Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM

Grant Atkinson

EOS 80D
Jan 6, 2014
177
2
Another image for this thread with the EF 400 DO f4 IS ii, with 2x extender in place and on a 1DX. Captured in raw, edited in Adobe Camera Raw and PS. This combination makes for a good lightweight way to get to 800mm of focal length. Taken with a fast shutter speed to try get the subject sharp, from a drifting boat. Shutter speed 1/1600sec at f8.0, iso 5000. Plus 1.67 exp comp. Whilst the 1DX drives the focus quite well with the 2x extender, having only the centre AF point is a bit restrictive, as I would have preferred to have my subject higher in the frame.
Image not cropped but resized from 5184 pixels to 2000 pixels long side. Some noise reduction on the background and foreground.
 

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Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
6,088
1,022
Alberta, Canada
Very nice, Grant. While the 1DX2 has all 61 AF points available with that combo I'm finding unless the lighting is quite good I'm sticking to the central cross type only. Having moved to this lens combo from 300 X2 I appreciate the smaller neck/throat dimension which causes me less left hand fatigue hand-holding and of course 800 is a nice step up albeit at F8. The AF is infinitely more snappy than 600 X2 on the 6D.

Jack
 

Mikehit

EOS 5D MK IV
Jul 28, 2015
3,209
395
Grant Atkinson said:
Another image for this thread with the EF 400 DO f4 IS ii, with 2x extender in place and on a 1DX. Captured in raw, edited in Adobe Camera Raw and PS. This combination makes for a good lightweight way to get to 800mm of focal length. Taken with a fast shutter speed to try get the subject sharp, from a drifting boat. Shutter speed 1/1600sec at f8.0, iso 5000. Plus 1.67 exp comp. Whilst the 1DX drives the focus quite well with the 2x extender, having only the centre AF point is a bit restrictive, as I would have preferred to have my subject higher in the frame.
Image not cropped but resized from 5184 pixels to 2000 pixels long side. Some noise reduction on the background and foreground.
I like the perspective, Grant.

What are your thoughts on the 1Dx vs 5DIV for wildlife (apart from the AF restricted to centre point at f8) - I use the 100-400 Mkii and the 400DO with 1.4/2x extender. I believe you are using the 5DIV but not seen a review of it on your site. Thank you for any comments
 

AlanF

Canon 5DSR II
Aug 16, 2012
5,428
2,581
Mikehit said:
Grant Atkinson said:
Another image for this thread with the EF 400 DO f4 IS ii, with 2x extender in place and on a 1DX. Captured in raw, edited in Adobe Camera Raw and PS. This combination makes for a good lightweight way to get to 800mm of focal length. Taken with a fast shutter speed to try get the subject sharp, from a drifting boat. Shutter speed 1/1600sec at f8.0, iso 5000. Plus 1.67 exp comp. Whilst the 1DX drives the focus quite well with the 2x extender, having only the centre AF point is a bit restrictive, as I would have preferred to have my subject higher in the frame.
Image not cropped but resized from 5184 pixels to 2000 pixels long side. Some noise reduction on the background and foreground.

I like the perspective, Grant.

What are your thoughts on the 1Dx vs 5DIV for wildlife (apart from the AF restricted to centre point at f8) - I use the 100-400 Mkii and the 400DO with 1.4/2x extender. I believe you are using the 5DIV but not seen a review of it on your site. Thank you for any comments

Grant posted a link to the 5DIV vs 5DIII in CR. Go to http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=32447.msg661411#msg661411
 

Grant Atkinson

EOS 80D
Jan 6, 2014
177
2
Mikehit said:
Grant Atkinson said:
Another image for this thread with the EF 400 DO f4 IS ii, with 2x extender in place and on a 1DX. Captured in raw, edited in Adobe Camera Raw and PS. This combination makes for a good lightweight way to get to 800mm of focal length. Taken with a fast shutter speed to try get the subject sharp, from a drifting boat. Shutter speed 1/1600sec at f8.0, iso 5000. Plus 1.67 exp comp. Whilst the 1DX drives the focus quite well with the 2x extender, having only the centre AF point is a bit restrictive, as I would have preferred to have my subject higher in the frame.
Image not cropped but resized from 5184 pixels to 2000 pixels long side. Some noise reduction on the background and foreground.
I like the perspective, Grant.

