September 22, 2014, 12:21:27 PM

Author Topic: 400 F2.8 with Externder or 600 F 4.0 ? help need to take a decision....  (Read 9865 times)

Andreas

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I have to take a touch decision very soon  ;D...  Buying the excelent 400 F 2.8 and use it with an extender III or buying the 600 F 4.0..  price difference is only aprox 1500 usd..exclusively for wildlife/bird photography handhold basically...what would your recommed ?

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neuroanatomist

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Key questions - are you talking about the MkII versions of these lenses, and what camera (FF, APS-H or -C)?  Neither of the MkI versions are handholdable. For birds/wildlife, I'd get the 600 II (in fact, I did), for use on FF.  I also routinely use the 1.4xIII or 2xIII. 

While the 600 II can be handheld, the 500 II is 1.5 lbs lighter - it's probably the best all-around birds/wildlife prime (unless you shoot a lot of small birds, as I do).  Any reason you excluded it?
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Andreas

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yes, MkII lenses for 5DMIII, 500 mm is certainly also an option....and there is no mayor price difference between 400 and 500 mm incl adapters etc etc...   

I already have a 70-200 F 2.8 MkII and a 100-400 mm MkI for that reason II thought a 600 mm would fit better than the 400 which I have covered already

neuroanatomist

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I'd say not the 400 II. I picked the 600 over the 500 for the extra reach.
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Andreas

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Thanks Neuro..I will go for the 600mm !

jhpeterson

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Key questions - are you talking about the MkII versions of these lenses, and what camera (FF, APS-H or -C)?  Neither of the MkI versions are handholdable. For birds/wildlife, I'd get the 600 II (in fact, I did), for use on FF.  I also routinely use the 1.4xIII or 2xIII. 
While the Mk I versions of both these lenses are on the heavy side, I have found them to be hand holdable. Not easy, but with practice one can get some very usable images. In fact, I've used them on the water, shooting boats from another boat, the 400 sometimes with a 1.4 x.

Today the latest copy of Sailing magazine came in the mail. There, taking up all of page five, was a photo I'd taken with the 400mm, admittedly from land, but with the addition of a 2 x.
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GMCPhotographics

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I chose a 400mm f2.8 IS L over a 600mm f4 L IS due to the versatility of the big 400 with tele converters. Mine is an immaculate mk I and yes it's a heavy lens to use and operate.
Pop a 1.4x on and it's a 560mm f4 and it's pretty much as sharp as the big 600. No one would notice the difference in real world pictures. Pop a 2x and it's a 800mm f5.6L, a little softer but still very usable. Use it as a 400 f2.8 and it gains an extra stop over the 600/500 lenses. I've had a few situations where this has really helped.
The 600L is an awsome lens too, if you are going to use a 600mm all of the time, then it makes sence to get a native 600mm. It takes a 1.4x to give an 840mm, and a 2x takes it to a dizzy 1200mm f8...which is far longer than the 400L can realistically achieve.
The mkII lenses are lighter, have better coatings but are still very heavy. The old mkI 600L and 400L are really heavy....but can be picked up a lot cheaper S/H than a new mkII.

If I was going to do it all again and I had the funds....I'd get the new 500IIL. It's SO light, the lightest of all the big whites. If you get to play with one, you'll see what I mean.

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eml58

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Wildlife & Birds in Flight Photography

Two subjects that require a different approach.

I have both the Version 2 400f/2.8 & 600f/4, and in my own use they are Lenses that I use for different Geography, I'm not a Bird Photographer, having said that, I take Photos of Birds from time to time, but mostly I take Images of Wildlife.

The 400 I tend to use when I know I'm going to be in more Bush type Country, less Open space where I feel I'll be getting closer to my subject, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, the 1.4x series 3 works great on this Lens, but the 2x I feel degrades the Image so I Rarely use it.

The 600 I tend to pack & take on trips where I'm likely to be working in more Open areas, subjects expected to be further away, Tanzania, Kenya, Arctic & Antarctic. Same applies re the Converters, 1.4x matches well with very little degrading of the Image, 2x very seldom.

Another set up may be worth looking at, the New 200-400f/4 (1.4x), more versatile, Image IQ from reports I've seen indicate excellent, and I've handled the Lens myself earlier this year all indicate that this may well be "The Wildlife" Lens, certainly I have a Pre Order in & expect to take delivery mid June, it's a little short @ 560f/5.6 for a dedicated Bird Lens I would think, the 600 has the reach with the 1.4x extender, 840f/5.6. But up to almost 600 you have a huge amount of versatility, worth looking at if your leaning towards "wildlife" over Birds in flight.

