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Author Topic: Owning the Canon 200-400 f/4L Vs 400 f/2.8L II  (Read 14793 times)

Moody Blues

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Owning the Canon 200-400 f/4L Vs 400 f/2.8L II
« on: July 05, 2012, 12:37:40 PM »
When the 200-400 lens becomes available I will be purchasing it or the 400 2.8 prime. The delima of which of these 2 lenses would be more effective is making me mad.

The versatility of the 200-400 with the built in ext will be excellent. To think, though, that with the 1.4X and 2X ext gives you 3 incredibly useful focal lengths is equally incredible.

Owning the 70-200 f/2.8 II and using both ext's on it often, I think that the 200 to 280mm range of the 200-400 would go unused much of the time.

I have owed the 600 f/4 300 f/2.8 and the 200 f/2. Of all of those lenses, the 300 f/2.8 was my favorite.

Has anyone else given this much thought?
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untitled10

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Re: Owning the Canon 200-400 f/4L Vs 400 f/2.8L II
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2012, 01:59:07 PM »
With the 2x converter you would lose any usable auto focus

Moody Blues

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Re: Owning the Canon 200-400 f/4L Vs 400 f/2.8L II
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2012, 02:10:08 PM »
With the 2x converter you would lose any usable auto focus

Where do you find that info? Page 79 of the 1DX manual classifies the 400 f/2.8L II with 2X Ext in Group E giving the combination Cross Type AF across the 3X7 Center focus points and Some AF across the rest of the points.
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untitled10

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Re: Owning the Canon 200-400 f/4L Vs 400 f/2.8L II
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2012, 02:16:33 PM »
2x converter on the 200-400 sorry ^.^

Moody Blues

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Re: Owning the Canon 200-400 f/4L Vs 400 f/2.8L II
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2012, 02:19:34 PM »
2x converter on the 200-400 sorry ^.^

I should have asked rather than assumed... Yes, true.
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preppyak

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Re: Owning the Canon 200-400 f/4L Vs 400 f/2.8L II
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2012, 02:51:01 PM »
Obviously it'll be impossible to say until it gets released (or at least spec'd in full), but the advantages the 200-400 have probably don't counter the 400 2.8. The big advantage of the 200-400 is obviously convenience, you can go from 200 to 560 without changing lenses, and likely with little optical compromise. But, the 400 prime allows you to create an 800 f/5.6 with the extenders you already have.

Both are probably gonna be around the same weight, relatively speaking (8ish lbs). Both are gonna cost about the same. If you're not gonna use the <300 end, then it seems like the 400 prime is the way to go. Especially since you could have it today, rather than wait who knows how long

robbymack

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Re: Owning the Canon 200-400 f/4L Vs 400 f/2.8L II
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2012, 03:07:54 PM »
you lose light over the 200, 300, and 400 primes, but the 200-400 adds versatility to a fairly broad range from 200-560 which is really interesting and certainly the cause for strife to anyone who can afford it's price tag. 

neuroanatomist

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Re: Owning the Canon 200-400 f/4L Vs 400 f/2.8L II
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2012, 03:36:27 PM »
Let me rephrase the original question:  "Help me decide between buying the 2013 Porsche Carrera S and the Honda Hybrid Self-Driving Hovercar."  Given Canon's recent track record of lens delays, we may actually see that hovercar before the 200-400mm lens.
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charlesa

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Re: Owning the Canon 200-400 f/4L Vs 400 f/2.8L II
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2012, 03:50:14 PM »
Why not go for a 400 mm f/2.8 L IS prime? Their price should come down now that version II is out, and the 200-400 will cost way more, and can one really comment on its IQ and sharpness prior to anyone ever seen or tested on in the wild? If it has the image quality of the 70-200 mm f/2.8 II then it would be a stunner of a lens, but at what price?

I was recently stuck in the same conundrum, until I found a second hand 400 for sale, pristine condition, tried it on a 1D-X (including with a 2x TC III) and was blown away.

TrumpetPower!

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Re: Owning the Canon 200-400 f/4L Vs 400 f/2.8L II
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2012, 04:42:53 PM »
It's really going to depend on what you're shooting and how you're shooting it.

The 200-400 is going to be more of a general-purpose jack-of-all-trades type of lens. If you need to shoot at shorter than 400, and especially if you need to rapidly change focal lengths, that's the lens.

On the other hand, f/4 is slow, and f/5.6 (with the TC) is very slow. The 400 doesn't get as slow as f/5.6 until you put on the 2x, and then it's all the way to 800 mm. If you'll be shooting primarily at the long end of the 200-400 range, especially if you'll be using that teleconverter a lot, the 400 will easily be the winner.

