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Archive 2012 · Faster focusing lenses ?
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Faster focusing lenses ?

I like to take images of Birds in Flight. I picked up a very well used 1DMk2, which from what I understand is very good at fast focusing.
My question is, what lenses work best and quickest with this camera. I have a 70-200 F4(no IS) and 100-400. Out of those I would say the 70-200 is quicker.
I wish I could afford a 500 or 600mm lens, but truth is I'll never afford any of those.
So what would be my choices otherwise ?
The reason I need quickness is Swallows, they are fast, and darty to say the least.

Jul 30, 2012 at 04:26 PM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Faster focusing lenses ?


Jul 30, 2012 at 04:30 PM
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Faster focusing lenses ?

A lot of the BIF photogs seem to recommend the 400/5.6 L over the 100-400 because of AF speed. I'm sure a few of them will chime in within about 45 seconds.

Jul 30, 2012 at 04:30 PM
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Faster focusing lenses ?

How much do you want to spend? And how long do you want?

The prime 400/5.6 is much faster than the 100-400 . I've not used a 300/4 is but I think that faster as well.

I find that yes my 100-400 is lacking in AF speed , but it can be body dependant. It's faster on my mk2n than my 7D which is faster than my 40D was.

Also (and probably no help for erratic birds) I find it fast enough when making small changes but bigger changes challenges it more. eg at a race track pre focussing on the apex of the corne it would track very fast motogp bikes without much issue.

Jul 30, 2012 at 04:32 PM

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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Faster focusing lenses ?

I believe Canon some years ago had an article about the 300/2.8 IS being the fastest focusing lens (The new generation lenses probably changed that).

I have tried to photograph Swifts head-on with the 400/5.6, but they can easily outrun it when they get close enough. (The closer they get the faster the USM have to move to keep tracking, there is a reciprocal-value involved).

I tried the 300/2.8 IS, it is probably a bit faster, but more difficult to swing around, so I prefer the 400/5.6



Jul 30, 2012 at 04:43 PM
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Faster focusing lenses ?

If you're on a budget and you already have the 100-400, then the 400 5.6L is your only choice. You will love this lens and you won't have to sell a kidney to get one.

Your 1 series should be able to AF to F8, so a 1.4 TC for the 400 may not be a bad idea either. IQ-wise, the 400 takes a 1.4 very well. AF does slow down even on a 1 series, however.

There's a lot of back and forth with users of these 2 lenses... You decide for yourself.... I sold my 100-400 because AF was so slow and IQ was not as good compared to the 400 5.6L. A few years later I read that some early copies were bad so I bought another only to be disappointed again..... sold it too. The argument continues to this day.

Jul 30, 2012 at 05:13 PM
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Faster focusing lenses ?

400mm 5.6 paired with the 1dII is a great combo. I use it almost daily. I set the 1dII to 13 point expansion with the center point activated, and I usually use the 8.5 meter limiter on the 400 5.6. Get it used, and if it doesn't work for you, you can sell it for basically no loss.


Jul 30, 2012 at 05:22 PM

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