Sponsor Message:
Aviation Photography Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
400 F/5.6 On 1.6x Crop Camera  
User currently offlineHarryImp From UK - England, joined Jun 2011, 55 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4937 times:

Hi all,
I currently have a 20D 1.6x crop factor camera. I have been saving up for a while thinking of getting a 400 f/5.6. The IQ and I am not worried about IS. I mainly want it for airshows and Military bases. I know it will be good at Air Shows but is the 640mm reach just too much at bases? Does anyone have any experience of a 400 prime on a crop sensor? (or a 600mm prime on a full frame)

Harry

33 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinewaketurbulence From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 1293 posts, RR: 17
Reply 1, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4918 times:

Over the years I have found you can never have too much focal length. All of these were shot with a 1.6 crop body + 500mm f/4 (and some with a 1.4x teleconverter). Some shots were standing fairly close and others were from quite a distance away. Military jets are small. If you are too close you can stand back, take the picture with the aircraft farther out, or learn to crop creatively.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Matthew Wallman - Jetwash Images
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Matthew Wallman - Jetwash Images


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Matthew Wallman - Jetwash Images
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Matthew Wallman - Jetwash Images


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Matthew Wallman - Jetwash Images
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Matthew Wallman - Jetwash Images



I have some friends that love the cost benefit of the 400 5.6. If you are budget limited and don't need very good low light capability, it is a great way to go.
-Matt



Jetwash Images - Feel the Heat!!!
User currently offlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 9396 posts, RR: 27
Reply 2, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 4910 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting HarryImp (Thread starter):
I know it will be good at Air Shows but is the 640mm reach just too much at bases?

It's pretty simple to figure this out if you've already shot at the locations at which you will be shooting. If you shot your current images at 200mm, and the aircraft fills up half of the frame, then at 400mm it'll fill up the whole thing. If you shoot at 300mm currently and the aircraft fills up half the frame, at 400mm it'll fill up 2/3 of the frame. It's just the ratio of the focal lengths.

You might see a perceived drop in quality, just due to the fact that there will be more atmospheric phenomena visible, like heat haze.

Also, make sure you have steady hands - remember you'll be shooting at 400mm without IS!

I haven't shot with the 400, but I've shot with the 300 F4L plus the 1.4 teleconverter, so 420mm at F5.6 min (672mm if you take the crop into account). It was good for front-half-of-aircraft shots from Imperial Hill, about 2000 feet away from the aircraft I was shooting. It was difficult for me, because I hadn't shot at 400+mm before, and having no IS made it even more fun (difficult).



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlineSNATH From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3238 posts, RR: 23
Reply 3, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 4788 times:

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 2):
but I've shot with the 300 F4L plus the 1.4 teleconverter

+1 to consider this combo as an alternative to the 400mm 5.6. The combo will give you a bit more flexibility (300mm or 420mm) in addition to IS and an extra stop at 300mm, which can be handy in low-light conditions:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Tony Printezis



Also, keep in mind that Canon recently released version III of their extenders. So, you might be able to pick up version II of the 1.4x extender for a reasonable price.

Tony



Nikon: we don't want more pixels, we want better pixels.
User currently offlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 9396 posts, RR: 27
Reply 4, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 4770 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting SNATH (Reply 3):
+1 to consider this combo as an alternative to the 400mm 5.6. The combo will give you a bit more flexibility (300mm or 420mm) in addition to IS and an extra stop at 300mm, which can be handy in low-light conditions:

Tony - note that I was talking about the non-IS version of the 300 F4L, since that's the one I rented.  

I did, however, end up ordering the 300 F4L IS. Should be arriving today or tomorrow.



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlineSNATH From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3238 posts, RR: 23
Reply 5, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 4758 times:

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 4):
Tony - note that I was talking about the non-IS version of the 300 F4L, since that's the one I rented.

I did, however, end up ordering the 300 F4L IS. Should be arriving today or tomorrow.

