Andy Rouse Reviews the EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x

privatebydesign

Would you take advice from a cartoons stuffed toy?
Jan 29, 2011
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expatinasia said:
I hate being cynical, but he has had the lens for 6 months and no doubt would like Canon's next toy for 6 months or so too. That does not tend to happen when one is too critical, or sometimes even negative towards the toys they offer.

Still, an interesting read, and I look forward to reading more from others.
Andy Rouse is very famous for being exceptionally outspoken about the Canon 1D MkIII AF issues, until then he was a solid Canon shooter, he very publicly trashed the camera, and Canon, and moved to Nikon. He has since grown up a bit. He didn't get on with the Nikon D4 very well and when he compared the Nikon's he was using to some loaner 1DX's and the MkII Super Tele's he ate a bit of crow, said he was above such petty behavior as comparing manufacturers, dumped all his Nikon gear and now shoots exclusively Canon.

He has said, leading up to this, for his work the MkII tele's and the 1DX are the best available, he has also said he buys his own cameras.
 

dslrdummy

EOS RP
Aug 28, 2012
364
131
As someone who will never own this lens (or any other super telephoto), I can only admire the photos and learn by hearing from someone who does wildlife photography for a living. Graphs, MTF's and peeping don't interest me. I like to learn about the practice of photography and what enables him and others to get the shot like those leopard shots in difficult light. And capturing the moment the way he does which I suspect is more than just having a 1DX and a fast, long lens.
 

AlanF

Canon 5DSR II
Aug 16, 2012
6,360
4,519
privatebydesign said:
expatinasia said:
I hate being cynical, but he has had the lens for 6 months and no doubt would like Canon's next toy for 6 months or so too. That does not tend to happen when one is too critical, or sometimes even negative towards the toys they offer.

Still, an interesting read, and I look forward to reading more from others.
Andy Rouse is very famous for being exceptionally outspoken about the Canon 1D MkIII AF issues, until then he was a solid Canon shooter, he very publicly trashed the camera, and Canon, and moved to Nikon. He has since grown up a bit. He didn't get on with the Nikon D4 very well and when he compared the Nikon's he was using to some loaner 1DX's and the MkII Super Tele's he ate a bit of crow, said he was above such petty behavior as comparing manufacturers, dumped all his Nikon gear and now shoots exclusively Canon.

He has said, leading up to this, for his work the MkII tele's and the 1DX are the best available, he has also said he buys his own cameras.
Does that imply that he does not buy his lenses?
 

privatebydesign

Would you take advice from a cartoons stuffed toy?
Jan 29, 2011
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AlanF said:
Does that imply that he does not buy his lenses?
No, he specifically stated that he purchases all his gear, whether that is always true, true now etc etc, I could not possibly know. The real point is he seems to value his tools, and his output, more than any manufacturer loyalty, and he has waked the walk previously.
 

Zv

EOR R
Sep 23, 2012
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www.flickr.com
A great review that puts a lot if BS around this lens to rest. Finally! I'm glad Canon have released this lens now. Hopefully it is the start of some new exciting lenses!
 

insanitybeard

EOS RP
Mar 20, 2012
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mackguyver said:
In my own experience, I couldn't believe how much better the build of the 70-200 f/2.8 IS II is over my 70-200 f4 IS - made me realize that there was more to the extra cost than just a tripod mount and an extra stop.
I'm curious, what are the main differences between the build of the 2.8 IS II and the f4 IS in your opinion? I own the f4 IS and it's probably the best made lens I have- no complaints from me.
 

MichaelHodges

EOS 7D MK II
Nov 7, 2012
423
0
Yes, versatility is nice, but I need to see technical excellence that makes this worth going for over the 400 2.8 or the 500 F4.
 

AlanF

Canon 5DSR II
Aug 16, 2012
6,360
4,519
Andy Rouse is such a great photographer that he would have got equally superb shots from the 100-400mm L as the lens wasn't being pushed to its limits of resolution.
 
Aug 22, 2010
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Uk
www.GMCPhotographics.co.uk
MichaelHodges said:
Yes, versatility is nice, but I need to see technical excellence that makes this worth going for over the 400 2.8 or the 500 F4.
Both the 400/2.8 and 500/f4 require a photographer to be in the right place to get a specific shot. This new lens offers more flexibility with composition due to the zoom. A 200mm f4 isn't that great for isolation, it'll be better at the longer end. But background isolation will be easier with the 400/2.8 and 500/4, but it requires the photographer to be at the right distance from the subject. The 400/2.8 and 500/4 are both lighter and are just as versatile with converters...it's just more fiddly and not so good on a windy beach chasing Grey Seals about in a hoewling sandstorm. The truth is that most wolde life photographers will make any of the big white lenses work. Its the more opportunist photographers who tend to require the flexibility of a zoom....I'm generalising here, please don't take offence.

If I wanted to replace my current 400mm f2.8 L IS, I would probably go for the new 500mm f4 L IS II....have you seen how light it is? It's amazing!
 

Jeffrey

EOS T7i
Jul 11, 2012
74
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I'm waiting for one of the lens rental companies to offer the lens for rent, after which I'll rent it for a week and shoot as much as possible. I'll then evaluate the images and determine if the lens is right for me. I prefer to spend say $250-$300 for renting the lens before I spend $11,000 and find out that I don't like it. :)
 

CarlTN

EOR R
Feb 1, 2013
2,170
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expatinasia said:
I hate being cynical, but he has had the lens for 6 months and no doubt would like Canon's next toy for 6 months or so too. That does not tend to happen when one is too critical, or sometimes even negative towards the toys they offer.

