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Archive 2013 · 400 f2.8 vs 400mm DO f4
  
 
Paul Mo
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · 400 f2.8 vs 400mm DO f4


firstgear99 wrote:
Great duck shot!



It was a sitting duck.



Feb 11, 2013 at 05:27 AM
ggOk
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · 400 f2.8 vs 400mm DO f4


I actually was going to purchase 4.0 but after multiple reviews and peeping both photos at 4.0, I've decided to pick up 2.8 due to it's sharp image. Weight was never an issue for me since I usually lug it around in my car and always use either tripod or monopod.

I don't even use much of 2.8 since most of my shots are Tv shots for panning.

/r
Andy



Feb 11, 2013 at 01:25 PM
PetKal
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · 400 f2.8 vs 400mm DO f4


ggOk wrote:
I actually was going to purchase 4.0 but after multiple reviews and peeping both photos at 4.0, I've decided to pick up 2.8 due to it's sharp image. Weight was never an issue for me since I usually lug it around in my car and always use either tripod or monopod.I don't even use much of 2.8 since most of my shots are Tv shots for panning.

/r
Andy


That is the use differentiating factor. If a lens goes from the trunk of your car onto a pod, and you do not have to do much hiking with it, then 400 f/2.8 IS MkI weight is not a big deal, as a great number of sports photographers can vouch for. However, 400 f/2.8 IS MkI doesn't make a very practical wildlife lens where some sort of hiking is often required, and responsive action photography favours handheld shooting. That is why much lighter 500 f/4 IS MkI was always infinitely more popular with the wildlife shooting crowd.



Feb 11, 2013 at 01:41 PM
3iron
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · 400 f2.8 vs 400mm DO f4


The 500 or 600 may really be better for your plans.
The 400 2.8 is a heavy beast. It's IQ is incredible, but so is that of the 500 and 600 which are both lighter than the 400 2.8.
I was in the same situation as you a short while ago. I now have the 600II and purchased the 400 5.6. The 4oo 5.6 is a very good lens, IQ wise and gets very close to the 400 2.8 in that catagory. The 600 will take care of you long work, the 400 is great to carry for closer work.
Then if you want to get a little wild, the 300 2.8 is lighter than the 600, 500 or 400 2.8 and with a 1.4 adaptor will make your eyes pop all while getting you a f4 420mm lens.
So............in retrospect, my 600II, 400 4.5 and 300 2.8 make a killer combination for me.
Your mileage may vary and there are some other great suggestions here as well.
Best to you.



Feb 11, 2013 at 09:22 PM
stanj
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · 400 f2.8 vs 400mm DO f4


I have the DO and love it for its weight and size. It's not optically a match for the 2.8 but I can hand hold it all day, shoot a whole air show with it or go on a day hike with it. You can never point it at the sun as the IQ goes down to nil, but otherwise while it's not perfect if you know how to post process it, it's pretty darn good.



Stan Jirman 2012

  Canon EOS 5D Mark III    EF400mm f/4 DO IS USM lens    400mm    f/7.1    1/1000s    800 ISO    0.0 EV  





Stan Jirman 2012

  Canon EOS 5D Mark III    EF400mm f/4 DO IS USM lens    400mm    f/7.1    1/1000s    800 ISO    0.0 EV  





Stan Jirman 2012

  Canon EOS 5D Mark II    EF400mm f/4 DO IS USM lens    400mm    f/10.0    1/500s    400 ISO    0.0 EV  





Stan Jirman 2012

  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II    400.0 mm lens    560mm    f/6.3    1/400s    1000 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II    400.0 mm lens    560mm    f/6.3    1/400s    1000 ISO    0.0 EV  




Feb 11, 2013 at 09:58 PM
Cadaver
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · 400 f2.8 vs 400mm DO f4


If you can purchase a used 500mm f4 version I for about the same price as a new 400mm f4 DO. I think I'd rather have the excellent 500mm with the additional weight than the lesser quality 400mm.


Feb 12, 2013 at 01:09 AM
uz2work
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · 400 f2.8 vs 400mm DO f4


I preface this by saying that I have no experience whatever with any of the 400/2.8 lenses, but I have been using a 400 DO and a 500/4 together for quite a few years.

It may well be the case that the 500/4 has better image quality than does the 400 DO, but, in my experience, I'd have to be looking at 100% crops in the screen to see it, and I have never had any inclination to compare 100% crops. When I look at prints taken with the two lenses, the image quality is so close that I have to look at the file information to remind myself which lens took which pictures.

Over the years, I've become firmly convinced that discussions on internet forums would make one think that image quality differences of different lenses (and camera bodies) are much greater than they are in actual usage. Several times, I've taken medium-sized prints from both lenses and showed them to people who had claimed, without ever having owned one, that the image quality of the 400 DO was unacceptable. I asked them to compare the prints and to tell me which ones were taken with which lens, and I have yet to come across a single person who was able to accurately tell me which lens took which pictures at any level of accuracy higher than what you would expect with random guesses. I've also done the same experiment a couple of times with pictures posted on this board. Each time, those who guessed actually ended up with accuracy much lower than what you would expect from random guesses.

