Page 3 of 7 FirstFirst 12345 ... LastLast
Results 21 to 30 of 61

Thread: Ultimate Supertelephoto for Travel

  1. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    1,153
    Quote Originally Posted by Kayaker72 View Post
    Also, you seem to rent, not buy. Just playing with the 600 f/4 II, A 10 day rental would be ~$675 and a 5 day would be ~$425 for an average of $550. Three of these per year is $1,650/yr. I like the idea that we are renting our lenses even when we buy them because they do hold value. Say I buy the 6000 f/4 II for $11,500 and get 60% when I sell it, so my "renting" costs $4,600. Then it is 2.8 years and I am passed the breakeven point and I've saved money buy owning it.
    For me, it's more a case of renting a super once every 1-2 years. Over the seven years we've been doing Alaska cruises, the IIs came out (so if I'd bought back then, I wouldn't have a II).

    Every so often, I just open up the LensRentals website and go through their lenses for rent, and open up a browser tab with every lens I might want to buy. I then go through a "tab sorting exercise" to decide what order I'd buy them in (you know, if I won the lottery but insisted on always using the same credit card just as fast as I could keep paying it back down to $0 so I could get lots of FF miles...), and too many supers are in the running for me: 300/2.8 (silly to not own something faster than f/4 if I'm going to buy a 600/4 someday), 600/4 (because our not-yet-created children are going to play soccer, dammit!), 400/2.8 (because once you have the 300/2.8 and 600/4, the 400/2.8 comes next and the 300/2.8 collects dust except for those times when 400mm is too much, right? - but the 400 is too much to buy before the 300 and 600), 400/4 DO II (because I'll deal with the few shortcomings if it means I have a lightweight super, and my wife will probably want this one), and then the 200-400/4/1.4x (because a 24-105 and 200-560 combo would kick ass). Considering that there's also a 200/2 on the list, a shit-ton of Zeiss (85/1.4, 100/2, and 135/2 specifically for my headshot photography, plus 35/1.4, 35/2, 50/1.4, 50/2Macro, and maybe a 15 or 21mm), some tilt-shift (the 90 and maybe the 135 specifically for my headshot photography), and of course the 85/1.4 IS, 24/1.4II, I can't bring myself to buy a 600 (but should I buy a 300/2.8 first???) and therefore delay so many other smaller-ticket items (and we haven't even cracked the wishlist of more Profoto lighting stuff...)

    In the grand scheme of things, I'm a believer that as much as I plan (dream) out my future lens purchases, the only thing that matters is what lens should I buy next. We're definitely off-topic here, but business aspirations aside, it's the 24/1.4II. We've already got the 14/2.8II, 35/1.4II, 50/1.2, 85/1.2II, 100/2.8L Macro IS, and 135/2. We frequently go to Jazz Alley in Seattle, which allows non-flash photography freely. When we sit close, 14 to 35 is too big of a gap, and the light is IMHO too low for a 5DsR to survive on a 24-70/2.8. From a business perspective (I hope to launch a side business doing headshots in a rented studio space as soon as 6 months from now), I want the 85/1.4 IS for the focus speed and optical quality I'm led to expect; I use the 100/2.8L Macro as primary, but want to have an 85 and 135 prime handy, with a 70-200/4 as versatile backup. After that, it's either a 200/2 to give me a long portrait option, or start going for the Zeiss Milvus 100/2, 135/2, and 85/1.4 to see what it does for my headshot work.
    We're a Canon/Profoto family: five cameras, sixteen lenses, fifteen Profoto lights, too many modifiers.

  2. #22
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    3,749
    I thought I'd share some impressions of the 400 DO II after using it last week in Florida, primarily comparing it to my Sigma 150-600S lens.

    AF Speed: 400 DO II: Great. 150-600S: Good.
    The AF speed is fast. I know large slow birds is not considered extreme, but that is mostly what I shot. It was noticeable both in how many more keepers I had with egrets and herons in flight but also that I would lock on in the first or second shots whereas with the 150-600S, I am used to it taking several frames before the AF really locked in. This is not so much of a big deal for static subjects, but huge for BIF.

    AF Accuracy/Precision
    : 400 DO II: maybe great?. 150-600S: Very good.
    I had trouble dialing in the AFMA on the 400 DO II, but I wonder if it was AF inaccuracy. While I use FoCal for my shorter lenses, with my 150-600S, I've always been able to head outside, pick a subject, and play with it for ~5 minutes and dial it in. It was not as simple as a process with the 400 DO, even if I played with aperture. It took me a long time to feel confident. This could be AFMA varying with distance? Or it could be a AF precision issue? I am really not sure. But towards the end of the trip, I set up a pseudo-control tests shooting the back of a package label, and still had some inconsistencies.

    IQ: 400 DO II: Great. 150-600S: Great.
    I was surprised by how even these were. The 400 DO II had great colors, captures light well, and gave me plenty of sharp images. It is a bit sharper than the 150-600S, but it is so I am not sure really matter.

    EDIT to remove bokeh reference....upon further review, there may be a difference, but shifting background light may be the main culprit.


