Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM: the perfect 400mm budget option for A7II?

Started Dec 14, 2015 | Discussions
dagerber New Member • Posts: 11
Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM: the perfect 400mm budget option for A7II?
1

A year ago, I bought a Sony A7II body and two used 55mm f/1.8 and 35mm f/2.8 prime lenses. I'm very happy with it, I enjoy the features, the size of the system and of course the quality of the pictures it produces.

A couple of month later, I bought an old, used Nikkor 200mm/f4 manual focus prime. I tried to capture some bird images in our garden, but with a 200mm lens, it was not an easy task. I managed to take some good shots, you can find an example here
https://500px.com/photo/109616965/kleiber-by-daniel-gerber

I started looking for a 400+ mm option. It should have AF capabilities, as I found focus peeking to be sub-optimal for birding.

Wildlife and birding is not my primary interest. If it was, I wouldn't have bought an A7 System in the first place. And no, buying a second camera is not an option for me and I prefer the A7II for non-wildlife over any other system.

The E-mount system doesn't offer any lenses in that range. I know about the rumors, that in 2016, there might be a telephoto lens coming. But it's only a rumour and what would it cost?
E-mount lenses are of excellent quality, but cost a lot of money (I'm not saying they are not worth it). I expect the price to be higher than its A-mount counterpart, and that is simply out of budget for me. Second, I would like to use it now.

I started googling around in September 2015, reading blogs and tests and found out, that the only working option would be the A-mount Tamron 150-600 or the Sony 70-400 G2 with the LA-EA4.

I didn't want to use an adapter with a mirror in front of a mirrorless camera sacrifing light and I knew, that my A7II with its 117 phase detection focus points should be able to AF a lens, if the LA-EA4 could do it with just 15 of them.

Then came the new firmware. Thank you Sony! All of the sudden, a lot of lenses became new candidates. Obviously, very view people have experience yet with the new 2.0 firmware and adapted lenses. Thankfully, Brian Smith did a lot of testing and quite a few people in this forum did.

I then again, started googling and also looked at the used marked. I found very few people actually testing with the A7II, most of the tests were done with the A7RII. I wasn't quite sure, if a lens would work on the A7II, when it was tested positive on the A7RII and vise versa… So when a lenses AF was working with the A7RII, I took it as a hint, that it could also work on the A7II. And when a lenses AF was not working properly an the A7RII, I expected it to also not to work on the A7II (the A7RII has a more PDAF points).

You can get a Sony 70-400 G1 for a very good price, but it looks like the AF performance is not so good. On the other side, the 70-400 G2 would be the obvious choice, but there is no used market for this lens. It costs quite a bit of money when buying new. For about the same price as for the G2, you can get a Canon 100-400mm L II USM, which seems to be optically better than the G2 (I have no hard facts for that, just my findings from various blogs). There is also no used market for this lens and it doesn't seem to autofocus well above 200mm with the A7RII.

Then there is the Tamron 150-600. What I dont't like about this lens: it is bulky and heavy. And I'm not convinced, that it is optically as good as the other options.

Then finally, there is the Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM. It seems to be the perfect match for me.

It's lighter, smaller, very well built and optically as good as the Canon 100-400mm L II USM. Aside from the Tamron, it's a lot cheaper than the other options. And there is a used market for this lens that might be growing a lot next year, because Canon wants to bring an updated, stabilized version of this very lens.
On the negative side: it's not as versatile as a zoom lens, it's not meant for landscape photography and even for wildlife photography, there might be situations where you would want to zoom out. And may be most negative point: the minimal focus distance is quite high at 3.5m

Brian Smith reports when testing this lens with the A7RII: „Metabones: Very slow yet accurate PDAF AF-S but much too slow for AF-C“. Too bad, I really would like to have a fast AF.
Then I found another user, confirming the findings of Brian Smith with the A7RII, but saying, that it actually works very well with the A7II. Bingo! The two cameras seem to behave differently with this lens (see the post in French http://www.alphadxd.fr/viewtopic.php?f=121&t=103952 ).

I finally bought a used Canon EF 400mm in excellent shape, and also ordered the latest metabones adapter. The metabones adapter is an investment for other potential Canon lenses. One of the reasons I bought the A7II was its capability to adapt other lenses.

