Canon EF 400mm DO IS USM Mk1/Mk2 Owners thread

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HI Stu,

Got a bit more time now...in answer to your thoughts, I'd suspect a 500 Mk3 would still be substantially heavier than a 400 DO, although I'm sure it would be closer as the 600 mk3 is now lighter than the 500 mk2.......but at what price point?

As it is, the DO is substantially cheaper than either of the other two, and any mk3 will be priced higher than the current one I'm sure, so you'll have to have deep pockets to afford that one!!

I saw the prototype 600 DO a few years ago when it was at one of the exhibitions, and again that, if/when it comes out , will be a pretty expensive beast.

My main argument for the 400DO is it's weight, I can hand hold it even with a x1.4 extender, and so for capturing action shots it's very adaptable.

Having said that, I'm off to Patagonia and as weight really will be an issue there, I'm just taking my 100-400 with a 1.4 which again works very well with the 1Dx2.

Be interested in anyone else's thoughts, however, and I wonder if the 600 DO might have an R mount?

George.

Hello George hope the spell away was good:) Funny the shutter noise was the one thing I just didn't see coming,I'm in no way looking to change either camera or lens,but with the type of subjects I oft find myself making images of , shutter noise can have a massive effect on the images I have the potential to aquire because me beasties suddenly know i'm there . Like all things one learns to use it to advantage at times, but i'd adore not having any other noise than what I try not to make.

Fascinating the hear both yours and Bob's thoughts on what might happen with the canon super teles moving forwards,George. Thanks So much for the comeback As I say I'm not looking to change anything,although I am very curious though about how all this will move forwards. So many wildlife togs seem to be shifting to smaller systems,weight is a huge deal as we all get older,but it is anyway. Even with my day job forcing me to be incredibly fit I am really unsure if I could do what I do with bigger heavier glass :mauling a 500/4 lens out to a hare 200yds no cover on me gut might be physically beyond me. The miles I travel on foot after roe, might well also, become a chore with more weight. To my shame I don't really have a tripod ha ha yet... again it's how I shoot that makes having such a good lens to hand hold a joy. try getting a tripod over any form of stubble on one's tummy,it is doable but very tricky it's far more effective being without..if I do my bit naturally

You are right about cost,even though the DO is still a lot of money that slightly lower cost made it just about affordable to me,the 500 f4 ii was really out of reach. I know I'd have gone there but it would have been alot of damn hard work With canon having choice in this 400MM range ie the little 5.6 the 2.8 the cracking 100-400 mk ii I think the DOii will always be bit of a niche lens George,suited to a particular set of needs. It works really for me I suspect because what I do is maybe not so run of the mill . or maybe just more beastie orientated than birdz , it will also appeal to folks getting that bit older and is keeping a few I personally admire going. There is no denying how well it handles, I really thought we would have seen both 500f4 is iii and 600 DO by now but maybe canon are more focused on other things

cheers again have fun in Patagonia :) oh and show me a couple of piccies when ya come back.please:D

stu
 
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Well I use the mk1 version and pretty happy tbh. just used FoCal software to set up the micro auto focus adjustment according to them mines better then the average mk1 in terms of sharpness and consistency which by reports suggest there's a variation in them. but my mk3 2xtc is sharper then my 1.4mk2 so I think a mk3 1.4tc is in order. Both seen In the software and image IQ,(noticed from this weekend at Silverstone, although my 1.4tc was out a tad, but software still gives the sharpness win to the mk3 2x tc.
 
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Daz from what you have said I really think it's worth you trying a mark iii ext I mean literally try before you buy.Every thing I've seen says there is a slight loss in IQ between the 2X and 1.4 in the mark iii exts that is born out with my mark ii lens in my own efforts There seems little difference to me between the 1.4 and my bare lens. Presumably that should follow with the mark one lens aswell ?? Somewhere like LCE might be able to get one locally you could possibly take some tests and then come back and buy if it works better than what you have. Obviously new is always an option but if I was doing this again and there is a question mark of lens variation it would be nice to know the ext you buy works with your exact lens how you hope it to!!
 

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A small thought, folks, I tried the 200-400+1.4 a few years ago in Tanzania, a superb lens however it was as heavy as a 5/600 prime and I ended up using the 100-400 as it was more portable and so much more easily hand held, and I got shots with this that I would have missed with the 2-400.
Really, I'd rather have an image which might not subject itself to pixel peeping than missing the sharpest ever shot that I never got.
It's too easy to lose sight of our ultimate aim...getting the shot!!

George.
 

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An EF supertele is usable on an R with an adapter so it would be logical to cover both markets with one design and simply screw on (or order it with) the required lens mount.

