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Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM

Review Date: Jan 22, 2015 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Superb IQ, light, quick accurate AF. images excellent right out of the camera!

Relatively lightweight, contrast markedly better that vI, a lens I hadq for 5 years and loved . Always had to goose the contrast with my old 400 DO IS but nit this new one. Autofocus, especially with the vIII TC is excellent, crisp quick and accurate. You will pay a lot for this lens but if you are a serious wildlife photographer and like to go as light as possible, you will not regret the expense. Bravo to Canon for improving this wonderful lens!

Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM

Review Date: Mar 8, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, contrasty IQ at all focal lengths. Nice focal range. Quick accurate AF.
Price but as they say you get what you pay for.

Canon EOS 1D Mark IV

Review Date: Mar 12, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,999.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: AF, increased pixels, HD movie capability, lower high ISO noise, improved LCD resolution.
none other than the obvious

I shoot mainly wild-life with some landscape shots thrown in for good measure. I had the Mk III for about 18 mo and was reasonably happy with all respects except mainly the AF servo performance mostly with low contrast subjects. I find the Mk IV for tracking birds in flight to be superior without a doubt. I find the higher pixel sensor to be useful when needed to crop and enlarge an image. The LCD on this baby is a beauty making evaluation of sharpness and exposure of a recent image much more reliable. I have tinkered with the HD movie mode and find it intuitive and of high quality. When shooting wild-life there are times when getting a movie is just so right!! This baby is not cheap for sure but after you overcome that initial shock, the all-around performance makes the price insignificant! If you have a Mk III and want to upgrade you will not be disappointed. The camera also operates much like the Mk III making the conversion nice and easy.

Canon Extender EF 2x II

Review Date: Aug 7, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $235.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Used correctly will work great on a 500 f4 IS lens
lose 2 f stops

With my 400 DO IS and 500 f4 IS, I was initially disappointed in the IQ with this 2X TC in comparison to Canon's 1.4X II TC. However, after some advice from a fellow FMer, I am now totally pleased. The trick: Enough light or high enough ISO to allow stopping down the lens to f11 or better. Wide open the results relatively stink!

closed down very nice!!!

some recent images with considerable cropping also can be seen at:


Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM

Review Date: Apr 21, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great crispness, lifelike images and perfect contrast images. Little PIP necessary. IS is very quiet and works great on or off a tripod.
really none. Won't add price because for the $$ it is a steal!

Have only had this lens for a couple weeks but already I find myself leaving my 400 DO IS at home and bringing the excellent 500mm F4 and a 300mm along for the shoots. I have debating about leaping for this lens for over a year and finally did with no regrets, even with this ongoing economic downturn!

do not have many images to show but for a laughable subject go to:


Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS USM

Review Date: Jul 24, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Relatively lightweight, can be handheld with excellent results
price of course but you get what you pay for, good quality and flexibility

I had the 400 5.6L lens and loved it but was restricted to using a tripod. I purchased this for a good price thinking if I did not like it I could turn it around without much of a loss. No way, it is a keeper. I use it mostly with the Canon 1.4x II extender and it is still very sharp. I can say that at shutter speeds below 1/320 I loose some crispness on delicate objects, e.g. those darn little lovely Goldfinches, Smile. Focuses very quickly on either my 40D or Mark III. Not considering another long lens until I can afford the nes 800mm!!

Canon EOS 1D Mark III

Review Date: Jul 3, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,049.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: built like a brick s@#$house! AF is rapid and accurate including for those elusive soaring birds. Battery like excellent. Colors dead on and so realistic.
none that are worth mentioning

I have had the 30D and 40D and now after only a weeks or so and 550 clicks I can see why those that have had the 1D experience state that they will never go back. I was concerned that the camera would seem bulky and heavy compared to the 40D. Wrong it just feels right and the shooting vertical is now not an issue. The layout of the buttons is excellent. The noise at high ISO even 2000 is not readily apparent with a bit of light. It grabs on focus wonderfully even using the 1.4X extender on my 400mm DO IS. And be careful setting it on rapid fire. one little touch and you have taken 3 frames. LOL. If you have heard about AF problems well I have experience nothing. There is a ton of flexibility in terms of setting up custom functions and the ability to lock in these settings in My Settings is great. Well read other reviews by those more experienced than I and then go out an get one!

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM

Review Date: Apr 11, 2008 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: sharp, relatively lightweight, solid build
none significant

This lens never ceases to amaze me. Including with Canon's 1.4X II Extender which I routinely leave on the lens.

some recent shots taken on a trip to Costa Rica.



a truly great lens and well worth the price

Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM

Review Date: Apr 23, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,050.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: relatively compact, sharpest image imaginable for the price. built in lens hood mostly a plus. can be a bit sticky at first but seems to loosen up
wish it were IS but it would be more $$$.

I bought this lens and the EF 300mm f/4L IS at the same time and tested them side by side using the Canon 1.4X ext II on the 300. I compared shots taken handheld with the 300 vs on a tripod. The rest tests were the shots taken on a tripod at various f stops in several light conditions and several subjects including the neighbors brick wall across the street, a full moon etc. The 400 won clearly for sharpness and contrast. I decided that my 70-200 f/4L IS with the extender would get me up to near 300 and that the 400 would take over from there. Even with the IS feature if the 400 had it I doubt that I would handhold it much.

See the bird pictures including images of the Quetzal and hummingbirds at : http://www.pbase.com/generepair/costarica07

you will be able to tell which were taken with the 400.

Get it!