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Archive 2013 · Is This the World`s Sharpest DSLR Zoom Lens?
  
 
myron lee
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Is This the World`s Sharpest DSLR Zoom Lens?


vsg28 wrote:
So that title did not last long on the 70-200 IS II


For one focal range at 200 f/4 it seems like the 70-200ii is sharper. Well at least on that web site. But wow, I can live with that flaw.


Edited on Jun 13, 2013 at 02:00 PM · View previous versions



Jun 12, 2013 at 11:57 PM
PetKal
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Is This the World`s Sharpest DSLR Zoom Lens?


Today I've done a little experiment while my experience with shooting with Ron Scheffler's 200-400L is still fresh in my decrepit mind: I tried to emulate the IQ I got from 200-400L, by shooting the same target type, in similar light, at comparable distances, but using the venerable 400 f/5.6.

The differences here are quite subtle, and many factors are at play which can skew the outcome. However, I've come up with the following conclusions:

(1) 200-400L @ 560mm has better IQ....the difference is not huge, but it is pretty much certain.
(2) 200-400L is a bit faster focusing, unless it gets into a major defocus, then the camera struggles/hunts with it for a while . Unfortunately, 200-400L exibits the same "lurching"/"nervous" AF response as the rest of the MkII supertelephoto lenses. Therefore, all around I do prefer the 400 f/5.6 AF response.
Needless to say, in a low light/low contrast situation, 200-400L at f/4 will outfocus any f/5.6 lens, including 400 f/5.6.
(3) Talking from the standpoint of hand-held BIF photography, the only supertelephoto lens which is a fair bit easier to use handheld is 500 II. Yet, 200-400L is noticeably easier to swing and control than 400 II, let alone 600 II. Therefore, with the 200-400L's weight it's not all totally bad news......it could have been worse.

However, unless you are truly well conditioned for that sort of physical activity, I'd recommend using 400 f/5.6, or 400 DO, or 300 f/2.6 IS + 1.4xTC for your more intense BIF photography, and not 200-400L.

In a nutshell, I can repeat what I wrote at least once before about 200-400L : I think the lens "feel" as well as its IQ are in the league of other MkII supertelephoto lenses. After all, considering its price, anything short of that would have been a big flop.
As far as a comparison of 200-400L performance against other supertelephoto lenses, my input will have to wait until (and if) I get my own 200-400L.

In order to perk up this post a bit, here are two 1DX + 400 f/5.6 shots where I tried to do similar to 200-400L captures the other day. Relatively close, but not quite there, I might say.

Edited on Jun 23, 2013 at 01:13 AM · View previous versions



Jun 13, 2013 at 12:02 AM
DavidP
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Is This the World`s Sharpest DSLR Zoom Lens?


So what you're saying is this: For the price, the 200-400 should come with a gym membership.


Jun 13, 2013 at 12:09 AM
kevindar
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Is This the World`s Sharpest DSLR Zoom Lens?


outlawyer wrote:
Hood not included?

When I look at the lens I don't see an excellent zoom of odd range; rather a 1Ds III, 100-400L, 70-200L II, 300 2.8L, 85 1.2L, and a decent car to haul them around in.

very true



Jun 13, 2013 at 12:22 AM
dehowie
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Is This the World`s Sharpest DSLR Zoom Lens?


DavidP wrote:
So what you're saying is this: For the price, the 200-400 should come with a gym membership.


No what he is saying is that real men dont whine about a lens which weighs considerably less than most everything in the world.
In short toughen up princess's i mean 3.5Kg..geez that is oh so heavy.
I am staggered that after like 14 years where everyone was "oh so happy" about the portability of the 500F4 that it was like the "lens to have" for nature work all of a sudden a lens which offers so much more and is 300 grams "lighter" yes lighter is now oh so heavy.
What all those years hauling around a prime that was heavier used up the energy of all those bulging biceps of the photographic community?
Having hauled all over the world for almost ten years every prime from 300 up but mainly the 500/600 and 800 a 3.5Kg Zoom that cover most of that range with great IQ at that weight is a bonus and its at an easily hand holdable weight.

