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400mm 5.6L MFD and hummingbirds
  
 
Pax2You
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · 400mm 5.6L MFD and hummingbirds


I'm shooting a 1.6x crop body and need some real world feedback from anyone using this lens with hummingbirds. Were you able to fill a meaningful part of the frame with the bird at minimum focus distance without cropping? Can you post some examples? Have you found stacking extension tubes to be of any help (such as two ef 25mm tubes)? How iffy is the autofocus with extension tubes? I previously shot hummingbirds with a sigma 120-300 2.8 OS plus 2x teleconverter, but have subsequently sold that. I have a 400 5.6L coming tomorrow and I will also be getting a macro lens soon. Is there a macro lens that you could suggest that might also have enough working distance for hummingbirds on a crop body?
Thanks for your help!



Aug 29, 2017 at 04:45 PM
chvvkumar
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · 400mm 5.6L MFD and hummingbirds


I don't own a 400mm prime but I do have a 100-400 Mk1 that I shoot with my 60D. If you also want good macro shots short of getting a dedicated macro lens, the 100-400 mk2 would be a better choice and more versatile than a 400 prime.

Here is an example of a hummingbird from about 10 feet away:






Aug 29, 2017 at 05:09 PM
Dragonfire
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · 400mm 5.6L MFD and hummingbirds


The 400L 5.6 is great for Hummingbirds w/wo extension tubes, and I sometimes use the 25mm.




  Canon EOS-1D Mark III    EF400mm f/5.6L USM lens    400mm    f/6.3    1/800s    400 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS-1D Mark III    EF400mm f/5.6L USM lens    400mm    f/14.0    1/640s    400 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III    EF400mm f/5.6L USM lens    400mm    f/5.6    1/500s    400 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III    EF400mm f/5.6L USM lens    400mm    f/6.3    1/500s    400 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III    EF400mm f/5.6L USM +1.4x lens    560mm    f/8.0    1/400s    400 ISO    0.0 EV  




Aug 29, 2017 at 05:33 PM
Pax2You
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · 400mm 5.6L MFD and hummingbirds


Thanks Chvvkumar! I will have to try your photo at home as its not coming up at work.
Dragonfire I love the hummers and bright flowers
How much do you find yourself cropping, and have you had any AF issues with the EF 25mm extension tube?
Edit: I see you used a 1.4x extender in the last photo. Do you remember which version you used, and how much of an impact on AF speed did you feel?
Thanks!



Aug 29, 2017 at 06:09 PM
Dragonfire
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · 400mm 5.6L MFD and hummingbirds


Pax, I doubt you will any AF issues with the extension tubes and I have no AF issues with the Mk II extender, but I am shooting a 1D body.

I have used the 400L + 1.4xII on my friends 7DII with excellent results.

You new know.

Best



Aug 29, 2017 at 06:39 PM
diverhank
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · 400mm 5.6L MFD and hummingbirds


Pax2You, I used a single 25mm Xtube (use of 2 don't gain you that much) and the MFD reduces to roughly 6 ft which is very usable.

In my experience, there is absolutely no downside to using the Xtube except that you can no longer focus on anything farther than say 20 feet (guesstimate). In the focus range, it focuses just as fast with the Xtube. The trick now is to get close enough to the hummers... .

Most of my hummer shots are not cropped (except for compositional). Here is one typical taken w/ the 400mm f/5.6 + Canon 25mm Xtube. 7DII + 400 f/5.6 + EF25 Xtube. 1/320, f/5.6, ISO 1250. Check out my 400mm f/5.6 Flickr album for more.



2016 Hummer # 40 - On Pride of Madeira by Hien (Hank) Tongho, on Flickr

Edit: The 100mm macro is not suitable for hummingbirds...you never get close enough to fill the frame. The ultimate hummingbird lens is the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM which I now use. It has an incredible MFD of just over 3 feet and is as sharp as the 400mm f/5.6L at 400mm, and with the utility of a zoom.



