Approve the Cookies
This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and our Privacy Policy.
OK
Index  •   • New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Guest
New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Register to forums    Log in

 
FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 05 Sep 2018 (Wednesday) 09:13
Search threadPrev/next
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

Canon 400 f/5.6 vs 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 Mk II

 
Choderboy
I Chimp, therefore I am
Avatar
5,492 posts
Gallery: 100 photos
Likes: 3188
Joined Jul 2005
Location: Sydney, Australia
     
Sep 10, 2018 07:38 |  #16

johnf3f wrote in post #18704492 (external link)
Do you think that "Outlander" may be a better description Tom?;-)a

I only say what I have found to be the case. If that goes against the "Perceived" wisdom then should I lie to newer photographers? I am sure you wouldn't want me (or anyone else) to do that.

Honestly I have not, yet, met a long lens photographer who has not benefited from turning stabilisers off.

This thread title is very clear, 400 prime (without IS) Vs 100-400 II (with IS).
To omit the fact that you do use IS on the 100-400 II and state you have not used IS in 5 years is, whether intentional or not, a lie.
I agree that I don't want you or anyone else to do that.


Dave
Image editing OK

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)
setagate
THREAD ­ STARTER
Senior Member
Avatar
528 posts
Gallery: 261 photos
Likes: 3600
Joined Dec 2005
Location: Naples, Florida
     
Sep 10, 2018 09:07 |  #17

If I buy a 100-400 L IS lens, and I believe I will, I will be using IS. I don't see how it can hurt and I expect it would help.


Bob

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
johnf3f
Goldmember
Avatar
3,988 posts
Gallery: 1 photo
Likes: 612
Joined Apr 2010
Location: Wales
     
Sep 10, 2018 16:04 as a reply to  @ post 18704521 |  #18

I think you pay me too much of a compliment! But thanks anyway.

I am an arthritic, overweight, diabetic with arms like matchsticks + I am 60 in two months so hardly Arnie :lol:

Seriously though, I have found that I get better results without IS especially with long heavy lenses - perhaps their sheer mass damps down the higher frequency vibrations that destroy images? My problem with the 100-400 Mk2 is the lack of the "old" trombone action. Much as I love the improved optics of the Mk2 I do find it very hard to hand hold but, due to the twist zoom, my hands are too close together and the front of the lens is quite light which leads (I think) to instability when hand holding. I had no issues of this type with the Mk1, but the Mk2 is still my choice overall.

I know that I sometimes come across as the Arch IS Hater that lives under a bridge and attacks passing Goats and children - but this is not my intention. All I would ever suggest is that one tries it. If it works (I am fairly certain it will) then great! If not just turn IS back on- nothing lost.

All the best.


Life is for living, cameras are to capture it (one day I will learn how!).

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
johnf3f
Goldmember
Avatar
3,988 posts
Gallery: 1 photo
Likes: 612
Joined Apr 2010
Location: Wales
     
Sep 10, 2018 16:20 |  #19

Tom Reichner wrote in post #18704560 (external link)
I also use "the Sigmonster".

On a tripod, I usually have little trouble getting tack-sharp images at 800mm at shutter speeds of about 1/125 and above. But I will admit, I get a lot of soft shots down below 1/100th.

Image Stabilization would be a godsend when shooting 8000mm at shutter speeds of 1/30th, 1/60th, etc. If Johnf3f can get tack-sharp images at these shutter speeds, at 800mm, with no stabilization, then I would agree that he has superlative long lens technique.

No I can't!:cry:

Remember my Canon lens is a bit shorter (overall length) and much lighter than yours. Certainly I can get nice sharp shots at 1/80 sec hand held - but there will be a number of failures included, perhaps quite a lot! I try to stay at 1/250 or faster when hand holding, but 1/160 gives an adequate hit rate.

I haven't tried to see how slow I can go with a tripod as I haven't, yet, needed to. I might give is a go - just to see?

All my best.


Life is for living, cameras are to capture it (one day I will learn how!).

