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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 14 Oct 2013 (Monday) 17:42
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The old 'which 400mm lens option is best for me' question...

 
Billginthekeys
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Oct 15, 2013 08:39 |  #16

I would post more details but I am on my phone. Considering your emphasis on not wanting to be disappointed by focus speed, and your current 70-200 which does everything well the 400 5.6 doesn't, I would recommend the 400mm. Focus speed and accuracy is one of the things it does very best. It is a very "low tech" simple design, and as a result it is as excellent today as it has ever been.


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archer1960
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Oct 15, 2013 09:19 |  #17

+1 on the 400/5.6. I don't own it, but I have rented it, and it's fantastic. The AF is blindingly fast; to the eye it looks instantaneous. That is probably partly due to its long MFD (doesn't need to move very far), but whatever the reason, it works. As long as your light is good or you have a good stable support to get around its lack of IS, go for it.


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troutfisher
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Oct 15, 2013 09:42 |  #18

I seem to recall reading somewhere that the 5DMk3 will AF at f8 using the center focus point.
If that's correct then a 400 f5.6 +1.4 TC will give you 560mm at f8
No idea what the AF speed or IQ will be like but its worth investigating


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watt100
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Oct 15, 2013 12:44 |  #19

archer1960 wrote in post #16372706 (external link)
+1 on the 400/5.6. I don't own it, but I have rented it, and it's fantastic.

+2 on the 400 f5.6
I had the 400 prime but eventually got the 100-400 for more versatility.
http://lebirds.wordpre​ss.com/ (external link)




  
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nightcat
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Oct 15, 2013 15:20 |  #20

bobbyz wrote in post #16371738 (external link)
300mm f4 IS with 1.4xTC is not same picture quality as 400mm f5.6. Only folks who say that are 300mm f4 owners.:)

I had 300mm f2.8 IS I and I would take 400mm f5.6 over that if needing to use 1.4xTC all the time. 400mm f5.6 is also faster to AF. So spend $900 for used one and be happy.

Reach wise I typically used 700mm (500mm f4 with 1.4xTC) on 1.3x crop and lot of times I wished I had more like 800mm f5.6. So with FF 5dmk3, 400mm is bare min IMHO.

I own both lenses and Bobby is correct.




  
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jonharrisphotography
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Oct 15, 2013 16:37 |  #21

Thanks everyone for the input!

I think I am starting to see the light ;) Sounds like the 400 5.6 is a better option.With superior IQ and better AF I think that fits my criteria better...

Just to clarify what I would be capable of with this lens - If I bought this lens plus a 1.4x (which would cost me less than a 300mm f4 + 1.4x) I wouldn't be able to get AF on my 600D without using a third party extender or taping up the contacts would I?

Has anyone used a non-Canon extender or taped the contacts with good results?

Or should I just wait until a 7D mkII comes out and hope that it will AF at f8 like my 5D mkIII can?


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SVTmaniac
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Oct 15, 2013 16:45 |  #22

jonharrisphotography wrote in post #16373641 (external link)
Thanks everyone for the input!

I think I am starting to see the light ;) Sounds like the 400 5.6 is a better option.With superior IQ and better AF I think that fits my criteria better...

Just to clarify what I would be capable of with this lens - If I bought this lens plus a 1.4x (which would cost me less than a 300mm f4 + 1.4x) I wouldn't be able to get AF on my 600D without using a third party extender or taping up the contacts would I?

Has anyone used a non-Canon extender or taped the contacts with good results?

Or should I just wait until a 7D mkII comes out and hope that it will AF at f8 like my 5D mkIII can?

You are correct, although it will focus in Live View mode with a canon extender. I tried the 400 f5.6 1.4x combo many times and always walked away dissapointed so keep that in mind. If you shooting something static and on a tripod then fine, but otherwise it's not going to give you the results you want.


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jonharrisphotography
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Oct 15, 2013 16:48 |  #23

Yeah, that's what I thought Chris. I certainly am not counting on that combo being my standard setup, just wondering what I will be capable of in the right circumstances...

Thanks!


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uOpt
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Oct 15, 2013 17:10 |  #24

The 2x extender slows down AF too much. Can't do that with animals.


My imagine composition sucks. I need a heavier lens.

