October 22, 2014, 04:40:44 AM

Author Topic: 400 mm f5.6 non-IS / 300 mm f4 IS with extender 1.4 III or waiting?  (Read 16776 times)

Phil L

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Re: 400 mm f5.6 non-IS / 300 mm f4 IS with extender 1.4 III or waiting?
« Reply #45 on: March 14, 2013, 07:58:19 PM »
I can relate my experience in testing the 400 5.6

I have been shooting for a while with a Canon 300 f4 with a Canon 1.4 III extender attached and last summer I had thoughts about buying the straight 400 5.6
My thinking was that a similar size and speed lens would possibly have better IQ and faster AF then a lens using an extender.

Before buying I was able to test two different 400 5.6 lenses. One was new right out of the box and the other had some use.
I tested them on two different 7D bodies and a 50D body.
I did tests in the field on birds and wildlife (which is what I primarily shoot) and tests on stationary subjects under more controlled conditions.
I was hoping to be wowed by the 400 5.6
However, my results were that in nearly every case images from the 300 with 1.4 were sharper with better detail then those made with the 400 5.6 and AF speed was roughly equivilant. The 400 5.6 may have had a small advantage in AF speed. But I'm talking small.
It got to the point where I could immediately tell which lens took which shots just by looking at them. Enlarging to 50% only confirmed this impression.
Keep in mind this was a lens I really wanted to like and I was fully prepared to buy it if I was happy with the performance.
So needless to say I did not buy one and continue to use my 300 with 1.4 with what I feel are excellent results.

In the future, should Canon come out with a new version of the lens with updated, and upgraded optics and focusing (and maybe IS) I will revisit the 400.
But for now I'm staying away.

I know there are photographers that have gotten very nice results with the 400 and are quite happy with it.

What I described was my experience.

For examples of birds and other wildlife photos where virtually all were taken with the 300 4 and the 1.4 feel free to check out my photo blog which is updated daily.

http://phillanoue.com
Birds and Alligators
Updated Daily
http://phillanoue.com

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Re: 400 mm f5.6 non-IS / 300 mm f4 IS with extender 1.4 III or waiting?
« Reply #45 on: March 14, 2013, 07:58:19 PM »

CarlTN

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Re: 400 mm f5.6 non-IS / 300 mm f4 IS with extender 1.4 III or waiting?
« Reply #46 on: March 23, 2013, 02:41:32 AM »
Phil, I like most of your bird pictures very much.  You've got some inspired work there!  However, if these are not 100% crops, then the differences you are talking about are pretty meaningless.  Anyone can make a 1280 pixel width image look sharp if it was originally much larger.  I can even make a jpeg shot with my little SX150IS look fantastic at web sizes.

I am happy with the third party zoom lens I bought.  It cost around half the price of the Canon equivalent.  So with the money I saved...I put towards a new full frame body.  This lens is 99% as sharp as the best copies of the Canon 100-400, it focuses decently fast, it has a richer color saturation (most evident in the wider half of the zoom range) than Canon's cooler colors via the 300, or especially the 400. 

But I do definitely agree, Canon need to update their lenses.  Or preferably, abandon them and make something much better, like a 450mm f/5 and a 350mm f/4, and a 70-450 zoom that beats the new Nikon one.  I doubt they will do any of these things, though.  They're more interested in making more Rebel and M bodies for the masses, and tiny lenses to put on them.

Even if they did do what I want, those lenses would cost $3500 to $4000, given Canon's tendency to raise prices a lot on new high quality lenses, over what they replaced.  Which is probably why they're reluctant to update them.  They don't want to price them out of existence for their target users.

It appears we will all get only one new telephoto lens this year, the 200-400 f/4.  Even though it was widely used by a lucky few at the Olympics last year, you or I still can't buy one until perhaps Christmas.  And at $10,000 or more, I will pass.  Maybe when they make a camera that is truly worthy of the resolution from these series 2 lenses...I will find a way to pay up.  That won't be until 2016 at the earliest (unless you get to be a lucky "tester").  Maybe by then, I can justify spending another $20,000 on camera and lenses...assuming there is anything left to take pictures of.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2013, 02:44:29 AM by CarlTN »

dolina

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Re: 400 mm f5.6 non-IS / 300 mm f4 IS with extender 1.4 III or waiting?
« Reply #47 on: March 24, 2013, 08:17:02 AM »
After using a 400/5.6 I am eagerly awaiting for a copy with IS.
Visit my Flickr, Facebook & 500px and see my photos. :)

ScottyP

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Re: 400 mm f5.6 non-IS / 300 mm f4 IS with extender 1.4 III or waiting?
« Reply #48 on: March 24, 2013, 09:49:37 AM »

I wonder if Sigma will make its first S lens a telephoto that is as good as its first A lens (35mm f/1.4) is.
Canon 6D; Canon Lenses: EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF 85 f/1.8; EF-S 17-55 f/2.8; Canon 1.4x Mk. III T.C.; Sigma Lens: 35mm f/1.4 "Art"

bwfishing

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Re: 400 mm f5.6 non-IS / 300 mm f4 IS with extender 1.4 III or waiting?
« Reply #49 on: March 24, 2013, 11:09:28 AM »
+1 on the used 300mm f2.8

http://www.keh.com/camera/Canon-EOS-Fixed-Focal-Length-Lenses/1/sku-CE06999037094Z?r=FE

Here is an example with TWO extenders on this great lens if your interested...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pancamo/5572274357/#in/faves-77724886@N06/

I was more impressed with the 70-300 L than the 300mm f4 or the 100-400 this updated lens is fantastic, but for cropping and using TC the 300mm f2.8 is the easy winner.

CarlTN

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Re: 400 mm f5.6 non-IS / 300 mm f4 IS with extender 1.4 III or waiting?
« Reply #50 on: April 19, 2013, 05:10:05 AM »
That looks like several of my shots done at much shorter focal length...of course I was at a closer distance.

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Re: 400 mm f5.6 non-IS / 300 mm f4 IS with extender 1.4 III or waiting?
« Reply #50 on: April 19, 2013, 05:10:05 AM »