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Messages - AlanF

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1
Reviews / Photozone review of 100-400 L II
« on: December 19, 2014, 02:50:20 PM »
The review I have been waiting for:
http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/896-canon100400f4556is2

The measured MTFs are just so good. It is exceptional in the centre at 100-300mm, and still very high at 400mm. At 200mm, it nearly out resolves the 5DII sensor with a score of 3700 LW/PH out of a maximum of 3800, far better than the 70-200mm IS II. At 400mm, it resolves 3450 LW/PH. The sharpest aperture is f/5.6.

http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/896-canon100400f4556is2?start=1

Comparing with the Mk I, it is way ahead for 100-300mm and significantly better in the centre at 400mm.

http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/609-canon100400f4556ff

http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/609-canon100400f4556ff?start=1

It's even better than the 400/5.6.
http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/612-canon400f56ff?start=1



2
Lenses / Re: Canon 100-400 ii Image Quality Review Posted at TDP
« on: December 18, 2014, 03:06:41 PM »
I have been doing my own iso1223 chart tests. First, my conditions aren't as well controlled as The-Digital-Photograph and I don't have Bryan's very high quality chart but just a laser print. However, he positions the camera so that the chart fills the sensor so that he has his measurements at different distances and he does not show fine details. What I do is to stand further away so that the tests are more stringent as the centre is much smaller and the lines are effectively closer together, and I can shoot comparisons at the same difference. Here is an updated collage from what I have posted in another thread.

The protocol is to use DxO plus prime and no sharpening, then export into PS where I crop and keep the original but also do a copy with sharpening at 0.9 px and 100% USM. Comparisons are with the 300.2.8 II, 1.4xTC III, 2xTCIII and the 100-400 II and the Tamron 150-600mm.

1. The 100-400 has much more focus breathing than the Tamron, and has and effective focal length of only 370mm at a distance of 8-10m (but it is 400mm at far distances). The extra focal length of the Tamron gives it an edge as the line separation is on the limits of being resolvable at 10m. Moving in to 8m with the 100-400mm gives a comparable image. I think the Tamron thus has a slight edge in the centre at shorter distances but that should even out further away.

2. The 100-400 with the 1.4xTC is a revelation. Even with the focus breathing and an effective focal length of only 520 mm, it is sharper than the Tamron.

I am a great fan of the Tamron and think it's a great lens. But, I sold mine for the 100-400mm II. The clincher for me is its phenomenal IS - I got hand held shots at much lower speeds that I couldn't get with the Tamron - it feels 2 stops faster. The Tamron, according to Lenstips data, is nearly a stop better than the Sigma. The weight and poorer IS of the Sigma makes it more of a tripod lens.

3


This is all beside the point anyway, as all it takes is ONE step, or even to stand up or start standing up, and your target could flee. Birds of the heron family in particular, for example, are extremely skittish birds. If you manage to get close enough to get a decent shot at all, then smaller pixels are going to be a bigger friend to you than getting closer. I can't count how many times just seeing my head barely rise over the top of a ridge was enough to make every heron and egret in the area fly off. Hawks are similar...they can be perfectly content with you sitting there watching them if your not moving. The moment you stand up, they'll leap off their perch and fly right over your head! :P (I've had this happen a few times.) Deer are content to get right up in your face so long as your sitting on the ground...stand up, they'll dance around and huff a few times, then wander off. Outside of wearing a ghillie suit, even in camo deer will spot me. If I stand up, they at the very least stand rigid and take notice. Start moving towards them, and they will often bolt.

It's not necessarily always as easy as taking a few steps closer to your target.

+1

I have a startling inability to walk on water so zooming with my feet rarely works.....

Obviously you need a duck boat with a blind on it. The old FF with a boat blind vs the crop on the bank debate.

Then there is the opposite question, how do the animals react when you have to get up and run away from them because you are framed to close with a crop body.

Use a zoom - the new 100-400.

4
Lenses / Re: EF 100-400mm II - first impressions
« on: December 18, 2014, 08:37:00 AM »
Thanks for the tests and so far so good though I am hoping 400mm is as stated at longer distances.
...
Would be great to see comparisons with the Mk1 and 400 f5.6 prime

It is 400 at longer distances.

