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Author Topic: Review - Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x  (Read 9728 times)

mackguyver

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Re: Review - Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #30 on: November 26, 2013, 07:41:55 AM »
I'll dive back into this one :o and I promise not to be sarcastic. Really.

Justin, we can't take your review seriously because you have talent and are a full-time working photographer.  You didn't shoot any test charts, don't shoot for National Geo or SI, and you must be foolish with your finances if you can't afford a $12k lens.  Seriously, being a photographer just isn't enough.

What we need is someone who thinks that $12k is their child's weekly allowance, who shoots 2x a year (on safari) but owns every Canon lens ever made and has at least 500k followers on Twitter.  This person also needs to shoot newspapers, brick walls, and everything else that no one shoots in real life.  Ideally the review will also include 3 of the best shots he or she has ever taken in their life because let's face it, if you can't do that during the month you have the lens, you're not much of a reviewer.  Bonus points if the reviewer  has made over 100,000 posts on CR ;)

Okay, in all seriousness, if people want to read reviews of this lens wildlife and sports photogs, there's Arthur Morris, Richard Bernabe, Peter Read Miller, etc. who have posted reviews or insights about the lens (see links below).  Justin has never pretended to be anything other than what he is and from what I can tell, most of us would love to have half his talent and work as a full-time photographer.  While his reviews may not be from the perspective you want, they are honest and I like that they are from someone who isn't an obvious user.

As for the Ferrari comment, I own a sports car (German, not Italian) but consider dropping $12k pretty serious money all the same.

http://www.richardbernabe.com/blog/2013/11/24/canon-ef-200-400mm-f4l-is-usm-extender-1-4x-lens-review/
http://www.birdsasart-blog.com/2013/11/23/having-a-blast-at-bosque-with-the-canon-200-400-with-internal-extender/
http://pixsylated.com/blog/peter-read-miller-canon-200-400mm-london-olympics/
« Last Edit: November 26, 2013, 07:43:37 AM by mackguyver »
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Re: Review - Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #30 on: November 26, 2013, 07:41:55 AM »

JVLphoto

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Re: Review - Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #31 on: November 26, 2013, 08:02:10 AM »
I'll dive back into this one :o and I promise not to be sarcastic. Really.

Justin, we can't take your review seriously because you have talent and are a full-time working photographer.  You didn't shoot any test charts, don't shoot for National Geo or SI, and you must be foolish with your finances if you can't afford a $12k lens.  Seriously, being a photographer just isn't enough.

What we need is someone who thinks that $12k is their child's weekly allowance, who shoots 2x a year (on safari) but owns every Canon lens ever made and has at least 500k followers on Twitter.  This person also needs to shoot newspapers, brick walls, and everything else that no one shoots in real life.  Ideally the review will also include 3 of the best shots he or she has ever taken in their life because let's face it, if you can't do that during the month you have the lens, you're not much of a reviewer.  Bonus points if the reviewer  has made over 100,000 posts on CR ;)

Okay, in all seriousness, if people want to read reviews of this lens wildlife and sports photogs, there's Arthur Morris, Richard Bernabe, Peter Read Miller, etc. who have posted reviews or insights about the lens (see links below).  Justin has never pretended to be anything other than what he is and from what I can tell, most of us would love to have half his talent and work as a full-time photographer.  While his reviews may not be from the perspective you want, they are honest and I like that they are from someone who isn't an obvious user.

As for the Ferrari comment, I own a sports car (German, not Italian) but consider dropping $12k pretty serious money all the same.

http://www.richardbernabe.com/blog/2013/11/24/canon-ef-200-400mm-f4l-is-usm-extender-1-4x-lens-review/
http://www.birdsasart-blog.com/2013/11/23/having-a-blast-at-bosque-with-the-canon-200-400-with-internal-extender/
http://pixsylated.com/blog/peter-read-miller-canon-200-400mm-london-olympics/


This made me smile, and those links are excellent resources. Thanks!

CarlTN

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Re: Review - Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #32 on: November 26, 2013, 03:14:21 PM »
The Canon1 person seems to have taken a similar approach at criticizing Justin's review, to how I reacted to his review of the 17-40.  The difference being no one else seems to have attempted to climb up Canon1's backside, like they did mine!

There's already a quite nice thread about this lens on CR, mostly by people who seem to own the lens.

