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| p.4 #16 · Official: Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS 1.4X released! |
Fred Miranda mentions professionals who can't afford to miss the shot. But if they rely on it exclusively, professionals who use this zoom and do sideline sports photography are guaranteed to miss a lot of shots—when the play comes right at them down the line—200mm is far too telephoto for that.
So professional sports shooters are going to carry two cameras, just like now.The question I'm asking is whether Canon missed an opportunity to fit a better-suited new big zoom into that professional niche. Suppose, for instance, that it were a peculiar-seeming 300-400 f/3.5 (or f/3.2, if it wouldn't be...Show more →
The 200-400 range is great for the majority of field sports uses, and a built-in TC is icing on the cake because it means virtually no lost time fumbling with a TC, especially in less than ideal situations, such as when it's raining/snowing and dealing with rain covers, wet hands, etc. (also why dual card slots and 32+GB cards are awesome). A broad enough zoom range means more utility and allows a sufficiently wide working range of 200-560.
With Canon's top end cameras now being FF, I find I'm using the 1.4x TC on the 400/2.8 a lot more than I ever did with the 1DIV, where I'd just as soon crop. And for some situations, such as shooting from near the line of scrimmage on the sideline, 400 is a bit too tight, even with FF but definitely so with APS-H. Being able to ease back to ~300 or even 200 is very, very welcome. It means I won't have a massive 200mm lens gap where I need to decide if I should use the 400 prime or the 70-200 zoom, and either end up way too tight or way too loose. Yes, I'll still be carrying a second body with a 70-200, and perhaps also a third with the 16-35...
As for giving up f/2.8: it's a compromise for other benefits that for some will outweigh the loss of one stop. In some situations, it doesn't matter much if you're shooting f/2.8 or smaller because the background will look terrible either way - typical for across the field shots of plays near the other sideline where there's already minimal background separation. At least for my sports client, the criticism has concerned cutting off body parts and never about busy backgrounds or shooting at a stop higher ISO... For news-type photography, getting the photo is paramount, the technical considerations less so. Being able to do more with one super-tele is also welcome.