Bob
Seems a sensible move Bob, and the idea of being able to order one or the other is a good 'un I think.....wish they'd given us that option with the cards on the Mk2 (ie 2x CFast and not the CFast and cf slots)
 
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Daz from what you have said I really think it's worth you trying a mark iii ext I mean literally try before you buy.Every thing I've seen says there is a slight loss in IQ between the 2X and 1.4 in the mark iii exts that is born out with my mark ii lens in my own efforts There seems little difference to me between the 1.4 and my bare lens. Presumably that should follow with the mark one lens aswell ?? Somewhere like LCE might be able to get one locally you could possibly take some tests and then come back and buy if it works better than what you have. Obviously new is always an option but if I was doing this again and there is a question mark of lens variation it would be nice to know the ext you buy works with your exact lens how you hope it to!!
Thanks
I think I need a replacement 1.4 tc as it’s not clear. Been referred to as lens fungus on the outer edge. Optical you see the mk3 2tc is better then my current 1.4tc. Things close up to around 16mtrs it’s quite sharpe tbh, but I was using it further out towards 20-30mtrs which was when it showed up it’s floors. Love them lens though. :)
 
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A small thought, folks, I tried the 200-400+1.4 a few years ago in Tanzania, a superb lens however it was as heavy as a 5/600 prime and I ended up using the 100-400 as it was more portable and so much more easily hand held, and I got shots with this that I would have missed with the 2-400.
Really, I'd rather have an image which might not subject itself to pixel peeping than missing the sharpest ever shot that I never got.
It's too easy to lose sight of our ultimate aim...getting the shot!!

George.
nail on the head George!! :D
 
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I'm with Stuart on the 1.4x iii as the loss of image quality or focus speed is very minimal, I use my 1.4x iii on the 400mm DO mk2 most days so I reckon its a no brainer to have one
 

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As I said earlier, it's a permanent fixture on one of my bodies with the 1.4

George
 
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I am new to the group and have read the entries on this forum with interest. I am currently considering replacing my Canon 500 f4 i with a 400 do ii to save weight. I have read several reviews and have no doubt of the quality of this lens with and without a 1.4x extender but am still unsure of its performance with the 2x. Many of the reviews seem to have been done in the USA in environments where there is good light. My question, therefore is, what are peoples' experience of using the 2x extender in the UK where the light is not so reliable?! I would be using it on a Canon 5div.
 

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Hi Stuart and welcome to the forum!

I think if you read through all the posts on this post you'll see that we're all pretty much agreed that there isn't any real loss of quality with a 1.4 converter as you say, but with the 2x it does suffer a bit....but is still perfectly useable.......that's the mk2 version with a mk 3 converter, I use the 1.4 on mine all the time so I have a 560 f5.6 which is a lot lighter than the 500 f4 mk1, easily hand holdable and I'd say every bit as good, if not better than a mk1 500.

I personally don't have experience of the 5D4, others may comment, but with the 1 Dx2 it's a very good combo. Where are you based? If there's anyone near you on this thread, I'm sure they'd be only too happy to let you try it out, that's the best thing to do however they aren't too plentiful!

George.
 
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Hi Stuart and welcome to the forum!

I think if you read through all the posts on this post you'll see that we're all pretty much agreed that there isn't any real loss of quality with a 1.4 converter as you say, but with the 2x it does suffer a bit....but is still perfectly useable.......that's the mk2 version with a mk 3 converter, I use the 1.4 on mine all the time so I have a 560 f5.6 which is a lot lighter than the 500 f4 mk1, easily hand holdable and I'd say every bit as good, if not better than a mk1 500.

I personally don't have experience of the 5D4, others may comment, but with the 1 Dx2 it's a very good combo. Where are you based? If there's anyone near you on this thread, I'm sure they'd be only too happy to let you try it out, that's the best thing to do however they aren't too plentiful!

George.
Thanks George, I look forward to others comments. I am in Nottinghamshire and was looking to rent a lens and extenders to try it out but at the best part of £500 for a week it was going to add significantly to the cost.
 

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Pity, that's a bit far from me!!....perhaps someone else can help!!

Yup the rental costs are a bit steep, and strangely when Canon have a road show, they seem not always to have the 400 DO.

Best of luck and let us know what you decide!

George.
 
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I have kingfisher prints taken with a mk1 400mm DO and mk3 2x tc. The results is more detail in the shot. Easy to compare as I have taken king fisher photos with the naked lens and a 1.4tc. I happily use both over cropping, just set the microfocus adjustments if you can as my lens is pretty neutral the 1.4tc back focus’s by 7 points and the 2x tc front focuses by 10.

