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Thread started 24 Apr 2017 (Monday) 13:14
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400 DO II vs. 500 f/4 II

 
MatthewK
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Apr 24, 2017 13:14 |  #1

I have the DO II. Excellent optic, it's perfect for hand holding and loses very little IQ when using extenders to get out to 800mm. For my style of photography, which is more mobile walk-around, versus setting up on a tripod and waiting, I think the 400 DO II is at the precipice of what is comfortably hand holdable. But I'm still curious...

Those of you with the 500 f/4 II: basically, is it hand holdable for regular use? Or, is that the exception, i.e. If need be you can go off tripod, but it'll wear you out after a while?

As with anything bird, more reach + wider aperture = better, but again, not at the expense of mobility. Someday I may be at the point where I settle down and Wimberly tripod it up, but not now.

I've also seen others with the 500 contemplating the DO II. Discuss!!!


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Apr 24, 2017 14:42 |  #2

Please discuss with my wife and convince her I need the 400 DO II :-)


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Apr 24, 2017 15:03 as a reply to  @ digital paradise's post |  #3

The first step is to equate lenses to an expensive shoe or handbags: "What's the allure of buying that Luis Vitton, when a purse I can make out of vines and reeds can carry things just as well? For starters, the Louis bag will last longer and look such glamour, and you can resell it. And notice how much better it organizes your things than the makeshift pocket made out of pig ear that comes with my VineReed bag?"

"Well, your Louis purse to my VineReedPigEar purse, is what this smallish 400mm DO lens is to me. Look, it's not even an L. At least I'm not buying an overpriced, expensive L lens like the 800mm f/5.6 USM".

Then you have to say: "I didn't protest when you buy your 14th clutch purse from Bloomingdales, in fact I like that it makes you happy. Did you happen to notice how clean the bathrooms were when you got home today? :-D "


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edmidlifecrisis
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Apr 24, 2017 15:09 |  #4

It's tough. I used both (loaners) one day last month on a boat outing and was highly impressed with both. They are both magnificent lenses, performance-wise. The weight/bulk difference is significant, no doubt. And I am not a kid. But I think that I would be happy with either, and give the 500 a slight edge. The Canon refurb site has both lenses listed for incredible prices now but both are out of stock. I might do CPW price watch on both. But then I would have to really scrounge up the money as I am in the middle of a hugely expensive roof replacement right now....with interior work to follow from some water damage...ugh...lost money- I could buy multiples of both of these lenses for what this is costing. And I won't get it back at sales time either, it 's really just maintenance.


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MatthewK
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Apr 24, 2017 15:19 as a reply to  @ edmidlifecrisis's post |  #5

I may have to find one local that I can compare w/ my DO II, or rent sometime.

How did you find the length/bulk of the 500mm; I mean, was it long enough to make maneuvering cumbersome? Where would you say most of the weight was at? With the DO, it's nicely balanced closer to the body, so not front heavy at all, making it more manageable for hand holding.


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CyberDyneSystems
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Apr 24, 2017 16:08 |  #6

There are three big differences.

- 100mm

- 2 pounds 6 ounces

- 6 inches

:)


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Apr 24, 2017 16:11 |  #7

MatthewK wrote in post #18337283 (external link)
I may have to find one local that I can compare w/ my DO II, or rent sometime.

How did you find the length/bulk of the 500mm; I mean, was it long enough to make maneuvering cumbersome? Where would you say most of the weight was at? With the DO, it's nicely balanced closer to the body, so not front heavy at all, making it more manageable for hand holding.


The 500 is tough. The weight is not mostly close to you, so it is more difficult. I spent part of a morning and a good chunk of an afternoon wrestling with it. By the end I was more comfortable handholding it. And we were on a boat that was drifting around, making it tougher. Based on that I am sure I could get used to it. But would rather have it on my tripod where possible!! It's doable for me. More time doing upper body training....

Our guide for the two days shoots a Canon 600 plus 2x converter HAND HELD all the time-it is his daily rig with or without the TC-I know as I have been out with him numerous times. But he does this all day most every day, so is quite used to it and lighting-fast picking it up and getting it on target. Like watching a highly trained marksman or shotgunner. He did lend me his 600 a month or so ago and it was really tough to handhold for any amount of time. The 500 was easier. But not easy.


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Apr 24, 2017 16:11 |  #8

digital paradise wrote in post #18337233 (external link)
Please discuss with my wife and convince her I need the 400 DO II :-)

OK ... we know all about 'buy cheap, buy twice' ... but we are grown up enough also to know about 'buy expensive, buy twice' (for him ... for her).