Aug 29, 2017 at 06:42 PM
Pax2You
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · 400mm 5.6L MFD and hummingbirds


Thanks Dragonfire and Diverhank. Yeah, I was eyeing the 100-400mkii when I found an excellent deal on the 400 5.6. I will still end up getting a macro lens for other work, but its nice to see the light 400 5.6 will work for hummers. The sigma combination was great but very heavy after a while.


Aug 29, 2017 at 08:13 PM
Dragonfire
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · 400mm 5.6L MFD and hummingbirds


There is macro and then there is MACRO. These macro shots are with the 25mm tube.




  Canon EOS-1D Mark III    EF400mm f/5.6L USM lens    400mm    f/5.6    1/250s    800 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS-1D Mark III    EF400mm f/5.6L USM lens    400mm    f/5.6    1/1600s    400 ISO    0.0 EV  




Aug 29, 2017 at 08:17 PM
Pax2You
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · 400mm 5.6L MFD and hummingbirds


Nice close ups Dragonfire
Diverhank you've got some gorgeous photographs on your flickr page!

Here's a few of my hummers. (Some are decent and others not so much)
I'm looking forward to photographing them again

https://www.flickr.com/photos/8316930@N02/albums/72157662305203142

You will have to copy and paste the whole address. For some reason clicking it doesn't work



Aug 30, 2017 at 12:02 AM
chvvkumar
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · 400mm 5.6L MFD and hummingbirds


Pax2You wrote:
Thanks Chvvkumar! I will have to try your photo at home as its not coming up at work.
Dragonfire I love the hummers and bright flowers
How much do you find yourself cropping, and have you had any AF issues with the EF 25mm extension tube?
Edit: I see you used a 1.4x extender in the last photo. Do you remember which version you used, and how much of an impact on AF speed did you feel?
Thanks!


I am not sure if imgur is blocked at your work. But here are some pics from my site anyway (Cropped to about 75% of original size):








Aug 30, 2017 at 01:16 AM
 

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dorian
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · 400mm 5.6L MFD and hummingbirds


A quick note - a flash is generally required to fully stop hummingbird wings, and it is the only way to do it in overcast/tropical conditions. So, if you want to take photos of hummers on flowers in your back yard the lens will do just fine, but if you're talking about a multi flash set-up in the tropics you're going to want something faster and that focuses closer.


Aug 30, 2017 at 02:16 AM
Mike Bons
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · 400mm 5.6L MFD and hummingbirds


I shoot the 400 5.6L with a 20mm extension tube on my 5DIII. AF remains decent. Here is the latest picture I have with that combo shot a few days ago. Slightly cropped.








Aug 30, 2017 at 06:22 PM
RainDance
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · 400mm 5.6L MFD and hummingbirds


Did you use fill flash on that? It looks amazing.

What I did was use a 300/4 IS, specifically for IS. I also have a 1.4 extender coming in for the extra reach. But if I had to do it all over, I would go with the 100-400 II. I tried my friend's copy and that thing is just amazing.

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Aug 31, 2017 at 12:11 AM
scalesusa
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · 400mm 5.6L MFD and hummingbirds


THE MTF for a 400mm f/5.6L is 11.5 ft 0.12X magnification. You can get a 300mm f/4 for less and get a 5 ft mfd with 0.24 magnification and IS and fast autofocus. A 100-400mmL MK II has a mfd of 3.2 ft, and magnification of .31X with excellent IS and fast autofocus as well as a higher price.

You can use TC's and extension tubes on any of the lenses to get more magnification or get closer, but fast autofocus becomes a issue.

In terms of a humming bird filling a frame of a crop camera with no cropping, no TC or extension tubes, a 100-400mmL MK II comes closest, but a 300mm f/4L is a very good choice too. If I were looking for a lens to buy for the purpose, a 400mm f/5.6L would be way down on the list. If I already had one, its possible to make it work, but not so much fun.



Aug 31, 2017 at 03:07 AM
Mike Bons
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · 400mm 5.6L MFD and hummingbirds


RainDance wrote:
Did you use fill flash on that? It looks amazing.