The prints are for a gallery display.
 
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Stuart,I'm west mids,say near Evesham/Statford upon Avon area is that doable????............ can't have ya spending that extra 500notes can we:). The lens is my only lens so pretty cherished...OK beyond treasured.............. but maybe I can help? you'll almost certainly be able to make some birdy pics from my front door step. which will give you some pointers. Mate I've not used a 5div either,I am lucky enough to use a 1dxii. I've never used a 500f4 either, so I can't give you many relevent comparisons.Bar 1d iv and 1dxii usage

I'm not educated like George or Bob or many of the other lads and lasses here,so can only give a limited opinion. which isn't much backed by other than usage. I only know our light here.

I've possibly said this in this thread maybe elsewhere :I think for the 2x ext iii to really sing with the DO ii and 1DXii, ( by sing I mean to really work well), one does need a strength of light. But I don't know how to qualify that for you.................... If you are shooting in the middle or a grey but bright day here you should be ok,but if you shoot much that is crepuscular,that might limit the use of the 2Xiii. So much depends of the specifics of what you do Stuart. Probably the most difficult thing to appraise is what each of us means by acceptable IQ,we wildlife photographers can be very picky. :rolleyes:

Stu I don't use the 2x a lot,it is a fab backstop for where I can't use fieldcraft to get closer to my subjects. As George says the 2x combo is utterly usable,but I wouldn't want to use that or be needing to use that combo all the time,because it has limitations the bare lens or 1.4 don't have. I can't put that into technical phrases for ya mate ,I just know they are there. I guess what i'm trying to say is if you think you are reach limited with your 500 then things will get more complex with a 400,of the same Fstop

I spoke of me front doorstep so here's one of them images god knows:LOL: it might be here in this thread already

_S2I8821GSW 1sm by Stuart Philpott, on Flickr

and out in the field another with the 2Xiii

_S2I1156b hmmmm sm j by Stuart Philpott, on Flickr

You are probably looking at them tiny Stuart so can't really appraise IQ and naturally I own the faults not the tools! There just has to be a compromise somewhere I guess in IQ with an 800MM hand held combo, which is evident in both frames. But then I can all but throw this combo at a hunting sparrowhawk full tilt and somehow there was a picture afterwards. It's wise to stress just how well this lens handles and what that allows,like George noted above;)

That last bit is nuts 800mm that handles so well. There are limitations I suppose there has to be and possibly for me f8 in blighty with my time limitations and subjects is a bigger deal than the IQ .but fundamentally most of the time reach isn't as important to me as it might be to others .
Mate you don't seem to have used a 2X with the 500 why is that?

Martin , FromTarn uses a 5div :)

Erm,George:) is it possible I/ we could see an otter pic or two please,if not cool ,but I was always going to ask:LOL:


stu
 
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Stuart,I'm west mids,say near Evesham/Statford upon Avon area is that doable????............ can't have ya spending that extra 500notes can we:). The lens is my only lens so pretty cherished...OK beyond treasured.............. but maybe I can help? you'll almost certainly be able to make some birdy pics from my front door step. which will give you some pointers. Mate I've not used a 5div either,I am lucky enough to use a 1dxii. I've never used a 500f4 either, so I can't give you many relevent comparisons.Bar 1d iv and 1dxii usage

I'm not educated like George or Bob or many of the other lads and lasses here,so can only give a limited opinion. which isn't much backed by other than usage. I only know our light here.

I've possibly said this in this thread maybe elsewhere :I think for the 2x ext iii to really sing with the DO ii and 1DXii, ( by sing I mean to really work well), one does need a strength of light. But I don't know how to qualify that for you.................... If you are shooting in the middle or a grey but bright day here you should be ok,but if you shoot much that is crepuscular,that might limit the use of the 2Xiii. So much depends of the specifics of what you do Stuart. Probably the most difficult thing to appraise is what each of us means by acceptable IQ,we wildlife photographers can be very picky. :rolleyes:

Stu I don't use the 2x a lot,it is a fab backstop for where I can't use fieldcraft to get closer to my subjects. As George says the 2x combo is utterly usable,but I wouldn't want to use that or be needing to use that combo all the time,because it has limitations the bare lens or 1.4 don't have. I can't put that into technical phrases for ya mate ,I just know they are there. I guess what i'm trying to say is if you think you are reach limited with your 500 then things will get more complex with a 400,of the same Fstop

I spoke of me front doorstep so here's one of them images god knows:LOL: it might be here in this thread already

