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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 15 Jun 2010 (Tuesday) 17:19
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400 2.8 + 2.0 II versus 800 5.6 (dumb question alert)

 
Erik ­ S. ­ Klein
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Jun 15, 2010 17:19 |  #1

I was just doing some dreaming over at the Canon site and saw the 400 2.8 ($8,000 list) and the 800 5.6 ($12,000 list) and realized that I could (if my numbers hit on the lottery) get a 400 2.8 and a 2x teleconverter for $8,500ish and have the reach as the $12,000 lens plus the flexibility of the 2.8 when needed (as well as the potential for a 560 f4) for less money and with only 2 lbs of extra weight.

Or am I missing something critical?

Does the teleconverter do something horrible to the IQ?


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CyberDyneSystems
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Jun 15, 2010 17:20 |  #2

It does effect IQ for sure,..


The 400mm will take the 2X as well as any lens made, the only other lens in it's league in that respect is the 300mm 2.8.

But the 800mm is another story, it's the newest Canon super telephoto, and very well respected.

Many people theorize about the 400mm f/2.8 being the best all around long lens canon makes..

Funny thing is no one that shoots these super telephotos (or very few) actually think that way.
Once your ready to make the plunge to a lens in the >$6K price tag,. why try to force one to work as a compromise? Get the one that suits the subject matter you shoot.

ie: the 400mm is not the best choice for a birding lens...and the 800mm is no the best for sports.

So discard this idea of a flexible lens, and instead focus on the lens that you will use for your chosen subject matter.

If you don;t have a specific subject matter that needs one on these lenses, really and truly, there is not any reason to be considering buying one.


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philwillmedia
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Jun 15, 2010 18:14 |  #3

I used an 800/5.6 at this years Australian GP.
I loved it. It took a little while to learn, simply because the frame filled so quickly and left little room for error but after about 20 mins - and quite a few missed shots (clipped cars etc - haha) I came to terms with it pretty well.
The image quality is superb

Images are uncropped, also these were taken through the catchfence

1D MkII, 1/1000s f/7.1 ISO640 800mm

IMAGE: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4061/4477716324_a06d3cc78a_o.jpg

1D MkII, 1/320s f/10.0 ISO400 800mm
IMAGE: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2689/4476941767_e02b390233_o.jpg

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JelleVerherstraeten
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Jun 15, 2010 18:18 |  #4

I think what CDS says is quite right. But if you shoot alot of sports and you want to try some birding, you advice could be a solution IMO.


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Deep ­ Pocket
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Jun 15, 2010 18:59 |  #5
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it does affect IQ for sure, but it should still be very sharp. the 300 2.8, 400 2.8, and 200 2.0 are known to be Canon's sharpest long lenses and can surely take on the 2x TC without much trouble.


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ed ­ rader
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Jun 15, 2010 19:05 |  #6

Deep Pocket wrote in post #10368738 (external link)
it does affect IQ for sure, but it should still be very sharp. the 300 2.8, 400 2.8, and 200 2.0 are known to be Canon's sharpest long lenses and can surely take on the 2x TC without much trouble.

meaning what? that AF won't be affected? even with a 1.4 TC i didn't like the way the 300L focussed in low light.

ed rader


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liquidstone
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Jun 15, 2010 21:56 |  #7

Erik S. Klein wrote in post #10368245 (external link)
I was just doing some dreaming over at the Canon site and saw the 400 2.8 ($8,000 list) and the 800 5.6 ($12,000 list) and realized that I could (if my numbers hit on the lottery) get a 400 2.8 and a 2x teleconverter for $8,500ish and have the reach as the $12,000 lens plus the flexibility of the 2.8 when needed (as well as the potential for a 560 f4) for less money and with only 2 lbs of extra weight.

Or am I missing something critical?

Does the teleconverter do something horrible to the IQ?

I use the 400 2.8 for birding, and a 1.4x TC hardly touches its IQ and AF speed. However, with a 2x TC, AF speed slows down such that it now struggles at BIFs with busy background. IQ with a 2x TC is still excellent at f/7.1 - f/9 and decent even wide open. What I like most with a 400 2.8 + 2x TC is the very close MFD (3 m) - amazing magnification for a supertele.

Yes, it's the heaviest Canon lens in production, and I wouldn't want to do long hikes with it.

Samples:

A 5-shot burst at a BIF, 7D + 400 2.8 + 1.4x
http://www.pbase.com …/image/12375789​2/original (external link)

Full res, 5D2 + 400 2.8 + 2x
http://www.pbase.com …/image/11599889​6/original (external link)


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Combatmedic870
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Jun 15, 2010 23:19 |  #8

CyberDyneSystems wrote in post #10368255 (external link)
It does effect IQ for sure,..


