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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 15 Dec 2014 (Monday) 00:55
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400mm or 100-400mm

 
Bogino
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Dec 15, 2014 00:55 |  #1

Which would YOU recommend of the above 2 options if you were only concerned about Bird photography. Am headed back to Costa Rica next month. I have both of the 400mm and the 100-400mm and trying to decide which, if either, I would be better off taking, AGAIN, only taking into account Bird Photography. Thank You.


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El ­ Pedro
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Dec 15, 2014 01:44 |  #2

Which 400mm?




  
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ed ­ rader
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Post edited over 6 years ago by ed rader.
     
Dec 15, 2014 01:46 |  #3

forget the subject. what type of lighting will you be shooting in. you need plenty of light to hand hold a 400mm lens that doesn't have IS. I owned the 100-400L and I have the 100-400L II on the way. for what I shoot I would never choose a 400mm prime without IS. it's just too limited.

wait, you have both lenses and you don't know which to take?


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Aswald
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Dec 15, 2014 02:11 |  #4

EF400 F2.8 IS II, EF100-400 II and lastly EF400 F2.8.

Between the first 2 lenses, it will depend on your photographic needs.




  
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El ­ Pedro
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Dec 15, 2014 02:37 as a reply to  @ Aswald's post |  #5

What about 400mm f/4 DO I and II? Plenty of different 400s out there.




  
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Paulstw
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Dec 15, 2014 03:18 |  #6

I used a 400 5.6L for about a year, specifically for bird photography. Small birds need a crop because you can't get close enough due to the min focus distance of 12ft. It needs good nice sunlight too. Get that, and it's a cracking lens. The new 100-400 is probably going to suit your needs. A 400 2.8 needs a monopod, it's a beast and will come with a price tag. Not sure it's a 'travel' kind of lens and more often than not you'll be stopping down to get most of the subject in the focal plane anyway. A 400 2.8 IMO is reserved for sports or bigger subject matter at distance.




  
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howiewu
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Dec 15, 2014 06:55 |  #7

At least make it clear which lenses you're talking about.


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Bogino
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Dec 15, 2014 07:34 |  #8

Should have been more specific: what I have are the Canon 400mm 1:5.6 L Ultrasonic. The other is Canon 100-400mm F/4.5 - 5.6 IS USM. As far as "type" of photography, as I originally mentioned: Bird Photography is my subject. Am returning to Costa Rica and below are a couple images from an earlier trip which is representative of what I will be looking to do. Some birds will be out in the open with decent lighting (like toucans and macaws) while others will be inside the rain forest where lighting will be more challenging. Hope this helps.


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howiewu
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Dec 15, 2014 07:54 |  #9

I would imagine in the rainforest, there will be situations where ambient light level is low. That being the case, I would suggest bringing the 100-400L for the IS. I understand IS does nothing to stop motion, but for perched birds, IS will still help. In fact in your signature I see the 70-300L, which has latest-gen IS, I would bring that, plus the 400 f/5.6 L for the reach. Or -- just to throw things out -- if you really have all of these 3 lenses, I would trade them all in for the new 100-400II (time may be against you though).


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17-40mm f/4 USM L, 24-70mm f/4 IS USM L, 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS USM L, 24mm f/3.5 TS-E L, 35mm f/2, 50mm f/1.4 USM, 100mm f/2.8 IS USM L, 300mm f/2.8 IS USM II L, 430 EX II, 270 EX II, 1.4x TC III, 2x TC III, Kenko Pro 300 1.4x TC
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apersson850
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Dec 15, 2014 07:56 |  #10

For birds lenses tend always to be too short. Thus the EF 400 mm f/5.6L USM is probably the preferred choice among those two.


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huntersdad
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Dec 15, 2014 09:52 |  #11

Given your two options - 400 5.6.

If you factor in the new 100-400, which is spectacular, I would choose it as the AF speed would be splitting hairs between the 400 5.6 and you get excellent IS. IQ is there with either.


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howiewu
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Dec 15, 2014 10:07 |  #12

Another thing to keep in mind is that the 400L has a rather long close focus distance, whereas the new 100-400 II has a very short one. A shorter close focus distance may be beneficial in tight spaces, such as a tropical jungle under the canopy.


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17-40mm f/4 USM L, 24-70mm f/4 IS USM L, 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS USM L, 24mm f/3.5 TS-E L, 35mm f/2, 50mm f/1.4 USM, 100mm f/2.8 IS USM L, 300mm f/2.8 IS USM II L, 430 EX II, 270 EX II, 1.4x TC III, 2x TC III, Kenko Pro 300 1.4x TC
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jeetsukumaran
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Post edited over 6 years ago by jeetsukumaran. (7 edits in all)
     
Dec 15, 2014 10:19 |  #13

howiewu wrote in post #17333703 (external link)
Another thing to keep in mind is that the 400L has a rather long close focus distance, whereas the new 100-400 II has a very short one. A shorter close focus distance may be beneficial in tight spaces, such as a tropical jungle under the canopy.

In primary lowland tropical forest, the canopy can be up to 80 m high. I do not think that MFD will be the problem here :). Especially since you can so rarely see the canopy anyway, let alone anything in the canopy, and definitely nothing on the canopy (unless you are looking down on the canopy from a hill or something)!

In general, I have never felt that tropical forests felt like a "tight" space when walking through them (EDIT: OK, maybe tight compared to, e.g. the Serengeti or Yellowstone; but to me, those are the anomalies in that they exceptionally open spaces), except when you go off trail and get tangled up in rattan! In that case, though, again, MFD is not an issue ... freeing yourself without the humiliation of having a friend cut you loose is!


Gallery: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/jeetsukumaran/ (external link) Website: http://jeetworks.org/ (external link) Canon 6D, Zeiss Distagon T* 2.8/21, EF 24-70 f/2.8L II USM, EF 40mm f/2.8 STM, EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM, EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM II.

  
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howiewu
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Dec 15, 2014 10:24 |  #14

jeetsukumaran wrote in post #17333727 (external link)
In primary lowland tropical forest, the canopy can be up to 80 m high. I do not think that MFD will be the problem here :). I have never felt that tropical forests felt like a "tight" space when walking through them, except when you go off trail and get tangled up in rattan! In that case, though, again, MFD is not an issue ... freeing yourself without the humiliation of having a friend cut you lose is!

Well, I understand the OP stated his interest is birds, but if insects are on the menu too  :p the magnification of the 100-400II will come very handy!


5DII, 70D
17-40mm f/4 USM L, 24-70mm f/4 IS USM L, 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS USM L, 24mm f/3.5 TS-E L, 35mm f/2, 50mm f/1.4 USM, 100mm f/2.8 IS USM L, 300mm f/2.8 IS USM II L, 430 EX II, 270 EX II, 1.4x TC III, 2x TC III, Kenko Pro 300 1.4x TC
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jeetsukumaran
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Dec 15, 2014 10:26 |  #15

I've noted before my limited experience with telephoto shooting so far, but I have spent a lot of time in tropical forests.

Light is a premium commodity: apertures being equal (or if you are not willing to deal with the massive decrease in portability to get a bigger aperture), I would suggest a Better Beamer and maybe a bracket to help bring the flash off axis.


Gallery: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/jeetsukumaran/ (external link) Website: http://jeetworks.org/ (external link) Canon 6D, Zeiss Distagon T* 2.8/21, EF 24-70 f/2.8L II USM, EF 40mm f/2.8 STM, EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM, EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM II.

  
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