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
johnf3f
Goldmember
Avatar
3,988 posts
Gallery: 1 photo
Likes: 612
Joined Apr 2010
Location: Wales
     
Sep 10, 2018 16:35 |  #20

Choderboy wrote in post #18704702 (external link)
This thread title is very clear, 400 prime (without IS) Vs 100-400 II (with IS).
To omit the fact that you do use IS on the 100-400 II and state you have not used IS in 5 years is, whether intentional or not, a lie.
I agree that I don't want you or anyone else to do that.

Yes I was a bit tired and forgetful when I posted that so fair point.

I have used IS (mode 3) on my 100-400 Mk2 occasionally when I cannot get shutter speeds above 1/400 or so as I find it very difficult to hand hold. I have found no use for IS on the 400 F5.6 L as it handles much better. Note I have yet to use IS on my 100-400 Mk2 when doing anything other than testing/trying things out and am still undecided - though I can see that IS could be an advantage on this lens.

I made a mistake/omission there so thank you or pointing that out - we all drop clangers now and again, this one is mine!


Life is for living, cameras are to capture it (one day I will learn how!).

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
joeseph
"smells like turd"
Avatar
9,789 posts
Gallery: 95 photos
Likes: 1687
Joined Jan 2004
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
     
Sep 12, 2018 04:48 |  #21

setagate wrote in post #18704741 (external link)
I don't see how it can hurt

It can hurt, but I've only once (in 15 years shooting with an IS lens) noticed a problem while shooting with IS turned on that was cured by turning it off.

That instance was shooting fast-moving bikes on a track day panning with IS set to mode II, noticed the image jumping around and having noticeably slower focus times.
Turning IS off without changing anything else stopped the problem reoccurring.


some fairly old canon camera stuff, canon lenses, Manfrotto "thingy", 1D MK II converted for IR, and now an M5
TF posting: here :-)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
shane_c
Senior Member
689 posts
Likes: 73
Joined Mar 2007
Location: Halifax, NS, Canada
     
Sep 12, 2018 19:25 |  #22

I've owned a 400mm twice and both times thought it was a fantastic lens for BIF. I've since sold it because it was too specialized for me and I couldn't justify having such an expensive lens that was only for BIF.

If I was to purchase again I would definitely go with the 100-400 mk2 because it is much more versatile with it being a zoom.


Canon 80D - Canon 15-85, Canon 40 STM, Canon 70-200L F4 (non-IS), Canon 1.4x II
G1X, G15
My Instagram (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Snydremark
my very own Lightrules moment
18,351 posts
Gallery: 44 photos
Likes: 1383
Joined Mar 2009
Location: Issaquah, WA USA
     
Sep 12, 2018 19:51 |  #23

CyberDyneSystems wrote in post #18704521 (external link)
I have a theory.

I think John "grew up" shooting the big lenses, and has a technique that really capitalizes on their weight (or "balance" John might insist.)

Weight, in most cases, tends to dampen things. Where it becomes the opposite of a dampener is of course once it is unstable and begins to move, at which point weight is harder to get back under control.
John has over the years developed long (heavy) lens technique that is both different, and likely superior to most of us. The Work that Canon. Nikon, SIGMA are doing with IS/VR have not helped him in this regard.

This theory explains both why he prefers no IS on the big boomers, and is having more trouble than most of us with the 100-400mm. Not only are we using the IS happily, but John's technique which works so well with the a lens with some junk in the trunk, becomes a disadvantage with the lighter 100-400mm.

FYI, John is not the only one I've come across that does so well using lens weight as an advantage. Romy, AKA "Liquidstone" is another such marvel, and his long lens technique is built right into his screen name. He's small yet insanely powerful, he's flexible, bending rather than breaking and yet solid as stone. He used to post images taken with the SIGMONSTER 300-800mm with stacked T-Cons at insane long focal lengths, pitifully small apertures, Mid 2000's ISO speeds, and thus low shutter speeds, and that lens has no IS.
I owned that lens and had difficulty with it @ 800mm even on a solid Gitzo tripod set up.

Anyway,
Just a theory.

