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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 04 Jan 2011 (Tuesday) 08:46
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Is there a "soft" copy of a 400mm prime?

 
tariktik
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Jan 04, 2011 08:46 |  #1

I'm almost ready to buy my first "L" lens, a 400mm f/5.6. I will use it mainly for bird photography so I guess it's the best choice for me.

My question is, is there a "soft" copy of the 400mm? I've read a lot about "soft" copies of the 100-400mm so I decided to go with the prime. As this is my first L lens, I don't have any means of gauging its sharpness. Also, since I am used to having kit lenses with IS (not to mention that I am a photo newbie), I am anticipating that the first photos I will be taking using this lens will definitely be soft. Therefore, if I do get a "soft" copy of the this lens, it will take some time (way beyond the return date) before I realize it.

I would like to hear feedback from 400mm shooters and their experience, if any, on using different copies of this lens. Are all 400mm created equal, that it doesn't matter if I buy a used or a new one? (The only con I can think of on buying a used one is if indeed there is a "soft" copy.)

Any feedback is greatly appreciated.


Many thanks,
Eric


Canon EOS 7D II, Canon EOS 70D, Canon EOS 60D
EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM, EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM, EF 300mm f/4L IS USM, EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM, EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM
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oldcanon
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Jan 04, 2011 09:51 |  #2

mine was razor sharp wide open, worked well with a 1.4TC on it too




  
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artyman
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Jan 04, 2011 10:03 |  #3

If you are going to use it for birds, set up a high contrast test target at the distance you are most likely to shoot birds at, mount it on a tripod and take some test shots, good shutter speed as well. Then look at them and see if you are satisfied. Shooting with a long lens does take a bit of getting used to.


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Rockney
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Jan 04, 2011 10:16 |  #4

Mine is tack sharp, shoot birds at f6.3


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alpharon
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Jan 04, 2011 12:34 |  #5

Mine is tack sharp wide open. I use it for surf shots from the beach.


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tariktik
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Jan 04, 2011 13:48 |  #6

Thanks for the replies. All of you got tack sharp primes and I assume have not encountered "soft" ones. I guess that confirms that all primes are created equal. :)

@Ken & Rocky, thanks for the tips.


Canon EOS 7D II, Canon EOS 70D, Canon EOS 60D
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bobbyz
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Jan 04, 2011 13:51 |  #7

Moving from kit lens to 400mm f5.6 will take a while. Do some controlled tests to see how well the lens works. It should be sharp wide open. Mine was sharper at f5.6 than at f8.


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nightcat
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Jan 04, 2011 14:24 |  #8

There is very little glass in the 400mm 5.6 prime compared to the 100-400mm zoom. I believe this is why there is a variance in copies of the zoom, and more reliability with the prime. I personally bought the prime. Mine is deadly sharp.




  
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gcogger
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Jan 04, 2011 14:41 |  #9

I've not heard of any copy variation in the long primes (which is not true of the 100-400), so I reckon you're safe.


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tariktik
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Jan 04, 2011 17:44 as a reply to  @ gcogger's post |  #10

Thanks for the affirmation on how sharp this lens is. Having not handled this lens before, I'm afraid that I might cut myself in the process. :D

Now, I'm really dying to buy one immediately.


Canon EOS 7D II, Canon EOS 70D, Canon EOS 60D
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Rich ­ S
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Jan 08, 2011 01:38 |  #11

Not mine

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condyk
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Jan 08, 2011 05:13 |  #12

Owned three when I shot Canon and all perfect ... great with a 1.4x too so long as you are steady, or on a beanbag/tripod/mono. Also owned three 100-400's in my time and not happy with any of them ... all a tad different.


https://photography-on-the.net …/showthread.php​?t=1203740

  
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tariktik
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Jan 08, 2011 12:07 |  #13

@Rich - Whoaaa!!! Superb hummer shot!

@condyk - Thanks for the info. Having shared your experience on 3 copies each of both the prime and the zoom, that further seals my decision to buy the prime. Hopefully, I can place my order on this beauty early next week. Ahhhhh, super excited already.


Canon EOS 7D II, Canon EOS 70D, Canon EOS 60D
EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM, EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM, EF 300mm f/4L IS USM, EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM, EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM
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Jan 08, 2011 12:11 |  #14

Mine was soft on my 40D. With Micro Focus Adjustment on my 7D and 5DII it was much better.


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tariktik
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Jan 08, 2011 12:16 as a reply to  @ windpig's post |  #15

Oh no! So there is a soft copy of this prime. My camera has no micro focus adjustment so I guess this will be a gamble. Anyway, will still push through with the purchase as I presume that there is a slim chance of getting a soft copy of this one over the zoom.

... crossing my fingers....


Canon EOS 7D II, Canon EOS 70D, Canon EOS 60D
EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM, EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM, EF 300mm f/4L IS USM, EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM, EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM
flickr: http://www.flickr.com/​tariktik (external link)

  
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Is there a "soft" copy of a 400mm prime?
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