As for comparing owning this lens to owning a Ferrari...I disagree.  For one thing, most Ferrari models are priced very high above what many who would buy a $13k lens, could either afford, or justify spending (or have the desire to spend).  For another thing, there are a few older Ferrari models on the used market that don't cost much more than this lens.  So it mostly depends on which Ferrari you're talking about.  Certainly the new ones are pricey!  And then there are those collectible ones that even Bill Gates might think twice before bidding on!

Yeah, where are those Canon fanboys when you need 'em? :)

As for the Ferrari, I'm just saying some items, value-wise, are far beyond what most people are capable of affording if they "need it" for work or not. For some people, the value of this lens outweighs their net annual income. I'm expressing the difficulty in "reviewing" or even quantifying a purchase that is so far outside of my income bracket that I have nothing to compare it to. We can both agree the prospect of buying a car *or* a Camera lens is certainly a big decision.

But, as Canon1 said, the more time I take with it and others like it surely I must improve right? And, in the end, my reviews are highly subjective opinion pieces more than quantitative evaluations with MTF charts and sharpness spectrometers. It's why we're able to disagree on the 17-40... there's no wrong answer, just "right for you."

Indeed.  I do feel my Ferrari clarification was not really out of bounds, though.  And your review of the 17-40 was different...it was a subjective review of a product that had been out a very long time (it had been "over-reviewed", many many verdicts were already in...your review was a little like seriously listening to a 10 year old newbie to Shakespeare, lecture a long time stage director about his technique and about the writer's intent.  Not saying you are a newbie to the 17-40 lens, I'm saying your review had that effect, when compared to everything the world has had a decade to say about the 17-40.). 

But subjectively reviewing a newer, and unique supertelephoto lens like the 200-400, is more appropriate, in my opinion.  Fewer people have experienced one for themselves (far fewer!).  I like your secondary shots you posted here better than many you posted in the review, also.  Anytime you can get a girl in a pool to fling water off her hair is a good day!  And no offense, but frankly I can write better than you can, Justin, so it should be me reviewing all these lenses!  (You might be a better photographer than me, though...hard to say).  But either way, I'm not gonna move to the great white north, ever, so I guess I'm out! 

CarlTN

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Re: Review - Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #33 on: November 26, 2013, 03:20:29 PM »
I'll dive back into this one :o and I promise not to be sarcastic. Really.

Justin, we can't take your review seriously because you have talent and are a full-time working photographer.  You didn't shoot any test charts, don't shoot for National Geo or SI, and you must be foolish with your finances if you can't afford a $12k lens.  Seriously, being a photographer just isn't enough.

What we need is someone who thinks that $12k is their child's weekly allowance, who shoots 2x a year (on safari) but owns every Canon lens ever made and has at least 500k followers on Twitter.  This person also needs to shoot newspapers, brick walls, and everything else that no one shoots in real life.  Ideally the review will also include 3 of the best shots he or she has ever taken in their life because let's face it, if you can't do that during the month you have the lens, you're not much of a reviewer.  Bonus points if the reviewer  has made over 100,000 posts on CR ;)

Okay, in all seriousness, if people want to read reviews of this lens wildlife and sports photogs, there's Arthur Morris, Richard Bernabe, Peter Read Miller, etc. who have posted reviews or insights about the lens (see links below).  Justin has never pretended to be anything other than what he is and from what I can tell, most of us would love to have half his talent and work as a full-time photographer.  While his reviews may not be from the perspective you want, they are honest and I like that they are from someone who isn't an obvious user.

As for the Ferrari comment, I own a sports car (German, not Italian) but consider dropping $12k pretty serious money all the same.

http://www.richardbernabe.com/blog/2013/11/24/canon-ef-200-400mm-f4l-is-usm-extender-1-4x-lens-review/
http://www.birdsasart-blog.com/2013/11/23/having-a-blast-at-bosque-with-the-canon-200-400-with-internal-extender/
http://pixsylated.com/blog/peter-read-miller-canon-200-400mm-london-olympics/


Good points, and good post.  I want a German sports car, myself, and 13k is about what the ceramic brake option costs...or else what the am/fm radio, and "options" like a gas tank, cost...I forget :P  Everything is an "option" on those cars!  I think I'll just buy a GTI and save for a used one of those sports cars, for now anyway!

JVLphoto

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Re: Review - Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #34 on: November 26, 2013, 03:35:02 PM »
Indeed.  I do feel my Ferrari clarification was not really out of bounds, though.  And your review of the 17-40 was different...it was a subjective review of a product that had been out a very long time (it had been "over-reviewed", many many verdicts were already in...your review was a little like seriously listening to a 10 year old newbie to Shakespeare, lecture a long time stage director about his technique and about the writer's intent.  Not saying you are a newbie to the 17-40 lens, I'm saying your review had that effect, when compared to everything the world has had a decade to say about the 17-40.). 

