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Author Topic: 400 2.8L, 500 4L or 600 4L for wildlife  (Read 10583 times)

Waterloo

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Re: 400 2.8L, 500 4L or 600 4L for wildlife
« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2012, 06:41:52 PM »
So the primes alone still seem to take the cake.  How about F4 to F2.8?  One would not think it's much of a difference.  Does anyone think twice about it?  or just make it up with a higher ISO?

Also pondering the use of a 1.4x with both.  With the 2.8 it would yield an F4 at 560mm. Any resolution tradeoff between that combo and the 500mm f/4 outright?  One would think but who knows.(Someone who has tried it and made the comparison).

Check the TDP ISO12233 charts. My sense is that the 400 II takes a bigger IQ hit with the 1.4xIII than the 500 II or 600 II.  The new 500/600 + 1.4x seem equivalent to the MkI 600 and the 800, respectively, while the 400 II + 1.4x seems to fall short on IQ vs. the 500 MkI (and the bare 500 II is even sharper).

I think twice about it all the time. Not because of the light loss, but the loss of image quality. I know adding the 1.4 Extender will give me more reach and I know I'll have to pay for it when I pull the images up on the computer screen. Plus living here in Nevada with the dust, I dread each time I remove the camera from the lens/extender. And, the fumbling in the field changing the extender and the resultant lost shots.

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Re: 400 2.8L, 500 4L or 600 4L for wildlife
« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2012, 06:41:52 PM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: 400 2.8L, 500 4L or 600 4L for wildlife
« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2012, 08:32:02 PM »
I think twice about it all the time. Not because of the light loss, but the loss of image quality. I know adding the 1.4 Extender will give me more reach and I know I'll have to pay for it when I pull the images up on the computer screen.

It used to be that the bare lens always beat the lens+TC.  Now, that statement needs to be revised to, in some cases within the same generation of lenses, the bare lens will always beat the lens + TC.  The 600 II + 1.4x III is actually a little sharper than the 800/5.6, plus it's got a little more reach and is a heck of a lot lighter, for no additional money.  So, at the point the only reason to go with an 800/5.6 is if you plan to put a 1.4x on that, which will beat out the 600 II + 2xIII.  Likewise, the 500/4 II + 1.4x III is sharper than the bare 600/4 MkI, and also longer and lighter, perhaps making the 500 II + TC a better choice than the older 600 (more expensive, though).  Note that the above assumes the 50% AF speed reduction you get with a 1.4x TC is acceptable (but the superteles focus so fast, 50% slower is still going to be fast).

However, the 400 II + 1.4x is not as sharp as the bare 500/4 MkI.

So, if comparing the current (MkII) lenses, you're better off getting the focal length you will use most. 

Keep in mind that while you can crop, often you cannot back up to get a wider AoV, especially with a long lens where you'd have to back up a lot.  Depending on what you shoot, you may want to have a second body with a shorter lens, like a 70-200/2.8 II to pair with a 400/500, or a 100-400 to pair with a 600.

The 200-400/4 + 1.4x if it ever becomes a reality, is worth considering.  The zoom is convenient - but of course, only if 560mm f/5.6 is long enough and fast enough.  If not, the 500/600 II may be better choices.
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dolina

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Re: 400 2.8L, 500 4L or 600 4L for wildlife
« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2012, 09:45:27 PM »
Having not used the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x I would recommend this lens. It's a zoom and has a built-in extender. The convenience trumps prime quality if you are only interested in a single super tele.

I have the EF 300mm f/2.8L IS, EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II, EF 500mm f/4L IS, EF 800mm f/5.6L IS. Also used a EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II. All of em are good for wildlife and sports for varying light condition, subject size and framing.
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bkorcel

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Re: 400 2.8L, 500 4L or 600 4L for wildlife
« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2012, 09:53:28 PM »
Which of your primes sees the most wildlife work?  I'm sure you have a favorite.

Having not used the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x I would recommend this lens. It's a zoom and has a built-in extender. The convenience trumps prime quality if you are only interested in a single super tele.

I have the EF 300mm f/2.8L IS, EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II, EF 500mm f/4L IS, EF 800mm f/5.6L IS. Also used a EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II. All of em are good for wildlife and sports for varying light condition, subject size and framing.

bkorcel

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Re: 400 2.8L, 500 4L or 600 4L for wildlife
« Reply #19 on: September 11, 2012, 09:55:26 PM »
I am surprised the 400 2.8L II with 1.4x is not as sharp as the 500 f/4.  Was the 1.4x a II or a III?

I think twice about it all the time. Not because of the light loss, but the loss of image quality. I know adding the 1.4 Extender will give me more reach and I know I'll have to pay for it when I pull the images up on the computer screen.