Enjoy.   I have to say that I'm totally addicted and dependent on IS for any long-ish lens. In this case, the IS is a nice addition and helpful to have!

Tony



Nikon: we don't want more pixels, we want better pixels.
User currently offlineHarryImp From UK - England, joined Jun 2011, 55 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 4699 times:

But I have heard with the TC the image quality is nowhere near that of the 400?

Would I be better with a 100-400, would this have similar quality to the 300+1.4x?

I must say I do still quite like the idea of a 400 prime though!

Harry


User currently offlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 9396 posts, RR: 27
Reply 7, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 4696 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

These was taken with the 300 F4 (non-IS) plus the 1.4:

http://www.vksphoto.com/photos/i-4JfHBZq/1/O/i-4JfHBZq-O.jpg

http://www.vksphoto.com/photos/i-4s33Dnb/1/O/i-4s33Dnb-O.jpg



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 8, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 4689 times:

They are pretty sharp Vik. What ISO? 1.4x II or III?

My 100-400 is starting to suffer IS issues, although at the moment it's not affecting the effectiveness of the IS. Nor is it affecting image quality, but I believe these issues can develop.

Shame as I have a superb copy, but should the worst happen I'd be very tempted to off-load it and go down the prime lens route - i.e. purchase the 300 or 400. It'd be interesting to see how the 300 + 1.4x compares to the 400.


User currently offlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 9396 posts, RR: 27
Reply 9, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 4686 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 8):
They are pretty sharp Vik. What ISO? 1.4x II or III?

I have the 1.4x III.

The UA is 1/500, F5.6, ISO200.

The EVA is 1/640, F5.6, ISO250.

They're a bit grainy due to underexposure - I was MUCH more concerned about tracking something at 420mm with no IS than I was about nailing exposure.  

Couldn't tell you why I was shooting at F5.6 - probably because I was concerned about shutter speed (again, tracking something at 420mm with no IS).



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 10, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 4680 times:

I did wonder about the noise but a grainy, sharp image is much better than a silky-smooth, blurry one. I often do that - underexpose deliberately to preserve a faster shutter. Grain can be sorted; blur cannot.

I'm guessing results from a 1.4x II might not be quite so good. I do like the flexibility of a 300 prime with a 1.4x though.

Karl


User currently offlineDL747 From United States of America, joined Nov 2012, 437 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 4673 times:

Karl, I think he shot those two with the TC on. You're right, those are really sharp.

Reference:

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 10):
tracking something at 420mm with no IS).

300x1.4=420.

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 10):
I did wonder about the noise but a grainy, sharp image is much better than a silky-smooth, blurry one. I often do that - underexpose deliberately to preserve a faster shutter. Grain can be sorted; blur cannot.

Completely agreed. Sometimes, I also shoot wide-open to preserve shutter speed, although not very often. But hey, the weather usually sucks in Seattle, so it happens occasionally!



Just like the shirt says, Boeing Builds It Better!
User currently offlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 9396 posts, RR: 27
Reply 12, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 4665 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 8):
My 100-400 is starting to suffer IS issues, although at the moment it's not affecting the effectiveness of the IS. Nor is it affecting image quality, but I believe these issues can develop.

What sort of issues, out of curiosity?

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 10):
I did wonder about the noise but a grainy, sharp image is much better than a silky-smooth, blurry one. I often do that - underexpose deliberately to preserve a faster shutter. Grain can be sorted; blur cannot.

Absolutely. My view on this has done a 180 as my photographic, and especially editing, skills have developed.

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 10):
I'm guessing results from a 1.4x II might not be quite so good.

I don't think I've ever tried the 1.4x II, though from everything I've read, people have good experiences with it.

Quoting DL747 (Reply 11):
Karl, I think he shot those two with the TC on. You're right, those are really sharp.

He knows, he was just asking whether it was the 1.4x Mark II or Mark III.

Quoting DL747 (Reply 11):
Completely agreed. Sometimes, I also shoot wide-open to preserve shutter speed, although not very often.

