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Thread started 11 Mar 2013 (Monday) 12:28
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Canon 400 or 100-400? Hard to decide

 
bobbyz
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Mar 11, 2013 15:51 |  #16

Had both of them for a yr before upgrading to 500mm f4 IS.

1. Forget 300mm f4 unless you live in florida
2. Even with 100-400L you will use < 40mm maybe 5-10 times in couple of years (unless you live in florida)
3. Get the 400mm f5.6. Best bang for the buck


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Snydremark
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Mar 11, 2013 18:16 |  #17

bobbyz wrote in post #15703323 (external link)
Had both of them for a yr before upgrading to 500mm f4 IS.


2. Even with 100-400L you will use < 40mm maybe 5-10 times in couple of years (unless you live in florida)

Utter over-dramatization; I shoot with that lens, nearly exclusively, in the Pacific Northwest (clouds, rain, general gloom and overcast) with fine success. Sure, it's better when the sun's out, but it's in no way any different than the 400 f/5.6 in this case as they have the exact same max aperture.


- Eric S.: My Birds/Wildlife (external link) (R5, RF 800 f/11, Canon 16-35 F/4 MkII, Canon 24-105L f/4 IS, Canon 70-200L f/2.8 IS MkII, Canon 100-400L f/4.5-5.6 IS I/II)
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Diver-Down
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Mar 11, 2013 18:34 as a reply to  @ Snydremark's post |  #18

I don't think I could get by without both. To me the 400 5.6 is a specialty lens, I shoot a lot of BIF so I really need the faster focus of the prime but for birds and wildlife in general the 100-400 is my go to lens, mainly because of the IS and when shooting bigger stuff like deer it's useful to be able to zoom out. The IS is very useful when it's not bright and sunny out or when shooting birds under a canopy of trees. MFD is better as well.


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bobbyz
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Mar 11, 2013 19:39 |  #19

Snydremark wrote in post #15703935 (external link)
Utter over-dramatization; I shoot with that lens, nearly exclusively, in the Pacific Northwest (clouds, rain, general gloom and overcast) with fine success. Sure, it's better when the sun's out, but it's in no way any different than the 400 f/5.6 in this case as they have the exact same max aperture.

I meant birds needing 400mm and longer for most of the time. I can tell in my 5 yrs of shooting only once the heron came so close where MFD of the 400mm f5.6 was an issue. And that happened as I was well hidden in the grass.:)


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watt100
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Mar 11, 2013 19:48 |  #20

Steve626 wrote in post #15702460 (external link)
So I am looking to a telephoto mainly for birds and wildlife. I tend to hand-shoot all of the time, so the IS of the 100-400 is appealing. But I'm upgrading from a Bigma 50-500 non-is and tend to always shoot at 500mm, so maybe a prime is good for me? Any thoughts from you experts?

Thanks.

the 400mm prime is better for birds, otherwise the 100-400 will be more versatile for wildlife, sports and other things. I used to have the 400mm but switched to the 100-400 because it's more useful for events, sports, etc.




  
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Jahled
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Mar 11, 2013 19:51 as a reply to  @ post 15703259 |  #21

I owned the 100-400 and hated it. Fortune smiled on me a week before Christmas and I now own a 400L 2.8 II which is quite frankly mental, as is the 300L 2.8 II. But a Facebook mate of mine who lives in Wales gets his photography published in BBC Wildlife magazine with his 400 5.6 rather frequently. Not to be sniffed at, attractive piece of glass.


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pdrober2
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Mar 11, 2013 21:03 |  #22

the versatility of the 100-400 is tough to beat.


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Snydremark
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Mar 11, 2013 21:19 |  #23

bobbyz wrote in post #15704243 (external link)
I meant birds needing 400mm and longer for most of the time. I can tell in my 5 yrs of shooting only once the heron came so close where MFD of the 400mm f5.6 was an issue. And that happened as I was well hidden in the grass.:)

You're more right than I originally stated, I utterly failed to read your comment correctly :oops: I apologize.

I've still had more than 40 times that I've encountered situations where I was under 400mm, but most of those were for other wildlife. However, it's the 'wildlife' keyword that triggers me to point to the zoom over the prime; we get plenty of furry/hairy things that are much more approachable than the birds are...and significantly larger.


- Eric S.: My Birds/Wildlife (external link) (R5, RF 800 f/11, Canon 16-35 F/4 MkII, Canon 24-105L f/4 IS, Canon 70-200L f/2.8 IS MkII, Canon 100-400L f/4.5-5.6 IS I/II)
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M_Six
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Mar 11, 2013 21:37 |  #24

I was out shooting bald eagles with the 400 5.6 this past weekend and they were just about on the far edge of usable range. I was really needing a 500mm. But even though I pulled nearly 100% crops, the images came out ok. It's an amazing lens. I also have the 70-300L for other wildlife shots. The two make a good combo, especially if you have two bodies.