Since I'm fairly certain Romy is *actually* a Terminator living amongst us, I'm not sure he's fair to pull into this discussion....:D


- Eric S.: My Birds/Wildlife (external link) (7D MkII/5D IV, Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5, 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)
"The easiest way to improve your photos is to adjust the loose nut between the shutter release and the ground."

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Pigpen101
Senior Member
869 posts
Gallery: 3 photos
Likes: 524
Joined Mar 2017
     
Sep 12, 2018 20:25 |  #24

I bought the 400mm F/5.6 mainly for birds/wildlife. It is a fantastic lens. I chose that over the 100-400mm MI because I have read (and saw) a whole lot of soft images and was not enthused by the push/pull zoom. Also, I owned the 70-200mm F/2.8.

However, things have changed. The 100-400mm MII has received amazing reviews & I've spoke to people that have owned both the first & second version. People who absolutely loved the MI are now calling it mediocre compared to MII. The second thing that has changed is my vocation. I now shoot sports, mostly football, instead of wildlife and the versatility of the zoom is very attractive. The 100-400mm MII is quite pricey, but I can sell my 400mm F/5.6 for about $800 making the zoom a little more affordable. I am in need of a newer 2nd body so I am saving for the 80D or the 7D MII. Once that purchase is complete, my next goal is the 100-400mm. Hopefully it will drop slightly in price by then.




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
amfoto1
Cream of the Crop
10,251 posts
Likes: 81
Joined Aug 2007
Location: San Jose, California
Post edited 5 months ago by amfoto1. (2 edits in all)
     
Sep 13, 2018 12:05 |  #25

setagate wrote in post #18704741 (external link)
If I buy a 100-400 L IS lens, and I believe I will, I will be using IS. I don't see how it can hurt and I expect it would help.

Contrary to what one other responder says...

Canon IS is very effective and extremely helpful. I've been using a number of different lenses with IS for over 15 years, have made hundreds of thousands of images with it, and can assure you that it improves images far more often than not, and virtually never "hurts" an image. I almost never turn IS off. Especially when shooting hand held and especially when using telephoto lenses. In fact, IS was one of the top reasons that I (and many others... look at photos of the the sidelines of any major sporting event) switched to the Canon system many years ago. IMO Canon IS improves focus performance and even stabilizes the image in the viewfinder to some extent, which can be helpful when panning shots.

I considered the EF 400mm f/5.6L USM in the past and "took it for a test drive".... But ended up buying the EF 300mm f/4L IS USM instead for two reasons: One being that it works very well with a quality 1.4X teleconverter, giving me both a 300mm f/4 and a 420mm f/5.6.... The other over-riding factor being that 300mm has IS and the 400mm doesn't. The reason I was considering these lenses was to have a hand holdable telephoto to complement 300mm f/2.8 IS and 500mm f/4 IS that I already had, but are largely "tripod only" lenses that make me less mobile. Ultimately, I use the 300mm f/4 so much that I ended up buying a second one as a backup.

I also considered, tried out, but didn't buy the original 100-400mm. I just am not a fan of push/pull zooms like that (I know some people like em, tho). It was a fine lens, aside from that and one other minor thing. For some reason, it's highly sensitivity to filters... putting any filter on the original 100-400 causes it's images to "go soft"... even when it's an ultra high quality, multi-coated filter. I don't know why that's the case, but a lot of users of that lens were stunned to learn how good it was, after they removed the "protection" filter they'd put on it since new. The filter "issue" didn't matter to me, though, since I rarely use any filter on telephotos like these.

A couple years ago I got the 100-400mm II and now use it most... though it's a bit bigger and heavier than the 300mm f/4 (3.5 lb. vs <3 lb.). Still, it's hand holdable for a fairly long time... only during 4, 6 and 8 or more hour long shooting sessions I might put it on a tripod with a gimbal head. Note: the 300mm f/4 uses an earlier form of IS that can cause problems when locked down on a tripod.... same with the original 100-400mm "push/pull" zoom. It's generally not a problem when working with a loose gimbal, though. Plus the whole point of those lenses is hand-holdability. This is not an issue with the 100-400mm II. It self-detects and automatically turns off IS, when there's no movement to correct, such as when locked down on a tripod.

