Should I drop the big bucks for this 400mm f/2.8?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by jbg232, May 21, 2009.

  1. jbg232 macrumors 65816

    jbg232

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    #1
    I know someone who is willing to sell me his canon 400mm f/2.8 for $2400. Obviously it is a good deal, I was initially holding out for a 500mm or 600mm prime for my birding but I almost can't refuse that kind of a deal. Anyone have any experience comparing these lenses?
     
  2. Edge100 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 14, 2002
    Location:
    Where am I???
    #2
    I say go for it. Get the 400/2.8, add a 1.4x extender for when you need it, and you have a 400 f/2.8 AND a 560 f/4 with awesome optics; perfect for birding.

    Oh, and buy a monopod! :)
     
  3. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #3
    if 400mm isn't long enough, or you don't already have a lens around 400mm, you're probably better off with a longer lens. if you don't have anything close though, it'll give you flexibility if, for some reason, 500mm+ is too long.

    in the end, buy the focal length you need. teleconverters don't replace "real" focal lengths.

    but if you shoot in low light regularly and need that kind of length...i guess throw out everything i said and get it, since it's the fastest and longest lens Canon makes.
     
  4. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #4
    I generally shoot with a Nikon 400/2.8. I find that the IQ with Nikon's matched 1.4x is about the same as the 600/4 giving up 40mm of reach. I also find that I'm able to shoot for longer when things are closer (and I'm not afraid to crop either) given the extra stop of light- as much as 40m at each end of the day. If the lens is in good condition optically, I'd probably go buy a Canon body at that price.

    You should know though that a 400/2.8 is *heavy* compared to a 500/4, and likely about the same as a 600/4. You'll need a sturdy tripod and gimball head to get the most out of it. But at that price, the money you've saved should get you the support you need.

    The Nikkor fits on a D2x into a LowePro Lenstrekker 600AW if I don't add the first lens hood, and can be deployed in under a minute onto the tripod, though I found I had to reinforce the tripod holding straps with extra webbing to not bop people walking beside me on the head.
     
  5. jbg232 thread starter macrumors 65816

    jbg232

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    #5
    The thing is that I have a 100-400L IS f/4-5.6 (used 99.99% of the time at 400 f/5.6) right now that I handhold. Giving that up would be a necessity for this lens I assume.
     
  6. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #6
    I'm a big guy, and I can hold my Nikon 400/2.8 for about a minute and a half at a time, and well, it's not something you want to do for IQ reasons.
     

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