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Author Topic: 400mm f5.6 - Why ?  (Read 6051 times)

Vossie

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Re: 400mm f5.6 - Why ?
« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2013, 04:03:26 PM »
I've never tried the 400 5.6, but got some of my best shots with the 100-400.
5D3, 16-35LII, 24-70 2.8LII, 24-105L, 85LII, 70-200 2.8LII, 100L, 135L, 100-400L, 50 1.4, 40 2.8, Sigma 180 3.5 EX, 1.4x TC III, 600EX, 550EX

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Re: 400mm f5.6 - Why ?
« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2013, 04:03:26 PM »

Haydn1971

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Re: 400mm f5.6 - Why ?
« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2013, 05:06:25 PM »
The value 300-400mm range appears full of compromise :-/

I'm not ready yet, next year maybe, things may have changed by then
Regards, Haydn

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CarlTN

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Re: 400mm f5.6 - Why ?
« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2013, 05:55:07 PM »
Agree with previous posts that the 400 Canon prime is sharper (gets extremely sharp if you close it a bit, to f/7.1 or so).  If you use a teleconverter on it though, the sharpness goes away, along with the ability to autofocus (unless your camera can AF at f/8...still isn't worth the trouble though).  Why not just wait for the new 100-400?  That way you could let everyone know how much disposable income you have!  It will be priced in the $2500 range, because of Nikon's new 80-400.

I bought the Sigma 120-400 instead, it works great, costs half the money.  Don't regret it at all, rather I see myself keeping it a long time.  Very sharp, especially on the 6D, and especially at distances closer than 100 feet.  Might not be as sharp as the Canon 100-400, zoomed out to 400mm on an 18mp crop camera (especially at infinity focus)...but then again it might be.  Really depends on sample variation.  The color rendition via the Sigma, especially at wider than 200mm, is awe-inspiring.  It's not just "warmer" either...it's better.  The Canon "cool purple" color cast is banished!  Contrast of the Sigma at wider than 200mm is very high, so is sharpness...to the corners at f/4.5 on the 6D.  Above 200mm some of the contrast and color go away, but then they also go away on the (current) Canon 100-400.  The IS on the Canon is slightly better in some instances, but it's not that different.  The IS on the new Canon 100-400 would likely make it worth the money, even if sharpness isn't increased by a lot...and it just might be. 

While the Sigma does hunt a bit if there is bright contrasty limbs in front of or behind the bird, for the most part it grabs the bird pretty easily.  Toward the wide end of the zoom range, it does birds in flight with servo focus on the 6D, almost as well as my 70-200 f/4...which is really saying something.  I've not had a chance to try a bird in flight in servo mode closer to the 400mm end yet.  I'm sure it would work great if the bird was large and at a distance, and in decent light.  Small birds at close distance "in flight" at 400mm, are kind of difficult to keep in the field of view. 

Obviously the best zoom lens is the new Canon 200-400 f/4...if money is no object.  The new Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 is probably worth a try, too.

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: 400mm f5.6 - Why ?
« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2013, 11:37:52 PM »
I've had both the 400mm 5.6 and two 100-400mmL's.  Both are excellent for their purpose.
 
I kept my 2nd 100-400L because it had some advantages that worked better for me.
 
1.  IS will let be use a fairly slow shutter speed.
 
2.  Close focus for small birds where you can get close
 
3.  When its telescoped, it is short and easy to carry in my camera bag.
 
4.  IQ is very good.

 
The 400 5.6 had
 

 
1. Fast AF

 
2.  Slightly better IQ as long as it was on a tripod or at 1/1000 sec shutter speed handheld.
 
3.  Better Bokeh, a area where most good primes beat the zooms.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2013, 11:39:37 PM by Mt Spokane Photography »

GMCPhotographics

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Re: 400mm f5.6 - Why ?
« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2013, 08:09:46 AM »
Been pondering my long tele options over the last few months...  A 100-400mm is looking very likely, but I'm left pondering, why would anyone but the 400mm f5.6 prime ?

Serious question, what does it offer other than being very slightly cheaper and lighter ?

