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Messages - tomscott

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100-400mm is pretty good in the centre which is where you want it to be sharp for birding and wildlife.

Only issue is a new one may be on the horizon for sept, but probably at least twice the price.

100-400mm equals the 400 F5.6 in the centre


The tamron seems like a good option brilliant range and reviews look promising, but haven't heard brilliant things about the AF? Especially the digital picture review. seems Its a good option up to 500mm 600 looks a bit soft. Pretty much equals or beats any zoom canon offers up to 400mm and beats them all from 500-600mm as there is no zoom with that range.

What about weather sealing? I would worry about where I would use it, usually in fairly harsh environments dusty and wet live in Cumbria so it rains 90% of the time.

Weight, sharpness and IS

2550g, Closest Focusing Distance: 2.5m / 8.2 ft. 3 stop IS, Length x Diameter: 252 x 128mm


2350g, Closest Focusing Distance: 1.9m / 6.5ft, 4 stop IS, Length x Diameter: 248 x 128 mm   


Not a huge difference. MFD is helpful tho.

Weight is a big issue too.

400mm F2.8 MKII is 3850g
200-400mm F4 1.4 is 3620g

300mm F2.8 MKII is 2350g

1500g less than the 400mm and 1270g less than the 200-400mm

Add a 5DMKIII 860g
or a 1DX 1530g

2x MKIII 325g
1.4x MKIII 225g

The 300mm in this respect wins big with weight and size, and doesn't suffer too badly in IQ, but AF is reduced.

Tough one. The 200-400mm is the all in one field lens, it near enough matches the 400mm F2.8 II at F4.

The dark horse is still the 400mm F5.6

Its only 1250g and out-resolves the 300mm F2.8 at 420mm at 5.6, almost matches the 400mm F2.8 MKII at 5.6.

It is also £4000 cheaper than the 300mm and £5,500 cheaper than the 400mm. Thats pretty much a no brainier for most. Only problem is putting tele converters on it makes it a 560mm F8 or 800mm F11.

Saying that the 400mm F5.6 with 1.4 MKIII converter outperforms the 400mm F2.8 IS MKII at 560 at F8 in the corners and is only very very slightly softer in the centre. Almost indistinguishable.


But it will still focus like an F4 lens rather than the speed of F8.

A 400mm F5.6 IS would be a beast, even better the lens I crave 400mm F4 IS NON DO.

Have you tried your 70-200mm with 2x MKIII?

Try it out first before hand you may surprise yourself at how good it is! Certainly did for me.

The most challenging thing is keeping the bird in frame with a prime its even more difficult if its flying toward you. With the zoom my technique is to track the bird at 70mm (140mm with the 2x) then as its coming toward you zoom into 400mm or what ever tele you need to try to fill the frame. Its a lot easier but obviously you loose a little AF speed canon quote 75% but I think this is worst case scenario from digital picture review he explains how the AF speed isn't really an issue with MKII lenses and MKIII extenders. I didn't have any trouble following Puffins and they are quick and unpredictable.

Next on my list is a MKIII extender I think :)

Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: July 01, 2014, 07:09:10 AM »
Wonderful image doling!

Is that an 800mm?

I have too.

There is a big jump in price, the 400 Do would be perfect if its image quality was better than the 100-400mm for its weight and size.

Im guessing the 500mm F4 II is the most popular for birding? being longer than 400 and nearly a KG less? and more than F2.8 is needed for wildlife for decent DOF?

Ive been doing the same and with the high ISO capabilities of the 5DMKIII justifying at the cheapest £6000 more than the 400 F5.6 when its IQ is stellar and comparable to the other big whites although a few stop slower, no IS and its weight is 1/3 any of the big whites. IS isn't necessary when shooting at such high shutter speeds but its nice to steady the viewfinder!!

If only they made one with IS…. It would be perfect.

I went to the Farne islands this weekend and there were plenty of guys with the big whites but they were laden with massive tripods with gimbal heads and looked nakard! Just seems a pain in the ass to shoot with, difficult to track as the closer the birds came overhead you and the camera body need to go really low almost crouching on the ground while attached to a tripod and your just not free when using  tripod.

After having my 40D and battery grip with 24-105mm and 5DMKIII with 70-200mm II and 2x extender strapped to my shoulders and my bag on all day with 8 hours of shooting my arms were tired. Im 26 and a pretty fit strong guy so I hate to think what they were like carrying the big lenses and tripod all day.

Another issue I saw was where we were was very close to the cliffs and about a foot over the fence was a huge drop. The cliffs weren't particularly flat obviously and the guys were having trouble getting the tripods stable enough to shoot, then when the light changed and they needed to move position it was like a mass migration, there was me just laughing away to myself.

Also while on the boat the lenses were too big for them to quickly get the lens set up and shoot where as the guys with the 100-400, 70-200mm with extenders, 70-300mm, 400 and 300mm primes managed to get up and shooting really quickly, so there are pretty big positives to being mobile.

