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Messages - canon816

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Lenses / Re: First Impression - Canon EF 600 f/4L IS II
« on: June 12, 2012, 03:50:32 PM »
I'm actually stunned.  I expected it to be a bit sharper but maybe AFMA was not calibrated prior to testing.  I compared these shots to some of mine recently taken with the 300 2.8L and 2XIII and I think mine are actually a bit sharper than these.

I'll wait for more samples to show up before I cast total judgement on the new lens.

Actually, you are right on.  These images are a little soft.  I have an old 600mm NON-IS lens that is 15 years old and the images are tack sharp.  Not quite as sharp as my 300 f2.8 but very very sharp.  The images presented in this "first impressions write-up" are a little soft.  The first one is quite sharp but the following two are not.  (even the heavily cropped indigo bunting should be much sharper even without any post processing) 

I suspect that this lens was not MA calibrated on the camera body.  Even being off by a few MA points will degrade the image dramatically especially when you are shooting with such a long focal length at subjects as close as this.  The depth of field is so small that there is not any forgiveness if your focus misses just a tiny bit. 

I'd be interested to know if Ethan adjusted the MA on this and if so what his method of determining the correct setting.  This lens should be performing better then presented. 

EOS Bodies / Re: Heavy strap?
« on: June 08, 2012, 08:43:53 AM »
Another thought is the Cotton Carrier.

I try not to use neck straps at all with heavier setups.  I use the CC with my 1DIV + 70-200 and sometimes with my 1DIV+300 f/2.8.

I have found that eliminating the neck strap... eliminated neck pain. 

It's not as "cool or hip" to wear a harness, but I guess I don't care what other people think if they see me.  I care about getting the most out of my photography outings...

Lenses / Re: Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4X [CR2]
« on: June 08, 2012, 06:59:45 AM »

I've been contemplaring the 200-400 since it's development announcement.  However, since then, the 400mm f2.8II was announced and at probably the same price as the 200-400.  The ver 1 of the 400 is certainly a heavy lens, but the ver II is the same weight as the 500mm f4 IS ver 1 which I own.  Notwithstanding the versatility of the zoom, it's the ultimate aperture of the 200-400 that is my issue and as a result, difficult for me to decide on the 200-400 over the 400mm f2.8 II.

Excellent points.  And the new 400 will be one heck of a lens!  It really boils down to how you intend to use the lens of choice.  I primarily use prime lenses for telephoto because I found that I was shooting at max focal distance most of the time.  The IQ loss resulting from tele-zooms did not justify the zoom range.  I am spending more and more time shooting from a Kayak and and currently bring two bodies that cover the 200mm to 420mm (300+1.4TC), so for me the 200 -400 would be a great lens.... as long as it doesnt capsize my boat.   :o

That said, Canon has never produced a lens of this caliber in this zoom range.  So it will certainly be interesting to see the final product.

EOS Bodies / Re: Different tools for different trades
« on: June 07, 2012, 05:54:46 PM »
Seriously?? was this post really necessary?? such a waste of time trying to incite a flame war over a topic that should have burnt out by now....



Lenses / Re: Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4X [CR2]
« on: June 07, 2012, 05:43:47 PM »
I can't justify f5.6 with the TC is engaged for the same price as the 400mm f2.8 II.  There must be a lot of R&D Canon has to recoup on this lens for it to be priced at $11K.

I agree that the guess of $11k is a bit steep, but its tough to compare it with a 400 f2.8.  I use a 600 f4 and a 300 f2.8 frequently, and depending on where I plan to shoot and what I am shooting will help me to decide which lens to bring.

Its just too much gear for me to bring both.  This is why the 200-400 would interest me.  It would give me more flexibility when I am out in the field and allow me to cover a broad range of zooms.  200-560mm.  Also, unless I am shooting subjects that are very close to my tele lenses such as birds, I often stop my lens down to f6.3, f7.1 or f8 for a little higher IQ and longer DOF with larger wildlife.  Of course DOF considerations come first but I do find that I am often not shooting wide open. 

Also, my 600f4 (NON IS version) weighs 13 lbs.  The 400 f2.8 weighs over 11.  Both are an absolute bear of a lens and need a tripod to shoot with.  The 200-400 will likely come in much lighter.  Maybe in the 7-9 lb range. It could even be lighter! (Afterall the new 600 f4 is only 8.5lbs!!)  While this would still be a bear to shoot handheld it would certainly be do-able and with a monopod would be a breeze...

All said and done,  if the IQ compares to either of my long lenses at their respective focal lengths (560 is pretty close to 600) I would be inclined to consolidate my kit and sell the 300 and 600 to put towards the 200-400.

Lenses / Re: Looking for travel zoom
« on: June 07, 2012, 04:27:24 PM »
I use a 70-200 f4 L IS all the time.  Its exceptionally sharp.  Much lighter then the f2.8 and works extremely well with a 1.4x TC if you need a little extra reach.  One of my favorite lenses actually... and one of my sharpest.

Lenses / Re: Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4X [CR2]
« on: June 07, 2012, 04:23:20 PM »
I've got a doubt:
if 1,4x extender is activated, will it take any light away, like other external extenders?

You will probably lose 1 stop with the 1.4x engaged making it a 280-560 f5.6 lens.  Just my take on it...

