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Archive 2012 · Canon 400 5.6
  
 
3iron
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Canon 400 5.6


Just recently added a used 400 5.6 lens to my kit and am not very happy with the results so far. I assume the problem [at this time] is not holding steady as the photos are coming out slightly oof apearing.
I am shooting at a shutter speed of 1600 and am going to up it to 2500 on my next attempt, but thought I would ask you good folks if you have some experience with the lens and how to best make use of it.
I have hopes to use this lens for longish hikes when my 300 2.8 gets too heavy, but with the IQ I am seeing, it is not going to work.
From what I read previously to buying the 400, it is up to the 300, but of course has no IS. Right now, the 300 with a 1.4 adaptor blows it away, and even with a 2x it still makes the 400, 5.6 look bad.
Any suggestion would be most helpful.
Thanks and best wishes.
PS: Anyone suggest how to attach a photo? When I attempt the edit, there is no place to attach one. There is an Upload blank, available to Upload and Sell members only. That is all I see.

Edited on Oct 04, 2012 at 11:17 PM · View previous versions



Oct 02, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Ian.Dobinson
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Canon 400 5.6


Micro adjustment ?


Oct 02, 2012 at 05:03 PM
JimN
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Canon 400 5.6


3iron wrote:
Just recently added a used 400 5.6 lens to my kit and am not very happy with the results so far. I assume the problem [at this time] is not holding steady as the photos are coming out slightly oof apearing.
I am shooting at a shutter speed of 1600 and am going to up it to 2500 on my next attempt, but thought I would ask you good folks if you have some experience with the lens and how to best make use of it.
I have hopes to use this lens for longish hikes when my 300
...Show more

All of the 400mm F5.6 lenses I have used have been very sharp. Perhaps it needs service. Motion blur at 1/1600 and 400mm FL should not occur unless there is high speed motion of the subject relative to you.



Oct 02, 2012 at 05:20 PM
ChrisRD
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Canon 400 5.6


What body are you shooting with? As Ian mentioned...have you made sure it's focusing accurately?

I've owned a couple of copies of this lens now and it's very sharp right from F/5.6, right into the corners...even on a FF camera...so, sharpness should definitely not be an issue IMO.

I've also owned the 300/2.8 IS and IMO it's a fantastic lens and super sharp...and still very sharp even with the 1.4X attached. I've informally compared the 300+1.4X with the 400/5.6 and found them to be similarly sharp in the central parts of the frame...the 400/5.6 is a bit better in the corners and at the edges if you want to look very closely. Basically they are both more than 'sharp enough' not to be a limiting factor in actual photographs IMO.

The 300+2X, although a useable combo, is not as sharp as the 400/5.6 IME and if you are finding that to be the case I think there is something up with your 400/5.6.



Oct 02, 2012 at 05:30 PM
Garylv
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Canon 400 5.6


Unless your 400 is defective, you have some other issues going on that you'll have to sort through. The 400 f5.6 prime has a long reputation of excellent sharpness. Mine included. I compare mine directly with my 300 f2.8 IS to gauge the general sharpness and contrast. Both very high.


Oct 02, 2012 at 05:35 PM
Andrew J
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Canon 400 5.6


Get Focal PRO for less than 50 quid. If after running it you aren't very happy, send it to Canon.
http://www.reikan.co.uk/focal/mbp45/



Oct 02, 2012 at 05:37 PM
Sjjindra
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Canon 400 5.6


If manually focused with liveview on a good tripod, do you still see similar results when comparing both lenses?


Oct 02, 2012 at 05:38 PM
abqnmusa
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Canon 400 5.6


You should not have a problem hand holding the 400mm lens at 1/1600 - 1/2500
I often shoot at 1/800 & 1/1000 without issue on a 5D III.

try this as a test ...

set camera to T mode
set speed to 1/1600
set ISO to Auto
be sure to set the focus limiter to the long setting for general bird work. you only need the close setting on occasions if you are closer than about 8.5 meters.

focus is fast with the 400mm F5.6. I normally use the center point plus 4 or so expanded points. Or single center point focus for small birds or perched birds.

I also use a monopod with the 400mm F5.6 and the lens tripod collar. That does help you steady as you are learning the lens.

post some example and the forum can help you out




Oct 02, 2012 at 06:08 PM
lacsong
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Canon 400 5.6


JimN wrote:
All of the 400mm F5.6 lenses I have used have been very sharp. Perhaps it needs service. Motion blur at 1/1600 and 400mm FL should not occur unless there is high speed motion of the subject relative to you.

+1



Oct 02, 2012 at 09:10 PM
RobDickinson
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Canon 400 5.6


Mine is sharp, has needed very little MA overall but always that varies.

Depth of field at 400/5.6 can be very unforgiving.
Also any movement can easily mess up a shot.



