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Archive 2013 · Review: Canon EF 200400mm f/4L IS 1.4x
  
 
Tom_W
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Review: Canon EF 200400mm f/4L IS 1.4x


I won't deny that the lens intrigues me. But, so does the 500/4 II! Not sure which way to go yet, but for the price, the 500 so far seems like the better deal.

I'll wait a while and see how performance compares, and take some time to decide if the flexibility of the 200-400 + 1.4X is more valuable than the lighter weight of the 500.



May 15, 2013 at 02:27 AM
Tony B
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Review: Canon EF 200400mm f/4L IS 1.4x


Pixel Perfect wrote:
http://p11997.ipscdn.com/public/style_emoticons/default/+1.gif


An understanding wife. Dollars are not the problem. How to spend them is.
$12000 lens + $12000 reciprocal= $24000. Factor in a safari or two to make good use of the lens + divorce settlement. Too expensive in any language..



May 15, 2013 at 02:35 AM
Pixel Perfect
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Review: Canon EF 200400mm f/4L IS 1.4x


Tony B wrote:
An understanding wife. Dollars are not the problem. How to spend them is.
$12000 lens + $12000 reciprocal= $24000. Factor in a safari or two to make good use of the lens + divorce settlement. Too expensive in any language..


I'd rather keep the 100-400L and take few trips to Africa say, for the price of the 200-400



May 15, 2013 at 02:39 AM
mitesh
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Review: Canon EF 200400mm f/4L IS 1.4x


Tony B wrote:
An understanding wife. Dollars are not the problem. How to spend them is.
$12000 lens + $12000 reciprocal= $24000. Factor in a safari or two to make good use of the lens + divorce settlement. Too expensive in any language..


Tony, my friend, I'm afraid you're behind the proverbial 8-ball here. The key is taking care of the reciprocal well in advance so that you've now got your wife thinking that she owes you this lens as a reciprocal . A little bit of politics can go a long way...



May 15, 2013 at 02:43 AM
Pixel Perfect
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Review: Canon EF 200400mm f/4L IS 1.4x


mitesh wrote:
Tony, my friend, I'm afraid you're behind the proverbial 8-ball here. The key is taking care of the reciprocal well in advance so that you've now got your wife thinking that she owes you this lens as a reciprocal . A little bit of politics can go a long way...


Well I'm taking my wife to Iceland to show of the prowess of the new 500L II - had no trouble selling that idea. Swings and roundabouts.



May 15, 2013 at 02:45 AM
StillFingerz
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Review: Canon EF 200400mm f/4L IS 1.4x


PetKal wrote:
Bona fide pijun-in-fligh shots, good or bad, usually help to illustrate Servo AF (tracking) discussions, if there are any, that is . Also, addressing the difficulty/ keeper rate related to such shots is really required in order to understand the hardware performance.
However, some folks like to showcase their skill at the expense of objective hardware evaluation, thereby diminishing the value of their gear review.

Besides, I've got 400 f/4 DO, and I don't need no overweight/overpriced 200-400 f/4 zoom.



Peter, this shot with the 1D2N is the pijun I questioned about in PM...love it's look; the silky golden background is fantastic, it really makes your pijun pop off the screen!



May 15, 2013 at 03:00 AM
PetKal
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Review: Canon EF 200400mm f/4L IS 1.4x


Thank you, Jerry.....it's a very simple shot....the only trick is to get a pijun to fly in front of that willow tree when I am present and ready to fire.

As far as shooting pijuns in flight against a vacant sky, such shots are a dime a dozen.....much easier to make technically (AF) plus such opportunities abound..



