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REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
CanonEF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens
 
4.8

(based on 37 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (32)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (25)
  • Strong construction (22)
  • Consistent output (20)
  • Nice bokeh (19)
  • Durable (17)

Cons

  • Heavy (8)

Best Uses

  • Wildlife photos (29)
  • Sports/action (11)
  • Landscape/scenery (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Semi-pro photographer (15), Photo enthusiast (14)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (31)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Worth The Price of Admission

I use this lens mainly for wildlife photography. My last Super-telephoto lens was the 500mm F/4 L series. In my opinion, the 600mm is even sharper and provides much better stabilization at...Read complete review

I use this lens mainly for wildlife photography. My last Super-telephoto lens was the 500mm F/4 L series. In my opinion, the 600mm is even sharper and provides much better stabilization at slower shutter speeds. It is rugged and built to top quality. It is very much a perfect fit for birding and can render excellent results for in flight images as well.
Even though it is much lighter than its predecessor, at age 58 I am still finding it heavy to tote over long distances attached to the tripod. I really cannot fault the lens for this as it could be just old age creeping in. I certainly don't regret the day that I purchased this fine product and I hope to have it for many years to come.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

A great lens, but so was its predecessor

I am writing this review for other owners of the 600 IS who are considering upgrading to the IS2. First thing you notice about the IS2 is its reduced weight - it's dimensions are...Read complete review

I am writing this review for other owners of the 600 IS who are considering upgrading to the IS2. First thing you notice about the IS2 is its reduced weight - it's dimensions are practically identical to the IS, but it's weight is lower. Once set up on a tripod, it is no easier to use than the IS, but when working from the confines of a car, the new lens in much more manouverable. The 4-stop IS is also much better than the 2-stop of the old lens - the difference is quite apparent in real life.
Some would argue that the IS2 lens is sharper than the IS. It is, but only very slightly. I can say that the modern lenses from Canon seem to require little or no lens micro-adjustment like the older lenses, which makes the new lens seem sharper, unless you set them both up properly. With the Canon 2x teleconverter iii, the sharpness difference is very noticeable - the IS2 produces much sharper pictures than the IS did with the 2x teleconverter of its era. I am not sure how much of that is the lens, or the converter.
The major improvements to this lens - its reduced weight and the modern IS system do not justify the huge increase in price, so that is why I have docked one star from my rating. I docked the other star because of the tripod foot of this lens. As owners of the IS lens will know, the rotating collar on the tripod foot was a disaster. The bearings were very flimsy and if you use the rotating collar a lot, they start to grind and then foul. Replacement is incredibly expensive - about 10% of the cost of the lens. My collar needed changing twice in six years.
Canon have allegedly completely redesigned the collar on the IS2 and indeed, it does feel smoother and better made. Frustratingly, it has been poorly thought out. The tripod collar is in the same position on the IS2 lens as it was on the IS. But, because of the weight decrease, this means it is now in the wrong position relative to the centre of gravity. So, when carrying this lens by the foot, the weight tends to pull the lens out of your hand, not into it like before. This makes it far harder to carry and far more prone to accidents. Furthermore, the friction on the rotating collar is too low. When you mount an external flash on your camera (I use 580 and 600EX flashes on 1DX, 1D4, 5D3 and 7D bodies) the assembly becomes top heavy. Inadvertently tap the flash and the collar friction is so low that it spins around until your flash smashes into the tripod. As an avian photographer, I use my flash extensively and this is a big problem to me. The 800 lens is much better in this respect, as is the old 600 IS, despite its bearing problems.

Reviewed by 37 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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5.0

Simply amazing!

By John

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens:

Simply amazing technology in every way! I moved up from a Canon 100-400mm to the 600mm II for wildlife photography and it opened up a whole other world. I use to pass on shots or took the shot just to ID the subject. With the 600mm II I am now getting fantastic shots with perfect clarity at the same range.
When I added my 1.4x II to the lens, I'm now out to 840 with no noticeable negatives.
My only regret is not getting it sooner!

