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Customer Reviews for EF 500mm f/4L IS USM

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EF 500mm f/4L IS USM

High-performance L-series super-telephoto with dual-mode Image Stabilizer function Ultra-high image quality with Fluorite and UD Glass High AF speed with improved Ring USM and algorithms for focus prediction Magnesium alloy lens barrels
Average Customer Rating:
4.889 out of 5
4.9
 out of 
5
(9 Reviews) 9
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (9 reviews)
5 stars
8
4 stars
1
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2 stars
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9 out of 9(100%)reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for EF 500mm f/4L IS USM
Review 1 for EF 500mm f/4L IS USM
Nickname: 5d3-shooter
Location: Maine
Used this product for: more than 1 year
Expertise Level: Advanced Amateur
Mostly used for: Landscape/Nature
Canon Enthusiast: more than 20 years
Product replacement: No

Second Super Tele Lens

Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Features
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Price/Value
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Date:January 28, 2014
Pros: Fast auto-focus, Superior build quality, Super-sharp images
This is my second Super Tele, my first was a 300 2.8L and it has been rock solid.
This one is just as nice but a bit heavier and took some getting used to. If not used to it,I would suggest a mono-pod to start out with and then graduate to hand hold if you wish. I have had this one for a couple years now and I highly recommend getting one!
Great IQ and built to last and great for wildlife!
Review 2 for EF 500mm f/4L IS USM
Nickname: memse
Location: Seattle
Used this product for: more than 1 year
Expertise Level: Advanced Amateur
Mostly used for: Landscape/Nature
Canon Enthusiast: 1 to 5 years
Product replacement: No

Bird Lens Extraordinaire

Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Features
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Price/Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Date:August 19, 2011
Pros: Fast auto-focus, Superior build quality, Super-sharp images
Cons: minimum focus distance
I bought my 500mm 3 years ago and have taken over 10,000 photos normally with my 1.4x attached. I hand carry the lens attached to a 7D using a Black Rapid R strap because I prefer to walk & stalk birds as opposed to setting up. I find using a tripod too constrictive. I'm 64 and not nearly as strong nowadays but still manage to get wonderfully sharp images because of the speed of the camera/lens combination. People are always amazed at seeing me walking along with my 500 on one shoulder and a 2nd 7D with a 100-400 slung across the other. My only complaint about the 500 is the minimum focus distance which is the primary reason I also carry the 100-400. Before I started carrying both I had to give up numerous close-up shot opportunities. It would also be nice if a new 500 comes out with the 3rd stabilization mode option because you never know when a bird will take off or fly by and you need to from mode 1 to mode 2 and then back to mode 1.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
Review 3 for EF 500mm f/4L IS USM
Nickname: Wally
Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Used this product for: 3 to 6 months
Expertise Level: Professional or Expert
Product replacement: Yes

Outstanding lens -- simply outstanding

Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Features
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Price/Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Date:October 5, 2010
I purchased this lens about three months ago and used have used it extensively since then. I just returned from a trip to Yellowstone and came home with spectacular wildlife shots.
This lens will give you extremely crystal clear shots under extreme conditions. While I normally have this lens on a tripod with a gimbal tripod head I had a couple of occasions to use it hand held. The IS is superb and even hand held yielded crystal clear shots of moving targets.
Yes, this lens is heavy and it is expensive, but that is a very small price to pay for the quality shots you will get with this lens. Also, I almost exclusively use this lens with the 1.4 extender and it works perfectly coupled with my Canon 5D Mark II.
My experience with this lens has been all positive. Honestly, I have found no flaws and no reason to not recommend this lens to any individual who loves to shoot wildlife.
30 of 30 people found this review helpful.
Review 4 for EF 500mm f/4L IS USM
Nickname: Dave
Location: United States
Used this product for: 3 to 6 months
Expertise Level: Advanced Amateur
Product replacement: Yes

So good that I feel like I'm "cheating."

Overall Rating
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Features
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Price/Value
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Date:July 12, 2010
Pros: great contrast, superb image quality, built like a tank, fast focus, works well with teleconverter, works well with extension tube, fine for macros around life size
Cons: expensive, bulky, heavy
This is my 4th L-series lens and the contrast and sharpness are well beyond the others. I started out shooting birds and animals with an EF 1.4x teleconverter attached. I'm using this with a very sturdy tripod and a gimbal head with excellent results. My "keeper rate" has gone up substantially from my EF 400mm f/5.6L.
I've taken several thousand shots with this lens and the only question is usually, do I want the 1.4x extender or not. Lately I've been adding my 25mm extension tube and taking some amazing macros. It's wonderful to have a bumble bee or dragonfly fill the viewfinder at 12-feet and see ever last detail in sharp relief when I view the image full size.
The cost of entry is high and it's a bear to lug around, since it's both hulky and heavy, but that's the price that we pay for such a fine, fast lens.
18 of 20 people found this review helpful.
Review 5 for EF 500mm f/4L IS USM
Nickname: PhotoTerrier
Location: Boston, MA
Used this product for: more than 1 year
Expertise Level: Advanced Amateur
Product replacement: Yes

