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Can I ask your opinion/advice, I have a Canon 5D3 and would dearly love a Canon 500mm f4 lens but my budget will not stretch any where near the cost.
I am therefore looking at a Canon 400mm F5.6 and here is my question.
I have been offered a Canon 1D mk 2 from the same shop who I trust, for £400 and with its 1.3 crop factor will give me my 500mm lens, at least an F5.6 instead of an F4
The canon extenders also auto focus on the 1D which will give me greater reach too.
Is the fact that the 1D is old technology going to be a problem bearing in mind it was Canons flagship when launched, I will still use the 5D3 as my main camera and use the 1D for bird and wildlife while on a tripod ( it seems too heavy to carry around for normal use )
This way I would effectively have my 500mm prime for around £1400 instead of £7000
Your views and advice will be greatly appreciated
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New firmware coming out for 5D3 supposingly should be able to let you use F8, so you should be able to use 400 5.6 with a 1.4x converter.
That's interesting, thanks Cole.
You kingfisher image with Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 DG OS APO HSM is very sharp. It is only 2 or 2 f stops difference. IMHO think 5diii can cope very well iso wise.
For birds and wildlife you generally need high shutter speeds and with UK light, that often means higher ISO's and your 5D MK3 is vastly superior to the Id MKII in that respect, using Digic 5, rather than the 1d's Digic II processor. The 1D MKII was the worlds best for wildlife and sport in it's day, but times have moved on and your 5D MKIII beats it in almost every way, with the possible exception of weather sealing, so stay with your 5D MK3.
You logic regarding the crop is slightly flawed. With the full frame of you 5D, crop it by .3, and you have the same image that you would have had using the 1D MKII, so your 400mm can still give you the apparent magnification of a 500mm, if you crop accordingly. That crop on the 5d will give you a quality shot with 17mp, as opposed to 8.2mp on the 1D MKII.
In age terms, the 400mm f5.6 may be a pensioner, but it still packs a clout. Sharp as a button and with good contrast, it is still a great lens. A bit slow at f5.6, but dial up an extra stop on the ISO and you are back to competing again. Some bemoan that it doesn't have IS, but at the shutter speeds your will be using (well above 1/400sec), you don't need it. I have the 300mm f2.8 and the 500mm f4 and the IS is always switched off. Using high shutter speeds against fast moving subjects, IS is of no benefit.
The choice of body is a no brainer ... stay with your 5D MKIII. The lens depends on just how much you are prepared to do without to get a 500mm. If you come down on the side of the 400mm, you still won't be disappointed.
The '400mm on 1DII is equivalent to 500mm' does not apply in your case for the reasons that Colin explains (except the cropped 5D3 will be equivalent to 13MP which is still superior to the 1D2) so save your £400.
Apparently, in April they will be releasing a frmware update that will enable the 5D3 to maintain AF up to f8.
In age terms, the 400mm f5.6 may be a pensioner, but it still packs a clout. Sharp as a button and with good contrast, it is still a great lens. A bit slow at f5.6, but dial up an extra stop on the ISO and you are back to competing again.
These old lenses are getting a new lease of life with modern camera technology. A 400 f5.6 might have been a problem a few years ago because it required slower shutter speeds and usually meant that the AF didn't work very well, but the improved sensor and AF technology have made these things irrelevant.
I've got a nearly 30 year old Minolta 100-400mm APO which is very sharp but was always a pain to use because its small aperture caused the AF to hunt and the exposure time to be too long. With the A77 the AF now works fine and it's got an extra stop or two to play with because of the better high ISO performance. It's also image stabilised because of the in-camera IS. And it's very small.
Do we really need these big aperture telephotos any more?
For wildlife the difference in background blur at f4 and f5.6 can be dramatic so they do have their advantages, but you can achieve that with Gaussian blur in post processing if you really need it. The old requirement for wide aperture to allow increased shutter speed is long gone.
That leves the ability to put a tc with an f4 super-zooms - and even then advances in sensor technology and processing probably means a cropped 5D3+400mm is pretty close to a 1D2+500mm+1.4tc
Quote: The old requirement for wide aperture to allow increased shutter speed is long gone.
Nothing could be further from the truth as any wildlife photographer will tell you. Keeping the shutter speeds up to freeze subject movement is a major concern and an ongoing battle.
Perhaps not, if you shoot in the midday Florida sunshine all the time, but here in the UK we're not blessed with such a luxury and that means shooting when the light is often less than ideal, not to mention shooting at either end of the day when a lot of wildlife is more active and the possibility for more capturing behavioural images is at it's greatest.
Also, there's a big difference between getting the subject size correct at the shooting stage, as opposed to cropping an image in an effort to increase the size of the subject. Getting closer, whether optically, or physically, will always produce far better image quality than having to routinely crop images.
Quote: Do we really need these big aperture telephotos any more?
So I don't need my 1,000mm f1.0 anymore? ....... damn!
Quote: So I don't need my 1,000mm f1.0 anymore?
I'll give you a fiver for it.
It's just been loaded onto a 16 wheeler for delivery to you.
Al joking aside, I did see a photo of a Canon 5,600mm once and it came fixed on it's own trailer. I recall it was for military use and on a FD mount.
If you want to see just what the 400mm F5.6 is capable of, take a look at the work of Tomcat.
The 5d mk3 is becoming popoular with wildlife togs, and as Cole mentions, once the new firmware becomes available, the 1.4 extender will bacome usable with AF.
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