I actually shoot wide-open all the time in low light. My 70-200 F4L non-IS performs beautifully at F4. Images are still tack-sharp.



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlineHarryImp From UK - England, joined Jun 2011, 55 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 4663 times:

OK so what would people reccomend

300 f/4 IS with 1.4X II
400 f.5,6
100-400.

The IS isnt a major factor for me. The only worry with the 400 is the fact it may be TOO much reach!


User currently offlineDL747 From United States of America, joined Nov 2012, 437 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 4661 times:

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 12):

I actually shoot wide-open all the time in low light. My 70-200 F4L non-IS performs beautifully at F4. Images are still tack-sharp.

Good to hear, Vik. Hopefully the nikon counterpart is as good. I am thinking of ordering one with VR. Out of curiosity, what body do you have?



Just like the shirt says, Boeing Builds It Better!
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 15, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 4658 times:

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 12):
My 70-200 F4L non-IS performs beautifully at F4. Images are still tack-sharp



It's a good lens even wide-open but I often find myself requiring more DOF than f/4 offers. As you'd expect parts of the frame are slightly softer at f/5.6 and below but I am a terrible pixel-peep.........

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 12):
What sort of issues, out of curiosity?



It started only a couple of weeks ago. Even when the IS is turned off the image in the viewfinder 'jumps' whenever the shutter release is pressed half-way to focus. After this initial 'jump' everything behaves normally. Another thing that happened which was possibly related was 'palpitations' of the focus motor - almost as if it were stuck and trying to focus over and over. This would happen randomly but only while the camera was idle in my hands.

Karl


User currently offlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 9396 posts, RR: 27
Reply 16, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 4646 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting DL747 (Reply 14):
Good to hear, Vik. Hopefully the nikon counterpart is as good. I am thinking of ordering one with VR. Out of curiosity, what body do you have?

Canon 50D.

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 15):
As you'd expect parts of the frame are slightly softer at f/5.6 and below but I am a terrible pixel-peep.........

I'm pretty bad about pixel-peeping too. Even on the full-size photos, I've gotten incredible pixel-to-pixel sharpness across the frame at F4. I'll have to post a photo taken with my old 1000D and the 70-200 at F4. That camera/lens combo was just out-of-this-world sharp.

Quoting HarryImp (Reply 13):
The IS isnt a major factor for me. The only worry with the 400 is the fact it may be TOO much reach!

In that case, I'd recommend the 300 + 1.4.

Pros:
Two focal lengths.
IS (if you get the 300 IS)
At 420mm, you get the same max aperture as the 400 prime; you get a larger max aperture at 300mm

Cons:
A bit more expensive for the combo, though with the 300 non-IS, it's probably pretty comparable
Results may vary with the 300 + 1.4. I'd suggest renting them and testing if you can.
Two pieces of equipment to care for.

Note that I haven't tried the 100-400, but I decided to get the 300 F4 IS instead. I'm reluctant to get the 100-400 for whatever reason.



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 9396 posts, RR: 27
Reply 17, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 4609 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 15):
It's a good lens even wide-open but I often find myself requiring more DOF than f/4 offers. As you'd expect parts of the frame are slightly softer at f/5.6 and below but I am a terrible pixel-peep........

Uploaded a couple full-size shots at wide apertures. Rebel XS / 1000D + 70-200 F4L:

F5.6 / ISO400:
http://www.vksphoto.com/photos/i-hTRz2dF/0/O/i-hTRz2dF-O.jpg

F4 / ISO400 (I've had sharper at F4, but I couldn't find them in my brief search last night):
http://www.vksphoto.com/photos/i-C5mnN7v/0/X2/i-C5mnN7v-X2.jpg



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 18, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 4603 times:

Vik,

Safe to say that the consistency of sharpness at the wider apertures isn't quite that of the narrower values. I've had some extremely sharp f/4.5 and f/5 shots (on a par with those at f/8) but the quality can fluctuate between pin-sharp and mediocre. I guess it also depends on how far you are away from your subject and at what focal length you are, due to DOF. In fact I'd say the softness issue at wide apertures is 50% attributed to insufficient DOF - which is why I'd typically rather bump up the sensitivity than drop a stop.