What are your thoughts on the 1Dx vs 5DIV for wildlife (apart from the AF restricted to centre point at f8) - I use the 100-400 Mkii and the 400DO with 1.4/2x extender. I believe you are using the 5DIV but not seen a review of it on your site. Thank you for any comments
Hi Mike, I think the 5DMk4 holds a resolution advantage for cropping, clearly. It also holds a print size advantage. Downscaling a 30mpix image from the 5Dmk4 to 18mpix (like the 1DX) shows that the 5Dmk4 has perhaps better low light image quality by a little. Used on bare L-series lenses, I find the AF to be comparably good on both cameras with static or slow-moving or even moderate speed subject matter. The 1DX frame rate helps when subjects are going really fast. Once you put on an extender though, whether 1.4x or 2x, then I find that the 1DX holds a clear AF advantage in how quickly it locks on and stays on..over the 5Dmk4. This is especially noticeable for me with medium to fast moving subjects. Slow-moving or static subjects wit extenders, the 5Dmk4 does well and has the advantage of having more AF points to choose from.
I also believe that the bigger pixel pitch of the 1DX means I get a significantly higher keeper rate when I am shooting really fast action - at close range, or coming towards me, or flying/running really fast and I only notice this on the fastest subjects that I photograph.
I am lucky to own both. I have been using them on 70-200L f2.8 IS ii, 70-300L, 100-400 L IS ii, 400 f4 DO IS ii and 500L f4 IS ii

Hope something there of help?
Cheers
Grant
 

Grant Atkinson

EOS 80D
Jan 6, 2014
177
2
Jack Douglas said:
Very nice, Grant. While the 1DX2 has all 61 AF points available with that combo I'm finding unless the lighting is quite good I'm sticking to the central cross type only. Having moved to this lens combo from 300 X2 I appreciate the smaller neck/throat dimension which causes me less left hand fatigue hand-holding and of course 800 is a nice step up albeit at F8. The AF is infinitely more snappy than 600 X2 on the 6D.

Jack
Totally agree with you on the smaller barrel being more comfortable on the 400DO IS ii, I also find that helps..not only handholding but also when handling/carrying the lens..
Cheers
Grant
 

Grant Atkinson

EOS 80D
Jan 6, 2014
177
2
AlanF said:
Mikehit said:
Grant Atkinson said:
Another image for this thread with the EF 400 DO f4 IS ii, with 2x extender in place and on a 1DX. Captured in raw, edited in Adobe Camera Raw and PS. This combination makes for a good lightweight way to get to 800mm of focal length. Taken with a fast shutter speed to try get the subject sharp, from a drifting boat. Shutter speed 1/1600sec at f8.0, iso 5000. Plus 1.67 exp comp. Whilst the 1DX drives the focus quite well with the 2x extender, having only the centre AF point is a bit restrictive, as I would have preferred to have my subject higher in the frame.
Image not cropped but resized from 5184 pixels to 2000 pixels long side. Some noise reduction on the background and foreground.

I like the perspective, Grant.