It used to be that the bare lens always beat the lens+TC.  Now, that statement needs to be revised to, in some cases within the same generation of lenses, the bare lens will always beat the lens + TC.  The 600 II + 1.4x III is actually a little sharper than the 800/5.6, plus it's got a little more reach and is a heck of a lot lighter, for no additional money.  So, at the point the only reason to go with an 800/5.6 is if you plan to put a 1.4x on that, which will beat out the 600 II + 2xIII.  Likewise, the 500/4 II + 1.4x III is sharper than the bare 600/4 MkI, and also longer and lighter, perhaps making the 500 II + TC a better choice than the older 600 (more expensive, though).  Note that the above assumes the 50% AF speed reduction you get with a 1.4x TC is acceptable (but the superteles focus so fast, 50% slower is still going to be fast).

However, the 400 II + 1.4x is not as sharp as the bare 500/4 MkI.

So, if comparing the current (MkII) lenses, you're better off getting the focal length you will use most. 

Keep in mind that while you can crop, often you cannot back up to get a wider AoV, especially with a long lens where you'd have to back up a lot.  Depending on what you shoot, you may want to have a second body with a shorter lens, like a 70-200/2.8 II to pair with a 400/500, or a 100-400 to pair with a 600.

The 200-400/4 + 1.4x if it ever becomes a reality, is worth considering.  The zoom is convenient - but of course, only if 560mm f/5.6 is long enough and fast enough.  If not, the 500/600 II may be better choices.

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Re: 400 2.8L, 500 4L or 600 4L for wildlife
« Reply #20 on: September 11, 2012, 10:34:08 PM »
Id go long and get the 600mm.

I have a 600 F4 and a 3002.8.  Its really the perfect pair to have for wildlife photography. 

I even find that the 600 is too short and often wish I had a bit longer glass.  But I will add that the wildlife I shoot is really wild, which means getting in position in the dark, sitting still and waiting hours... sometimes with no luck.

If the wildlife you are shooting is more tame then you don't need the extra glass.

BTW... once you spend some time with a long lens it becomes second nature to find birds in flight.  When I first started shooting 600mm i struggled to get a bird in the view finder... now its no problem at all.  Just practice practice practice.  (Also orienting your lens hood so that the knob is pointing straight up and in line with your hot shoe helps.  you can look over the top of the camera and use these points as an open sight to align it with a bird, then as you move your eye to the viewfinder just tilt the lens up a little bit and you find what you are looking for....)


dolina

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Re: 400 2.8L, 500 4L or 600 4L for wildlife
« Reply #21 on: September 11, 2012, 11:45:03 PM »
EF 800mm f/5.6L IS if the light is good, I do not need to walk much and if the subject's tiny like say less than 6-inch in length.

Given that these parameters are not always so I previsualize and shift from different glass when situations merit it.

Again if you want the most flexible lens go with the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x. The only drawback is that it's a f/4 without the extender and f/5.6 with the extender. Other than that it's a perfect product.

Dimension, weight and price would be like the EF 500mm f/4L IS II.

Which of your primes sees the most wildlife work?  I'm sure you have a favorite.

Having not used the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x I would recommend this lens. It's a zoom and has a built-in extender. The convenience trumps prime quality if you are only interested in a single super tele.

I have the EF 300mm f/2.8L IS, EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II, EF 500mm f/4L IS, EF 800mm f/5.6L IS. Also used a EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II. All of em are good for wildlife and sports for varying light condition, subject size and framing.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2012, 11:57:34 PM by dolina »
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Re: 400 2.8L, 500 4L or 600 4L for wildlife
« Reply #21 on: September 11, 2012, 11:45:03 PM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: 400 2.8L, 500 4L or 600 4L for wildlife
« Reply #22 on: September 12, 2012, 06:24:11 AM »
I am surprised the 400 2.8L II with 1.4x is not as sharp as the 500 f/4.  Was the 1.4x a II or a III?

I was surprised, too. It was the 1.4x III.
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bkorcel

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Re: 400 2.8L, 500 4L or 600 4L for wildlife
« Reply #23 on: September 12, 2012, 10:22:04 PM »
I am quite familiar with sitting in the dark, sitting still, and waiting for hours.  :)  Quite a bit of good info posted here in a short amount of time.  I'm getting from all of this that F4 or F2.8 is pretty irrelevant...more important is having the reach in a good prime, no extenders if at all possible...unless you are going to the zoo where a 300mm might be good enough.  Buy as much lens as you can afford even if you have to go into debt to do so.  ;)


Id go long and get the 600mm.

I have a 600 F4 and a 3002.8.  Its really the perfect pair to have for wildlife photography. 

I even find that the 600 is too short and often wish I had a bit longer glass.  But I will add that the wildlife I shoot is really wild, which means getting in position in the dark, sitting still and waiting hours... sometimes with no luck.

If the wildlife you are shooting is more tame then you don't need the extra glass.

BTW... once you spend some time with a long lens it becomes second nature to find birds in flight.  When I first started shooting 600mm i struggled to get a bird in the view finder... now its no problem at all.  Just practice practice practice.  (Also orienting your lens hood so that the knob is pointing straight up and in line with your hot shoe helps.  you can look over the top of the camera and use these points as an open sight to align it with a bird, then as you move your eye to the viewfinder just tilt the lens up a little bit and you find what you are looking for....)

