Is That Big Old Lens Worth It?

Where to spend limited photo equipment dollars?

Here's the dilemma: I will be heading to Africa on a safari with family this summer. Fourteen days of once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunities.

Right now, my biggest lens is the Canon 70-200 f/2.8 L with IS. I love this lens, BUT I have a feeling it pales in comparison with the Canon 300 f2/8 L with IS. On the other hand, the 300 is about $3900 at B&H.

So, the question is: Is that 300 mm worth it? Or is it so big, heavy and attention-getting that I would hesitate to haul it out? Am I having an unjustified case of lens lust?

Anyone out there have recommendations, one way or the other, on the Canon 300? I have heard it's technically outstanding, BUT do you use it much if you have it?

Photo credits: Demarco.

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February 11, 2008


I have been toying around with the idea of a teleconverter. I have heard great things about them. I do miss the ability to reframe with the 300 mm, and sometimes find the field of view too limited (it's so darned close!), but I think that, for an upcoming safari, a teleconverter would be invaluable.

February 10, 2008


I have the EF 300 f4L with IS that I also use with an EF 1x4 teleconverter which boosts the range dramatically with the loss of just one f stop. (With an EF x2 telconverter you would have no autofocus and would lose 2 f stops) ) Really great lens for shooting animals and although you have the 70-200, the range on this lens may not be good enough for shooting animals at a distance. You could whack an EF teleconverter on it though to boost the range some more.
How about getting an EF 100-400 LENS with IS and then whack on a 1x 4 teleconverter, that would give you massive range. I got one last year and I love it. Its weighty though, sometimes makes my arms ache when Im shooting with it for hours on end.

January 30, 2008


I grew up in DR Congo (used to be Zaire) although I also lived in Ruanda-Urundi (now Rwanda and Burundi). My folks were missionaries. I left Africa when I was 17 and haven't been back to Congo. But I have cousins in South Africa and Namibia and have visited them. I highly recommend Namibia (especially Sossusvlei and Etosha) for stark scenery and amazing animals. What a place!

January 30, 2008


Where in Africa did you grow up, AmyEmilia?

I will be going to South Africa, Botswana and one or two other places, and plan to spend most of my time away from the cities, among the animals.

January 29, 2008


My comment? I don't know about the technical specifics of the lens but: I grew up in Africa, and also have visited several times as an adult. I'd recommend that you go with the equipment you know best, and equipment that is very very sturdy. You need to guard against dust religiously - even more with digital. And hopefully you will travel with a laptop? And also remember that you really can't leave your equipment anywhere - it should always be with you to minimize the very real possibilty of theft.

January 25, 2008


Hmm. Not a bad idea. I know the cost is a small fraction of a the price of the bigger lens.

Any other Dters out there with thoughts on the Canon 300? Is it too heavy for comfortable use?

January 25, 2008


How about teleconverte?1.7x or 2x,Not too expensive and not too heavy.

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