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Archive 2013 · 400 f2.8 vs 400mm DO f4
  
 
uz2work
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p.3 #1 · p.3 #1 · 400 f2.8 vs 400mm DO f4


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

And I think your post makes my point about how deceiving on-line discussions can be and how they can make image quality differences appear to be much greater than they actually are. I process my 400 DO images in exactly the same way I do my 500/4 images, and I have no greater issues with contrast with one or the other. And, as I said in my earlier post, while my experience has been that the bare 300/2.8 (at 150% the weight of the 400 D0) is a bit sharper than the DO, when adding the 1.4x to the 300 and comparing images to those from the DO, image quality is a toss up, and the DO has been quicker to AF.

Les



Feb 12, 2013 at 05:24 AM
dwweiche
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p.3 #2 · p.3 #2 · 400 f2.8 vs 400mm DO f4


Well I was 2/8 which is poor. I made my guesses based on my perceived measure of noise, since the 7D, when criticized, is generally most often panned in this regard. I guess by choosing so poorly it affirms that any modern camera can produce fine online photos in the hands of a capable photographer - although I had accepted this premise long before just embarrassing myself with my poor showing


Feb 12, 2013 at 06:42 AM
uz2work
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p.3 #3 · p.3 #3 · 400 f2.8 vs 400mm DO f4


dwweiche wrote:
Well I was 2/8 which is poor. I made my guesses based on my perceived measure of noise, since the 7D, when criticized, is generally most often panned in this regard. I guess by choosing so poorly it affirms that any modern camera can produce fine online photos in the hands of a capable photographer - although I had accepted this premise long before just embarrassing myself with my poor showing


You mention "on line" photos. While I agree that small web-sized photos don't always tell the full story, I can assure you that, in this case, had you been looking at prints, there would have been very little difference in the ease of making accurate guesses. I have prints from photos documenting the progress of that young eagle taken virtually every day for 6 months from when it was still an egg to the last time I saw it 2 months after it left the nest. Without knowing which kinds of shots I took with which camera/lens combination and without access to the file information, I would be guessing completely if I had to tell you which of the prints were from the photos from which camera/lens.

Also, the files with both combinations received the same minimal processing, which consisted of minor exposure adjustments, if needed, to the raw files before conversion and minor shadow and/or highlight adjustments, selective USM, and cropping to the desired final composition of the converted TIFFs.

I'm confident that I could more easily guess which photographer took a picture than I could guess what equipment was used to take a picture. For example, I have been looking at Tony Markle's pictures on FM for many years. The kinds of pictures he takes, the composition, the processing, etc. are very distinctive, and I think I could tell with a high rate of accuracy which pictures were his out of a group of pictures taken by various photographers, but I would have no confidence in guessing what cameras and lens he used for what pictures.

I'll reveal which equipment was used for each of the pictures I posted earlier.

The first picture of the young bird stretching its wings in the nest was taken with the 500 and 1D Mark IV.

The second picture of the bird with tight framing and a sky background was the one taken with the 400 DO plus the 1.4x and the 7D. Again, perhaps my 500 could have done better, but what I got there is more than good enough to satisfy me.

The third picture of the bird flying with trees in the background was taken with the 400 DO and the7D. It was one of the ones with the most severe crop.

The 4th picture with the bird sitting on a light fixture was taken with the 400 DO and 7D.

The 5th picture with the youngster startling the parent with its practice flying was taken with the 500 and the 1D Mark IV.

The 6th picture with the bird just after a take off from a tree was with the 400 DO and 7D, and it was also a fairly severe crop.

The 7th picture with the young bird and a parent in the nest was with the 500 and 1D Mark IV.

The 8th picture with the young bird pushing off from the roost with a somewhat cloudy background was with the 400 DO and 7D, and it was also a fairly severe crop.

Also note that the pictures taken with the 500 should have started out with image quality advantages because they were all taken off of tripod, while the 400 DO pictures were all hand held, and, also, the pictures from the 500, in general, were cropped less than those from the 400 DO.

Once again, I don't think that the differences in the image quality of what you get from different equipment are nearly as great as you would be led to believe from reading the posts of those who tell you how the performance of one lens or body might "blow away" the performance of another. And I think that I would be making a big mistake if I did not make my lens (and body choices) on a wide range of factors relative to my shooting needs. I have little need, for example, for 300 mm. If I did have a need for that focal length, I would choose a 300/2.8 lens and put up with how much it weighs relative to its focal length. On the other hand, if I need 400 mm, it is an easy choice for me to take the 400 DO and to get the benefit of its light weight.

Les





Feb 12, 2013 at 01:32 PM
howard
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p.3 #4 · p.3 #4 · 400 f2.8 vs 400mm DO f4


uz2work wrote:
<snip>

The second picture of the bird with tight framing and a sky background was the one taken with the 400 DO plus the 1.4x and the 7D. Again, perhaps my 500 could have done better, but what I got there is more than good enough to satisfy me.

