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Author Topic: Canon 200-400 review  (Read 2047 times)
OldRoy
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« on: February 04, 2013, 09:49:12 AM »
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I don't shoot Canon and I'm impoverished anyway so it's of academic interest to me but I've always wondered why no-one previously offered still camera lenses with integral teleconverters. From the time I started out in the video business in 1979 ENG/EFP cameras, most of which were mounted with 10x-14x zooms (Canon, Angénieux and Fujinon being the most popular brands I can recall) always featured integral "range extenders". Not that most of these TV lenses were (or are currently) cheap but the new Canon's a truly hideous price.
Roy
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Fine_Art
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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2013, 11:49:51 AM »
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The built in tele is very smart. I hate digging in my pack for mine when I think I will need it.
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Nick Rains
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« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2013, 01:24:47 AM »
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I had the same lens as Joshua for a week and I can tell you that it's remarkable. It's one of the sharpest lenses I have ever shot with, although you'll have to take my word for it as Canon still have not given me permission to publish any of the shots I took with it.
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Nick Rains
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MarcG19
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« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2013, 09:29:51 PM »
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As a Nikon shooter, I thought this would be a "me too" lens copying Nikon's.  But it seems to be in a whole different class - bith in performance  Grin and in price.   Sad. I want one, but I don't think I can justify it.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2013, 11:08:34 PM »
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Yep, it seems like a nice lens, showing up 9+ years after the original Nikon 200-400.

No surprise it is better. Smiley

Cheers,
Bernard
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A few images online here!
DaveCurtis
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« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2013, 02:13:43 AM »
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I wouldn't mind swapping this for my 400mm f4 DO.  I am always adding and removing the x1.4.

The 200-400mm appears to be heavier than the 400mm f4 DO.

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Josh-H
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« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2013, 04:02:31 AM »
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I wouldn't mind swapping this for my 400mm f4 DO.  I am always adding and removing the x1.4.

The 200-400mm appears to be heavier than the 400mm f4 DO.



Dave, I cant discuss the exact weight for the obvious reasons - but I can tell you its very similar to the Nikon 200-400 +/-. I actually had a D800E and a Nikon 200-400 on hand for the three days I shot with the 200-400 Canon. Don't let this iPhone snap fool you though - the lenses are a lot closer in size than they appear here. Add the 1.4TC onto the Nikon and its actually a little longer. The Canon a little wider in girth.

Being able to flick in the converter in less than a second is a massive advantage when shooting wildlife and sports. Because you don't even have to lower the camera from your eye to engage the converter you can continue to track the subject in the frame.  For myself this is a game changing lens and I suspect there will be many other wildlife and sports shooters who feel the same way.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2013, 04:07:44 AM by Josh-H » Logged

hjulenissen
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« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2013, 04:39:03 AM »
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What is the principal difference between a 200-800mm zoom lense, and a 200-400mm zoom lense with a built-in 2x teleconverter? Is it only a matter of where you choose to move/insert optical elements?
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Petrus
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« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2013, 05:43:12 AM »
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What is the principal difference between a 200-800mm zoom lense, and a 200-400mm zoom lense with a built-in 2x teleconverter? Is it only a matter of where you choose to move/insert optical elements?

Good question.

This new Canon is actually a 200-560 f:4-5.6, in two stages. Would it actually have been easier to just make such a zoom, or is this solution better what comes to IQ? In a longer zoom the inner movements are longer and more difficult to keep tight tolerances, but with this built-in extender there are (probably) more lenses and also a sideways movement with the extender part.

I suspect that 200-400 f:4 with built in extender also sounds more professional than an aperture loosing 200-560 f: 4-5.6, even though the later would be more convenient in actual use. Professionals are a conservative lot. When they came up with the idea of a built in extender maybe nobody said out loud that it really is not a great idea compared to a continuous zoom, as it was designed form a clean slate anyway.
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hjulenissen
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« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2013, 07:11:11 AM »
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Good question.

This new Canon is actually a 200-560 f:4-5.6, in two stages. Would it actually have been easier to just make such a zoom, or is this solution better what comes to IQ? In a longer zoom the inner movements are longer and more difficult to keep tight tolerances, but with this built-in extender there are (probably) more lenses and also a sideways movement with the extender part.

I suspect that 200-400 f:4 with built in extender also sounds more professional than an aperture loosing 200-560 f: 4-5.6, even though the later would be more convenient in actual use. Professionals are a conservative lot. When they came up with the idea of a built in extender maybe nobody said out loud that it really is not a great idea compared to a continuous zoom, as it was designed form a clean slate anyway.
As a teleconverter essentially "pre-crops" the image before the image sensor (enlarging lense faults), what is the opinion on using e.g. a 7D on a 200-400mm vs using e.g. a 5Dmk3 with a 200-400mm with teleconverter?

I would assume that a key question is if it is the lense or the image sensor that is the main limiting factor. If sensor noise is the main issue, one would perhaps want to use the larger, better 5Dmk3 with teleconverter. If sensor sampling grid is the problem, one might want to use whatever sensor has the highest number of megapixels (likely a larger sensor one, but 7D vs 5Dmk3 is a small difference). If lense aberations (large aperture) or diffraction (small aperture) is the main issue, then one perhaps might as well use a crop sensor. A large, dense sensel camera (like the D800) might offer a sensible compromise between both.

If you have got the 200-400mm IS TC, then such questions might not matter. But if you have a 70-200     they might.

-h
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