EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4X, Latency with 5D MkIII

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by bradford_smith, Jan 31, 2014.

  1. I had posted this question inside another post (http://www.photo.net/canon-eos-digital-camera-forum/00cLaL?start=20) where it was suggested I start a new thread. Can anyone comment on the latency of the Canon 5D MkIII when used with the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4X (lens with the extender built in), both with the 1.4x off and on?
  2. "latency" equals AutoFocus response time?
  3. Yes, that is what I intended--sorry for not being clear. In the post I referenced there was some discussion of this for the EF 600. There is some inertia in these large lenses which slows the AF action. This would presumably be most noticeable in AI servo mode shooting bursts of a moving subject, perhaps causing some tracking delays which may or may not be tolerable.
  4. AF response time and the time that it takes the lens to gain focus and lock it can be two different things. The 5D3 and the 1D X have the same AF program, but with extenders, the 5D3 will take longer to gain focus because the battery voltage is lower and can't manhandle bigger lenses nearly as quickly.
    Just to be sure, you're not talking about adding an external 1.4x TC to the 200-400mm's internal extender are you? Some people do that and I'd bet that the time to gain focus gets longer by a factor of five or ten.
    You need to get experience of someone actually using the lens on a moving subject. People sometimes "measure" this lag by pointing at a static subject, throwing the lens OOF and the using a stop watch to measure how long it takes to regain focus. This is not a valid test for moving objects, which can dramatically increase the time needed to lock on. In this kind of test, at f/8 native, then the 5D3 can be ten-times slower than the 1D X, with the super-telephoto lenses. With a tweener, like the 200-400mm, I don't know how the response is impacted.
  5. David,
    Thanks for your comments. I was really asking about AF delays when using the built in extender. If there is someone out there with first hand experience I would appreciate a reply. Any experience with an external extender added on to this lens would also be useful information to have, as I am giving some consideration to buying this lens.
  6. You're sure you'd rather not buy a small car? ;)
    Seriously, I'm jealous.
    1. Even if there is some "latency", what is the alternative?
    2. If you have any reservations about this lens, hire one and try it. You'd be foolish not to.
  7. There are lots of alternatives to this expensive lens, but the best alternative will depend on what you're trying to shoot and how much you're willing to spend.
  8. Thanks for everyone's comments.
    I had been using a Canon EF 100-400 (purchased new), but recently sold it. I was using it as my lens for birding and other wildlife. I used it for a few years both with a Canon 7d and a full frame, although mostly with the 7d for the added effective reach. I was never happy with the 100-400 since most if not all of my images were soft (on two different bodies), even when shot from a tripod with mirror lockup. I even tried running Focal on the 7d/100-400 combo but it was so bad at 400 mm, that Focal was unable to converge and recommend a micro-adjustment setting. Maybe my 100-400 was a bad copy but it had gone back to Canon NJ for rework after an IS failure but before the attempt at improvements with Focal. The Canon repair report said that after rework all functions had been confirmed. They also said they "adjusted center/tilt/front/back focus cleaned factory specs." (their English) If the 100-400 had not been so soft, I would probably still be using it, perhaps with a 1.4x external extender to get some added range when needed. But, alas, I recently sold my 100-400 somewhat in disgust. That leaves me without anything above 200 mm.
    I like the versatility of a zoom covering the 200-400 mm range, especially with the 1.4 built-in extender taking the range out to 560 mm all in one lens. If Canon had a newer version of the 100-400, I would probably give it serious consideration as I am not particularly eager to spend $$$ for their 200-400, and it is somewhat of a beast. However, I really don't see there being lots of alternatives.
    As an aside, I note that I could buy a new Nikon 200-400, a new Nikon APS-C body and a couple of extenders for less than Canon's 200-400. I don't really want to do that since all my other gear is Canon.
  9. First you should do a AF microadjustment of your camera-lens-combination. Then you will notice that your 100-400 lens is a quite capable lens. It will become even better with a 5D3 because the AF is by far more exact than any camera (except 1DX) before. The next level would be the 200-400 which is an awesome lens, one of the best lenses you can mount to your camera, as one of the german magazines stated after a test of the lens and what I can confirm. For BIF I would not want to use it handhold because of the weight. But with a Wimberley head it is easy to handle for that purpose. BTW, I kept my 100-400 for trekking and landscape shots.
    Just my 2 cent
  10. Just a comment concerning the weight of the subject lens - EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4X.
    I like you, assumed the subject lens would feel too heavy for someone like me (small stature/112 lbs.) However, while on the beach I accepted an offer to hand hold the lens with my 5D MK III. I was surprised how light the combination lens and camera felt. Now, if I could only afford to buy one!

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