But subjectively reviewing a newer, and unique supertelephoto lens like the 200-400, is more appropriate, in my opinion.  Fewer people have experienced one for themselves (far fewer!).  I like your secondary shots you posted here better than many you posted in the review, also.  Anytime you can get a girl in a pool to fling water off her hair is a good day!  And no offense, but frankly I can write better than you can, Justin, so it should be me reviewing all these lenses!  (You might be a better photographer than me, though...hard to say).  But either way, I'm not gonna move to the great white north, ever, so I guess I'm out!

"And no offense, but frankly I can write better than you can, Justin, so it should be me reviewing all these lenses!  (You might be a better photographer than me, though...hard to say). "

I really wish you guys would stop saying "no offense" before all the offensive things you say, how about just say something offensive and own it?  Also, I write in Canadian, which is probably harder for you to read because of the translation.

CarlTN

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Re: Review - Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #35 on: November 26, 2013, 03:52:46 PM »
Indeed.  I do feel my Ferrari clarification was not really out of bounds, though.  And your review of the 17-40 was different...it was a subjective review of a product that had been out a very long time (it had been "over-reviewed", many many verdicts were already in...your review was a little like seriously listening to a 10 year old newbie to Shakespeare, lecture a long time stage director about his technique and about the writer's intent.  Not saying you are a newbie to the 17-40 lens, I'm saying your review had that effect, when compared to everything the world has had a decade to say about the 17-40.). 

But subjectively reviewing a newer, and unique supertelephoto lens like the 200-400, is more appropriate, in my opinion.  Fewer people have experienced one for themselves (far fewer!).  I like your secondary shots you posted here better than many you posted in the review, also.  Anytime you can get a girl in a pool to fling water off her hair is a good day!  And no offense, but frankly I can write better than you can, Justin, so it should be me reviewing all these lenses!  (You might be a better photographer than me, though...hard to say).  But either way, I'm not gonna move to the great white north, ever, so I guess I'm out!

"And no offense, but frankly I can write better than you can, Justin, so it should be me reviewing all these lenses!  (You might be a better photographer than me, though...hard to say). "

I really wish you guys would stop saying "no offense" before all the offensive things you say, how about just say something offensive and own it?  Also, I write in Canadian, which is probably harder for you to read because of the translation.

In this instance I said it and truly meant it, "no offense"...I wasn't being sarcastic.  You can look around and easily see when I mean to offend :-) :P

CarlTN

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Re: Review - Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #36 on: November 26, 2013, 03:54:43 PM »
Liked the review.

I've shot around 30,000 Images now with the 200-400f/4, mostly (perhaps 95%) on the 1Dx, a small amount on the 5DMK III, for a lot of reasons I think the 1Dx is the Body to work with on this Lens, but I guess i feel the same about all the "Whites" in this respect.

I've never noticed any difference in the IS between the 200-400f/4, 300f/2.8 II, 400f/2.8 II & 600f/4 II, none at all.

I've noticed a marginally faster snap onto Target when auto focussing only on the 300f/2.8 L II, but the 300 is quite possibly the all round best Lens that Canon have ever made I feel.

On sharpness, again I've looked extensively at the Lenses I mentioned previously, I own (or owned) all of them, also had the Version I lenses in the 300 & 400 range (since sold the 400f/2.8 L II), and as mentioned i think by Eldar, you really do have to Zoom a long way into the Image to try and see where the Primes are sharper, the 300, yes I see a difference, very marginal, but it's there, the 400 & 600 ?? a lot harder to see.

Weight, the 200-400 is pretty well the same length & weight as the 400f/2.8 II, and therefore has the same Hand Holdability (new word I think) as the 400, short periods just fine, longer periods, bit of drag. The 200-400, just like the 400 & 600, are best attached to a Tripod or Monopod, or Eldar's Flag Staff Addaption, which I'm in the process of setting up, great idea I think.

I liked the older Nikon 200-400f/4, especially the newer version, I shot the Nikon on the D3x & D800 (a minor slide to the Dark Side for a comparison), and the Canon 200-400f/4 1.4x is simply at a different level, unfortunately that leads to the only negative view I might have of the Lens, it's price, still, you pay for quality, and the 200-400f/4 has loads of that I feel.