What are your thoughts on the 1Dx vs 5DIV for wildlife (apart from the AF restricted to centre point at f8) - I use the 100-400 Mkii and the 400DO with 1.4/2x extender. I believe you are using the 5DIV but not seen a review of it on your site. Thank you for any comments

Grant posted a link to the 5DIV vs 5DIII in CR. Go to http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=32447.msg661411#msg661411
Thanks Alan
 

Mikehit

EOS 5D MK IV
Jul 28, 2015
3,209
395
Grant Atkinson said:
Hi Mike, I think the 5DMk4 holds a resolution advantage for cropping, clearly. It also holds a print size advantage. Downscaling a 30mpix image from the 5Dmk4 to 18mpix (like the 1DX) shows that the 5Dmk4 has perhaps better low light image quality by a little. Used on bare L-series lenses, I find the AF to be comparably good on both cameras with static or slow-moving or even moderate speed subject matter. The 1DX frame rate helps when subjects are going really fast. Once you put on an extender though, whether 1.4x or 2x, then I find that the 1DX holds a clear AF advantage in how quickly it locks on and stays on..over the 5Dmk4. This is especially noticeable for me with medium to fast moving subjects. Slow-moving or static subjects wit extenders, the 5Dmk4 does well and has the advantage of having more AF points to choose from.
I also believe that the bigger pixel pitch of the 1DX means I get a significantly higher keeper rate when I am shooting really fast action - at close range, or coming towards me, or flying/running really fast and I only notice this on the fastest subjects that I photograph.
I am lucky to own both. I have been using them on 70-200L f2.8 IS ii, 70-300L, 100-400 L IS ii, 400 f4 DO IS ii and 500L f4 IS ii

Hope something there of help?
Cheers
Grant
Thank you, Grant.
I am shooting mainly birds in flight so on that score I am weighing up my ability to keep a single point on the target (1Dx) vs the AF ability of the camera (5DIV). Your comments certainly help the rationale, but the decision is still based on my priorities which are yet to be confirmed. I am shooting more sports now so the 5DIV is edging up the queue, but I am having frustration with the 7D2 hunting with the 2x/400DOii that are starting to irritate. Having the 7D2 at the moment, any option (5DIV, 1Dx) will have advantages and I just need to work out which are more important.

Anyone know the winning numbers for next week's Lotto???
 

Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
6,088
1,022
Alberta, Canada
Mike for what it's worth I have never had reason to gripe about the snappiness of AF with the 1DX2 400 DO II X2 using all AF points - as fast as a brief little "click". The accuracy in poor light with far off center AF points can be another matter, pretty fast but not necessarily perfectly accurate.

Jack
 

AlanF

Canon 5DSR II
Aug 16, 2012
5,428
2,581
Mike, you might find that your 7DII + 400mm DO II + 1.4xTC is pretty close to FF + 400mm + 2xTC.
 

Grant Atkinson

EOS 80D
Jan 6, 2014
177
2
Mikehit said:
Grant Atkinson said:
Thank you, Grant.
I am shooting mainly birds in flight so on that score I am weighing up my ability to keep a single point on the target (1Dx) vs the AF ability of the camera (5DIV). Your comments certainly help the rationale, but the decision is still based on my priorities which are yet to be confirmed. I am shooting more sports now so the 5DIV is edging up the queue, but I am having frustration with the 7D2 hunting with the 2x/400DOii that are starting to irritate. Having the 7D2 at the moment, any option (5DIV, 1Dx) will have advantages and I just need to work out which are more important.

Anyone know the winning numbers for next week's Lotto???
Hi Mike, so I have tried to use my 400DO with 2x extender on two different trips for BIF, but my keeper rate was so low of properly sharp images that I chose to not do it any more, because I don't want to miss a shot that may be important to me. That was with the 1DX, even if I was able to keep the AF point on or close to the target. So I use the 2x for static or slow-moving subjects. I know there are highly skilled photographers like Arash H who are using the combination successfully so I might need to work on my own skills more. I use the EF 400 DO ii a lot of time with a 1.4x extender attached, and with that combination, my wife and my 1DX bodies deliver a higher keeper rate of birds in flight, than when I try the same with my 5Dmk4, or 7Dmk2. Whether it is down to pixel pitch or AF or both I am not certain. The keeper rate with the 1dx and 1.4x extender varies between about 20 percent right up to 80 percent, depending on the birds speed, the angle the bird is flying across, or toward the sensor, angle of sun, power of sun, and background structure, plus my own tracking skill or lack of it. Birds in flight also range in size from a kingfisher or hummingbird all the way up to vultures and pelicans, and they are not all equally hard or easy to shoot for me. Typically use Single AF Pt or else Af Expansion (One plus 4Pt) In comparison, when I use the 5d4 with this same combination, keeper rate falls way off for me to around zero to 30 percent. Static or slow-moving subjects the 5D4 does great. I have found the 7D2 to be more similar to the 5Dmk4 when using extenders but each user has their own scenarios, as well as what we find acceptable or not in terms of sharpness. So for now I stick to the 1DX (or 1DX mk2) whenever I am using extenders. We own an EF 500L f4 IS ii which is a better lens for birds that are far away or small in the frame than our EF 400 f4 DO IS ii with a 1.4x extender but the 500 is quite bulky and much harder to travel with. So I give up some of that superior performance with the bare EF 500 but benefit from an easier combination (EF 400 plus 1.4x) to manage and to travel with on airlines.
I was also hoping that I could leave the 1DX at home for some of my photographic trips because of its weight in my bag, airline restrictions, plus the heavy charger, batteries etc but anytime I know I will be using extenders I find it essential. If I leave off the extenders and am working with bare lenses then all three bodies, the 7d2, 5d4 and 1dx offer similarly good AF performance :)
Cheers
Grant
 

Grant Atkinson

EOS 80D
Jan 6, 2014
177
2
Jack Douglas said:
Mike for what it's worth I have never had reason to gripe about the snappiness of AF with the 1DX2 400 DO II X2 using all AF points - as fast as a brief little "click". The accuracy in poor light with far off center AF points can be another matter, pretty fast but not necessarily perfectly accurate.

Jack
Hi Jack, I have found pretty much the same as you, that in good light, for static subjects, all the focus points work quite accurately but that the best performing focus points are those that are at least one or two rows in from the very outer row of AF points. I expect that is normal because light falls off around the edges of the frame and AF points that are closer to the edge have less light to work with. Low light or fast-moving subjects can trip them up. That is the same on all my lenses not just the 400DO IS ii.
cheers
Grant
 

Grant Atkinson

EOS 80D
Jan 6, 2014
177
2
Another wildlife image with the EF 400DO f4 IS ii and 1.4x iii extender, on a Canon 5Dmk3. Shutter speed 1/1250sec at f8.0, iso 800. Handheld. Uncropped for illustration in this post but downsized from 22mpix (5760px long side) to 3000 px long side. Processed in ACR from raw. Posted for technical reasons to ilustrate a sharp action image with the lens and extender rather than aesthetic, as the rear side-lighting, and jumbled composition detract from the images impact somewhat.
 

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Mikehit

EOS 5D MK IV
Jul 28, 2015
3,209
395
AlanF said:
Mike, you might find that your 7DII + 400mm DO II + 1.4xTC is pretty close to FF + 400mm + 2xTC.
Hi Alan

In image quality, I agree that it can be hard to tell the difference a lot of the time but my main frustrations with the 7D2 are the time to clear the buffer after a burst and the way it can hunt even in what seems to be decent light. In lower light (where ISO >1600 is necessary) the difference becomes even more marked and the 5DIV/1Dx2 image qualities start to take over the resolution of the 7D2.
 

Mikehit

EOS 5D MK IV
Jul 28, 2015
3,209
395
Thanks again Grant.
I need to be serious about my skills and how they will develop - if I do not really improve my ability to follow a bird in the viewfinder, the operational advantages of the 1Dx2 are largely neutralised and the weight becomes a greater factor.
I have read Arash's reviews with great interest but I know that technically his demands are so far removed from mine I look on them as a technical feasibility report (if you see what I mean) but your shooting is more like mine - not only birds in flight but a wider variety of subjects in both size and speed. Which is why I value your comments on your experience/

So I just need to think more deeply and watch the price trackers!
 

