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Author Topic: Andy Rouse Reviews the EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x  (Read 14706 times)

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Andy Rouse Reviews the EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« on: May 14, 2013, 07:48:25 AM »
A great review
Andy Rouse has spent 6 months with the new EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x and has posted a pretty extensive real world review.

Says Andy…. “It is no secret that I am in the Shakira fan club, you know that by now. Its even less of a secret that I am in the 200-400 fan club, in fact I am a fully paid up lifetime member. I just love this lens. As you have seen above, I have really used it hard in a variety of situations during the 6 months I have had it, and it has simply done everything that I have asked. No failures. Nothing to complain about. I have inspected all of the images that I have taken for any distortion, chromatic aberration or lick marks and I can say, hand on one of my two Vulcan hearts, that I did not find any. And remember I have been using a prototype, your production ones will be mint.”

Read the full review

Preorder the EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x: B&H Photo | Adorama | Amazon

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« Last Edit: May 14, 2013, 07:52:00 AM by Canon Rumors »
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Andy Rouse Reviews the EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« on: May 14, 2013, 07:48:25 AM »

Hobby Shooter

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Re: Andy Rouse Reviews the EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2013, 08:22:22 AM »
Being a hobbyist I would never ever be able to justify this so I should stay away from reading the review as it will only make me sad reading it. Seems like Canon has nailed it with this one. Is it the end of longer primes?

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Re: Andy Rouse Reviews the EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2013, 08:51:55 AM »
It seems like a very nice lens. I have to ask myself though, if his only other choice were using the 100-400 how much different would these shots look? Sure the ISO8000 shots wouldn't have been possible at f/5.6. I guess what I'm saying is that it seems like a lot of money to gain one stop and IQ. This lens is 10x the cost of the 100-400, but is it 10x a better lens? It will be very interesting to see what an updated 100-400 will bring.
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Re: Andy Rouse Reviews the EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2013, 09:04:58 AM »
A lovely review. Worth of reading even if you never buy one of these toys.

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Re: Andy Rouse Reviews the EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2013, 09:20:14 AM »
Nice review with awesome pictures.

This must be a great lens unfortunately with great price tag. Even thinking about either 1DX or new 200-400 would probably make me single ...
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Re: Andy Rouse Reviews the EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2013, 10:24:04 AM »
It seems like a very nice lens. I have to ask myself though, if his only other choice were using the 100-400 how much different would these shots look? Sure the ISO8000 shots wouldn't have been possible at f/5.6. I guess what I'm saying is that it seems like a lot of money to gain one stop and IQ. This lens is 10x the cost of the 100-400, but is it 10x a better lens? It will be very interesting to see what an updated 100-400 will bring.

It gets more expensive than improvement in IQ all the time.

50 1.8 is 100, the 50mm 1.4 is 400 and the 50mm 1.2 is 1400... is it 14 times better? definetly not.
the 75-300mm is 100, the 70-300mm IS USM is like 500, the 70-300mm L is 1400 bucks... again, 14x better?

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Re: Andy Rouse Reviews the EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2013, 10:52:38 AM »
It seems like a very nice lens. I have to ask myself though, if his only other choice were using the 100-400 how much different would these shots look? Sure the ISO8000 shots wouldn't have been possible at f/5.6. I guess what I'm saying is that it seems like a lot of money to gain one stop and IQ. This lens is 10x the cost of the 100-400, but is it 10x a better lens? It will be very interesting to see what an updated 100-400 will bring.

There is little doubt that each time you move to increased lens performance that the law of diminishing returns comes into play.  Making larger diameter lenses with much smaller tolerances, hand assembly and extensive calibration make for a crazy price.  They can't actually grind the elements accurately enough to just put them into a lens, the elements must be individually matched to each other by testing them.  Its a very fine point, but its the only way to get the extra performance.
 
I'm sure I could tell the difference between one and my 100-400mmL, but it won't be night and day.  I had a Tokina 400mm f/5.6 that I bought used for $125.  It was only a slight downgrade IQ wise from my L, but the price was 10X less.

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Re: Andy Rouse Reviews the EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2013, 10:52:38 AM »

AlanF

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Re: Andy Rouse Reviews the EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2013, 10:55:03 AM »
Here is a comparison of the 200-400 mtfs at 400mm and 560mm with the f/2.8 300mm II + 1.4x TC at 420 mm, and the f/2.8 400mm II prime, and then the 200-400mm at 560mm with TC, the 300mm at 600mm with 2xTC, and the 400mm prime with 1.4x TC. I'll stick with the 300mm + TCs as the 200-400 is too heavy for me as well as too pricey. All these lenses seriously outgun the 100-400mm f/5.6, and you see it quite easily in the resolution of detail when you compare them in practice.

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Re: Andy Rouse Reviews the EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2013, 10:58:09 AM »
This lens is 10x the cost of the 100-400, but is it 10x a better lens? It will be very interesting to see what an updated 100-400 will bring.

Well if there is little to no distortion and no visible CA, then the IQ is better than almost every other lens out there.

