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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 11 Jul 2012 (Wednesday) 10:12
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Lens dabate: Canon 400 f/5.6 or Canon 300 f/4.0 IS + Canon 1.4 Mk III Extender

 
joemitchem
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Jul 11, 2012 10:12 |  #1

Hey guys, I'm needing some extra reach and having a tough time making a decision between getting a Canon 400 f/5.6 or getting the Canon 300 f/4.0 and adding it to the Canon 1.4x III that I already have.

The 300 f/4 and 400 f/5.6 are pretty similar in size, shape, weight and price so I'm torn between the two.

I've tried the 100-400 in the past and just wasn't impressed so that's off the table for now.

Obviously the 300 f/4 would allow me to use it "as-is" and keep the f/4 when the situation dictates it and the 300 f/4 + the 1.4x III would put me at 420mm and still keep the IS so I think that's the direction that I am leaning but just wanted any additional input from someone that's had the same dilemma.

Am I overlooking anything? Still pretty new to photography so any input is welcomed.

This would be on my 7D and would be for a variety of subjects (birds, airplanes, autos, sports, etc) in well lit conditions typically.




  
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bpark42
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Jul 11, 2012 10:20 |  #2

The autofocus will be faster on the 400/5.6 vs. the 300+TC, so if you are going to shoot a lot of birds in flight that is something to think about. Otherwise my preference is for the 300. You get IS, excellent close focus ability, and f4 when not using a TC.




  
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minh2pac
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Jul 11, 2012 10:39 |  #3

in ur situation I would say go for 300mm. I only do bird so 400mm make sense to me.


Kevin
5d3, 7d, xe-1, om-d

  
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rick_reno
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Jul 11, 2012 10:43 |  #4

i've got the 300 and the 1.4x TC, it's a great combination on my 7D. I've been looking at adding the 400, only because I like the shots I see here taken with it.




  
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neurorog
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Jul 11, 2012 10:43 |  #5

I love the 300 4, and I use it occasionally with my 1.4 TC. However, I agree with the previous post, that if you are interested in birds in flight, definitely get the 400 5.6. If I try for birds, typically, I would take off my 1.4 to get a bit faster focus, and then just crop like mad in post production. For bigger objects, like airplanes and autos, you should be absolutely fine with that combo. Personally, I enjoy the flexibility of of the 300 (including long distance stealth portraits, and a bit of macro as well). However, if you have a specific application in mind, it may not be the best tool

I noticed that you have the 70-200 -- I gather you use that with the 1.4 -- and that gets you close to 300. The question for you is when would you use the 300 4 without TC rather than use the 70-200 with TC? Given your current line-up, maybe the 400 5.6 is a better fit for you.


7D / 28 1.8 / 50 1.4 / 85 1.8 / 135 2 / 300 4 IS / 1.4x TC

  
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joemitchem
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Jul 11, 2012 12:38 |  #6

Well...looks like that situation resolved itself rather quickly. There was a used 400/5.6 in the For Sale forum so I snatched it up. I guess I'll find out in a week or two how it suits me.

I'm not sure there is a great answer to this question (or any lens question for that matter) so I may be looking at other options somewhere down the road. Right now my equipment far exceeds my abilities so my skills are the #1 thing I need to work on.

Thanks for the opinions given!




  
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klimraamkosie
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Jul 11, 2012 13:47 |  #7

Yes, please share you experience with it.


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2slo
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Jul 11, 2012 15:47 as a reply to  @ klimraamkosie's post |  #8

I have both the 300mm f/4 and the 400mm f/5.6. I use both with the 1.4x TC on both my 7D and 1Div mainly for birds and wildlife. The 300 has the advantage of IS, 1 stop faster aperture and close MFD (1.5m). The 400 has the advantages of fast AF and light weight.
After not being happy with the sharpness of my 400 it's currently with Canon for adjustment. My 300 I've MA'd and that is now producing good results, e.g.