That said, I waffled for a month between the 400 5.6 and the 100-400. It's not an easy choice.


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Mar 11, 2013 22:07 |  #25

Yep, it's really hard to decide;
https://photography-on-the.net …rch.php?searchi​d=38437643

It's a classic.


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jrandall
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Mar 11, 2013 22:12 |  #26

To the OP- What is it that you don't like about the 50-500? You say you always shoot at 500, but then you pose the question of two 400mm lenses so maybe I'm missing something. Have you considered the Bigma w-OS? That's the same price point as the 100-400.

I'm especially interested in this thread because I'm at a similar decision point. I'm new to photography as a hobby and I find myself shooting a lot of birds, so I'm looking to buy a nice big lens. I rented the 100-400 a few months ago. Right now,for the next week, I have a Bigma w-OS rental. So far I'm really impressed with the Bigma, but I might rent the 100-400 again before making a decision.

As a tangent, has anyone heard anything about Canon putting out a next generation 100-400? This is a pretty old lens and I'd hate to buy one right before they updated it. TIA!


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dochollidayda
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Mar 11, 2013 22:42 |  #27

jrandall wrote in post #15704821 (external link)
To the OP- What is it that you don't like about the 50-500? You say you always shoot at 500, but then you pose the question of two 400mm lenses so maybe I'm missing something. Have you considered the Bigma w-OS? That's the same price point as the 100-400.

I'm especially interested in this thread because I'm at a similar decision point. I'm new to photography as a hobby and I find myself shooting a lot of birds, so I'm looking to buy a nice big lens. I rented the 100-400 a few months ago. Right now,for the next week, I have a Bigma w-OS rental. So far I'm really impressed with the Bigma, but I might rent the 100-400 again before making a decision.

As a tangent, has anyone heard anything about Canon putting out a next generation 100-400? This is a pretty old lens and I'd hate to buy one right before they updated it. TIA!

Heard plenty of rumours over the past couple of years, whether or not Canon will make or is going to make a new 100-400L is anyone's guess.

They haven't even announced one yet, so I think you can safely say there won't be another for atleast next six months.

I wouldn't bet my bank on one though, Canon is behind in lot of key ranges, 14-24 F2.8, 35L II will probably come before 100-400L.


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Mike ­ Deep
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Mar 12, 2013 00:06 |  #28

tgara wrote in post #15703072 (external link)
Canon doesn't make a 400/5.6 IS, unfortunately. Only non-IS.

Indeed, that was my complaint.

There's probably an argument to be made that the 400/5.6 is overpriced for what it is (And this statement should stir up some trouble): At twenty years old, it's one of the oldest lenses in the lineup, it has none of the new bells or whistles like IS, and it has a fairly simple optical construction.

The 100-400s may get used at 400mm most of the time, but they have IS, and that's not a trivial thing at these focal lengths.


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tri911
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Mar 12, 2013 00:41 |  #29

The 100-400 is not truly a 400mm at the longest focal length. The only drawback of the 400mm f5.6L is at low light condition the f5.6 is a tad too slow.




  
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phreeky
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Mar 12, 2013 03:31 |  #30

Mike Deep wrote in post #15705110 (external link)
There's probably an argument to be made that the 400/5.6 is overpriced for what it is (And this statement should stir up some trouble): At twenty years old, it's one of the oldest lenses in the lineup, it has none of the new bells or whistles like IS, and it has a fairly simple optical construction.

No doubt it's overpriced, but I still think it's a great lens and am glad I own one. I would not be surprised if it's simplicity is why it's so good - minimal optical elements probably makes the IQ consistent between copies, makes it not go out of calibration/alignment, and barely any moving parts must help reliability.

But being an owner it's worth mentioning the negatives:
1) The lack of zoom can make things tricky in some circumstances. But for the record I've never found the MFD an issue.
2) The lack of IS is a bit disappointing. For birds in shade, or getting aircraft prop blur.
3) It does not pack up as small, and can be a bit more difficult for bag selection.

Some pros:
1) The built-in hood is just plain awesome.
2) The 8.5m focus limiter means it will cycle a focus hunt so fast that you hardly notice.
3) The balance/ergonomics of the 400 is miles ahead of the 100-400.
4) The good balance means sharp shots at lower shutter speeds than you'd normally expect for 400mm.




  
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