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Author Topic: Review: Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x  (Read 4827 times)

Canon Rumors

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Review: Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« on: March 25, 2014, 08:03:34 AM »
Dan Carr has created quite an extensive ebook review of the Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x lens. The ebook is free to download and looks great on your Microsoft, Android or Apple tablet.

Please read the instructions below.

Get It For Free, Or Make A Donation If you want to get it for free, just enter a 0 in the pricing section and the credit card form will disappear. We’ll just need your e-mail to send you the download links and any future Shutter Muse updates but we will never share it with anyone else. We hate spam just as much as you do. There’s also the option to make a small donation through Gumroad’s 100% secure system if you want to. $3 to $5 is the suggested amount and all donations go right back into the website to help me bring you more great content like this.

200-400-spread-small800

What You’ll Get:

  • PDF eBook version of the review – Includes images not in the online review
  • Downloadable version of the video review
  • 4 X Full resolution sample images (200mm, 400mm, 560mm, 784mm)

Download the ebook Review | Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x

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« Last Edit: March 25, 2014, 08:17:27 AM by Canon Rumors »
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Review: Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« on: March 25, 2014, 08:03:34 AM »

alexturton

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Re: Review: Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2014, 02:21:59 PM »
Can't find the download link. Hate the ebook idea.
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mackguyver

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Re: Review: Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2014, 03:29:57 PM »
Can't find the download link. Hate the ebook idea.
Here's the review in plain old HTML - it doesn't have the extras, but has more than enough for most:
Dan Carr's 200-400 1.4x Review
CPS Score: 103 points

CarlTN

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Re: Review: Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2014, 05:45:40 PM »
The bear shots, although cute, are not really all that good of a test, in my opinion.  I can see why he couldn't tell which was with extender, and which without.  The depth of field is shallow in both cases, really only the eyes on a black-furred animal...there's just not enough subject matter to convey "sharpness".

The eagle shots are more telling.  The internal plus external combo of a 1.4x iii extender, looks quite decently sharp to me.  Certainly more than sharp enough if you get a good filling of subject size within the field of view, as he did here.  It's possible this combo at 784mm, is as sharp or sharper, than the Nikon 200-400, with no extenders at 400mm...lol.

I'm not really encouraged to read further into his review, but if anyone spots anything of interest after reading it all, I'll look.

mackguyver

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Re: Review: Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2014, 02:02:49 PM »
The bear shots, although cute, are not really all that good of a test, in my opinion.  I can see why he couldn't tell which was with extender, and which without.  The depth of field is shallow in both cases, really only the eyes on a black-furred animal...there's just not enough subject matter to convey "sharpness".

The eagle shots are more telling.  The internal plus external combo of a 1.4x iii extender, looks quite decently sharp to me.  Certainly more than sharp enough if you get a good filling of subject size within the field of view, as he did here.  It's possible this combo at 784mm, is as sharp or sharper, than the Nikon 200-400, with no extenders at 400mm...lol.

I'm not really encouraged to read further into his review, but if anyone spots anything of interest after reading it all, I'll look.
I agree with you and find that there's an odd white balance on some of the bear shots, and all of the shots were taken in pretty lousy light.  Alas, it's a good review of the equipment from someone who isn't a wildlife photographer.  The crop at 784mm is quite impressive, but the size comparison at the end of the article helps me remember why I chose the little "big white" over the 200-400 1.4x.  Then again, I'm sure having the ability to zoom would be really nice, particularly at an air show.
CPS Score: 103 points

CarlTN

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Re: Review: Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2014, 03:29:37 AM »
The bear shots, although cute, are not really all that good of a test, in my opinion.  I can see why he couldn't tell which was with extender, and which without.  The depth of field is shallow in both cases, really only the eyes on a black-furred animal...there's just not enough subject matter to convey "sharpness".

The eagle shots are more telling.  The internal plus external combo of a 1.4x iii extender, looks quite decently sharp to me.  Certainly more than sharp enough if you get a good filling of subject size within the field of view, as he did here.  It's possible this combo at 784mm, is as sharp or sharper, than the Nikon 200-400, with no extenders at 400mm...lol.

