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Author Topic: EOS 7D + 100-400mm & 400 F5.6  (Read 7550 times)

HaveVoid

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EOS 7D + 100-400mm & 400 F5.6
« on: February 28, 2012, 05:41:57 PM »
Hello all,

Last night I finally pulled the trigger on a new 7D (and only 14 minutes before the Adorama discount ended, for a final price of 1,399 body only). As far as my regular shooting is concerned, it is majority (say 85%) aviation, with birds/wildlife covering the other 15% or so. As such, my lens "array" consists of the 100-400mm, the 400 5.6, and then some kit lenses inherited from my Xsi from a while back. While I've already identified what will likely be my replacement for the 18-55 kit lens, I had a couple of questions for people who have used the 7D with either the 100-400, or the 400 5.6.

What were your general impressions? I've heard some people say that the AF literally does not work with the 100-400, and I've heard people say that it is perfectly fine. Same goes with the 400 5.6. I am coming from a 50D, albeit a fairly problematic one, and would consider that my baseline as far as AF performance, etc is concerned. I've had many people tell me that I may need to sell the 100-400 and pick up something like the new 70-300L or a 70-200 to get acceptable IQ, in your experience, is this the case?

I'd greatly appreciate any input y'all could give me. I look forward to the new body getting here soon  :)




HV

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EOS 7D + 100-400mm & 400 F5.6
« on: February 28, 2012, 05:41:57 PM »

Kernuak

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Re: EOS 7D + 100-400mm & 400 F5.6
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2012, 05:54:10 PM »
Before I got my 7D, I had the 40D, basically the same AF as your 50D. One of the drivers (besides improved noise) was to get improved focusing. It proved it's worth in the first week, with this shot of a kingfisher.


Kingfisher Between the Leaves by Kernuak, on Flickr

The 40D wouild have struggled, as it was a very windy day, with the branches blowing backwards and forwards. While I now use the 300 f/2.8 with a 1.4x extender, this shot was just before the 300 arrived, so was taken with the 100-400. While the 100-400 is quite slow with the AF, the 7D drives it better than any DSLR but the 1 series cameras and it is certainly usable. However slow it may be, it will be quicker than what you're used to.
Canon 5D MkIII, 7D, 300mm L IS f/2.8 and a few other L's

KeithR

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Re: EOS 7D + 100-400mm & 400 F5.6
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2012, 05:57:43 PM »
What were your general impressions? I've heard some people say that the AF literally does not work with the 100-400, and I've heard people say that it is perfectly fine... I've had many people tell me that I may need to sell the 100-400
My website. Nearly everything on it over the last two+ years except the latest post is with the 7D and 100-400mm.

"'Some people' talk out of their fat backsides", is my impression...
« Last Edit: February 28, 2012, 06:00:00 PM by KeithR »

Kernuak

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Re: EOS 7D + 100-400mm & 400 F5.6
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2012, 06:03:30 PM »
"'Some people' talk out of their fat backsides", is my impression...

My similar thought didn't make it beyond my brain :P.
Canon 5D MkIII, 7D, 300mm L IS f/2.8 and a few other L's

KeithR

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Re: EOS 7D + 100-400mm & 400 F5.6
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2012, 06:05:42 PM »
Some things just need to be said!

;)

HaveVoid

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Re: EOS 7D + 100-400mm & 400 F5.6
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2012, 06:50:54 PM »
Thank you all, and I cannot agree more. I find that people are very quick to criticize something, or share a negative point of view on something with which they may not have the most experience in the world.

All of the shots y'all have posted are phenomenal! I'm not expecting 1 Series performance, just an incremental improvement over my 50D, as it was relative to my old Xsi.


Thank you guys for your input.



HV

neuroanatomist

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Re: EOS 7D + 100-400mm & 400 F5.6
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2012, 07:45:21 PM »
I've heard some people say that the AF literally does not work with the 100-400

It certainly did a terrible job at AF tracking this fellow as he flew from the tree in the background stratght towards me for a landing...   ::)


EOS 7D, EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM @ 400mm, 1/1600 s, f/6.3, ISO 1600

You can flip through the rest of the birds on my Flickr site (click the image above for the set), most are with the 7D + 100-400mm.   Many shots are at relatively slower shutter speeds and really benefit from the IS, which is a main reason I chose the 100-400mm over the 400/5.6L (the other reason is the much shorter retracted length). 
« Last Edit: February 28, 2012, 08:05:17 PM by neuroanatomist »
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Re: EOS 7D + 100-400mm & 400 F5.6
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2012, 07:45:21 PM »

smirkypants

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Re: EOS 7D + 100-400mm & 400 F5.6
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2012, 07:45:34 PM »
Have no worries. As long as there's light, you'll get some great shots. I've shot tons of polo, which is extremely demanding, with that combination and generally the results have been good.
*edit* even though it looks too red here.

