Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM

AlanF

5DSR
Aug 16, 2012
4,981
1,723
JeroenVanheuverswyn said:
AlanF said:
JeroenVanheuverswyn said:
Grabbed this lens once again to get on a pelagic. Still doing a great job given it's age.
If you had the zoom you could have got the wings as well.
I was also carrying the 70-200, but was more satisfied with the shots where the wings are clipped compared to those with full wings. In this case it seems to add more drama to the picture.
I was joking - I thought you had cropped the wings for composition, but it appears that you did clip the wings!
 

NancyP

EOS 6D MK II
Dec 17, 2013
1,297
14
The amazing thing is that the 22 year old EF 400 f/5.6L holds its own with 7 elements/6 groups/2 special elements (ED)/1.25 kg versus the 1 year old EF 100-400 v.II L IS with 21 elements/16 groups/2 special elements (1 fluorite, 1 ED)/1.59 kg.
 

AlanF

5DSR
Aug 16, 2012
4,981
1,723
NancyP said:
The amazing thing is that the 22 year old EF 400 f/5.6L holds its own with 7 elements/6 groups/2 special elements (ED)/1.25 kg versus the 1 year old EF 100-400 v.II L IS with 21 elements/16 groups/2 special elements (1 fluorite, 1 ED)/1.59 kg.
It's even more amazing that a 100-400mm zoom at its weakest focal length of 400mm is as sharp as a good 400mm prime, at 300mm as sharp as the 300/4, and then from 100-200 is as sharp as one of the finest zoom lenses made, the 70-200mm.
 

TheJock

Location: Dubai
Oct 10, 2013
555
0
Dubai
So many things have happened over this year that I have still not splurged on a big white, and now it’s Christmas time so it’ll be even longer now.
However; in the coming months while I’m saving for that 600L II I’m secretly hoping Canon bring out some sort of sub $2,000 long range L series prime lens to satisfy my needs, and if not I’ll either own a 600 II (and be poor) or a 400 f5.6 to accompany my 1.4xIII ;D
 

Don Haines

Beware of cats with laser eyes!
Jun 4, 2012
7,889
1,242
Canada
Stewart K said:
So many things have happened over this year that I have still not splurged on a big white, and now it’s Christmas time so it’ll be even longer now.
However; in the coming months while I’m saving for that 600L II I’m secretly hoping Canon bring out some sort of sub $2,000 long range L series prime lens to satisfy my needs, and if not I’ll either own a 600 II (and be poor) or a 400 f5.6 to accompany my 1.4xIII ;D
If they come out with a series II 400F5.6 I will be among the first to pre-order!
 

Gilbo65

EOS M50
May 14, 2013
33
0
There are times I think of selling my EF400 - just on the basis of age and lack of technology in the form of IS. I have IS on most of my lens, and i think it has a real advantage and sometimes a "placebo effect" too..

Had a day out in a nature reserve yesterday, and was mobile. The 400mm f/5.6 was the lens in use, and i'm always shocked at the results in terms of clarity.

Was framing a static shot in a dark pool, when a kingfisher came in. 1/400 isn't ideal for a hand-held shot of such a subject, but got a high percentage of keepers.

Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) through the gap. by gilbo65, on Flickr
 

nc0b

5DsR
Dec 3, 2013
243
0
72
Colorado
In respect to using the 1.4X TC III, I am quite happy with it on a 100-400mm II and a 5DsR. On the other hand, there is noticeable chromatic aberration with the TC and the 400mm f/5.6 and the 5DsR. If I am shooting BIF I don't add the TC with the prime and always set the focus limit to 8.5 meters. For general usage, wild life in particular, the extra reach of the zoom and TC is a reasonable trade off.
 

mb66energy

EOS 6D MK II
Dec 18, 2011
1,194
141
Germany
www.MichaelBockhorst.de
NancyP said:
The amazing thing is that the 22 year old EF 400 f/5.6L holds its own with 7 elements/6 groups/2 special elements (ED)/1.25 kg versus the 1 year old EF 100-400 v.II L IS with 21 elements/16 groups/2 special elements (1 fluorite, 1 ED)/1.59 kg.
The 7 elements/6 groups are one reason why this lens performs very well in the IQ land: very high "reproduction fidelity" without "tricks" resulting in great texture reproduction. Think about a 5.6/400 with IS (e.g. only two additional elements for that) with updated coatings and perhaps glass mixtures ...
 

Don Haines

Beware of cats with laser eyes!
Jun 4, 2012
7,889
1,242
Canada
mb66energy said:
NancyP said:
The amazing thing is that the 22 year old EF 400 f/5.6L holds its own with 7 elements/6 groups/2 special elements (ED)/1.25 kg versus the 1 year old EF 100-400 v.II L IS with 21 elements/16 groups/2 special elements (1 fluorite, 1 ED)/1.59 kg.
The 7 elements/6 groups are one reason why this lens performs very well in the IQ land: very high "reproduction fidelity" without "tricks" resulting in great texture reproduction. Think about a 5.6/400 with IS (e.g. only two additional elements for that) with updated coatings and perhaps glass mixtures ...
When designing a zoom lens, compromises have to be made with the design in order to cover the zoom range. The wider the range, the more compromises.... That's why most high quality zoom lenses have a 3X zoom ratio or less, make it bigger and you make it unacceptably softer.

With a prime lens, they design for one focal length and that allows them to build a sharper lens. It also means that there is no zoom mechanism, and that means simpler and more accurate alignment. With a long lens, that also means that the light is not bent as sharply, and that also makes the design easier.

The result is, that given the same level of materials, design, and machining, that a prime lens will always be optically superior to a zoom lens. The 100-400 is a great lens, but it does not approach the insane levels of sharpness of the version 2 "big white" primes, and that's the level one would expect an updated 400F5.6 to achieve.
 
Jul 9, 2016
1
0
This is a super sharp lens! Used it for just one wildlife trip and came back with more memorable pics that I did in the past 10. Much sharper than the 100-400 V1 and a bit sharper than the V2 too. Not able to post pics here at this moment ( maybe because I'm a newbie)
 

AdamBotond

EOS T7i
Mar 31, 2016
68
1
Well said, truly wonderful lens. If you are on a tight budget, or just need a lightweight super telephoto, this is the best lens in my opinion. This is my wildlife telephoto to go to. While it not too fast at 5.6, it has a fairly nice bokeh, it is dead sharp wide open from corner to corner with minimal CA. Stoppping down makes it even sharper, though you don't have to do so to gain more sharpness as it is tack sharp wide open already. Its advantage due to weight isnt't really appreciated until you take a faster, bigger alternative (400 2.8, 500 4, etc) to the field for longer period.

Sure, it lacks IS, but I can live with that. Serious wildlife photographers use tripods and faster shutter speeds to stop motion anyway, so lacking IS is not deal breaker most of the time, not for me at least. On the other hand, I don't really see Canon upgrading this lens as they offer so many alternatives (at much higher price).

Here's a roe deer at 5.6 with a 100% crop, plus some other deer pics. Can't get much sharper than that. Highly recommended.
 

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Don Haines

Beware of cats with laser eyes!
Jun 4, 2012
7,889
1,242
Canada
Badri said:
This is a super sharp lens! Used it for just one wildlife trip and came back with more memorable pics that I did in the past 10. Much sharper than the 100-400 V1 and a bit sharper than the V2 too. Not able to post pics here at this moment ( maybe because I'm a newbie)
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