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Dan, I know you have the 300 2.8 and some crop bodies,so I was wondering if you could do me a favor and post a few images from the 300 with a 1.6 body- in addition,one or two with the 1.4x also would be appreciated. I would think I could get rid of the 100-400 if the 300+1.4X was just as sharp.

I've about given up on saving money for a 500 or 600 F4-something always comes up! mad,but I can swing the 300 2.8 right now. I just wanna see the image quality from this lens on a 1.6 or if it needs a FF to really shine.

On a side note,I tried a 50D today at a local shop and was impressed with the screen and it's menu display. It was troubling to me that under varying settings,and after trying several different cards and batteries,it came up with a "Erorr99" about a dozen times-zikes! I hate to say it,but that scared me off. The price was $1599 for the kit [28-135mm IS]

Appreciate it!

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MM, I'll leave Dan to comment substantively on the IQ of the 300 f2.8/1.4 and to post images, because he shoots it far more regularly and under more stern demands for speed than I have. So you can take this as FWIW. Not trying to horn in, as Dan will offer examples and substantive commentary. smile

I don't know if anyone on this board has shot the 300 f2.8 off a full frame body.

As you may know, I shot the 100-400 pretty hard for about four years. In that time, I only shot Canon 300 f2.8 lenses twice, often with the 1.4 on them (and one was a non IS version). So I have very limited experience with the 300 f2.8. Barely got introduced to it before it had to go back. For me, the 300/1.4 was a bit sharper wide open than the 100-400 was wide open at 400mm. This was all done on 1.6 and 1.3 crop bodies.

If you can swing the 300 without selling the 100-400, I'd recommend that. The zoom shines strongly when you want good quality images and need instant zoom in/zoom out on the fly. That's really its strength.

If you have to sell the zoom in order to finance the prime and don't think you'll need that instant flexibility, I'd do it in a heartbeat, because the prime without the TC is quite sharper than the zoom wide open at 300mm, and you gain those two extra stops, which in certain cases is a big deal.

That's all IMO, and Dan may have different perspectives. I know Ken's shot the 300 f2.8 a lot off 1.3 crop bodies, though I don't know how much he's strapped the big girl on his 40D.

Bummer on the error 99 messages. I doubt it's endemic to the 50D, and you probably just had a bad copy in your hands. And congrats in advance on the 300 f2.8. It's a peach of a lens.

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I've shot the 300 2.8 a lot with a 1.3 crop body, both by itself and also with a 1.4 extender. It is an incredible lens. I've shot it side by side with my 70-200 2.8 and it outperforms it HANDS DOWN! It is sharper, has better saturation and performs better in low light. Now, I really like my 70-200, but if I can, I go with the big mama. Steve's right, I haven't used it on the 1.6 crop 40D (really should give it a try)but I don't think the experience would be any different. I'm fortunate that I could keep my 300 when I got the 100-400L, so I enjoy lots of flexibility. Hope you're lucky enough to do the same!

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I should note as well. Until recently, if you had any designs of getting a gig shooting pro sports or major college action, newspapers and magazines required a MINIMUM 300L 2.8 and a 1.4 extender. It is a pro lens, and gives pro results. Unfortunately, some of these same papers and magazines now require a 400L 2.8 as a minimum. Alas, seems like I will always be in a position of trying to play catch-up. Sigh.

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I guess I've run around 70 to 80,000 images in the last almost 2 years on both 1.6 and 1.3 crop bodies with the 300/2.8. As Ken said this lens is tack sharp, likely the sharpest lens Canon makes.

I shoot extensively with both the 70-200 and 300 side by side. When I go through my images at the end of a shoot I don't even need to look at image numbers I can easily pick out the 300 shots whether it is shot on either a 1.3 or 1.6 crop body. This lens produces sharp shots out of the camera, I often don't even add any sharpening in PP with the 300. I have all my cameras set the same way including very low in camera sharpening so it is not coming from in camera processing.

During the summer the 300 has the 1.4 TC virtually welded to it for field sports. I have virtually no loss in image quality or sharpness. Focus speed also is nearly almost as fast. At no time would I hesitate to shoot this lens with a TC. Now I have noticed the focus speed on the 20D/30D with the 300 on it to be less than on a Mark IIN which is no surprise. There is a large difference in focus systems!

In fact a recent shoot with the 20D and 300 is what convinced me it was time to move on to a faster camera body. Keep in mind this was under the absolute worst conditions to shoot for any camera. Overcast, subject coming directly at me, low contrast subject. Once I put the lens on the Mark IIN I didn't miss a shot, again no surprise here.

That said this is a substantially faster focusing lens on either a 20D/30D than a 70-200 on the same cameras and that is a fairly fast focusing lens.

Bottom line this lens is not a lens I could image you would be unhappy with. Shooting with a prime is an adjustment after being used to a zoom but I honestly don't find that a liability at all. All of my subjects are constantly changing distances as you can imagine so it can be different in some situations with primes.

I haven't been around much this week, I'm on vacation up at Rainy Lake so I don't have access to a number of shots to show you. I will be home this weekend and if you are interested will post some examples that you requested. I have a number of shots that should illustrate what you are asking for.

I also have a brand new 50D sitting in my office that I will be giving an extensive work out next week. I guess it showed up early this week from my local store. I hope it doesn't have error 99 issues right out of the box!

Please let me know if you need any other additional information.

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