Karl


User currently offlineCFD208 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 6 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (1 year 3 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 4479 times:

HarryLMB,

I currently use the 400 f/5.6L with a 1.6 crop sensor. I shoot with a 40D.

If you are looking for a 400mm, you really have 2 options, the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM and the Canon EF 400mm f/5.6 L USM. Before I bought mine, I compared the two, and found that the quality on the 400mm was significantly better. But that shouldn't be much of a surprise since most of the time, a prime will have better quality that a zoom lens zoomed to the equivalent.

Speaking on the IS:
I don't have significant issues without the IS, and that's because I shoot with this on a monopod or tripod. Being a long lens, its almost a requirement. There have been a few times where I've shot handheld, but that was on a bright day with the sun behind me. I was then able to use a fast shutter. So most of the time I shoot supported, but under the right conditions it is hand holdable.

Airshows:
Its great. 400mm my mind is a perfect range. No complaints.

I also shoot it with the 1.6x converter. It brings it down a stop, so you'll have to compensate with ISO, or shutter for example, and there is a slight reduction in quality, but that isn't a problem with the lens, but a factor of the teleconverter.

Hope this helps.


User currently offlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 9396 posts, RR: 27
Reply 20, posted (1 year 3 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 4432 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

FYI to the OP, I received my 300 F4L IS, and I'm quite happy. Quality is excellent; still good with the 1.4x.

Quoting CFD208 (Reply 19):
If you are looking for a 400mm, you really have 2 options, the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM and the Canon EF 400mm f/5.6 L USM.

As has been stated, the 300 + 1.4 is another (quite valid in my opinion) option.

Quoting CFD208 (Reply 19):
I shoot with this on a monopod or tripod. Being a long lens, its almost a requirement.

Not with IS. Or even without, long as you keep the shutter speed up. Those shots of mine in reply 7 were handheld at 420mm without IS.

Quoting CFD208 (Reply 19):
I also shoot it with the 1.6x converter.

1.4x?

Also, with the 400 F5.6 and the 1.4x, max aperture is F8, and only certain cameras can autofocus at F8. I'm not sure which cameras those are, aside from the 1D/1Ds line.

Also also, sorry Karl, that second shot in my last post was supposed to be the full-size version. Here it is if you're interested:

http://www.vksphoto.com/photos/i-C5mnN7v/0/O/i-C5mnN7v-O.jpg



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlineHarryImp From UK - England, joined Jun 2011, 55 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (1 year 3 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 4397 times:

Definately swaying to the 400. the 100-400 has been ruled out. Still unsure about how much i need IS.

How much difference does just a cheap monopod make may i ask?


Harry


User currently offlineDehowie From Australia, joined Feb 2004, 1056 posts, RR: 34
Reply 22, posted (1 year 3 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 4257 times:

Not sure why you would "rule out" the most successful aviation lens that has ever seen the light of day and is used by more photographers all over the world than any other.
But hey what would they know???
400 prime vs zoom.
400 prime will give a good image with the TC..again due to speed issues only in good light..a 100-400 may have to be stopped down but you can only shoot good light anyway so its a non issue.
400 prime is lighter if weight is a problem.However if you cant carry a 100-400 dont ever plan on using pro gear down the track it only gets heavier as the desire for sharper images and faster lenses increases.
Same speed lens so in poor light you lose immediately due to no IS.
A non ultra sharp image is better than a blurry one.
Inability at an airshow to do close taxiing aircraft without a lens swap letting is dust etc and probably missing the shot.
Use of IS in windy and poor light conditions will save your shots far more often than inhibiting a sharp one.
Use of IS for panning slow shutter speed work.
The reason there is several hundred thousand 100-400 shots here and at other places is its sharp,light,has IS,great colors and gives great results for its price.
I dont know one Canon aviation shooter who doesnt have a 100-400 in his bag..conversely i dont know one Canon shooter with a 400/5.6.
Still if your scared of the 100-400 for reasons i cant fathom get a 70-200/2.8II and a 2x it gives you amazing flexibility and great quality with the TC's.