The AF on the prime is a lot faster and more accurate. It's lighter and cheaper.
It's IQ is slightly better (assuming you have a good 100-400L) and it's focal length is slightly longer. The 100-400L is closer to a 380mm in reality. The prime offers a slightly better out of focus rendering (the 100-400L can look a but fussy) it also meters closer to f5.6 than the zoom too. It's smaller and has an integrated hood. The 100-400L is quite a long lens when racked out to 400mm and with the hood attached. The zoom is far more versatile, has an Image Stabiliser and closer Min Focus Distance.
For some guys, they buy one or the other. For other guys who have the need for a more capable 400mm lens, then they are not over lapping lenses and often buy both.
Some of us are waiting for the new 100-400IIL to be announced (rumoured but not confirmed) later this year and it could be a game changer and unify the benefits of both these lenses into one unit....or then again it might not!

mb66energy

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Re: 400mm f5.6 - Why ?
« Reply #20 on: July 16, 2013, 10:03:18 AM »
Been pondering my long tele options over the last few months...  A 100-400mm is looking very likely, but I'm left pondering, why would anyone but the 400mm f5.6 prime ?

Serious question, what does it offer other than being very slightly cheaper and lighter ?

Just another list of pro's for the 5.6/400 for ME:
  * IQ (sharpness, contrast) because I want to use it with my 2x TC (mark 1)
  * contralight flare rejection (assumed to be better due to the low number of lens elements)
  * sturdy construction
  * fast reliable AF
  * built in lens hood
  * I like the idea of a 24mm - 40/50mm - 100mm - 200mm - 400mm prime set since I startet photographing

The prime won against the 100-400 zoom because I really like shooting "perfect" primes. The 70-200 4.0 is an exception because it delivers excellent IQ (except direct contralight situations).

Sometimes I missed the flexibility of a 100-400 zoom because I like to walk with ONE lens / body.

Another point about sharpness/resolution: Under real world conditions the excellent IQ of the prime goes down to roughly 1 MPix when you do landscape photography - due to shimmering atmosphere.

If I were NOW in the situation to decide between the 5.6 400 and the 100-400 I would perhaps wait - if possible - for the mark ii version of the zoom. If it has similar IQ like the prime, a 4x IS system and sells for 2.5 kEuro it would be my choice.

Just my 2ct - Michael

PS: An example of 5.6/400 with 2x TC (mark i) from an HD video with 3x zoom (EOS 600D, 1 sensor pixel = 1 image pixel), effective focal lenght is roughly 4000 mm.

TOOLS: EF-S 10-22 | 60 || EF 2.8/24 | 2.8/40 | 2.8+2.0/100 | 4.0/70-200 | 5.6/400 || 2 x 40D || 2x TC ||| 600D for video ||| EOS M + bunch of FD chrome rings

weixing

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Re: 400mm f5.6 - Why ?
« Reply #21 on: July 16, 2013, 10:54:18 AM »
Hi,
    I also owned the 400mm 5.6L and the reason I choose over the 100-400mm is basically faster AF and cheaper... basically the best budget birding lens out there.

   Also, I try hand holding 100-400mm @ 400mm and the IS really didn't help much @ 400mm, so I figure out I'll be need a tripod even if I had the 100-400mm L, so I go for the cheaper option and had been very happy with it.

   By the way, the 400mm F5.6L can AF with the new Teleplus Pro 300 DGX (the one with the blue dot) without the tapping trick.... Just that on my 60D, the centre point AF don't work well, but the surrounding AF point work very well and AF quite fast.

   Have a nice day.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2013, 11:00:11 AM by weixing »

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Re: 400mm f5.6 - Why ?
« Reply #21 on: July 16, 2013, 10:54:18 AM »

CarlTN

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Re: 400mm f5.6 - Why ?
« Reply #22 on: July 16, 2013, 04:56:46 PM »
Been pondering my long tele options over the last few months...  A 100-400mm is looking very likely, but I'm left pondering, why would anyone but the 400mm f5.6 prime ?

Serious question, what does it offer other than being very slightly cheaper and lighter ?

Just another list of pro's for the 5.6/400 for ME:
  * IQ (sharpness, contrast) because I want to use it with my 2x TC (mark 1)
  * contralight flare rejection (assumed to be better due to the low number of lens elements)
  * sturdy construction
  * fast reliable AF
  * built in lens hood
  * I like the idea of a 24mm - 40/50mm - 100mm - 200mm - 400mm prime set since I startet photographing

The prime won against the 100-400 zoom because I really like shooting "perfect" primes. The 70-200 4.0 is an exception because it delivers excellent IQ (except direct contralight situations).

