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Archive 2012 · 400 f/4 vs 400 f/2.8
  
 
ChrisAuch
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p.1 #1 · 400 f/4 vs 400 f/2.8


Hey everyone! I have been watching this site for years and just joined recently and had a few questions. I have a 70-200 2.8 IS mk II and want to get into a bigger wildlife lens. I just had the opportunity to borrow a 500 f4 and fell in love. My question to you guys that have these lenses and possible have had more than one, what lens would you recommend? 500 f4? 400 f/4? 400 f2.8? or do you think if staying in the 400mm range the 100-400 would be a good lens and saving $$$

Thanks for your help.



Jan 25, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Ian.Dobinson
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p.1 #2 · 400 f/4 vs 400 f/2.8


You've already fallen in love with the 500. go for it.


Jan 25, 2012 at 07:17 PM
moonyguy
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p.1 #3 · 400 f/4 vs 400 f/2.8


If you have the money go for the 500 F4. If not go for the 100-400 as it is a versatile lens. You can also rent if you cant afford the 500 right away. I do that and its a lot nicer way to play with expensive toys on the cheap.



Jan 25, 2012 at 07:31 PM
AGeoJO
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p.1 #4 · 400 f/4 vs 400 f/2.8


The 400mm f/4.0 comes only in a DO version. So, I assume that's what you meant, correct? That lens' biggest advantage is its weight and bulk. The sharpness or resolution of the lens is great but the contrast is lagging behind. I am sure you heard about that condition. I would say the 400mm f/2.8 and 500mm f/4.0 are on equal footing. One provides a better object isolation and the other one provides a longer reach. No clear winner or loser here, it depends on what effect you want to get with the lens. I have to add that the 400mm Mark II lens has a new 4-stop IS and it is lighter and more compact than the current 500mm f/4.0 IS.

Since you have a 70-200mm f/2.8 IS Mark II, why not try a 2X Mark III TC on it? You will be pleasantly surprised, I would say.



Jan 25, 2012 at 07:32 PM
gspiridakis
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p.1 #5 · 400 f/4 vs 400 f/2.8


Hello there,
i own the 500 f/4, and i had the 100-400 and 400 f/5,6 in the past.
Well, i can tell you this. The 100-400 is a quite good lens, and can give really good images, especially on 'strong' body (on my 5Dii was great).
But shooting with a 500 f/4, or a 400 f/2,8 (i took some shots with that one) - i never used the 400DO- is an other class. Images are sharper of course, and the use of that f/4 is really great, producing that great blurry backround.
What i noticed with my 100-400 (and the same thing one friend of mine that owns the 100-400) is that when we were using the f/5,6 aperture, the in focus images were reducing to a great degree..At 6,3 you could get a better rate of in focus images and at 7,1 i believe we had the best results (sharper images as well as in focus images rate). What i mean is that with the 100-400 at 5,6 it's somehow a risk to shoot, because the chance of geting out of focus image gets higher. At least that's my personal experience, which is also supported from that friend of mine.
But in general, is a very versatile and nice lens.
On the other hand, shooting at f/4 is a satisfaction..If my speed isn't too low of course, it produces very sharp and in focus images, much better than the 100-400.
Hoped i helped a little,
George



Jan 25, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Ian.Dobinson
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p.1 #6 · 400 f/4 vs 400 f/2.8


Op you could also always wait a little bit and get the new 200-400 that must be due out shortly.
Comes with its own integrated TC

See the new gear in the wild thread .




Jan 25, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Jo Dilbeck
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p.1 #7 · 400 f/4 vs 400 f/2.8


Just a little segue, I would agree, if you love the 500 F4 you tried, you would probably not be satisfied with a 400 or less.

HOWEVER, WHERE DOES ONE GET A 500 F4? They are almost non-existent as far as I can tell and only rarely come up on the BS board. An option you might consider, which is what I resorted to due to financial reasons, was to get a 300 F2.8 IS and a 2XIII extender. This combo works quite well for me, as well as for other photographers who made the recommendation to me.

Jo





Jan 25, 2012 at 08:58 PM
 

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BluesWest
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p.1 #8 · 400 f/4 vs 400 f/2.8


HOWEVER, WHERE DOES ONE GET A 500 F4?

They come up for sale almost weekly on eBay.

As to the OP's main question, I would ask: what are you shooting? If birds (particularly small ones) are your main subject, then the 500mm f/4 is is the way to go.

