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Author Topic: Going full frame and needing more reach. Suggestions please?  (Read 4250 times)

Ayelike

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I'm moving from a crop sensor to a full-frame and I'm getting worried that my 70-200 f/2.8 isn't going to get me close enough to the action anymore. I do a lot of motor sport photography so have been enjoying a fast lens with 320mm equivalent reach.

The 400mm f/5.6 has caught my eye as an affordable option. I'm getting the Canon 5D3 so I'm thinking I just ramp up the ISO to maintain the shutter speeds I usually use. I've managed to live ok without IS as my subjects are moving faster than I shake the camera anyway.

Everybody seems to end up suggesting the 100-400mm IS but I won't be using that 100-200mm end, not sure about how much IS I'll end up using, and it's not as sharp as the prime.

I guess I want to know, does anyone use the 400mm prime for this type of thing or is it really designed for sitting on a tripod looking at birds?

Also, extenders... are these as foggy as some of the examples photos make them look or are they ok? Fast auto-focus is pretty important in this environment too so I don't want to compromise on that too much. Is there much difference between using an extender and just cropping a shot?

Thanks for any comments you can give.

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Random Orbits

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Re: Going full frame and needing more reach. Suggestions please?
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2012, 12:58:45 PM »
You should try the 1.4x III first.  There isn't a big difference between 280 and 320mm, and if the 70-200 worked well on a crop body for you, then a FF + 1.4x III should work well for you.

The AF speed takes a hit, but it's still pretty good on the 70-200.  Racking from MFD to infinity takes longer, but that doesn't happen in most situations unless the light and subject contrast is really poor.  For most subject to camera distance changes, the AF speed is fine.  The fact that you're considering a prime suggests that your subject distance to the camera is not changing very quickly.  Pixel-peeping, there is not a big difference in IQ between the 70-200 and the 70-200 + 1.4x and is definitely better than cropping.


Razor2012

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Re: Going full frame and needing more reach. Suggestions please?
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2012, 01:04:24 PM »
I'm using the 70-200 2.8L II w the 5DIII and also looking at the 1.4 & 2X extenders.  From what I've been hearing, the 2x works really well with that zoom (ver II is really sharp).  Looking at both the 300 F4 and the 400 5.6, the 300 has IS and the 400 is a bit slow without IS.  If a person is going to be shooting alot at the far end, I'd personally get the longer telephoto instead of using an extender, this usually ends up with better IQ.
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mdm041

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Re: Going full frame and needing more reach. Suggestions please?
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2012, 01:07:10 PM »
I'm in the exact same situation looking at both the 100-400 and the 400F/5.6.  I have decided to go with the 400 because like you I don't think I really care to use the 100-200, I don't like the idea of the zoom barrell on the 100-400 pumping my camera with air and dust, etc.  I will generally at least have a monopod or tripod to rest the 400 on so I'm not to worried about the 5.6 other than with DOF shoots.

I've also considered the 70-300L as a walk around lens for when my 70-200F/2.8 might be a bit cumbersome.  THe IQ seems to be pretty good and the IS would help with the walk around lens but I really think I want that extra 100mm of reach versus the IS and zoom.
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IIIHobbs

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Re: Going full frame and needing more reach. Suggestions please?
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2012, 07:09:36 PM »
I had the same thoughts and experiences with my 70-200 f2.8 when I got my 5DIII.

I ended up getting a used 300 f4 and absolutely love it. I use it wide open all the time for LAX and Soccer. The 5D is a perfect match with it.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2012, 07:12:43 PM by IIIHobbs »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Going full frame and needing more reach. Suggestions please?
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2012, 07:26:08 PM »
I've owned both the 400mm f/5.6 and the 100-400mmL, alonng with a lot of other telephoto lenses. (300mmL, Tamron 200-500mm, Sigma 400mm, Tokina 400mm, Canon 600mm f/4L, etc)
 
IQ is almost identical at 400mm. I basically use my 100-400L at 400mm like most. I kept the 100-400 mostly for the following reasons:
 
It is much shorter and stores in the same length as the 70-200L.  You will not like trying to store the long 400mm f/5.6 L
 
IS comes in handy, don't underestimate it, I've used it at 1/20 sec handheld.
 
Close focus.  When you want to actually fill the frame with a small bird or object, you can get close enough to do it, the 400 5.6L does not focus closely.
 
Ocassionally, the zoom comes in handy.
 
If it matters, resale value is a little better as well.
 