May 15, 2013 at 03:12 AM
dehowie
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Review: Canon EF 200400mm f/4L IS 1.4x


Pretty funny really.
Guys are prepared to pay big bucks for a fixed focal length lens of stellar quality.
But somehow a zoom of similar if not the same image quality plus all the benefits of a zoom from 200-560 isnt worth the same money??
Bizarre mentality really.
Sure it would be great if it was 3 grand less but as it is competing with the 500,600 and provides what looks like 95% of the IQ why on earth would you even think of getting a 500
Try and sell the 500 for several thousand more against a zoom similar IQ the flexibility of a zoom covering up to 560 and down to 200.
Looking at this it aint no Nikon 200-400 copy which is pretty soft above 350mm.
With the brilliant ISO capability of the 1Dx the extra stop when shooting from 400-560 means little unless in almost full darkness.
Id love it to be cheaper but being realistic a price around 10-10.5 looks like where its going to settle.
Im looking forward to seeing some full res images to see just how sharp is sharp but off Andy's blog it looks every bit as good as it needs to be and then some.



May 15, 2013 at 03:18 AM
Imagery
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Review: Canon EF 200400mm f/4L IS 1.4x


It's my dream lens if I win a lottery!!


May 15, 2013 at 03:49 AM
Pixel Perfect
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Review: Canon EF 200400mm f/4L IS 1.4x


dehowie wrote:
Pretty funny really.
Guys are prepared to pay big bucks for a fixed focal length lens of stellar quality.
But somehow a zoom of similar if not the same image quality plus all the benefits of a zoom from 200-560 isnt worth the same money??
Bizarre mentality really.
Sure it would be great if it was 3 grand less but as it is competing with the 500,600 and provides what looks like 95% of the IQ why on earth would you even think of getting a 500
Try and sell the 500 for several thousand more against a zoom similar IQ the flexibility of a
...Show more

You buy the 600 because you need 600. If the 1.4x TC is always in place on your 200-400, it's very darn expensive 560 f/5.6. That extra stop can be worth it's weight in gold and if you need a more reach you are 840mm vs 560mm at f/5.6, hardly insignificant. Of course a zoom offers much greater flexibility, but the tradeoff is it's slower and heavier; you have to decide which approach is best. Personally I'd rather have a 2 camera combo, one with a 100-400L and the other with a 500/600 prime, but I can see the appeal of the zoom. Trouble is for birders at least it's a little short. I'd have been all over it if it were 200-500 f/4 DO with built-in TC, and still same price and probably still be a bit lighter.



May 15, 2013 at 04:19 AM
 

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dehowie
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Review: Canon EF 200400mm f/4L IS 1.4x


Agree its a bit short for birders.
I think the full rez images will be the key to how this lens goes.
If hey live up to Andy's images i will bale on getting a new 500 and get this instead to replace my old 500 which i just sold.
Im struggling to justify a 500 or 600 based on how great my 400/2.8 is with a 1.4.
The flexibility a 200-560 gives you is unmatched and i have an 800 for ultimate long range IQ.
The more i hear and see the better it looks..



May 15, 2013 at 09:09 AM
willis
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Review: Canon EF 200400mm f/4L IS 1.4x


"200-500 f/4 DO with built-in TC"
I hate to think how much Canon would charge for that. I'm sure there'd be a hefty premium over mere refractive supertelephotos.



May 15, 2013 at 09:33 AM
Ian.Dobinson
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Review: Canon EF 200400mm f/4L IS 1.4x


chez wrote:
Yep, match it up to a new 1dx and you have a sweet setup for a touch under $20,000. Come on guys, just skip your Starbucks for a few weeks and you'll save enough.



Dam that's why I can't afford this lens . I don't buy crap overpriced cups of foam from Starbucks , so that means I can't cut them out and save money
Maybe I need to start smokin . Then I can give up and put the savings to the lens



May 15, 2013 at 10:19 AM
PetKal
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Review: Canon EF 200400mm f/4L IS 1.4x


From the standpoint of other "big white" lenses, the only distinguishing 200-400L feature IMO is that it is obviously a zoom.

Now, my 100-400L is also, obviously, a zoom, albeit a slower one, therefore its past usage should be a pretty good indication of my needs for a zoom in that FL range. I guess, in the past 18 months I've probably used 100-400 once or twice, and even that wasn't out of sheer neccessity. Ironically, practically all of those 100-400 shots were done at 400mm. Therefore, the zooming feature was not utilized at all.