_S2I8821GSW 1sm by Stuart Philpott, on Flickr

and out in the field another with the 2Xiii

_S2I1156b hmmmm sm j by Stuart Philpott, on Flickr

You are probably looking at them tiny Stuart so can't really appraise IQ and naturally I own the faults not the tools! There just has to be a compromise somewhere I guess in IQ with an 800MM hand held combo, which is evident in both frames. But then I can all but throw this combo at a hunting sparrowhawk full tilt and somehow there was a picture afterwards. It's wise to stress just how well this lens handles and what that allows,like George noted above;)

That last bit is nuts 800mm that handles so well. There are limitations I suppose there has to be and possibly for me f8 in blighty with my time limitations and subjects is a bigger deal than the IQ .but fundamentally most of the time reach isn't as important to me as it might be to others .
Mate you don't seem to have used a 2X with the 500 why is that?

Martin , FromTarn uses a 5div :)

Erm,George:) is it possible I/ we could see an otter pic or two please,if not cool ,but I was always going to ask:LOL:


stu

Thanks for your input Stu, those shots appear very sharp. I do use the 2x occasionally on the 500 but only when the light is good, so would expect the same light limitations with the 400 do. At the end of the day it is dependant on what I am happy to accept in terms of IQ etc, as you said we can be very picky! Great to have your views.
 
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Well the mk1 with mk3 tc before front focus issues where calibrated.

Any good for you?

_G0I4607 by Darren Russell, on Flickr
_G0I4690 by Darren Russell, on Flickr

_G0I4623 by Darren Russell, on Flickr

I have conducted a test at that branch and the 2x tc produces that frame much better for prints. Id expect the mk2 version of the lens to be better.

These where hand held, and not as bright lit as they seem the light was a tad fading iso was upped.

Same place with 1.4tc on gimbal head for reference.
_G0I3287 by Darren Russell, on Flickr
 
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Nice shots Darren. That is helpful, are these cropped? If so what was the distance?
 
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Thanks, distance is around 16-20mtrs i think, so quite close.

The first 3 at 800mm are minimal crop but still on the plus side of 4700pix on the longest edge (the 1dx is around 5300) easy to print as large as what park camera canvases go to upto.

The last with the 1.4tc for reference is a big crop but down sized for web to 2000 pix.

It’s the cropping that leaves more detail for larger prints, but for web use as can be seen there not much different once resized.

All taken from a hide.

Check these out a little test I conducted. I’d expect the mk2 version of the lens is sharper.l, although according to FoCal calibration my mk1 is above there known average in terms of sharpness.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/russdaz1/albums/72157710033065747

Ps birds in flight the 1.4tc rules for focus lock hit rate. almost 100% hit for the 2xtc for cars and horses in motion for focus hit rate even in overcast light.
 

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Erm,George:) is it possible I/ we could see an otter pic or two please,if not cool ,but I was always going to ask:LOL:
Hi Stu,

Sorry just seen your post......yes I'll put something up soon but I'm up to my eyes at the moment editing stuff and I'm off next week, so give me a bit of time....

George.
 
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Hi Stu,

Sorry just seen your post......yes I'll put something up soon but I'm up to my eyes at the moment editing stuff and I'm off next week, so give me a bit of time....

George.
Fabulous thank you George, but please, no rush buddy.........I know mate very much the same here,I'm ponderously slow editing wise which doesn't help. Have a blast on your trip I hope you get plenty of photo ops :)

stu
 
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Thanks everyone that responded with your experiences with the 400 DO. Just thought I would pop in and say that this lens is definitely on my wanted list! For the time being I will stay with my 500 until I can no longer bear carrying it ( may yet invest in a trolley!) and also saved up enough to part ex it for a 400 DO ii ( and of course persuaded my wife of the health benefits!)
 
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Urban fox 3a (1 of 1).jpg I managed to capture this young vixen ( I think ) whilst out locally looking for a spot to put out one of my trail cameras, as I had permission to go walkabout on a local farm I thought the camera like in other locations would give me the heads up on the local wildlife. To get to the farm I usually gain access across a disused railway banking that is now I think part of the Pennine way, as I made my way round the corner of the embankment a shape caught my eye that looked a little different than the norm. I edged round a little to get a better view as it seemed distracted from what turned out to be a dog walker, soon after though he/she caught site of me and was off sharpish down the opposite banking, perhaps we'll see each other again me hopes (y)
 
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Lovely Martin all the luck for future encounters. Countryside foxes are so sharp difficult to get more than a brief encounter and a couple of images leastways the ones around here are

stu
 
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Lovely Martin all the luck for future encounters. Countryside foxes are so sharp difficult to get more than a brief encounter and a couple of images leastways the ones around here are

stu
Cheers Stu and luck involved on the day because I was in two minds about taking the camera, so I would have been mega gutted, so on that chance sighting I'm going to have a recce on my day off
 
