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Author Topic: 400 2.8 vs 200-400 4.0 1.4  (Read 15805 times)

wdh777

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400 2.8 vs 200-400 4.0 1.4
« on: June 13, 2013, 02:30:11 PM »
There was an old thread that went back and forth between these before the 200-400 was actually out.  Now that it is out I wanted to revisit.  Much of the thread was based on how the the IQ would be on the 200-400.  The reviews are that the IQ is very good so you are not losing much by going with the zoom.  I'm considering trading in my 400 2.8  pros/cons as I see it.

400 2.8
1 stop better aperture so better low light performance
Better bokeh/DOF

200-400 4.0
More versitile focal length.  I lose many shots during sports games when the players get too close to me.
Worse low light performance but with my 1Dx is that really much of a consideration given the higher ISO performance.  Shooting day games, evening games, and sometimes a play or concert inside?
Do I lose much of the Bokeh/DOF at 4.0 vs 2.8?

Tough call.  I really like the versatility of the zoom but wonder if I will miss the DOF? 

Any thoughts?

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400 2.8 vs 200-400 4.0 1.4
« on: June 13, 2013, 02:30:11 PM »

Vossie

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Re: 400 2.8 vs 200-400 4.0 1.4
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2013, 03:03:10 PM »
I follow your pro/con analysis.

I've not seen any head 2 head comparisons on the net. Why don't you rent one? That will help you decide if it's worth the swap...
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RGF

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Re: 400 2.8 vs 200-400 4.0 1.4
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2013, 03:20:57 PM »
Minimum focus is 2m (6.6 feet) for the 200-400 vs 2.7 m (8.9 feet) for the 400 II


bdunbar79

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Re: 400 2.8 vs 200-400 4.0 1.4
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2013, 05:56:23 PM »
Well, I shoot sports, I've read Peter Read Miller's assessment, I'm not getting it.  f/4 isn't open enough, considering my venues often require 1/500, f/2.8, ISO 4000-6400.  A whole stop would be very bad.  If you're good enough, you won't miss any shots.  Afterall, that's why you have two cameras.  If you don't already own the 400 and are going into sports seriously, then I'd consider it.  But since I already have the 300 f/2.8 and 400 f/2.8, I don't need it.

Peter Read Miller also admits that the 400 f/2.8 at f/4 is sharper than the 200-400 at f/4, but the zoom is sharper with respective lenses with teleconverters (ie 300 and 400).
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bdunbar79

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Re: 400 2.8 vs 200-400 4.0 1.4
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2013, 06:27:01 PM »
it's a bit difficult to change lenses in the middle of a match and even heavier for the back to use multiple cameras and  a  200, 300 and a 400mm lens, I think the Canon sports  Photographers will use 200-400/4 the same way as in international photo agencies use the Nikon 200-400 today and  at sports events and that's why Canon has invested so much in their own 200-400zoom.
The lens has major benefits

Awesome, I'm just saying I won't be.
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pj1974

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Re: 400 2.8 vs 200-400 4.0 1.4
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2013, 11:45:05 PM »
I'd love to have the new EF Canon 200-400mm f/4 1.4x USM IS lens.... and yes, I'd also have that over the 400mm f/2.8.  The flexibility to have from 200mm (@ f/4) to 500mm (@ f/5.6) on tap is something I would love, particularly for wildlife (animals and birds). Most of my shooting is in good light - a blessing of being in Australia where there is plenty of light often. But even in darker situations, a capable photographer could make this lens sing!

No doubt the 400mm f/2.8 has the advantage in some situations (ie where you are perfectly positioned to fill the frame / compose at 400mm - and in darker light). That's not the style of photography for everyone. I can see many people really loving this lens and buying it (admittedly probably mostly pro's or enthusiasts with higher disposable incomes).

Even above the reviews that will no doubt start to trickle out over the interweb, I look forward to seeing some great quality PHOTOS from this lens too!   8)

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Paul
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pj1974

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Re: 400 2.8 vs 200-400 4.0 1.4
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2013, 11:47:12 PM »
Ankorwatt... I really like the photos you have shared here... and am glad to read that you realise the Canon 200-400 would be able to take even higher quality images.
I'm not a brand-fanatic. What I do appreciate is using my 7D and 350D cameras along with a host of lenses & many accessories to capture quality photos, and share with friends.

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Re: 400 2.8 vs 200-400 4.0 1.4
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2013, 11:47:12 PM »

bdunbar79

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Re: 400 2.8 vs 200-400 4.0 1.4
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2013, 12:07:51 AM »
it's a bit difficult to change lenses in the middle of a match and even heavier for the back to use multiple cameras and  a  200, 300 and a 400mm lens, I think the Canon sports  Photographers will use 200-400/4 the same way as in international photo agencies use the Nikon 200-400 today and  at sports events and that's why Canon has invested so much in their own 200-400zoom.
The lens has major benefits

The amazing thing here ankorwatt, is that I've provided very valid reasons why I can't buy this lens.  Shooting at 1/500, f/4, ISO 10,000 is unacceptable to me, even with a 1Dx.  Maybe you get well-lit situations, but I don't.  Yes, MSU has well-lit venues, but the D2 and D3 schools I shoot for do not, and most of my football and soccer games this year will be at night. 

