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| p.6 #3 · p.6 #3 · Official: Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS 1.4X released! |
First off, please note that this a different "Roland" posting than the one mentioned earlier in this thread. But since I have had the 200-400 on pre order for over two years, and expect to take delivery of one in the next several weeks, perhaps I can still serve to tip the scales a little for PetKal in his consideration of getting one. After all, you can not usually get the proper and optimum number of pixels per duck unless you are shooting with a high quality zoom lens.
One thing that strikes me as interesting about this lens, and that does not seem to have been mentioned much, is the very close minimum focusing distance. Compared to the 500 II and 600 II, this baby will focus at about half the minimum distance. And when you couple that with a zoom to allow better framing of subjects, the world of long lens close focus is even more exciting. Perhaps we will soon be talking about the pixels per duck head, rather than the pixels per whole duck.
I continue to lament the budget related grounding of all the important US military flight teams and single ship performance teams, and the cancelation of most of this years military air shows. For me the 200-400 was going to add a whole dimension to my shooting of air shows with their fast changing subject distances, and the lack of that shooting this year did give me pause on if I should proceed with the lens. But I have decided to forge ahead and get one anyway, and it will serve my long lens needs in a variety of different situations. And here is hoping that US airshows make a comeback in the future, hopefully by next year.
The price of the 200-400 is indeed high, but for me I think the value is there as a combination of all the many things this lens should deliver. There is always a worry about if it does not live up to expectations in one or more areas, but I will live with the risk of that. Because it has been so long in coming to market, and because it seems to have gone through a lot of evaluation and limited re-design, I expect it to be about as close to perfect as any new product can be. Just like Canon really delivered with the 1DX, I think they will with this too, and the combination of a 200-400 and a 1DX should prove to be very powerful.
One thing I am confused about still is if the 200-400 can actually accept a Canon extender. Early descriptions of the lens from back over a year ago clearly mentioned that you could not install a Canon extender because the rear opening was too small. I am now seeing "reports" of using an extender with the current prototype lenses that some users have had a chance to shoot with, and hope they are accurate. I would rarely need the reach for what I shoot, but a 400-800 f8 zoom with autofocus and usable optical quality would add yet another layer of versatility to its list of features and uses. My Canon 2X III stands ready to see if it fits on, and if the combination functions reasonably well with the 1DX.
Edited on May 14, 2013 at 11:28 PM · View previous versions