  
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Oct 15, 2013 17:21 |  #25

jonharrisphotography wrote in post #16371444 (external link)
nightcat... I do agree with your rule of thumb, but I should clarify - I am not necessarily wanting to shoot at 400mm - I'm wanting to go as long as I can reasonably afford. This is why I'm considering the 300mm + 1.4x - down the track if I use this setup on a cropped body, I'll be looking at 672mm vs 640mm, and one other strong suggestion I've been reading is that you always want more reach!!!

Sgt... glad you are enjoying it, I suspect when I finally pickup my big lens I will be just as happy as you! What sort of shooting do you do mostly?

Given that the two options tend to compare quite closely in IQ, I'm still trying to figure out if I will notice a big difference in AF speed going with one option or the other... and the extra versatility and slightly longer reach of the 300mm are what's keeping me interested in that combo...

So while I have no doubt I will be stoked with whatever I get, I just want to make sure it's the best possible option for my circumstances.

Thanks for all the input so far, still willing to listen to other points of view!!!

I have been shooting birds and some aircraft.


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Sgt.
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Oct 15, 2013 17:23 as a reply to  @ Sgt.'s post |  #26

Aircraft:D


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Oct 15, 2013 18:06 |  #27

jonharrisphotography wrote in post #16371093 (external link)
Current setup:
5D MkIII body
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II


  • Not considering the 100-400mm ‘pump’. I think it’s too much of an overlap with my 70-200mm, and I don’t like the pump design.
    [/LIST]

    My main shooting scenarios and priorities are as follows:
    [LIST]
  • Mainly using this setup for birds and wildlife. Not heavily focused on birds in flight, which the EF 400mm would probably be best for due to weight and AF speed.
  • As light and un-bulky as possible without compromising IQ and performance. This is leading me away from the 2x extender option.

    Would love to hear thoughts on anybody who has played with any of my proposed setups.

    Thanks!
    Jon
  • Hi Jon.
    Whenever some quotes "birds and wildlife" I always recommend the 100-400. It's relatively light, it will fold down very small if you're hiking. IQ differences between all of the lens you mention is minuscule, AF will be the main decider.
    The 70-200 is not a wildlife lens, if you go hiking it really doesn't need to be in your bag. I have one and love it but, I hardly ever use it.
    The 400/5.6 is a great lens but for wildlife (not birds) the MFD can be a big factor, as we all try to get as close as possible to eliminate the need to crop. If you go with that, the Kenko TC's are normally used when taping pins.
    The push/pull is a love or loathe thing. For me it's so fast to pull back to find a small bird hopping in the branches, the zoom in to shoot, it's very easy to get into and very fast.
    The 100-400 is probably my most used lens, I can post examples, but unless they were side by side with the other lens, you'll never tell any difference.
    Ian


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    jonharrisphotography
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    Oct 16, 2013 05:31 |  #28

    Nice work Sgt.!!! I especially like the closeup of the duck...

    Ian, thanks for the input too. Will definitely consider...


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    Sgt.
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    Oct 16, 2013 15:57 |  #29

    Thanks, I am sure that no matter what you choose you will be happy with your choice!


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    Sgt.
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    Oct 16, 2013 17:46 |  #30

    h14nha wrote in post #16373883 (external link)
    Hi Jon.
    Whenever some quotes "birds and wildlife" I always recommend the 100-400. It's relatively light, it will fold down very small if you're hiking. IQ differences between all of the lens you mention is minuscule, AF will be the main decider.
    The 70-200 is not a wildlife lens, if you go hiking it really doesn't need to be in your bag. I have one and love it but, I hardly ever use it.
    The 400/5.6 is a great lens but for wildlife (not birds) the MFD can be a big factor, as we all try to get as close as possible to eliminate the need to crop. If you go with that, the Kenko TC's are normally used when taping pins.
    The push/pull is a love or loathe thing. For me it's so fast to pull back to find a small bird hopping in the branches, the zoom in to shoot, it's very easy to get into and very fast.
    The 100-400 is probably my most used lens, I can post examples, but unless they were side by side with the other lens, you'll never tell any difference.
    Ian

    I would have to disagree about the 70-200, Up until I got my 400 it was my wildlife lens.
    Not the best option, but if it is all you have.... Works good with my 2x converter as well.

    The moose is with 70-200 F2.8 and the Osprey is 70-200 with 2 x mk11 converter.

    Sorry dont mean to hijack your thread:D


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