Jim K

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Re: EOS 7D + 100-400mm & 400 F5.6
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2012, 07:58:50 PM »
My first DSLR kit was a 50D and 100-400 (and the 28-135 kit lens) and I was shooting birds. Added a monopod and could hold it on target much longer waiting for that perfect head position. Later added a 7D and love the improved autofocus, much better on BIF. Added a second 7D later and semi-retired the 50D but still have it and use it.

Always been happy with the results from the 100-400. It is an older lens and likes more light than my 70-200 f/4L IS but it works well in daylight. Never used the 400 f/5.6L.
EOS: 7D (2, 1 gripped), 50D gripped, 580EX II + CP-E4
EF: 500 f/4L IS, 100-400 L IS, 70-200 f/4L IS, 28-135 IS, 1.4x TC II, EF-S: 15-85 IS, 10-22
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jm345

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Re: EOS 7D + 100-400mm & 400 F5.6
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2012, 08:34:36 PM »
The 7D does excellent autofocus. There are alot of custom settings and it helps to get familiar with them to maximize the 7D's autofocus capabilities with moving subjects. While the 400 f/5.6 is known for it's fast focussing the 100-400 with a 7D is no slouch and should provide very reliable and fast auto-focussing.

jasonsim

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Re: EOS 7D + 100-400mm & 400 F5.6
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2012, 09:02:58 PM »
The 7D works great with my 100-400mm IS.  When set in AI Servo, the focus is fast.  It is even sharper on my 5D II, but the AF is not quite as fast with that combo.  I've never used the 400mm f/5.6, so cannot comment. But I think I'd want to have IS at that focal length.  We can only hope that Canon will refresh the 400mm f/5.6 with IS.  But who knows...they seem to be focused on putting IS into wide angle primes.  Go figure.  Best of luck with your new 7D!

Taken using 7D + 100-400mm:



Taken using 5D II + 100-400mm:

Cams: Canon 5D3, EOS M
Zooms: 16-35mm f/4L IS, 24-70mm f/2.8L II, 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II; Primes: 22mm f/2, 40mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.2L, 100mm f/2.8L IS, 135mm f/2L, 300mm f/2.8L IS II, 600mm f/4L IS II
Support: Gitzo GT4542LS/G2258, RRS BH-55, Wimberley WH-200

HaveVoid

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Re: EOS 7D + 100-400mm & 400 F5.6
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2012, 11:22:42 PM »
Alright, it is pretty clear that these so called "experts" were talking out of their posteriors. I am thrilled and blown away by the quality of images y'all are posting thus far. I had confidence when I made my decision, but this only reinforces that. I absolutely realize that the 100-400 is a light loving lens, but for what I do, that is more than alright with me. I have heard that navigating the many AF related CF's and settings can be somewhat labyrinthine, so I will probably end up consulting with some of y'all here before all is said and done.


Once again, I cannot thank y'all enough, it's hard to get anyone to share positive experiences with gear these days. You'd think nothing works as advertised...


HV

neuroanatomist

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Re: EOS 7D + 100-400mm & 400 F5.6
« Reply #12 on: February 29, 2012, 07:12:29 AM »
I have heard that navigating the many AF related CF's and settings can be somewhat labyrinthine, so I will probably end up consulting with some of y'all here before all is said and done.

FWIW, my birds-in-flight is set up on C3 and is:  M mode, 1/2000, f/6.3, ISO Auto, AF Point Expansion, evaluative metering, AI Servo, high speed drive; for this one I also set up the AF C.Fn's - the ones I changed from default are C.FnIII-1, slow and C.FnIII-3, Continuous AF tracking priority.
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Re: EOS 7D + 100-400mm & 400 F5.6
« Reply #12 on: February 29, 2012, 07:12:29 AM »

KeithR

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Re: EOS 7D + 100-400mm & 400 F5.6
« Reply #13 on: February 29, 2012, 08:20:19 AM »
Assuming a fairly clean BG, I pretty much swear by Zone AF for BIFs - that, and the AF reacquisition time at its slowest setting.

Works pretty well (these are all fast birds, moving fast):







« Last Edit: February 29, 2012, 08:27:55 AM by KeithR »

HaveVoid

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Re: EOS 7D + 100-400mm & 400 F5.6
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2012, 08:37:09 PM »
Thank you all who have shared experiences, and CF settings. Sadly the weather here in VA looks like it will preclude any shooting for the next 72-ish hours, but I have some solid time off this next week to get out and   put her through her paces. I'll report back for more input, feedback, etc.




Many Thanks,


HaveVoid

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Re: EOS 7D + 100-400mm & 400 F5.6
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2012, 08:37:09 PM »