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Author Topic: Canon 400mm DO  (Read 15100 times)

traingineer

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Canon 400mm DO
« on: March 23, 2014, 10:09:01 PM »
So, has anyone here used before the Canon 400mm DO lens? And maybe have some sample images?  ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°

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Canon 400mm DO
« on: March 23, 2014, 10:09:01 PM »

Jim Saunders

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Re: Canon 400mm DO
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2014, 10:59:27 AM »
I got this one at Canon's Image Square in Calgary.  I didn't spend a lot of time with it but it seems comparable for size and weight to a 300 f/2.8.

Jim
A good image might fit entirely into the histogram, might not.

traingineer

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Re: Canon 400mm DO
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2014, 12:52:51 PM »
I got this one at Canon's Image Square in Calgary.  I didn't spend a lot of time with it but it seems comparable for size and weight to a 300 f/2.8.

Jim

Kewl. ° ͜ʖ °

Sporgon

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Re: Canon 400mm DO
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2014, 01:39:44 PM »
There was a (short) thread in the Lens Gallery section on the 400 DO but it seems to have been lost when that section was reorganised. I have no experience with the 400 but after using the 70-300DO ( which isn't as competative in 'IQ' to convential lenses as the 400 is), I think the loss of IQ is worth it if smaller size is very important to you.

However I expect most on CR will disagree  ;)

I should add that I wouldn't ever buy a DO lens new. They take such a beating in reviews and other such 'sites their used value plummets, making them good value second hand but unprecedented depreciation (for a Canon lens) from new.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2014, 01:50:58 PM by Sporgon »

Grant Atkinson

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Re: Canon 400mm DO
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2014, 04:48:20 PM »
I have tried to post some 400DO sample images for Traingineer to view, via the attachment option, but being new to participating in this forum, I must have done something wrong...my post is not showing up and when i tried to do it again I got a message saying I was now double-posting.  Any advice on how to post a 500kb jpg in a thread reply like this would be appreciated.
Thanks
Grant

steven kessel

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Re: Canon 400mm DO
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2014, 12:51:04 AM »
I own a Canon 400DO and it is my principal wildlife lens.  I love it for its relatively compact size and its sharpness.  All of my shots with this lens are hand held and I find the results to be excellent as long as I keep the shutter speed at about 1/400 or above. 

The lens sort of got a bad reputation back in 2003 when it was first issued.  But, if it had bugs they've long since been ironed out.  I would recommend this lens unhesitatingly to anyone who wants a fairly compact 400 for field use.

One aspect of the lens that I don't like.  It comes equipped with a monstrous lens hood that is nearly as long as the lens itself.  Apparently it's the same hood that Canon supplies with the 300 f2.8.  My suspicion is that this is overkill and its enormous bulk works against the lens' compact size.  I've been scouring the photographic equipment sites for something more compact but have found nothing yet.

Here's a recent image that gives a pretty good idea of this lens' sharpness. 

steven kessel

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Re: Canon 400mm DO
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2014, 12:56:46 AM »
And, here's another recent shot of a nonmoving subject that really shows how sharp this lens is.  As with the case of all of my wildlife shots, this photo was hand held.

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Re: Canon 400mm DO
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2014, 12:56:46 AM »

steven kessel

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Re: Canon 400mm DO
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2014, 12:59:27 AM »
I should have noted that both of these photos are at least 50% crops from the originals.

CarlTN

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Re: Canon 400mm DO
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2014, 01:37:36 AM »
I asked about this lens, I forget which thread...and nobody chimed in.  Good to see some users actually have and enjoy it.

I've considered renting it, and still might...but I've decided to hold off on renting anything for a while.

I agree it should not be bought new at full price.  However, a good used one, or perhaps a refurb...seems like a decent value, from the images and tests I've seen (although if you assume a refurb is a flawed lens that's been returned...then you might want to be leery...but I'm not sure how often this is the case with this lens, or any of the superteles via canon's "refurb").

For all the pomp about the 300 f/2.8 ii, once you slap on that 1.4x iii converter, it's not a vast improvement in sharpness, if any, over the bare 400 f/4 DO...from looking at Bryan's test comparison at the-digital-picture.com.  It's really just when you compare both lenses bare with no TC, that the new 300 beats it hands down...along with every other L lens including the other series 2 superteles.

