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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 06 Feb 2012 (Monday) 18:16
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Thinking about getting a 400mm Prime

 
rick_reno
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Feb 07, 2012 19:34 |  #31

i'm thinking of getting one too, looks like a fun lens and the 5.6 version isn't that costly.




  
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phreeky
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Feb 07, 2012 19:45 |  #32

Snydremark wrote in post #13845286 (external link)
Regardless of his dismissal that there was something 'off' with his 100-400, I would put my 100-400 against the f5.6 any day. I haven't ever seen results that poor with mine (that I didn't cause).

I agree that the 5.6 IS sharper; just not nearly by that much of a margin.

The joy of copy variation in a 4x zoom with 17 elements versus a prime with 7 elements.

If I was guaranteed a 100-400 that was as sharp as my 400, including when I stack TCs behind it for astro use, then I would find it VERY tempting. I just cannot take that gamble though.




  
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CheshireCat
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Feb 07, 2012 19:47 |  #33

nightcat wrote in post #13844963 (external link)
And you've done tests to back this up?

No, but Canon has:

http://www.usa.canon.c​om …ro/ef_200mm_f_2​_8l_ii_usm (external link)

http://www.usa.canon.c​om …70_200mm_f_2_8l​_is_ii_usm (external link)

Note that Canon's MTF are calculated though.

However, real tests from reliable sources say the zoom is a tad better. Copy variation may also come into play here, but the average feeling is the zoom being at least as sharp as the 200/2.8, or better.

I did test the zoom vs my calibrated copy of the 135L, with same results:
https://photography-on-the.net …read.php?t=9458​34&page=11

The zoom also has better colors than the 135L.


1Dx, 5D2 and some lenses

  
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baj2k
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Feb 07, 2012 20:01 |  #34

Snydremark wrote in post #13845286 (external link)
Regardless of his dismissal that there was something 'off' with his 100-400, I would put my 100-400 against the f5.6 any day. I haven't ever seen results that poor with mine (that I didn't cause).

I agree that the 5.6 IS sharper; just not nearly by that much of a margin.

Even Canon says the 400 5.6 is better look at the MTF's on that same link... now more versatile that's a whole other question... :cool:




  
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Snydremark
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Feb 07, 2012 20:39 |  #35

baj2k wrote in post #13845441 (external link)
Even Canon says the 400 5.6 is better look at the MTF's on that same link... now more versatile that's a whole other question... :cool:

I don't disagree that it is sharper; what I disagree with is that the gulf is as huge as LL makes it out to be. If I got the kind of results out of any lens that he got out of his, in that test, it would be on the next flight to Canon.


- 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."

  
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wrxrocks
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Feb 07, 2012 21:29 |  #36

i was thinking about ordering 400 5.6 but without IS and at 400mm, I now have a second thought. I would pay $2000 for it with IS. Why Canon Why? You put IS on a 24 and 28 prime but not on 400 Why Canon Why?


50D with ef 16-35ii, ef 24-105L f4 IS, my new lover 70-200L f2.8 IS ii, 35L f1.4, EF 85L F1.2 mark ii, 400L F5.6

  
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pbelarge
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Feb 07, 2012 21:37 as a reply to  @ Snydremark's post |  #37

One mentioned giving up flexibility of FL by buying prime.
The 400 f/5.6 is relatively inexpensive considering the focal length and IQ. One can afford other focal lengths and the 400 f/5.6. Yet, I also believe that the longer focal lengths need to be primes to have better IQ. I know the 100-400 is close, but close is only good for handgrenades and horse shoes. ;)

I have tried with my 70-200mii to duplicate 400 using the 7D and 1.4 extender. It cannot be done by the average shooter - or at least by me. :D

I bought a UZ 400 (brand new at BH) about 3 weeks ago and I paid less than $1000 - not bad for this lens.

I have a few other lenses without IS and have learned a few techniques to be able to shoot without issue. My keeper rate is very good. I shot last week outside in cold weather with my 24-70/16-35 on the 5Dii for an entire day. I had only a few that were not keepers -probably due to my error, not the camera/lens.

Another plus of the 400 is the size and weight - I was pleasantly surprised when I picked it up at BH, at first I thought maybe it was a "dummy" lens.

One issue with longer FL such as 400 and up is the cost. For some it is just out of reach...maybe the used market and a lucky purchase.


just a few of my thoughts...
Pierre

  
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Old ­ Baldy
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Feb 07, 2012 22:20 |  #38

pbelarge wrote in post #13846055 (external link)
Yet, I also believe that the longer focal lengths need to be primes to have better IQ. I know the 100-400 is close, but close is only good for handgrenades and horse shoes. ;)

It's not that difficult to be fairly assured of good copy, if you buy a used lens from certain vendors who test each and every copy they sell, and report their results.

Case in point.....in all the months that I've checked lens resolution at lensrentals.com, I've NEVER seen another Canon lens that tested sharper than my 100-400L.

That includes this $6900 600mm Prime f/4 L lens currently for sale, which was tested at 20/20 lp/min (against my 22/22 lp/min 100-400L for $1100)

http://www.lensrentals​.com …4l-is-serial-number-24621 (external link)


OB
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mswobo
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Feb 07, 2012 22:34 |  #39

I had the 100-400 and as a serious hobby was very happy with the results. I sold it because I didn't use it much. Things are changing for me and seems all my travels I wish i had the 100-400.