(0 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Monster

By Harry1

from Minneapolis

Verified Buyer

Comments about Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens:

I just received this one week ago but I have not had a chance to take any shots yet. I have it mounted on a sturdy tripod with 5D mk IV pointing out into the woods. I'm waiting for some clear weather and daylight to put it to the test. I have no doubt it will be excellent.

(6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Razor sharp

By Jim

from Undisclosed

See all my reviews

Site Member

Comments about Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens:

This phenomenal lens is one major step to sharp, detailed pictures.  Proper equipment and technique can all work together to produce razor sharp images.  A super steady tripod and gimbal head (I use RRS gear), along with a cable release and mirror lock up help extract all this lens is capable of.  Paired with a high pixel count camera, I am amazed at some of the pictures I am rewarded with. This lens is a vital link in the chain that can lead to phenomenal photos.

I did a lot of soul searching before I spent this much money on a lens.  I am glad I made the plunge, it will give me many hours of enjoyment in my photo hobby.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Top Notch Lens

By Gerald

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens:

I've only recently purchased this lens, but after only 2-3 outings, I'm very impressed with it. I'm mostly a Bird/Wildlife photographer and have attached a couple images from the early outings. It seems to focus quickly and accurately alone, with a 1.4xTC III and a 2xTC III on my Canon 1Dx.

(8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

This is it - there's nothing better

By Tim

from Switzerland

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Pros

  • Fast / accurate auto-focus

Cons

  • Heavy

Best Uses

  • Wildlife Photos

Comments about Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens:

If you want to turn your great wildlife and bird shots into unbelievably incredible shots, and you have the cash - you will love this lens. This Mark II version is small enough to fit in a regular backpack without the camera attached, such flipside 500, making it very portable. Reach can be extended with Canon's teleconverters, and can be stacked with an extension tube in between, to give reach with manual focus of close to 1700mm on a FF or close to 2400mm on a crop body. The only issue I have is weighing in at nearly 4kg makes hand holding for more than a few seconds quite a challenge.

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

(7 of 38 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Mental!!

By old mate

from NSW

About Me Semi-pro Photographer

Pros

  • Durable
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
  • Rugged
  • Strong Construction

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Sports/Action

    Comments about Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens:

    I borrowed this lens from one of, if not the most influential surfing photographers of all time who disappeared off the scene about ten years ago. He bought this over 25 years ago, when it was freshly released, and the glass and image quality is still absolutely perfect!. too bad i don't have the cash for my own

    • Was this a gift?:
    • Yes

    (14 of 16 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    The Best Super Tele Yet

    By John

    from Florida

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
    • Rugged
    • Strong Construction

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Wildlife Photos

      Comments about Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens:

      Just replaced the somewhat dated 800mm with this lens. I believe the lens is sharper, with better contrast than the 800, even with a 1.4 extender. Great lens if you can afford it.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      (12 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Not much to be said really!

      By Charles L

      from Taos, NM

      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Consistent Output
      • Fast / accurate auto-focus
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Sports/Action
        • Wildlife Photos

        Comments about Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens:

        If you want the best quality, this is it. Super telephotos will reward your investment with every picture. Took me a long time to get this lens and I could not be happier with it. Wildlife, aircraft etc are ideal subjects and it really does beat the shorter lenses with a teleconverter. You will not be disappointed.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        (14 of 14 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        FANTASTIC LENS!!! YOU NEED ONE OF THESE !!!!

        By John

        from Zellwood, Florida

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Durable
        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
        • Nice Bokeh
        • Strong Construction

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Wildlife Photos

          Comments about Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens:

