View Full Version : Canon 300mm f4 + 1.4X for birding?

Sujay Borde
09-06-2011, 01:46 AM
Hello all,
I have been using a point and shoot digicam for almost 3 years and now want to shift to DSLR.I have sorted out Canon 60D and 300mmf4 + 1.4X lll TE.
I'll mostly be doing Bird photography.I also had 400mm f5.6 in my mind but the 300mm f4 is also great for Macro, and the 300+ 1.4TE will give me more flexibility as well.
So, my main concern here is whether the 300+1.4X fast enough for birding and to what degree the sharpness might get degraded?:confused1:
I dont want to buy 100-400L, because i tried it and did not like the push pull mechanism.
So shall i go for this combo?

Sujay Borde

Bibhav Behera
09-06-2011, 05:11 PM
THe 300 f/4 + 1.4x combo is a good combo and one gets pretty good results. Of course the AF speed will be slower than that of a 400 f/5.6 but u can never be thankful enough for IS. hence I had even made my decision based on this. It is a lovely piece of glass. but please note that prices have now risen post the Japan catastrophe.

Sabyasachi Patra
09-06-2011, 08:21 PM
The 300mm f4 L IS USM lens is a pretty sharp lens. I had used it for many years. It works well with a 1.4X TC. I haven't used it with a 1.4x III TC. It used to work well with a 1.4xII TC. I am not sure if the results will be better with a 1.4x III TC than the 1.4xII TC.

If you use the 1.4x III TC, then one benefit is that it has fluorine coating so that dust doesn't stick the way it used to earlier. That will help in avoiding flare and as a result will give you better sharpness.

A word of caution. For bird photography no lens is enough. You need lot of field craft ie. crawling on the field, and patience to move close to birds. Using a hide also helps. For large birds like Pelicans in flight peacock displaying etc would be easier to capture than small birds.

The Image stabilisation function is a big plus over the 400mm f5.6 lens. You can also do macro photography due to its close focusing distance. Also, this lens is good for mammals.


Bhargava Srivari
10-06-2011, 07:03 AM
The combination will give u good results. I read sometime ago on canon rumors forum that the 1.4x TC III has been specifically designed to work with the 2nd generation canon lenses which will be out shortly. I don't think this means a lot, but reading between the lines tells me that it is not advisable to put them along with the older lenses!

Hope this helps


Sabyasachi Patra
10-06-2011, 09:50 AM
The new 1.4xIII TC and the 2xIII TCs are designed to help the new generation canon tele lenses the most. That doesn't mean that the new 1.4xIII will be bad for the older lenses. So you can definitely buy the 1.4x III TC and use it with the 300mm f4 L IS USM lens.

I had used the 2xII TC with the Canon 70-200 f2.8 L IS II USM lens and the sharpness was good. I am not sure, the more expensive and new 2xIII TC will give how much more benefits. Will buy it when the availability improves.

If you use proper handholding techniques or use tripod or monopod etc then the results with your 300mm f4 L IS USM + 1.4xIII TC should be good.

However, I need to caution you that one can always find birds out of range. Please don't expect to fire like a sniper from several kilometers away and expect the images to be great. It is upto you to extract maximum juice out of this lens.


Sujay Borde
10-06-2011, 05:59 PM
Finally i have made up my mind.
One of my acquaintance is selling Canon 400mm f5.6.Its in good condition.
Will get that one.Will save some bucks.