I only had a couple of hours to play with this lens, but I can confirm AF works! Don't expect it to work as good as on a Canon body (I could not compare), but it works good enough for me.
I found it works best when prefocussed in AF-C. I was even able to use the AF-C on birds flying by (if that is your primary interest, get a Canon or Nikon camera – it will work better).

If I select „ISO Auto“ in mode „A“, the camera selects 1/500s.

To get an idea of how sharp it is, see the attached image (shot at 1/500s handheld)
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4xrA3oS_58HVTJGVGkyNlVBSERIYWlxYk51WmIwMUlUQnpj/view?usp=sharing

The other images I put on 500px are not perfectly sharp, they were shot at ISO 1000 and the camera selected 1/250s – too slow for handheld. But you get an idea.
Images are cropped:

https://500px.com/photo/132197751/taking-a-winter-bath-by-daniel-gerber
https://500px.com/photo/132197757/taking-a-winter-bath-by-daniel-gerber
https://500px.com/photo/132197755/taking-a-winter-bath-by-daniel-gerber

The AF is unusable in very low light, but that is no use case for me. You won't get sharp images in dim light, even with lenses that cost as much as a small car.

Links I found useful (among many others):
http://www.kenrockwell.com/canon/lenses/400mm-f56.htmhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fmMG5jgDwkhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgurGidoSJs

For now, I'm very happy with it!

I hope this helps! Any feedback is welcome.

  • Any other photographers out there owning and using this lens on a A7xx?
  • Anyone having an idea, why the lens performs well on the A7II but not on the A7RII? Firmware of the camera or Metabones firmware? Hope this gets fixed for you guys owing an A7RII!
  • Anybody tried the Canon 100-400mm L II USM with the A7II (not A7RII)?

Daniel Gerber

 dagerber's gear list:dagerber's gear list
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Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Sony a7 Sony a7 II
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KwhyChang Veteran Member • Posts: 5,990
Re: Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM: the perfect 400mm budget option for A7II?

A long time ago I was making the decision between the EF 100-400 and the EF 400. I chose the zoom, thinking it would be more useful/versatile. After seeing many shots from the prime compared against the ones that I took at 400 on the zoom, it made me regret that decision for many years. Although I don't own it, I would recommend it.

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Dave

Jeff2013
Jeff2013 Senior Member • Posts: 2,963
Re: Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM: the perfect 400mm budget option for A7II?
1

The Canon Ef 400mm f5.6L has an outstanding reputation and possibly provides the highest IQ/dollar of any of the long lenses.

If you need more flexibility in the future (when used lenses become available), I have found the Sony 70-400mm G2 to be one of the sharpest zooms I have used. It is noticeably sharper than my Nikon AF-S 80-400mm. Surprisingly, it readily locks on to BIF (even small birds) with the A7RII/Metabones IV. Also, the bokeh is amazingly smooth for a zoom:

The following are some shots I took last week with this lens. The first shot was taken at the zoo and the remainder were taken at a river close to where I live:

(Unfortunately, converting to JPG and loading on this site really causes detail loss. When viewed on my 5K monitor, prior to converting to JPG, the detail is amazing.)

Cropped about 70% - not a good shot - just posting to show what the lens can do.

Heavily cropped - again, not a great shot - just showing what the lens can do.

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jpr2 Forum Pro • Posts: 15,554
Jeff: I don't quite follow

Jeff2013 wrote:

The Canon Ef 400mm f5.6L has an outstanding reputation and possibly provides the highest IQ/dollar of any of the long lenses.

If you need more flexibility in the future (when used lenses become available), I have found the Sony 70-400mm G2 to be one of the sharpest zooms I have used. It is noticeably sharper than my Nikon AF-S 80-400mm. Surprisingly, it readily locks on to BIF (even small birds) with the A7RII/Metabones IV. Also, the bokeh is amazingly smooth for a zoom.

do you really mean the Sony 70-400mm G2 to be working together with the... A7RII/Metabones IV??

jpr2

Jeff2013
Jeff2013 Senior Member • Posts: 2,963
Re: Jeff: I don't quite follow

jpr2 wrote:

Jeff2013 wrote:

The Canon Ef 400mm f5.6L has an outstanding reputation and possibly provides the highest IQ/dollar of any of the long lenses.