          Having used a Canon 100-400 with a 1.4 II extender for the last ten years or so, I wanted to upgrade. This lens coupled with with the 7D Mark II is a fantastic wildlife combination! Auto focus is very fast even with a 1.4 extender attached. I used the lens with the 1.4 extender version II for a couple of months and it worked fine but I read that the 1.4 version III would produce better pictures so I got one. The pictures are a bit sharper but I didn't see any difference in the auto focus speed. Both are fast to focus. I'm using the lens on a tripod/gimbal head set up mostly but I have hand held it for some shots. It's possible to hand hold this lens with good results due to the image stabilizer but it's not something I would like to do for very long. I did replace the lens foot with an arca-swiss style foot to lower the height on the gimbal head. This is a fantastic lens for wildlife and I can't wait to take it to Yellowstone in June. The quality of the images are TACK SHARP! It's expensive but as my wife put it, "it's something you'll use for years and years to come and I'll enjoy all the wildlife trips and the memories." If you're wanting more reach with a lens you can't go wrong with this one. Get one! You'll be glad you did!I LOVE mine!

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          (30 of 99 customers found this review helpful)

           
          1.0

          Poor handle

          By Skywalker

          from Maryland

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Image Quality Is Good

          Cons

          • Bad Handle
          • Heavy
          • Weak Casing

          Best Uses

          • Sports/Action
          • Wildlife Photos

          Comments about Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens:

          After reading many good reviews on this website about Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens, I purchased a Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens in May. On September 27, 2015 when I used the lens to take photos of moon, the handle of lens suddenly broke by itself, that caused lens to fall on the ground and resulted in internal damage of the lens. I am extremely disappointed about the poor quality of the lens and feel my over $[$]spending was wasted. Canon should recall this lens to fix the handle. Due to poor quality of the material and manufacturing process, the handle may not be able to sustain the weight of the lens. My advice is all potential buyers is to be careful about the handle.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          (12 of 15 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Worth the Money

          By oclan

          from Casper, WY.

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Rugged
          • Sharp images
          • Strong Construction

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Wildlife Photos

            Comments about Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens:

            Right now I use this lens mostly with the Canon 2X extender. There is a Bald Eagle nest near my home and it's difficult to get very close. I did not purchase this expecting to handhold it so the weight is not an issue. I have been extremely pleased with the results. Worth the price for me!

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            (9 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Fantastic image! crystal sharp!super!!!

            By nylaojin

            from NJ

            About Me Semi-pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Consistent Output
            • Fast / accurate auto-focus
            • Nice Bokeh
            • Strong Construction

            Cons

            • Heavy

            Best Uses

            • Wildlife Photos

            Comments about Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens:

            I got this lends just 10 days, shoot some birds, the image s are fantastic super sharp, the lens fast accurate focus, it bring my to a new level. love it!

            I really hope in future Canon can make the lens case with a room for camera attached to the lens. I diffidently need one! The current case is useless. No one like to exchange lens every day, we all like grab it and go!

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            (12 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Great Lens - Still Heavy Though

            By The Owl Man

            from Nanaimot B.C. Canada

            About Me Semi-pro Photographer

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Consistent Output
            • Durable
            • Fast / accurate auto-focus
            • Nice Bokeh
            • Rugged
            • Strong Construction

            Cons

            • Heavy

            Best Uses

            • Wildlife Photos

            Comments about Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens:

            I use the 600mm IS2 for photographing birds. It is extremely sharp. It performs even better than my last supertelephoto lens which was a Canon 500mm. It acquires focus super fast even with a 1.4X teleconverter on. I can hand hold it for short periods and have got some great distant shots of birds in flight. This lens is a monster in both size and weight compared to smaller zoom lenses. Although it is said to be lighter than previous models, at age 58 I am still finding it hard to travel with it on a tripod over my shoulder for long distances. However, I am stubborn and will not give up the great results I have come to know with it.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            (27 of 27 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Worth The Price of Admission

            By The Owl Man

            from Nanaimo B.C. Canada

            About Me Semi-pro Photographer

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Consistent Output
            • Durable
            • Fast / accurate auto-focus
            • Nice Bokeh
            • Rugged
            • Strong Construction

            Cons

            • Heavy

            Best Uses

            • Wildlife Photos

            Comments about Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens:

