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400 f/2.8 IS II Shoots Birds as Zen.
  
 
PetKal
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · 400 f/2.8 IS II Shoots Birds as Zen.


I may not be using my EF 400mm f/2.8 IS MkII very much throughout the year, as its use is kind of seasonal, but when I do, it's a festive occasion ! The lens is very similar in performance to 300 f/2.8 IS MkII, just that it is much heavier and with a shallower DoF, and of course, it reaches a bit farther.

Last year I've done a lot of early morning photography with the lens, mostly in the fall.

Here's a little portrait series of my pet Black-capped night herons. The juveniles' names are "Nightingale" and "Stieglitz". Unfortunately, despite the use of low light capable gears, I couldn't get enough of a stopping action for fish strikes, as they are done lightning fast, and no artificial light source was used. Granted, I could have gone a couple of stops higher with ISO, but then IQ would have taken too much of a hit for my taste.

All of these shots were done with handheld 1DX + 400 II mostly wide open, and ISO 3200.
The shots were taken on different days, therefore the light quality, and level to some extent too, varied a fair bit from one to another.






Edited on Apr 07, 2017 at 12:26 AM · View previous versions



Mar 20, 2017 at 06:32 PM
FotoBuf78
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · 400 f/2.8 IS II Shoots Birds as Zen.


That lens is hard to beat. Wonderful captures.


Mar 20, 2017 at 07:55 PM
mogud
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · 400 f/2.8 IS II Shoots Birds as Zen.


Super set Peter using one of my favourite lenses.




Mar 20, 2017 at 08:16 PM
hotdog12
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · 400 f/2.8 IS II Shoots Birds as Zen.


Razor sharp!



Mar 20, 2017 at 08:19 PM
PetKal
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · 400 f/2.8 IS II Shoots Birds as Zen.


Thank you PhotoBuf, Morley and Craig, glad to hear you like the shots.

I also must say that whenever I can get away with using 300 II instead of 400 II, I will do so mostly for reasons of comfort. The 400 II is only a bit easier to hold and shoot with than 500 f/4 IS MkI, which is still fairly heavy compared to 300 II.
In addition, 400 II requires extra careful focusing on proximity shots, and in my case if AF has not been placed squarely on the eye of the bird, the picture is garbage. In 2015 I tried to do some minor focus stacking when shooting birds at very shallow DoF, but that requires the subject to be dead still, and it adds complexity to postprocessing.

However, like any other tool, there are always pros and cons.



Mar 20, 2017 at 09:02 PM
marcy45
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · 400 f/2.8 IS II Shoots Birds as Zen.


those shots are right on - great detail -


Mar 20, 2017 at 09:12 PM
Kenneth Farver
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · 400 f/2.8 IS II Shoots Birds as Zen.


Impeccable work as always, thanks for sharing, Ken.


Mar 20, 2017 at 10:07 PM
sparkeee
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · 400 f/2.8 IS II Shoots Birds as Zen.


While are of these images are excellent. Number 3 in the line up stands out above the rest to my eyes. Incredible!


Mar 20, 2017 at 10:09 PM
 

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Daniel Smith
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · 400 f/2.8 IS II Shoots Birds as Zen.


It's legal to keep wild birds as pets in Canada? Here in the US you'll get in trouble for that.


Mar 20, 2017 at 10:28 PM
LuckyStrike
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · 400 f/2.8 IS II Shoots Birds as Zen.


Some very nice shots, Peter!

I (like Geoff) have a lust to own one of these lenses..... How's the performance with a 2X? If anything like the 300 / 2.8 , its a must have. (And soon, I'll have saved enough to nearly pay the tax on one!)

LuckyT




Mar 21, 2017 at 02:20 AM
canon.eos30d
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · 400 f/2.8 IS II Shoots Birds as Zen.


Beautiful set, especially the last 2 herons. I love the 400 F2.8 II IS too but since I have 300 II F2.8, I don't have any more budget for this monster lens, Peter. I love having F2.8 so I can shoot when the light fades away. May be someday I will pull the trigger on 400 F2.8II IS

-Tam



Mar 21, 2017 at 02:36 AM
PetKal
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · 400 f/2.8 IS II Shoots Birds as Zen.


Terry, it looks to me that 400 II + 2xTC III performance is almost as good as 300 II + 2xTC III.

However, I like to use 400 II bare, therefore my experience with the TCs is quite limited. If you plan to use it with 1.4xTC very often, then 500 II is a better choice for you. If you are thinking of using it with 2xTC a lot, then 800L is a better option again.



Mar 21, 2017 at 02:43 AM
PetKal
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · 400 f/2.8 IS II Shoots Birds as Zen.


canon.eos30d wrote:
Beautiful set, especially the last 2 herons. I love the 400 F2.8 II IS too but since I have 300 II F2.8, I don't have any more budget for this monster lens, Peter. I love having F2.8 so I can shoot when the light fades away. May be someday I will pull the trigger on 400 F2.8II IS

-Tam


Thank you Tam. I am also a very big fan of 300 II, and if I can get away with 300mm FL, then 300 II is my go-to lens (and 100-400 II, and perhaps 200-400 as well).



Mar 21, 2017 at 02:47 AM
PetKal
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · 400 f/2.8 IS II Shoots Birds as Zen.


This is an interesting comparison: 400 II (wide open) vs. 400 DO II (f/7.1), both on 1DX. Be that as it may, 400 II somehow motivates me to shun clichéd photography, and try something new and different.




1DX + 400 II



Edited on Apr 07, 2017 at 12:26 AM · View previous versions



Mar 21, 2017 at 03:40 AM
Tom Dix
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · 400 f/2.8 IS II Shoots Birds as Zen.


Beautiful


Mar 21, 2017 at 04:25 AM







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