August 20, 2014, 08:33:55 PM

Author Topic: 400 f/2.8L IS I vs. 400 f/2.8L IS II  (Read 3079 times)

bdunbar79

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2558
    • View Profile
400 f/2.8L IS I vs. 400 f/2.8L IS II
« on: May 19, 2013, 11:55:09 AM »
I am only curious, but has anyone ever really done a true comparison in performance between these two lenses (and the 300's as well)?  I just wonder if there are actually any in-the-field performance differences.  The ISO comparion charts look very similar.  I was just curious.  Thanks.
2 x 1DX
Big Ten, GLIAC, NCAC

canon rumors FORUM

400 f/2.8L IS I vs. 400 f/2.8L IS II
« on: May 19, 2013, 11:55:09 AM »

charlesa

  • Canon 70D
  • ****
  • Posts: 317
  • I shoot with my eye!
    • View Profile
    • 16 stops to Heaven
Re: 400 f/2.8L IS I vs. 400 f/2.8L IS II
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2013, 02:41:05 PM »
I had the version I of the lens second hand for a year, sold it and recently got a hold of version II through a mentorship programme. In terms of IQ and sharpness, difficult to find major differences between the two, AF is fast on both except it had a tendency to keep searching more on the version I (in my case only maybe?), but what I found to be a blessing is the obvious and welcome decrease in weight. I literally got severe back pain carrying the version I, not telling the version II is a featherweight but oh so easier on the shoulders.

bdunbar79

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2558
    • View Profile
Re: 400 f/2.8L IS I vs. 400 f/2.8L IS II
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2013, 03:35:25 PM »
Thanks.  Since I've gone all FF I really don't need my 300 f/2.8L I IS anymore.  What I was thinking is selling my 300 v1 and 400 v1 and just buying the 400 v2.  I will welcome the loss in weight since many of the facilities where I shoot require a fairly long walk from my car and selling both lenses will match the funds required for the v2.  Still thinking about it though.
2 x 1DX
Big Ten, GLIAC, NCAC

Menace

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1339
  • New Zealand
    • View Profile
Re: 400 f/2.8L IS I vs. 400 f/2.8L IS II
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2013, 06:20:59 PM »
Thanks.  Since I've gone all FF I really don't need my 300 f/2.8L I IS anymore.  What I was thinking is selling my 300 v1 and 400 v1 and just buying the 400 v2.  I will welcome the loss in weight since many of the facilities where I shoot require a fairly long walk from my car and selling both lenses will match the funds required for the v2.  Still thinking about it though.

+1

Personally, I'd sell the 300 and 400 v1 to get the 400 v2 - especially as you are not likely to be out of pocket.

I'd also suggest looking at meta data (LR) for last year or so for all the shots done by yourself to ensure a large % were not taken at 300mm. If not get the 400 V2.

 ;D
1Dx | 5D III
85 1.2L II | 100 2.8 | 400 2.8L IS II 
24-70 2.8L II | 70-200 2.8L IS II

bdunbar79

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2558
    • View Profile
Re: 400 f/2.8L IS I vs. 400 f/2.8L IS II
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2013, 06:43:20 PM »
Thanks.  I did check into that actually.  I shot a ton at 300mm, it's just that I had to keep cropping in post.  So why not just shoot it right the first time?  :)
2 x 1DX
Big Ten, GLIAC, NCAC

eml58

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1418
  • 1Dx
    • View Profile
Re: 400 f/2.8L IS I vs. 400 f/2.8L IS II
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2013, 08:06:29 PM »
I am only curious, but has anyone ever really done a true comparison in performance between these two lenses (and the 300's as well)?  I just wonder if there are actually any in-the-field performance differences.  The ISO comparion charts look very similar.  I was just curious.  Thanks.


Hi bdunbar79, I've owned both the 300f/2.8 & 400f/2.8 Version i Lenses & currently own the same two Version 2 Lenses.

I cant do a side by side comparison as I sold the Version 1 lenses to own the version 2 lenses, but these would be my thoughts on the two versions.

IQ: Difficult question, looking at my own shots and I haven't a clue about all the charts & stuff, but just blowing up and looking at Version 1 lenses IQ compared to Version 2, there is not too much difference in IQ, if I had to say one or the other I'de say Version 2 is better, but damn hard call.

Weight: well that's easy, the 300 & 400 Version 2 Lenses are a Dream, the 300 is now a 100% hand holdable all conditions Lens, the 400 spends most of it's time still on the monopod or the Tripod (because I'm damn lazy), but it's Hand Holdable for short periods, the Version 1 400 just wasn't unless you had Arnold as a Sherpa.

Focus: the Version 2 Lenses just snap on like the Version 1 lenses didn't, I get very few OOF Shots with the Version 2

I've never for a moment regretted going from the Version 1 to the version 2, if you can get past the price, there's no contest, just the weight alone did it for me, but the upgrade in ability to Focus faster and marginally better IQ, were simply nice to haves.

My own shooting shows I use the 300 slightly more than the 400 (Wildlife), and I pick up the 200-400f/4 (1.4x) in June, the Lens I'll be selling will be the 400f/2.8 v2, not at all because it's not a great Lens, it is, but the versatility of the 200-400f/4 for my own Photography needs will lean more to the versatility (but slower) 200-400f/4 than the 400f/2.8.