Sometimes I missed the flexibility of a 100-400 zoom because I like to walk with ONE lens / body.

Another point about sharpness/resolution: Under real world conditions the excellent IQ of the prime goes down to roughly 1 MPix when you do landscape photography - due to shimmering atmosphere.

If I were NOW in the situation to decide between the 5.6 400 and the 100-400 I would perhaps wait - if possible - for the mark ii version of the zoom. If it has similar IQ like the prime, a 4x IS system and sells for 2.5 kEuro it would be my choice.

Just my 2ct - Michael

PS: An example of 5.6/400 with 2x TC (mark i) from an HD video with 3x zoom (EOS 600D, 1 sensor pixel = 1 image pixel), effective focal lenght is roughly 4000 mm.

Very nice video still of the moon!  At 4000mm, I can certainly see why atmospherics are a factor, and why many astro photographers use video rather than shooting a lot of stills.  The shutter vibration would definitely also be a factor at 4000mm...not to mention you get to choose the best shot from hundreds or thousands of frames of video.  Nice job!  I personally would have sifted out some of the deep aqua sky saturation, whether you think you remember it looking like that to your eye, or not...Also the moon has some subtle yet rich browns and olive green hues if you push its saturation...

mb66energy

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Re: 400mm f5.6 - Why ?
« Reply #23 on: July 17, 2013, 08:59:14 AM »
CarlTN, thanks for your comments!

And for the info about astrophotography:
  * I never heard that this is a common "method" for good images - but now I remember a talk about
     an mathematical method called "triple correlation" to suppress atmosphere effects
     http://www.opticsinfobase.org/ao/abstract.cfm?uri=ao-22-24-4028  (the abstract is helpful as
     general information)
     They used a sequence of 100 or 1000 images and analyzed the set to gain Hubble-like resolution
     without traveling into an orbit ;-)
  * I never kept in mind during my video filming about the missing mirror motion - but that is a
     good argument. Especially with my 25 year old Manfrotto 190 Pro tripod!
     (Now I have a hangup between 190cxpro3 and 055cxpro3 but I think after realizing 4000mm
     after your comments I will tend to the sturdier 055cxpro3!)

Michael
TOOLS: EF-S 10-22 | 60 || EF 2.8/24 | 2.8/40 | 2.8+2.0/100 | 4.0/70-200 | 5.6/400 || 2 x 40D || 2x TC ||| 600D for video ||| EOS M + bunch of FD chrome rings

CarlTN

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Re: 400mm f5.6 - Why ?
« Reply #24 on: July 19, 2013, 02:12:33 PM »
CarlTN, thanks for your comments!

And for the info about astrophotography:
  * I never heard that this is a common "method" for good images - but now I remember a talk about
     an mathematical method called "triple correlation" to suppress atmosphere effects
     http://www.opticsinfobase.org/ao/abstract.cfm?uri=ao-22-24-4028  (the abstract is helpful as
     general information)
     They used a sequence of 100 or 1000 images and analyzed the set to gain Hubble-like resolution
     without traveling into an orbit ;-)
  * I never kept in mind during my video filming about the missing mirror motion - but that is a
     good argument. Especially with my 25 year old Manfrotto 190 Pro tripod!
     (Now I have a hangup between 190cxpro3 and 055cxpro3 but I think after realizing 4000mm
     after your comments I will tend to the sturdier 055cxpro3!)

Michael


Michael, I'm glad I could help in any way.  Actually you know a lot more about astrophotography than I do, so I will be happy to learn from you!

I really do like how your image shows very subtle shadows of even the shallow craters present in the center of the image, far away from the sunset shadow part!  Impressive because the shadows there are small anyway because the craters are shallow, but then also because the angle of sunlight falling on them, makes the shadows even more slim.

Have you heard any more about the upcoming comet "ISON" that is supposed to be so bright this fall, and how will you photograph it?  I hope it's not a dud...it was thought it might be brighter than the full moon!


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Re: 400mm f5.6 - Why ?
« Reply #24 on: July 19, 2013, 02:12:33 PM »