John



Jan 25, 2012 at 09:04 PM
ChrisAuch
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p.1 #9 · 400 f/4 vs 400 f/2.8


Thanks everyone for the replies. It sounds like the 500 would be the best way to go as I would be shooting everything from small birds to Elk. Now the saving continues! What should someone expect to pay for a good 500 lens? Seems like the price of the version 1 went up a little since the v2 came out?


Jan 26, 2012 at 01:30 AM
onesickpuppy
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p.1 #10 · 400 f/4 vs 400 f/2.8


Well...its well known that I have a different opinion to either a 400 or 500....and let me explain

Yes..the 500 f4 is "known" as the wildlife standard...and with a 1.4 TC you get a 700 5.6 that is razor sharp too.

But when I made the jump I did a lot of mental gymnastics over this and ended up getting the 400 2.8. And here is why

400 2.8 sharpest lens around....great ability to have the best bokh
400 + 1.4 = 560 @ f4 still razor sharp...super fast on focus too...and now slightly longer than a 500
400 + 2x = 800 @ 5.6 sharp as ever...fast AF.....and way out past the 500 gang
400 + 1.4 + 2x = 1120 still sharp....in good light AF ok..but slightly slow

One lens...two TC's....great versatility....

Yes...up front, you may pay slightly more for the 400....but the combo's that you can create far out weigh the cost difference. I shoot everything from road racing to bald eagles with my 400 2.8 and I have never been disappointed that I "should have got a 500" !!

Here is a few at 800......



onesickpuppy 2011

Charging me !!





onesickpuppy 2011

Into the light





onesickpuppy 2011

Into the turn





onesickpuppy 2011

In flight




Jan 29, 2012 at 02:36 AM
PetKal
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p.1 #11 · 400 f/4 vs 400 f/2.8


onesickpuppy wrote:
400 2.8 sharpest lens around....great ability to have the best bokh


So it is in my opinion as well.
500m f/4 is a truly excellent lens, however, 400 f/2.8 IS is freaking awesome.......and it is not just the matter of IQ.......I'll trade that 100mm of FL for an extra stop any day.

But, but, but..........400 f/2.8 IS MkI is also punishing heavy. My lens I nicknamed "The herniator".

That is where 400 DO steps in: unremarkable IQ for such an expensive lens, but a joy to use handling-wise. It's AF is also nicely responsive and f/4 is often fast enough.

So this is the dilemma: the ultimate performance vs. the superior DO ergonomics. Only you know where your priorities reside and how strong your arms and shoulders are.
500 f/4 may be a compromise lens between those two 400mm options, and if you can spring for 500 II, then you should be doing real well.



Jan 29, 2012 at 03:38 AM
onesickpuppy
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p.1 #12 · 400 f/4 vs 400 f/2.8


Yes...depending on which 400 2.8 version you purchase...the weight is some what more...but then if your doing bigger wildlife as the OP was indicating he wanted to do...then one also believes that there will be proper support under it (strong tripod and gimble head)....because even the 500 guys do not hand hold for long like you can the DO 400 version.

Actually...my 400 is the very first version...non IS weighing in at 14 lbs.....have been tempted to trade to an IS version...but mine is so sharp...that I'm afraid to get one not as sharp.....thus I put up with a little weight until I find a $$ fairy to help me get the current VS II



Jan 29, 2012 at 03:57 AM
PetKal
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p.1 #13 · 400 f/4 vs 400 f/2.8


onesickpuppy wrote:
Actually...my 400 is the very first version...non IS weighing in at 14 lbs.....have been tempted to trade to an IS version...but mine is so sharp...that I'm afraid to get one not as sharp.....thus I put up with a little weight until I find a $$ fairy to help me get the current VS II


I don't know if it's really worth the extra money unless you will handhold it a lot. Not much difference in IQ between my 400 MkI and 400 MkII.




Jan 29, 2012 at 05:03 AM
AGeoJO
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p.1 #14 · 400 f/4 vs 400 f/2.8


Yes, it is true that if you use a tripod or monopod as your gear support, the weight doesn't play that much of a role but most of the time you don't stay stationary unless you use a blind. Most of the time, you have to carry your gear from one spot to the other and do that many times. If you are still young and built like Arnold, the weight may not play that much of a role but as you age, and not so gracefully I may add, the weight reduction from Mark I to Mark II definitely helps and you will appreciate that feature .


Jan 29, 2012 at 05:29 AM





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