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Author Topic: Canon 400/4.0 DO vs 400/2.8 IS (vs 500/4.0)  (Read 4739 times)
Gregory
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« on: July 20, 2006, 10:12:44 AM »
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has anyone tried both of the Canon 400/4.0 DO (1.9kg) and 400/2.8 (5.3kg!) lenses? was there much of difference in quality? what about the 500/4 (3.9kg)?

Michael talks about 'boke' in one of his articles. does anyone know how each of these lenses' bokeh compares? I've seen some terrible boke when using my 70-200/2.8 non-IS + 2x.

from an extender point of view, the 400/2.8 would be the way to go so that even with a 2x extender, a maximum aperture of 5.6 would be possible.

I do a lot of nature/bird photography and am looking at buying one of these lenses. I have to consider my choices carefully because they're not cheap, and I'll spend much of my time free holding the camera even when using one of these lenses (sometimes with a mono-pod).

additionally, I'm looking at upgrading from a 350D to a 5D which means I lose the 1.6x multiplier. having become accustomed to 200 + 2x + 1.6x = 640mm, I wouldn't want anything too short.

comments and experiences from any of you would be greatly appreciated.


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A few days ago Canon Germany posted a PDF file of their "Profile" newsletter. One of the sections featured the 400mm f/4 DO IS lens. But, at the bottom of the article was a mention that there were two more DO IS lenses coming a 500mm f/2.8 DO IS and a 200-400mm f/4 DO IS zoom.
4 years later and we still haven't seen these rumoured lenses. what a shame. the 200-400/4 DO IS would have been especially interesting.

(Dear Michael, there are more than a few missing (404) images in your very educational 400 DO article.)

sincerely,
Gregory
« Last Edit: July 20, 2006, 10:47:00 AM by Gregory » Logged

Gregory's Blog: An Aussie in HK
Equipment: Canon EOS 1D Mark III, 17-40L, 24-105L, 70-300 DO
denopa
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« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2006, 11:47:57 AM »
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Hi Gregory
we didn't get the 200-400, but we have the 70/300 DO... very light and small BUT doesn't work with extenders, and the zoom ring is very stiff depending on wether the lens is pointing up and down (at least on mine) - so not very good for birds I guess. The IS works great though.
Can't help with the others...
Patrick
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MarkKay
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« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2006, 01:37:16 PM »
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I have used the 400 DO, 300/2.8L with and without extenders, 500mm/4 IS, 600mm/4 IS  400/5.6, and 70-300 DO.  THe first 400 DO I had (early release) was horrible.  The one I have now is very good from the standpoint of sharpness.  The contrast is not in the same league as the 300 and 500mm L lenses.  I think the optics of the DO is equally good to the 400/5.6 (under-rated lens in my mind).  The DO is almost as good as the 300+TC in terms of sharpness. However, the bokeh with the DO is not always so smooth and depending on light can give some funny looking light patterns. SOme examples were recently reported on Fredmiranda.com in the canon forum. THe 400DO can be handheld for a reasonable period of time. The 300 is much harder to do so.  Forget trying to handhold the 500 or 400/2.8L IS. Everything is a tradeoff

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has anyone tried both of the Canon 400/4.0 DO (1.9kg) and 400/2.8 (5.3kg!) lenses? was there much of difference in quality? what about the 500/4 (3.9kg)?

Michael talks about 'boke' in one of his articles. does anyone know how each of these lenses' bokeh compares? I've seen some terrible boke when using my 70-200/2.8 non-IS + 2x.

from an extender point of view, the 400/2.8 would be the way to go so that even with a 2x extender, a maximum aperture of 5.6 would be possible.

I do a lot of nature/bird photography and am looking at buying one of these lenses. I have to consider my choices carefully because they're not cheap, and I'll spend much of my time free holding the camera even when using one of these lenses (sometimes with a mono-pod).

additionally, I'm looking at upgrading from a 350D to a 5D which means I lose the 1.6x multiplier. having become accustomed to 200 + 2x + 1.6x = 640mm, I wouldn't want anything too short.

comments and experiences from any of you would be greatly appreciated.
4 years later and we still haven't seen these rumoured lenses. what a shame. the 200-400/4 DO IS would have been especially interesting.