Nice post, I appreciate it.  Is this now your favorite white lens?  Do you use it more than the others now?

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Re: Review - Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #36 on: November 26, 2013, 03:54:43 PM »

JVLphoto

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Re: Review - Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #37 on: November 26, 2013, 03:59:27 PM »
In a foolish effort to re-open discussion on the Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x LENS here are a few more images... including sports and wildlife :-P


CarlTN

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Re: Review - Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #38 on: November 26, 2013, 04:06:00 PM »
In a foolish effort to re-open discussion on the Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x LENS here are a few more images... including sports and wildlife :-P

Not foolish, I like these shots too.  Nice bokeh with the goose.  These were shot in the summer, weren't they?

A good test for this lens, would be for you to go on one of those polar bear ventures, now in wintertime.  Stick that baby out the window of the monster bus in the dark, enduring some cold wind blasts and snow.  Really suffer for your art, JV!!

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Re: Review - Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #39 on: November 26, 2013, 04:07:21 PM »
There are enough technical reviews of lenses out there, if you want those, go to those great sites. Justin picked up a lens that really has only 1 or 2 purposes and tried to do something beyond that.

I've read a bunch of reviews of the 200-400 and I think they're all pretty basic. 5 pictures of some birds and a long writeup about how great it is. This sort of lens takes a year of use before you really get what it's capable of.

Yes, you can shoot birds with it. Why would you? The 500, 600 and 800 are far better for that. Not everyone has a bevy of mammals hanging around to shoot, and zoo shooting isn't too exciting. At the time of the review, field sports were winding down in Canada. The review was a "what else can you do with a lens that costs $12,000?"

I'll be taking one to Costa Rica, Florida, Suriname and Namibia this winter. I hope that's enough time to really put it through its paces.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2013, 04:16:11 PM by Canon Rumors »
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CarlTN

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Re: Review - Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #40 on: November 26, 2013, 04:49:47 PM »
There are enough technical reviews of lenses out there, if you want those, go to those great sites. Justin picked up a lens that really has only 1 or 2 purposes and tried to do something beyond that.

I've read a bunch of reviews of the 200-400 and I think they're all pretty basic. 5 pictures of some birds and a long writeup about how great it is. This sort of lens takes a year of use before you really get what it's capable of.

Yes, you can shoot birds with it. Why would you? The 500, 600 and 800 are far better for that. Not everyone has a bevy of mammals hanging around to shoot, and zoo shooting isn't too exciting. At the time of the review, field sports were winding down in Canada. The review was a "what else can you do with a lens that costs $12,000?"

I'll be taking one to Costa Rica, Florida, Suriname and Namibia this winter. I hope that's enough time to really put it through its paces.

Nice for you!  If it's not enough time, I guess people like us will be here to nitpick!  You could just give one to me to review.  That way you could take your shots at my effort!

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Re: Review - Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #41 on: November 26, 2013, 06:30:47 PM »
Nice post, I appreciate it.  Is this now your favorite white lens?  Do you use it more than the others now?

Hi CarlTN, I do use the 200-400f/4 more than I do my 300f/2.8 II & 640f/4 II, but then prior to owning the 200-400f/4 I certainly used the 400f/2.8 II more than the others as well.

That's mainly because the 400 range is just about perfect for what I shoot, Wildlife.

Being able to now (like the nikon shooters have been able to do for 10 years) frame the shot in Camera with the 200-560 has been a big difference to how I shoot, and I feel my Images have improved because that.

It's not a one horse race though, in low light the 300f/2.8 II is the Lens I reach for, and anything out past 600 and the 560 range of the 200-400 begins to loose out to the 600f/4 + 1.4x extender.

I still seem to head off on a Safari with at least 3 Lenses, 70-200f/2.8 II, 200-400f/4 + either the 300f/2.8 or the 600f/4 depending on where I intend to shoot, Bush, desert/open veldt.
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CarlTN

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Re: Review - Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #42 on: November 26, 2013, 06:38:33 PM »
Nice post, I appreciate it.  Is this now your favorite white lens?  Do you use it more than the others now?

Hi CarlTN, I do use the 200-400f/4 more than I do my 300f/2.8 II & 640f/4 II, but then prior to owning the 200-400f/4 I certainly used the 400f/2.8 II more than the others as well.

That's mainly because the 400 range is just about perfect for what I shoot, Wildlife.

Being able to now (like the nikon shooters have been able to do for 10 years) frame the shot in Camera with the 200-560 has been a big difference to how I shoot, and I feel my Images have improved because that.