In other words, go with the zoom if you're mostly looking for a lens that goes up to 400 mm, and especially if you'll only be shooting in good light. Go with the prime if you're mostly looking for a lens that starts at 400, and especially if you'll sometimes be shooting in questionable light.

Chances are, since you're seriously considering the 400, that's the lens for you.

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Bob Howland

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Re: Owning the Canon 200-400 f/4L Vs 400 f/2.8L II
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2012, 04:57:14 PM »
I own the 300 f/2.8 and use it regularly with both TCs to shoot field sports and motorsports, typically in daylight. The focal length flexibility of the 200-400 zoom is much more important to me than the lost of an f-stop.

However, if the $13,000 rumored price for the 200-400 is true and Nikon introduces the D400 that is rumored, I may buy the Nikon 200-400, a 1.4x TC and a D400 body for a couple thousand dollars less that the Canon lens alone.

Kernuak

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Re: Owning the Canon 200-400 f/4L Vs 400 f/2.8L II
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2012, 06:20:00 PM »
I was able to try out the 200-400 at Focus on Imaging in March and it is very handholdable. In fact it felt very much like holding my 300 f/2.8. It probably is a little heavier, but it was well balanced (at least on the 1D MkIV it was coupled to). I would say it is going to be lighter than the 400 f/2.8 MkII, although I can't say that from any experience. Then it comes down to how much using a 1.4x or 2x extender slows the AF down on the prime, compared to the built in extender on the 200-400 and cost differential (if there is one).
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Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Owning the Canon 200-400 f/4L Vs 400 f/2.8L II
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2012, 06:25:13 PM »
Let me rephrase the original question:  "Help me decide between buying the 2013 Porsche Carrera S and the Honda Hybrid Self-Driving Hovercar."  Given Canon's recent track record of lens delays, we may actually see that hovercar before the 200-400mm lens.

I'll probably winn the lottery first, and I don't even enter it.

bdunbar79

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Re: Owning the Canon 200-400 f/4L Vs 400 f/2.8L II
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2012, 06:30:08 PM »
Why not go for a 400 mm f/2.8 L IS prime? Their price should come down now that version II is out, and the 200-400 will cost way more, and can one really comment on its IQ and sharpness prior to anyone ever seen or tested on in the wild? If it has the image quality of the 70-200 mm f/2.8 II then it would be a stunner of a lens, but at what price?

I was recently stuck in the same conundrum, until I found a second hand 400 for sale, pristine condition, tried it on a 1D-X (including with a 2x TC III) and was blown away.

I agree.  I'm not so sure I really need the flexibility of the 200-400 range.  When I shoot specifically in that range, I have 300 f/2.8 and 400 f/2.8 each on a different camera.  If I go cautious I only bring the 300 and then crop if need be.  Indoor sports my two money lenses are the 135L and 200 f/2L.  I can use the 70-200L in indoor sports because that seems more of a flexible range to me.
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KitsVancouver

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Re: Owning the Canon 200-400 f/4L Vs 400 f/2.8L II
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2012, 08:45:57 PM »
When the 200-400 lens becomes available I will be purchasing it or the 400 2.8 prime. The delima of which of these 2 lenses would be more effective is making me mad.

The versatility of the 200-400 with the built in ext will be excellent. To think, though, that with the 1.4X and 2X ext gives you 3 incredibly useful focal lengths is equally incredible.

Owning the 70-200 f/2.8 II and using both ext's on it often, I think that the 200 to 280mm range of the 200-400 would go unused much of the time.

I have owed the 600 f/4 300 f/2.8 and the 200 f/2. Of all of those lenses, the 300 f/2.8 was my favorite.

Has anyone else given this much thought?

Ever since the 200-400 was announced, I've given this a lot of thought.  I have young kids that will be going into field sports very soon so I've been planning on a big lens for a while. 

I personally don't think I will ever shoot longer than 400mm so for me, it's the 200-400 or the 400.  Since both are going to be in the same range, price doesn't play a factor for me. 

I'm leaning towards the 200-400 because of the versatility.  If the IQ difference is too great, however, I'll get the 400mm.  If there is very little difference, then I think I can lose the light/speed and go for the 200-400. 

I guess what I don't have experience or knowledge on is the difference in background blur between the two lenses.  That could play a role so I'd love to see someone shoot the 400mm at both 2.8 and 4.0 and post the photos.