You don't have the money unless you have two times the money. Sorry ... it's how the world works (and, to be fair, it's reasonable). You do me, I do you.


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Post edited over 1 year ago by Tom Reichner with reason 'I corrected a misspelling of the word "this" at the beginning of the third paragraph .'.
     
Apr 24, 2017 16:31 |  #9

CyberDyneSystems wrote in post #18337342 (external link)
There are three big differences.

- 100mm

- 2 pounds 6 ounces

- 6 inches

:)

Yes, it seems that with both lenses and bodies, we are still at the point where in order to gain in one area, you must sacrifice in another. I am beginning to wonder if this will ever resolve itself in my lifetime.

I probably only have about 30 more years of shooting left in me, and I am getting concerned that I will never enjoy using gear that comes without any compromises at all.

Hence, the need for threads such as this one, where we have to examine all of the pros and cons of two different, but similar, pieces of gear, and make hard decisions about what we are willing to give up and what we absolutely will not give up. Someday in the very distant future, I hope that people do not have to make such decisions.
.


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Apr 24, 2017 16:49 |  #10

You are never really going to know if it works for you without at least a few days of trying one out. Lensrenrals.com will be happy to oblige for $401 for seven days (and don't ask me why $401 as opposed to $400 even). That's cheaper than the almost $9000 for a new one or likely a minimum of $4000 for a used one.


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Apr 24, 2017 17:00 |  #11

The issue of 400 DO II vs 500 II (or neither) is relevant for me too. Agreed that renting one would help with the decision. But as far as I know, nobody rents either of these in Canada.

You guys that own these lenses - when doing bird photography, do you stop down for DOF? If so, what is the point of the f/4?


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Apr 24, 2017 17:10 as a reply to  @ Elton Balch's post |  #12

Of course, nothing will beat a hands on demo. I'm just wanting to share thought process and impressions right now, as I'm not anywhere near wanting to pull the trigger on this momentous upgrade.

I'm definitely questioning whether 500mm is where I want to be focal length-wise. I'm finding that 80D + 400 + 1.4x is the setup I am using the most, and for the most part I'm getting workable shots. Is it worth spending another $3-4k for the 500. Of course it is, but the current setup is fantastic.


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Apr 24, 2017 17:11 |  #13

Archibald wrote in post #18337398 (external link)
The issue of 400 DO II vs 500 II (or neither) is relevant for me too. Agreed that renting one would help with the decision. But as far as I know, nobody rents either of these in Canada.

You guys that own these lenses - when doing bird photography, do you stop down for DOF? If so, what is the point of the f/4?

CPS Canada has it on it's list otherwise yes it is difficult to rent in Canada.


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Apr 24, 2017 17:15 as a reply to  @ Archibald's post |  #14

When using the 1.4 TC, you have more usable AF points vs. a 400mm f/5.6 lens. And the ability to AF at f/8 w/ the 2x is a bonus. As with all Canon stuff, that one stop costs a fortune.

To be honest, I don't shoot at f/4 all that often though, as 400mm is a little short for the small birds that I'm trying to photograph. So far, only when I have used my blind has 400mm been close enough, and yes, the DOF gets a little skinny when subject is close enough to fill frame. Even then f/5.6 isn't leaving too much DOF.

Basically, for me the f/4 + light weight + 1.4 TC = an excellent 560mm f/5.6.


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Apr 24, 2017 17:16 |  #15

Archibald wrote in post #18337398 (external link)
The issue of 400 DO II vs 500 II (or neither) is relevant for me too. Agreed that renting one would help with the decision. But as far as I know, nobody rents either of these in Canada.

You guys that own these lenses - when doing bird photography, do you stop down for DOF? If so, what is the point of the f/4?

Ed- two advantages of the f4. There are likely others. One is they are sharp wide open so you have more options when light is an issue. Second, if you are like me and like to use these lenses with the TC's, you have more options for AF if the lens is brighter than, say the 100-400. On a 7D mark 2 the AF will work on all points with the 1.4TC with either prime. It will not do this with the 100-400 zoom. I have used all three in combo. On the 7DII, the 100-400 zoom only has one center AF point that is not moveable. Not so with the primes and the 1.4 TC. On the 5D4 and the 1DX the body will AF with all functions with the 1.4T C (equivalent of f5.6 max) and with the 2.0 TC ( equivalent of f8) with the f4 or f2.8 primes. It seems to me after using these in combo with the 1.4 TC that the TC's were engineered for these big fast primes, so to retain all AF function and also to minimize degradation of IQ.

Anyone have anything to add? Or contradict?


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400 DO II vs. 500 f/4 II
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