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romy ocon | profile | all galleries >> Equipment Tests and Other Photos >> Trying the Canon 400 2.8 L IS at Bird Photography tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Trying the Canon 400 2.8 L IS at Bird Photography

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For years, I've been wanting to add an f/2.8 long prime to my birding arsenal for low light shots. I finally had the opportunity the other day (July 30, 2009) to get a mint copy
of the legendary Canon 400 2.8 L IS from a birder-friend, who found it too heavy for his application. This gallery contains my test shots of this new tool, as I explore its
strengths and weaknesses. The wide aperture will allow me to shoot BIFs in low light, or if light is abundant, to use low ISOs. The minimum focus distance of 3 meters is very welcome
(my 500 f4's MFD is 4.5 m and the Sigmonster's is nearly 6 m in comparison). When used as an 800 mm f/5.6 (with a 2x TC), the new lens has an amazing magnification at 3 meters, allowing
frame-filling shots of small perched birds even with the full-frame 5D2.
THE BATTLE-SCARRED VETERANS WELCOME A NEW TEAM MEMBER. My birding lenses pose as a group for posterity. The newly added 400 2.8 L IS (second from left, 
low light specialist, with a Canon 2x TC II added in this photo) is joined by (from left) the venerable Sigmonster (Sigma 300-800 DG, long shot specialist), 
the workhorse 500 f4 L IS (all-around birding glass, with a Canon 1.4x TC II added in this photo), the prime-sharp 100-400 L IS (the birding lightly 
and all purpose wildlife lens) and the grizzled 400 5.6 L (the hand held flight shot specialist).

[5D2 + Sigma 24 1.8 DG macro, tripod/ball head]
IMG_7486-1000x750.jpg

THE BATTLE-SCARRED VETERANS WELCOME A NEW TEAM MEMBER. My birding lenses pose as a group for posterity. The newly added 400 2.8 L IS (second from left,
low light specialist, with a Canon 2x TC II added in this photo) is joined by (from left) the venerable Sigmonster (Sigma 300-800 DG, long shot specialist),
the workhorse 500 f4 L IS (all-around birding glass, with a Canon 1.4x TC II added in this photo), the prime-sharp 100-400 L IS (the "birding lightly"
and all purpose wildlife lens) and the grizzled 400 5.6 L (the hand held flight shot specialist).

[5D2 + Sigma 24 1.8 DG macro, tripod/ball head]

7D + 400 2.8 IS + 1.4x TC, San Juan, Batangas, April 16, 2010, taken with a Nokia N97, f/2.8, 1/167 sec, ISO 100.
04162010137-750x500.jpg

7D + 400 2.8 IS + 1.4x TC, San Juan, Batangas, April 16, 2010, taken with a Nokia N97, f/2.8, 1/167 sec, ISO 100.

Long-tailed Shrike 

Scientific name - Lanius schach 

Habitat - Open country and scrub. 

[CANDABA WETLANDS, PAMPANGA, 5D2 + 400 2.8 L IS + Canon 2x TC, bean bag, processed 100% crop]
IMG_8112.jpg

Long-tailed Shrike

Scientific name - Lanius schach

Habitat - Open country and scrub.

[CANDABA WETLANDS, PAMPANGA, 5D2 + 400 2.8 L IS + Canon 2x TC, bean bag, processed 100% crop]

Long-tailed Shrike 

Scientific name - Lanius schach 

Habitat - Open country and scrub. 

[CANDABA WETLANDS, PAMPANGA, 5D2 + 400 2.8 L IS + Canon 2x TC, bean bag, uncropped full frame resized to 1200x800]
IMG_8101-1200x800.jpg

Long-tailed Shrike

Scientific name - Lanius schach

Habitat - Open country and scrub.

[CANDABA WETLANDS, PAMPANGA, 5D2 + 400 2.8 L IS + Canon 2x TC, bean bag, uncropped full frame resized to 1200x800]

Zitting Cisticola 

Scientific name - Cisticola juncidis 

Habitat - Ricefields and wetter grassy areas. 

[CANDABA WETLANDS, PAMPANGA, 5D2 + 400 2.8 L IS + Canon 2x TC, bean bag]
IMG_8073-1000x500.jpg

Zitting Cisticola

Scientific name - Cisticola juncidis

Habitat - Ricefields and wetter grassy areas.

[CANDABA WETLANDS, PAMPANGA, 5D2 + 400 2.8 L IS + Canon 2x TC, bean bag]

Black-crowned Night-Heron 

Scientific name - Nycticorax nycticorax 

Habitat - Variety of wetlands from ricefields to mangroves. 

[PINAGBAYANAN, SAN JUAN, BATANGAS, 5DM2 + 400 2.8 L IS,475B/3421 support]
IMG_7315-1200x800.jpg

Black-crowned Night-Heron

Scientific name - Nycticorax nycticorax

Habitat - Variety of wetlands from ricefields to mangroves.