<snip>

Les


The second picture alone proves your case, it is a very sharp and clean picture!



Feb 12, 2013 at 02:20 PM
rprouty
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p.3 #5 · p.3 #5 · 400 f2.8 vs 400mm DO f4


The 400DO and 1.4X works okay for me.










Feb 12, 2013 at 04:41 PM
Imagemaster
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p.3 #6 · p.3 #6 · 400 f2.8 vs 400mm DO f4


Cadaver wrote:
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.



Or you can pick up a used 400 DO for a lot less than a used 500 f4 I, with less weight and close to the same quality.



Feb 12, 2013 at 04:59 PM
Sneakyracer
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p.3 #7 · p.3 #7 · 400 f2.8 vs 400mm DO f4


http://www.lensrentals.com/rent/canon/lenses/supertelephoto/canon-400mm-f4l-do-is

I might rent the lens and see for myself.

Also, how does it compare to the 400 5.6L?

Edited on Feb 12, 2013 at 05:12 PM · View previous versions



Feb 12, 2013 at 05:06 PM
uz2work
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p.3 #8 · p.3 #8 · 400 f2.8 vs 400mm DO f4


rprouty wrote:
The 400DO and 1.4X works okay for me.



I think that a lot of how well you can do with the 1.4x depends on how well your copy 1.4x is matched with the copy of the lens. If they are both very close to being perfect related to specs or if one of them is slightly off and the other is slightly off in the opposite direction and if the variation from spec of one is compensated for by the variation of the other in the opposite direction, I think you can get very good results. If, on the other hand, they are both off in the same direction, the level of image degradation is cumulative and larger.

I think that I got lucky. Not only do I think my 400 DO is excellent, I think that my DO and 1.4x are very well matched. I've used a number of different combinations with multiple converters and various lenses. Some of those combinations have performed very well, and, with others, loss of image quality is quite noticeable, which is why, I think, some report better results than others when using the 400 DO with a 1.4x

Les




Feb 12, 2013 at 05:09 PM
uz2work
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p.3 #9 · p.3 #9 · 400 f2.8 vs 400mm DO f4


Imagemaster wrote:
Or you can pick up a used 400 DO for a lot less than a used 500 f4 I, with less weight and close to the same quality.


Until a few years ago, buying a 400 DO seemed to require a steep premium over the prices of other long Canon glass. With the steep increases of both the original versions of the Canon super telephoto lenses and, especially, those of the version II models of those lenses, the 400 DO now seems like a real bargain, whether purchased new or used, and that is especially true when you consider what it offers in terms of portability and ease of use compared to any of those other lenses.

Les



Feb 12, 2013 at 05:13 PM
firstgear99
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p.3 #10 · p.3 #10 · 400 f2.8 vs 400mm DO f4


uz2work wrote:
I think that a lot of how well you can do with the 1.4x depends on how well your copy 1.4x is matched with the copy of the lens. If they are both very close to being perfect related to specs or if one of them is slightly off and the other is slightly off in the opposite direction and if the variation from spec of one is compensated for by the variation of the other in the opposite direction, I think you can get very good results. If, on the other hand, they are both off in the same
...Show morecan you send into CPS to have them match a pair for best results?



Feb 12, 2013 at 05:23 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



uz2work
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p.3 #11 · p.3 #11 · 400 f2.8 vs 400mm DO f4


firstgear99 wrote:
can you send into CPS to have them match a pair for best results?



I'm not sure. I know that I've sent in a body and lens together and requested that they make sure that their calibration is "well-matched", but I've never done it with a teleconverter, and I don't recall hearing of anyone else doing it either. What I do know is that all teleconverters are not created equal. Over the years, I've owned 3 different Canon 1.4x II extenders, 1 Canon 1.4x III, and 2 Tamron 1.4x SP extenders, and performance has varied considerably, not only from one extender to the next, but, also, some have performed better with some lenses than with others. The worst of the lot, by far, was one of the Canon 1.4x II extenders. After getting it and not being happy with the results, I did the kind of controlled testing that I'm not normally inclined to do unless I want to confirm that an issue isn't user error, and I couldn't get an acceptably sharp shot with it if my life had depended on it. That one got returned to the retailer, and it was replaced with one that did considerably better.

Les



Feb 12, 2013 at 05:45 PM
Red 90
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p.3 #12 · p.3 #12 · 400 f2.8 vs 400mm DO f4


I would suggest that you rent both the 400mm and 500mm lenses in different varieties to try.

Given this is a big purchase you want to be sure of what is right for you. It is very difficult to base your decision on other peoples opinion. One person's "significant difference" may be another persons "acceptable difference". How people use the photos may be play a factor in what they perceive as well. Some people may just view it on the web, other pixel peep and some others may make small to large prints.