I've also had experience using and comparing images from the 400 DO and the 300/2.8 IS. My assessment would be that the bare 300 is a bit sharper than the 400 DO, but the 300 plus 1.4x (thus, 420/f4) comparison was pretty much a wash, and images from the 400 DO and 1.4x were noticeably better than those from the 300/2.8 and a 2x. In addition the AF with the DO was faster than that of the 300 with a 1.4x.

As soon as I got my 400 DO about 6 years ago, it immediately became my favorite lens. For the wildlife shooting that I primarily do, it is a joy to use. When you take off the tripod ring, it barely weighs a bit over 4 pounds, and being able to use a lens of that size and weight allows me mobility and opportunities to shoot hand held for extended periods of time that using any of the bigger, heavier lenses wouldn't give me. And that allows me to get shots that I otherwise would not get. It is the lens that I choose to use in any situation where its focal length is sufficient.

Out of all of the different pieces of equipment, both bodies and lenses, that I own, it is the single piece of equipment that I am the least likely to ever sell. The only thing that could get me to part with it would be if Canon ever introduced a 400/f4 DO II that was even lighter, and the likelihood of that happening is, I think, quite slim.

I'll try the same experiment that I described above here. Some of these images of an eagle fledgling were taken with my 500/4 and my 1D Mark IV, and others were taken with the 400 DO and my 7D. If anyone cares to guess which photos came from which camera and lens combination, I'll be happy to tell you how well you did.



















































Les



Feb 12, 2013 at 01:31 AM
firstgear99
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · 400 f2.8 vs 400mm DO f4


Ok Les, I am guessing the second photo is the 500 f4


Feb 12, 2013 at 02:10 AM
BCPete
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · 400 f2.8 vs 400mm DO f4


One of these was shot with the 400mm f/4 IS DO (on a 20D), and the other with the 400mm f/2.8L IS II (on a 1DMIII). I doubt anyone would be able to tell you the difference without looking up the shot details. Both lenses are good, but the 400mm f/4 DO is more limiting (I sold mine to fund getting the 300mm f/2.8 and 500mm f/4 - for the f/2.8 at times, and for the extra reach at times). I've since sold the 300mm & 500mm, and now have the 400mm f/2.8II as a compliment to my 800mm - but I'll only carry the 400mm f/2.8II with extenders if I have to hike very far.

If you're comparing the f/4 DO to the 400mm f/2.8 v1 - then hands down, I'd go with the f/4 DO. I have never considered getting the 400mm f/2.8 v1 lens because of the weight. The new version II was a game changer for me though.

If you're not worried about the cost, then I'd buy the new 400mm II. The lens is balanced very nicely so that I can handhold it quite easily. Something I never could do very well with my old 500mm f/4 - which weighs the same. The new version III extenders will get you to 800mm on any Canon camera - which is a definite benefit over the DO (no auto focus @ f/8 for a 7D on down). The IS is generations newer also. Being able to shoot at f/2.8 is really important at times for me also.

If weight or cost are your big concerns, then obviously the DO wins out. The 400mm f/2.8 II will get you more shots in the end, but it does come at a price - both in $$$ and weight. I have nothing bad to say about the 400mm f/4 DO though - it's just that you can't get to f/2.8 with it, and that's why I have the new 400mm f/2.8 II.











Edited on Feb 12, 2013 at 02:42 AM · View previous versions



Feb 12, 2013 at 02:19 AM
uz2work
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · 400 f2.8 vs 400mm DO f4


firstgear99 wrote:
Ok Les, I am guessing the second photo is the 500 f4


I'll wait a bit before I tell you how you did just in case anyone else wants to guess. Do you have guesses on the others?

Les



Feb 12, 2013 at 02:23 AM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



firstgear99
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · 400 f2.8 vs 400mm DO f4


Ok......if anyone knows of a great 400 2.8 II or 500 f4 II for sale please put the seller in contact with me.....thanks!


Feb 12, 2013 at 02:24 AM
Pixel Perfect
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · 400 f2.8 vs 400mm DO f4


uz2work wrote:
I'll wait a bit before I tell you how you did just in case anyone else wants to guess. Do you have guesses on the others?

Les


2,5,8 500 f/4



Feb 12, 2013 at 02:40 AM
uz2work
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · 400 f2.8 vs 400mm DO f4


Pixel Perfect wrote:
2,5,8 500 f/4


I won't say specifically which yet, but I'll tell you that you got 1 out 3 right. Congratulations. You almost got a level of accuracy that random choices would likely have achieved.

