The Great Canon Supertele Test - From 800 to 1600mm

Started Oct 8, 2008 | Discussions
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Juza_EA Senior Member • Posts: 1,286
The Great Canon Supertele Test - From 800 to 1600mm

It does not happen everyday to have six of the very best Canon superteles in hands: thanks to Sandro "Ceksalo", in a cold afternoon of October 2008 I have had the opportunity to compare side-by-side my 600 f/4 IS and 300 2.8 IS with new Canon 800 f/5.6 IS, with the shorter and brighter 400 f/2.8 IS, with the interesting 400 f/4 DO and with the legendary 200 f/1.8 L (that Canon has recently replaced with the 200 f/2 IS).

The results of the test are showed here!

http://www.juzaphoto.com/eng/articles/canon_supertele_test-800-1200-1600.htm

All the images are 100% crops from RAW files converted with the neutral settings (no contrast, no saturation, no sharpening); the photos had been taken with the 21 megapixel Canon 1DsIII, mounted on tripod. I have used only Canon teleconverters (1.4x II and 2x II). I have used mirror lock up and 10 seconds self timer and I manually focussed using live view.

By the way, next week I'm going to publish the second part of the test, with the crops at 200, 280, 300, 420, 560 and 600mm

As always, every comment and question is welcome

-- hide signature --

Juza
Nature photographer
http://www.juzaphoto.com

Dave Peters Senior Member • Posts: 1,520
Re: The Great Canon Supertele Test - From 800 to 1600mm

Nice test and one not many people would get the chance to do. Thanks for posting.

Seems my decision to get the 800mm was a good one - but I was happy with my results anyway. The other thing with the 800 is that is has 4-stop IS and is light enough to hand hold for short periods.

Looks like the 1.4x has very little effect on quality and in fact it is even less after you apply the normal sharpening. With the 2x you need to stop down a bit and even after sharpening you never get back full quality.

The 400 2.8 does seem to take the 2x very well and is probably the only lens I would bother using a 2x on.

I assume these are center crops ? Would be interesting to see the edges or corners if you get the time.

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Dave Peters

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liquidstone
liquidstone Veteran Member • Posts: 9,963
Re: The Great Canon Supertele Test - From 800 to 1600mm

Thanks for the excellent comparison, Juza!

Looks like the classic rule still prevails - one still gets what one pays for.

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Romy

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HaroldC3 Senior Member • Posts: 1,828
Re: The Great Canon Supertele Test - From 800 to 1600mm

It looks like the TCs really do affect IQ, especially on telephoto lenses.

Thanks for the comparison.

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mmullen Veteran Member • Posts: 4,279
Re: The Great Canon Supertele Test - From 800 to 1600mm

Juza, thank-you and very well done!

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Mike Mullen

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upnorthfar Regular Member • Posts: 492
Re: Thanks very much

Looks like 600/4 with 1.4x hangs there pretty well but after that the 800mm is alone in a class of it's own.
Thanks for taking the time.

discopolana Senior Member • Posts: 1,421
Re: The Great Canon Supertele Test - From 800 to 1600mm

Juza_EA wrote:

As always, every comment and question is welcome

I wish you tested 200/2 IS and VR as well.

Anyway, thanks, it's clear to me that the hidden winner (as always) is 300L IS

Best,
d

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thw Veteran Member • Posts: 8,089
Thanks for sharing the info. Only a priveileged few

have the resources to carry out this test.

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Daniel L Contributing Member • Posts: 910
thk for the test, great work

can't wait for part ii !

Juza_EA wrote:

It does not happen everyday to have six of the very best Canon
superteles in hands: thanks to Sandro "Ceksalo", in a cold afternoon
of October 2008 I have had the opportunity to compare side-by-side my
600 f/4 IS and 300 2.8 IS with new Canon 800 f/5.6 IS, with the
shorter and brighter 400 f/2.8 IS, with the interesting 400 f/4 DO
and with the legendary 200 f/1.8 L (that Canon has recently replaced
with the 200 f/2 IS).

The results of the test are showed here!

http://www.juzaphoto.com/eng/articles/canon_supertele_test-800-1200-1600.htm

All the images are 100% crops from RAW files converted with the
neutral settings (no contrast, no saturation, no sharpening); the
photos had been taken with the 21 megapixel Canon 1DsIII, mounted on
tripod. I have used only Canon teleconverters (1.4x II and 2x II). I
have used mirror lock up and 10 seconds self timer and I manually
focussed using live view.

By the way, next week I'm going to publish the second part of the
test, with the crops at 200, 280, 300, 420, 560 and 600mm

As always, every comment and question is welcome

-- hide signature --

Juza
Nature photographer
http://www.juzaphoto.com

-- hide signature --
Oldvic Regular Member • Posts: 417
Thank you very much, looking forward to the follow-up (nt)
  1. %$& > : as you can see, no need for a coherent message.

Juza_EA OP Senior Member • Posts: 1,286
Re: The Great Canon Supertele Test - From 800 to 1600mm

I agree - the 4 stop IS is impressive! I have compared it with the 2 stop IS of my 600 and there is a clear difference.