I am seriously considering the 400 5.6. Can you shoot it hand held? When I had the 200 2.8 I was able to just worried that it may be to much. I know good light will be the key.


Nikon D850 and a bunch of stuff, I have learned a lot here when I was shooting Canon, staying to keep learning..."Every time I set up I learn something new".

  
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No ­ Angle
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Feb 07, 2012 22:51 |  #40

I dont understand the hesitation, 400 5.6 all the way. I have it basically welded to my 7D now.


7D / 70-200 F4L IS / 400 5.6L / 50mm 1.8 / 18-55 Kit / CS5 plus other software.
My Smugmug (external link)

  
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mswobo
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Feb 07, 2012 22:52 |  #41

No Angle wrote in post #13846557 (external link)
I dont understand the hesitation, 400 5.6 all the way. I have it basically welded to my 7D now.

Do you use it handheld a lot? How is he balance?


Nikon D850 and a bunch of stuff, I have learned a lot here when I was shooting Canon, staying to keep learning..."Every time I set up I learn something new".

  
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No ­ Angle
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Feb 07, 2012 23:29 |  #42

99% of the time it is handheld. Look at my smugmug Every shot in the bird gallery was with the 400 and either the T2i or 7D. You get used to it pretty fast. It will be awkward at first. I am so used to the weight that when I put a "smaller" lens like the 70-200 F4 on I feel like I do not even need IS I am so steady. If anything it will improve your technique not having the IS to fall back on all the time. It forces you to think about what you are doing with your shutter and apature more. I can shoot it with pretty sharp results all the way down to 1/250th most of the time and 1/400th+ is usually a winner. I use it for action like BIF shots and you have to be at 1/1000th or more anyway. I do use it on my tripod for moon shots as well.

I vacillated over the decision for a month going back and forth between the 100-400 and 400 5.6. I held the 100-400 and did not take to the push/pull zoom or the air pressure felt when doing it. I rented the 400 for a weekend and feel in love. I bought it 2 days later.

Once I paired it with the 7D it was a match made in heaven for me. If you are wondering about it, I would say don't, just get it and give a few days of shooting to get used to it and you will love it. The balance on the 5D will be better than with the 60D being larger full frame body, but the 60D will still be fine since it is about the same size as the 7D. Gripped the 60D and 7D will balance it much better. I do put all the weight in my lens hand though and just support the body and shoot with my right hand. I am not trying to hold it up with both hands.

mswobo wrote in post #13846562 (external link)
Do you use it handheld a lot? How is he balance?


7D / 70-200 F4L IS / 400 5.6L / 50mm 1.8 / 18-55 Kit / CS5 plus other software.
My Smugmug (external link)

  
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mswobo
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Feb 08, 2012 00:04 |  #43

Thanks no angle its in my wish list at B&H...end of February I will pull the trigger.


Nikon D850 and a bunch of stuff, I have learned a lot here when I was shooting Canon, staying to keep learning..."Every time I set up I learn something new".

  
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Janika
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Feb 08, 2012 00:14 |  #44

This is not a brainer. I actually owned all three lenses, Had the 100-400 iS for almost three years. Sold it due to frustration in softness wide open @ 400mm where I used it the most. To tell you honestly I rarely to never use a tripod, as I do a lot of bushwhacking and have relatively steady hands. Yes the IS helped a bit, but most of the time light helped more. Got a new 300 f/4L iS USM and I sold it after less than a year. It was fast and good in low light but could never get sharp images out of it, maybe I was just unlucky and had a lemon. The guy I sold it to is happy with it, so everybody happy. In my frustration I almost went back to a 70-200 f/4 (iS?) which I also owned in a non iS version and that lens was awesome. Finally I ended up getting a new 400 f/5.6L USM and never looked back. I mostly shoot bird pix and this is the lens to have. It is razor sharp at any aperture, It focuses fast and it's light and small. Had this lens with me in Europe (twice) in my carry-on luggage :)
Although iS would be nice to have, it's a lovely lill lens and I'd be heartbroken if Canon ever stopped making it. It's also very affordable. Keep in mind with a 1.4 TC you'll lose AF, but on a tripod, still produces sharp images in good light, using manual focus. Yes, I miss the zoom and the speed of the 300 f/4L but this one is a keeper for life. Pair it up with the also affordable 70-200 f/4L USm and you have two sharp L lenses, One for birds/aviation and long distance stuff and another for sports and portraits and everything else in between.

Here is a recent sample, shot with my 50D + 400 5.6 lens:

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Janika

(John) CANON A590 iS - EOS 50D - EF 400mm f/5.6 L USM - EF 50 f/1.8 II - Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 XR Di II - Velbon Sherpa pro - SIGMA DG500-ST
EOS 40D sold, EF 300 f/4L iS Sold

  
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watt100
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Feb 08, 2012 04:26 |  #45

wrxrocks wrote in post #13845978 (external link)
i was thinking about ordering 400 5.6 but without IS and at 400mm, I now have a second thought.

yes, you should have second thoughts. Make sure you can it try out for a few days before buying, without IS and at a fixed 400mm makes it challenging in many situations. I found a telephoto zoom like the 100-400 much better




  
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Thinking about getting a 400mm Prime
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