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Appeal of Nikon Df.

Love the look/sensor combo, wish Canon had something like this.
Nice look but still not there and over priced
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Author Topic: Photos from 200-400. Also any comments...  (Read 93582 times)

CarlTN

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Re: Photos from 200-400. Also any comments...
« Reply #165 on: December 15, 2013, 03:24:02 AM »
I have been using a CPS loaned 200-400 1.4x the last few days exclusively handheld at various local zoos, both to compare it with other handheld shots from other lenses in my stable of the same animals and to help my case to my CEO (the missus!) that, over the long haul, buying this lens is cheaper than a purchasing gym memberships because I'll actually use the lens!  On the handheld front it was far lighter than I thought it'd be, so much so that I actually enjoy shooting with it handheld, that arm-burning sensation at the end of the day has an odd pleasantness to it.  My wife wouldn't touch it without a monopod so definitely the hand-holdability is relative. 

It is an amazing zoo lens!!!  Here in Arizona many of the animal enclosures are large, so much so I routinely take my 400 5.6.  As eml58 stated if I zoom in whilst in LR I can tell that many images just aren't as sharp as my 200 2.0 or 300 2.8.  However, I ran my favorite 200-400 images, interspersed with similar 200 f2.0 and 300 2.8 images, past family members and they "oohed" and "aahed" appropriately and never once complained about focus (in fairness they likely would have made the same sounds for any images).  Many of the shots I couldn't have gotten without a lens change or multiple camera bodies.

This image, shot at 540mm, is a good representation of how sharp the lens can be with an extender:
http://500px.com/photo/54954232

This one, shot at 400mm, was a family favorite:
http://500px.com/photo/54954252

Here is one from a tiger running towards me, leaping into a pool, shot through a fence, with the teleconverter on:
http://500px.com/photo/54956286

The shot isn't as sharp as I'd like (nothing other than cropping done on this shot) but with my primes I couldn't have gotten the sequence of him moving towards me.  As he got closer I simply flipped off the 1.4x (I wish the lever was on the right hand side) and kept shooting on my 5D3.

CarlTN: regarding moving away from the camera really fast on ai servo I didn't have any issues shooting the big animals coming or going.  Once focus locked initially it kept pace with everything I was shooting with no issues.

Overall I love the ability to zoom in and out, compose a shot on the fly, and pretty much handle most any situation with one lens on one body, especially in the dusty, windy conditions that I often face where changing a lens isn't peril-free or convenient and switching between two bodies isn't ideal.  I did miss the 2.8 when shooting mounted sauropod cervical vertebrae indoors but a flash fixed that easy enough. 

Conclusion?  I'm already looking around the house to see what I can sell  Anyone looking for some old Star Wars toys???

Thanks for letting me know your experience with the servo performance (I assume on a 5D3?)  I have some Star Wars stuff I need to sell too, but it won't be getting me this lens anytime soon!

I liked your images although I didn't sign up for 500px yet and couldn't see the full size images, if there were any.  Not to criticize but I would say this lens might be overkill for zoo photography, is that your primary use scenario? 

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Re: Photos from 200-400. Also any comments...
« Reply #165 on: December 15, 2013, 03:24:02 AM »

Sauropod

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Re: Photos from 200-400. Also any comments...
« Reply #166 on: December 15, 2013, 10:15:49 AM »


Thanks for letting me know your experience with the servo performance (I assume on a 5D3?)  I have some Star Wars stuff I need to sell too, but it won't be getting me this lens anytime soon!

I liked your images although I didn't sign up for 500px yet and couldn't see the full size images, if there were any.  Not to criticize but I would say this lens might be overkill for zoo photography, is that your primary use scenario?


Twas on the 5D3.  Based on my 1Dx experiences (alas not with the 200-400 itself) it should perform even better on that superbly capable machine!

No criticism taken regarding if this would be overkill at zoos as the answer would be...depends!  I think depending on ones goals (for pay/hardcore hobbyist) this lens could be justified.  The zoos out here in Arizona often have large (for a zoo) enclosures and the time of day/year the animals can be hard to see as they are far off seeking shade or hiding from the public.  A professional or (rich/dedicated) hobbyist could justify the purchase in time saved (and reduced dust risk) from lens swapping and reduced hassle in not needing to carry multiple bodies.  All is relative, I suppose, depending on ones funds and/or dedication.  I know I have missed some great shots (zoos and in the field) taking off/adding on teleconverters and/or lenses that the 200-400 1.4x would have captured with a level of sharpness that, in most cases, would have sufficed.

Funny enough I worry that at my desired primary use locales, places like Yellowstone and Africa, I might be better off with a 600 and 1.4x attached.  Image quality on my 5D3 with the 200-400 and a second 1.4 attached fails to keep pace with a 600 and a single 1.4x.  The versatility of the 200-400 is supremely awesome but, my goodness, the 600 is an amazing lens for those far away shots!