            I use this lens mainly for wildlife photography. My last Super-telephoto lens was the 500mm F/4 L series. In my opinion, the 600mm is even sharper and provides much better stabilization at slower shutter speeds. It is rugged and built to top quality. It is very much a perfect fit for birding and can render excellent results for in flight images as well.
            Even though it is much lighter than its predecessor, at age 58 I am still finding it heavy to tote over long distances attached to the tripod. I really cannot fault the lens for this as it could be just old age creeping in. I certainly don't regret the day that I purchased this fine product and I hope to have it for many years to come.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            (2 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Excellent Lens

            By Jun

            from Olathe, Kansas

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Consistent Output
            • Durable
            • Fast / accurate auto-focus
            • Lightweight
            • Nice Bokeh

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Sports/Action
              • Wildlife Photos

              Comments about Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens:

              I have been waiting to get this lens for a long time and finally got it.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              (3 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Best Lens ever!

              By Big-O

              from Lockport, IL

              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Consistent Output
              • Durable
              • Easily Interchangeable
              • Fast / accurate auto-focus
              • Lightweight
              • Nice Bokeh
              • Rugged
              • Strong Construction

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Landscape/Scenery
                • Night Photography
                • Sports/Action
                • Wildlife Photos

                Comments about Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens:

                Fantastic focus, Sharp, Lighter than predecessor.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                (6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                "STUNNING"

                By Scott "The Duck Whisperer"

                from Uncasville, Ct.

                About Me Casual Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                • Lightweight
                • Nice Bokeh
                • Rugged

                Cons

                • NONE

                Best Uses

                • Wildlife Photos

                Comments about Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens:

                Lens used primarily for waterfowl, weight reduction from previous is amazing, fast focus, great handling lens...superb!!!

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                (10 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                Nice lens but why so much $$$$$

                By Christopher Schlaf

                from Michigan

                About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • Consistent Output
                • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                • Lightweight
                • Nice Bokeh
                • Strong Construction

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Wildlife Photos

                  Comments about Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens:

                  I owned a few copies of the previous version and was quite happy with them but because of my addiction to wildlife photography I had to have this version. Ive been using it for over a year now and yes it is a great piece of equipment but why is it so expensive? Sure its lighter and does work better with extenders than the previous versions but for about 5K more. I would like to know if there is really a reason for this or is it they know that there is people like me that will pay for this.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  (12 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Fabulous Lens

                  By Rick

                  from Atascadero, CA

                  About Me Photo Enthusiast

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                  • Consistent Output
                  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                  • Nice Bokeh
                  • Rugged
                  • Strong Construction

                  Cons

                  • Heavy

                  Best Uses

                  • Wildlife Photos

                  Comments about Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens:

                  I have been using this lens for about 5 months, mostly with the 1.4 extender. I hesitated to buy it for obvious reasons--cost and weight. But i have no regrets The lens is sharp, fast to focus, and gives incredible detail and color rendition. I was pretty happy with my pictures before, but using this lens is a joy. I use it for birds and wildlife and could not be more pleased with the results I get. If you are on the fence and can afford it, jump!

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  (14 of 14 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Excellent update to a great lens

                  By twilly

                  from Sugar Land Tx

                  About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Consistent Output
                  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                  • Strong Construction

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Sports/Action
                    • Wildlife Photos

                    Comments about Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens:

                    As an owner of the orignal 600 F4L IS which I sold to buy the 800 F5.6L IS I decided to buy the new version as I missed a few things I didnt get with the 800, (I will keep both as they are significantly different). Out of the box the first thing I noticed is the very significant weight difference, (and I can hand hold for short periods). I wouldnt call this lens light but relative to the original it truly is. The difference in sharpness and focusiing speed are not massive but noticable with the native lenses but when a converter is added the difference is eye popping especially with the 2 x converter. I now dont worry about picture quality or focusing speed and the 2 x lives on this 600 - I shoot small birds so range is everything. Is this the converter or the lens I dont know but the combination is compelling. In hindsight is this a better or worse purchase than the 800 I honestly dont know I have both and will keep both (much to my wifes disgust given the cost!) - the 800 for static shoots (couple with 400 DO for close shots) and 600MM is my walk around with atripod lens and maybe carry the 400

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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