Been experimenting with the Canon 300mm f2.8L IS over the last few cycling events Thought I would share some of the results and my thoughts on the use of this lens with the 1DX.
The first thing about the lens to think about is the weight. Whilst heavy it is hand-holdable, aided by the IS which allows me to use speeds down to around 1/125 with sharp results. This is helped by the balance the heavy 1DX gives to the combination. Given the 1DX's excellent low-noise ISO results there is a lot of variation in the aperture and shutter speed that can be used. I often increase the ISO to give a slightly more forgiving aperture, which allows a little more leeway in focusing on a fast moving cyclist. this still provides impressive narrow depth of field and excellent out of focus backgrounds.
What is so impressive about this combination is the speed of focusing. The lens is very quick to snap onto the focus point and tracks really quickly and accurately provided I am quick enough to follow the action with the lens! Whether this is due to the lens or the body I am not sure. As my lens is a Mk l version it may be down to the amazing autofocus of the 1DX.
An interesting use I have been trying is to compose images of the riders in the environment, such as the one below. Again the amazing background blur provides a beautiful backdrop to the cyclists.
A difficulty of photographing outdoor sports is the lighting. Usually the riders faces are in shadow, I could use some kind of flash extender with the 300 to help but I have found increasing the Exposure Compensation by +1 stop really opens up the light on the faces and also lightens the background for a pleasing result. For other focal lengths I use fill-in flash at times, but the 300 and this combination provides results which please me and the riders who have commented on the images.
Hope you like the images and this bit of background on the equipment, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to type away!