For your purpose, the 400mm f/5.6 L will be fine, but the other advantages of the 100-400L make it a lot more versatile and easy to use.  Thats why you see it recommended so often.
 
I have a Nikon D800 on trial, and the lack of a comparable lens is really a downer for me.

westr70

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Re: Going full frame and needing more reach. Suggestions please?
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2012, 09:01:17 PM »
IQ is almost identical at 400mm. I basically use my 100-400L at 400mm like most. I kept the 100-400 mostly for the following reasons:
 
It is much shorter and stores in the same length as the 70-200L.  You will not like trying to store the long 400mm f/5.6 L
 
IS comes in handy, don't underestimate it, I've used it at 1/20 sec handheld.
 
Close focus.  When you want to actually fill the frame with a small bird or object, you can get close enough to do it, the 400 5.6L does not focus closely.
 
Ocassionally, the zoom comes in handy.
 
If it matters, resale value is a little better as well.
 
For your purpose, the 400mm f/5.6 L will be fine, but the other advantages of the 100-400L make it a lot more versatile and easy to use.  Thats why you see it recommended so often.
 

Ditto
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Re: Going full frame and needing more reach. Suggestions please?
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2012, 09:01:17 PM »

TexPhoto

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Re: Going full frame and needing more reach. Suggestions please?
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2012, 09:33:16 PM »
I you have a 5D3, a great way to get 1.6X more reach and 2 more frames per second is to get a 7D.  Seriously.  a 2nd body can be quite helpful.  And there is no real budget solution to more reach.

Magnumphotography

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Re: Going full frame and needing more reach. Suggestions please?
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2012, 10:05:47 PM »
I have owned the 400 5.6l.
Performance wise, it is a fantastic all around lens.
It has an extremely fast auto focus action. Perfect for when I was shooting, fast moving birds in flight. This being with a 5D mark I.  So for races, I don't see how it could not perform on the mark III. Although with say the 300 f4l, you should get better overall autofocus performance. As the f4 gives the mark III's outer focus points, better accuracy.
For me, most of my shots were hand held with the 400. The lens balances very well. As 3lb's it is very manageable. The built in lens hood will spoil you.

The other lenses, I have no experience with. But are very well regarded. Personally, I would wait for the camera. Then rent the two lenses, that suit you best. I know Henry's in Canada offers an interesting policy. When returning the rental to the store, if you decide to buy that model, a discount is applied to the rental. Time this during a sale, perfect.....

ScottyP

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Re: Going full frame and needing more reach. Suggestions please?
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2012, 12:01:56 AM »
I think I'd try the 1.4 extender first.  It can't hurt, and it would be a useful thing to have no matter what.  I might even be tempted to save a few bucks and get the Mk II extender used cheap, rather than the new MkIII which is pretty expensive for a TC.

At that point, if you want more range later on, you can get the 300 f/4 instead of the 400 f/5.6.  Since you already have the 1.4x TC, then you would have basically a 420 lens at f/5.6 WITH IS, in addition to the fairly bright 300mm by itself. 

I may be just projecting my own mental upgrade path onto your situation, but it is what I am planning to do personally, and it seems to hold water.

You can go to The Digital Picture site and compare variousl lens combos with and without TC's attached if you want to do a test drive.  It is not obvious unless you are looking for it, but it is under "Tools" and ISO comparisons.  You can even compare Canon to Nikon or Zeiss just for kicks.  (There is no "add TC" button.  To add the TC, you just add MM's over the lens's maximum native length, and it adds in the TC automatically.)

 
Canon 6D; Canon Lenses: EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF 85 f/1.8; EF-S 17-55 f/2.8; Canon 1.4x Mk. III T.C.; Sigma Lens: 35mm f/1.4 "Art"

Lnguyen1203

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Re: Going full frame and needing more reach. Suggestions please?
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2012, 12:58:50 AM »
The 1.4x III should work just fine with your 70-200 f2.8 II.   I have the 5d3 and 300 mm f2.8 and French pair it with a 1.4x II ( I hear the 1.4x III will AF faster) and love the combo.  I shoot primarily wildlife.  IQ with the 1.4x is great and AF is fast enough for birds in flight.  The 2x would slow down the AF significantly and Useable for static or slow moving animals at a distance.

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RC

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Re: Going full frame and needing more reach. Suggestions please?
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2012, 02:50:49 AM »
I you have a 5D3, a great way to get 1.6X more reach and 2 more frames per second is to get a 7D.  Seriously.  a 2nd body can be quite helpful.  And there is no real budget solution to more reach.

