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Archive 2013 · Canon 400 mm options
  
 
gocolts
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Canon 400 mm options


stanj wrote:
The 400 DO is ever so slightly better than the 400/5.6, albeit a stop faster, and with all the drawbacks (size, weight, price). Sharpness alone, the DO wins. Plus it has IS.

The 70-200/II with TC III can't really touch it. Heck the 200/2 with 2x/III can't touch it, which actually surprised me a good deal. That doesn't mean that the combinations with TC are bad combos; it only means that the DO is a better lens than its reputation would suggest. Just don't point it straight at a bright light source (I should qualify that, I used my 400 DO
...Show more

I would agree with this assessment on the 400 DO. I honestly think part of the reason for the "reputation" about the 400 DO is simply that not many people own one...so you don't see as many example pictures with it. Petkal posted some pics a few weeks (I'm sure he's taken them down by now) ago from the 400 DO, but otherwise you're much more likely to see some really stunning pictures with either the 400 5.6L or the 300 2.8L, if for no other reason then the fact that there are so many more of them in the hands of photographers being used.

For me, and what I shoot, I found myself using my 300 2.8 with at least a 1.4TC all the time, and sometimes leaving it home due to size/weight. So- I decided to look into the 400 DO, and I'm glad I did.



Apr 16, 2013 at 12:29 PM
gasrocks
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Canon 400 mm options


If you need Canon and AF and 400 - the 400/5.6 is the best answer.


Apr 16, 2013 at 01:47 PM
oldrattler
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Canon 400 mm options


Ian.Dobinson wrote:
Not used either , but IS and a stop faster comes at a big price .

My 400 option is now the sigma 120-300/2.8 OS with a 1.4 TC on it . The bare lens is great and with a TC its still better than my 100-400 was


+1



Apr 16, 2013 at 01:59 PM
dgdg
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Canon 400 mm options


Lots of great advice. I struggled with the same question a couple years back. I rented the 500 f4, 100-400, and then found a good deal on a used 400 DO which I sent in to Canon for calibration. I think if you can afford a used DO under $4,000, it is a great 400 mm lens that takes a 1.4x converter quite well. I have been using for astrophotography and it has virtually no coma. The 400 5.6 is supposed to be an excellent lens, it just depends if you need more light or IS for your type of shooting. When I rented the 100-400, I found 5.6 was too slow in shadowed woods forcing my iso too high. I like f4. I would focus on your shopping more based on the lens specifications (IS/no IS, aperture, etc...) as opposed to IQ.


Apr 16, 2013 at 02:01 PM
stanj
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Canon 400 mm options


saneproduction wrote:
Wow Stan! I plan to get a 2xIII for my 200 1.8 and was hoping to get somewhat close IQ to the DO, but I figured that was dreaming. Still want to get one and try it out.


Oh it will be a fine combination for sure, just not as good as the 400 DO. When I put the TC on the 200/2, I was impressed with the quality and was getting ready to sell the DO. Then I actually bothered to do the same test with the DO and was shocked. And that from the DO's biggest fan



Apr 16, 2013 at 04:48 PM
diverhank
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Canon 400 mm options


I only have used the 400 f/5.6 and no other 400mm lenses so I have no comments on other lenses. However, to somewhat provide the info the OP asked for, this link offers a person's view on the lenses comparison - for what it's worth.

http://www.michaelfurtman.com/comparing_canon_400s.htm



Apr 16, 2013 at 05:44 PM
jfwoodman
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Canon 400 mm options


The 400 5.6 is a fantastic lens and a pretty good value. AF and sharpness are top notch. I had a hard time giving up IS though, so eventually sold it. Try it out, if you don't like it you can always sell for close to what you paid for it.


Apr 16, 2013 at 06:00 PM
Lan11
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Canon 400 mm options


Hello Mr. Petkal. Is it Peter if I may?

Could you please post/re-post some of the 400 DO examples? I'd appreciate it a lot. I read your review too.
Plenty of good advise indeed - thanks everyone. Can I encourage people to post more photos? They're worth more than 1000 words.

I'm almost convinced the 400 DO is the best for my bad back : -( interests and environment.
A tool selection is always a balancing act with a ton of various compromises.



Apr 16, 2013 at 07:16 PM
dgdg
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Canon 400 mm options


here are some of mine shot with the 400 DO. You should try renting. Unless you start shooting brick walls or test shots you will notice much practical IQ difference. I'd say IQ is just fine if you need the specs.

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1148436/0#10965602
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1159029/0?keyword=400,do#11055483



Apr 16, 2013 at 07:28 PM
Cadaver
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Canon 400 mm options


I've read statements from those who have tested the DO vs the 5.6 and stated the 5.6 is a sharper lens, even at 5.6. Stan stated the DO is sharper, so possibly the image quality is similar? I certainly agree that you should never get to the focal length you need by using an extender, especially a 2X extender. If you need 400mm, buy a 400mm lens.


Apr 16, 2013 at 07:37 PM
 

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uz2work
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Canon 400 mm options


Lan11 wrote:
Hello Mr. Petkal. Is it Peter if I may?

Could you please post/re-post some of the 400 DO examples? I'd appreciate it a lot. I read your review too.
Plenty of good advise indeed - thanks everyone. Can I encourage people to post more photos? They're worth more than 1000 words.

I'm almost convinced the 400 DO is the best for my bad back : -( interests and environment.
A tool selection is always a balancing act with a ton of various compromises.


I've had my 400 DO for about 6 or 7 years. After I bought it, it quickly became my favorite lens. For as much as I like and appreciate what my 500/4 can do, I use the DO whenever 400 mm will get the job done.