Thanks. No, this was shot with a multi-flash setup with 4 off camera flash.



Aug 31, 2017 at 08:15 PM
technic
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · 400mm 5.6L MFD and hummingbirds


scalesusa wrote:
In terms of a humming bird filling a frame of a crop camera with no cropping, no TC or extension tubes, a 100-400mmL MK II comes closest, but a 300mm f/4L is a very good choice too. If I were looking for a lens to buy for the purpose, a 400mm f/5.6L would be way down on the list. If I already had one, its possible to make it work, but not so much fun.


I'm not familiar with hummingbirds because we don't have any over here, but I guess they are on average slightly larger than the dragonflies that are one of my favorite subjects.

I found out the hard way that the 100-400II is NOT such a good lens for small subjects: near MFD it has a strong (IMHO ugly) 'glow' at f/5.6-f/8 that is still visible at f/11 depending on subject/lighting. It also has very significant backfocus near MFD when using PDAF (requires something like -20 MFA on my 80D, while it is spot on for large distance; maybe the AF system on 1D series is different?) plus it has focus shift near MFD (significant backfocus when stopping down to f/11 or so). If you stay away from MFD (maximum 0.15x mag or so) and always stop down to f/8-f/11 it is not a real issue, but for in-flight shots stopping down to f/8-f/11 is often impossible with natural light only, and using MFA or Liveview focusing to correct the PDAF focus error is not a realistic option either.

The 4/300IS may be clearly inferior at longer subject distance compared to the 100-400II, and have much weaker IS, but it has none of these closeup problems. It's probably better at f/4 optically than the 100-400II at f/8... Sadly Canon doesn't have any real alternatives in this range, the pro tele lenses don't focus closely and are also too heavy for quick targeting/tracking of small subjects.

BTW, I'm surprised that some of you are getting sharp closeup shots with the 5.6/400L at shutter speeds like 1/400s or even lower, is this using some kind of support? Despite practicing a lot I have to use at least 1/800s on a 300mm to be fairly sure of a sharp closeup image (with or without IS, my experience is that around these shutter speeds the IS isn't of much help).



Sep 01, 2017 at 09:34 AM
RainDance
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · 400mm 5.6L MFD and hummingbirds


I have had good luck with the IS on my 300. I did go thru two copies. The first one I felt like I was using a cheap zoom. Focus was still amazing but there was a always a purple glow up to like f8 and IS hardly did anything. Second copy was worlds better and with the IS I can comfortably go down to 100 or 160 in a pinch.


Sep 01, 2017 at 01:04 PM
technic
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · 400mm 5.6L MFD and hummingbirds


RainDance wrote:
I have had good luck with the IS on my 300. I did go thru two copies. The first one I felt like I was using a cheap zoom. Focus was still amazing but there was a always a purple glow up to like f8 and IS hardly did anything. Second copy was worlds better and with the IS I can comfortably go down to 100 or 160 in a pinch.


My main problem with the IS of the 4/300IS is that it is 'clunky', relatively slow to engage; it's fine for static subjects but I find it unsuitable for faster moving subjects. With the 100-400II I can do 1/30s handheld at 400mm with near perfect result (for static subject); no chance of getting good results with the 4/300IS at 1/30s ...

My 300mm didn't have purple glow problems, just a tiny bit wide open (just like the 2.8/200L). Wouldn't surprise me if there is copy variation in IS systems as well ;-)



Sep 01, 2017 at 05:50 PM
Pax2You
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · 400mm 5.6L MFD and hummingbirds


Had the chance to get out with the lens for a quick test run with the EF25 II extension tube. Had one hummingbird, various bees, butterflies, and even a hummingbird moth make the rounds on some flowers. Happy to say the MFD will indeed be fine. I'm sure IS would make life much easier, but that's one less thing to break.


Sep 03, 2017 at 02:39 AM
Pax2You
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · 400mm 5.6L MFD and hummingbirds



Looking forward to spending some time tomorrow for a proper go at the hummingbirds



Sep 03, 2017 at 03:19 AM
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