2EOS1DX,EF14.2.8LII,17TS,85/1.2,16-35L,24-70LII,24L,70-200F2.8LII,100-400,300/400/500/800L
User currently offlineHarryImp From UK - England, joined Jun 2011, 55 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (1 year 3 months 21 hours ago) and read 4239 times:

Thanks for the reply.
Yes the 100-400 is a great lens, however it loses a lot of sharpness above 350.
I have 2 bodies so the swapping of bodies would not be neccesary for nearby shots, as I have a very good IQ 70-300 IS USM.
I know th 100-400 is very popular and obviously flexible but I think the fast AF and great IQ of the 400 f/5.6 beats that.
I havenot 100#% decided so you are welcome to challenge my view, as the advice is muchly appreicated

Thanks
Harry


User currently offlineSamuel32 From Switzerland, joined Jun 2005, 141 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (1 year 3 months 16 hours ago) and read 4210 times:

I have the 100-400L and the 400 F/5.6 on both 1.3 and 1.6 crop. For Sunny airshows the 400 F/5.6 is the lens you want. I never go below ISO 200 with that lens because it needs atleast 1/640 for sharp shots. (I have shaky hands). Its sharper than the 100-400L.

If you also shoot airliners get the 100-400L. I am using it more and more these days. It's just more versatile.

Sam,


25 Dehowie : Gday Harry If you think the 70-300 has good IQ then you will have no issues with the IQ on the 100-400 at any focal length. The reason for the apparen
26 viv : Crop factor does not increase reach. It just reduces the size of the frame.
27 vikkyvik : That would be exactly true if the pixels were the same size on a full-frame and crop body, so that you had less pixels on the crop body. But if you h
28 Dehowie : By altering the viewing angle it is effectively increasing reach. Yes the lens doesnt get any longer but it provides on a crop sensor a smaller viewin
29 viv : The narrower viewing angle is a function of the smaller frame and does not increase magnification, aka reach. More pixels give more resolution, not mo
30 Post contains links Dehowie : Actually disagree many people are. Many birders shoot with a crop sensor for that exact reason. 1.6 crops are very popular with nature photographers r
31 vikkyvik : Isn't that basically what Darren and I said? Except that smaller sensors will generally increase noise, and decrease pixel-to-pixel resolution. So a
32 mikek1357 : I'm having the same dilemma. A 400mm F5.6 or a 300mm F4 IS with 1.4 tc. No zoom for me as 90 percent of my shots are taken with my old 70-300 at 300mm
33 Silver1SWA : Many do, which Darren has explained above. Yes. In terms of field of view and how the subject fills the frame, you effectively increase reach on the
Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
Rain Cover/hood For 400/500mm Lens And Camera? posted Sun Oct 11 2009 23:46:06 by Cpd
Help Deciding On First Dslr Camera posted Wed May 13 2009 11:10:07 by SAA380
Opinions On This Crop? posted Sun Sep 30 2007 12:21:24 by Tom1509
Can I Get Some Opinions On This Crop? posted Wed Sep 27 2006 16:57:24 by AIRBUSRIDER
Advice On Bag For Camera & Notebook? posted Tue Sep 12 2006 14:48:54 by Jkw777
Advice On A New Dslr Camera posted Fri Jun 23 2006 15:14:54 by Speedbird128
Need Expert Advice On 5MP Digital Camera posted Wed Nov 2 2005 17:39:57 by YV136C
Advise On A Good SLR Camera posted Mon May 30 2005 09:03:16 by B787
Tips On Fixing A Broken Camera posted Fri Dec 31 2004 06:20:52 by Jfkaua
Need Help On Selecting Digital Camera! posted Sun Aug 4 2002 12:29:15 by Rydawg82