[PINAGBAYANAN, SAN JUAN, BATANGAS, 5DM2 + 400 2.8 L IS,475B/3421 support]

Black-crowned Night-Heron 

Scientific name - Nycticorax nycticorax 

Habitat - Variety of wetlands from ricefields to mangroves. 

[PINAGBAYANAN, SAN JUAN, BATANGAS, 5DM2 + 400 2.8 L IS,475B/3421 support, processed 100% crop]
IMG_7315-800x533-100crop.jpg

Black-crowned Night-Heron

Scientific name - Nycticorax nycticorax

Habitat - Variety of wetlands from ricefields to mangroves.

[PINAGBAYANAN, SAN JUAN, BATANGAS, 5DM2 + 400 2.8 L IS,475B/3421 support, processed 100% crop]

Yellow-vented Bulbul 

Scientific name: Pycnonotus goiavier 

Habitat: Common in gardens, urban areas and grasslands but not in mature forests. 

[5DM2 + 400 2.8 L IS + Canon 2x TCII, 475B/3421 support, near FF resized to 1200x800]
IMG_7560-1200x800.jpg

Yellow-vented Bulbul

Scientific name: Pycnonotus goiavier

Habitat: Common in gardens, urban areas and grasslands but not in mature forests.

[5DM2 + 400 2.8 L IS + Canon 2x TCII, 475B/3421 support, near FF resized to 1200x800]

Yellow-vented Bulbul 

Scientific name: Pycnonotus goiavier 

Habitat: Common in gardens, urban areas and grasslands but not in mature forests. 

[5DM2 + 400 2.8 L IS + Canon 2x TCII, 475B/3421 support, processed 100% crop]
IMG_7561.jpg

Yellow-vented Bulbul

Scientific name: Pycnonotus goiavier

Habitat: Common in gardens, urban areas and grasslands but not in mature forests.

[5DM2 + 400 2.8 L IS + Canon 2x TCII, 475B/3421 support, processed 100% crop]

Black-crowned Night-Heron 

Scientific name - Nycticorax nycticorax 

Habitat - Variety of wetlands from ricefields to mangroves. 

[PINAGBAYANAN, SAN JUAN, BATANGAS, 5DM2 + 400 2.8 L IS,475B/3421 support]
IMG_7322-1200x800.jpg

Black-crowned Night-Heron

Scientific name - Nycticorax nycticorax

Habitat - Variety of wetlands from ricefields to mangroves.

[PINAGBAYANAN, SAN JUAN, BATANGAS, 5DM2 + 400 2.8 L IS,475B/3421 support]

Little Egret 

Scientific name: Egretta garzetta 

Habitat: Coastal marsh and tidal flats to ricefields. 

[COASTAL LAGOON, MANILA BAY, 5D2 + 400 2.8 L IS + Canon 2x TC II, 475B/3421 support]
IMG_7744-1200x800.jpg

Little Egret

Scientific name: Egretta garzetta

Habitat: Coastal marsh and tidal flats to ricefields.

[COASTAL LAGOON, MANILA BAY, 5D2 + 400 2.8 L IS + Canon 2x TC II, 475B/3421 support]

Little Egret 

Scientific name: Egretta garzetta 

Habitat: Coastal marsh and tidal flats to ricefields. 

[COASTAL LAGOON, MANILA BAY, 5D2 + 400 2.8 L IS + Canon 2x TC II, 475B/3421 support]
IMG_7701-1000x750.jpg

Little Egret

Scientific name: Egretta garzetta

Habitat: Coastal marsh and tidal flats to ricefields.

[COASTAL LAGOON, MANILA BAY, 5D2 + 400 2.8 L IS + Canon 2x TC II, 475B/3421 support]

Zitting Cisticola 

Scientific name - Cisticola juncidis 

Habitat - Ricefields and wetter grassy areas. 

[CANDABA WETLANDS, PAMPANGA, 5D2 + 400 2.8 L IS + Canon 2x TC, bean bag]
IMG_8055-1200x800.jpg

Zitting Cisticola

Scientific name - Cisticola juncidis

Habitat - Ricefields and wetter grassy areas.

[CANDABA WETLANDS, PAMPANGA, 5D2 + 400 2.8 L IS + Canon 2x TC, bean bag]

Cinnamon Bittern 

Scientific name: Ixobrychus cinnamomeus 

Habitat: Ricefields, marshes and mangroves. 

[CANDABA WETLANDS, PAMPANGA, 5D2 + 400 2.8 L IS + Canon 2x TC, bean bag]
IMG_7945-1200x800.jpg

Cinnamon Bittern

Scientific name: Ixobrychus cinnamomeus

Habitat: Ricefields, marshes and mangroves.

[CANDABA WETLANDS, PAMPANGA, 5D2 + 400 2.8 L IS + Canon 2x TC, bean bag]

Pied Bushchat (male) 

Scientific name - Saxicola caprata 

Habitat - Drier open country, grasslands and cultivated areas. 