It's not a one horse race though, in low light the 300f/2.8 II is the Lens I reach for, and anything out past 600 and the 560 range of the 200-400 begins to loose out to the 600f/4 + 1.4x extender.

I still seem to head off on a Safari with at least 3 Lenses, 70-200f/2.8 II, 200-400f/4 + either the 300f/2.8 or the 600f/4 depending on where I intend to shoot, Bush, desert/open veldt.

Very interesting indeed, and I can relate exactly to your preference for being able to zoom.  I too like to shoot wildlife, but I am not on your skill level just yet, I don't think.  Ever tried or owned the 400 DO, and if so, how's the image quality compare to the 200-400 at 400mm, wide open at f/4, or otherwise?  I know the DO is supposed to suffer from a lack of contrast, but I've not seen any images done with one that lacked it.  I've liked them all a lot.  I like the idea of the lower cost and lighter weight of the DO.  However it also does not have the newer generation of IS, so that would be another drawback.  At some point I might rent one, but doubt I would rent both it and the 200-400 simultaneously.  The series 1 500 f/4 I rented in 2011, was a disappointment.

If CR decided to send me both the 400 DO and the 200-400 for a comparison, I would write an excellent review...and wouldn't even need to travel to a jungle somewhere!!   I have plenty of wildlife here, although it's not exotic wildlife.

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Re: Review - Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #42 on: November 26, 2013, 06:38:33 PM »

eml58

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Re: Review - Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #43 on: November 26, 2013, 06:50:32 PM »
I 'de like to weigh in on the debate of wether or not the review being discussed is of use to prospective buyers of this Lens, or not.

When I'm looking to Buy a new Lens I tend to look around for as much info as possible, but I'm often an early adopter, so info can be sketchy at best, mostly People doing pre reviews of technical data, but little on the actual use of the Lens.

I thought JVL Photos mini review of a Lens that's been on the Market now for 12 months or so, was well done, informative, and important to me, showed some different aspects of use for this Lens that I had quite honestly not considered. The shot of the Boy ? running away from the Camera in the Rain / perfect example of what the Lens can do, but most owners wouldn't consider.

There are better, more technical reviews out there yes, but I liked this one as an example of what else can be done with the Lens other than Wildlife & Sports. So from my own perspective I enjoyed the review and most importantly it has given me some ideas for future use of the Lens. A well structured "use" review of any Lens in my opinion is worthwhile to all of us as prospective/current owners of these Lenses.

Some extra points.

My Dad always said beware of anyone that starts a conversation with "I don't mean to offend", it's generally a pre curser to offence, but it's become such a part of general conversation today that you hear it all the time, people just don't realise that they are being to some degree offensive, I feel it's probably a "new age" thing, part of our culture as we go forward.

I go on at least 2 Safaris a year, plus other trips, but I don't see myself as some "rich Dude" with more money than sense, I worked hard for what I have and I enjoy the opportunities that hard work has provided. It often ticks me off when I see people dumping "generally" on anyone that can afford an expensive Lens, I would have thought most would like to own Lenses like this, being critical of those that do own the Lens is a bit of a wasted effort I would have thought.

I own a Ferrari FF 2012 Model, the only thing I can think of at this point that I would change about this Car ?? I had it painted Black, in hind sight that may have been a poorly thought out decision, sort of like buying a 200-400f/4 painted Black.
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eml58

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Re: Review - Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #44 on: November 26, 2013, 06:59:00 PM »
If CR decided to send me both the 400 DO and the 200-400 for a comparison, I would write an excellent review...and wouldn't even need to travel to a jungle somewhere!!   I have plenty of wildlife here, although it's not exotic wildlife.

You may have a long wait.

But to answer your question, no I've never used the 400f/4DO, I did see it in action on my more recent Svalbard trip though, a Husband & wife team were using this Lens on a 5DMK III as well as the 500f/4 II, which is another Lens I've never owned.

Both Lenses were putting out excellent Images from what I could see, the 400DO has the very real advantage of size & weight, especially when sitting in a Zodiac bouncing around in Arctic Swells, I had a huge amount of 1/2 Polar Bears & Walrus.

Only downside I noted was for some reason the 400DO ended up fixed to the 5DMK III and they couldn't get it to part, so they weren't able for the majority of the trip to use one of their Bodies with anything but the 400DO, fortunately they had a 5DMK II as well.
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Re: Review - Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #44 on: November 26, 2013, 06:59:00 PM »