I'm not really encouraged to read further into his review, but if anyone spots anything of interest after reading it all, I'll look.
I agree with you and find that there's an odd white balance on some of the bear shots, and all of the shots were taken in pretty lousy light.  Alas, it's a good review of the equipment from someone who isn't a wildlife photographer.  The crop at 784mm is quite impressive, but the size comparison at the end of the article helps me remember why I chose the little "big white" over the 200-400 1.4x.  Then again, I'm sure having the ability to zoom would be really nice, particularly at an air show.

Agree.  I think this zoom would be really nice, no matter for what purpose.  The problem is, you really need to own both the 300 and the zoom...hahaha.  One, or the other...is going to leave you wishing you had the one that you don't.  Or maybe it's just me, wishing I had all this stuff!

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Re: Review: Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2015, 02:40:12 AM »
It is an awesome lens but I had a bit of an issue - not a problem with the lens but the fact that I was using it for the first time. I offer it as a word of caution for all those wanting to buy this awesome lens.

One had never used a lens with a built in TC. So when I took it with me to Galapagos last year, I tended to forget that I could increase the focal length range. This resulted, at least on the first two days that I used it extensively, in my shooting a lot at 400mm and not being able to fill more of the frame which I would have if I had switched on the 1.4X TC.

I also tended to err in the opposite direction which is to say that when I remembered to switch on the 1.4X I did tend to shoot in the 280-400 range (with the TC on) whereas switching it off would have meant getting slightly better results. This was a lesser problem in my opinion since the quality with the TC on is still marvelous.

By the way, I sold both my 300 f/2.8 and the 500 f/4 after I bought this lens and have never regretted the decision. I do, however think wistfully of the awesome sharpness of the 300 f/2.8 and the handhold ability.

Speaking of hand-holding I must stress that I shot thousands of images from a rubber dinghy which meant hand holding and I am a 65 year old small built man. Besides the need to stop every once in a while to rest my muscles I did not really miss too many shots because of the wait. If one is used to handholding the 500mm then this is manageable though heavier. I must stress that the lens appears lighter when first handheld than one was expecting. It is really well balanced . . . but it is NOT light :)
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Re: Review: Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2015, 02:40:12 AM »

tomscott

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Re: Review: Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2015, 04:33:45 AM »
Its $5 now
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Re: Review: Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2015, 06:42:21 AM »
Hey all, I got this book in PDF and it made my decision to buy this incredible lens. Buy it just for the sake of nice pictures and to appreciate this guy's effort.

Please know that hand holding is possible but can be tough if you are not strong enough or have small hands to effectively hold it and zoom at the same time. It is worth putting it on a gimbal head.

I use it with additional 1.4x III to shoot at 784mm and the quality is not stellar all the time even at 560mm, but I figured out it is mostly due to atmospheric refraction making very distant object unsharp and hazy, which you can attribute to hot air, dust in the air, etc.
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justaCanonuser

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Re: Review: Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2015, 07:35:00 AM »
I use it with additional 1.4x III to shoot at 784mm and the quality is not stellar all the time even at 560mm, but I figured out it is mostly due to atmospheric refraction making very distant object unsharp and hazy, which you can attribute to hot air, dust in the air, etc.
The longer the focal length of your lens is, the more you face exactly this problem, in particular haze by flickering heated air above ground. I had to learn that the hard way once when I moved to the 500+ mm tele range.

I agree with all of you that Dan Carr's eagle images tell most about the 200-400's performance. Given the fact that he used two TC's in this combo, the results are quite impressive. Canon's 200-400 is definitely much sharper than Nikon's original 200-400. I've seen many large size prints of images shot with the Nikkor - they all displayed a softness that was typical for this lens. Nikons new VR II should be much improved, of course, but the built-in TC of Canon's zoom is really a very nice feature. But, using teles mostly for birding, I'll stick with my 500mm prime. I think, the 200-400 is the perfect lens for a wildlife trip in Africa. It surely delivers an optimum mix of flexibility and best possible optical performance.
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Re: Review: Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2015, 07:35:00 AM »