If you need more flexibility in the future (when used lenses become available), I have found the Sony 70-400mm G2 to be one of the sharpest zooms I have used. It is noticeably sharper than my Nikon AF-S 80-400mm. Surprisingly, it readily locks on to BIF (even small birds) with the A7RII/Metabones IV. Also, the bokeh is amazingly smooth for a zoom.

do you really mean the Sony 70-400mm G2 to be working together with the... A7RII/Metabones IV??

jpr2

Yes

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 Jeff2013's gear list:Jeff2013's gear list
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jpr2 Forum Pro • Posts: 15,554
Jeff: I don't quite follow

Jeff2013 wrote:

jpr2 wrote:

Jeff2013 wrote:

The Canon Ef 400mm f5.6L has an outstanding reputation and possibly provides the highest IQ/dollar of any of the long lenses.

If you need more flexibility in the future (when used lenses become available), I have found the Sony 70-400mm G2 to be one of the sharpest zooms I have used. It is noticeably sharper than my Nikon AF-S 80-400mm. Surprisingly, it readily locks on to BIF (even small birds) with the A7RII/Metabones IV. Also, the bokeh is amazingly smooth for a zoom.

do you really mean the Sony 70-400mm G2 to be working together with the... A7RII/Metabones IV??

jpr2

Yes

OK, I wasn't aware there is now a MB-IV version allowing A-mount to E-mount adaptation, very interesting - how much does it cost?

jpr2

Jeff2013
Jeff2013 Senior Member • Posts: 2,963
Re: Jeff: I don't quite follow

Sorry... I think I am doing too many things at once, here.  I was using the LA-EA3.  I was using the Metabones adapter on my other A7RII with a Canon lens.  Again, apologies for the mixup.

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PWPhotography Forum Pro • Posts: 10,686
Re: Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM: the perfect 400mm budget option for A7II?

I used to own 400L/5.6 awhile ago but later replaced it with 100-400L/4.5-5.6 IS. 400L/5.6 AF extremely fast on Canon DSLRs, very sharp and relative small/light.

So it appears A7 II/A7r II PDAF works well under good light on adapted 400L/5.6 but not on 100-400L IS (at least 300-400mm) from what I have read (I have not tried on my copy of 100-400L with A7 II). In general A7 II/A7r II PDAF doesn't work well or doesn't work at all on adapted Canon super-tele lenses such as those pro-grade 500L and 600L. Even with Canon DSLRs, super-tele lenses work best on 1D/1Ds/1Dx series due to stronger battery. My 500L IS AF lock is a bit faster (noticeable) on old 1D3 than 5D3. Battery in A7-series is pretty weak, no mention thru adapter to drive those super-tele lenses with many heavy elements. In addition A7 II/A7r II PDAF still doesn't work well under dim low light on all adapted Canon lenses, more or less.

 PWPhotography's gear list:PWPhotography's gear list
Canon EOS-1D Mark III Sony a9 Sony a7R III Sony a7R IV Canon EF 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye +18 more
Tocsa Regular Member • Posts: 424
Re: Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM: the perfect 400mm budget option for A7II?

User2338961301 wrote:

A year ago, I bought a Sony A7II body and two used 55mm f/1.8 and 35mm f/2.8 prime lenses. I'm very happy with it, I enjoy the features, the size of the system and of course the quality of the pictures it produces.

A couple of month later, I bought an old, used Nikkor 200mm/f4 manual focus prime. I tried to capture some bird images in our garden, but with a 200mm lens, it was not an easy task. I managed to take some good shots, you can find an example here
https://500px.com/photo/109616965/kleiber-by-daniel-gerber

I started looking for a 400+ mm option. It should have AF capabilities, as I found focus peeking to be sub-optimal for birding.

Wildlife and birding is not my primary interest. If it was, I wouldn't have bought an A7 System in the first place. And no, buying a second camera is not an option for me and I prefer the A7II for non-wildlife over any other system.

The E-mount system doesn't offer any lenses in that range. I know about the rumors, that in 2016, there might be a telephoto lens coming. But it's only a rumour and what would it cost?
E-mount lenses are of excellent quality, but cost a lot of money (I'm not saying they are not worth it). I expect the price to be higher than its A-mount counterpart, and that is simply out of budget for me. Second, I would like to use it now.