The other approach to the zoom need validation is to look at circumstances where I had to back off from 500 or 400mm (primes) because the subject was too close. It was perhaps once or twice in the past couple of years that I wished I had a 200mm lens on me instead of a 400mm or a 500mm one. However, at those times I really wanted 200 f/1.8 or 200 f/2 , and not 200 f/4.

Lastly, I feel a significant 200-400 weight/size detracts from its versatility of application.
For me it would be quite awkward to carry such lens around on my country/city walks just in case its variable FL might become useful. I can still do such exploratory no-specific-mission-preplanned photo forays with 300 f/2.8 IS MkII (+ TCs) in my bag. However, even that represents a sort of a borderline walk-around lens weight-size for me.

Some folks also think of replacing their 400 f/2.8s with a stop slower 200-400L, in recognition of high ISO capable cameras of today. No doubt, from the exposure considerations that could work OK for them. However, there are three other fundamental advantages f/2.8 long lenses have over f/4 ones, which is sometimes not addressed:
(1) Bare f/2.8 lenses enable better camera AF than bare f/4 lenses.
(2) They yield more diffused bokeh/better subject isolation.
(3) They have much better AF responsiveness when coupled with 2xTC. Shooting with f/8 combos is not a happy occasion.

However, we are all different, and so are our photography interests and needs.



May 15, 2013 at 10:44 AM
Bones74
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Review: Canon EF 200400mm f/4L IS 1.4x


Pixel Perfect wrote:
You do realise he's a Nikon guy? That could also explain why he rambles


How is he a Nikon guy? Seems to me Canon "bought" him back a while ago when the 1DX came along He used to shoot with a 1Dmk3 until he saw the "benefits" of a D3.



May 15, 2013 at 12:01 PM
willis
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Review: Canon EF 200400mm f/4L IS 1.4x


Although an extremely desirable lens for wildlife photographers I think it is more of a 'must have' for field sports where the distance from the action varies a lot more unpredictably. This is the only time I prefer the 120-300 f2.8 OS over my 300/500 primes.


May 15, 2013 at 12:07 PM
Bones74
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · Review: Canon EF 200400mm f/4L IS 1.4x


Quote from Andy Rouse off Facebook in reference to the 200-400L:

"And as for the comments about sharpness I tested it against my 600 and it's the same."

https://www.facebook.com/andyrousephoto



May 15, 2013 at 12:58 PM
PetKal
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · Review: Canon EF 200400mm f/4L IS 1.4x


Bones74 wrote:
Quote from Andy Rouse off Facebook in reference to the 200-400L:

"And as for the comments about sharpness I tested it against my 600 and it's the same."

https://www.facebook.com/andyrousephoto



I wonder if he tested those two lenses at 600mm f/4 or perhaps at 840mm f/5.6 ?

Incidentally, I tested my 200 f/2.8 prime against 300 f/2.8 IS MkI, and I couldn't see much sharpness difference either.

Let me not even start talking about the sharpness of EF-S 60mm f/2.8 macro.


Edited on May 15, 2013 at 01:18 PM · View previous versions



May 15, 2013 at 01:15 PM
Liquidstone
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · Review: Canon EF 200400mm f/4L IS 1.4x


Ian.Dobinson wrote:
Maybe I need to start smokin . Then I can give up and put the savings to the lens


Great idea.

I stopped smoking 6 months ago and I've saved more than USD 300 so far. Just a couple of decades more and this zoom will be mine!



May 15, 2013 at 01:16 PM
Ian.Dobinson
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · Review: Canon EF 200400mm f/4L IS 1.4x


Liquidstone wrote:
Great idea.

I stopped smoking 6 months ago and I've saved more than USD 300 so far. Just a couple of decades more and this zoom will be mine!



I guess that's an advantage to living in a high tax area . If I start smoking 20 a day (seems to be the average around here ) @7.40 per pack it will only take me it will only take me 4.5 years to buy the lens . . And given how much they put the tax up each year I'm sure I could get that down below 4 years
Sh!t looking at that timescale maybe I should start chain smoking for a month and give up 40+ per day and its looking achievable



May 15, 2013 at 01:31 PM
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