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Canon 200mm f/2, 200 f/1.8 and owls
  
 
PetKal
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Canon 200mm f/2, 200 f/1.8 and owls


I did one more BIF shooting test of my 200 f/2 lens recently, and the lens performed as well as ever on 1DX. In fact, that is probably the best auto-focusing telephoto setup I have at my disposal.
In addition, my 200 f/1.8 started exhibiting mount contact problems the other day, and that has also helped me decide to withdraw my 200 f/2 sale at this time.

Even if I were to set any repairability concerns aside, 200 f/2 is simply a better performing lens than the old 200 f/1.8, particularly so for the application of action photography. However, 200 f/1.8 remains a very special lens, and the next best thing to 200 f/2.

The sample images below show frontal attack birds because I wanted to place maximum demand on Servo AF of the lens/camera setup used. Granted, owls are one of the easiest birds to AF on when doing head-on in-flight shots.

Edited on Sep 21, 2017 at 03:50 AM · View previous versions



Sep 18, 2017 at 09:37 AM
therealthings
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Canon 200mm f/2, 200 f/1.8 and owls


Great detail on the head and nice background.
Using your gear with a falconer is always a good practise.



Sep 18, 2017 at 09:53 AM
Pius Sullivan
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Canon 200mm f/2, 200 f/1.8 and owls


You captured its soul, Pete... You can see it in the eye's.
Well done.

Pius



Sep 18, 2017 at 10:16 AM
scottiet
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Canon 200mm f/2, 200 f/1.8 and owls


Amazing shot Peter!

Makes me want the the 200 again bad!



Sep 18, 2017 at 10:23 AM
mogud
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Canon 200mm f/2, 200 f/1.8 and owls


Really nice captures Peter.





Sep 18, 2017 at 12:01 PM
surfnron
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Canon 200mm f/2, 200 f/1.8 and owls


A great job on these Peter ~ Ron


Sep 18, 2017 at 12:35 PM
PetKal
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Canon 200mm f/2, 200 f/1.8 and owls


Thanx gents, glad to hear you like those lucky shots of mine.

Now, as a counter example for owl head-on shots which most people find rather easy to make, many shooters, myself included, find a frontal attack Harris's hawk to be a challenge to photograph even with a highly capable setup such as 1DX + 200 f/2. Granted, if I stop the lens down big time, the in-focus rate improves, but then the background starts to become more intrusive.

The reason for that is not so much the flight speed of the hawk. The difficulty is with the modest size /contrast of the bird's head front presented to the camera AF sensors.
(An additional problem is that the hawk hugs the ground in flight, thus grasses etc. tend to divert AF away from the bird.)

Mr. James Cowan, the owner (falconer extraordinaire) of the Canadian Raptor Conservancy knows rather well how "difficult" his Harris's hawk can be.

Edited on Sep 21, 2017 at 03:51 AM · View previous versions



Sep 18, 2017 at 12:45 PM
Greg Lavaty
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Canon 200mm f/2, 200 f/1.8 and owls


Those are fantastic images. I have always really liked the 200mm f/1.8L but I would be really surprised if the 200mm f/2L wasn't a better all around lens. Canon has a funny way of doing that when they come out with a new version. You really nailed these shots well, I would LOVE to have an opportunity to photograph falconry birds like this, it really lets you get shots that show off how amazing these creatures really are.


Sep 18, 2017 at 12:46 PM
PetKal
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Canon 200mm f/2, 200 f/1.8 and owls


Greg Lavaty wrote:
Those are fantastic images. I have always really liked the 200mm f/1.8L but I would be really surprised if the 200mm f/2L wasn't a better all around lens. Canon has a funny way of doing that when they come out with a new version. You really nailed these shots well, I would LOVE to have an opportunity to photograph falconry birds like this, it really lets you get shots that show off how amazing these creatures really are.


Thank you Greg. There are some issues with photographing captive/falconry birds in flight, such as a higher standard of technical quality usually applies to such images, compared to pictures of birds in the wild, etc.
However, I know of no better way to test photo gears as well as tune up our BIF shooting technique.



Sep 18, 2017 at 01:15 PM
Greg Lavaty
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Canon 200mm f/2, 200 f/1.8 and owls


Very true on all counts!


Sep 18, 2017 at 01:19 PM
 

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SoundHound
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Canon 200mm f/2, 200 f/1.8 and owls


Rumor is Canon is about updating the 200 mm F2.0. The MTF charts show improvement is possible. Not sure how the practical results can be better tho.


Sep 18, 2017 at 01:24 PM
alundeb
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Canon 200mm f/2, 200 f/1.8 and owls


SoundHound wrote:
Rumor is Canon is about updating the 200 mm F2.0. The MTF charts show improvement is possible. Not sure how the practical results can be better tho.


There are other reasons for Canon to update lenses than improving the optical performance. Reducing production cost will likely be more dominant in the future. The trend has already started with the 24-105 F4 L IS II.



Sep 18, 2017 at 01:31 PM
SoundHound
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Canon 200mm f/2, 200 f/1.8 and owls


Canon may, indeed, lower the production cost but recent new Great Whites are priced higher. The current lens streets for approx $5700, new, with scant discounts for used lenses. Not so sure what the market would be for this fine lens when it costs $6500-6700?


Sep 18, 2017 at 01:55 PM
PetKal
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Canon 200mm f/2, 200 f/1.8 and owls


alundeb wrote:
There are other reasons for Canon to update lenses than improving the optical performance. Reducing production cost will likely be more dominant in the future. The trend has already started with the 24-105 F4 L IS II.


True. Those who have experience with a large scale production of diverse product models, know well how production homology helps cutting costs and leads to uniform and often better quality. Even having one lens barrel lacquer type as opposed to two, can be a big help.

Integrated electronic components and assemblies pose a very unique difficulty in production because of fast obsolescence. Again, there is a strong production pressure to minimise diversity of such parts which Canon has to keep in stock, or contract their suppliers for long term supply availability.




Sep 18, 2017 at 02:59 PM
dclark
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Canon 200mm f/2, 200 f/1.8 and owls


Interesting discussion about the lenses, and some beautiful images of the birds. I need to find a falconry to give this a try.

Dave



Sep 18, 2017 at 03:25 PM
birdied
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Canon 200mm f/2, 200 f/1.8 and owls


Gorgeous shots Peter!

Birdie



Sep 18, 2017 at 03:33 PM
Tapeman
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Canon 200mm f/2, 200 f/1.8 and owls


Thanks for posting those great shots Peter.
One of the reasons I visit this forum.



Sep 18, 2017 at 03:34 PM
psharvic
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Canon 200mm f/2, 200 f/1.8 and owls


Well done on all, Peter. The composition and bokeh of the Harris Hawk is out of sight. My BIF practice is limited to model airplanes, not quite the same


Sep 18, 2017 at 05:10 PM
dmacmillan
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Canon 200mm f/2, 200 f/1.8 and owls


Lovely!


Sep 18, 2017 at 05:42 PM
juankgigo
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Canon 200mm f/2, 200 f/1.8 and owls


All wonderful images!!! Thanks for sharing!


Sep 18, 2017 at 06:24 PM
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