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400mm f/5.6 L lens


ventile 7 152 Wales
28 Apr 2009 12:32AM
Is this a good lense for wildlife and aircraft?

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strawman 10 22.0k 16 United Kingdom
28 Apr 2009 12:36AM
Yes. for birds in flight it is excellent, fast AF and sharp wide open. for airshows, most people I know favour the 100-400 for the zoom flexibility and also IS allowing them to hand hold lower shutter speeds for prop blurring. But I note you have 70-220 pus 1.4x TC, so you have probably covered all of that.
ventile 7 152 Wales
28 Apr 2009 12:45AM
Hello,i hear the 100-400 is the dust pump?thats why i fancy a good prime lense..yes i have a 70-200 + 1.4tc,cracking lense..
strawman 10 22.0k 16 United Kingdom
28 Apr 2009 1:53AM
Not found it to be a dust pump but my current camera dust removal looks to be very effective so I may be missing it.

the 400 prime is better @ 400mm Smile with your kit it may be the best next buy.
tomcat e2
9 6.0k 15 United Kingdom
28 Apr 2009 7:44AM
The Canon 400mm 5.6 is a cracking piece of kit for the price.Mind you it has increased over the last few months
It handles the 1.4x converter very well too.

The recent Jacdaw shot in my PF was taken with the converter and the latest batch of small birds without.
Only slight niggle is the 12 feet minimum focusing distance but that is something I have adapted to quite easily

Cheers

Adrian
ventile 7 152 Wales
28 Apr 2009 9:56AM
Hi Tomcat,i had a look at your photos,excellent and clear has a bell,love the jackdaw shot,don't see many photo's of them.
Need to have a good think now,mmmm
Cheers Dave
arhb e2
7 2.4k 68 United Kingdom
29 Apr 2009 6:18PM
I too can also recommend the 400mmF5.6L - bought mine last summer and use it most of the time, with a 70-200F4 for shorter range work.
Adrian(tomcat) mentioned about the 1.4 extender being compatible, well with your 40D, you will lose AF with it. The AF is only retained on the 1D series when using the 1.4tc with the 400mm F5.6L - probably worth knowing.
That said, I cant recommend it enough - good on a tripod for garden birds etc, and light as a walk around lens as it is so light, although you want to be using quite high s/speeds for h/held shots as there is no IS.
The other alternative would be the 300F4 IS, which I'm 'almost' certain can be used with a 1.4tc whilst retainng AF.
30 Apr 2009 2:54PM

Quote:
Adrian(tomcat) mentioned about the 1.4 extender being compatible, well with your 40D, you will lose AF with it. The AF is only retained on the 1D series when using the 1.4tc with the 400mm F5.6L - probably worth knowing.

The other alternative would be the 300F4 IS, which I'm 'almost' certain can be used with a 1.4tc whilst retainng AF.



The 300mm F4 IS does retain AF, although to me it proved to be too slow for my liking. I swapped mine for the 400mm F5.6 L and I haven't regretted it one bit. Much faster and accurate AF performance. I've used a 1.4X TC a few times and the quality of the lens can easily take it, providing you don't mind using manual focus.
It's superb for birds in flight, have a look at this one: link
This was of course without the 1.4XTC, but that bird was really moving fast!
samfurlong 8 2.5k United Kingdom
30 Apr 2009 3:00PM
All you need to do is tape over the two AF pins and you'll have centre point AF at any aperture - although it may not be overly good unless you have a 1D.

The 400 5.6 itself is great, really sharp and in good light / on a 1D series the AF is fine. I know a couple of guys who have them for when they don't want to lug the f4 or 2.8 versions around and the images look fantastic as you might expect for an L.

Edit.. the 100-400 is a bit ropey, by most peoples' standards they are very good but compared to a lot of the other L series lenses they are among the least sharp lenses of the range.
arhb e2
7 2.4k 68 United Kingdom
30 Apr 2009 3:15PM

Quote:The 300mm F4 IS does retain AF, although to me it proved to be too slow for my liking. I swapped mine for the 400mm F5.6 L and I haven't regretted it one bit. Much faster and accurate AF performance. I've used a 1.4X TC a few times and the quality of the lens can easily take it, providing you don't mind using manual focus.
It's superb for birds in flight, have a look at this one: link
This was of course without the 1.4XTC, but that bird was really moving fast!



That is good to hear, as I often wondered about whether I should have bought the 300F4 or not.
I'm personally after a s/h 300mm f2.8 now...

Edit: An excellent shot from Gigrin Fm by the way : )
samfurlong 8 2.5k United Kingdom
30 Apr 2009 3:32PM

Quote:I'm personally after a s/h 300mm f2.8 now...



PM me... A mate has a little used, mint condition 300 2.8 L IS for sale.
strawman 10 22.0k 16 United Kingdom
30 Apr 2009 3:41PM
I had a shot of a 400 f2.8 a month ago. shockingly fast AF even on my 40D, wonder how fast it is on a 1D.

The 400 f5.6 I tried is faster to Af and sharper than the 100-400 I bought. I thought the 300F4 was also sharper and faster on its own, but slower than the 100-400 when the 300 was on a 1.4x TC and no sharper. The AF worked ok 1.4x and 300F4 on my 40D, so should be ok on yours.

If I tried the 1.4x TC on the 100-400 if you tape the contacts it would AF, but you had to stop down two steps before the quality was better than just croping in photoshop, and that resulted in f10 from memory.

I found 100-400's varied a lot, so if you can try before you buy it helps. With the 100-400 I found it was mainly the contrast improved as you go from wide open to f8, but for the OP I think the 400 prime is best as he has the shorter focal lengths covered. I tried one copy that struggled to better my old sigma 170-500, so I guess it is buyer beware.

I view the 100-400 as the best cost compromise for me as I wanted about that range covered and wanted IS. I also use it a lot about 100 to 200mm with the IS, but I guess if you have good 70-200 that covers it, so the good optical quality of the 400 prime must be attractive.

Like everything its what can you get for your money, and how many lenses/cameras do you want to carry.
Coleslaw e2
9 13.4k 28 Wales
30 Apr 2009 3:51PM
So, is 400 F5.6 faster than 300 F4 + 1.4x then, John?
strawman 10 22.0k 16 United Kingdom
30 Apr 2009 4:08PM
I thought it was quicker to grab focus, yes, but I guess I should say I only tested it on a 40D and it may well depend on your camera body.
JJP 6 13 England
30 Apr 2009 4:35PM
I have a 100-400; its 'sweet spot' is f8/f11, so unless you really need f5.6 (where the 400 prime will probably be sharper) you may not see much advantage. Plus the 100-400 has IS which might be more effective in obtaining sharp images (though switch it off if you're locked on a tripod). I have not found mine to be a 'dust pump' but, if you'll excuse the expression, this might depend where, how often and how vigorously you pump it !!!

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