Apologies for sending folk to 500px.  I was going to upload my 3 images here but it was late and I was lazy and didn't want to convert raw to jpg to get under the 4096KB max file size.  A weak, but honest, excuse!  :-)

Sadly I re-assessed my Star Wars collection and, yeah, I think you are right.  It won't buy me the 200-400 anytime soon (maybe when Disney released the next one though...).  It could pick me up the double-dip-eligible 16-35 2.8 though!


eml58

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Re: Photos from 200-400. Also any comments...
« Reply #167 on: December 15, 2013, 06:54:18 PM »
It's a nice image for sure, great job!  But frankly I think even the lowly Rebel T3 might (emphasize might) have grabbed and locked in servo mode with such a large slow-flying bird against a bright sky like that, even with an STM lens.  Cheetahs are a farrrr different story though!! 


Do you find the 200-400 / 1DX able to servo track equally well for subjects moving away from the camera really fast (such as a running cheetah), as it can for when they're running toward the camera?

Hi CarlTN, your right of course, in the conditions I shot this Eagle you could have used pretty well anything, either lens or Body, my son was using a 6D on a 70-300L & got as good (I can't say better considering the difference in gear value and my Lads ego & my own). BIF etc are targets of opportunity, I rarely shoot them, although I have a mild fascination with Vultures, again, that's likely because they're big & slow & make the job easy.

Shooting a stooping Eagle with a 600f/4 + 1.4x Converter and getting sharp Images takes some real skill, Gary Samples Images spring to mind when discussing this particular subject, sharp & Beautiful.

I've owned the 70-300L since just after it was released, although I think it's an excellent Lens, Sharp & not heavy, I often found I'de leave it at home in preference to the 70-200f/2.8 L II and that Lenses ability to utilise the 1.4x converter. Now my Lad uses the 70-300L almost exclusively & just loves the Lens, he produces some remarkably good Images from this Lens on the 6D, on these trips with me to Africa he pretty well uses the 6D + 24-70F2.8 L II plus 70-300L, that's a pretty light load in the backpack considering I generally travel with 2 x 1Dx Bodies, 70-200f/2.8 II, 200-400f/4, 600f/4 II & 300f/2.8 II.

My only concern with the 70-300L was not being able to utilise the 1.4x on it, I think Canon made a small error of judgement there, my Lads Images would tend to say no, he does well with his lighter less expensive package. The combo 6D + 70-300L though is not likely to get some of the faster action shots though when compared to the 1Dx + 200-400f/4.

The 200-400f4 is an absolutely wonderful Lens, if I had to have just one lens this would likely be it, 300f/2.8 L II might squeeze it out on sharpness/weight etc, but sheer versatility, the 200-400f/4 is hard to beat.

On Servo Tracking the 200-400f/4 & 1Dx will track just as well in any direction, including away from the Camera, when tracking Cheetah you will loose Lock if the Animal goes behind a Bush or Tree, but I rarely have to Manually re acquire focus lock, in 90% of cases the Lens/Body automatically re acquires, amazing technology in these modern cameras.

But, as I've mentioned in previous Posts, you can get sharper Images at 200/300/400 & 600 Using Primes (I've never owned the 500 so I can't speak for that Lens, but from what I've seen it's in the same Class as the other Large Primes), there's very little in it, but the Primes I feel do provide the marginally sharper Image, but the versatility of the 200-400f/4 makes this Lens almost Magical (taking a word from Steve Jobs when describing the iPad).
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing

eml58

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Re: Photos from 200-400. Also any comments...
« Reply #168 on: December 15, 2013, 06:59:47 PM »
The shot isn't as sharp as I'd like (nothing other than cropping done on this shot) but with my primes I couldn't have gotten the sequence of him moving towards me.  As he got closer I simply flipped off the 1.4x (I wish the lever was on the right hand side) and kept shooting on my 5D3.

Hi Sauropod, Love the Images, especially the Tiger into the water, this is a dream Image in the wild that few get the opportunity to capture.

The issue in this Image is one I often find with pretty well any of my White Primes/200-400f/4 etc, when I'm shooting Crocodiles into the water everything is as sharp as a button until the animal hits the water, i believe what happens then is the Lens/Body gets confused by the water splash and locks onto the water, the animal is then marginally out of focus but the water splash is sharp. I don't think there's any way to solve this issue except manual focus, and on a fast moving animal that's probably outside my skill levels.