As for what it can do for the first time with 4 stop IS you can shoot full frame 560mm and less than 2-3 seconds later shoot full frame 200mm without worrying about dropping cameras or missing shots.
Having had a 500F4 fall while swapping cameras while on the side of the runway at Amsterdam that cost me a days shooting its worth every cent.
A day driving around trying to find Canon EU who very courteously fixed my Mk2N which had a locking pin bent with a locked on 500F4 caused by the fall.
In short having travelled half way around the world you lose a days shooting trying to get something fixed caused by the very problem this lens prevents not to mention the shots lost while changing bodies.
Yes its expensive but find me a super telephoto that can do everything this can with IQ that is the same as a prime...







Jun 13, 2013 at 01:37 AM
StillFingerz
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Is This the World`s Sharpest DSLR Zoom Lens?


Page 2 and the whine begins, kinda like that other oh so horrible Canon based vintage known as DR

Think I'll grab my CrapTastic A-1 and 50 f1.8 with some HP5 and go shot something...if I can remember how to MF



Jun 13, 2013 at 02:31 AM
Pixel Perfect
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Is This the World`s Sharpest DSLR Zoom Lens?


Access wrote:
How do you know? Were you photographing it or something?


Ah grasshopper, does a shitting bear still make a sound even if you are not there to hear.

Then again maybe it was Schrodinger's bear



Jun 13, 2013 at 02:36 AM
phuang3
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Is This the World`s Sharpest DSLR Zoom Lens?


I compared it with the EF100-400、EF400 DO、EF400/2.8L IS and EF400/2.8L II @ 400mm. It beats the first 3 lenses, and almost on par with the 400/2.8L II. Very impressive!


Jun 13, 2013 at 03:44 AM
jctriguy
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Is This the World`s Sharpest DSLR Zoom Lens?


jcolwell wrote:
I'm going to wait until the price drops to $11,300.


It must already be there with CPS discount. Better to jump on it now while they are still in stock!!



Jun 13, 2013 at 04:00 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Is This the World`s Sharpest DSLR Zoom Lens?


PetKal wrote:
Today I've done a little experiment while my experience with shooting with Ron Scheffler's 200-400L is still fresh in my decrepit mind: I tried to emulate the IQ I got from 200-400L, by shooting the same target type, in similar light, at comparable distances, but using the venerable 400 f/5.6.

The differences here are quite subtle, and many factors are at play which can skew the outcome. However, I've come up with the following conclusions:

(1) 200-400L @ 560mm has better IQ....the difference is not huge, but it is pretty much certain.
(2) 200-400L is a bit faster focusing, unless it gets into
...Show more

Peter,
Your experience is up to par with everything I've seen/read about the new 200-400L.
When talking exclusively birds in fight, the 200-400L's IQ at 400mm seems to be close to the much lighter/compact and "infinitely" cheaper 400 f/5.6L. Background blur and ability to go 560mm are its strongest points but in the right hands, I believe the 400 f/5.6L will always hold the BIF "best bang for the buck" title.



Jun 13, 2013 at 04:25 AM
 

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Pixel Perfect
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Is This the World`s Sharpest DSLR Zoom Lens?


Fred Miranda wrote:
Peter,
Your experience is up to par with everything I've seen/read about the new 200-400L.
When talking exclusively birds in fight, the 200-400L's IQ at 400mm seems to be close to the much lighter/compact and "infinitely" cheaper 400 f/5.6L. Background blur and ability to go 560mm are its strongest points but in the right hands, I believe the 400 f/5.6L will always hold the BIF "best bang for the buck" title.



And 400 f/5.6L works at 560 as well with 1 series and 5D III and in good light does extremely well. AF speed on 1D X and 1D IV will be pretty good based on my experience with the 1D II and how well the 1D X does with the 100-400L + 1.4x. Not saying it'll be anywhere near as fast, but IQ is still excellent on 400L + 1.4x IMO

Anyone tested 200-400L @ 560 vs 300 f/2.8L IS II + 2x TC III yet?