At the end of the day, you want to choose a lens that you will be able to shoot the most with and get the images that you feel is satisfactory to your use. A 500mm F4IS matched with a heavy duty tripod may yield a better image than a 400mmF4DO lens, but if the first setup is too heavy for you to trek on your trips... what's the point right. Then again, you may be the type of photographer that if it's not the best IQ, you rather not even take the shot. It's really a personal decision.

The same goes for image test as well. You cannot really tell from controlled image test how it really reflects in real world situations where you may need to hand hold, or put on a monopod or tripod. The environmental factors may play more of a significant difference than the difference in glass. So don't get too hung up on image test. I'm not saying it's insignificant or not useful, but just put it into perspective.



Feb 12, 2013 at 06:02 PM
Sneakyracer
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p.3 #13 · p.3 #13 · 400 f2.8 vs 400mm DO f4


I just rented the 400 DO. I will use it mainly with my 5D3. Il use it this weekend and post afterwards the results. Dont plan on doing any formal testing per se just what I would normally use a lens like this for. I will try to borrow a 100-400 for comparison if possible.


Feb 12, 2013 at 06:21 PM
bipock
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p.3 #14 · p.3 #14 · 400 f2.8 vs 400mm DO f4


I have the 400 2.8 IS currently. After much debate, I am likely going to be selling it shortly (well below market value) to go to a 400 5.6/600 IS combo.

Here's why-

1. I never shoot that lens wide open, so 2.8 is not that great of a factor for me.

2. The weight of the lens prevents me from handholding it and makes tracking birds up close very difficult (this is where the 400 5.6 comes in) as it becomes very hdifficult to swing on the bird even when on a gimbal.

3. While it takes a 2x exceptionally well, I have used that combo rarely and it would be too slow AF-wise for BIFs.

There is no doubt that the 400 is an exceptional lens and is tack sharp. However, for my uses, it just isn't the right lens.



Feb 12, 2013 at 07:58 PM
Sneakyracer
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p.3 #15 · p.3 #15 · 400 f2.8 vs 400mm DO f4


Here are resolution test images of both the 400 DO and the 400 f2.8L IS I:













Its easy to tell which is sharper when going back and forth between the 2 images when they are stacked one infront of the other in layers in p-shop and one switches the top layer on and off. But whether that makes a huge difference in the end result of your work it's another issue entirely. But no question which lens is sharper.



Feb 12, 2013 at 09:30 PM
Imagemaster
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p.3 #16 · p.3 #16 · 400 f2.8 vs 400mm DO f4


Did I miss where someone claimed the 400 2.8 was not sharper?

And I don't think I would use either to shoot resolution charts at MFD.



Feb 12, 2013 at 09:36 PM
ashley138
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p.3 #17 · p.3 #17 · 400 f2.8 vs 400mm DO f4


I would go with the 500/4 over the 400/2.8 ANY day but it depends on what youre shooting and if you want it to any kind of a casual walk around lens those first 2 arent inconspicuous at all - in this case maybe the 400 DO. I've always wanted to try that lens out. I was thinking of replacing my 100-400 with it as my hiking lens.

I don;t know many who don't shoot the 400/2.8 on a tripod. the 500 is definitely handholdable and the 400 is perfect for handholding, so it depends on what you need as far as portability, f-stop, and reach.



Feb 12, 2013 at 09:46 PM
Sneakyracer
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p.3 #18 · p.3 #18 · 400 f2.8 vs 400mm DO f4


As a hiking lens the 100-400 is very versatile. The 400 DO is similar in size and weight (maybe a touch less) to the 300 f2.8's. Im interested in the lens because its the best option for hiking into more remote spots. The 500 is just too much for that in my book never mind the larger and heavier super-teles. The 400 DO with converters is just a great option if its good enough optically. Of course, if the 400 f5.6L had IS it wouldnt be an issue

But like it has been mentioned its all about your priorities in the type of work you intend to produce with the lens.



Feb 12, 2013 at 10:30 PM
uz2work
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p.3 #19 · p.3 #19 · 400 f2.8 vs 400mm DO f4


Sneakyracer wrote:
The 400 DO is similar in size and weight (maybe a touch less) to the 300 f2.8's.


While the 300/2.8 IS (either the original version or version II) is very close in size to the 400 DO, the weights are not as close. There is about a one pound difference between the 400 DO and the 300 version II, and about a 1 1/2 pound difference between the DO and 300 original version. If you have to add an extender to either of those 300 versions to get to the focal length of the 400 DO, the weight differences jump to about 1 1/2 pounds between the DO and the 300 version 2 and to about 2 pounds between the DO and the 300 original version. If you hold a 400 DO in one hand and either of the 300 versions in the other, the differences in weight are quite noticeable.

Les



Feb 12, 2013 at 10:45 PM
Sneakyracer
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p.3 #20 · p.3 #20 · 400 f2.8 vs 400mm DO f4


Yeah, shouldve checked the official specs. The new 300 2.8L IS II is still over 5 pounds.


Feb 12, 2013 at 10:56 PM
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