld at high ISO at night. This harbor is not very far from where I live. Utgårdskilen, Hvaler in Norway. Why I did not use tripod and longer exposure ? I like to try things that is against the ‘rules’ of photography. This is only my blog about my everyday photography. This is not my portfolio. I am not a pro reviewer, I am a photographer doing this blog just for fun.
That said – my plan was to capture the blue mood of the night, did not work out as good as I hoped for.  But it was fun to try, and enjoy the walk at this beautiful place with totally silence at night. Maybe i’ll get it a new try an early moning – when the fishermen set out to sea.

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Eating noodles.

April 13 : Photoshoot, model is Julia GB . Makeup and hair getting done..

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And shooting :

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Final shot.

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Three shots I took while Julia was testing the X100 and Stine was testing light. The third one has not been into photoshop and has full exif data with camera model, ISO and so on. Exif only reads 35mm f2 lens – is actually Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 35/2 ZE. Maybe an 5DIII / Zeiss issue. If I remember correctly 5DII’s exif named Zeiss in exif.

 

April 11 :Sold my Ricoh GR compact camera and bought a used Fuji X100 Black Limited Edition, with the original box and all the extras.  Got a really good offer and it is in mint condition. Love the Fuji X100 colors so for that low price it was a no brainer to buy. Only attached my Gordy strap and is charging the battery for now.
Going to post some first shots from it tomorrow.  Going to test it play with it all day.
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Fuji X100
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Fuji X100
Couple of my first shots with my ‘new’ X100.   I think this camera performs very well. Long time since I tried the X100. It’s a good camera to use.  Nice quality feel about it, heavy and solid. With a fast pro memorycard and shooting jpg and not raw it feels fast enough  – it’s an good street camera. Have also tried the newer X100s and I think it lacks the original x100 magic rendering and colors in low light.  That said of course X100s is a better camera, faster and improved in every way…but I feel the ‘magic’ is gone with the s.  If I ever buy one i’ll may change my mind when I get to know it better. The X100 is a little soft at f2 but pretty sharp at f2.8 and higher. Doing a small Fuji X100 REVIEW HERE.

Have opened for comments again. Have had a lot of emails regarding my lenses, cameras and pictures. So now everybody can comment here. First your comment must be manually approved by me. After that first approval all your comments are going to be posted directly.

Have sold my Canon lenses. Newer used them much anyway. So maybe this month I am going to buy a used Carl Zeiss 100/2 Makro-Planar lens. My dream is the Otus 55/1,4 but that is way too expensive for me. Anyway, the Distagon and Planar are really good and serve me well. If a good deal for a second hand Makro-Planar turns up I’ll buy it.
April 7:
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A Crown Optical – Cronica 8 ET.  Dont know much about this one, it’s going for sale along with some other old stuff I got.. Shot with my Canon 5D and Carl Zeiss 2/35 ZE.

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April 5:

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Sometimes with MF lenses you just miss. Either you or the model(s) move and with no AF that moment is gone. That said, for me I would never dragged my camera around so much if I not enjoyed the h**l out of my Carl Zeiss lenses. One trick to get a sharp image is to shoot 4-5 pictures in a burst. I do this often with moving people and animals. Chances are good of one or two razor sharp shots. This one, slightly missed is still a keeper for me. And that’s all that matter in the end. Shot with Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm f2 ZE.

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Self portrait, my wounds from the  accident are healing fast. My upper lip have almost invisible scars now. Strange to know it was cut open not long ago.  Going to have scars on my nose for the rest of my life – anyway I was lucky. A guardian angel must be watching over me.

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Also visit me on


Please email me about anything related to this blog or if you want portraits or any photos shot by me. ulfgreger2008@gmail.com.

All pictures is Copyright © Ulf Greger.