I started googling around in September 2015, reading blogs and tests and found out, that the only working option would be the A-mount Tamron 150-600 or the Sony 70-400 G2 with the LA-EA4.

I didn't want to use an adapter with a mirror in front of a mirrorless camera sacrifing light and I knew, that my A7II with its 117 phase detection focus points should be able to AF a lens, if the LA-EA4 could do it with just 15 of them.

Then came the new firmware. Thank you Sony! All of the sudden, a lot of lenses became new candidates. Obviously, very view people have experience yet with the new 2.0 firmware and adapted lenses. Thankfully, Brian Smith did a lot of testing and quite a few people in this forum did.

I then again, started googling and also looked at the used marked. I found very few people actually testing with the A7II, most of the tests were done with the A7RII. I wasn't quite sure, if a lens would work on the A7II, when it was tested positive on the A7RII and vise versa… So when a lenses AF was working with the A7RII, I took it as a hint, that it could also work on the A7II. And when a lenses AF was not working properly an the A7RII, I expected it to also not to work on the A7II (the A7RII has a more PDAF points).

You can get a Sony 70-400 G1 for a very good price, but it looks like the AF performance is not so good. On the other side, the 70-400 G2 would be the obvious choice, but there is no used market for this lens. It costs quite a bit of money when buying new. For about the same price as for the G2, you can get a Canon 100-400mm L II USM, which seems to be optically better than the G2 (I have no hard facts for that, just my findings from various blogs). There is also no used market for this lens and it doesn't seem to autofocus well above 200mm with the A7RII.

Then there is the Tamron 150-600. What I dont't like about this lens: it is bulky and heavy. And I'm not convinced, that it is optically as good as the other options.

Then finally, there is the Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM. It seems to be the perfect match for me.

It's lighter, smaller, very well built and optically as good as the Canon 100-400mm L II USM. Aside from the Tamron, it's a lot cheaper than the other options. And there is a used market for this lens that might be growing a lot next year, because Canon wants to bring an updated, stabilized version of this very lens.
On the negative side: it's not as versatile as a zoom lens, it's not meant for landscape photography and even for wildlife photography, there might be situations where you would want to zoom out. And may be most negative point: the minimal focus distance is quite high at 3.5m

Brian Smith reports when testing this lens with the A7RII: „Metabones: Very slow yet accurate PDAF AF-S but much too slow for AF-C“. Too bad, I really would like to have a fast AF.
Then I found another user, confirming the findings of Brian Smith with the A7RII, but saying, that it actually works very well with the A7II. Bingo! The two cameras seem to behave differently with this lens (see the post in French http://www.alphadxd.fr/viewtopic.php?f=121&t=103952 ).

I finally bought a used Canon EF 400mm in excellent shape, and also ordered the latest metabones adapter. The metabones adapter is an investment for other potential Canon lenses. One of the reasons I bought the A7II was its capability to adapt other lenses.

I only had a couple of hours to play with this lens, but I can confirm AF works! Don't expect it to work as good as on a Canon body (I could not compare), but it works good enough for me.
I found it works best when prefocussed in AF-C. I was even able to use the AF-C on birds flying by (if that is your primary interest, get a Canon or Nikon camera – it will work better).

If I select „ISO Auto“ in mode „A“, the camera selects 1/500s.

To get an idea of how sharp it is, see the attached image (shot at 1/500s handheld)
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4xrA3oS_58HVTJGVGkyNlVBSERIYWlxYk51WmIwMUlUQnpj/view?usp=sharing

The other images I put on 500px are not perfectly sharp, they were shot at ISO 1000 and the camera selected 1/250s – too slow for handheld. But you get an idea.
Images are cropped:

https://500px.com/photo/132197751/taking-a-winter-bath-by-daniel-gerber
https://500px.com/photo/132197757/taking-a-winter-bath-by-daniel-gerber
https://500px.com/photo/132197755/taking-a-winter-bath-by-daniel-gerber

The AF is unusable in very low light, but that is no use case for me. You won't get sharp images in dim light, even with lenses that cost as much as a small car.

Links I found useful (among many others):
http://www.kenrockwell.com/canon/lenses/400mm-f56.htmhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fmMG5jgDwkhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgurGidoSJs

For now, I'm very happy with it!

I hope this helps! Any feedback is welcome.

