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Advise on Canon 500mm F4 IS lens

Rising Star



I need your expert advice on this. Below is the seller's description of the lens "The outside covering (barrels) down near the camera mount are very slightly loose and wobble a little.  Aside from that the lens shows some use but appears to work well."


I asked him which part exactly. Check the photo for info.


I never had a 500mm F4 lens before, so I don't know what that would really mean, and more importantly what it would take to cause the lens to be loose like that.


Is it worth getting this lens?




canon. 500.jpg



How much does the seller know about this type of lens?  Is he confused by the tripod collar not being fully snugged down?


If there is actually play between the sections of the lens barrel then I wouldn't take the risk on this older lens which may have other problems.  The sections you show in the photo, outside of the tripod collar, aren't designed to move and if there is play between the sections then it is probably from loose mounting hardware that holds these sections together. 


The lens is made in sections because of the way it must be built with optical groups of various diameter and it is VERY unusual for the mounting hardware to loosen.  Most likely it was repaired for some reason in the past and the service person didn't do a proper job of reassembly which makes it suspect, otherwise I can only think of it being in some odd extreme vibration environment for an extended period of time to make the hardware loosen but this is highly unlikely.


I would pass on this one unless it is almost give away priced because I suspect the problem is from a previous repair.  There is a big difference between "appears to work well" and the kind of optical performance these primes were designed to deliver and what looks fine to a casual user may be far from what a good example of the lens delivers.



EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, M6 Mark II, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video


"Is it worth getting this lens?"


No it is not.

You best choice for a lens in a FL like this is easily one of the super zooms.  Like the Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 for Canon.  This lens will be far more user friendly and have many more applications to use it for. Also you can have it brand new for less money.

I think your big misunderstanding is you think you need one of these big expensive lenses because the lesser ones aren't as sharp. That is totally wrong.  Get over that before you drop your dime.


EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

Thank you for the valuable advice. Firstly, about the Tammaron/Sigma, before I switched to Canon, I was a Nikon fan. I used to have the F4, F5, D100, and D2X. During this time, I have used both Sigma and Tammaron lenses. I can't say they were all great, nor they were all bad.


When I made the switch to Canon, what I realized was none of the lenses I owned hold many resale values. That is the reason why I opted for getting the manufactured lens instead. That way, I know I am getting the best lens for the money, as well as their resale values, not that I have plans to sell them after my trip to Yellowstone this year. Unlike the non L series lenses, the L series ones are well constructed and built, and more importantly, at least in my experience with the 24-70 mark ii, and the 70-200 IS mark ii, both are great lenses and very sharp, at least for me they are.


I don't mind spending a couple of brands on the 300 IS mark i or maybe just north of $3000 for a mark ii, or the 500mm for I know I these lenses will last and there'll be other opportunities for me to use them in later dates.


About the 500mm in question, I am going to pass that, even though the seller is asking only $2200 for it, any sign of abnormal is a sign of something has gone wrong, and it can only get worse from there.


Thank you all.

It's your money you need to spend it as you see fit but it is a poor reason or condition to buy a lens based on its resell value.  Either it is a worthy lens for your purpose or it is not is the best reason. Does it fit your finical position is number two. Resale is far down, or not, on the list.


Everything I have seen you ask about so far has been at its useful life's end.  The Tamron G2 would be brand new with a full warranty. And, cost less, much less. Not to mention give you virtually the same IQ.



EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

Agreed. Not everything is about resale value. In fact, that's was the promised I told the wife, that I would keep them for a long time LOL.


My former boss once told me, the reason the company allowing you to use a Mac vs a PC is because they want you to feel good, being spoiled kind of thing. I told him, for the amount of money the company paying me, would it not be in the company's best interest to see me being as productive as possible? I am not a PC person, PC would slow me down!


In short,  get what you feel is right for you.


Thank you

"... get what you feel is right for you."


Yes that is about it.  My 2 cents is buy the Tamron G2.  If you want to stay Canon and I don't blame you at all, buy the ef 100-400mm L II super zoom and a 1.4x tel-con.  It handles it pretty darn well. More IQ than you will ever need for general photography.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

Thank you for answering my questions.


I have decided on a Canon 500mm F4 IS from a local seller. I have decided the one mentioned in this posting is too risky as suggested by our experienced friends.


Just now I have submitted a new post asking for the best way to test used lens.




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