Blown away by the sharpness

Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Features
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Price/Value
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Date:April 2, 2009
Pros: Super-sharp images, Superior build quality, Fast auto-focus
Cons: size and weight
I just came back from an 8 day safari in the Okavango Delta (Botswana), and was using this lens on an EOS 1Ds Mark III body, along with a 5D Mark II with the 70-200mm IS lens.
I have 10 Canon lenses, mostly zooms, and used to think that they were sharp. However when I got back the images that I had taken with the 500mm, I was blown away by how sharp the images were. They were substantially better than anything that I had ever seen before, and truly used all of the 21 MegaPixel resolution.
I am now thinking of buying more prime lenses to get more of that wonderful sharpness that I have become addicted to.
The only downside to this lens is the size and weight. I can highly recommend it.
73 of 76 people found this review helpful.
Review 6 for EF 500mm f/4L IS USM
Nickname: asbo
Location: Belmont Ca.
Used this product for: 3 to 6 months
Expertise Level: Advanced Amateur
Product replacement: No

sharpest lens in my collection

Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Features
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Price/Value
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Date:February 16, 2009
Pros: Super-sharp images, Superior build quality, Fast auto-focus
Cons: heavy, expensive
I bought this lens for bird photography. The lens is a big step above the 100-400 I was using. Put this big lens on a tripod, attach a 1.4x tele on it and shoot away. The 500 f4.0 is my main lens on field trips. The cons are only 2. Very heavy, Very expensive.
26 of 27 people found this review helpful.
Review 7 for EF 500mm f/4L IS USM
Nickname: P917
Location: Wellington, Florida
Used this product for: more than 1 year
Expertise Level: Advanced Amateur
Product replacement: Yes

Superb Super Telephoto

Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Features
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Price/Value
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Date:February 16, 2009
Pros: Super-sharp images, Superior build quality, Fast auto-focus, outstanding color rendition
Cons: none
I bought my 500 f/4 EF L (IS) two years ago, and am thoroughly satisfied with it. It focuses quickly and accurately, and provides razor sharp images with spectacular color rendition. Two weeks ago I was in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and took photographs of bald eagles in extremely cold weather. The 500 f/4 EF L (IS) together with my 1D Mk III performed flawlessly and allowed me to make images that I otherwise would not have been able to make. This lens is outstanding for wildlife photography and sports photography. Further, although it weighs approximately 8.5 lbs, it is surprisingly portable and relatively easy to use on a monpod with a RRS monpod head and plate or on a tripod with a Wimberley II.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
Review 8 for EF 500mm f/4L IS USM
Nickname: drjoy
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Used this product for: more than 1 year
Expertise Level: Hobbyist/Enthusiast
Product replacement: No

Canon 500 IS USM lens

Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Features
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Price/Value
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Date:February 14, 2009
Pros: Super-sharp images, Superior build quality, Fast auto-focus, good light gathering
Cons: very heavy, expensive
This is a very heavy lens. This makes moving to take photos of wildlife a bit of a chore. Tripods or monopods are almost a must. It won't work with the 2x tele-extender. The handles on the case (which is otherwise very nice) are not strong enough and airline personnel will (did) break them off. The images and speed of focus are exceptional, though autofocus can be fooled when shooting through brush. It can make a fairly cheap body perform like a professional camera.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Review 9 for EF 500mm f/4L IS USM
Nickname: Purrboy the bird addict
Location: Livermore, CA
Used this product for: more than 1 year
Expertise Level: Advanced Amateur
Product replacement: No

Superb lens for bird photography

Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Features
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Price/Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Date:December 14, 2008
Pros: Super-sharp images, Superior build quality, Fast auto-focus, relatively portable, rugged case
I bought this lens 3 years ago and have become addicted to high-resolution bird photography, an excellent way to connect with nature and get exercise. I have never been disappointed with the quality of the images, which I am currently taking with a Canon 40D. The lens together with 1.4x extender, camera, extra-tall tripod, and head weights 18 pounds. When I put the whole setup on my shoulder I can walk for a kilometer or more. (I need to get a little more padding.) I will be taking this lens to Costa Rica and Arizona within the next few months. The quality of the images is only limited by how fast the operator can track the subject!
63 of 64 people found this review helpful.
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