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Archive 2013 · Canon 400/4.0 DO with 1.4x II or III?
  
 
Maximilian
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p.1 #1 · Canon 400/4.0 DO with 1.4x II or III?


Hallo, I have a Canon EF 400mm f/4.0 DO IS which I use without and with a Canon converter 1.4x II.
I am happy with the image quality of the lens, for sure not on par with the 400/2.8 IS (I and II) or the 300/2.8 IS (I and II), but nonetheless very good and certainly not worse than my EF 300/4.0 IS, also a capable lens. My problem is that the picture quality of the lens wide open with the converter is simpy awful, actually unacceptable by my quality standards. Interestingly, stopping down 1 stop (real aperture f/8.0) picture quality becomes good again, not as the lens alone, but more than acceptable. My question is: has someone compared the performance of this lens specifically with the 1,4x II vs. the 1.4x III? Could I expect any improvement in quality wide open if I changed the 1.4x II with the 1.4x III? Unfortunately it's not so easy here in Germany to rent photo equipment to run tests, it's not widespread.
Thank you for your help.



Feb 20, 2013 at 04:31 PM
Sneakyracer
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p.1 #2 · Canon 400/4.0 DO with 1.4x II or III?


Hi, I just rented a 400 DO from lens rentals.com and I used it a lot with my 1.4x II and honestly the results were great. I could hardly tell the difference from the bare lens image. Image degradation from using the converter was low to non-existant. The lens was sharp and certainly sharper than the 300f4L IS. I used the lens wide open all the time. Stopping down was not needed. I did test it stopping down and IQ was similar.

Maybe your lens is out of spec.



Feb 20, 2013 at 05:33 PM
PetKal
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p.1 #3 · Canon 400/4.0 DO with 1.4x II or III?


Just the other (gloomy sky) day, having a renewed interest in 400DO, I tried mounting 1.4xTC MkIII on it. Although the results looked OK, they didn't make me all flush with excitement either. I need to do it again in some half decent light. Also, I have never had 1.4xTC MkII on 400DO, so I am really unable to compare MkII vs. MkIII on 400DO. Granted, for whatever its worth might be, my MkIII has done better than MkII on several other lenses I have checked and compared, such as 300 f/2.8 IS MkI.

Now, if your 400DO happens to be "sharper than a saber", to use the expression of one 400DO FM reviewer, then it is quite possible that the lens will work great with 1.4xTC.

Unfortunately, I just never seem able to find those "sharper than a saber" claims supported by 100% crops of their tack sharp pictures.



Feb 20, 2013 at 05:51 PM
uz2work
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p.1 #4 · Canon 400/4.0 DO with 1.4x II or III?


I've seen some who have been very positive about their experience with the DO and a 1.4x and others who have been disappointed with the results.

After having used a 400 DO for about 6 years, I've come to the conclusion that results with the 1.4x are very dependent on how well the particular copy of the DO and the copy of the 1.4x are matched. If they are both very close to spec or if the extent that one is a bit off is balanced off by the other being off to a similar minor extent in the opposite direction, the results can be quite good. On the other hand, if either is off by a good bit or if the variation from spec of one builds on the variation from spec of the other, the results can be less than satisfactory.

Over the years, I've used mine with 5 different 1.4x's. One was a Tamron SP 1.4x, 3 were Canon 1.4x II extenders, and 1 was a Canon 1.4x III. My results with 3 of those extenders have been excellent, and I would describe the minor level of image degradation as being on about a par with what I see when using my 500/4 with a 1.4x. Results with one of those extenders were okay but not great, and the results with the other were not good at all. Curiously, the excellent results have been with the Tamron SP 1.4x, one of the Canon 1.4x II extenders, and the Canon 1.4x III. The results with one of the Canon 1.4x II extenders were okay, and the extender that produced the poor results was the other Canon 1.4x II.

The shot below was taken with the Canon 1.4x III and DO mounted on a 7D.







Les



Feb 20, 2013 at 07:35 PM
 

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Maximilian
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p.1 #5 · Canon 400/4.0 DO with 1.4x II or III?


Thank you guys for your inputs.
Since the image quality of my 400mm DO alone is really good, I doubt that the lens itself might be significantly off specifications. I rather tend to think that my copy doesn't "harmonize" well with my copy of the Canon 1.4x II converter, and that this situation is - at least partially - cured by stopping down, which makes sense. So I deem it wise to try another copy of the converter, or better yet the III version.



Feb 24, 2013 at 12:42 AM
Sneakyracer
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p.1 #6 · Canon 400/4.0 DO with 1.4x II or III?


Maximilian wrote:
Thank you guys for your inputs.
Since the image quality of my 400mm DO alone is really good, I doubt that the lens itself might be significantly off specifications. I rather tend to think that my copy doesn't "harmonize" well with my copy of the Canon 1.4x II converter, and that this situation is - at least partially - cured by stopping down, which makes sense. So I deem it wise to try another copy of the converter, or better yet the III version.


You might be right. Keep us updated.



Feb 24, 2013 at 01:31 AM
stanj
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p.1 #7 · Canon 400/4.0 DO with 1.4x II or III?


I've had the 400DO since its introduction and love it. At the same time, I will say that the IQ with a TC isn't something to write home about. It's good, but it's not great. I call it a question of desperation, and I seriously think that good resizing in software may be better. Then again I did see Art Wolfe using the lens with both TCs stacked, which I think is beyond useless.

If you like your lens by itself and the quality with a TC is unacceptable by a good margin, I would suggest performing micro adjustments with the TC attached. Or if you have access to software that will perform focus stacking, you could shoot a static target with the computer driving the lens in its smallest possible focus increment for a large number of increments, and then look for the sharpest image. Possibly you will find an image to be sharper than the one you took of the same target with AF. Then you'd have proof that your focus is out of whack.



Feb 24, 2013 at 03:48 AM
Imagemaster
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p.1 #8 · Canon 400/4.0 DO with 1.4x II or III?


stanj wrote:
If you like your lens by itself and the quality with a TC is unacceptable by a good margin, I would suggest performing micro adjustments with the TC attached.


And shooting at f8 may be giving you just enough more DOF to "correct" a slight back or front-focusing.



Feb 24, 2013 at 05:18 AM





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