Yes, these are center crops. Now I'm working on the other (200-600mm) tests, in future I may add corner crops.

-- hide signature --

Juza
Nature photographer
http://www.juzaphoto.com

Juza_EA OP Senior Member • Posts: 1,286
200 IS

I hope to try it someday and if I have the occasion I'll repeat the test and add the results of the 200 IS.

-- hide signature --

Juza
Nature photographer
http://www.juzaphoto.com

DavidSvensson Senior Member • Posts: 1,374
Thanks for posting the great work!

A few questions, if I may:

Did you use one or two tripods (with one supporting the lens and the other supporting the camera)?

What was the subject distance?

My conclusion is that the Canon TCs must be excellent as there is so little degradation of the 800/5.6 image with the use of a TC.

David

Tom Buerk Regular Member • Posts: 431
Wow!!!! One of a kind test!!!

Very cool, and nice work. While I can only aspire to ever own any of those lenses, the results are extremely interesting.

Can you comment on which combination is the most cost effective, ie. best bang for the buck?

Thanks,

Tom
--

40d, 10-22, 24-105L, 70-200 2.8 L IS, 100-400, Sigma 30 1.4, 85 1.8, Sigma 150 2.8 macro, EFS 17-85, 1.4x II, 580EX, 430EX, STE-2, Canon G6, and a bunch of other stuff.

Nikon D300 and 18-200 VR on the way for experimentation!

popeshawnpaul Junior Member • Posts: 49
Re: Wow!!!! One of a kind test!!!

I was really surprised at the 300mm f2.8 with the 1.4x and 2x on and stopped down one stop to f11. It was super sharp and decent at wide open f8.

genotypewriter Veteran Member • Posts: 4,846
Nice test but.....

I wasn't expecting anything less than the least tele-converted lens to win the length race...

It would've also been fantastic (dunno about usability) if lenses were tested for sharpness under same framing... like what they have done at the-digital-picture.

Thanks a lot for your effort! Hope you get to do more tests like these in the future and don't leave us out of the findings!

GTW
--
http://www.flickr.com/genotypewriter

Juza_EA wrote:

It does not happen everyday to have six of the very best Canon
superteles in hands: thanks to Sandro "Ceksalo", in a cold afternoon
of October 2008 I have had the opportunity to compare side-by-side my
600 f/4 IS and 300 2.8 IS with new Canon 800 f/5.6 IS, with the
shorter and brighter 400 f/2.8 IS, with the interesting 400 f/4 DO
and with the legendary 200 f/1.8 L (that Canon has recently replaced
with the 200 f/2 IS).

The results of the test are showed here!

http://www.juzaphoto.com/eng/articles/canon_supertele_test-800-1200-1600.htm

All the images are 100% crops from RAW files converted with the
neutral settings (no contrast, no saturation, no sharpening); the
photos had been taken with the 21 megapixel Canon 1DsIII, mounted on
tripod. I have used only Canon teleconverters (1.4x II and 2x II). I
have used mirror lock up and 10 seconds self timer and I manually
focussed using live view.

By the way, next week I'm going to publish the second part of the
test, with the crops at 200, 280, 300, 420, 560 and 600mm

As always, every comment and question is welcome

-- hide signature --

Juza
Nature photographer
http://www.juzaphoto.com

genotypewriter Veteran Member • Posts: 4,846
200 f2 IS vs. 200 f2 VR

discopolana wrote:

Juza_EA wrote:

As always, every comment and question is welcome

I wish you tested 200/2 IS and VR as well.

Yeah I'd love to see this too... sadly the guy on these forums who owns both (lenswizard/mogul) can't help us out...

GTW
--
http://www.flickr.com/genotypewriter

J A K Forum Pro • Posts: 15,833
mark (NT)

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Nathan Yan Veteran Member • Posts: 3,443
Re: The Great Canon Supertele Test - From 800 to 1600mm

This is a fantastic test! I've actually linked to it from my blog.

I'm not really a birder myself so the long range isn't all that relevant, although the results are fascinating nonetheless. Personally I'd be really interested in a 400mm test comparing 200+2x and 300+1.4x and 400.

thx1138 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,153
400 f/2.8 + 2x better than 600 + 1.4!

Juza_EA wrote:

It does not happen everyday to have six of the very best Canon
superteles in hands: thanks to Sandro "Ceksalo", in a cold afternoon
of October 2008 I have had the opportunity to compare side-by-side my
600 f/4 IS and 300 2.8 IS with new Canon 800 f/5.6 IS, with the
shorter and brighter 400 f/2.8 IS, with the interesting 400 f/4 DO
and with the legendary 200 f/1.8 L (that Canon has recently replaced
with the 200 f/2 IS).

and not far behind the 800.

Too bad we didn't have 500 as well.

400 D) was pitiful with 2x, far worse than 300 + 2x + 1.4x which itself in fact is not much worse than 600 + 1.4.

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