If I were inclined to carefully compare images on the screen at 200%, I might well see image quality differences between the DO and the 500/4, but, at the image level or in prints, I can't tell you which pictures I've taken with which lens unless I look at the file information. And, on multiple occasions, I've challenged those who have talked about "inferior" image quality from the DO to tell which pictures, from a group of 400 DO pictures and 500/4 pictures, to pick out which came from which lens. Of the couple dozen people who have taken the challenge, I've yet to see anyone who could guess correctly at a level any greater than that which would have been expected from someone who was making random guesses.

For a period of time, I owned the 400 DO, 100-400, and 400/5.6 simultaneously. Once I began to use the DO, I stopped using the other two. The DO has image quality superior to that of the 400/5.6, has IS, and can shoot at f4, and, even though I really enjoyed using the 100-400, I was willing to give up the flexibility of the zoom for the better image quality, better IS, and ability to shoot at f4 that the DO gave me. At about 4 pounds, it is a pleasure to shoot hand held, and its size and weight allows me to have mobility that gets me plenty of shots that I couldn't get with the 500 or other bigger and heavier lens. Further, when combined with a high pixel density camera such as the 7D, 400 mm can put plenty of pixels on the subject in situations where, with the lower pixel density bodies of a few years ago, 400 mm would not have been enough.

Below are a few sample shots taken with the 400 DO and 7D.

1. With the DO and a 1.4x







2. A few with with the bare DO







3. DO with a severe crop







4. DO with even a more severe crop







5.







6.






Les




Apr 16, 2013 at 07:56 PM
Lan11
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Canon 400 mm options


Ad: diverhank

The excerpt from the EF400 mm lenses comparison review by M. Furtman: "I did try to shoot the entire sequence in rapid succession to minimize changes in light -- the whole process took about one-half hour to complete."

Thanks for the link, but the review does not inspire any confidence and reader of this thread shouldn't waste time going there.
Looks like an amateur grabbed 3 lenses, which he wasn't familiar with, fired quick shots of the flower, before the light was gone, and posted on his website. All were done with an old APS-C sensor 30D camera. All presented results are of terrible quality.

It looks like this DO lens is a "rare bird", v. expensive and owned by few.



Apr 16, 2013 at 08:07 PM
gocolts
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Canon 400 mm options


It is a rare bird...not to mention an expensive one if buying it new. I think that's the other reason for the varying opinions on the lens. For the price new, there are a lot options with best in class IQ.

Now- the one I just picked up was off the B & S boards here for $3,500, recently cleaned/calibrated by CPS. On my 7D it performs great when put up against my now-sold 400 5.6L and 300mm 2.8 non-IS with a 1.4TC. For $3,500-$4,000 I think it performs up to expectations.

Also- with a Canon 1.4TCIi attached, I found stopping it down to f/6.3-f/7.1 really cleans up the results. And since I'm typically using the lens outside in good light, with the IS on, stopping down isn't a problem for me.



Apr 16, 2013 at 08:28 PM
dgdg
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Canon 400 mm options


uz2work wrote:


I've had my 400 DO for about 6 or 7 years. After I bought it, it quickly became my favorite lens. For as much as I like and appreciate what my 500/4 can do, I use the DO whenever 400 mm will get the job done.

If I were inclined to carefully compare images on the screen at 200%, I might well see image quality differences between the DO and the 500/4, but, at the image level or in prints, I can't tell you which pictures I've taken with which lens unless I look at the file information. And,
...Show more

Yes, of the one's who talk about their 400 DO, they do love it like I do.
I think it is sometimes hard to get beyond the IQ comparison whilst shopping. Certainly there are IQ differences amongst similar lenses for this focal length, and the DO may fall short. But from a practical perspective, how much? Not enough if you need the light weight, f4, and IS. It is a great lens.



Apr 16, 2013 at 08:28 PM
Lan11
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Canon 400 mm options


Ad: uz2work

Thanks very much for the wonderful pictures. But, there's a terrible downside to it : - )
If I don't get anything approaching the quality of your work, I will not be able to blame the equipment : -(((



Apr 16, 2013 at 09:24 PM
howard
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Canon 400 mm options


Have you considered the 300 f/2.8 (either version) with a 1.4x TC?

I have the 300 f/2.8 II, but I just ordered but not yet received the 1.4x III TC; however, I used it with the 2x III TC with satisfactory results.

This would give you 420 f/4 with IS, and you can get to f/2.8 if you use the bare lens.



Apr 17, 2013 at 01:53 AM
stanj
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · Canon 400 mm options


From the "Misc Travel" collection:




  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III    400mm    f/8.0    1/400s    200 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS-1DS    400mm    f/4.0    1/400s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






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






  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II    400mm    f/8.0    1/400s    400 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III    400mm    f/7.1    1/1000s    200 ISO    0.0 EV  




Apr 17, 2013 at 03:11 AM
StillFingerz
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · Canon 400 mm options


Stan, great set of images, the last is quite a shot, it's not an easy task to capture a Fighter Jet as it breaks the sound barrier, really nice image, it looks like an F-15C Eagle?


Apr 17, 2013 at 03:22 AM
stanj
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · Canon 400 mm options


StillFingerz wrote:
Stan, great set of images, the last is quite a shot, it's not an easy task to capture a Fighter Jet as it breaks the sound barrier, really nice image, it looks like an F-15C Eagle?


Thanks - they make it pretty easy for you at an air show, you just need to know when the particular trick is shown and where to be situated for it. Anticipating it and not running out of buffer is then the key trick (hard with the 1Ds3 with its small buffer).

It was an F-15 of some sort, for sure. I am not really an airplane guy though so I can't say for sure



Apr 17, 2013 at 04:01 AM
dwweiche
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · Canon 400 mm options


That is an F-18 (possibly the Super Hornet version by the looks of the intakes).


Apr 17, 2013 at 04:14 AM
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