If I was to Post examples of the Images I've docked up over the years there wouldn't be enough room on CR, fortunately it's like most things in life, screw it up enough you either learn from it & get better at not screwing up, or you get better at screwing up.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2013, 07:09:15 PM by eml58 »
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rpt

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Re: Photos from 200-400. Also any comments...
« Reply #169 on: December 20, 2013, 10:29:33 AM »
Hopefully I'll be able to get that close to something other than a magpie someday.
Tell me about it!  :)

CarlTN

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Re: Photos from 200-400. Also any comments...
« Reply #170 on: December 28, 2013, 12:56:17 AM »


Thanks for letting me know your experience with the servo performance (I assume on a 5D3?)  I have some Star Wars stuff I need to sell too, but it won't be getting me this lens anytime soon!

I liked your images although I didn't sign up for 500px yet and couldn't see the full size images, if there were any.  Not to criticize but I would say this lens might be overkill for zoo photography, is that your primary use scenario?


Twas on the 5D3.  Based on my 1Dx experiences (alas not with the 200-400 itself) it should perform even better on that superbly capable machine!

No criticism taken regarding if this would be overkill at zoos as the answer would be...depends!  I think depending on ones goals (for pay/hardcore hobbyist) this lens could be justified.  The zoos out here in Arizona often have large (for a zoo) enclosures and the time of day/year the animals can be hard to see as they are far off seeking shade or hiding from the public.  A professional or (rich/dedicated) hobbyist could justify the purchase in time saved (and reduced dust risk) from lens swapping and reduced hassle in not needing to carry multiple bodies.  All is relative, I suppose, depending on ones funds and/or dedication.  I know I have missed some great shots (zoos and in the field) taking off/adding on teleconverters and/or lenses that the 200-400 1.4x would have captured with a level of sharpness that, in most cases, would have sufficed.

Funny enough I worry that at my desired primary use locales, places like Yellowstone and Africa, I might be better off with a 600 and 1.4x attached.  Image quality on my 5D3 with the 200-400 and a second 1.4 attached fails to keep pace with a 600 and a single 1.4x.  The versatility of the 200-400 is supremely awesome but, my goodness, the 600 is an amazing lens for those far away shots!

Apologies for sending folk to 500px.  I was going to upload my 3 images here but it was late and I was lazy and didn't want to convert raw to jpg to get under the 4096KB max file size.  A weak, but honest, excuse!  :-)

Sadly I re-assessed my Star Wars collection and, yeah, I think you are right.  It won't buy me the 200-400 anytime soon (maybe when Disney released the next one though...).  It could pick me up the double-dip-eligible 16-35 2.8 though!

Still sounds like your Star Wars collection very far exceeds mine, bravo to you sir!

It kind of sounds like the rumored 300-600 f/5.6 with built in converter would be more up your alley, if you are needing more focal length but still want a zoom.  I can certainly understand you not wanting to constantly change lenses.  I don't like doing it a lot, whether it's very dusty or even if I'm indoors on a very clean table!

CarlTN

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Re: Photos from 200-400. Also any comments...
« Reply #171 on: December 28, 2013, 01:06:25 AM »
It's a nice image for sure, great job!  But frankly I think even the lowly Rebel T3 might (emphasize might) have grabbed and locked in servo mode with such a large slow-flying bird against a bright sky like that, even with an STM lens.  Cheetahs are a farrrr different story though!! 


Do you find the 200-400 / 1DX able to servo track equally well for subjects moving away from the camera really fast (such as a running cheetah), as it can for when they're running toward the camera?

Hi CarlTN, your right of course, in the conditions I shot this Eagle you could have used pretty well anything, either lens or Body, my son was using a 6D on a 70-300L & got as good (I can't say better considering the difference in gear value and my Lads ego & my own). BIF etc are targets of opportunity, I rarely shoot them, although I have a mild fascination with Vultures, again, that's likely because they're big & slow & make the job easy.

Shooting a stooping Eagle with a 600f/4 + 1.4x Converter and getting sharp Images takes some real skill, Gary Samples Images spring to mind when discussing this particular subject, sharp & Beautiful.

I've owned the 70-300L since just after it was released, although I think it's an excellent Lens, Sharp & not heavy, I often found I'de leave it at home in preference to the 70-200f/2.8 L II and that Lenses ability to utilise the 1.4x converter. Now my Lad uses the 70-300L almost exclusively & just loves the Lens, he produces some remarkably good Images from this Lens on the 6D, on these trips with me to Africa he pretty well uses the 6D + 24-70F2.8 L II plus 70-300L, that's a pretty light load in the backpack considering I generally travel with 2 x 1Dx Bodies, 70-200f/2.8 II, 200-400f/4, 600f/4 II & 300f/2.8 II.

My only concern with the 70-300L was not being able to utilise the 1.4x on it, I think Canon made a small error of judgement there, my Lads Images would tend to say no, he does well with his lighter less expensive package. The combo 6D + 70-300L though is not likely to get some of the faster action shots though when compared to the 1Dx + 200-400f/4.

The 200-400f4 is an absolutely wonderful Lens, if I had to have just one lens this would likely be it, 300f/2.8 L II might squeeze it out on sharpness/weight etc, but sheer versatility, the 200-400f/4 is hard to beat.