Even since getting the 100-400, I still switch to the 300mm f/4 at times, when shooting in lower light conditions where the extra stop is helpful. There are a couple indoor venues I shoot regularly where the f/4.5-5.6 zoom requires a little too high ISO or a little too slow shutter speed to freeze subject movement. The variable aperture of the 100-400mm II starts out at f/4.5, drops to f/5 at 135mm, but then maintains that to just over 300mm, where it finally drops to f/5.6 (far better than Tamron or, especially, Sigma 100-400). But even though it's only 2/3 stop difference up to 300mm, when light is marginal, I'll use the f/4 prime instead (or if even worse light, f/2.8 prime even tho it means a tripod for anything longer than a few minutes). This isn't a factor, though, when comparing the 100-400 to the 400mm f/5.6. In fact, at shorter focal lengths the prime doesn't even offer, the zoom has 1/3 to 2/3 stop advantage.


Besides.... If Image Stabilization were so bad and problematic... if users didn't think it worked very well.... why did every camera and lens manufacturer scramble to follow Canon's lead and implement it in their respective lenses and cameras? Some took 8 or 10 years to catch up... but they all stabilize everything now.

There are differences between different manufacturers' stabilization systems. Obviously, some use in-camera instead of in-lens stabilization. But, even beyond that, each manufacturer has patented their system... So even though the ultimate goal is the same, there are bound to be some differences. For example, it's widely thought and pretty well proven that Nikon "VR" slows autofocus to a certain extent and a lot of folks shooting with their lenses turn it off for that reason. I don't believe same isn't true of Canon IS... in fact, if anything I think it assists and speeds up autofocus. I have no way of testing and roving this.... it's just based on fifteen + years experience.

There also have been examples of lenses that were "softer" in stabilized versions... Tamron's 17-50mm f/2.8 "VC", for example, is noticeably less sharp than the non-VC version. But this most certainly isn't true of most Canon lenses. In fact, in many cases the IS lenses are sharper than the non-IS.... compare the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L non-IS to any of the three f/2.8 IS versions or the two f/4 IS versions.... all of which are notably sharper than the non-IS version (which is an old design, but still in production as a lower cost alternative).

Image quality... sharpness, contrast etc.... is nearly identical. No worries with either lens. See for yourself:

https://www.the-digital-picture.com …omp=0&FLIComp=0​&APIComp=0 (external link)

All these lenses are quite well built, like most L. The guys at Lensrentals like to take things apart just to see what's inside, and when they did a tear down of the 100-400 II they called it "the best built zoom they'd ever seen". (That was before Canon released the 200-400mm f/4L Extender, though.) The 100-400 II is a much newer lens and probably has better sealing than the older 400/5.6L, too. However, the 100-400 II is not internal zooming... it increases in length considerably and this probably reduces it's weather resistance to some extent. The 400/5.6L, on the other hand, is internal focusing.... probably easier to seal up. So I would guess that it's pretty much a wash.

The 400/5.6L also has a built in lens hood... that's nice and convenient. Always right there and ready to use. The 100-400 II's hood is separate and reverses for storage on the lens, but is the new design Canon has been using on all their lenses, with the improved locking mechanism (and higher price tag, if it's ever lost). Oh, and the 100-400 II's hood has a little door in the underside to give access to rotate a filter, if needed.

So in answer to your original question... I'd buy the 100-400 over the 400mm f/5.6. Even some years ago I chose an IS lens over the non-IS 400mm f/5.6L. And I'd do the same again today. It's more money, of course, but the versatility of the zoom that the 100-400mm II offers is also very worthwhile. And it's IS is among the "latest and greatest" types... with 3-4 stops worth of assistance and near instant action.... the lens is also quite fast focusing and works well in hand. Canon wisely put the big zooming ring forward on this lens (opposite many of their other zooms, such as the various 70-200s), where the lens rests in your hand when shooting with it.

