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| Re: 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.
As a conclusion here, 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.