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Author Topic: Canon 400mm f5.6 L lens - upgrade needed.  (Read 10209 times)

wtlloyd

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Re: Canon 400mm f5.6 L lens - upgrade needed.
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2012, 11:57:33 AM »
This has gotta be the single most requested and (endlessly) discussed lens upgrade since digital forever.

Ya, we all want a $1200 400mm f/5.6 L IS lens. Ain't gonna happen.

How about a $4500 400mm f/5.6 L IS lens? That's more realistic.

Don't look for it until Canon announce the discontinuation of the 400 f/4.0 DO IS lens...

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Re: Canon 400mm f5.6 L lens - upgrade needed.
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2012, 11:57:33 AM »

FarQinell

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Re: Canon 400mm f5.6 L lens - upgrade needed.
« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2012, 02:27:54 PM »

..........How about a $4500 400mm f/5.6 L IS lens? That's more realistic.

Don't look for it until Canon announce the discontinuation of the 400 f/4.0 DO IS lens...

You can get a new 300mm f4 IS for less than $1500 - so where you get $4500 from beats me - especially as the front lens diameter (one of the main factors in lens pricing) on the 400/5.6 is slightly smaller!!

Yes Canon should scrap the DO and replace it with a scaled up version of the 300/2.8 which by most accounts is one of the sharpest lenses they have ever made.

wtlloyd

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Re: Canon 400mm f5.6 L lens - upgrade needed.
« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2012, 05:03:37 PM »
The 400DO is an excellent lens, I wish I still had mine.

The 300 f/4 IS lens was introduced in 1997. The new (announced) 24/28mm f/2.8 IS lenses are around $800-$850.

There ain't gonna be no more sub-$2500 supertelephotos from Canon.

I think I'm in  the ballpark, but today's news makes it seem the new 100-400 will be positioned to overlay the old 400 f/5.6

ronderick

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Re: Canon 400mm f5.6 L lens - upgrade needed.
« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2012, 09:26:25 PM »
Perhaps it is more accurate to say that even if Canon does introduce a new 400 f/5.6 IS in the market, we hope the company won't discontinue the more affordable 400mm f/5.6.

No doubt there's great anticipation for a newer version of this prime (slap on weather-sealing and IS, and there's probably going to be a good demand for it). However, the beginning bird shooter will probably want the older version for a variety of reason - size, weight, price tag, etc.
Canon EOS 1D MKIV, EF 24-105mm F/4L, EF 70-200mm F/2.8L, TS-E 17mm F/4L, EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro
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CanonFanNum1

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Re: Canon 400mm f5.6 L lens - upgrade needed.
« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2012, 10:29:56 PM »
Wow... this reminds me of things I used to say a couple years ago.  I mean, who would buy a lens made in 1993!?

Well... I can tell you all, if you own'd a GOOD copy of this lens, then you would definitely agree with me that it is an epic lens - as is.  *** and it's my favorite lens ***.

To be fair... my first copy wasn't razor sharp, but my 2nd copy was *perfect* at f/5.6.  No need to stop it down.

I used it for sports and birding.  When you pick up a 7D + 400 f/5.6 and it feels like a feather... when it fits in a small backpack... when you have to handhold it for hours or take it on a long walk... it is just an amazing lens.

IS would be lovely... but I really want to make this clear: unless you've played with a good copy of this lens for any amount of time (like a few days at least), don't tell me it needs an upgrade.  It doesn't need one.  But if Canon added IS, I'm sure it would be nice to have.  They're not stupid, they could have added it a decade ago.

Honestly Canon hasn't needed to refresh this lens.  IS is *bonus* feature when you are shooting outdoors and in daylight.  For most action and birding usages, you want a really fast shutter speed anyways to stop the action.  I have never seen any motion blur with this lens because I never let the time value drop below 1/250.

IS would certainly be nice-to-have when your subject is stationary and far away, helps with framing.  But it's so light and I'm a big guy, so I can keep it really really steady for a long time and not get fatigued like using a 500 f/4 or bigger.

Keep in mind, it's f/5.6 to start with.  It's not like it was designed for low-light or something.  It's meant to be used in the daytime where you have good light.  So why is IS a must?

And compared to the 100-400... at 400mm this lens is much sharper.  I think my copy is a little sharper than Bryan's, but still, you can see at 400 the 100-400 is just poor.  And for my needs (birding mostly) I'd use it out at 400mm all the time anyways.
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=278&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=0&LensComp=113&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=7&APIComp=0

Just look at how simple the lens design is... (page 52, bottom right).  Simple is beautiful.  This is one of the simplest lenses to design, and that translates to less artifacts that need compensation.  http://software.canon-europe.com/files/documents/EF_Lens_Work_Book_3_EN.pdf

For those who don't open the PDF... here is what Canon thinks about this lens  :D :D :D

"EF 400mm f/5.6L USM:
This is a high-performance 400mm super telephoto lens featuring an extremely light and compact design ideal for photographers requiring high mobility and portability. The optical system incorporates one element made of Super UD glass and one element made of standard UD glass, thus effectively correcting colour aberration and delivering extremely sharp, high-contrast imaging performance." - EF Lens Work III

Sharp, high-contrast, light?  Awesome.

In conclusion... My 300 f2.8/L IS II now takes the role of my 400 f5.6/L.  But I have to defend it's honor, it's amazing as it is.

Eimajm

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Re: Canon 400mm f5.6 L lens - upgrade needed.
« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2012, 09:04:19 AM »
I don't see an upgrade of the 400mm F5.6 ever being made in its current form. It's always been a direct competitor to the 100-400 and with a rumored upgrade for this without the push pull zoom it makes no sense to upgade in its current format.

Perhaps they will introduce an 400 F4 (recent patent) which would sit below the 200-400 and 400 DO? I could see 400 F4 being a nice upgarde for APS-C cameras for wildlife photographers which will give equivalent framing of 560mm with a 1.4x tc with working AF.

Stephen Melvin

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Re: Canon 400mm f5.6 L lens - upgrade needed.
« Reply #21 on: March 16, 2012, 08:03:38 PM »
I think Canon needs a lens in the class of the 14-28 f/2.8 Nikkor before they update the 400. Ultrawide zooms are their sole remaining lens weakness vs. Nikon. They've been updating their wides with world class upgrades (17mm and 24mm TS-E, 24mm f/1.4L II), so we know they can make a killer wide angle. Now they just need to upgrade the 17-40L and 16-35L to something that's sharp from corner to corner.

And yeah, an IS version of the 400 f/5.6L is going to be close to $2,000, I think.

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Re: Canon 400mm f5.6 L lens - upgrade needed.
« Reply #21 on: March 16, 2012, 08:03:38 PM »