Canon EF 500mm f4 help

Canon EF 500mm f4 help

Postby PeteW on Fri 23 Jun 2017, 11:18 am

I have hired a Canon EF 500mm f4 L IS II USM Lens for RIAT this year. (It’s a lot cheaper than buying one) and its my first time using it. In fact, when I collect it on the Thursday before it will be the first time I’ve even held one. I’m going on the Friday in general admission then Saturday in the Cotswold club. I own a Canon 100-400 mk1 and a Canon 5D mk3.

So, my questions are just how easy or hard is this lens to hand hold for the day at the air show. I know its 3KG and I’ve tried holding a bag of spuds up at arm’s length to try and get a feel but really is it doable without a tripod or mono pod for the day?

Also – I have just 1 spare battery – I don’t machine gun that much but I do try to get Fluff, afterburner and topsides. My 1 spare has been OK for the last few years with the 100-400 but is the 500mm going to eat up the power?

Finally, any advice in general with this lens – settings etc. Will I even need to take the 100-400m?

Any help always appreciated.
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PeteW

Re: Canon EF 500mm f4 help

Postby Go4Long on Fri 23 Jun 2017, 2:18 pm

I've never shot with the Canon version, but I believe it's actually significantly lighter than the Nikon version that I had.

It's easy enough to handhold for the day...just don't try to hold it up all day. lol. I usually rest the hood of mine on my knee between passes (just don't miss the sneak pass from the thunderbirds)

On a crop body the 500mm is FAR. it'll actually be too close on some of the passes if you're trying to shoot something right in front of you.

I would still bring the 100-400mm because, as good as the 500mm is at 500mm, it really sucks from 100mm-400mm, and that makes it a little difficult to get the formations sometimes.
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Go4Long

Re: Canon EF 500mm f4 help

Postby PeteW on Fri 23 Jun 2017, 5:12 pm

Go4Long wrote:I've never shot with the Canon version, but I believe it's actually significantly lighter than the Nikon version that I had.

It's easy enough to handhold for the day...just don't try to hold it up all day. lol. I usually rest the hood of mine on my knee between passes (just don't miss the sneak pass from the thunderbirds)

On a crop body the 500mm is FAR. it'll actually be too close on some of the passes if you're trying to shoot something right in front of you.

I would still bring the 100-400mm because, as good as the 500mm is at 500mm, it really sucks from 100mm-400mm, and that makes it a little difficult to get the formations sometimes.


Good to hear a tripod is not a must and sounds like I'll have to watch a youtube of the Thunderbirds before RIAT as I've not seen their display :smile:
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PeteW

Re: Canon EF 500mm f4 help

Postby Timc on Fri 23 Jun 2017, 5:34 pm

Hand holding a 500 is probably the best way as I've found mounted on a tripod/monopod quite restrictive trying to keep up with the action.

It is heavy even after a relatively short period of time pointing it up at the sky so picking your moments is probably the best bet? It's totally different and there's no comparison to hand holding a 100-400mm lens.

Personally I lift and support the lens by placing my left hand under the lens hood and not the actual barrel, seems the weight is distributed better but this probably just suits me!

I'd suggest before taking any photo's just practice holding it without putting any strain between camera and lens mountings. Just my thoughts! :smile:
Timc

Re: Canon EF 500mm f4 help

Postby ipso on Fri 23 Jun 2017, 8:07 pm

Depending on your shooting style higher shutter speeds might be needed.
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ipso

Re: Canon EF 500mm f4 help

Postby hmeasures on Fri 23 Jun 2017, 9:21 pm

I've had a MkI for getting on 3 years now, yes it is possible to handhold one, and I would strongly recommend you do this rather than use a monopod/tripod. I also think they are easiest to wield holding the lens right at the end of the body, nearest the lens hood. As mentioned above, don't try and shoot everything, if you're careful you can stand it upright on the lens hood, makes it easy to put down and pick up quickly :) The MkII is a lot lighter than the MkI too, so you should be fine!

Carrying is best done over the shoulder with a (secure!) monopod I find, monopod on one shoulder and lens on the other, spreads the weight nicely.

Battery wise I've never finished one of my new 5DIII batteries on a day.

Harry.
hmeasures

Re: Canon EF 500mm f4 help

Postby coanda on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 2:47 am

I've just hired the same (well Mk.1 version anyway).

I own a Sigma 120-300 F2.8 OS Sport that weighs 3.4kg all up. I shot 5 days of RIAT with that last year, and I ended up with quite sore forearms and wrists (where's that quagmire gif when you need it?!). I've also just shot 6 days Whale watching on a boat.

For me, it's all about relieving the stress on your forearms, so for a lot of the time I cradle the camera/lens across my arms or back along one arm. Generally, holding the lens out by the start of the hood is a stable and low stress position to hold especially if you don't need to zoom (I can zoom and hold zoom with the pinky on my forward hand for the Sigma).

I had forgotten how relatively light the 100-400 was until I held one attached to a 7DMk.2 whilst on one of the boats!

I will be using a battery grip on my 7D as it will move the centre of gravity of the whole assembly back towards the user, further reducing stress when the lens is held up.
coanda

Re: Canon EF 500mm f4 help

Postby PeteW on Sun 25 Jun 2017, 8:29 pm

Thank for the feed back gents. So I'm taking this that yes, hand holding is very doable and noted on the tips on getting a good stable grip.
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PeteW

Re: Canon EF 500mm f4 help

Postby Maisie on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 1:27 pm

I've used the 500 a few times and handhold it all the time, never had a problem. I'm not a muscle guy either, just an average 5' 9" guy.

Mounted to my 6D, I was getting stuff like this.. various shutter speeds.

ImageF-22 fluffing it - RIAT 2016 by Radleigh Bushell, on Flickr

1/80th I think

ImageUntitled by Radleigh Bushell, on Flickr

1/50th

Image1/50th Osprey by Radleigh Bushell, on Flickr

and I think about 1/320th

ImageRIAT 2016 by Radleigh Bushell, on Flickr

A superb lens, I was going to hire another this year but they've all gone :(
6D | 7D | 60D
11-16 f/2.8 | 24-105 IS L | 70-300 IS USM | 50 f/1.4 | 100 f/2.8 | 400 f/5.6
Maisie

Re: Canon EF 500mm f4 help

Postby coanda on Wed 26 Jul 2017, 10:50 pm

In conclusion....

I ended up with a pretty old/knackered mk.1 500mm F4 and it was awesome.

Also worked perfectly with a Sigma 1.4x teleconverter.

Having this lens allowed me to use my 120-300 f2.8 without the convertor and therefore, at it's best.

The problem is, now I can't see why I would ever go to a flying display without one.
coanda

Re: Canon EF 500mm f4 help

Postby neville on Mon 07 Aug 2017, 9:30 pm

There was a time when for airshow flying shots i used to say that life begins with a 400mm, but nowadays with the additional distance between you and the
subject it must be a 500 at the very least.
neville


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