  • Any other photographers out there owning and using this lens on a A7xx?
  • Anyone having an idea, why the lens performs well on the A7II but not on the A7RII? Firmware of the camera or Metabones firmware? Hope this gets fixed for you guys owing an A7RII!
  • Anybody tried the Canon 100-400mm L II USM with the A7II (not A7RII)?

Daniel Gerber

This is exactly why I wish Sony would give us A7 owners the firmware enabling PDAF with adapter - I have this lens too. See my post Request to Sony.

Jeff2013
Jeff2013 Senior Member • Posts: 2,963
Re: Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM: the perfect 400mm budget option for A7II?
1

PWPhotography wrote:

I used to own 400L/5.6 awhile ago but later replaced it with 100-400L/4.5-5.6 IS. 400L/5.6 AF extremely fast on Canon DSLRs, very sharp and relative small/light.

So it appears A7 II/A7r II PDAF works well under good light on adapted 400L/5.6 but not on 100-400L IS (at least 300-400mm) from what I have read (I have not tried on my copy of 100-400L with A7 II). In general A7 II/A7r II PDAF doesn't work well or doesn't work at all on adapted Canon super-tele lenses such as those pro-grade 500L and 600L. Even with Canon DSLRs, super-tele lenses work best on 1D/1Ds/1Dx series due to stronger battery. My 500L IS AF lock is a bit faster (noticeable) on old 1D3 than 5D3. Battery in A7-series is pretty weak, no mention thru adapter to drive those super-tele lenses with many heavy elements. In addition A7 II/A7r II PDAF still doesn't work well under dim low light on all adapted Canon lenses, more or less.

Fortunately, it works extremely well with some Canon lenses.  I recently started shooting the Canon 24-70mm f2.8L II on the A7RII/MBIV and it focuses fast in really low-light (better than the FE 24-70mm f4).  It also works well on my Canon 70-200mm f4 IS at 200mm.

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PWPhotography Forum Pro • Posts: 10,686
Re: Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM: the perfect 400mm budget option for A7II?

Jeff2013 wrote:

PWPhotography wrote:

I used to own 400L/5.6 awhile ago but later replaced it with 100-400L/4.5-5.6 IS. 400L/5.6 AF extremely fast on Canon DSLRs, very sharp and relative small/light.

So it appears A7 II/A7r II PDAF works well under good light on adapted 400L/5.6 but not on 100-400L IS (at least 300-400mm) from what I have read (I have not tried on my copy of 100-400L with A7 II). In general A7 II/A7r II PDAF doesn't work well or doesn't work at all on adapted Canon super-tele lenses such as those pro-grade 500L and 600L. Even with Canon DSLRs, super-tele lenses work best on 1D/1Ds/1Dx series due to stronger battery. My 500L IS AF lock is a bit faster (noticeable) on old 1D3 than 5D3. Battery in A7-series is pretty weak, no mention thru adapter to drive those super-tele lenses with many heavy elements. In addition A7 II/A7r II PDAF still doesn't work well under dim low light on all adapted Canon lenses, more or less.

Fortunately, it works extremely well with some Canon lenses. I recently started shooting the Canon 24-70mm f2.8L II on the A7RII/MBIV and it focuses fast in really low-light (better than the FE 24-70mm f4). It also works well on my Canon 70-200mm f4 IS at 200mm.

Good to hear. It's true A7r II is better than A7 II in PDAF. My 24-70L/2.8 II although AF very well on A7 II with MBIV-T adapter but still hung often in dim low light. I seem read DPR review of A7r II that its AF is still very good in low light but need a bright lens, that may explain why on your observation adapted 24-70L/2.8 II AF is faster than FE 70-200/4.0 OSS due to one-stop aperture difference.

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l_d_allan
l_d_allan Veteran Member • Posts: 5,093
Re: Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM: the perfect 400mm budget option for A7II?

KwhyChang wrote:

A long time ago I was making the decision between the EF 100-400 and the EF 400. I chose the zoom, thinking it would be more useful/versatile. After seeing many shots from the prime compared against the ones that I took at 400 on the zoom, it made me regret that decision for many years. Although I don't own it, I would recommend it.

