July 28, 2016, 04:57:03 AM

Author Topic: Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM  (Read 19764 times)

Jack Douglas

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Re: Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM
« Reply #75 on: December 20, 2015, 10:00:08 PM »
I figured out quickly when investigating 'big whites'  though that using a x2 TC is really not something you want to have to do on any regular basis.  Is seems that getting a lens to use primarily with a x2 TC is not a great idea (if not for IQ, then definitely for AF).  If I thought I was going to need to use a x2 on the DO a lot, I'd probably suck it up and get a 500 f4 to use with a 1.4.  Both size and weight of the DO really appeal to me though - I will be hiking with it.

I have to sound a note of disagreement. I use the 2xiii (and occasionally the 2xii) on the 500LII and it works fine. Not as fast or as sharp as with the 1.4x but still very good (albeit not fast/erratic subjects like BIF). It's worth stopping down from f/8 to f/10 to have optimal sharpness (on the 5DIII at least).

While there is no doubt the X1.4 is preferable if reach isn't needed the X2 III is well worth owning.  There are many CR examples.  The only time for me that the AF with the 6D was too slow was if focus was lost completely and it had to recover.  If a bird is identifiable within the viewfinder it snaps virtually instantly.  Not the best for BIF for sure but that's what I used for my pretty acceptable eagle shots this spring on the 1D4 (300 2.8 II X2 III).  Loose the bird for a moment and the shot would be lost due to searching, so the trick was to not hit back button focus unless the bird was under the focus point.

One thing that is hard to come to grips with is the reality that IQ keeps climbing with each generation.  Take the 7D for example, since it was a very popular birding camera.  Should all the 7D shots be canned because the 7D II is significantly better.  It's tough if you tend to be a perfectionist and look at the technical details more than the artistic merit.  My head says no we should not denigrate shots that are not up to the latest highest technical level and yet there I am focusing on sharpness just like everyone else, I guess.

Think of paintings.  Are the only good ones those that have every feature displayed to the utmost degree of sharpness?  So what gives?

Jack
6D  11-24 F4  24-70 F4  70-200 F2.8 II  300 F2.8 II  1.4X III  2X III

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Re: Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM
« Reply #75 on: December 20, 2015, 10:00:08 PM »

scyrene

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Re: Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM
« Reply #76 on: December 21, 2015, 12:05:40 PM »
I figured out quickly when investigating 'big whites'  though that using a x2 TC is really not something you want to have to do on any regular basis.  Is seems that getting a lens to use primarily with a x2 TC is not a great idea (if not for IQ, then definitely for AF).  If I thought I was going to need to use a x2 on the DO a lot, I'd probably suck it up and get a 500 f4 to use with a 1.4.  Both size and weight of the DO really appeal to me though - I will be hiking with it.

I have to sound a note of disagreement. I use the 2xiii (and occasionally the 2xii) on the 500LII and it works fine. Not as fast or as sharp as with the 1.4x but still very good (albeit not fast/erratic subjects like BIF). It's worth stopping down from f/8 to f/10 to have optimal sharpness (on the 5DIII at least).

While there is no doubt the X1.4 is preferable if reach isn't needed the X2 III is well worth owning.  There are many CR examples.  The only time for me that the AF with the 6D was too slow was if focus was lost completely and it had to recover.  If a bird is identifiable within the viewfinder it snaps virtually instantly.  Not the best for BIF for sure but that's what I used for my pretty acceptable eagle shots this spring on the 1D4 (300 2.8 II X2 III).  Loose the bird for a moment and the shot would be lost due to searching, so the trick was to not hit back button focus unless the bird was under the focus point.

One thing that is hard to come to grips with is the reality that IQ keeps climbing with each generation.  Take the 7D for example, since it was a very popular birding camera.  Should all the 7D shots be canned because the 7D II is significantly better.  It's tough if you tend to be a perfectionist and look at the technical details more than the artistic merit.  My head says no we should not denigrate shots that are not up to the latest highest technical level and yet there I am focusing on sharpness just like everyone else, I guess.

Think of paintings.  Are the only good ones those that have every feature displayed to the utmost degree of sharpness?  So what gives?

Jack

Well exactly. Many many excellent reference shots of birds on Wikipedia were taken with the original 7D, and most are still top notch - getting close to the subject, a nice creamy background, good light, good pose - these are all as important as sharpness, and none of them rely on having the newest gear (I suppose a faster burst means you have more poses to choose from, but otherwise...)
Current equipment: 5Ds, 5D mark III, 50D, 24-105L, MP-E, 70-200 f/2.8L II, 100L macro, 500L IS II; 1.4xIII + 2x III extenders; 600EX-RT.
Former equipment includes: 300D; EOS-M, EF-M 18-55, Samyang 14mm f/2.8, EF 35 f/2 IS, 70-200L f/4 non-IS, 85L II, Sigma 180 macro, 200L 2.8, 400L 5.6

candc

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Re: Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM
« Reply #77 on: January 01, 2016, 08:42:34 AM »
this is taken with the 2xiii on a 7dii. cropped and resized with dxo

tron

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Re: Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM
« Reply #78 on: March 21, 2016, 03:42:18 PM »
this is taken with the 2xiii on a 7dii. cropped and resized with dxo
This looks perfectly sharp even if it was shot at f/8 so fully open. Did you sharpen it on post? I also see that you used relatively low (1/250) speed although you shot at 800mm with 7DII. Did you used a monopod or very steady hands ? (I guess the IS is very good but up to now I do not rely on it very much - this will have to change...).

candc

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Re: Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM
« Reply #79 on: March 31, 2016, 11:01:21 AM »
this is taken with the 2xiii on a 7dii. cropped and resized with dxo
This looks perfectly sharp even if it was shot at f/8 so fully open. Did you sharpen it on post? I also see that you used relatively low (1/250) speed although you shot at 800mm with 7DII. Did you used a monopod or very steady hands ? (I guess the IS is very good but up to now I do not rely on it very much - this will have to change...).

No extra sharpening, just dxo default conversion. Resizing does sharpen the output but it was plenty sharp to begin with.

It was handheld. 1/250 is what I generally like to use for perched, stationary birds and wildlife. The "is" has no problem eliminating minor camera shake and vibrations at that speed and you can keep your ISO nice and low.

The lens is really excellent with converters.

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Re: Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM
« Reply #79 on: March 31, 2016, 11:01:21 AM »