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Martin one from me sunday eve shot off the knee posted elsewhere, 560mm 1.4 ext iii doii and dxii. 1/1600 f5.6 It really hit me how little time our roe are red Ha ha, they have it sussed none of this taring about breeding just head down grow fur get fat for winter:D Oh no crop processed in dpp no selective work(sharpeniing NR)) just shows the lens for what it is even with an ext bolted on and a high ish iso


_S2I7992 by Stuart Philpott, on Flickr


stu
 
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Turned out nice Stu (y)
Martin one from me sunday eve shot off the knee posted elsewhere, 560mm 1.4 ext iii doii and dxii. 1/1600 f5.6 It really hit me how little time our roe are red Ha ha, they have it sussed none of this taring about breeding just head down grow fur get fat for winter:D Oh no crop processed in dpp no selective work(sharpeniing NR)) just shows the lens for what it is even with an ext bolted on and a high ish iso


_S2I7992 by Stuart Philpott, on Flickr


stu
 
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lapwing TF (1 of 1).jpg Lapwing from Tophill Low. 7D2 Canon EF 400mm DO MK2 iso 400 F/5.6 1/1600.....harsh sunlight to the left so tried not to blow the whites but not keep too much shadow and a low pov helped
 
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Tricky image martin very nicely worked. Not often I get that close to a lapwing do love 'em shame about the tip of the "crest" I find the our subjects images hard to frame when this close well done kiddo
 
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Stu cheers and apologies about clipping its crest off but I was concentrating on getting its feet in the shot :)(y) I think maybe I have one without the trim :)
 
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TP lapwing-swallow  (1 of 2).jpg TP lapwing-swallow  (2 of 2).jpg Lapwing and young swallow taken on Mull last summer ISO 400 f/6.3 560mm 1/1250 and 1/1600 on a Canon 7Dmk2 and Canon ef 400mm DO mk2 and 1.4x iii extender
 
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hoopoe (TP) (1 of 1).jpg Hoopoe from my trip to Spain to look for the Iberian Lynx ( no luck ), I took this photo through the glass window of the minibus we were in so I think its turned out non too bad, Canon 7D2 with the mk2 400mm DO plus 1.4x iii extender attached. ISO 200 f/5.6 1/500 sec
 
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With the 2x tc fitted to a mk1 DO, after professional calibration, never had the distance before to the 800mm focal length. Was shot in j-peg not raw as I forgot to change it back. Quite happy with the calibration.

_G0I8322 by Darren Russell, on Flickr
 
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Not 'aving mine:LOL::LOL::LOL: It's a REALLY tough choice Russ !! But I think it will work well for you. The 300 is such an astounding bit of glass,but you'll enjoy the 400, bit lighter bit more reach the sacrifice is f 2.8. I'm not astute enough to go head to head on IQ, both seem amazing to me

All the luck with it mate :)

stu
 
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I know:LOL:. but yup hope so:)

Russ if there is anything I can do to help just shout I ain't got much to offer ,but hey if there is anything ;).

I've oft thought that as I get older the brick will clobber me first for weight ,I figure by that time Canon will have brought out a lighter body to compensate. I've watched with interest as other users of the DO have been using other marques of body but still keeping the DO (is it called a metabones adaptor) because the lens is so portable. Every time I have this lens in my hand separated from the 1DXiiI'm amazed by it's lightness it's sort of future proof in a way for me

. Wish you were closer so you could have a go if you haven't already . Have you used one yet? Russ on a personal level this was a really tough call I spent ages trying to work out whether a 300 mark ii IS or the DO ii might suit me better. The new 500 f4 would probably constrain me because of the physical nature of how and what I personally shoot. I think the DO wiill actually be almost better suited in some ways to you than me,just because your subjects tend to be smaller than mine, Being honest ive always had this nag about giving up the 2.8 when the light is low and I've got roe in front of me, but that's my only real nag coming from the earlier version of the 300..

So far so good............... it's a lovely bit of kit bro, ya know what they say is cool being green:D

ATB
 
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Hi Stu
- Good points in your response, matey - I too wish we were closer! :)
- The weather up here has been so very wet for a week now (most of my fave bird sites are still under water along R Don).
- I haven't yet had an opportunity to try a DO on my new 1DXii, but all the reviews here and in USA indicate not only weight and "reach" benefits, but also better balance over my 300f2.8 with x1.4 attached. This would be an overall big improvement in hand-holding for my BIF work.
- If only Canon had produced a 7Diii, I think my problems would have melted away!! Ah well......

All The Best

Russ
 
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