The 400mm will take the 2X as well as any lens made, the only other lens in it's league in that respect is the 300mm 2.8.

But the 800mm is another story, it's the newest Canon super telephoto, and very well respected.

Many people theorize about the 400mm f/2.8 being the best all around long lens canon makes..

Funny thing is no one that shoots these super telephotos (or very few) actually think that way.
Once your ready to make the plunge to a lens in the >$6K price tag,. why try to force one to work as a compromise? Get the one that suits the subject matter you shoot.

ie: the 400mm is not the best choice for a birding lens...and the 800mm is no the best for sports.

So discard this idea of a flexible lens, and instead focus on the lens that you will use for your chosen subject matter.

If you don;t have a specific subject matter that needs one on these lenses, really and truly, there is not any reason to be considering buying one.

Wow....Now that is great advice!

bw!bw!bw!bw!bw!bw!bw!


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airvincent
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Jun 29, 2010 22:09 as a reply to  @ Combatmedic870's post |  #9

If you need 800mm all the time just get one, but if you shoot sports I don't think you will use 800mm all the time.......

I am shooting sports and I am using 400mm f2.8 IS and 300mm f2.8 IS all the time. For indoor will be 200mm f2 IS etc....

Sometimes I shoot wildlife, bird etc... because its only sometimes therefore I won't buy 800mm or 600mm.. just use 1.4x or 2x on my 400mm

Pick the one you use most and the lenght require. But if you got lots money just buy all then have fun :D nothing wrong to own everyhting :cool:


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TooManyShots
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Jun 30, 2010 00:19 |  #10
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First the IS on the 800L is better for the focal length. I am not sure the IS on the 400L can provide the same stops as in the 800L. So, the IS is less affective on the 400L + the 2x converter. IQ will degrade a lot and you may need more post processing than usual to make the shots to pop. Seriously now, would you switch converter, on and off, on the fly because the situation depends it? Think about this. I assume you want to shoot birds? A bird landed and perched on a branch. You already have your 2x converter on it. Now, the bird got too close. Would you remove the converter and to shoot it at a bare 400mm? The answer is no because the bird would have flown away already. In reality, unless you know before hand what and where to shoot, you will not switch to different focal lengths by either putting on or putting off the converter.


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Jun 30, 2010 00:22 |  #11

ed rader wrote in post #10368762 (external link)
meaning what? that AF won't be affected? even with a 1.4 TC i didn't like the way the 300L focussed in low light.

ed rader

Exactly why I bit the bullet and got a 500...

Yeah, the 300 + 2X = 600 but not as clean as 500 native nor even 500 + 1.4X


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airvincent
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Jun 30, 2010 02:40 |  #12

TooManyShots wrote in post #10451701 (external link)
First the IS on the 800L is better for the focal length. I am not sure the IS on the 400L can provide the same stops as in the 800L. So, the IS is less affective on the 400L + the 2x converter. IQ will degrade a lot and you may need more post processing than usual to make the shots to pop. Seriously now, would you switch converter, on and off, on the fly because the situation depends it? Think about this. I assume you want to shoot birds? A bird landed and perched on a branch. You already have your 2x converter on it. Now, the bird got too close. Would you remove the converter and to shoot it at a bare 400mm? The answer is no because the bird would have flown away already. In reality, unless you know before hand what and where to shoot, you will not switch to different focal lengths by either putting on or putting off the converter.

I don't think people using 400mm lens + converters on/off when bird got closer. People who decided to go with 400mm + converters I think because more flexible in different shootings, for example 80% sports and 20% wildlife/bird etc..... not because they can take off converter when bird fly closer :) my 2 cent


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dolina
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Jun 30, 2010 21:20 |  #13

Erik S. Klein wrote in post #10368245 (external link)
I was just doing some dreaming over at the Canon site and saw the 400 2.8 ($8,000 list) and the 800 5.6 ($12,000 list) and realized that I could (if my numbers hit on the lottery) get a 400 2.8 and a 2x teleconverter for $8,500ish and have the reach as the $12,000 lens plus the flexibility of the 2.8 when needed (as well as the potential for a 560 f4) for less money and with only 2 lbs of extra weight.

Or am I missing something critical?

Does the teleconverter do something horrible to the IQ?

The extra weight does add up when you include the other gear you will be lugging around with you. The extra 3 pounds (with extender) could mean overweight charges with the airlines or not being able to fly at all.

Also consider the level of difficulty of shooting that goes with using an extender. Image quality diminishes (to various degrees) so does AF speed and accuracy.

As CDS mentioned earlier consider what you are planning to shoot as it may be too lengthy or slow for your needs.


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400 2.8 + 2.0 II versus 800 5.6 (dumb question alert)
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