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Author Topic: Canon 400mm f5.6 L lens - upgrade needed.  (Read 10712 times)

FarQinell

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Canon 400mm f5.6 L lens - upgrade needed.
« on: February 27, 2012, 08:16:12 AM »
This small lightweight lens desperately needs an IS upgrade.
Stop down say 2/3 stop it yields very sharp results - on a tripod.
It is marginally sharper than the the 100-400mm L at 400 (I've checked both sided by side) and I have read user reports that it is optically a better performer than the expensive 400mm f4 DO.
With the 200-400mm f4 available this year and a possible upgrade to the 100-400 coming up will Canon even bother?
It even has a sliding hood - so much convenient than the clip-ons you get these days. But without IS it is obsolete!
I am sure that an IS version would be a big seller for Canon - but maybe Canon have decided the profits are with the 8,000+USD big prime and zoom lenses rather than with this little one!

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Canon 400mm f5.6 L lens - upgrade needed.
« on: February 27, 2012, 08:16:12 AM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Canon 400mm f5.6 L lens - upgrade needed.
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2012, 09:03:43 AM »
I'd certainly consider purchasing a 400mm f/5.6L IS.  If Canon makes one, it will likely run between $2-2.5K, a bit less than a new 100-400mm which will likely be close to $3K.  But I'd probably pick a new 100-400mm over the 400mm prime, mainly for the physically shorter length (when the zoom is retracted).
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jm345

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Re: Canon 400mm f5.6 L lens - upgrade needed.
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2012, 11:41:31 AM »
I have wanted an EF 400mm f/5.6 IS for years. But now I would rather have an upgraded 100-400 IS with better IQ. And a 500mm f/5.6 IS if it could be half the price of the 500f/4 or the new 200-400.

Panurus

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Re: Canon 400mm f5.6 L lens - upgrade needed.
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2012, 06:08:25 AM »
I have wanted an EF 400mm f/5.6 IS for years. But now I would rather have an upgraded 100-400 IS with better IQ. And a 500mm f/5.6 IS if it could be half the price of the 500f/4 or the new 200-400.

I think near the same.

I dream about a new 400mm for years but:
The EF 400mm f/5.6 L is a very good choice for the price.  For action shoot, the IS is not very important.
If canon upgrade it, all the new birders will have to pay twice more for a very little improvement.  :'(
Actually, the user of the EF 400mm f/5.6 can work on monopode or tripode with good result for cheap. ;)

 The quality of a new  100-400 IS will be near the 400f/5.6. So the IS and sharpness will be for 3k$.
But not the bokeh.

A 500mm f/5.6 IS would be a new exclusivity for CANON's users.
 Can Canon construct it for 4k$? Maybe 5k$.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2012, 06:19:31 AM by Panurus »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Canon 400mm f5.6 L lens - upgrade needed.
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2012, 09:13:59 AM »
The quality of a new  100-400 IS will be near the 400f/5.6. So the IS and sharpness will be for 3k$.
But not the bokeh.

Near?  Maybe better.  The 400/5.6 is an old lens design, older than the 200mm f/2.8L II.  The new 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II zoom lens at 200mm beats out the older prime for IQ across the frame.  The 70-200 II also has less longitudinal CA, making the bokeh slightly better than the older prime.  So...it would not surprise me at all if a new 100-400mm zoom equals or surpasses the old 400/5.6 for IQ.
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Hillsilly

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Re: Canon 400mm f5.6 L lens - upgrade needed.
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2012, 09:51:40 AM »
The 400mm is well placed price-wise.  I'd be sad to see Canon make changes that might significantly increase the price.  If the rumoured $3,000 price of the new 100-400mm is true, there won't be many affordable options in the 400mm focal length range.  This would be a bit disappointing for a company that enjoys a lot of support from amateur sports and wildlife photographers.
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Michael7

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Re: Canon 400mm f5.6 L lens - upgrade needed.
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2012, 09:38:32 PM »
This is the biggest needed upgrade in Canon's lineup, IMHO. I'd buy one in a second. I've been runnig a 300 F4 L IS for years, and prior to that the 400 5.6 and 100-400. I find the 300 F4 superior to the 100-400 with TC attached, but not as good as the 400 5.6 bare.

I'd probably keep my 300 and add the 400 5.6 IS. I'm not interested in a 100-400. I keep a 24-105 ony my belt if animals get close, which isn't too often.

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Re: Canon 400mm f5.6 L lens - upgrade needed.
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2012, 09:38:32 PM »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Canon 400mm f5.6 L lens - upgrade needed.
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2012, 09:50:45 PM »
The 400mm f/5.6 is a very sharp lens, it is pretty much equal to the 100-400m L, maybe a bit sharper.  However, without IS, you need to keep a high shutter speed.