5
Lenses / Re: EF 100-400mm II - first impressions
« on: December 18, 2014, 05:27:18 AM »
The comparisons are now out on The-Digital-Picture site - no full review but the iso1223 crops.
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=972

vs 400/5.6

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=972&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=4&API=1&LensComp=278&CameraComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0

nothing between them

vs 200-400 @ 200

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=972&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=2&API=1&LensComp=764&CameraComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0

Nothing between them

vs 200-400 @ 400

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=972&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=4&API=1&LensComp=278&CameraComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0

very little between them

vs 200-400 @ 560

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=972&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=5&API=2&LensComp=764&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=5&APIComp=0

200-400 has edge in corners

vs 200-400 @ 800

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=972&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=6&API=3&LensComp=764&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=7&APIComp=1

200-400 significantly better in corners and will AF

vs 100-400 I @ 400

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=972&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=4&API=1&LensComp=113&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=7&APIComp=2

Mk II significantly better.

vs 100-400 I @ 560

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=972&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=5&API=2&LensComp=113&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=8&APIComp=2

Mk II significantly better.

So, the new zoom is as sharp as the old favourite 400/5.6 and has 4 stops at least of IS and zoom. It stands up well against the 200-400 at 5x the the price (and a multiple of the weight).

6
Anyone who has the 400 5.6 and the new 100-400 - which one is superior at 400?

I don't have either but the shots I've seen taken with the 100-400 and 400 both I would say the 400 is superior in sharpness and light transmission.  However the 100-400 gives you the zoom capability.  Though how much are you really going to use it at less than 400?

If you already have the 400 5.6 I would say keep it unless you really need the zoom for what you shoot.

Are you talking about vignetting when you say superior light transmission?

The stunning IS of the v II is really useful for handheld shots in low light. But, if you take only birds in flight or use a tripod etc, then I suppose that feature is not important and you can stick to the 400 5.6.

Edit: Just seen that TDP has the image quality data on its site. There seems nothing between the 5.6 400 and the vii

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=972&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=4&API=1&LensComp=278&CameraComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0


7
Lenses / Re: EF 100-400mm II - first impressions
« on: December 17, 2014, 02:03:20 PM »
Sorted out the problem why 400 mm seemed soft. The focal length of the 100-400mm at that distance from the target was 370mm, compared with a true 420 for the 1.4x300 with the prime. The smaller focal took the size of the central rings of the chart below what could be resolved. So, I repeated the shots at 400mm (= 370mm) closer to the target so the image is the same size as that from the 420mm. The rings are now very nicely resolved (phew!). Here are the comparisons with my usual procedure. RAW, DxO 10, PRIME noise reduction, exported into PS. On the left there is zero sharpening, on the right 0.9 px at 100% USM.

I am much happier now.


...so at what distance did you actually take your readings?

If the effective focal length is reduced from 400 to 370 it looks as if it is at close range.

8-10 m

I'll check out the focal length at infinity soon.

8
Canon General / Re: Canon USA Addresses the Gray Market
« on: December 17, 2014, 12:59:59 PM »
There are fake 800Es circulating (for those for whom the real ones weren't bad enough). A warning has been issued by Nikon.

https://nikoneurope-en.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/63056

9
Lenses / Re: EF 100-400mm II - first impressions
« on: December 17, 2014, 12:18:33 PM »
AlanF sorry to hear how unwell you are, not able to work! ;)  Reminds me of my kids years back.

Jack

It's the first time I have been ill for ages and am meant to hosting a 120 people at a party tonight. Everything now depends on the therapeutic efficacy of my wife's chicken soup.

10
Lenses / Re: EF 100-400mm II - first impressions
« on: December 17, 2014, 11:28:26 AM »
I am not feeling well this morning so took first photos of birds rather than work!
These are all 100% crops, f/8 at 560mm iso 640 on the 5DIII. DxO prime followed by 0.9px USM at 100% (not necessary but that's my routine).

What's impressive is the Robin was at 1/50 s and the crow at 1/60 s. I took several shots and they were all keepers at those times. The IS is stupendous.

Looks like they may have focused a couple inches forward of the subject. (See the gutter on the crow, and the branch for the squirrel).