The other thing is, I don't really miss too many shots, because I can shoot far shots with the 400 f/2.8, and have the 70-200 zoom on my other camera, and I've gotten fast enough where I can switch quickly. 

But the whole topper is, this 200-400 lens didn't exist a year ago and everyone was getting along fine.  Suddenly, you're arguing with me why I DO need this lens and how I cannot get shots without it, even though I've been doing so for quite awhile and others even longer than me.  Not everyone shoots in ISO 100 conditions like your photos and reviewers have even admitted their concern about f/4. 

I don't even know why I'm explaining this, and am wondering right now why I even do this to myself...
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expatinasia

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Re: 400 2.8 vs 200-400 4.0 1.4
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2013, 12:40:29 AM »
I shoot sports, and I must admit that there have been times recently when I have wondered about the 200-400 1.4X. I even asked Canon CPS for their opinion on it over the 400 f/2.8 ii.

I will try it at the next major event I am at, but I also agree with what bdunbar79 says in that using two cameras is really not that big of a deal.

The 400 f/2.8 ii is an outstanding lens, wow, I smile just thinking about it - and it is considerably cheaper than the 200-400 1.4X.

Anyone that was watching the men's final of Roland Garros will have seen a couple of 200-400 1.4X in use behind the players seats.

I am keeping an open mind. I use the 400 f/2.8 ii quite a bit but have not yet bought one, and as I have not yet used or even touched the 20-400 1.4X I really am in no position to pass judgement.
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Re: 400 2.8 vs 200-400 4.0 1.4
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2013, 02:32:30 AM »
I shoot sports, and I must admit that there have been times recently when I have wondered about the 200-400 1.4X. I even asked Canon CPS for their opinion on it over the 400 f/2.8 ii.

What did CPS say?

eml58

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Re: 400 2.8 vs 200-400 4.0 1.4
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2013, 02:39:32 AM »
It's back to age old question, use what's best for your own brand/style of Photography, I have both now & I've run some side by side comparisons with the 200-400/400f/2.8 v2/300f/2.8 v2 & 200f/2, the Primes still at the same range (200/300/400) & same f/stop, in my opinion have slightly sharper IQ, But it's minimal.

My first view was that I might off load my 400f/2.8 v2 as I know that in my Wildlife Photography the 200-400 will be King & no way will I off load the 300 or the 200, but, I shoot a lot of dawn/dusk so the 300f/2.8 & 400f/2.8 still have their place, the decision becomes what to take what to leave Home, that becomes dependent on conditions.

The 200-400 is a pretty fine Lens, sharp, fast, zooms, but, it's f/4, just something you need to consider & work within.

I can see inside sporting events in particular, under lights, difficult lighting conditions, the f/2.8 anything will rule.
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expatinasia

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Re: 400 2.8 vs 200-400 4.0 1.4
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2013, 03:26:07 AM »
I shoot sports, and I must admit that there have been times recently when I have wondered about the 200-400 1.4X. I even asked Canon CPS for their opinion on it over the 400 f/2.8 ii.

What did CPS say?

Considering I do sports mainly, they said I should stick with the 400 f/2.8 ii.

I will be trying the 200-400 1.4X and I am sure it is an excellent lens, and for those that shoot wildlife etc then wow, couple that lens with an extra 1.4 or even 2 and you have quite some reach. But for me, at the moment, it looks like the 400 f/2.8 ii will remain king.

I will let you know once I do try it out, though not sure yet when that will be.
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pwp

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Re: 400 2.8 vs 200-400 4.0 1.4
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2013, 03:52:46 AM »
I'd have the 400 f/2.8 every time. For shooting action, especially indoor sports, that extra stop is HUGE!
The 400 f/2.8 is Gold Standard when it comes to shooting sports.
Shooting with two bodies, one with the 400 f/2.8 and a 70-200 f/2.8isII on the other is the way to go.

But if you're generally shooting in strong enough light most of the time, the 200-400 f/4 x1.4 does sound fairly compelling.

-PW

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Re: 400 2.8 vs 200-400 4.0 1.4
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2013, 03:52:46 AM »

alexanderferdinand

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Re: 400 2.8 vs 200-400 4.0 1.4
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2013, 03:54:53 AM »
A friend will borrow me his 400/2,8 II. I am very curious. And excited.

In a year or two I will have to take this decision.
Today I would take the 200-400 because of the versatility.
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wdh777

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Re: 400 2.8 vs 200-400 4.0 1.4
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2013, 07:32:44 AM »
Good points. I understand for the pro photographer the 2.8 makes sense with another camera using the 70-200. I'm a advanced amateur shooting mostly middle and high school sports and only have one camera body. I also have a 70-200 but to change lenses during a game isn't great and I don't want to carry around two bodies. This the 200-400 is pretty intriguing. Maybe I'll try to rent one. You are right that there may the occasional night game where I need to crank the ISO up to a higher level. Do you think the bokeh would suffer much? 

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Re: 400 2.8 vs 200-400 4.0 1.4
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2013, 07:32:44 AM »