Canon 500mm f/4L IS USM Samples

First published on: Friday, 27 March 2009

This page is a collection of photo samples taken with the Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM Super Telephoto Lens, plus related image galleries, user pictures and other examples that I’ve come across in forums, online communities, blogs and related websites.

This should help in determining if the image quality of the 500/4L meets your expectations.

Bear in mind that the majority of these photos are re-sized, and may have gone through post-processing, retouching or other edits. I just thought that it would be interesting to see, at a glance, what Canon 500mm f4.0 L owners and users are shooting with their lens.

Full-sized images, where available, will assist with judging the image quality.

Attribution is given by linking to the source and where available, the author’s homepage or photo gallery.

View a sample image and get the full description, MTF chart and other technical details on the Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM lens at Canon claims this lens to be one of the best available for wildlife and nature photography.

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Enjoy this magnificent series of swans and other birds by Ben Egbert, photographed with the 500/4L IS USM, Canon Extender EF 1.4x II Telephoto Converter Accessory and the EOS 50D.

Stunning bird photos by tylerken with a Canon 1D Mark III

Tylerken mounted the 500/4L on a Canon EOS 1D Mark III for this series of bird photos.

Reach was enhanced using a 1.4X TC, possibly the Canon EF 1.4X II Extender.

The bokeh and sharpness of this lens is mind-blowing, here are a few of my favorites from tylerken’s post:

  1. Reddish Egretimage 1 (superb bokeh here), image 2

  2. Egret in flight — tylerken’s technique ensured that the camera’s AF (autofocus) was not distracted by the busy background.

  3. A pair of American Avocets — stunning blurred background bokeh strikes again.

  4. The great take off.

More birds by Ben Egbert

Ben Egbert shared some bird photos in a forum post.

All the images were shot with a Canon EOS 50D, and a 1.4X tele-converter plus 500/4L.

The following birds were featured:

  1. Great Blue Heron.

  2. Red-winged Blackbird.

  3. Sandhill Crane.

The 500/4L’s magnificent bokeh is evident on this image of a sandhill crane in flight.

EF 500mm f/4L vs 300mm f/2.8L

Head over to Rob Galbraith’s article, “HD video capture, 15MP sensor in Canon EOS Rebel T1i“, where a set of frame grabs (copyright Vincent Laforet) from two different clips, one taken with a Canon EOS Rebel T1i / 500D / Kiss X3 digital SLR camera and EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM, and the other with a 5D Mark II and EF 500mm f/4L IS USM lens, shows huge image output differences in terms of bokeh, subject isolation and background blur when pitting APS-C (or crop) sensor DSLR cameras such as the T1i, vs the full-frame 5D Mark 2, while maintaining approximately the same FOV (field of view).

Canon T1i / 500D plus EF 300mm f/2.8L vs Canon 5D Mark II plus EF 500mm f/4L by Vincent Laforet, Rob Galbraith / Little Guy Media

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