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Archive 2013 · Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS 1.4X: Quick Comparison
  
 
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS 1.4X: Quick Comparison


dehowie wrote:
With numbers matching the 400/2.8 my question is why would you even consider a 500 now?
Ive pulled the pin on buying a 500 on the basis i already own the 400/2.8II and its IQ at 560 is beautiful and i have an 800 for real long stuff.
With all the flexibility offered by a zoom and even beating my expectations for IQ i think it will hurt 500 sales.
Remembering it is heavier but still lighter than the old 500 which for many many years people where very happy to carry around.
In other words its not that heavy..
Seems its a winning
...Show more

Well, I don't think the 500 II has hurt 600 II sales and I believe the same will be true for the new 200-400 f/4. It all depends on the focal length and flexibility you need.



Jun 07, 2013 at 12:13 AM
Tom_W
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS 1.4X: Quick Comparison


dehowie wrote:
With numbers matching the 400/2.8 my question is why would you even consider a 500 now?
Ive pulled the pin on buying a 500 on the basis i already own the 400/2.8II and its IQ at 560 is beautiful and i have an 800 for real long stuff.
With all the flexibility offered by a zoom and even beating my expectations for IQ i think it will hurt 500 sales.
Remembering it is heavier but still lighter than the old 500 which for many many years people where very happy to carry around.
In other words its not that heavy..
Seems its a winning
...Show more

I think that the feather in the 500/4's cap is its relatively light weight. I have the 400/2.8 IS and while it's lighter than the non-IS Mk II version (and much lighter than the original 400/2.8), it isn't something that I like to carry around a lot. When I want to walk about and go somewhat long, I carry the 300/2.8 IS and my teleconverters. The 500/4, at the expense of a little more weight gives me 500/4, 700/5.6, and 1000/8 versus 420/4, 600/5.6, and 740/8 for my 300. That's an appreciable increase in distance over the 300 combinations.

That's not to say that I don't like this new 200-400/4/1.4 - it is shaping up to be a really nice contender as well.

I think I'll sit back for a while and ponder all of the variables and (hopefully) let the "brand new" price ease back just a bit before I make a long lens decision..



Jun 07, 2013 at 12:19 AM
keeper2
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS 1.4X: Quick Comparison


I wonder what would happen if you put the 1.4X convertor behind it while using the built in 1.4 convertor?


Jun 07, 2013 at 03:18 AM
mitesh
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS 1.4X: Quick Comparison


keeper2 wrote:
I wonder what would happen if you put the 1.4X convertor behind it while using the built in 1.4 convertor?


It would give you 784mm at f/8.



Jun 07, 2013 at 03:44 AM
dolina
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS 1.4X: Quick Comparison


Thank you Pogi. Next up how is the IMATEST of the 200-400 vs 600. For that matter how does the 200-400 compare with all the current white primes.

PetKal wrote:
I'll make it simple for you, pare: 200-400L is more than an effective stop of light slower, it is almost as heavy and as expensive, and it stops AFing beyond 784mm, whereas the 600 f/4 will AF at 1200mm and yield a very good IQ at that.

That is just a comparison of the material specs......there are probably more subtle differences which will become apparent in lens use.




Jun 07, 2013 at 04:45 AM
rscheffler
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS 1.4X: Quick Comparison


mitesh wrote:
It would give you 784mm at f/8.


Which has been illustrated in the hands-on thread

FWIW, you can AF at f/11 or smaller effective aperture by using live view and contrast detect AF. No, you're not going to use if for moving subjects, but it's a great solution for nailing focus in static scenes.

Fred: the 200-400 focus breaths a lot. at MFD, you need to shoot it at 560mm to fill the frame with the same content as the 400/2.8 IS v.1 at MFD (and the v.2 lens focuses slightly closer still). Roger's test was at 35 feet, which might be close enough to shorten the focal length noticeably. When I compared my 400 IS v.1 against the zoom at infinity, the zoom was very slightly wider.



Jun 07, 2013 at 05:23 AM
rscheffler
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS 1.4X: Quick Comparison


dolina wrote:
How does the 200-400 compare to say the 600/4 IS II?