(Dear Michael, there are more than a few missing (404) images in your very educational 400 DO article.)

sincerely,
Gregory
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David Anderson
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« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2006, 06:46:10 PM »
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Hi Gregory,

The 400 2.8 IS is an awesome lens, very sharp, but way too heavy for handheld and even on the heavy side for a monopod.

I see the guys run up and down the field with them on monopods at rugby games, but I think they must be younger and fitter then me ...
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Fotophil
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« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2006, 11:34:46 PM »
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has anyone tried both of the Canon 400/4.0 DO (1.9kg) and 400/2.8 (5.3kg!) lenses? was there much of difference in quality? what about the 500/4 (3.9kg)?

Michael talks about 'boke' in one of his articles. does anyone know how each of these lenses' bokeh compares? I've seen some terrible boke when using my 70-200/2.8 non-IS + 2x.

from an extender point of view, the 400/2.8 would be the way to go so that even with a 2x extender, a maximum aperture of 5.6 would be possible.

I do a lot of nature/bird photography and am looking at buying one of these lenses. I have to consider my choices carefully because they're not cheap, and I'll spend much of my time free holding the camera even when using one of these lenses (sometimes with a mono-pod).

additionally, I'm looking at upgrading from a 350D to a 5D which means I lose the 1.6x multiplier. having become accustomed to 200 + 2x + 1.6x = 640mm, I wouldn't want anything too short.

comments and experiences from any of you would be greatly appreciated.
4 years later and we still haven't seen these rumoured lenses. what a shame. the 200-400/4 DO IS would have been especially interesting.

(Dear Michael, there are more than a few missing (404) images in your very educational 400 DO article.)

sincerely,
Gregory
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Fotophil
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« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2006, 11:35:45 PM »
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has anyone tried both of the Canon 400/4.0 DO (1.9kg) and 400/2.8 (5.3kg!) lenses? was there much of difference in quality? what about the 500/4 (3.9kg)?

Michael talks about 'boke' in one of his articles. does anyone know how each of these lenses' bokeh compares? I've seen some terrible boke when using my 70-200/2.8 non-IS + 2x.

from an extender point of view, the 400/2.8 would be the way to go so that even with a 2x extender, a maximum aperture of 5.6 would be possible.

I do a lot of nature/bird photography and am looking at buying one of these lenses. I have to consider my choices carefully because they're not cheap, and I'll spend much of my time free holding the camera even when using one of these lenses (sometimes with a mono-pod).

additionally, I'm looking at upgrading from a 350D to a 5D which means I lose the 1.6x multiplier. having become accustomed to 200 + 2x + 1.6x = 640mm, I wouldn't want anything too short.

comments and experiences from any of you would be greatly appreciated.
4 years later and we still haven't seen these rumoured lenses. what a shame. the 200-400/4 DO IS would have been especially interesting.

(Dear Michael, there are more than a few missing (404) images in your very educational 400 DO article.)

sincerely,
Gregory
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Fotophil
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« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2006, 11:51:44 PM »
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I have beeen using the 400mm DO for just over a year for bird flight photography. It's light and it's fast so it fits the bill for handheld bird shooting. Before purchasing, I tested a 300mm f2.8 IS with 1.4X against a 400mm DO. From a sharpness standpoint, it was a draw. However, without the 1.4X the 300mm f2.8 was sharper!!. There is less contrast with the 400mm DO but that can corrected in Photoshop. I find the 400mm DO much easier to handhold than the 300mm +1.4X. The 400mm is lighter and more important it is shorter so it's weight is better distributed. I can shoot all day without getting a sore arm.
There is no free lunch-  the downside of the 400mm DO is the weird shape of out-of-focus highlights - bright specular highlites can be very distracting - so can out-of focus branches. I have had to use Gaussian Blur on many backgrounds - a real pain!!! The lens is best when shooting birds against plain sky. In my experience the 400mm DO doesn't like extenders either.

