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Canon EF 70-300 mm L IS USM auto-focus speed

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Canon EF 70-300 mm L IS USM auto-focus speed

Postby johdew70 » Tue Dec 06, 2016 6:09 pm

Hi guys,

Being a new member I'm not sure if it is appropriate, but I have a question about Canon equipment in relation to photographing airplanes (and occasionally a bird).

This year, after many years, I started taking photos of aircraft again. I now have a Canon 80D with the Canon EF 15-85 mm IS USM and the Canon EF-S 55-250 IS STM.

For airplanes I use the 55-250mm quite a lot. The 55-250 STM certainly is a fine lens, in particular for its low price. But despite the tests on some review sites compared the image quality as 'almost L-series levels', I can see the difference with photos taken with e.g. the EF 70-200 IS USM or the EF 70-300 L IS USM. Now I want a better image quality.

Recently Canon announced a new EF 70-300 IS II USM (which isn't an "L"-lens). That is supposed to have a fast AF due to nano-USM.
But no test of the image quality of that lens are available yet.
I think however that I cannot expect the image quality of this EF 70-300 IS II USM to be near that of the EF 70-300 L IS USM or the 70-200 IS USM. I just think Canon is too pleased with the sales of those more expensive L-series lenses. ;)

So I guess that even when compared to the newest EF 70-300 non-L, the image quality of the EF 70-300 L IS USM will be the best.
The thing I am not sure about, however, is the AF-speed of the EF 70-300 L IS USM.
I have seen a short video on Youtube of the EF 70-300 L IS USM focus going from infinity to closest. And when I compare that with a video there also is of the EF 100-400 II IS USM, this seems slow.

I want a very good image quality, and therefore am very interested in buying the EF 70-300 L IS USM.
But I just do not want to spend € 1400 to € 1500 and then find out it focusses too slow to reliably focus on fast moving aircraft ........

I have looked on this forum (and other forums too), but I cannot find anything about the auto-focus speed for fast subjects of the Canon EF 70-300 L IS USM.
Are there members that have experience with the auto-focus speed of the Canon EF 70-300 L IS USM on fast moving (military) aircraft?
I would be keen to hear the experiences with the auto-focus speed of the Canon EF 70-300 L IS USM 'in the field'.

I learned that the AF of the EF 100-400 II IS USM is very fast. And also that all of Canon's prime lenses also have very fast AF (ring-USM).
But these are no option for me.

Thanks in advance for any reply! :thumbs:
johdew70
 

Re: Canon EF 70-300 mm L IS USM auto-focus speed

Postby John flightpath » Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:26 pm

The Canon L series IS USM Lens's are excellent for what you are wanting to achieve, I have been in discussions with loads of photographers on here and the 100-400mm seems to be the one that is favoured, because it produces the clarity and works at the speed required to capture the fast jets.
I would also recommend you take a look at the Sigma APO DG ES 150-500mm lens or the newer 150-600 version. I can speak from personal experience with the 150-500. I bought one earlier this year. The clarity of the pictures was astounding. I bought one 'used' on ebay for £400.00. The chap I bought it off had hardly used it.

So you can also save yourself some money. Also look at Wex photographic of Norwich. They are very highly thought of by the lads on here. www.wexphotographic.com. They sell new and used equipment.

Hope this is some help to you.
Best Regards
John 'flightpath'.
Equipment
Canon EOS 750D
Nikon L810 Bridge/Compact.
Sigma APO OS DG 150-500mm
Canon 55-250 IS STM Lens
John flightpath
 
Location: Birmingham

Re: Canon EF 70-300 mm L IS USM auto-focus speed

Postby DanSeaman » Wed Dec 07, 2016 1:18 am

I couldn't comment on the new 70-300mm, I had the version before that, upgraded to the new Sigma 150-600 C and have never looked back! I know I have to carry a smaller lens as the 150-600 is quite big. But I'm really happy with the results!!
DanSeaman
 

Re: Canon EF 70-300 mm L IS USM auto-focus speed

Postby sneezy24 » Wed Dec 07, 2016 11:09 am

I have no experience with the 70-300, but I have a 55-250 IS STM - which is excellent! I also have a 18-135 USM (came with my 80D) which is a cracking lens in all respects. Sharp, good contrast, and lightning fast AF (quiet too).
Canon EOS 550D
Canon EOS 80D
Canon 18-55mm
Canon 55-250mm
Canon 18-135 USM
Canon 50mm 1.8
Panasonic Lumix TZ70
User avatar
sneezy24
 

Re: Canon EF 70-300 mm L IS USM auto-focus speed

Postby johdew70 » Wed Dec 07, 2016 12:32 pm

Thanks for all the replies above, guys.