So the reasons I see for getting this instead of the new 300, is if you absolutely need the pound or so lighter weight...you want to save perhaps $800 to $1000 off the used price, and you can live with what must be vastly inferior image stabilization...and I would have to think a vastly slower autofocus (the 300 ii is said to be the fastest autofocusing lens in the world regardless of manufacturer).

The overall contrast is said to be poor via the 400 DO, but based on the great examples in this thread, and also if you have a look at other websites (such as pbase.com...although most examples there are small and shot over 5 years ago on inferior cameras)...you will find that it doesn't really lack for contrast all that much...especially if you add a touch in post, or in camera.

I've called for a new version at a wider focal length, but with a built in switchable TC or two.  Most commenters did their best to say it was a stupid idea that would never happen, but I say that's a shame.  A 250mm f/2.5 DO, or a 350mm f/3.5 DO, with built in TC, with similar sharpness to the other series 2 superteles...would be a fantastic, ultra lightweight lens...it seems to me.  Maybe when they've sold all the 200-400 f/4 zooms they can build, they will consider trying a different approach, but I'm not holding my breath. 
« Last Edit: March 30, 2014, 01:42:35 AM by CarlTN »

CarlTN

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Re: Canon 400mm DO
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2014, 01:45:56 AM »
Steven, those are great shots!!

AlanF

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Re: Canon 400mm DO
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2014, 09:30:30 AM »
Canon's own MTF charts show the 300mm f/2.8 II + 1.4xTC III (bottom) to be significantly better than the 400 DO (Top).
ps
Just checked Bryan's TDP comparison: the 300 at 420mm is distinctly sharper

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=338&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=0&LensComp=739&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=1&APIComp=0
« Last Edit: March 30, 2014, 10:07:42 AM by AlanF »
5D IV, 5DS R, 400mm DO II, 1.4xTC III, 2xTC III, EF 1.8 STM,  EF 24-105, 100-400 II, EF-S 15-85, Sigma 150-600mm C, EOS-M5 15-45, f/2 22, 11-22, Samyang 8mm f/2.8 fisheye: sold 7D II, EOS-M, Powershot G3 X,  Sigma 10-20, EF 300/2.8 II, 70-200/4 IS.

docfrance

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Re: Canon 400mm DO
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2014, 10:13:00 AM »
While I haven't shot the 300mm f/2.8 with a 1.4X telecon, I have shot it indoors and love it.  However, for outdoor shooting during hikes and climbs, I love the 400mm DO because of it's size.  I've lugged it up 14,000' mountains with no issue, and gotten what are (for an amateur like me) great results.  I have a well-connected friend who loans me both of these lenses from time-to-time, so I'm a lucky guy...
« Last Edit: March 30, 2014, 10:14:46 AM by docfrance »
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AlanF

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Re: Canon 400mm DO
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2014, 10:25:54 AM »
The Tamron 150-600mm is the same weight as the 400 DO, costs less than 1/5th of the price, has much better IS, and you will have a shock when you compare them at 400mm:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=338&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=0&LensComp=929&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=3&APIComp=0
5D IV, 5DS R, 400mm DO II, 1.4xTC III, 2xTC III, EF 1.8 STM,  EF 24-105, 100-400 II, EF-S 15-85, Sigma 150-600mm C, EOS-M5 15-45, f/2 22, 11-22, Samyang 8mm f/2.8 fisheye: sold 7D II, EOS-M, Powershot G3 X,  Sigma 10-20, EF 300/2.8 II, 70-200/4 IS.

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Re: Canon 400mm DO
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2014, 10:25:54 AM »

Steve

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Re: Canon 400mm DO
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2014, 06:39:40 PM »
One aspect of the lens that I don't like.  It comes equipped with a monstrous lens hood that is nearly as long as the lens itself.  Apparently it's the same hood that Canon supplies with the 300 f2.8.  My suspicion is that this is overkill and its enormous bulk works against the lens' compact size.  I've been scouring the photographic equipment sites for something more compact but have found nothing yet.

I use a $5 rubber plumbing coupler I got from Lowes as a lens hood for my 300mm f2.8.  I covered it in camouflage duct tape. It's pretty awesome. 

traingineer

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Re: Canon 400mm DO
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2014, 07:09:55 PM »
Some of these pics look superb, and to AlanF, the Tamron has a variable aperture. :|

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Re: Canon 400mm DO
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2014, 07:09:55 PM »