Still, an interesting read, and I look forward to reading more from others.
Most definitely agree!

AlanF said:
Andy Rouse wrote:
"To be truthful, a better method here is to take the 2x converter, place it gently on the ground so that it is bathed in lovely soft, evening light. Then paint your teeth red and smash it violently to pieces with a large baseball bat, cackling maniacally all the time at passers by. Go on do it, it will feel so good. Now before you think I have an issue against Canon 2x converters I don't! I hate ALL 2x teleconverters equally!!! I consider them a complete waste of space and money, it is always better to use a 1.4x teleconverter and crop. Of course that is just my view!"

That last sentence is opinionated twaddle from the Ken Rockwell school of creative writing. The MTFs for the 2xTC III on the 300mm f/2.8 II are, as seen in the collage I posted, very good and the contrast etc excellent. None of the photos he has posted, as good as they are, show very fine detail as you would see on bird plumage at high resolution. If he took such photos and compared a rezzed up 1.4 with a 2x he would see the advantage of the 2x - my 1.4x TC spends most of its time in its pouch.
It is really the previous series two, Canon 2x TC that has soured the "quick to make snap judgments and wax poetic a la Ken Rockwell" crowd against 2x teleconverters, in my opinion. I got my series 2 for free, and that's probably closer to what it is worth. I use it occasionally, but am thinking of selling. I've not tried the new series 3 2x TC, but surely it must be a lot better optically. My only experience with the series 3 1.4x TC, was terrible...I used it with a series 1 500 f/4. The resolution was soft, the AF inaccurate. But then that lens without a TC, was the same.

But frankly, even the inferior series two 2x TC, is going to give more resolution than upscaling an image shot with a 1.4x TC, on the same lens.

What Canon really needs to do, is make a high quality 1.7x TC...and call it a series 4. Then there might not be a need for either of the series 3...but especially not the 2x iii. They might even sell more of them than the other two combined...because 1.7x is the real sweet spot for magnifying the image, in my opinion. You get enough of a boost in reach, but also compromise sharpness less than a 2x TC does.
 

AlanF

Canon 5DSR II
Aug 16, 2012
6,360
4,519
Carl
The kingfisher is only 300 pixels high and 190 pixels at its widest! I didn't sharpen it at all. Here it is again with moderate sharpening with USM at 1 pixel and 100% at a 100% crop of 439x438 pixels^2. I made a mistake with the exposure for this and had it at 1/5000 s and iso 1000. At 1/500 s and iso 100 I could have sharpened it more with low noise. Attached is something more representative, a 739x534 100% crop of the head of a sparrow at iso 640, 1/1250 s and f/5.6 with the the 2x TC on the 300mm.
 

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eml58

1Dx
Aug 26, 2012
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expatinasia said:
I hate being cynical, but he has had the lens for 6 months and no doubt would like Canon's next toy for 6 months or so too. That does not tend to happen when one is too critical, or sometimes even negative towards the toys they offer.

Still, an interesting read, and I look forward to reading more from others.
I agree, I believe Andy may have been a little disingenuous, I have a few friends that are Professional Wildlife Photographers, they happen to all work with Nikon unfortunately, and they all Buy their own gear, there are probably very few Pros that Canon or Nikon supply free gear to, but two of these Pros are "loaned" equipment to try out & as long as they write up positive reviews, in this case for Nikon, the equipment loans are viewed as "long term".

I was in Africa in March shooting with one of these Pros, he currently uses a Nikon a pair of D3x Bodies and in particular the Nikon 200-400f/4, when I left to come home I lent him a 1Dx & the 300f/2.8 v2 & 400f/2.8 v2 Lens to try as he was considering flipping to Canon (because of the 1Dx), his views over the last couple of months of comparing were interesting, at 400 there is simply nothing to compare, the 1Dx + 400f/2.8 v2 combo "Murders" (his word) the Nikon D3x/200-400f/4 combo @ 400 (but to be honest the Nikon 200-400 has always been soft at 400), his view on the combo at 300, was the same if not more so, the 1Dx/300f/2.8 v2, "murders" the Nikon 200-400 @ 300.

But, and this is the kicker, his view was the straight up "flexibility" of the Zoom in fast action wildlife, still gave the Nikon 200-400 the edge in his opinion, as long as your Technique was excellent, he was prepared to give up better IQ for flexibility. Of course it's all debatable, and this chap is a long term Nikon shooter, but it was interesting view non the less.

My feel at the moment is that the Big White Primes are still going to have the IQ edge over the New Canon 200-400f/4 1.4x, at 200/300/400 & definitely at 600 (compared to 560 with a 1.4x), but i have little doubt the IQ of the Canon 200-400 will trump the much older Nikon 200-400, and that Nikon 200-400 isn't a bad Lens, the flexibility is what will be a decider for myself, the flexibility of the Zoom at these distances (200-560) will be just awesome & if the IQ is as good as I expect, and as good as Andy Rouse's Images show, it'll be a definite Lens in my Bag.

Now, I need to head out & sell the wife's Car before she comes Home, and then off to the Gym to build up those arm muscles.