IMAGE: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7250/7528098996_602a9206c5_b.jpg

The above was with the TC added to the 300. The sharpness is ok now, the detail in this particular shot could be better but due to it being a very dark day, this was ISO 5000.
In short, the 300mm f/4 is an excellent lens and pairs well with the 1.4x TC. Remember that when so used your max aperture drops from f/4 to f/5.6, although that will still AF with the 7D.
I'd like to be able to recommend the 400 as well, I found mine to have acceptable sharpness at short range, e.g.

IMAGE: http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5039/6907386632_8d70a643fa_b.jpg

but it wasn't up to scratch for longer range. Don't let that put you off though, most other copies I've seen shots from have been fine. Hope that helps.



  
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SVTmaniac
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Jul 11, 2012 15:52 as a reply to  @ 2slo's post |  #9

You will love the 400! Just shipped it out to you about an hour ago. You really can't go wrong with either combo. I am keeping my 300f4L IS + 1.4x TC just for the versatility but I will miss the 400 for sure.


-Chris
More gear than talent.

  
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Vixen89
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Jul 11, 2012 16:17 |  #10

400L ftw!


I'm actively lazy!! :D | Gear List | photovxn.com (under construction)external link

  
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dinanm3atl
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Jul 11, 2012 17:09 |  #11

I shoot motorsports and used a 300/4 IS + 1.4X for about half a season. I was never really happy with it. So I got a 400/5.6 off this forum and sold the 300. Could not be happier. The focus speed is awesome. It's sharp and crisp. Colors are awesome. Last season and a half been shooting with that saving up to change to a 300/2.8 and finally made that move. I recommend anyone that needs reach but doesn't have a huge budget to start with the 400/5.6.

I actually listed mine for sale a few days ago and it's priced at the going rate if anyone is looking. Will be the first lens I probably miss as I lug around a 300/2.8. Only switching because I want the shorter length to get some more artistic people/paddock shots and adding a few events that run into dusk/might and need the faster glass. Otherwise I'd just keep it.


Halston - MotorSports Photographer
1Dx - 1Dx - A7r - 400L f/2.8 - 70-200L f/2.8 - 24-105L f/4 - 17-40L f/4 - 50 f/1.4 - 8mm f/3.5 Fisheye - 1.4x TC - 2x TC
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watt100
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Jul 11, 2012 18:08 |  #12

joemitchem wrote in post #14702362 (external link)
Well...looks like that situation resolved itself rather quickly. There was a used 400/5.6 in the For Sale forum so I snatched it up. I guess I'll find out in a week or two how it suits me.

I'm not sure there is a great answer to this question (or any lens question for that matter) so I may be looking at other options somewhere down the road. Right now my equipment far exceeds my abilities so my skills are the #1 thing I need to work on.

Thanks for the opinions given!

congratz, I used to shoot with the 400mm prime then switched to the 100-400 because I found it almost as sharp and more versatile, you will like the 400 for birds and wildlife




  
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lannes
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Jul 11, 2012 22:56 |  #13

I actually like the more compact dimensions of the 300L and the TC


1Dx, 1DM4, 5DM2, 7D, EOS-M, 8-15L, 17-40L, 24 TSE II, 24-105L, 50L, 85L II, 100L, 135L, 200L f/2.8, 300L f/4, 70-200L II, 70-300L, 400Lf/5.6

  
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Naturalist
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Jul 11, 2012 23:10 |  #14

Image quality is affected by adding a UV filter to the front - and image quality is affected by adding a Canon 1.4 or 2.0 converter on the rear.

So, go with the 400.


Doug
http://www.douglasbrow​nsr.com (external link)
Entered: 2-16-84 Passed: 5-22-84 Raised: 6-19-84

  
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Lens dabate: Canon 400 f/5.6 or Canon 300 f/4.0 IS + Canon 1.4 Mk III Extender
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