[CANDABA WETLANDS, PAMPANGA, 5D2 + 400 2.8 L IS + Canon 2x TC, bean bag]
IMG_8133-1200x800.jpg

Pied Bushchat (male)

Scientific name - Saxicola caprata

Habitat - Drier open country, grasslands and cultivated areas.

[CANDABA WETLANDS, PAMPANGA, 5D2 + 400 2.8 L IS + Canon 2x TC, bean bag]

Zitting Cisticola 

Scientific name - Cisticola juncidis 

Habitat - Ricefields and wetter grassy areas. 

[CANDABA WETLANDS, PAMPANGA, 5D2 + 400 2.8 L IS + Canon 2x TC, bean bag]
IMG_8148-1200x800.jpg

Zitting Cisticola

Scientific name - Cisticola juncidis

Habitat - Ricefields and wetter grassy areas.

[CANDABA WETLANDS, PAMPANGA, 5D2 + 400 2.8 L IS + Canon 2x TC, bean bag]

Cinnamon Bittern 

Scientific name: Ixobrychus cinnamomeus 

Habitat: Ricefields, marshes and mangroves. 

[CANDABA WETLANDS, PAMPANGA, 5D2 + 400 2.8 L IS, 475B/3421 support, +1 EC in DPP]
IMG_8182-1050x700.jpg

Cinnamon Bittern

Scientific name: Ixobrychus cinnamomeus

Habitat: Ricefields, marshes and mangroves.

[CANDABA WETLANDS, PAMPANGA, 5D2 + 400 2.8 L IS, 475B/3421 support, +1 EC in DPP]

Blue-tailed Bee-eater 

Scientific name - Merops philippinus 

Habitat - Open country usually associated with water along rivers, marshes and ricefields. 

[CANDABA WETLANDS, PAMPANGA, 5D2 + 400 2.8 L IS + Canon 2x TC, bean bag]
IMG_8046-1200x800.jpg

Blue-tailed Bee-eater

Scientific name - Merops philippinus

Habitat - Open country usually associated with water along rivers, marshes and ricefields.

[CANDABA WETLANDS, PAMPANGA, 5D2 + 400 2.8 L IS + Canon 2x TC, bean bag]

Yellow-vented Bulbul 

Scientific name: Pycnonotus goiavier 

Habitat: Common in gardens, urban areas and grasslands but not in mature forests. 

[5DM2 + 400 2.8 L IS + Canon 2x TCII, 475B/3421 support]
IMG_8552-1200x800.jpg

Yellow-vented Bulbul

Scientific name: Pycnonotus goiavier

Habitat: Common in gardens, urban areas and grasslands but not in mature forests.

[5DM2 + 400 2.8 L IS + Canon 2x TCII, 475B/3421 support]

[5DM2 + 400 2.8 L IS + Canon 2x TCII, 475B/3421 support]
IMG_8557-1200x800.jpg

[5DM2 + 400 2.8 L IS + Canon 2x TCII, 475B/3421 support]

A SMALL FISHERWOMAN IN A BIG POND. I was birding at the Coastal Lagoon (Manila Bay) late this afternoon, 
and I saw this woman casting her net in the distance. Vignetting was introduced in post process.

[5D2 + 400 2.8 IS, 475B/3421 support]
IMG_8762.jpg

A SMALL FISHERWOMAN IN A BIG POND. I was birding at the Coastal Lagoon (Manila Bay) late this afternoon,
and I saw this woman casting her net in the distance. Vignetting was introduced in post process.

[5D2 + 400 2.8 IS, 475B/3421 support]

Grey Heron 

Scientific name - Ardea cinerea 

Habitat - Uncommon in wetlands.

[SAN JUAN, BATANGAS, 7D + 400 2.8 IS + Canon 1.4x TC, hand held, near full frame]
IMG_0946-1200x800.jpg

Grey Heron

Scientific name - Ardea cinerea

Habitat - Uncommon in wetlands.

[SAN JUAN, BATANGAS, 7D + 400 2.8 IS + Canon 1.4x TC, hand held, near full frame]

BOKEHLICIOUS. The 400 2.8 IS's bokeh is enhanced by using a FF sensor, shooting wide open very close (with ETs) and stitching. :)

Shooting Info - Canon 5D MII + 400 2.8 IS + 37 mm ETs, near MFD, f/2.8, ISO 320, 1/250 sec, 475/516 support, 3 frames merged into a vertical panorama.
042813-1200x800.jpg

BOKEHLICIOUS. The 400 2.8 IS's bokeh is enhanced by using a FF sensor, shooting wide open very close (with ETs) and stitching. :)

Shooting Info - Canon 5D MII + 400 2.8 IS + 37 mm ETs, near MFD, f/2.8, ISO 320, 1/250 sec, 475/516 support, 3 frames merged into a vertical panorama.