I see no experience from actual owners of the 70-300 L. It seems that the 70-300 L is indeed not much used for aircraft (or birds either).

That surprises me a bit, but apparently there is something better available, otherwise the 70-300 L would have been adopted by many.
So I think I will also look further. The Sigma 150-600 that has been mentioned looks like a good starting point.

And thanks for the reference to Wex Photography, John flightpath.
Ooops, I just read that they write on their website "... we regret that we are not able to ship to addresses outside the United Kingdom.".
So no luck there, as I live in The Netherlands.
johdew70
 

Re: Canon EF 70-300 mm L IS USM auto-focus speed

Postby John flightpath » Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:17 am

Ok, did'nt realise you were one of our friends from the Netherlands. Try 47stPhoto on ebay. They are based in New York. They will send equipment pretty much anywhere. However I would have thought you may be able to source lenses and cameras in the Netherlands because you follow aircraft etc pretty much the same way as we do here.

Also, if its any use to you I am in Amsterdam the last Thursday in January. I will be on the viewing terrace at Schipol.

Cheers
John 'flightpath'.
Equipment
Canon EOS 750D
Nikon L810 Bridge/Compact.
Sigma APO OS DG 150-500mm
Canon 55-250 IS STM Lens
John flightpath
 
Location: Birmingham

Re: Canon EF 70-300 mm L IS USM auto-focus speed

Postby johdew70 » Thu Dec 08, 2016 8:51 am

Thanks for the new answer, John flightpath.
I will certainly have a look at 47stPhoto.

I have some birthdays in the family at the end of january, so I cannot say yet if I will be abe to go to Schiphol then.
But as soon as I know, I will let you know. Would be nice to meet, especially for me to meet a more experienced aircraft photographer.
johdew70
 

Re: Canon EF 70-300 mm L IS USM auto-focus speed

Postby redeye11 » Fri Dec 09, 2016 12:50 pm

Hi chaps, just been reading the comments re 'best option' lens. I did have a Canon 70-300 L series for nearly two years, but was never entirely happy
with what I was producing for what I paid out. Few months ago decided to trade in this lens for a 150-600 with WEX (never had probs with this company).
In the past I've always used Sigma when opting for a cheaper lens than Canon. On this occasion after reading up on Tamron's 150-600 and it apparently
having a slightly faster auto focus than the Sigma lens I opted for the Tamron. Have to say that so far I'm pleased with the results. If I recall both lens
were same or very similar price. Down to personal choice I guess.
redeye11
 

Re: Canon EF 70-300 mm L IS USM auto-focus speed

Postby johdew70 » Fri Dec 09, 2016 6:12 pm

Thanks for your reply to my question, redeye11.

I'm glad to hear from a (former) user of the 70-300 L.
When you write "but was never entirely happy with what I was producing",
was that due to the image quality of the 70-300 L or due to the auto-focus?

So far I only read extremely positive comments about the image quality of the 70-300 L, so I assumed that 'stellar IQ to be a 'fact'.
Therefore I would be glad to hear if this is not always the case, and if possible when not.
I myself expect to use this lens mostly in the 200 to 300 mm range. So perhaps you can add something about this.

And if the autofocus was a reason for your not so great results, can you add a bit about that too?

Finally, is the autofocus of the Tamron 150-600 as fast as the Canon EF 70-300 L?

I'm sorry if I take up a lot of your time. But I'm just keen to find out before I buy ........ :roll:
Looking forward to your reply and thanks in advance!
johdew70
 

Re: Canon EF 70-300 mm L IS USM auto-focus speed

Postby NickC » Fri Dec 09, 2016 10:04 pm

I have an EF 70-300mm L and I think it is superb. Image quality is fantastic throughout the full focal length range, and is noticeably sharper than my EF 100-400mm L Mk1. The autofocus is very fast and quiet (as with most L series lenses).
User avatar
NickC
 
Location: London


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