Also note that one of the pictures that you guessed for the 500/4 was actually taken with the 400 DO and a 1.4x. It is the only one of those pictures that was taken with the 1.4x. People tell me that the 400 DO can't take sharp pictures. Further, they say that the 400 DO with a 1.4x results in mush. Add to that hearing people say that the 7D isn't capable of sharp pictures. Yet, with the 7D, 400 DO and 1.4x, things look fine to me. Perhaps, the 500 could have done better, but what I got with the DO and the 1.4x is more than good enough for me.

Les



Feb 12, 2013 at 02:51 AM
Cadaver
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · 400 f2.8 vs 400mm DO f4


Wow, all great shots. I'll guess that the 400mm took photos 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 8, and the 500mm took 2 and 7.


Feb 12, 2013 at 03:46 AM
dwweiche
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · 400 f2.8 vs 400mm DO f4


OK Les, you got me guessing. I should get 4/8 just by random luck. Let's see if I can do worse

Since I'm sure there's no way for me to be able to pick down-sampled images based on lens sharpness, I'm going to try to beat random occurrence by guessing camera instead.

7D, 1D4, 7D, 1D4, 7D, 7D, 7D, 1D4



Feb 12, 2013 at 04:41 AM
uz2work
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · 400 f2.8 vs 400mm DO f4


Cadaver wrote:
Wow, all great shots. I'll guess that the 400mm took photos 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 8, and the 500mm took 2 and 7.


I'm not going to say yet how many you got, but you did about as well as anyone has ever done, either with prints or on-line when I've tried this previously.

Les



Feb 12, 2013 at 04:57 AM
Sneakyracer
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · 400 f2.8 vs 400mm DO f4


firstgear99 wrote:
Which one would you want and why? The DO has IS, the 2.8 can be obtained with IS but at significant cost.

So, which and why?


From what I could gather online the 400 f4 DO gets mixd reviews. Some have posted really mediocre results at f4~f5.6 comparable to the 100-400. Again, in some reviews people mention and show low contrast and bad resolution at f4.

Maybe there is some significant sample variation.

But, In the best reviews the lens still does not excel 300 f2.8 L + 1.4x quality, let alone the amazing 300 f2.8L IS II.

So the general consensus is that its best to just buy a 300 f2.8 (L, L IS or the L IS II) and a 1.4x.

For that reason I think Canon will discontinue the 400 DO soon. Its one the most forgettable L lenses Canon has produced.



Feb 12, 2013 at 04:57 AM
howard
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · 400 f2.8 vs 400mm DO f4


It's actually not a L lens ...

Sneakyracer wrote:
From what I could gather online the 400 f4 DO gets mixd reviews. Some have posted really mediocre results at f4~f5.6 comparable to the 100-400. Again, in some reviews people mention and show low contrast and bad resolution at f4.

Maybe there is some significant sample variation.

But, In the best reviews the lens still does not excel 300 f2.8 L + 1.4x quality, let alone the amazing 300 f2.8L IS II.

So the general consensus is that its best to just buy a 300 f2.8 (L, L IS or the L IS II) and a 1.4x.

For that reason I think
...Show more



Feb 12, 2013 at 05:04 AM
stanj
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · 400 f2.8 vs 400mm DO f4


Sneakyracer wrote:
Its one the most forgettable L lenses Canon has produced.


See, there you're wrong twice in a line: It's not an L lens



Feb 12, 2013 at 05:05 AM
uz2work
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · 400 f2.8 vs 400mm DO f4


dwweiche wrote:
OK Les, you got me guessing. I should get 4/8 just by random luck. Let's see if I can do worse

Since I'm sure there's no way for me to be able to pick down-sampled images based on lens sharpness, I'm going to try to beat random occurrence by guessing camera instead.

7D, 1D4, 7D, 1D4, 7D, 7D, 7D, 1D4


Well, you got 2 out of 8 right.

The point that I'm trying to make is that we are very lucky to have lots of great equipment choices available to us. I'm sure that sharpness differences do exist between lenses, but, with so many great lenses available, those sharpness differences would not be close to the first thing I'd be considering if I were in the market for a new long lens right now.

My first consideration would to pick the focal length that is most appropriate to what I shoot. Beyond that, I would be considering what other factors would benefit my shooting the most, including what maximum aperture I need, whether IS would help my shooting, whether mobility and/or the ability to shoot hand held for long periods of time would help my shooting, and, thus, whether smaller size and lighter weight would help my shooting. Regardless of how sharp a lens is, if it isn't the right focal length or if it doesn't give you the ability to be mobile or shoot hand held if you need it, sharpness isn't going to be of much value.

What I find especially interesting in the guesses that have been made is that most (maybe all) are incorrectly guessing that the shot that was actually taken with the 400 DO and 1.4x was taken with the 500. I think it says something about the validity of what I said in the previous paragraph when people are guessing that the shot taken with what you would think was the best equipment combination was actually taken with the equipment that you would think would have produced the worst image quality.

Les



Feb 12, 2013 at 05:15 AM
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