    Portability: This is true transport. I travel enough, transport is important to me.
    • Size: 400 DO II is 9.5x5" and the 150-600S is 11.8 x 4.8 ". This gives a bit of extra room in my bag (see pics)....but not really much usable space.
    • Weight: 400 DO II is 5 lbs and the 150-600S is 7 lbs. In transport, does 2 lbs matter? A little. But my bag on this trip was 27.5 lbs. Is 25.5 lbs better? 7% better, so a little. In a smaller bag, of course, this would mean more.


    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Small-1674.jpg 
Views:	19 
Size:	163.9 KB 
ID:	2659

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Small-1676.jpg 
Views:	17 
Size:	168.5 KB 
ID:	2660


    Usability:
    • The 400 DO II was a joy. Well balanced on the 5DIV (w and w/o TCs). The weight really makes a difference, and having the center or weight closer to the camera, especially compared to the 150-600S when extended, was significant.
    • 150-600S. I didn't miss the zoom on this trip, but I know there have been trips where I thought I would need 600 mm, but ended up taking many of my shots at 200 or 300 mm. For uncontrolled circumstances, zooms are great.


    1.4x and 2x TCs

    • The lens takes extenders really well.
    • IQ. Very little to no perceptible loss in IQ with the 1.4x TC. The IQ with the 2x TC is still very good, but I would say some loss in contrast, which is typical. But I was really happy with a 800 f/8 lens.
    • AF speed. Barely noticeable loss in AF speed at 1.4xTC, and a slight loss, but still fast and very usable AF speed with a 2xTC.
    • Put in more practical terms, this is an amazing 560 mm f/5.6 lens and a very good (and hand holdable) 800 mm f/8 lens.


    Fun Factor (this is why we shoot, right?)

    • The 400 DO II is light and portable, it feels great mounted to the 5DIV. It AFs quickly, and gave sharp and constrasty images. It worked as a 400 f/4, 560 f/5.6, and 800 f/8 lens. All easily handholdable! This was a lot of fun.


    • I didn't hate going back to the 150-600S, which says a lot. It holds its own in many ways. But for BIF, hands-down the 400 DO II was superior.


    There are two more things I am looking at as I look at my shots:
    • bokeh.....there are some odd things going on in the 400 DO II shots. At this point, I clearly prefer the out of focus rendering of the 150-600S at the same apertures. I want to look at a few more side by side comparisons.
    • T-stop. We do not often talk about T-stops. But in my pseudo-controlled tests, I shot in M with the same aperture and shutter speed but let ISO float. I am noticing that, same shutter speed and aperture, the 400 DO II had significantly lower ISOs. More on that after a few more direct comparisons.


    The 500 f/4 II is coming this Friday...the evaluation continues!
    Last edited by Kayaker72; 02-15-2018 at 11:42 AM.

  3. #23
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    3,749
    Ok...a quick follow up....

    On Bokeh, there still may be a slight difference, but I can't conclude anything for sure as the background light was shifting.

    A quick example:
    Name:  Small-4567.jpg
Views: 87
Size:  192.3 KB


    Name:  Small-4581.jpg
Views: 85
Size:  136.2 KB


    Top image being with the 400 DO II @400 mm, 1/1000, f/8, ISO 640. Bottom image 150-600S, @401 mm, 1/1000, f/8, ISO 1000. So, this is a better example of what I think may be going on. While the OoF rendering seems smoother with the bokeh balls less intense with the Sigma. Also, the transition in the railings is smoother. But, the light in the background was changing. The shadow cast by the lens is more intense, color temp warmer (granted I was AWB). After looking at about a dozen examples, I still might prefer the 150-600S (at same apertures), but I think it is mostly changes in background lighting. A good reason for truly controlled conditions when testing.

    But, on the railings, a quick example: 400 DO II @ 400 mm, 1/1000, f/4, ISO 200

    Name:  Small-4560.jpg
Views: 86
Size:  161.4 KB



    While the 150-600S doesn't do f/4, at equivalent apertures this effect is diminished, but I want to say that the 150-600S is smoother at same apertures.

    But, as for T-Stops of these lenses, I went to DXOmark, and they didn't rate the 150-600S, so I can't do a comparison. But, I did swap these lenses out twice (so two sets of data). In both, the 150-600S was ~2/3 of a stop higher ISO compared to the 400 DO II at the same aperture. I think the lighting shift would be more random and it wouldn't be consistent as by the same margin and in both tests. If so, this, of course, compounds the f/stop problem. For example, at 560 mm, I shoot f/7.1-f/8 to get sharp images. The 400 DO II + 1.4TC is sharp at f/5.6. So, there is 2/3-1 stop difference in f/stop. If there is another 2/3 stop difference in T-stop (as I measured that at same f-stop), then the real difference is 1 1/3 to 1 2/3 stops in terms of light hitting the sensor.

    I'll run more controlled tests (indoor, constant light) with the 500 f/4 II over the weekend as maybe the background light was brighter for the 400 DO by 2/3 a stop for both sets of data.
    Last edited by Kayaker72; 02-15-2018 at 12:09 PM.