Grant Atkinson

EOS 80D
Jan 6, 2014
177
2
Mikehit said:
Thanks again Grant.
I need to be serious about my skills and how they will develop - if I do not really improve my ability to follow a bird in the viewfinder, the operational advantages of the 1Dx2 are largely neutralised and the weight becomes a greater factor.
I have read Arash's reviews with great interest but I know that technically his demands are so far removed from mine I look on them as a technical feasibility report (if you see what I mean) but your shooting is more like mine - not only birds in flight but a wider variety of subjects in both size and speed. Which is why I value your comments on your experience/

So I just need to think more deeply and watch the price trackers!

Mike, a question arises from your response to Alan above - if you are filling the buffer often with the 7dmk2 then the 5Dmk4 is perhaps going to frustrate you. I am a bit surprized to hear that you are experiencing buffer problems with the 7dmk2, are you shooting RAW and jpg together?
Cheers
Grant
 

AlanF

Canon 5DSR II
Aug 16, 2012
5,428
2,581
Mikehit said:
AlanF said:
Mike, you might find that your 7DII + 400mm DO II + 1.4xTC is pretty close to FF + 400mm + 2xTC.
Hi Alan

In image quality, I agree that it can be hard to tell the difference a lot of the time but my main frustrations with the 7D2 are the time to clear the buffer after a burst and the way it can hunt even in what seems to be decent light. In lower light (where ISO >1600 is necessary) the difference becomes even more marked and the 5DIV/1Dx2 image qualities start to take over the resolution of the 7D2.
I must admit that I use the 5DSR in preference to the 7DII because of better AF, IQ and noise, but not fast bursts.
 

Grant Atkinson

EOS 80D
Jan 6, 2014
177
2
The bird is a bateleur eagle, (Terathopius caudatus), from the Mara region, Kenya and the lens is the EF 400DO f4 IS ii with a 1.4x ii Ext attached, camera body 1DX. Shutter speed 1/2500sec at f8.0, iso 800. Handheld. Image is cropped from 5184 pixels to 2337 pixels on the long side, to get rid of excess blue sky on all sides. Shot in Raw, processed in ACR and PS. The light was quite good for this particular flight and I ended up with about a 60 percent of keepers that where as sharp as this one from a 24 frame sequence.
 

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bholliman

EOS 6D MK II
Dec 6, 2012
1,473
0
USA
www.flickr.com
Grant Atkinson said:
The bird is a bateleur eagle, (Terathopius caudatus), from the Mara region, Kenya and the lens is the EF 400DO f4 IS ii with a 1.4x ii Ext attached, camera body 1DX. Shutter speed 1/2500sec at f8.0, iso 800. Handheld. Image is cropped from 5184 pixels to 2337 pixels on the long side, to get rid of excess blue sky on all sides. Shot in Raw, processed in ACR and PS. The light was quite good for this particular flight and I ended up with about a 60 percent of keepers that where as sharp as this one from a 24 frame sequence.
Excellent image Grant
 

Click

I post too Much on Here!!
Jul 29, 2012
12,314
852
Canada
Grant Atkinson said:
The bird is a bateleur eagle, (Terathopius caudatus), from the Mara region, Kenya and the lens is the EF 400DO f4 IS ii with a 1.4x ii Ext attached, camera body 1DX. Shutter speed 1/2500sec at f8.0, iso 800. Handheld. Image is cropped from 5184 pixels to 2337 pixels on the long side, to get rid of excess blue sky on all sides. Shot in Raw, processed in ACR and PS. The light was quite good for this particular flight and I ended up with about a 60 percent of keepers that where as sharp as this one from a 24 frame sequence.
Great shot, Grant. 8)