Jun 13, 2013 at 05:42 AM
PetKal
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Is This the World`s Sharpest DSLR Zoom Lens?


Pixel Perfect wrote:
Anyone tested 200-400L @ 560 vs 300 f/2.8L IS II + 2x TC III yet?


I have not done a thorough test, but based on my very limited use of 200-400L at 560mm,
the extended zoom will probably be somewhat sharper and a fair bit more AF responsive than 300 II + 2xTC III.
Yes, 200-400L at 560mm is really that good.



Jun 13, 2013 at 09:11 AM
Pixel Perfect
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Is This the World`s Sharpest DSLR Zoom Lens?


PetKal wrote:
I have not done a thorough test, but based on my very limited use of 200-400L at 560mm,
the extended zoom will probably be somewhat sharper and a fair bit more AF responsive than 300 II + 2xTC III.
Yes, 200-400L at 560mm is really that good.


I fully expect the zoom to be better, but it's how much better; a 1.1kg saving in weight, massively smaller and $5K in price makes it very attractive alternative. Also I'd say the 300 + 1.4x would be closer in IQ and AF speed.



Jun 13, 2013 at 10:32 AM
PetKal
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Is This the World`s Sharpest DSLR Zoom Lens?


Even 300 f/2.8 IS MkI with the MkIII TCs options makes an absolutely great lens.



Jun 13, 2013 at 10:49 AM
Breitling65
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Is This the World`s Sharpest DSLR Zoom Lens?


Is it also most expensive one?


Jun 13, 2013 at 11:33 AM
Bones74
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Is This the World`s Sharpest DSLR Zoom Lens?


Breitling65 wrote:
Is it also most expensive one?


Wouldn't that be the Sigma 200-500 f/2.8?



Jun 13, 2013 at 11:38 AM
binary visions
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · Is This the World`s Sharpest DSLR Zoom Lens?


Pixel Perfect wrote:
Anyone tested 200-400L @ 560 vs 300 f/2.8L IS II + 2x TC III yet?


The original site linked in the post has results from the 300L II at 600mm as well:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=764&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=6&API=0&LensComp=739&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=2&APIComp=2

The difference is noticeable in favor of the zoom, but for a $5k price savings, and given that the 300L is distinctly better @ 300mm than the zoom is...



Jun 13, 2013 at 11:49 AM
Bones74
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · Is This the World`s Sharpest DSLR Zoom Lens?


http://www.the-digital-picture.com/News/News-Post.aspx?News=7096


Jun 13, 2013 at 12:27 PM
alundeb
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · Is This the World`s Sharpest DSLR Zoom Lens?


Pixel Perfect wrote:
Anyone tested 200-400L @ 560 vs 300 f/2.8L IS II + 2x TC III yet?

binary visions wrote:
The original site linked in the post has results from the 300L II at 600mm as well:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=764&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=6&API=0&LensComp=739&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=2&APIComp=2

The difference is noticeable in favor of the zoom, but for a $5k price savings, and given that the 300L is distinctly better @ 300mm than the zoom is...



There is something I stress it quite often when teleconverters are mentioned:

The Canon 2X TC III on any supertele cleans up noticeably just by stopping down 1/3 stop.

With the older version we saw a smaller and gradual improvement by the first 2/3 stops. This is not only in test charts but also my experience.

If you are using the 2X TC III and want ultimate sharpness, try not to shoot wide open but stop down 1/3 stop instead.

The comparsion looks a bit different with both stopped down to f/6.3, not?

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=764&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=6&API=2&LensComp=739&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=2&APIComp=3



Jun 13, 2013 at 12:35 PM
binary visions
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · Is This the World`s Sharpest DSLR Zoom Lens?


Thanks for the interesting information. Never used a Canon TC, and it's pretty impressive that the 300L + 2x TC comes out on top when stopped down like that.


Jun 13, 2013 at 01:03 PM
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