I sold mine due to its short MFD and its overall length, which made it difficult to fit in my camera bag.  For a low cost BIF lens, its excellent.

wickidwombat

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Re: Canon 400mm f5.6 L lens - upgrade needed.
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2012, 09:56:42 PM »
I still think the 300 f4L IS is very under-rated and stick a good TC on it you get 420mm f 5.6 with IS
its old i know but you can pick them up cheap (i got mine for $800 off ebay)
I also love built in lens hoods i wish more newer lenses had them (the 600 Fd has the built in lens hood setup too).
on the 5Dmk2 the balance of this lens (300f4L IS) with the tripod foot removed is awesome its a really nice comfortable to hold setup
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weixing

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Re: Canon 400mm f5.6 L lens - upgrade needed.
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2012, 10:58:36 PM »
Hi,
   I'm a Canon EF 400mm F5.6L user. Although the design is old, but it still perform very well and IMHO, if the price is going to increase for an upgrade, I would prefer Canon leave it as it is.

   Super telephoto lenses are expensive and not everybody can afford $2K++ (I'm one of them) for a lenses. So for those who are interested in wildlife or bird photography, but had limited $$, IMHO, this is basically the most suitable lenses out there in the market... fast AF, sharp, light weight and very cheap (compare to other super telephoto lenses).

   Anyway, if you look at the pricing of super telephoto lenses, there is a big jump in pricing after EF 400mm F5.6L... may be Canon can put a new super telephoto lenses (eg. a non-DO 400mm F4L IS) at that price level for those who can afford a bit more especially if EF 300mm F2.8L IS is going to be discontinoued.

   Have a nice day.

Steve Campbell

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Re: Canon 400mm f5.6 L lens - upgrade needed.
« Reply #10 on: February 29, 2012, 08:38:00 AM »
I'll go one further. I agree, the 400 f5.6 could use an upgrade with the latest generation IS. I would also like this upgraded IS on the 300 f4 IS, which has an older system. I love my 300 f4 IS, but why not a refresh? I agree, the retractable hoods are awesome.

AmbientLight

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Re: Canon 400mm f5.6 L lens - upgrade needed.
« Reply #11 on: February 29, 2012, 07:00:32 PM »
Given that Canon is updating those small, relatively obscure non-L wide angle lenses like the 28mm f2.8 with IS there may be a real chance that the two older 300mm and 400mm telephoto primes will also receive an update. This may be an excellent addition to Canon's lineup as lightweight telephoto primes are a very nice thing to have, especially considering that upcoming cameras can be expected to provide improved ISO performance, so the aperture maximum will be less of an issue.

TheGoondocks

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Re: Canon 400mm f5.6 L lens - upgrade needed.
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2012, 01:29:15 PM »
The 400mm f/5.6 is razor sharp even at 5.6. It is definitely sharper than the 100-400mm and the 300mm+1.4xTC. I don't think they will upgrade it because it is geared at being a cheap birding lens. Its light weight for tracking subjects, it doesn't have IS to slow down the AF speed, and you need 1/1000th for BIF anyway. So even with IS, its only going to work on fairly still objects, which isn't what this lens is really made for. The new 100-400mm IS is supposedly going to be as sharp as the 400 f/5.6 in which case you will have an option of getting IS and a zoom at a cost. I hope they don't change this lens. Its great at what it does and its a great price for the IQ and reach that you get.

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Re: Canon 400mm f5.6 L lens - upgrade needed.
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2012, 01:29:15 PM »

Edwin Herdman

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Re: Canon 400mm f5.6 L lens - upgrade needed.
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2012, 05:36:46 AM »
it doesn't have IS to slow down the AF speed
IS doesn't slow down AF speed, at least not in new implementations.

FarQinell

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Re: Canon 400mm f5.6 L lens - upgrade needed.
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2012, 11:22:37 AM »
........... I hope they don't change this lens......

Why on earth would you hope they don't change this lens?
If you have this excellent lens and are happy with it - fine.
But a lot of people would really like a lightweight 400 prime lens with IS to allow them to shoot fast moving objects at say 100 ISO. This is not possible with the current lens which is why the slightly inferior 100-400 L IS lens is so popular.
If Canon had your attitude there would be no IS lenses at all!
« Last Edit: March 06, 2012, 11:27:41 AM by FarQinell »

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Re: Canon 400mm f5.6 L lens - upgrade needed.
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2012, 11:22:37 AM »