10 out of 10 points and recommendedReach/weight is best, Sharp, versatileNo way you go unnoticed
There is only one thing wrong with this lens. You cannot go unnoticed. Especially if you mount the lens hood. Thank goodness, contrast and flare control are excellent even without the hood.reviewed November 27th, 2007 (purchased for $3,500)
I was decided to get a 300/2.8 as a means to get to 600mm for birds, small animals and sports. A used 500/4 in mint condition came my way and I grabbed it for ~$1,000 than it normally goes used in such condition.
The lens is barely usable handheld. I have made day trips with it and made several shots handheld but was finding myself reaching for support most of the time.
The lens excells with a monopod. Even a lightweight one like the Manfrotto 676B is fine.
It takes the Canon 1.4x very well. Only some loss of contrast in some occasions, that could very well be caused by me not using the hood all the time.
It also takes the Kenko 2xTC extremely well. AF is not lost on a 350D/XT and AF speed is not any worse than with the bare lens. I need to stack two 2xTCs to reach a level when image is so-so.
IS works fine with the lens and although rated at only 2 stops (compared with 4 in the newest lenses) it does it's job well, especially on a tripod.
Build quality (both of the lens and the carry case) are beyond criticism. It is a solid lens that will take good pictures and won't fail you. Again, only issue is how well you react on comments from bystanders, especially in public places. Best thing to do with this lens is take a walk in the woods.