On opening the box of the new 300/2.8, I was amazed by how small and light it was!! Size isn’t everything, right? But this certainly proved to be the case here with this new addition punching well above its weight!!

However, the new 400 was the one I really wanted to test as I own and love the previous version. Once I used the Mark II model, I found it had a more ergonomic feel and a very significant reduction in weight. This combined with the improved image stabilisation made it very easy to hand hold for extended periods.

I was looking for an opportunity to put the lenses to the test so decided to take the family to the zoo for the afternoon as there would be plenty of subject matter there. I shot with both lenses on a variety of subjects and conditions. I also combined both with the new Mark III 2x convertor. The results were outstanding. The clarity and contrast superb – and I was amazed at how easily I could hand-hold and shoot sharp images with both lenses for extended periods without any strain – even with the 2 x convertor.

I came away from the afternoon with an interesting variety of images, I was very satisfied that the improvements were significant – and that whilst I had never owned a 300/2.8 before it has now become part of my “MUST HAVE” list.

In my day-to-day work where I’m using super-teles – it’s generally for shooting travel imagery, adventure sports and wildlife. The weight savings, extra IS and improved optics in these lenses is going to be a huge benefit to me in all these instances. The small size and light weight of the 300/2.8L IS II is going to make it an invaluable part of my travel kit, particularly given the versatility of combining it with the two new Mark III convertors.

Check out these images from the Auckland Zoo where Chris was testing the new lenses.

All images copyright Chris McLennan.

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6 comments so far

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  1. Which of those photos were taken using the 2x extender?

    • Hi Tony, the lion and the zebras butt were the only two taken with the 2x converter. Kind regards, Chris

  2. Would you recommend the 300 2.8 II and 2x II as a viable alternative for a 500 f4 IS? I am using the 300 f4 IS and 2x II extender and I find once the daytime temperature warms up or the subject distance increases, the quality of images drops significantly

    • Hi Tony, i think you will find this will all long lenses as atmospheric conditions change. You are magnifying the haze or heatwaves in the air… Yes the 300 2.8 II paired with the 2x mkIII extender is a very versatile option. The mkIII extender is a huge improvement over the mkII. All the best, Chris

  3. Sorry I meant 300 2.8 II and 2x III

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