PetKal wrote:
I'll make it simple for you, pare: 200-400L is more than an effective stop of light slower, it is almost as heavy and as expensive, and it stops AFing beyond 784mm, whereas the 600 f/4 will AF at 1200mm and yield a very good IQ at that.

That is just a comparison of the material specs......there are probably more subtle differences which will become apparent in lens use.

dolina wrote:
Thank you Pogi. Next up how is the IMATEST of the 200-400 vs 600. For that matter how does the 200-400 compare with all the current white primes.


I thought Peter's opinion was that the 400 IS II is the sharpest of the lot based on his experience with them? IMO, the zoom with 1.4x internal TC engaged is about on par with my 600 IS v.1 for overall optical quality.




Jun 07, 2013 at 05:25 AM
dolina
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS 1.4X: Quick Comparison


rscheffler wrote:
I thought Peter's opinion was that the 400 IS II is the sharpest of the lot based on his experience with them? IMO, the zoom with 1.4x internal TC engaged is about on par with my 600 IS v.1 for overall optical quality.



Ah! I was hoping the 600 IS II would exceed or be at par with the 400/2.8 IS II.



Jun 07, 2013 at 05:57 AM
dehowie
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS 1.4X: Quick Comparison


Pixel Perfect wrote:
Why would you even bother buying a 500 II? Maybe because we can't afford a complete suite of superteles like you and I'd rather a 500 f/4 over 400 f/4 that needs a TC in place constantly any day for birding and wildlife in general.


I think thats the perfect reason to buy the 200-400.. You no longer "need" to buy an entire range of super teles to get super tele prime quality images.
One lens one outlay gets you a super tele quality image from 200-560.
So in one swoop you cover the 200/300/400/500 and a non converted 600 with only minor cropping.
Yes you lose a stop above 400 but if your shooting with a 5Dmk3 or 1Dx that doesnt hurt in increased ISO performance. Sure it cant shoot at 2.8 like the 200/300 and 400 but hey each of those lenses is locked to a single focal length and that is a far bigger penalty than 1 stop in most light conditions.
Ever needed less focal length for a few seconds..guess what one stop buys you that.
I could not count the number of images sitting on drives i have that are useless because of having to much focal length.
Fixed length lenses have been the goto for long range quality images and that quality has always been a double edge..the price you pay for quality is inflexibility.
That has now changed..
I mean for someone on a budget its the cheapest way to cover the most ground and you dont pay the price in IQ.





Jun 07, 2013 at 06:36 AM
alundeb
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS 1.4X: Quick Comparison


Isn't it great to have choices.

I think a 400 mm f/4 with integrated 1.4x TC at the weight and price class of the 300 f/2.8 II would be appealing to many.
So would a 200 - 500 f/5.6.

But here it is, the biggest, baddest and most envied zoom of the fluorite family



Jun 07, 2013 at 07:27 AM
 

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Lars Johnsson
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS 1.4X: Quick Comparison


dehowie wrote:
I think thats the perfect reason to buy the 200-400.. You no longer "need" to buy an entire range of super teles to get super tele prime quality images.
One lens one outlay gets you a super tele quality image from 200-560.
So in one swoop you cover the 200/300/400/500 and a non converted 600 with only minor cropping.
Yes you lose a stop above 400 but if your shooting with a 5Dmk3 or 1Dx that doesnt hurt in increased ISO performance. Sure it cant shoot at 2.8 like the 200/300 and 400 but hey each of those lenses is locked to
...Show more

No maybe you don't pay the price in IQ. But you pay the price in the lens f-stop (aperture). It's a lot different to shoot at f/2 and f/2,8 than shooting at f/4



Jun 07, 2013 at 07:52 AM
PetKal
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS 1.4X: Quick Comparison


dolina wrote:
Thank you Pogi. Next up how is the IMATEST of the 200-400 vs 600. For that matter how does the 200-400 compare with all the current white primes.



My 50mm f/2.5 macro lens is "sharper" than 85L, but I still keep using 85L much more often.

About two years ago a similar operatic scenario played on internet fora: the new zoom 70-200 f/2.8 IS MkII tested as the sharpest zoom ever, matching or even exceeding primes in IQ.