  4. #24
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    3,749
    Just so not all the pictures with the 400 DO II are boring.....

    5DIV 400 DO II, 400 mm, 1/1600, f/4, ISO 250
    Name:  Small-3501.jpg
Views: 86
Size:  190.0 KB


    5DIV 400 DO II, 400 mm, 1/1600, f/4, ISO 250
    Name:  Small-3706.jpg
Views: 86
Size:  171.1 KB


    5DIV 400 DO II, 400 mm, 1/1600, f/4, ISO 500 (highly cropped)
    Name:  Small-3772.jpg
Views: 87
Size:  154.8 KB


    400 DO II plus 1.4 TC @ 560 mm, 1/1250, f/5.6, ISO 2500
    Name:  Small-4174.jpg
Views: 85
Size:  155.9 KB



    400 DO II plus 1.4 TC @ 560 mm, 1/1250, f/5.6, ISO 250
    Name:  Small-4196.jpg
Views: 87
Size:  169.9 KB

  5. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Planet Earth
    Posts
    2,852
    What is the blue flare above the lens in the second picture?
    Bokeh is subjective, but a blue flare is a big negative.

  6. #26
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Planet Earth
    Posts
    2,852
    The 500mm IS I had really bad bokeh in certain situations. When shooting in or around grass (birds on the ground) the bokeh would have an awful appearance because of the lack of separation. I don not know what it is about blades of grass but it always seemed to have trouble. The new 500mm II in the same situation isn't as bad.

    I wonder if some of what you are seeing is because of the DO build. It is short, compact and light and the bokeh is one of the trade off's.

    In the second and third picture in your set the bokeh comes in to play. For my taste the Bokeh doesn't distract. It would have been nice if the back separation was a bit greater but it is a wild bird and you get what you get. To put it in to perspective though, for those two pictures if Bokeh wasn't the topic of discussion I wouldn't have even noticed the bokeh which is the really the idea.

    We may be getting in to bokeh peaking, which is probably a rare strain of pixel peeping only much worse.

  7. #27
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    3,749
    Quote Originally Posted by HDNitehawk View Post
    What is the blue flare above the lens in the second picture?
    Bokeh is subjective, but a blue flare is a big negative.
    That is a great question. I am not sure. Given my amazing attention to detail, I probably missed a super rare bird flying past.

    In scrolling through the previous images, I can see it start and move left to right. Just appeared atop the lens in the image I selected.

    Here is the previous shot...

    Name:  Small-4580.jpg
Views: 76
Size:  168.6 KB


    So, I wouldn't call it flare.

    BTW, these were with the 150-600S. Not the DO.

    I'll try to not bokeh peak too much, but the 400 DO II may suffer from the same issue you had with the 500 Mk I. Overall, as I scroll through images, I am very happy with the 400 DO II. I am sure I will post others. But if I am spending $7000-$10,000, I am going to put these lenses through their paces.

  8. #28
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    3,749
    Quote Originally Posted by HDNitehawk View Post
    We may be getting in to bokeh peaking, which is probably a rare strain of pixel peeping only much worse.


    So, of course, I had to go look. I posted some shots in the Birds thread, but that background was very distant. Here are some trickier examples:

    Name:  Small-2009.jpg
Views: 73
Size:  169.0 KB


    Name:  Small-2243.jpg
Views: 73
Size:  158.4 KB


    Name:  Small-2270.jpg
Views: 75
Size:  180.1 KB


    Name:  Small-4060.jpg
Views: 73
Size:  173.4 KB


    Name:  Small-4062.jpg
Views: 75
Size:  157.0 KB


    I'd be curious as to your thoughts, but looking at this, I would actually call it a good performer. I can look at a few spots and they might be a bit nervous, but nothing too bad. Overall, I am good with the rendering under even light (first three were on a cloudy day).

    But, looking at shots from a sunny day, those are some ugly bokeh balls. So, I am wondering if high contrast, higher light levels will be an issue? I'll have to go look to see how my 150-600S did in similar circumstances.

    Still very happy with the DO, but I like to know each len's strengths and weaknesses.

  9. #29
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Big Mouse Florida
    Posts
    1,001
    I had a blast with it. Likewise need to more critically at the photos.

    Somewhat had the "why isn't google earth realtime moment" coming to grips thay the 1dx couldnt full spead autofocus with 2x tc on it.... f8.

    We get accustomed to tech advancing beyond our expectations and then get surprised that physics stilk apply and it wasn't that long ago what we take for granted didn't even exist
    If you see me with a wrench, call 911

  10. #30
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Planet Earth
    Posts
    2,852
    This is a shot right after I bought then 500mm II.
    The grass isn't to bad.
    20150117-CQ2A2535 by hdnitehawk01, on Flickr

    With the old 500mm it would have been worse, kind of like the rail shot you posted.
    This is the closest one to showing what I am talking about that I had on flicker,
    Cardinal 1 by hdnitehawk01, on Flickr

    The tiny branches are close and are unpleasing to my eye. It is a separation issue, but the new 500mm handles it better.

    I will be curious about your perception of the 500mm.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •