/////Keep 300F2.8 & 500F4 or upgrade to single Canon 400 F2.8 mark ii
Keep 300F2.8 & 500F4 or upgrade to single Canon 400 F2.8 mark ii2016-12-16T10:37:42+02:00

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Keep 300F2.8 & 500F4 or upgrade to single Canon 400 F2.8 mark ii

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  • Will G
    Participant
    Post count: 9

    I have read through the previous thread on 400 v 500 – but my dilemma is slightly different and I hope to get some good input to consider.

    I have been at war with myself over this choice for months now. I used to have 3 big lenses in the left seat on 3 bodies. 800, 500, and 300. I decided that not only was this overkill it was a pain in the backside to keep on top of (Plus no-one else could fit in the car)! So I put a plan in motion to consolidate.

    I now have the Canon 300F2.8 L IS and 500mm F4 L IS – great lenses and a great pairing. I love the wider almost medium format’esque look of the 300 F2.8 and the reach of the 500. I am hoping to incorporate both those features in a single 400mm F2.8 mark ii mounted on a new high pixel density full frame body – 5D4 or 5Dsr.

    I am torn, I am worried that the 500 + 1.4 at 700mm will provide a better bird combo than the 400 + 1.4 or 400 + 2x.

    While the 400mm may not always be wide enough for general wildlife. Against that, is the fact that my lenses are getting older and also don’t have the latest stabilisation and potentially might fail one day with poor spare parts availability.

    I generally shoot from my own vehicle so travel is not a worry really…. The image quality of the older lenses is still excellent.

    Would you guys trade in a 300 and 500 for the 400 F2.8 ii or keep them another year or two?

    I also have a 100-400 mkii used of BIF and travel / wide shots.

  • SimonDP
    Moderator
    Post count: 2144

    In that price bracket, i would sell both 300 and 500 and get a 200-400/ f4 with built-in 1.4x .

  • Will G
    Participant
    Post count: 9

    Thanks Simon – I’ve had mixed reviews of that lens from friends who have rented it and the loss of f2.8 would be hard for me to live with. It also seems a compromise on the long end compared to a 500 + 1.4 TC.

  • Peter Connan
    Participant
    Post count: 818

    I can’t think that there would be a very noticeable difference between the 400 f2.8 + TC1.7 and a 500 f4 + TC1.4.

    Thus the only real disadvantage I can see is that with the 500 you can get to 1000mm, but with the 400 you can only get to 800.
    On the other hand, having to change converters is probably slower than changing lenses.

    So I suspect the real question is when are Canon likely to bring out a mk3 series, and unfortunately I can’t help you there.

  • Jaco de Klerk
    Participant
    Post count: 729

    Interesting dilemma Will..
    I agree 500 x 1.4 will beat 400 x 2. But then, there’s no 500/2.8.

    I shoot birds so my 300 sees little action nowadays but I simply cant part with it. 2.8..

    IMO a 400 is good for sport, but could be long for wildlife (unless on a full frame body) and needs a converter for birds (for sure if on a ff body).

    But go for it, I’m sure you’ve on many occasions taken great shots with the ‘wrong lens’ because that’s what you had in your hands at the time.

    Good luck

    I kept the 300 + 800 🙂

  • Will G
    Participant
    Post count: 9

    @jaco de Klerk 296821 wrote:

    Interesting dilemma Will..
    I agree 500 x 1.4 will beat 400 x 2. But then, there’s no 500/2.8.

    I shoot birds so my 300 sees little action nowadays but I simply cant part with it. 2.8..

    IMO a 400 is good for sport, but could be long for wildlife (unless on a full frame body) and needs a converter for birds (for sure if on a ff body).

    But go for it, I’m sure you’ve on many occasions taken great shots with the ‘wrong lens’ because that’s what you had in your hands at the time.

    Good luck

    I kept the 300 + 800 🙂

    Thanks for the advice Jaco, appreciate it! I can’t part with 2.8 either 🙂 I have decided to go ahead and get the 400 F2.8 – with the TC’s it does pretty much everything at the cost of a little inconvenience.

  • Will G
    Participant
    Post count: 9

    Thanks for the reply Peter. I pulled the trigger on the 400 F2.8. Think it’s a good fit for me. Knowing my luck the mark 3 will be out soon after I get it!

  • Peter Connan
    Participant
    Post count: 818

    Well, I am sure you will enjoy it anyway, and assuming they don’t come up with something really radical, I am sure the mark 3 can’t be all that much better anyway.

  • Jaco de Klerk
    Participant
    Post count: 729

    Will, in a year’s time please give us an update.

    Enjoy!

  • DaveK
    Participant
    Post count: 332

    Will, no simple answer, you obviously like good quality lenses. I would second the 200-400 and wait for a 600/4 DO! (to deal with bird photography on ff). While waiting, keep the 300/2.8 just because you can and it is such a beast of a lens, such a pleasure to use.

