Canon EF 400 F4.0 DO IS??

Discussion in 'Nature' started by chad_h, Feb 11, 2003.

  1. I was reading a review on luminous-landscape earlier testing the new
    Canon EF 400 F4 IS DO. The person testing it did a good job. I was
    impressed with the results. Then I went to the Canon web site and
    read this.......
    Note: If a very bright spotlight like a mercury lamp is photographed
    with a DO lens, a ring of light may occasionally appear around the
    light source, due to the imaging characteristics of the multi-layer
    diffractive optical element.

    how does this problem affect landscape pictures and pictures near the
    angle of the sun? Can this lens be used to photography sunsets?
    This sort of makes me wonder about the rumor of the 500mm F2.8 DO
    IS? Are we getting a good lens replaced with a bad one? Guess only
    time will tell.
  2. I'd say there is ZERO danger of the 500/4L IS being dropped. If there ever is a 500/2.8 DO IS it will be in addition to the 500/4.

    From what I've read about the 400/4 DO it looks like it does a decent job, but not as good a job as a conventional fluorite 400/4L would.
  3. One advantage to having the possible new lens would be faster focusing (f2.8). It would be awesome having cross sensors (more of them) at 500mm. Adding TC's won't be as big a problem either maybe. It's fun to speculate but I guess it can go to far.
  4. I've seen a few reports of people unhappy with the image quality of the 400/4 DO, specifically with out of focus point highlights. I've never tried one. I would suspect a 500/2.8 DO would have the same problems (assuming there are problems).

    As for faster focusing, does anyone have any trouble focusing with their 500/4 IS? While I see a 500/2.8 DO being useful for sports, unless it is lighter and/or less expensive than the 500/4, I suspect most nature photographers would stick with the traditional lens.
  5. Why did Canon go the DO route for the 400/4 ?

    I think a 400/4 is a great idea but it should be affordable. A conventional 400/4 would have been much better.
  6. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I think the 400mm/f4 DO is more targeted towards news type photography, where you might need more mobility but not necessarily top-notch image quality, and the news organizations can afford the higher price tag.

    A 300mm/f2.8 is approximately 3 to 4 times as expensive as an equivalent 300mm/f4 ("equivalent" being same brand, both are AF or both are non-AF, both with IS or both without, etc.). Meanwhile, the current 500mm/f4 IS is about $5500 at B&H. You can do the math and estimate how much any possible 500mm/f2.8 DO could be. Make sure you add the cost of DO on top of it.

    I am certain that *if* there is indeed an 500mm/f2.8 DO, it would be way out of my price range. That's why I completely agree with Bob that Canon isn't going to discontinue the 500mm/f4 IS, although they may update it with a newer version some time down the road.
  7. It would also be big. A 500/2.8 MUST have a front element that is at LEAST 7.03" in diameter, which means the diameter of the lens barrel itself has to be larger than 7.5". That's a big lens, at least 1" wider than a 600/4, though it need not be any longer than a 500/4. I sold my 600/4 because it was too big!
  8. The DO lenses make OOF specular highlights look like doughnuts, much like a mirror lens.
  9. The point was that it would be affordable. The DO technology is meant to cost rather less to produce than large fluorite or UD elements. However, at the moment, there's a big R&D cost to be recovered. Once this is done, the price will likely come down considerably on all DO lenses.

    I doubt that canon would replace the 500 F4L IS with the 500 F2.8L DO, just as the 300 F2.8L IS doesn't replace the 300 F4L IS.
  10. Here is a link to a review for theis lens by the German nature photographer Fitz Pölking:
  11. Bob said: "I'd say there is ZERO danger of the 500/4L IS being dropped", and others have said basically the same thing. I would agree, BUT I was just checking out the 500mm F/4L IS on B&H's website and it is now listed as a SPECIAL ORDER ITEM ONLY. That is for both the USA and import versions. SOMETHING is definitely up(?).
  12. Since B&H is doing special orders only, it seems pretty clear to me they don't want to get stuck with any in stock when the replacement is unveiled. Whatever that may be. Maybe the 400mm F/4 DO IS is selling better than we all think ;-)!!
  13. If the 500/4L IS is dropped, I'd bet the house that it will be replaced by a 500/4L IS MarkII. Probably with only minor changes.

    Canon aren't dumb and it would be dumb not to have a conventional 500/4 lens in their lineup. There's no way they will drop it.
  14. I wouldn't think so either. But if they are coming out with just a Mk II upgrade (which I think would make the most sense) I would think they would do so for all of the super-telephotos. I guess it could be, and seems very likely, that they have sold out of all of the 500's and still have the 300 f/2.8, 400 f/2.8, & 600 f/4 in stock and once they are sold out, they too will become special order. As Chad put it in the initial posting: "...only time will tell."
  15. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I wouldn't spend a lot of time trying to figure out why B&H happends to list a particular lens as "special order." It could be as simple as a typo or temporary out of stock, or there could be some new version coming or perhaps some other unknown reason.
  16. Shun, you set me up didn't you?! I just checked their site again and now it's just listed as "Out of Stock"!! Darn, and I thought I was on the cutting edge of the rumor mill. :)
  17. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Patrick, me setting you up? No way. Actually B&H set you up. :)
    Now I am waiting for another typo from them so that the 500mm/f4 IS goes for $549 instead of $5499, and hopefully they would honor the price .... :)
  18. I'd settle for an 400/5.6 with IS. The current one is only 1000$/1250g and an IS version shouldn't be very far from these numbers.

    Alternatively - if I were in the market for such a lens - I'd get a 300/2.8 IS + 1.4X TC. This way I'd get two focal lengths, unquestionable optical quality and still save 1000$.

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