All three of these Lenses are in a similar cost ballpark, along with the 500 mentioned by others, I'm sure it's just as good as the other V2 Lenses from Canon.
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RGF

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Another set up may be worth looking at, the New 200-400f/4 (1.4x), more versatile, Image IQ from reports I've seen indicate excellent, and I've handled the Lens myself earlier this year all indicate that this may well be "The Wildlife" Lens, certainly I have a Pre Order in & expect to take delivery mid June, it's a little short @ 560f/5.6 for a dedicated Bird Lens I would think, the 600 has the reach with the 1.4x extender, 840f/5.6. But up to almost 600 you have a huge amount of versatility, worth looking at if your leaning towards "wildlife" over Birds in flight.

All three of these Lenses are in a similar cost ballpark, along with the 500 mentioned by others, I'm sure it's just as good as the other V2 Lenses from Canon.

I have pre-ordered the 200-400 and will eventually sell my 500 M1 and get a 600 M2.  Think this will give the greatest versatility

Sebring5

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I shoot birds in flight all the time with a 400mm f5.6. The weight is easy to handle at less than 3 lbs and I can reach anything in sight. I use Photoshop to make the pictures viewable. If I have any inclination to carry more weight I'd select the 600mm f4 now or wait for the upcoming 800mm f5.6, which will have the same weight as the 600mm. You gain nothing with the 400mm f2.8, the 100-400mm and the 1.4 extender.

Andreas

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It´s done, I ordered and paid the 600mm F4.0 IS II USM...and I got it at the same Price as a the 500 mm model..(!!!) I think the dealer mixed up the pricing..but I paid and ordered and he couldnt escape...good for me :)..bad for him... :-[.

Greatland

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Andreas, I have the 600 II and am awaiting the arrival of my 200-400, which I am excitedly waiting to get my hands on...It is already fully paid for.  With these two lenses, I shoot wildlife, I think that I am pretty set with anything that I will ever want to shoot.  But, neither of them are light, and hand holding them is not as easy as some of you on this board seem to think it is.  Doable, certainly, but challenging, YES.  Way too much lens for a small person or a woman to handle, without being on a tri-pod (Wemberley) or at least a mono-pod.....I have had superior luck with my 1.4 III extender with my 600 but I still feel that the 2x, unless everthing is absolutely perfect, softens the pictures more than I want to have to deal with...just my two cents....

neuroanatomist

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But, neither of them are light, and hand holding them is not as easy as some of you on this board seem to think it is.  Doable, certainly, but challenging, YES.  Way too much lens for a small person or a woman to handle, without being on a tri-pod (Wemberley) or at least a mono-pod.....I have had superior luck with my 1.4 III extender with my 600 but I still feel that the 2x, unless everthing is absolutely perfect, softens the pictures more than I want to have to deal with...just my two cents....

I use the 600 II with a 2xIII occasionally. I use it with the 1.4xIII more than the bare lens.  Monopod when hiking, tripod when setting up for a while, handholding 5-10% of the time.
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Eldar

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I have both the 400 f2.8L II and the 600 f4L II. I use both with the 1.4xIII and 2xIII extenders and I handhold probably close 50% of the time. The only time I am 100% on tripod is with the 600 2xIII combo. 1200mm and just one focus point is too much to handle. For the other combos, it is just a matter of practice. I find it much easier to follow moving objects when I handhold and the IS on the vII lenses is very effective.

I bought the 400 first and thought I would sell it when I got the 600, but I am extremely happy with that lens and the f2.8 is a clear differentiator to me. I also find the 400mm reach to be just right on many occasions, both sports and wildlife. But for birding, especially small birds, the 600 is phenomenal. And compared to their older v1 brothers, handholding is easy.

I find both lenses to be just incredible in all aspects (except size, which it is difficult to much about) and also very good with the 1.4xIII extender. But I am less happy when I combine them with the 2xIII. I get much softer images with that, especially on the 600. At first I thought it was due to poor AFMA, but I have checked and rechecked that. It could be something wrong with the one I have, but I see others in this thread has had the same experience. If anyone has a different experience, I´d be happy to know.

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expatinasia

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I have the 600 II and am awaiting the arrival of my 200-400 ....  But, neither of them are light, and hand holding them is not as easy as some of you on this board seem to think it is.  Doable, certainly, but challenging, YES.  Way too much lens for a small person or a woman to handle, without being on a tri-pod (Wemberley) or at least a monopod

I am glad someone pointed that out. I keep reading different posts with people saying the 400, 500 and 600 ii lenses are handholdable. They are, but only for a (very) limited period of time.

The 600 ii is just under 4kg add that to a 1D X which is 1.4 kg or something, giving you a combined total of around 5.5kgs.
1D X + backup + different L lenses etc.

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