Exactly what I was thinking.  How about add a FF as opposed to "moving from a crop sensor to a full-frame."    Keep your crop body and you will still have an awesome 2.8 112-320 (FF) for those times when you need a long reach. 

candyman

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Re: Going full frame and needing more reach. Suggestions please?
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2012, 03:50:42 AM »
I you have a 5D3, a great way to get 1.6X more reach and 2 more frames per second is to get a 7D.  Seriously.  a 2nd body can be quite helpful.  And there is no real budget solution to more reach.


But what about the difference in IQ? How big is it? An, does it bother you?



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Re: Going full frame and needing more reach. Suggestions please?
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2012, 03:50:42 AM »

mb66energy

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Re: Going full frame and needing more reach. Suggestions please?
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2012, 03:56:59 AM »
I'm moving from a crop sensor to a full-frame and I'm getting worried that my 70-200 f/2.8 isn't going to get me close enough to the action anymore. I do a lot of motor sport photography so have been enjoying a fast lens with 320mm equivalent reach.

The 400mm f/5.6 has caught my eye as an affordable option. I'm getting the Canon 5D3 so I'm thinking I just ramp up the ISO to maintain the shutter speeds I usually use. I've managed to live ok without IS as my subjects are moving faster than I shake the camera anyway.

Everybody seems to end up suggesting the 100-400mm IS but I won't be using that 100-200mm end, not sure about how much IS I'll end up using, and it's not as sharp as the prime.

I guess I want to know, does anyone use the 400mm prime for this type of thing or is it really designed for sitting on a tripod looking at birds?

Also, extenders... are these as foggy as some of the examples photos make them look or are they ok? Fast auto-focus is pretty important in this environment too so I don't want to compromise on that too much. Is there much difference between using an extender and just cropping a shot?

Thanks for any comments you can give.

My 2 ct. about the 5.6/400L:
I needed more reach for my 40D (640mm equiv is a good medium telephoto for some situations, 100mm is my "light wide angle"  :D ) and I really like to have contrasty images under all conditions (esp. contralight).

I have the 4.0/70-200L and the 2x TC mark I and I experienced good quality just at 400mm/f8.0 or f11.0 but:
I don't like to fiddle around with live view and manual focus. If you make landscape with large focal lengths turbulences of the atmosphere bring a lot of unsharpness into the images - shorter exp. times help a lot!

Options:
 1.  100-400
 2.  400
 3.  70-200/2.8 II + TC

Options 1.,2. were in my mind when I bought the 5.6/400 and it was a clear decision: Mark II of 100-400 (better IQ, IS) or Mark II of the 400/5.6 (IS) would increase the prices by e.g. a factor 2 and will bring it out of my reach.
Prime above zoom: Fast AF, just 6 lens groups -> good contrast, good contralight ability. Very sturdy construction, easily handholdable at 1/125s @ 640mm equiv (o.k., you should fire 2 or 3 shots but 1 is o.k.)!
If I go to fullframe: Lens has very good IQ straight to the corners in FF - I like to put important elements in corners or near the edges!

Option 3. came in my mind just a few days ago: Selling my 70-200/4.0 and the money spend on the 400/5.6 were near the equivalent of a 70-200/2.8 II and I would have a great zoom with 400mm reach via my older TC.

But: 70-200/4.0 is a great walkaround lens (just 700g) and I would lose the possibility to go to 800/11.0 or 1280/11.0 equiv. for a stronger telephoto effect. So I might live with my solution and - with two 40D bodies I have a chance to gain flexibility without changing lenses.

Two examples of the 400/5.6:
  • 100% crop at close focus (without atmospheric turbulences!), near center (but non-distinguishable from corner quality), subject might be a Canada goose
  • downscaled image at a sunny day after a frosty night - lots of turbulences smear the landscape - it is not unsharpness due to DOF

TOOLS: EF-S 10-22 | 60 || EF 2.8/24 | 2.8/40* | 2.8 100 Macro* |2.0/100 | 4.0/70-200* | 5.6/400* || 2 x 40D | 600D | EOS M  [* most used lenses]

TrumpetPower!

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Re: Going full frame and needing more reach. Suggestions please?
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2012, 09:31:58 AM »
The other option to consider, especially since image quality is paramount, is to get a 400 f/2.8, possibly an older one without IS if money is a factor.

Cheers,

b&

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Re: Going full frame and needing more reach. Suggestions please?
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2012, 09:31:58 AM »