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Re: 400 2.8L, 500 4L or 600 4L for wildlife
« Reply #24 on: September 12, 2012, 11:38:14 PM »
I am quite familiar with sitting in the dark, sitting still, and waiting for hours.  :)  Quite a bit of good info posted here in a short amount of time.  I'm getting from all of this that F4 or F2.8 is pretty irrelevant...more important is having the reach in a good prime, no extenders if at all possible...unless you are going to the zoo where a 300mm might be good enough.  Buy as much lens as you can afford even if you have to go into debt to do so.  ;)


Id go long and get the 600mm.

I have a 600 F4 and a 3002.8.  Its really the perfect pair to have for wildlife photography. 

I even find that the 600 is too short and often wish I had a bit longer glass.  But I will add that the wildlife I shoot is really wild, which means getting in position in the dark, sitting still and waiting hours... sometimes with no luck.

If the wildlife you are shooting is more tame then you don't need the extra glass.

BTW... once you spend some time with a long lens it becomes second nature to find birds in flight.  When I first started shooting 600mm i struggled to get a bird in the view finder... now its no problem at all.  Just practice practice practice.  (Also orienting your lens hood so that the knob is pointing straight up and in line with your hot shoe helps.  you can look over the top of the camera and use these points as an open sight to align it with a bird, then as you move your eye to the viewfinder just tilt the lens up a little bit and you find what you are looking for....)

+1 for the reach. I have settled on carrying 600 on the full frame body and a 70-200 on my 7D. I keep the 1.4x extender handy on occasion for extra reach for birds.

CanonWife

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Re: 400 2.8L, 500 4L or 600 4L for wildlife
« Reply #25 on: September 15, 2012, 09:59:13 PM »
We just returned from a two-week shoot which included shorebirds and migratory birds in Tule Lake, CA and the Klamath basin in OR.  The only lens my husband used nearly the entire time was his 600mm f/4 II for birds in flight, birds standing in glass calm water, and even small animals such as a mink on the bank of a river.  The detailing is amazing.  From 40 ft. the mink's head shows the skin pores on its nose and every lock of water-drenched hair on its head!  I drove the RV while he shot out the window on a bumpy gravel road.  This lens brings your subject up close and really personal.  Birds in flight were so detailed we could see the scales on their feet tucked in while flying. It's a pricy lens but surprisingly light and will out-do your expectations. Have your wife get you one for your birthday like I did. :)

kaihp

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Re: 400 2.8L, 500 4L or 600 4L for wildlife
« Reply #26 on: September 15, 2012, 11:05:36 PM »
Have your wife get you one for your birthday like I did. :)
I'm afraid that getting a wife will be more expensive that just purchasing the lens myself.  8)
Sorry, I couldn't resist. ;D

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Re: 400 2.8L, 500 4L or 600 4L for wildlife
« Reply #27 on: September 16, 2012, 12:05:49 AM »
I have the 400mm f2.8 IS version 1.  I also have the 1.4X and 2X extender (both vIII)  For me this is a versatile combination, for both sports and wildlife, giving me 400, 560, and 800.    The 500 and 600 (and 800) are probably fabulous lenses, but the f2.8 is critical when I shoot night sports, so this was the way to go for me.

I also have a 300mm f4 IS.  This is a really nice alternative when traveling or when the 400 is not practical.  It works very well with the 1.4X, and with my 1M4, the 2X. 

I must admit though the 600 is on my must have list...

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Re: 400 2.8L, 500 4L or 600 4L for wildlife
« Reply #27 on: September 16, 2012, 12:05:49 AM »

CanonWife

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Re: 400 2.8L, 500 4L or 600 4L for wildlife
« Reply #28 on: September 16, 2012, 10:49:33 AM »
Have your wife get you one for your birthday like I did. :)
I'm afraid that getting a wife will be more expensive that just purchasing the lens myself.  8)
Sorry, I couldn't resist. ;D

Canon has an easy payment plan. ;D

Waterloo

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Re: 400 2.8L, 500 4L or 600 4L for wildlife
« Reply #29 on: September 30, 2012, 06:23:16 PM »
We just returned from a two-week shoot which included shorebirds and migratory birds in Tule Lake, CA and the Klamath basin in OR.  The only lens my husband used nearly the entire time was his 600mm f/4 II for birds in flight, birds standing in glass calm water, and even small animals such as a mink on the bank of a river.  The detailing is amazing.  From 40 ft. the mink's head shows the skin pores on its nose and every lock of water-drenched hair on its head!  I drove the RV while he shot out the window on a bumpy gravel road.  This lens brings your subject up close and really personal.  Birds in flight were so detailed we could see the scales on their feet tucked in while flying. It's a pricy lens but surprisingly light and will out-do your expectations. Have your wife get you one for your birthday like I did. :)

You don't happen to have a twin sister who is available? Do you?

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Re: 400 2.8L, 500 4L or 600 4L for wildlife
« Reply #29 on: September 30, 2012, 06:23:16 PM »