But in terms of value for money, well the law of diminishing returns applies: past a certain point, you have to start spending exponentially more to get moderate gains.

e.g. Tamron 24-70/2.8 VC vs Canon 24-70/2.8 II. The Canon is twice the price but is it twice the IQ (or better)?

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Re: Andy Rouse Reviews the EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2013, 10:59:14 AM »
It seems like a very nice lens. I have to ask myself though, if his only other choice were using the 100-400 how much different would these shots look? Sure the ISO8000 shots wouldn't have been possible at f/5.6. I guess what I'm saying is that it seems like a lot of money to gain one stop and IQ. This lens is 10x the cost of the 100-400, but is it 10x a better lens? It will be very interesting to see what an updated 100-400 will bring.

It gets more expensive than improvement in IQ all the time.

50 1.8 is 100, the 50mm 1.4 is 400 and the 50mm 1.2 is 1400... is it 14 times better? definetly not.
the 75-300mm is 100, the 70-300mm IS USM is like 500, the 70-300mm L is 1400 bucks... again, 14x better?

I can't, nor will I likely ever, be able to speak to the 200-400 1.4X, but the 70-300L isn't just 14x better than the non-L, it's like 140x better. So it's plausible.
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Re: Andy Rouse Reviews the EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2013, 11:35:43 AM »
I like his photos ... awsome



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Re: Andy Rouse Reviews the EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2013, 11:48:45 AM »
It seems like a very nice lens. I have to ask myself though, if his only other choice were using the 100-400 how much different would these shots look? Sure the ISO8000 shots wouldn't have been possible at f/5.6. I guess what I'm saying is that it seems like a lot of money to gain one stop and IQ. This lens is 10x the cost of the 100-400, but is it 10x a better lens? It will be very interesting to see what an updated 100-400 will bring.

The law of diminishing returns.  Surely no one who ever buys (or even uses) the new 200-400, will ever admit they could achieve similar results with a far less costly lens.  Just as someone who has the 100-400, would never admit that a third party lens is optically as good as it, but for half the price.  It's amusing to me that all the 100-400 fanboys are positively itching to their very souls, since Nikon's new 80-400 came out...counting the seconds to when they can rush to buy a new Canon "equivalent".  When they do buy the "new 100-400", they will be quick to tout how much better it is than the old lens, and how it was worth the upgrade (even if Canon feels the need to offer it at or above $3k...to make sure it's priced higher than the Nikon...for that extra snob appeal and bling factor).

Not to say that the Canon 200-400 is not a fine lens, it looks like it is.  For myself, I prefer to shoot wildlife in lower light, and am not currently a pro sports shooter.  If I was, then this 200-400 and a 1DX would be the way to go, without a doubt.  It's just a shame Nikon beat Canon by about a decade, with their 200-400 f/4.  Obviously it does not look comparable in optical quality or performance ergonomics (especially the IS and the T/C switcher), to the Canon...

A similar cost/value comparison could be made between "supercars" and plain old "sports cars".  Is the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport 10x better than a Ferrari 458 Italia?  To some it might be...to others not.  But let's face it.  The only difference between the two, while driving legally on public roads, is the bling factor.       

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Re: Andy Rouse Reviews the EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2013, 12:32:29 PM »
I like his photos ... awsome




That's an incredible shot.

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Re: Andy Rouse Reviews the EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2013, 12:32:29 PM »

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Re: Andy Rouse Reviews the EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2013, 03:57:11 PM »
What a cool write up to go with the launch - Canon should have him help all of their launches.  The photos are incredible and his humor and honesty left me amused and impressed.  I have been running the numbers in my head all day - what gear can I sell, how much can I put on my AMEX, etc., for this lens.  Alas, I need to get A LOT more paying work before I can afford it.

As for the 100-400 comparison, it is an unfortunate reality that the cost between the great and greatest are so high and the differences so small in relation.  This is true of all fine things, though, whether it's cars, watches, amplifiers/speakers, etc.  I am sure the build quality is significantly higher, though.  In my own experience, I couldn't believe how much better the build of the 70-200 f/2.8 IS II is over my 70-200 f4 IS - made me realize that there was more to the extra cost than just a tripod mount and an extra stop.  I'm sure the same will be true of the 200-400.

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Re: Andy Rouse Reviews the EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2013, 04:29:30 PM »
Here is a comparison of the 200-400 mtfs at 400mm and 560mm with the f/2.8 300mm II + 1.4x TC at 420 mm, and the f/2.8 400mm II prime, and then the 200-400mm at 560mm with TC, the 300mm at 600mm with 2xTC, and the 400mm prime with 1.4x TC. I'll stick with the 300mm + TCs as the 200-400 is too heavy for me as well as too pricey. All these lenses seriously outgun the 100-400mm f/5.6, and you see it quite easily in the resolution of detail when you compare them in practice.



So basically MTF say 400 with a 1.4 is still sharper than the 200-400?

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Re: Andy Rouse Reviews the EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2013, 04:29:30 PM »