However, since that time I haven't seen too many people dropping their primes such as 200 f/2, 300 f/2.8, 400 f/2.8 and 400 f/5.6 in favour of the zoom.



Jun 07, 2013 at 09:52 AM
Dan Zinc
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS 1.4X: Quick Comparison


Thanks for sharing, that make me safe of my 400/5.6.
D



Jun 07, 2013 at 10:57 AM
Bones74
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS 1.4X: Quick Comparison


dehowie wrote:
With numbers matching the 400/2.8 my question is why would you even consider a 500 now?


Because here in the UK, the 500 ii is GBP4300 cheaper so if it's a matter of finances... I could pick up a 1DX and 500 ii for a smidgen over the 200-400L price. Money no object, I'd definitely go for the 200-400, based on the latest samples and Roger's test results. If the zoom was the same price as the 500 ii, or even just 10% more, I wouldn't consider the 500 at all.



Jun 07, 2013 at 11:11 AM
PetKal
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS 1.4X: Quick Comparison


Pixel Perfect wrote:
Why would you even bother buying a 500 II?


Because it is lighter, faster (aperture), faster focusing, probably better IQ, allows longer reach and it is cheaper than the zoom.
To me those sound like fairly straightforward reasons, I'd say.

However, if one must have a zoom, then get a zoom instead of 500 II or another prime. If they wanna believe that there will be no "penalty" (as outlined above) associated with such zoom selection as opposed to getting a suitable prime, that is their right too......it's a free country, and it's their money.



Jun 07, 2013 at 12:14 PM
big country
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS 1.4X: Quick Comparison


why would someone want a 500 ii or 600 ii over the zoom lens? because in future days when people start getting out into the field to take photo vs random shots, you'll see that all of their shots will be at the farthest focal length possible. sure there will be the occasional time when you want to use it as the shorter length, but overall it will be maxed out on length.

it's really no different than the 100-400. yes the zoom comes in handy, but most of the time it's at 400mm.




Jun 07, 2013 at 12:39 PM
Tom_W
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS 1.4X: Quick Comparison


dehowie wrote:
I think thats the perfect reason to buy the 200-400.. You no longer "need" to buy an entire range of super teles to get super tele prime quality images.
One lens one outlay gets you a super tele quality image from 200-560.
So in one swoop you cover the 200/300/400/500 and a non converted 600 with only minor cropping.
Yes you lose a stop above 400 but if your shooting with a 5Dmk3 or 1Dx that doesnt hurt in increased ISO performance. Sure it cant shoot at 2.8 like the 200/300 and 400 but hey each of those lenses is locked to
...Show more

Lots of reasoning in favor of the 200-400 here.

I think it ultimately depends on the user's situation. At a race track like Mid-Ohio, the zoom would certainly come in handy rather than carrying multiple long lenses. You could move about the track at will, without needing to change lenses. Possibly, the same at a football or soccer game. Zooming to frame the action.

On the other hand, if you're starving for focal length (aren't we all), the big primes offer a compelling reason to follow in that direction.

Lots of good discussion on this thread. Lots of good lenses in Canon's stable. Life is (mostly) good!



Jun 07, 2013 at 02:00 PM
Ralph Thompson
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS 1.4X: Quick Comparison


Hmmmm, I'm already doing the math....(don't tell my wife)... Sell my 400 2.8 (V2 non IS); 300 2.8 IS, add another $4K and I'm almost there.... almost...


Jun 08, 2013 at 04:53 AM
stanj
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS 1.4X: Quick Comparison


Wonder how the 400 DO would fare in the comparison.


Jun 08, 2013 at 05:30 AM
gocolts
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS 1.4X: Quick Comparison


stanj wrote:
Wonder how the 400 DO would fare in the comparison.


Per TDP's charts, the zoom is better, but not better enough to make me sell my 400 DO and pay the difference. For me I'll carry a 70-300L and 400 DO with a 1.4TC when needed. And, I'm not sure I'd want to use something this big and heavy when I need under 400mm outdoors, which is part of the reason I sold my 120-300 OS.

I admit though, at about $8k, I might have taken a look through my gear bag and decided on a way to fund it...



Jun 08, 2013 at 12:40 PM
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