So if your in Singapore in the next month or two or three, there's a 400f/2.8 Version 2 looking for a home.

I'm sure you've read this, but if not it may answer some of your questions

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-400mm-f-2.8-L-IS-II-USM-Lens-Review.aspx
« Last Edit: May 19, 2013, 08:33:55 PM by eml58 »
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing

bdunbar79

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2558
    • View Profile
Re: 400 f/2.8L IS I vs. 400 f/2.8L IS II
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2013, 10:45:26 PM »
Thank you.  I've noticed that my 400 v1 doesn't focus as quickly as my 300 v1.  There is something to be said regarding a positive correlation between AF quickness and IQ.  I think I will likely sell my v1 lenses and pick up the v2 400 since I'll probably never really need 300.  Thanks for your thoughtful reply.
2 x 1DX
Big Ten, GLIAC, NCAC

canon rumors FORUM

Re: 400 f/2.8L IS I vs. 400 f/2.8L IS II
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2013, 10:45:26 PM »

expatinasia

  • 1D Mark IV
  • ******
  • Posts: 898
    • View Profile
Re: 400 f/2.8L IS I vs. 400 f/2.8L IS II
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2013, 11:44:21 PM »
So if your in Singapore in the next month or two or three, there's a 400f/2.8 Version 2 looking for a home.

Great post, eml58. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. If you do not want to post prices etc here would you mind sending me a message with regards to the price you are looking for, condition, age etc. I am in Singapore quite a bit.

bdunbar79 - if you can afford it, and it fits within your shooting regime, then I think selling the two v1s and getting the 400 v2 sounds like an excellent plan, and it will be great to hear what you think of your new lens once you do get it. Good luck.
1D X + backup + different L lenses etc.

dolina

  • 1D Mark IV
  • ******
  • Posts: 973
    • View Profile
Re: 400 f/2.8L IS I vs. 400 f/2.8L IS II
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2013, 02:53:32 AM »
Series 2 lenses are faster in focusing, faster in focus acquisition, has better IS at 4 stops vs 2. They also have a shorter minimum focusing distance, IS for Video, Focus for Video.

Did I mention they are up to 25% lighter? This is significant when walking and flying on aeroplanes.

I'd only go with the Series 1 lenses if money was an issue.
Visit my Flickr, Facebook & 500px and see my photos. :)

GMCPhotographics

  • 5D Mark III
  • ******
  • Posts: 699
    • View Profile
    • GMCPhotographics
Re: 400 f/2.8L IS I vs. 400 f/2.8L IS II
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2013, 05:17:20 AM »
The mk I 400 LIS is such a capable lens. Optically, it's pretty much the equal of the newer mkII version. I've never had any reason to question the AF speed or accuracy. On my 5DIII, it's been pretty stellar. It's easily the fastest AF I've used to date. It's ability to lock and track is amazing.
I use mine with a mkIII 1.4x tc, which is a little sharper and seems to meter better than the mkII version. I also use a mkII 2x TC, which stacks with the 1.4x TC....but the mkIII doesn't....so I'm currently sticking with the mkII.

The old lens is a really heavy lump to lug about...but once on a tripod / monopod, it's weight is mute once fixed on a pod...although it's a heavy lump to lug about. I have hand held a 400L for a few mins and it's certainly not something I'd want to for longer periods of time. The newer IS system is a bit of a mute subject too, it's a big heavy lens so one questions the need for a 1/50th sec ability. It's going to mostly be used on a tripod anyhow.
As a general statement, 1/50th sec is not going to freeze action unless one has access to a big flash.

The MkII only offers marginal specifications over a good mkI version, it's main headliner is weight and little else.
Sure the newer one has slightly improved AF, slightly better IS system, slightly better coatings and slightly better hood. The case is slightly better and the But the big question is...is that upgrade work £8K to you? Some, where the absolute max capacity of their equipement keeps them in the fore front of their work...but fro many others, there's just not enough to justify the big spend.

The new 300 f2.8 L IS II is a substantial upgrade to it's optics and the new 600L and 500L are so much lighter than previous models. They have a clear advantage over their older cousins. But, again...is it worth the very high costs for quite a minor improvement.

bdunbar79

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2558
    • View Profile
Re: 400 f/2.8L IS I vs. 400 f/2.8L IS II
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2013, 11:19:37 AM »
Thanks GMC for your reply.  I really appreciate it.  Yes I love the optics of my v1.  This wouldn't really cost me anything since I'd be selling both my 300 v1 and 400 v1 to fund it.  I know I don't need my 300 v1 anymore so that's why I was thinking of doing so.  I'm still deciding though.  Thanks!
2 x 1DX
Big Ten, GLIAC, NCAC

dolina

  • 1D Mark IV
  • ******
  • Posts: 973
    • View Profile
Re: 400 f/2.8L IS I vs. 400 f/2.8L IS II
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2013, 03:17:10 AM »
If you have idle asset, sell it.
Visit my Flickr, Facebook & 500px and see my photos. :)

canon rumors FORUM

Re: 400 f/2.8L IS I vs. 400 f/2.8L IS II
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2013, 03:17:10 AM »