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Thread started 01 Feb 2009 (Sunday) 21:32
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The Canon 400mm f/4 DO IS Thoughts

 
ctwehues
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Feb 03, 2009 16:24 |  #46

KenjiS wrote in post #7247040 (external link)
AMEN!

Its good to finally see some samples from this lens! I've wanted one for a while after reading about its size/weight [SUPposedly its more handholdable than the 300 f/2.8] it sounds like the perfect hiking lens to me!

I think the 400 is much more hand-holdable than the 300. It seems thinner and weighs a little over a pound less. I love the way it pops up, being so short and all.




  
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Recon ­ Photojournalist
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Feb 03, 2009 17:09 |  #47

I agree with ctwehues, mobility is a huge advantage of this lens. I am not a regular user of the 300 f2.8, used it about a dozen time back in my newspaper days. Personally, 300mm is not enough reach.

The 400 f4 DO is a rare lens and I wonder how many of us who praise or citicize it actually use or own one. To me, this lens serves a very specific job being handholdable, takes a TC well and AF on the pro bodies with IS. It's just like the 1200mm f 5.6 , 50mm f1.0, TS-E , MP-E and 15mm Fisheye which all are specialty tools.

If I have to walk around or travel and need the reach of 400mm ( say 400mm is enough reach for the job), I'd happily use the 100-400mm ( in fact I always keep the 100-400 on 1 body); if I need to cover a sports event at night or indoor as a pj, I'd pick the 400mm 2.8 given I don't have to move around much. My point is there's no "best" lens but "best lens for the job"




  
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malla1962
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Feb 03, 2009 17:33 |  #48

Recon Photojournalist wrote in post #7245822 (external link)
I can certainly understand where ed and Rik is coming from and I don't shoot from a blind at all. I am used to the ghillie suit and it becomes a habit( except the zoo :lol: ).

How's this unprocessed shot with the DO ?

I would like to see a crop of this image.


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ctwehues
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Feb 03, 2009 21:09 |  #49

Hey everyone,
Again, some more images from this beauty. These are at 800mm f/8. Now this is only one stop down from the 800mm f/5.6, and I think this lens does a phenomenal job with the 2x TC. It also weighs in at under 5lbs with the TC attached. Please post some images of the 500mm f/4 with 1.4 TC or the 400mm f/2.8 with 2x for comparison purposes. People will comment (on this thread and elsewhere) that those two lenses are in a different league--please show me that they are. I do actually want some comparison photos.

And again, all full size copies are available by email request.


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ctwehues
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Feb 03, 2009 21:16 |  #50

A few more--I apologize for the compression, but email me for full rez samples. You'll be impressed. At least I am.


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ctwehues
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Feb 03, 2009 21:17 |  #51

You are viewing approximately 1-2 inches of an object at 15 feet or so away.




  
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cfibanez
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Feb 04, 2009 05:59 |  #52

ctwehues wrote in post #7249312 (external link)
You are viewing approximately 1-2 inches of an object at 15 feet or so away.

All handheld?


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ctwehues
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Feb 04, 2009 06:39 |  #53

Haha, I wish. No, these were shot on a Wimberley Sidekick and Bogen tripod at home last night. I think shutter speeds were like 1/4 second or something.




  
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bbbig
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Feb 04, 2009 07:08 as a reply to  @ ctwehues's post |  #54

Interesting thread, and thanks for posting the sample photos.

I don't have either 300mm f/2.8L IS or 400mm f/4L DO IS. However, as a prospective buyer of a 400mm+ lens, I am drawing following conclusions from what I've read/seen so far:

1. With 300mm f/2.8L IS + x1.4TC (420mm f/4), you can achieve as good (if not better?) image quality as the 400mm DO. What's not so clear so far, is how 300mm f/2.8L IS + x2TC (600mm f/5.6) would compare to 400mm DO + x1.4TC (560 f/5.6).

2. 400mm DO is a great option if you're really looking to use it at longer focal length, x1.4 (560mm f/5.6) or x2 (800mm f/8).