So in my experience,  the 400mm DO is a very expensive, specialized lens. If you can live without the IS, the little 400mm f5.6 lens is a great alternative!!!
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Gregory
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« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2006, 08:44:52 AM »
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we didn't get the 200-400, but we have the 70/300 DO..[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=71283\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Patrick,

I purchased the 70-300 DO a few weeks ago and couldn't agree with you more. the zoom is very stiff, so much so that when I wanted to enlarge the framing of a bird I was shooting yesterday, I had to pull the camera back to slightly adjust the zoom before reframing the subject and taking the photo. I use gravity all the time to adjust the zoom. it's too hard to adjust without gravity's help.

the photos are pretty good, and the 70-300 DO is very light. I carry it on my 350D everywhere I go in case I come across something interesting (to me of course) to photograph. there have been several times in my life when I came across something truly remarkable and didn't have a camera to shoot it. ouch!

the IS is remarkable. I just have to continually remind myself that it only solves camera shake, not subject movement.


Potofill,

I don't do Photoshop; I've never owned it; so gaussian blur is not an option for me.
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In my experience the 400mm DO doesn't like extenders either.
that's a shame. being able to use the extenders is a priority for me. there are more than a few times when a 800+ mm lense would be very helpful.

regards,
Gregory


I'm wondering if something might get released/announced at the upcoming Photokino. is it in September? maybe we'll see the 200-400 DO.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2006, 08:49:30 AM by Gregory » Logged

Gregory's Blog: An Aussie in HK
Equipment: Canon EOS 1D Mark III, 17-40L, 24-105L, 70-300 DO
stever
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« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2006, 01:46:16 PM »
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the Kenko extender should fit the 70-300, but i don't think you'll find the results worth the effort

i've gotten a lot of use out of the 70-300 DO - size does make a difference - great travel and backup lens

not only is the zoom stiff, the ring isn't wide enough and is awkwardly located - real nuisance switching back and forth between it and the 17-85 which has become my other workhorse travel lens
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996sps
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« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2006, 12:12:57 AM »
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has anyone tried both of the Canon 400/4.0 DO (1.9kg) and 400/2.8 (5.3kg!) lenses? was there much of difference in quality? what about the 500/4 (3.9kg)?

Michael talks about 'boke' in one of his articles. does anyone know how each of these lenses' bokeh compares? I've seen some terrible boke when using my 70-200/2.8 non-IS + 2x.

from an extender point of view, the 400/2.8 would be the way to go so that even with a 2x extender, a maximum aperture of 5.6 would be possible.

I do a lot of nature/bird photography and am looking at buying one of these lenses. I have to consider my choices carefully because they're not cheap, and I'll spend much of my time free holding the camera even when using one of these lenses (sometimes with a mono-pod).

additionally, I'm looking at upgrading from a 350D to a 5D which means I lose the 1.6x multiplier. having become accustomed to 200 + 2x + 1.6x = 640mm, I wouldn't want anything too short.

comments and experiences from any of you would be greatly appreciated.
4 years later and we still haven't seen these rumoured lenses. what a shame. the 200-400/4 DO IS would have been especially interesting.

(Dear Michael, there are more than a few missing (404) images in your very educational 400 DO article.)

sincerely,
Gregory
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=71273\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Gregory,

I have a 350D and 5D and believe me do not ditch the 350D. For birding it is a very good camera, light (but do include the battery grip for better hold) I leave my 5D at home for this. The 350D also has very little mirror slap thus making slow shutter speed shots possible on a tripod.

Lenses - I use a 400mm f5.6L and really like this lens because it is light and can shoot handheld all day long. Again with the 1.4 extender the photos do not lose out too much but you will lose autofocus.

i also use a Tamron 200 - 500 mm zoom and have some very good results of BIF (birds in flight).

I am saving for a 500 f4.0L or the 600mm. Having said that have you seen the awesome results if Filipino birder Romy Ocon aka Liquidstone with the Sigmonster 300 - 800mm unit.
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