EOS Bodies / Re: where to sell canon gear, I'm moving to Nikon
« on: June 07, 2012, 04:16:39 PM »
I personally use fredmiranda and naturescapes.

Lenses / Re: Canon 17-40L lens for $500...good deal?
« on: June 07, 2012, 04:12:58 PM »
I own a Canon 17-40L.  I have taken thousands of images with it and find it to be an outstanding lens.  I almost never shoot wide open anyway. and with a wide lens like this f2.8 to f4 is not that much of a DOF benefit.

Ironically it is better optically then the 16-35, which is why I bought it.

You can find reviews for both of these lenses at

It works well with my polarizer but not very well with my 10 stop vari ND filter.

$500 is a good deal if it is in good shape with no element scratches or fungus.

I personally wouldn't buy a 16-35 over this lens even if money were no issue.  The 17-40 is better.

Lenses / Re: Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4X [CR2]
« on: June 06, 2012, 03:23:49 PM »

If you apply the same premium to a Canon 200-400, you arrive at a price of $8,800.  Of course, the Canon 200-400 has the built in 1.4x extender, but if this lens is priced at $11k that means you are effectively paying $2,200 for the extender - compared to the III versions that cost $500.

You can't compare the built in 1.4 TC to a 1.4TC III.  Whether anyone wants to admit it or not there is significant image degredation with Canon's 1.4x and 2.0x TC's.  A built in TC on the 200-400 will be calibrated to the rest of the glass on that specific copy and will likely be of much higher optical quality then the add on TC's.

It's an apple to an orange. 

Lenses / Re: Any buzz out there on the 200-400?
« on: May 30, 2012, 07:58:23 AM »
Sorry, but at the rate of current Canon releases, your neighborhood will likely have been replaced by a new mall or something before the lens is actually available, rendering the yard sale moot.  :o

Let's hope that happens.  The cash my house might fetch may cover the cost of the lens....

Lenses / Any buzz out there on the 200-400?
« on: May 29, 2012, 06:51:02 PM »
It seems like this was a hot topic in recent times but I have heard very little about this in recent months.  I'm planning a yard sale to raise the money for a down payment, just need to know when to put up the signs at the end of my street... ;)

EOS Bodies / Re: tripod help for EF 600mm f4 IS USM?
« on: May 16, 2012, 08:56:03 PM »
Also... When I searched for the GT3541XLS on Amazon the GT3541 popped up in the search results.  This is not the same tripod.


EOS Bodies / Re: tripod help for EF 600mm f4 IS USM?
« on: May 16, 2012, 08:38:34 PM »
Sorry.  Hadnt realized it was discontinued.  The specs are still on B&H.  This link will take you there:

It is rated for 39.7lbs... It says 500mm, but it is more then adequate for a 600mm lens. 

My 1D Mark IV + Older and heavier 600mm f4 NONIS lens + WH200 setup is over 19lbs and it handles it brilliantly.    I know several pro wildlife photographers who use this on a 600 and even an 800 and it excels.

Looks like this tripod was replaced by the GT3542XLS

The description says it is ideal for up to 400mm lens.... but the weight capacity is 55lbs!!!!  I don't know where they get their 400mm lens spec but I don't know of any setup that even comes close to 55lbs... maybe the elusive canon 1200mm. 

Either way it is $899 with a mail in rebate.  There is only one review but you can read the reviews on my tripod.... they will be similar considering the new model is what gitzo replaced mine with.


EOS Bodies / Re: tripod help for EF 600mm f4 IS USM?
« on: May 16, 2012, 07:37:58 PM »
Hi there...

You may have purchased the wrong tripod.  I don't know very much about this tripod, but it looks like it is made to accept a video head.  What you purchased is a Wimberley WH200 Head which attaches to a tripod with a 1/4" threaded adapter. This threaded adapter is standard on the baseplate of several other tripods such as the Gitzo GT3541XLS 6x.  (Which by the way I highly recommend.  I have been using it for over a year now and can honestly say it is one of the best tripods ever made)

Your WH200 will thread directly onto this and voila'.... you are ready to shoot.  Good call getting the full wimberley by the way.  I have a 600mm f4 lens and it really is a must for smooth panning operation and precise shooting.  A friend and I have been testing lens variability in respect to support systems using FOCAL and have found that the WH200 is superior in that it eliminates a lot of vibration that is noticed with sidekicks and ball heads.

The replacement foot is really an essential accessory.  It is much closer to the lens barrell then the OEM foot and will eliminate a good amount of vibration and bring the center of gravity lower.  All a good thing when using such a long and heavy lens.  It will allow you to get cleaner images at slower shutter speeds then the OEM foot with a simple rail mounted.

You wont need the P50.  The replacement foot has an arca swiss style clamping surface on it and will mount directly to the WH200.

I really wouldn't recommend a tripod head with a center column.  You will not get the stability you need with that lens if you raise it up even a little.  If you need extra height go with the tripod I recommend.  The legs extend like 7 feet, so if you are on a hill or on an uneven surface you can drop a leg down to stable ground.  (IE you are standing on a log)

I hope this all helps.  You have an incredible lens to play with and good support is essential!  Let me know if you have any other questions.  These are my opinions and I am sure there are plenty others out there who have good luck with other gear options.


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