I'm grappling with the same issue ... 400mm FL for my a7Rii:

  • IIRC, I noticed a deal on the EF 100-400 mark-one for $999. Probably related to the release of the very highly rated mark-two. Might have been refurbished?
  • Used mark-one's might be very good value, if in good-to-excellent condition.
  • ...
  • I own a Sigma 150-500 OS for Canon EF mount, but I've never been that happy with it.
  • And it is Very Glitchy with my FotodioX adapter ... works erratically and then sometimes locks up a7Rii.
  • Overall, I feel I get better results over the Sigma using my EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS mark-two, and major cropping ... especially since it has the fast f2.8 aperture for interiors. The Sigma at 400+mm doesn't seem to get all that sharp even at f8.
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Rol Lei Nut Veteran Member • Posts: 5,112
Re: Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM: the perfect 400mm budget option for A7II?

I have the Canon 400 5.6 and the Sony 70-400 I.

Assuming that the A7II will work the same as an A7RII concerning AF, using a Metabones IV T (Canon) and a Sony LA-EA3 (Sony), I find AF pretty comparable between the two.

The real differences are:

- The Canon 400 5.6 is useful practically only for wildlife (or maybe some types of sports, if you're so inclined...) but does it nearly as well as can be done (at least as far as somehow affordable, portable lenses are concerned).

- The Sony 70-400 is more of an all-rounder. While its 400mm isn't a match for the Canon, it'll still do good wildlife, but can also deliver excellent results at shorter FLs useful for landscapes, portraits & everything else (even sports, if you happen to be so inclined...).

So, a top level specialist vs. a very good generalist.

Since I'm rarely heading out with the main intention of photographing wildlife, the Canon 400 gets very little use. If that continues for much longer, I might sell it.

jaybr Senior Member • Posts: 1,591
Re: Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM: the perfect 400mm budget option for A7II?

Hello,

I've used and tested quite a few long telephoto lenses in the last couple of years, but found that in this hotter climate (Westen Australia) the atmospheric distortions (heat haze) made going beyond 200mm too difficult to get decent shots. Early morning and late afternoon where temperatures are lower, avoided this problem, but I decided that zooming with my feet with the FE 70-200mm @ 200mm provided better results overall. It's also much lighter and easier to use too.

J

 jaybr's gear list:jaybr's gear list
Sony a7R II Sigma 8mm F3.5 EX DG Circular Fisheye Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Sony FE 70-200 F4 Canon EF 16-35mm F4L IS USM +4 more
l_d_allan
l_d_allan Veteran Member • Posts: 5,093
Re: Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM: the perfect 400mm budget option for A7II?

jaybr wrote:

Hello,

I've used and tested quite a few long telephoto lenses in the last couple of years, but found that in this hotter climate (Westen Australia) the atmospheric distortions (heat haze) made going beyond 200mm too difficult to get decent shots.

Agree. I tend to "roll my eyes" when people sing the praises of the "super-zooms" with dinky 1/2.3" sensors and 20x, 30x, and higher zoom ranges. Up to 100x zoom range now? Higher?

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NomadMark
NomadMark Contributing Member • Posts: 610
Re: Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM: the perfect 400mm budget option for A7II?
1

KwhyChang wrote:

A long time ago I was making the decision between the EF 100-400 and the EF 400. I chose the zoom, thinking it would be more useful/versatile. After seeing many shots from the prime compared against the ones that I took at 400 on the zoom, it made me regret that decision for many years. Although I don't own it, I would recommend it.

I'm grappling with the same issue ... 400mm FL for my a7Rii:

  • IIRC, I noticed a deal on the EF 100-400 mark-one for $999. Probably related to the release of the very highly rated mark-two. Might have been refurbished?
  • Used mark-one's might be very good value, if in good-to-excellent condition.
  • ...
  • I own a Sigma 150-500 OS for Canon EF mount, but I've never been that happy with it.
  • And it is Very Glitchy with my FotodioX adapter ... works erratically and then sometimes locks up a7Rii.
  • Overall, I feel I get better results over the Sigma using my EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS mark-two, and major cropping ... especially since it has the fast f2.8 aperture for interiors. The Sigma at 400+mm doesn't seem to get all that sharp even at f8.

For the $$$, you can't beat the 400 5.6L in terms of IQ. The original 100-400 doesn't come close.

Great results here. I love mine.
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 NomadMark's gear list:NomadMark's gear list
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PWPhotography Forum Pro • Posts: 10,686
Re: Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM: the perfect 400mm budget option for A7II?