Another question is how come they can make a really nice compact 300mm F4 IS and not a 400mm F4 IS that isn't DO, I suppose the reason is it would be smaller cheaper lighter and make the 2.8s less attractive?

Obviously I would love one, a 300 F2.8 400 F2.8 or a 500 F4 who wouldn't but there has to be some kind of balance between weight, usability, size and price. Which keeps bringing me back round to the 400 F5.6…

I think the 200-400mm would be my perfect lens is the best of both worlds but its still 3620g and massive!

It makes me wonder even more when I was shooting with the 70-200mm F2.8 II with just a MKII 2x extender and the IQ I've been very surprised with, I wasn't expecting brilliant results but they really are pretty good… The AF did hunt a little but was still pretty impressive with the 5DMKIII.

This is a 100% crop from that combo.

Puffin, Farne Islands, Seahouses by TomScottPhoto, on Flickr

5DMKIII 70-200mm F2.8 IS II 2x extender MKII, F7.1, 1/2000, ISO 640

Obviously I don't really have any experience with the big whites so these are just observations of one trip. So any thoughts are most welcome :)

5D MK III Sample Images / Re: Pet Portraits with 5D Mark III
« on: June 30, 2014, 11:21:46 AM »
Haha yes that would have been alarming!

Thanks :)

Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: June 30, 2014, 11:18:22 AM »
A few from this weekend in the Farne Islands

Both shot with 5DMKIII with 70-200mm F2.8 II with 2x extender MKII

Puffin, Farne Islands, Seahouses by TomScottPhoto, on Flickr

Puffin, Farne Islands, Seahouses by TomScottPhoto, on Flickr

The Farne Islands are possibly the most exciting seabird colony in England with unrivalled views of 23 species, including around 37,000 pairs of puffin. Amazing spectacle.

This weekend, Puffin, Farne Islands Northumberland UK

5DMKIII 70-200mm F2.8 MKII L with 2x Extender MKII, the 70-200mm MKII handles the converters so well! Really impressed, its not even the MKIII converter, quick AF, pretty good IQ little CA tho.

Puffin, Farne Islands, Seahouses by TomScottPhoto, on Flickr

Lenses / Re: Quality lens system for lightweight travel
« on: June 27, 2014, 10:58:09 AM »
If your interested in the A7/R here is a review on the difference between the 28-70 F3.5-5. vs zeiss 24-70 F4


Not much difference, the 35mm F2.8 looks stellar and is only 200g! but it is just a 2.8 for a prime thats not particularly quick. Expensive considering the 40mm pancake lens is not miles behind and is 1/5th the price and even smaller.


Thank you for starting this thread! I have been looking for exactly this bag for ages, have followed suit and bought one too!


Lenses / Re: Quality lens system for lightweight travel
« on: June 27, 2014, 08:19:28 AM »
Your little EOS M doesn't perform too badly in comparison


Obviously you can correct distortion with the 24mm and the 22mm is more like 35mm. Remember you also get a 1.6x DOF increase with the M too. F8 is more like F13 on your 1DSIII

I like the idea of the Sony A7/R but the lens system is maturing and by the time it does it probably have been discontinued for yet another system.

Other than that the Fuji X looks brilliant also the Olympus system. But when I come round to the thinking most mirrorless bodies are around 350-450g and a lens to go with them is 250-400g depending on the lens (think F2.8 zooms even more and just as bulky) you are looking at 1000g now a 5DMKIII 860g with a 35mm F2 355g is 1215g your not really saving much weight.

Best way to go mirrorless is to go with primes, but remember the smaller sensors whether it would be 4/3s APC etc etc you loose the shallow depth of field and ISO advantage.

Currently the A7/R is the only ff mirrorless interchangeable lens camera and they have gone down the road of F4 zooms or F2.8 primes to save weight. You won't find any F1.2/1.4 primes as they need the glass = weight. They are also very expensive and not that fast. The 70-200mm F4 and the 24-70 F4 make the system pointless they are too big. The advantage of the A7/R is fairly minimal its not that much smaller and doesn't weigh that much less. It is also a difficult camera to handle as there isn't much to grip on to.

 But it is the best option IQ wise atm.

I like the Fuji 100S but unfortunately its a fixed lens camera.

I have the Nex5N and really like it, just the lens system is frustratingly small and quality isn't brilliant.

Lenses / Re: 16-35 F/2.8 vs F/4 for weddings
« on: June 27, 2014, 05:45:40 AM »
Before you jump down my throat.

If you read the post I was talking about how I use the lens not just for weddings but for landscape work and I was asking the question is it needed because when I'm out shooting landscape I shoot 24-35mm and for that the 24-70mm is sharper in the corners.

Giving some advice that may save money determining what range you shoot.

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