    I have a 200-400 and still have not had the heart to sell my 300, because I absolutely love using that thing, especially without converters.

    The thing is that if you are shooting from a car, then the flexibility of a zoom with great IQ is unparalleled.

    Sorry : EDIT: note you have already done the deed. The 400/2.8 is a monster lens, IQ off the charts, hope it ticks all the boxes, enjoy it.

    D

  • Will G
    Participant
    Post count: 9

    @davek 296840 wrote:

    Will, no simple answer, you obviously like good quality lenses. I would second the 200-400 and wait for a 600/4 DO! (to deal with bird photography on ff). While waiting, keep the 300/2.8 just because you can and it is such a beast of a lens, such a pleasure to use.

    I have a 200-400 and still have not had the heart to sell my 300, because I absolutely love using that thing, especially without converters.

    The thing is that if you are shooting from a car, then the flexibility of a zoom with great IQ is unparalleled.

    Sorry : EDIT: note you have already done the deed. The 400/2.8 is a monster lens, IQ off the charts, hope it ticks all the boxes, enjoy it.

    D

    Hi Dave, thanks for the input appreciate it!

    Yes, I enjoy using a zoom and was sad to sell my Sigmonster (300-800 F5.6) which was just awesome but HUGE! It has also been great using the 300 and 500 primes side-by-side, basically like having each end of a zoom on the seat next to me. Totally agree with you on the 300 F2.8 – I took it for a spin the other day with a 1.4TC to get a feel for 400mm focal length and it reminded me just how incredible and easy to use it is.

    I don’t specialise in birds – 600, even the DO would be too long for me! Find myself drawn to wider scenes at the moment – I’m actually more worried about losing the 300mm FOV.

    I think the 400 with 1.4 will still allow me to shoot birds from hides and vehicle @560mm on a crop body when I want to but also allow me to photograph larger wildlife at 2.8 on a full frame. I rarely used the 500mm +1.4 combination, feeling that anything that required that focal length is likely to be too far away for decent IQ – barring tiny Cisticola’s etc…

    I’m planning to use a high res sensor (maybe the 5Dsr or 5D4 as I am also a very keen landscaper) on the 2.8 and use it to zoom by cropping where necessary. I will also have a 100-400 mk2 on the seat next to me on either a 5d3 or 7d2:)

    Looking forward to a more simple photographic life with one main tele!

  • Will G
    Participant
    Post count: 9

    @jaco de Klerk 296836 wrote:

    Will, in a year’s time please give us an update.

    Enjoy!

    Well, it’s been about a year and I had quite forgotten about this post but just saw it again so will give an update.

    In short, I made the right choice. I love the quality of the 400 F2.8 and I don’t miss the 500 F4 or the 300-800 (I do miss the 300 F2.8 a little for it’s FOV but have taken to panos to compensate).

    I shoot mainly a bare 400 F2.8 on either the 5D mark iii or if I want a little more resolution and tighter framing the 7D mark ii. I have both the teleconverters and they work very well with the lens. The IQ with the 1.4 is very good. The 2.0x is also excellent and I use them both without reservations. The AF is affected but it’s very usable for BIF even with the 2x (I don’t stack them).

    I have had a problem with the Af accuracy on the 400 F2.8. I have used FOCAL software to try to get to the bottom of it, but I don’t feel as comfortable with the accuracy as I do, for instance, with the 100-400 mark ii. I microfocus adjust most of my lenses.

    Of course, focus accuracy wide open at 2.8 is crucial. I am very conscious that it could be caused by the focus ring moving (it is exactly where one would wish to rest the lens or hold it) and also camera AF servo setup. I generally take a good number of shots now as a result. I hand hold all the time, even at 800mm and get plenty of good sharp shots. I would also note that with the 2x TC attached one cannot focus at infinity.

    All in all I am extremely happy with the 400 F2.8 ii. It has a wonderful look, is crystal sharp, the TC’s are brilliant. The weight, for me is perfectly manageable, and the length of the lens is short enough to put into a think tank glass taxi and fit in the overhead locker with a body. I think a 1D body or body with grip would be a nice addition, I am waiting for the 5DSr replacement to come out as I think a hi-res full frame will be a killer combo on this lens.

    This is a very very versatile and capable combination and I have exchanged the 300 f2.8, 500f4 & Sigma 300-800 for one lens that covers all of them and makes for a much more manageable package. I will not be changing for many years hopefully!

  • elsahoffmann
    Moderator
    Post count: 3716

    Great update – thanks 🙂

  • Luc Hosten
    Participant
    Post count: 975

    Nice to hear that there is a “lived happily ever after” to this dilemma. Luckily I am currently working with penguins and don’t have to worry about the longer lenses and I finally have a use for my ancient 50mm macro.

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