Oct 02, 2012 at 09:11 PM
 

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CW100
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Canon 400 5.6


Sjjindra wrote:
If manually focused with liveview on a good tripod, do you still see similar results when comparing both lenses?


definitely check it with a tripod, holding it steady can be a problem in some circumstances




Oct 04, 2012 at 11:46 AM
JEFFERY Z71
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Canon 400 5.6


I agree with our other FMer's. 400 5.6 with good light is very sharp. Try a tripod and at least the battery test at 45 degrees wide open, at minimal focus distance to see if it is back or forward focusing.


Oct 04, 2012 at 11:59 AM
pKai
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Canon 400 5.6


FoCal is your friend.

As others have said, I own this lens and its tack-sharp corner to corner. You should expect no less.

Your technique appears sound, so your copy either needs microfocus adjustments or its flat-out defective.

The 10x live view manual focus test on a solid tripod will tell a lot. If you achieve sharpness this way, then try FoCal. If the adjustments fix it, then you're done.

If live-view fails or FoCal says its way off (-+10 or more, I'd say) or if it simply can't adjust it, then send it to Canon.



Oct 04, 2012 at 03:53 PM
diverhank
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Canon 400 5.6


Unless your lens is defective, you seem to be another victim of IS. When I first got the 400mm f/5.6L I had the same disastrous results you're having. I was using the 70-200 f/4L IS with the 1.4X and it didn't matter how I shoot handheld I was getting reasonable results. 400mm f/5.6L requires me to be a little more disciplined, relaxed, take a deep breath, press the shutter while exhaling, etc. With practice, I was able to get razor sharp images while shooting down to 1/1000 sec. It is now my all time favorite lens.


Male Allen's Hummingbird Flying by Tongho58, on Flickr

Other 400mm shots
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tongho58/sets/72157627986925444/



Oct 04, 2012 at 08:53 PM
3iron
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Canon 400 5.6


My apologies for not getting back, I was not being notified of your answers. I will try to answer some of you questions and perhaps I can share a phot or two.
The camera I am using is a 1DX, plenty adequate. I have used FoCal to calabrate the lens, which, by the way, came out 0 and 0. The camera and FoCal liked the lens.
I suspect the problem is my technique and will be working on that. I am attempting to set up a test shot to take off a tripod to see what happens.
I tried faster shutter speeds but my feeling is the shots should have better IQ.
I will download some photos taken for your to look at.
Thank you so much for your help.



Oct 04, 2012 at 10:57 PM
3iron
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Canon 400 5.6


My apologies for not getting back, I was not being notified of your answers. I will try to answer some of you questions and perhaps I can share a phot or two.
The camera I am using is a 1DX, plenty adequate. I have used FoCal to calabrate the lens, which, by the way, came out 0 and 0. The camera and FoCal liked the lens.
I suspect the problem is my technique and will be working on that. I am attempting to set up a test shot to take off a tripod to see what happens.
I tried faster shutter speeds but my feeling is the shots should have better IQ.
I will download some photos taken for your to look at.
Thank you so much for your help.
Edit: I could not include photos in this thread so I added two to photo bucket it you would be kind enough to take a look. The larger flower was taken with a 300 2.8 with a 1.4 mag. the other was with the 400. When you crop these close or magnify them, the smaller or 400 flower looses quality much more quickly than the other. You can find these at: http://s1057.photobucket.com/albums/t382/golfer321/ Thanks much.



Oct 04, 2012 at 11:11 PM
RobDickinson
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Canon 400 5.6


Heres a recent 400/5.6L shot from a 5d2 - full rez.

http://zarphag.com/tmp/_MG_0442.jpg




Oct 05, 2012 at 02:50 AM
3iron
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Canon 400 5.6


Thanks rob and diverhank for your photos, they are very well done.
I may have to start a new thread so I can load my two photos. I took a photo of a sunflower with my 300 2.8 with a 1.4 multiplier and with my 400. They are not the same flower, but if I crop 1:1, the 400 clearly is not up to the 300 with 1.4.
Is anyone able to see the difference on photo bucket. To me it is not as clear as with Lightroom.
Best wishes.



Oct 05, 2012 at 03:30 AM
3iron
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Canon 400 5.6


Thanks rob and diverhank for your photos, they are very well done.
I may have to start a new thread so I can load my two photos. I took a photo of a sunflower with my 300 2.8 with a 1.4 multiplier and with my 400. They are not the same flower, but if I crop 1:1, the 400 clearly is not up to the 300 with 1.4.
Is anyone able to see the difference on photo bucket. To me it is not as clear as with Lightroom.
Best wishes.



Oct 05, 2012 at 03:30 AM
Allan Bruce
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Canon 400 5.6


I think you need to put the camera and 400 on a tripod and completely rule out motion blur. If this is still not up to standard then it sounds like your 400 is a dud. I have no issues whatsoever with mine wide open.


Oct 05, 2012 at 10:39 AM
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