One minor short-coming of the 100-400mm II is it's tripod mounting foot, which is designed to be easily removed. It's a nice looking "curvaceous" design.... which doesn't mate well with the anti-twist features of Arca-Swiss quick release lens plates! If using the Arca QR system, I recommend replacing the tripod mounting foot completely. There are quality replacements with built-in Arca QR dovetail from Kirk Photo, RRS, Hejnar Photo and some others. These cost a little more than a lens plate, but are well worth it. They all also fasten using a hex head screw that I feel more confident about than the thumb-screw that Canon used on the OEM foot. (I ended up buying the Hejnar foot for my 100-400 II. The other two are fine, too, I'm sure. There are now some cheaper knock-offs avail., I'm not sure about those.)


Alan Myers (external link) "Walk softly and carry a big lens."
5DII, 7DII(x2), 7D(x2) & other cameras. 10-22mm, Tokina 12-24/4, 20/2.8, TS 24/3.5L, 24-70/2.8L, 28/1.8, 28-135 IS (x2), TS 45/2.8, 50/1.4, Tamron 60/2.0, 70-200/4L IS, 70-200/2.8 IS, 85/1.8, Tamron 90/2.5 Macro, 100/2.8 USM, 100-400L II, 135/2L, 180/3.5L, 300/4L IS (x2), 300/2.8L IS, 500/4L IS, EF 1.4X II, EF 2X II. Flashes, studio strobes & various access. - FLICKR (external link) - ZENFOLIO (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
johnf3f
Goldmember
Avatar
3,988 posts
Gallery: 1 photo
Likes: 612
Joined Apr 2010
Location: Wales
Post edited 5 months ago by johnf3f.
     
Sep 13, 2018 17:14 as a reply to  @ amfoto1's post |  #26

Your post illustrates how different we are and the varying experiences that we have. If I may quote; "But ended up buying the EF 300mm f/4L IS USM instead for two reasons: One being that it works very well with a quality 1.4X teleconverter, giving me both a 300mm f/4 and a 420mm f/5.6.... The other over-riding factor being that 300mm has IS and the 400mm doesn't."

When I had the 300 F4 L IS (loved it!), quite a while back I went down to Llandeusant (don't you love Welsh place names!) to photograph Red Kites with my 300 F4 L IS, I came back with a 100% fail rate?!? Oh dear - not happy with new toy...... This got me thinking.

Went down the following weekend, similar conditions and same gear but IS off, got about 60% keepers and about 30% really sharp. So from all junk to nearly 2/3 good got me thinking. Started using IS only when I thought it may help, things got better, used IS even less and things got better again.

Nowadays I don't use it at all, except for experimenting on my 100-400 M2, and find that I get a higher percentage of keepers.

We are all different and have varying requirements. My only suggestions are to give it a go and do not dismiss a lens because it doesn't have this (IS) feature - it can be a benefit.

Just food for thought...............​?


Life is for living, cameras are to capture it (one day I will learn how!).

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

3,093 views & 18 likes for this thread
Canon 400 f/5.6 vs 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 Mk II
FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
AAA
x 1600
y 1600

Jump to forum...   •  Rules   •  Index   •  New posts   •  RTAT   •  'Best of'   •  Gallery   •  Gear   •  Reviews   •  Member list   •  Polls   •  Image rules   •  Search   •  Password reset

Not a member yet?
Register to forums
Registered members may log in to forums and access all the features: full search, image upload, follow forums, own gear list and ratings, likes, more forums, private messaging, thread follow, notifications, own gallery, all settings, view hosted photos, own reviews, see more and do more... and all is free. Don't be a stranger - register now and start posting!


COOKIES DISCLAIMER: This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and to our privacy policy.
Privacy policy and cookie usage info.


POWERED BY AMASS forum software 2.1forum software
version 2.1 /
code and design
by Pekka Saarinen ©
for photography-on-the.net

Latest registered member is MailManX
534 guests, 406 members online
Simultaneous users record so far is 15144, that happened on Nov 22, 2018

Photography-on-the.net Digital Photography Forums is the website for photographers and all who love great photos, camera and post processing techniques, gear talk, discussion and sharing. Professionals, hobbyists, newbies and those who don't even own a camera -- all are welcome regardless of skill, favourite brand, gear, gender or age. Registering and usage is free.