400 f2.8 vs 500 f4

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by fishlips, May 7, 2007.

  1. fishlips

    fishlips

    69
    Apr 20, 2007
    Puyallup, WA
    Wanted some additional reach that I can't get with my 200-400 w/o a TC, have have two choices and wanted some options: 400 with TC or 500. Cons on the 400: weight and a bit more $
    Pros on the 400: tack sharp even with a TC

    Pros on the 500: lighter whan the 400 and easier to tote around
    Cons on the 500: slower, and even slower with TC

    I would enjoy comments from users of these lenses.
     
  2. What kind of stuff are you hoping to shoot with a 400/500, Randy?

    Sean
     
  3. fishlips

    fishlips

    69
    Apr 20, 2007
    Puyallup, WA
    Primary use would be my Africa trips. I found myself usings the 200-400 and pulling the TCs off and on during my past several trips. I wanted to try to stop the changing of lenses.
     
  4. Cool - bring me along to Africa and you can use my 400! :wink:
     
  5. HappyFish

    HappyFish

    Oct 19, 2006
    Sigma 300-800 ?
     
  6. If you can swing the 500 f4, you might as well hit for the fences and get the 600mm and be done with it.:biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:
     
  7. ipsofacto

    ipsofacto Guest

    If you find f4 is sufficient then listen to Matt and go all out for the 600, if you buy the 500 you'll be kicking yourself when you have to add TCs and lose even more light. I would usually say get the 400 2.8 because I love speed, but that's because I shoot sports at night, I think the 2.8 might come in handy at sunrise/sunset times if you find you only need f4 the 600 is calling you.
     
  8. I much prefer the 400 f/2.8 over the 500 f/4. I found it not only faster, but also a bit sharper. It also plays well with the 1.4, 1.7, AND 2.0. My 500 only worked well with the 1.4. I also have had the sigma 300-800. It's a great piece of glass, but not as fast, and definitely alot to carry around.
     
  9. sclamb

    sclamb

    Jan 2, 2007
    London
    I find the 500mm f/4 to be fine with the 1.4 & 1.7 TCs, but with the latter you do need good light to get fast AF. That said, when you get that light it is fast. I am using the older Mark I (for sale in the For Sale forum - shameless plug sorry!) and do not know if the newer Mark II has any improvements to the AF. The glass is the same though.
     
  10. Dumb question - when changing from a zoom to a prime you think you'll change lenses/TCs less often?
     
  11. Logan

    Logan Guest

    im sure not, but with 2.8 you have more TC options and the 500 is altogether longer...
     
  12. I have used both. The 500 is unusable with Tc20, and very difficult with Tc17, but very good with the tc14. The 400 is very good with all of them.. In my experince this means that with the 500 you effectively have 500/4 and 700/5,6 with excellent IQ, with the 400, you have 400/2,8, 560/4, 680/4,8 (5,6 to get exellent IQ) and 800/5,6 ( sharp in center only - you need to stop down to 7,1 to get excellent IQ) Summing up on IQ only: the 400 gives you more- it is equal to the 500 where they overlap, but you have a fantastic lens at 400 + a very good one at 800 as well. I sold my 500, kept my 400The autofocus is superfast, and acurate even with converters, which seems to be rare in the digital age.

    Pål
     
  13. fishlips

    fishlips

    69
    Apr 20, 2007
    Puyallup, WA
    DanielD: Not a dumb question at all, when you consider my plan was to keep a 200-400 on one body and the larger prime fixed on another body. Then again, my command of english is far better than German.
     
  14. I have the 500 f4 AFS and it is a dream to use, but, you must use a good tripod with it. The picture clarity is outstanding. A joy to use.

    Dan
     
  15. rvink

    rvink

    Mar 21, 2006
    New Zealand
    That seems to answer your question then. Get a 500/4 or 600/4.

    If you need a longer lens it's usually better to go straight for the right lens. The 400/2.8 may be a great lens, but I find it hard to believe it performs better with TCs than a 500/4 or 600/4.
    But don't listen to me, I've never shot with any of those lenses :smile:
     
  16. fishlips

    fishlips

    69
    Apr 20, 2007
    Puyallup, WA
    Thanks to all. I think the 500 will be the answer.
     
  17. sclamb

    sclamb

    Jan 2, 2007
    London
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