I focussed on the squirrels nose, which is very sharp. As he is leaning forwards, the plane of focus is forward of his body. The crow was very close, and the depth of field very thin.

11
Lenses / Re: EF 100-400mm II - first impressions
« on: December 17, 2014, 07:05:12 AM »
I am not feeling well this morning so took first photos of birds rather than work!
These are all 100% crops, f/8 at 560mm iso 640 on the 5DIII. DxO prime followed by 0.9px USM at 100% (not necessary but that's my routine).

What's impressive is the Robin was at 1/50 s and the crow at 1/60 s. I took several shots and they were all keepers at those times. The IS is stupendous.

12
Lenses / Re: EF 100-400mm II - first impressions
« on: December 17, 2014, 05:31:11 AM »
Sorted out the problem why 400 mm seemed soft. The focal length of the 100-400mm at that distance from the target was 370mm, compared with a true 420 for the 1.4x300 with the prime. The smaller focal took the size of the central rings of the chart below what could be resolved. So, I repeated the shots at 400mm (= 370mm) closer to the target so the image is the same size as that from the 420mm. The rings are now very nicely resolved (phew!). Here are the comparisons with my usual procedure. RAW, DxO 10, PRIME noise reduction, exported into PS. On the left there is zero sharpening, on the right 0.9 px at 100% USM.

I am much happier now.

13
Lenses / Re: EF 100-400mm II - first impressions
« on: December 16, 2014, 06:44:37 PM »
awesome so IQ is better than the tamron, how about Af performance with the 1.4? are you using the 1.4 TC mk3?
also that tamron shot looks too blurry for f8 maybe wide open... are you sure you didn't get any shake in that?

the tamron is a bit too big for travel and this looks like a much better option and has panning mode IS which IMO is a massive fault on the tamron.

Using the MkIII. Haven't been able to check AF outside yet, will do that tomorrow. The thing about the 300/2.8 is that you sometimes feel a bit sick about what it cost, then you compare other lenses with it and it just wins.

Maybe there was some shake, but I'll never know from now as I sold the Tamron. I don't regret buying it and making a loss as it is a very good lens and I had a lot of fun with it and have some photos I treasure.

14
Lenses / EF 100-400mm II - first impressions
« on: December 16, 2014, 05:51:32 PM »
My 100-400 II arrived today at the local store, collected it at 2.45 pm, adjusted microfocus on Focal by 3.45, when it was nearly dark here, ± 1.4xTC.

I fired 6 quick shots of the local chimney in the near dark at 560 mm (with the 1.4xTC) at f/8, iso 2500 and 1/25 s. All were spot on sharp. The IS is excellent, at least 4 stops, compared with 3 on my Tamron at 600. The image looks really sharp. I couldn't do any extensive testing as I had to photo all the kids at a Christmas party, but I have just done some quick shots of the centre of the iso 1223 chart to compare with the 300/2.8 II and Tamron on the 5DIII. (My 70D is at WEX being assessed for part exchange).

1. At 400mm and f/5.6, it is not as sharp as the 300 + 1.4xTC at 420mm and f/4. I was only at about 8m from the target, and the focal length appeared to be only about a real 370mm.
2. At 560mm and f/8 with the 1.4xTC it is really sharp, and much better than the Tamron 150-600mm at 600mm and f/8.

I am really surprised about how good it is with the 1.4xTC.  With it's superb IS and performance at 560mm, I am really pleased I bought it. A little disappointed at 400mm, but maybe microfocus isn't quite right yet. I'll play around with it more in the next few days to see how it shapes up at 400.

Left hand side shots are raw converted to jpeg with no sharpening whatsoever. Right is applying unsharp mask at 0.9 px and 100%.

15
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: December 15, 2014, 01:38:12 PM »
Great shot AlanF, I assume you filled the frame or is there some cropping.  Either way, very nice.  We have red-tails but they never seem to come around my place, hardly ever any hawks to shoot other than high in the sky!

Would you say the 300 X2 is not getting the use it once did?

Jack

Jack
The 300 is my go-to lens - it is so, so good, and I use it at least a day a week here. But, it was easier to take the Tamron with me on the flights to Boston and then to Halifax Nova Scotia. Sold the Tamron on Friday in anticipation of the new 100-400, which will be easier still for travel.

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