3. Cost difference between 300mm f/2.8L IS and 400mm f/4L DO IS is still pretty significant. $4100 (300 2.8) vs. $5500 (400 DO) => $1400! Even you throw in the TCs, the difference is still more than $1k. You could buy 300 2.8 and 400 5.6 for the price of 400 DO (although that's pretty unlikely). These lenses weigh about the same, but 400mm DO is easier to handle, as it's shorter.

So, in all, unless your purposes are 1) to be able to hide your 400mm under your coat (i.e. short length), or 2) obtain a poor-man's 800mm, albeit at f/8, I can't see any additional benefits of 400mm DO over 300mm 2.8, given the cost difference. If Canon lowered 400mm DO's price by $1200 (i.e. to $4300), then I think it could become a really logical alternative to 300 2.8 + 1.4TC, if you indeed shoot always at 400mm+. However, I can imagine Canon's investment in getting DO lenses to work is rather high, considering limited number of models they have, and as their success isn't probably as wide-spread, unless Canon is going all DO in the future, I doubt they can justify lowering its price.

What do you think?


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Feb 04, 2009 07:44 |  #55

bbbig wrote in post #7251411 (external link)
What do you think?

I think Canon would be better off dropping the whole DO line (all two of them) and producing either a straight 400 f4L IS or better, a 200-400 f4L IS to compete with Nikon's.


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JustChillin
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Feb 04, 2009 07:56 |  #56

I have the 400 DO as well and I love this thing.

bbbig: the 300 f2.8 and 400 f4 are roughly the same size and weight. A very nice pro photog was kind enough to send me several full size images taken with the 300 f2.8 and 2x combo. They were quite good considering they were taken with the 2x, certainly good enough for a magazine or largish print. But upon closer view they were not all that sharp, even at f8. The images were shot on the standard picture style with the sharpness cranked up a bit. He also said that the 2x took a big bite out of AF speed. He was shooting with the 1D mk II or III, I can't remember which, and ended up purchasing a 500 or 600 f4 for faster focusing, again, I can't remember which.

AF is still quick with the 1.4x with any lens I use it with including the 400 f4, just not as snappy. The 400 f4 is sharp with the 1.4x attached, and is stunningly sharp if stopped down by 2/3 - 1 stop.


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KenjiS
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Feb 04, 2009 07:59 |  #57

RikWriter wrote in post #7251528 (external link)
I think Canon would be better off dropping the whole DO line (all two of them) and producing either a straight 400 f4L IS or better, a 200-400 f4L IS to compete with Nikon's.

I'd rather have a 400mm f/4L IS and a 400mm f/5.6L IS

That Nikon 200-400 isnt remotely handholdable last i checked...

How heavy would a "normal" 400mm f/4L IS be? wouldnt it still be fairly handholdable and tiny? I cant think of a 400mm f/4-ish lens besides the one Minolta made...and that was an f/4.5 [And it came in at 4lbs which is reasonable..actually its .3 lighter than the 400 DO]

I did find a Tamron 400 f/4 with weight specifics saying its about 5lbs...its an antique MF lens, but Id imagine a new one would weigh similar...

So you gain .7 of a pound of weight, and most likely get a lens thats a lot higher quality...


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ctwehues
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Feb 04, 2009 10:52 |  #58

I owned the 300mm f/2.8 IS with Canon mkII TCs and I do not think it is as sharp as the 400mm DO straight. If there are samples of that, please post them here and we can (somewhat) settle this debate. Here is an over 100% crop (I think) of the above razor shot. Again, email me for the full image as it is impressive, especially in terms of composition and color and skin cells (oooh, just kidding).


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ctwehues
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Feb 04, 2009 10:53 |  #59

Again, that razor is 15 feet away and the 400mm DO was used with a 2x TC (Sigma DG model) at f/8. Im impressed.




  
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malla1962
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Feb 04, 2009 11:22 as a reply to  @ ctwehues's post |  #60

300f2.8 with 2X

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