Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Canon 300mm F4L IS Lens for Astrophotography

Astrophotography DSLR
  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 DCWZ

DCWZ

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 67
  • Joined: 18 Jul 2017

Posted 28 September 2021 - 07:00 AM

Hi,

 

I've been doing some simple astrophotography with a DSLR and lens with Skywatcher SA tracker. I've recently come across a Canon 300mm F4L IS on the second-hand market, and consider it a decent upgrade to my current stock with the longest lens of Samyang/Rokinon 135mm F2. 

 

I've been searching online for reviews of this lens, but so far it seems that most reviews pertain to the non-IS version of this lens. For that, I'd like to know if anyone has experience with the IS version of this lens in astrophotography, and how you find it? Especially in terms of coma and chromatic aberration. Thank you all!



#2 tapfret

tapfret

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 37
  • Joined: 21 Jul 2021
  • Loc: Bryant, WA

Posted 29 September 2021 - 12:07 AM

That's what I use for my primary DSO optics. Focusing is not easy, at least with the one I got. Also could just be that I am only 4 months into the hobby. Otherwise, I am extremely happy with the image results. Other than my focus issues, octagonal diffraction spikes seem to be particularly prominent with this lens. I just recently started using stepping rings which have helped quite a bit. The 2 shots below are of course at very different magnitudes, but the spikes are completely gone with the stepping rings. The bottom photo uses stepping rings and a SVBony CLS clip in filter. You can check out the rest of my photo gallery for samples, all are taken with the ef300mm f4l. https://www.cloudyni...-my-noob-shots/

 

I bought it from an Ebay seller in Japan. It was actually one of the best Ebay experiences I've had. Lens arrived 3 days after payment.

 

gallery_375779_17421_692879.jpggallery_375779_17421_146423.jpg


Edited by tapfret, 29 September 2021 - 12:09 AM.


#3 T~Stew

T~Stew

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 621
  • Joined: 29 Sep 2020
  • Loc: central Ohio

Posted 30 September 2021 - 08:05 AM

I've used my Canon 300mm f/4 L a few times for astrophotography, mainly the first few months starting out so my images probably weren't as good as they can be. On my astrobin account I have 2 images produced by that lens:

 

EwOavFoh.jpg

A pretty short integration on the Witch's Head (49 minutes)

 

hFJ0O6Vh.jpg

Heart n Soul with the 300mm and UHC filter on unmodified canon 6D.

 

Its hard to make a judgement based on beginner work though, in the full scale originals of each there is some distortions I think, but the Witch was shot with a poorly performing unguided tracker and with half of the subs thrown out due to too much movement. The Heart and Soul was a better session, with a better performing guided tracker, but with 300" subs which is still tough with a tracker. I haven't shot with it more recently unfortunately but if its a good deal I'd say it can work well and you can use it for daytime photography.


  • brlasy1 and tapfret like this

#4 tapfret

tapfret

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 37
  • Joined: 21 Jul 2021
  • Loc: Bryant, WA

Posted 30 September 2021 - 11:27 AM

^IDK, those look pretty nice to me. Did you shoot those wide open or remove diffraction spikes in post?

#5 T~Stew

T~Stew

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 621
  • Joined: 29 Sep 2020
  • Loc: central Ohio

Posted 02 October 2021 - 10:32 PM

^IDK, those look pretty nice to me. Did you shoot those wide open or remove diffraction spikes in post?

Thanks, both shot wide open at f4.

 

Also I found another session with the 300 f4 IS, I used it on M33 last November. I didn't get a good enough image to share, just wasn't experienced enough yet, but I see very little in terms of aberrations. Both my 300 f4 IS and 400 f5.6 canon L lenses have performed very well (even wide open).



#6 V0LDY

V0LDY

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 27
  • Joined: 01 Jun 2016

Posted 03 October 2021 - 08:14 AM

It's a great lens for astro if you already own it, but I woulnd't get it for that purpose, I don't know at what price you can buy it but you can probably get an equivalent aperture APO for less.


  • Delta608 likes this

#7 vidrazor

vidrazor

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,487
  • Joined: 31 Oct 2017
  • Loc: North Bergen, NJ

Posted 05 October 2021 - 09:27 AM

Unless you plan to use it for terrestrial imaging as well, I wouldn't bother with it and get a scope. I see it averaging around $500-$600 on eBay, and for $500 you can get a 360mm f/6 Astro Tech AT60ED and it's matching flat field corrector (which you need to accurately astrophotograph). Money much better spent IMO. There's really long waiting times for ordering new astro gear, so you could also look at the classifieds here, or over at AstroMart and see if you find something that suits your fancy.


Edited by vidrazor, 05 October 2021 - 09:36 AM.


#8 T~Stew

T~Stew

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 621
  • Joined: 29 Sep 2020
  • Loc: central Ohio

Posted 05 October 2021 - 09:28 AM

It's a great lens for astro if you already own it, but I woulnd't get it for that purpose, I don't know at what price you can buy it but you can probably get an equivalent aperture APO for less.

True, I'd consider something like the Astro Tech AT60ED or 72EDII should be similarly priced (not sure how much you're getting the 300L for, I spent about $500). Depends if you want a lens for daytime. If I had to do it again I'd probably just get the Sigma 150-600 for all my daytime telephoto work, and stick to telescopes for AP. But currently I have a whole bunch of telephotos, of overlapping focal lengths (300/4, 300/2.8, 400/5.6, 500/4, plus 1.4x and 2x teleconverters). 

 

Also, the reviews usually favor the pre-IS version so do look around to see if you can get one of those first (maybe even less cost). The IS on that lens is only 2-stops so not really very good compared to modern lenses.

 

The other issue is availability... I've had an AT on order form months and still waiting. Meanwhile the camera lenses are doing just fine. Eventually I do plan to simplify and sell several of my lenses after getting a telescope or two.                                                                      


Edited by T~Stew, 05 October 2021 - 09:55 AM.



CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Astrophotography, DSLR



Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics