October 21, 2014, 12:04:23 AM

Author Topic: 400mm 2.8 L (non- IS)  (Read 7593 times)

DanoPhoto

  • Rebel T5i
  • ****
  • Posts: 102
  • There is beauty in simplicity.
    • View Profile
400mm 2.8 L (non- IS)
« on: November 06, 2011, 10:34:05 PM »
I have an opportunity to buy a 400mm 2.8 L (non-IS) for $1500 and wanted to get some feedback from some more experienced users.  It has cosmetic signs that is has been around the block a few times, but pretty well cared for according tot the seller.

I will probably be using a monopod for sports use and tripod for birds, so the lack of IS does not deeply concern me, especially for the price difference.

Thoughts and advice, please.
1DX | 16-35L II | 24-70L II | 50L | 70-200/2.8L IS II | 100L Macro | 300/2.8L IS II | 1.4x III TC | 2x III TC | 580EX II | MT24EX | lots of accessories & gadgets

canon rumors FORUM

400mm 2.8 L (non- IS)
« on: November 06, 2011, 10:34:05 PM »

dr croubie

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1400
  • Too many photos, too little time.
    • View Profile
Re: 400mm 2.8 L (non- IS)
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2011, 12:13:06 AM »
I saw one of these a few months ago, it was the non-IS II-version (I was a bit excited because I thought I'd spotted a pre-release of the IS II).
The one thing that would put me off it is the weight:
400/2.8 USM: 6.1kg
400/2.8 USM II: 5.9kg
400/2.8 IS USM: 5.3kg
400/2.8 IS USM II: 3.8kg.

So don't expect it to be hand-holdable, make sure you get a nice Gimbal-head or Physiotherapist. The non-IS versions also use the 48mm drop-in filters, the new ones take 52mm. If you like using CPLs, take that into account because you may or may not be able to find any.

As for the IQ, I have no idea, I've never seen a review (and if there is one around, I'd love to read it). The price sounds very nice, as long as the glass is clean and non-fungal and the aperture works. Is there any way you can test it out before you buy it?
I also wouldn't mind the lack of IS, I'd also be using it wide-open if I could get one.

hmmm, actually, that price looks very nice, if I had the cash I might even consider out-bidding you on it...
Too much gear, too little space.
Gear Photos

AprilForever

  • 5D Mark III
  • ******
  • Posts: 730
    • View Profile
    • AprilForever.com
Re: 400mm 2.8 L (non- IS)
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2011, 02:01:54 AM »
Sounds like a great price!
What is truth?

ferdi

  • Rebel T5i
  • ****
  • Posts: 109
    • View Profile
Re: 400mm 2.8 L (non- IS)
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2011, 04:42:50 AM »
You'd think there is something wrong with the lens if someone sells it for less than $3000. So make sure the front element isn't damaged too much, test the focus speed (time needed to auto-focus from infinity to MFD), focus accuracy (back/front-focus, hunting), and check for any loose parts (shake it).

One reason not to buy it could be because Canon might not service it anymore. The USM motor from the older models is not built anymore so it will be hard to find a replacement if it breaks (and probably expensive to repair as well).

IQ of the non-IS lenses should be excellent, even with extenders.
Note that the MFD is 4 meters, compared to 3 meters in the newer IS versions.
Example thread with images: http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=661655
1D IV, 5D III, 5D II, 16-35L II, 24-70L II, 24-105L, 70-200L IS II, 300L IS, Σ 50, Σ 85, 1.4x III, 580EX II, 600EX-RT

bycostello

  • 1D Mark IV
  • ******
  • Posts: 910
    • View Profile
    • London Weddings
Re: 400mm 2.8 L (non- IS)
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2011, 05:08:39 AM »
never met a seller that hasn't told me it was very well cared for!!!!

Michael_pfh

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 228
    • View Profile
Re: 400mm 2.8 L (non- IS)
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2011, 05:29:16 AM »
I bought one of those precious glasses (manufacturing date: 09/1993) about 2 weeks ago for the price of almost 3,000 Euro and I am very happy with it so far. The lack of IS does not disturb me as I have been using it mostly at f/2.8. Since it is very heavy I am either using a monopod or tripod (you can handhold it for just a couple of shots due to its weight). Although having a pro grade Manfrotto carbon fiber tripod and a very good Manfrotto ballhead (incl. panning function) I figured out that this monster lense needs a gimbal head. Will get a Wimberley Sidekick and mount it on my existing ballhead.

My advice is to test the lens carefully, if you think it is in good condition go for it - it's so much fun and such a great offer might not come along a second time... :-)
1DX | 14 2.8L II | 16-35 2.8L II | 24 1.4L II | 24-70 2.8L II | ZE 35 2.0 | ZE 50 2.0 | 85 1.2L II | 100 2.8L IS | 135 2.0L | 70-200 2.8L IS II | 200 F2.0L IS | 300 2.8L IS II | 400 2.8L IS II | 500 4.0L IS

DanoPhoto

  • Rebel T5i
  • ****
  • Posts: 102
  • There is beauty in simplicity.
    • View Profile
Re: 400mm 2.8 L (non- IS)
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2011, 07:06:25 AM »
Thanks gang for the experienced feedback that I was lacking.

I will run this thru all of the field tests recommended, as well as, shooting a whole lot of frames for IQ.

Great info and advice about all of the "age related" issues (filters, USM, repairs, etc) that I have thought about but just did not know enough about.  Sort of spells out the risk-reward equation a bit more for me.

The extra weight of this lens means that's will need to invest in some more new toys to get the most out of it without feeling like I just went to the gym every time I break it out.

Great help, please give me more, if you have any.

I am always skeptical of offers that appear too good to be true.  Caveat emptor is a timeless phrase for a reason.
1DX | 16-35L II | 24-70L II | 50L | 70-200/2.8L IS II | 100L Macro | 300/2.8L IS II | 1.4x III TC | 2x III TC | 580EX II | MT24EX | lots of accessories & gadgets

canon rumors FORUM

Re: 400mm 2.8 L (non- IS)
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2011, 07:06:25 AM »

ferdi

  • Rebel T5i
  • ****
  • Posts: 109
    • View Profile
Re: 400mm 2.8 L (non- IS)
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2011, 08:32:12 AM »
A ballhead can indeed be tricky, if the lens falls forward it might take the tripod with it. The Sidekick is a good choice, don't forget a lens plate.
If you take the lens on an airplane, make sure the bag satisfies the airline carry-on qualification. Most models for the 400 f/2.8 should pass (e.g. Lowepro Vertex 300 or Pro Trekker 400), some will even fit under your seat.
Maybe get some camouflage too for your birding? If the lens is not modded yet that is.

Skepticism can be good, I once nearly drove half the country to get a 400 f/5.6 but the ad was a scam. Never pay a dime before having checked the lens in person.

Correction of myself: 400 f/2.8 IS II has MFD 2700mm.
1D IV, 5D III, 5D II, 16-35L II, 24-70L II, 24-105L, 70-200L IS II, 300L IS, Σ 50, Σ 85, 1.4x III, 580EX II, 600EX-RT

Michael_pfh

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 228
    • View Profile
Re: 400mm 2.8 L (non- IS)
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2011, 10:41:26 AM »
Yes, I will definitely also get a lense plate with the Sidekick. The Wimberley P50 lens plate should fit the 400 2.8L (non-IS), right (probably with an added AP-900)?

By the way, are those 48mm drop-in (polarizing) filters still widely available? My local Canon dealer did only carry the contemporary 52mm version...
« Last Edit: November 07, 2011, 10:49:06 AM by Michael_pfh »
1DX | 14 2.8L II | 16-35 2.8L II | 24 1.4L II | 24-70 2.8L II | ZE 35 2.0 | ZE 50 2.0 | 85 1.2L II | 100 2.8L IS | 135 2.0L | 70-200 2.8L IS II | 200 F2.0L IS | 300 2.8L IS II | 400 2.8L IS II | 500 4.0L IS

DanoPhoto

  • Rebel T5i
  • ****
  • Posts: 102
  • There is beauty in simplicity.
    • View Profile
Re: 400mm 2.8 L (non- IS)
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2011, 11:29:41 AM »
1DX | 16-35L II | 24-70L II | 50L | 70-200/2.8L IS II | 100L Macro | 300/2.8L IS II | 1.4x III TC | 2x III TC | 580EX II | MT24EX | lots of accessories & gadgets

Michael_pfh

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 228
    • View Profile
Re: 400mm 2.8 L (non- IS)
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2011, 11:46:46 AM »
Thanks! I might get one then during my next trip to the US.

Found an interesting alternative to the Wimberley Gimbal head / Sidekick on B&H's website:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/554099-REG/Manfrotto_393_393_Heavy_Duty_Gimbal.html
1DX | 14 2.8L II | 16-35 2.8L II | 24 1.4L II | 24-70 2.8L II | ZE 35 2.0 | ZE 50 2.0 | 85 1.2L II | 100 2.8L IS | 135 2.0L | 70-200 2.8L IS II | 200 F2.0L IS | 300 2.8L IS II | 400 2.8L IS II | 500 4.0L IS

briansquibb

  • Guest
Re: 400mm 2.8 L (non- IS)
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2011, 12:38:41 PM »

So don't expect it to be hand-holdable

Well I hand hold my 400 f/2.8IS all day......  :D

Caps18

  • Canon 70D
  • ****
  • Posts: 286
    • View Profile
Re: 400mm 2.8 L (non- IS)
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2011, 01:10:03 PM »
I wonder how it would do as a 800mm f/5.6?  Does it have auto-focus?

You need my tripod and Wimberly swivel...
5D mark 2, 16-35mm f/2.8, 17mm TS-E f/4, 85mm f/1.8, 300mm f/4 + 1.4x, 580 EX Flash

canon rumors FORUM

Re: 400mm 2.8 L (non- IS)
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2011, 01:10:03 PM »

ferdi

  • Rebel T5i
  • ****
  • Posts: 109
    • View Profile
Re: 400mm 2.8 L (non- IS)
« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2011, 02:33:54 PM »
Yes, I will definitely also get a lense plate with the Sidekick. The Wimberley P50 lens plate should fit the 400 2.8L (non-IS), right (probably with an added AP-900)?
The P-50 fits most Canon lenses from 300 to 800mm, so you can share it among lenses. See also Popular Lenses and Their Suggested Plates & Hardware.
According to the compatibility guide you indeed need the AP-900 to mount the 400 f/2.8 on the Sidekick.
1D IV, 5D III, 5D II, 16-35L II, 24-70L II, 24-105L, 70-200L IS II, 300L IS, Σ 50, Σ 85, 1.4x III, 580EX II, 600EX-RT

briansquibb

  • Guest
Re: 400mm 2.8 L (non- IS)
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2011, 03:46:27 PM »
I wonder how it would do as a 800mm f/5.6?  Does it have auto-focus?

You need my tripod and Wimberly swivel...

As an 800? Shutter speed at 1/1000 and away you go.

Of course it has autofocus!

Have a Manfrotto 393 gimbal for taking landscapes with it.


canon rumors FORUM

Re: 400mm 2.8 L (non- IS)
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2011, 03:46:27 PM »