On Servo Tracking the 200-400f/4 & 1Dx will track just as well in any direction, including away from the Camera, when tracking Cheetah you will loose Lock if the Animal goes behind a Bush or Tree, but I rarely have to Manually re acquire focus lock, in 90% of cases the Lens/Body automatically re acquires, amazing technology in these modern cameras.

But, as I've mentioned in previous Posts, you can get sharper Images at 200/300/400 & 600 Using Primes (I've never owned the 500 so I can't speak for that Lens, but from what I've seen it's in the same Class as the other Large Primes), there's very little in it, but the Primes I feel do provide the marginally sharper Image, but the versatility of the 200-400f/4 makes this Lens almost Magical (taking a word from Steve Jobs when describing the iPad).

Thanks very much for answering about the servo tracking going away from the camera, and for all the considered thought process you put into explaining the comparisons.  I'll try to forgive you for bringing up Steve Jobs and iPads, haha...

Hope you are having nice holidays!  I am, pretty much.

So far I like my 70-300L pretty well on the 6D, but it definitely does not autofocus as fast as my 70-200 f/4L.  It's image quality is superior, though, which is saying something.

That's an impressive array of equipment that you take with you on safari.  I confess that if it were me, given the same access to funds, I would probably go somewhere in between you and your friend.  I would just take the one 200-400 and use it on a single 1DX body, and take a 6D with 70-300L, along with a couple of other wide primes and zooms for it.  I definitely would not take several big whites on safari...in case I had to I dunno, try to outrun a cheetah...or some militia or something!

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Re: Photos from 200-400. Also any comments...
« Reply #171 on: December 28, 2013, 01:06:25 AM »

ethanz

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Re: Photos from 200-400. Also any comments...
« Reply #172 on: January 08, 2017, 10:43:04 PM »
As Edward said, with the 200-400 it feels as if an arm is missing, to control the zoom and the 1-1.4x switch. But I´m sure it´ll work with a bit of practice.

After lots of practice, did it get better, Eldar?

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Eldar

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Re: Photos from 200-400. Also any comments...
« Reply #173 on: January 09, 2017, 01:44:43 AM »
As Edward said, with the 200-400 it feels as if an arm is missing, to control the zoom and the 1-1.4x switch. But I´m sure it´ll work with a bit of practice.

After lots of practice, did it get better, Eldar?
He he, That was an old thread being brought back to life :)

No, I can't say it got any better. Having had the lens for more than three years and (I don't know how) many thousand shots, my conclusions are pretty much the same. It is a fantastic lens, which I would only part with if a lighter version, with similar optical performance, came along. However, it is hardly the most practical lens to use. It is smaller than the 400, 500 and 600 L-lenses, but it is just as heavy and you need to operate both the extender in/out and the zoom ring, which cries out for a third arm. If you can decide on which focal length to use in advance and not use the zoom ring during composition, it is like operating one of the other big whites though.

In a safari situation, it is not a problem. Either you’ll be standing, with your head up through the roof, with a beanbag for support, or you'll be sitting in an open vehicle, with your elbow resting on your leg (or something). For many photographers, I believe a 100-400 f4.5-5.6L IS II, with an optional 1.4xIII extender, might be a better choice, provided you have a 1DX-II or 5DIV. You'll lose a little bit of optical performance, but the size, weight and manouverability is worth a lot. Try a couple of BIF situations and you'll see my point.

ethanz

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Re: Photos from 200-400. Also any comments...
« Reply #174 on: January 09, 2017, 11:07:02 AM »
Thanks Eldar.

I'm looking to get a 400mm this year. I'm still in the process of testing all the 400's but some other photographers said I should check out the 200-400 and the 500 too, so I am doing lots of reading on here (hence resurrecting an old thread). I shoot a lot of different things, so I do like the idea of a zoom. This isn't my day job though, so I'll only be buying one great white and need to do a lot of justifying for it :)
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Eldar

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Re: Photos from 200-400. Also any comments...
« Reply #175 on: January 09, 2017, 01:12:47 PM »
The 200-400 f4L IS 1.4x is a fantastic lens. However, you should be pretty clear on why you want it. I am using the 600 f4L IS II more than the 200-400 and most of the time with the 1.4xIII extender. So if I could only have one big white, it would be the 600, probably combined with the 1.4x/2xIII extenders and a 100-400 f4.5-5.6L IS II.

If I were you, I´d try to rent one for a week and check out if it answered your expectations.

ethanz

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Re: Photos from 200-400. Also any comments...
« Reply #176 on: January 09, 2017, 01:56:30 PM »
I shoot sports and video too, not just wild life and birds.
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Re: Photos from 200-400. Also any comments...
« Reply #176 on: January 09, 2017, 01:56:30 PM »