NomadMark wrote:

KwhyChang wrote:

A long time ago I was making the decision between the EF 100-400 and the EF 400. I chose the zoom, thinking it would be more useful/versatile. After seeing many shots from the prime compared against the ones that I took at 400 on the zoom, it made me regret that decision for many years. Although I don't own it, I would recommend it.

I'm grappling with the same issue ... 400mm FL for my a7Rii:

  • IIRC, I noticed a deal on the EF 100-400 mark-one for $999. Probably related to the release of the very highly rated mark-two. Might have been refurbished?
  • Used mark-one's might be very good value, if in good-to-excellent condition.
  • ...
  • I own a Sigma 150-500 OS for Canon EF mount, but I've never been that happy with it.
  • And it is Very Glitchy with my FotodioX adapter ... works erratically and then sometimes locks up a7Rii.
  • Overall, I feel I get better results over the Sigma using my EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS mark-two, and major cropping ... especially since it has the fast f2.8 aperture for interiors. The Sigma at 400+mm doesn't seem to get all that sharp even at f8.

For the $$$, you can't beat the 400 5.6L in terms of IQ. The original 100-400 doesn't come close.

I'd not use words "doesn't come to close" for the difference. 100-400L IS used to have a QC issue years ago but later Canon improved QC and even slightly improves IQ at 400mm side. If you searched you can read many threads back then. When I bought 100-400L IS (later batch) I still possessed 400L f5.6 for a few weeks before selling it. I did side by side comparison indoor and outdoor (still save those test shots in one of my hard drives). Actually (a good later-batch copy) 100-400L pretty close in most center areas @400mm F5.6 but 400L f5.6 is noticeably better in edges where is not critical for the purpose of both lenses in wildlife, airshow, zoo and sports in good light. They are not for landscape or even for portraiture. I have many photos from 100-400L in airshow, zoo and wildlife on 1D3, 60D, 5D1-5D3 with pretty good sharpness.

Great results here. I love mine.

Agreed. Nevertheless the point for OP is that 400L f5.6 AF well A7 II but probably not with 100-400L, at least beyond 300mm from what I have read. I need to test my copy with A7 II. However I'd still use Canon tele lenses on Canon DSLRs in reality.

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l_d_allan
l_d_allan Veteran Member • Posts: 5,093
Re: Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM: the perfect 400mm budget option for A7II?

NomadMark wrote:

For the $$$, you can't beat the 400 5.6L in terms of IQ. The original 100-400 doesn't come close.

Well, it is the familiar issue of zooms being more flexible, vs primes having a more or less significant edge in IQ.

In the "crow's nest", I'll typically have my Canon 6d with EF 17-40mm and the a7Rii with adapted 70-200. The distance is such that it takes about 500mm to "reach out" for a waist-to-head capture of a soloist.

For special events, I do try to go to dress rehearsals for on-floor captures much closer, so 70-200mm works fine.

Not from a 500mm :-;    Pano from several 14mm captures. Perhaps 180+ deg FOV. The distance isn't as great as this uwa pano suggests. I've paced it off, but don't recall if it was about 30, 40, or 50 paces.

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dale matson New Member • Posts: 18
Re: Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM: the perfect 400mm budget option for A7II?

Well, we will see. I have tried the Sony Sal 70-400, Canon 100-400, Canon Tamron 150-600. The results for me with my A7R2 with these lenses is that autofocus is not dependable and images are not sharp enough. Additionally, these lenses are HEAVY. I have the new Sony FE 70-300 and none of those other lenses can compare up to 300mm. The problem for me is that Bighorn Sheep are rarely close enough for even 400mm. I just ordered the Canon 400mm 5.6 and hope that it will work with a 1.4x extender also. If not, I can climb off trail to get closer with a much lighter lens! Here's hoping.

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Lightshow
Lightshow Veteran Member • Posts: 7,398
Re: Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM: the perfect 400mm budget option for A7II?

I had the 400/5.6L and was very happy with it on my 1DIII, focus was fast and accurate.

I made a huge move away from AF, and just before I sold it, I mounted it on my NEX-7 with a dumb adapter, and shoot the moon.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8194/8424557307_ffdba42887_o.jpg

8th attempt at embedding a picture....

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I don't have any AF lenses, so if I want a picture, I have to do more than squeeze a button.
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