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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

400/2.8- to IS or not, that is the question.
Daniel Goncalves, Photographer
Jacksonville | FL | USA | Posted: 12:09 AM on 08.12.11
->> Non is version is a couple of grand cheaper. Is the IS useful on this lens if you're shooting on a monopd?

I feel like I should get the IS version but wondering if it's a waste of money going for that version.

Cheers.
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Michael Fischer, Photographer
Spencer | Ia | USA | Posted: 1:27 AM on 08.12.11
->> Daniel,
Keep in mind Canon will NOT service the non IS version. It's too old. Parts availability could be a serious issue if it needs service.

Michael
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Tim Casey, Photographer
Gainesville | FL | USA | Posted: 1:41 AM on 08.12.11
->> As Michael said, it's not about the IS. Canon won't service that lens. You'll have to find someone else to repair it if anything happens.

I don't think I have ever turned on the IS on my 400 since it's always on a monopod and I'm shooting at shutter speeds faster than 1/1000 anyway. I don't see how IS is a big feature on the lens anyway, unless you will be shooting from boats, planes, cars or helicopters.
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Israel Shirk, Photographer, Assistant
Boise | ID | US | Posted: 1:53 AM on 08.12.11
->> "shooting from boats, planes, cars or helicopters."

I do these every day and still don't need IS. The IS lens is lighter and easier to handhold, if you're into that kind of thing. It's also a chick magnet, but everyone knows that.
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Tim Casey, Photographer
Gainesville | FL | USA | Posted: 6:56 AM on 08.12.11
->> Fair enough, Israel, I was just trying to think of reasons somebody would use the IS on that lens.

Maybe I've just been getting lucky, but I've had tape over the IS on/off switch ever since I got the lens and I've never had a problem with it.
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Gray Quetti, Photographer
Jacksonville | Fl | USA | Posted: 7:53 AM on 08.12.11
->> Dan, I've always heard that the IS version is sharper but I have no idea if that is a fact or not, but I know that my 400 IS is the sharpest lens in my bag. Happy hunting.
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George Bridges, Photographer, Photo Editor
Washington | DC | USA | Posted: 8:10 AM on 08.12.11
->> Daniel,

99.9999 percent of the time with a 400 you don't need IS.

However, get assigned something indoors with a long throw such as a funeral service where you are in the back of a dark church or way up in the balcony and you are shooting at 1/60 or slower -- you are very happy to have the IS.

I've seen it happen. Years ago when IS was first being introduced in the long lenses, at a service at the National Cathedral the press was up in a side balcony High ISO was not as good in those daysand we were shooting very, very slow shutter speeds. One person had a new 400 IS and everyone else had non-IS. At least one of the non-IS shooters quietly muttered "I need to break this lens so the company will buy a new IS model."

It all depends on what you shoot or what kind of assignments you want to get. If you shoot mainly sports but want to move into news you need to consider it. In the several years I've had a 400 IS I can count the number of times I've turned on the stabilizer on a couple fingers -- but was glad to have it when I needed it.

And take the service warnings to heart. You don't want to spend thousands on a lens and find out it can't be repaired.
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G.J. McCarthy, Photographer
Dallas | TX | US | Posted: 9:05 AM on 08.12.11
->> "It's also a chick magnet, but everyone knows that."

My kingdom for any truth in that statement. In four years of employment here in Dallas with a company 400, I can honestly say the number of "chicks" (hot or not) who've approached me because of the lens is a resounding zero. Middle aged white guys, on the other hand, are drawn to me like swallows to Capistrano.

And agreed with Geo -- while it's a rarity for me, the times when I do need the IS, it's a godsend.

Best of luck,

- gerry -
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 10:08 AM on 08.12.11
->> GJ is correct. 400-500-600= GWC magnet.
Daniel, this subject has been broached about a million times on the message board. If you're feeling lucky go ahead and buy that lens. But you have been warned. ANY super telephoto
you purchase that is no longer serviced by the big boys could eventually cause you serious financial pain. I have a mint condition 400 2.8 in my garage. well it's in mint condition except for the rear lens mount and sensor strip which cannot be repaired by ANYBODY because there are no parts available. so I've now had a $7000 paperweight for the past five years. sure I got the lens at a bargain...for $3000 from a dentist....but three years later it became useless after I had a mishap covering basketball....
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Daniel Goncalves, Photographer
Jacksonville | FL | USA | Posted: 2:49 PM on 08.12.11
->> Wow, thanks gentlemen. I didn't know canon was no longer making parts. I agree I definitely don't want to go down that road.

I currently shoot the 300/2.8 is sometimes with the 1.4x.

Trying to decide if I should upgrade or buy a 400 and keep both. If there was a fast full frame update to the mkiv the 300 will be even wider.
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Israel Shirk, Photographer, Assistant
Boise | ID | US | Posted: 4:44 PM on 08.12.11
->> GJ + Tim-
I was just kidding ;)
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Ken Shelton, Photographer
Wyckoff | NJ | USA | Posted: 10:30 PM on 08.12.11
->> Gee guys, I have a cherry 400 2.8 IS for sale on the SS Classifieds Ads. Show me a little love here.

http://www.sportsshooter.com/classitem.html?id=34613

www.kenshelton.com/bigglass
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Ken Shelton, Photographer
Wyckoff | NJ | USA | Posted: 10:35 PM on 08.12.11
->> And yes, women have walked up to me, noted the 400, and said 'wow, you have a really big lens.'

My answer has always been "I'll bet you say that to all the photographers."
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Daniel Goncalves, Photographer
Jacksonville | FL | USA | Posted: 6:49 PM on 08.25.11
->> I have gone ahead and made the big purchase. It's on it's way, can't wait to have a sore shoulder carrying the 400/2.8 is!
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Svein Ove Ekornesvaag, Photographer
Aalesund | Møre og Romsdal | Norway | Posted: 8:15 PM on 08.26.11
->> Daniel: After a while with that sore shoulder you think that Canon should have included free massage and physiotherapy in the price when selling the lens:)
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David Seelig, Photographer
Hailey | ID | USA | Posted: 12:06 AM on 08.27.11
->> IS is sharper I would not use the older versions with extenders no problem with the is
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Tim Huntington, Photographer
Monterey | CA | USA | Posted: 12:31 AM on 08.27.11
->> I have an original 400 f2.8.

It's totally functional.

It's large and weighty and has impressed many over the years (yes, I really can see the moon, from pretty much anywhere where the moon is visible).

I still list to the right after carrying it on my shoulder around one too many race tracks.

And ladies, I have and use the original hood!
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Daniel Goncalves, Photographer
Jacksonville | FL | USA | Posted: 11:36 PM on 09.04.11
->> Shot my first game with the 400. Loving it. Taking some getting used to moving up from the 300.

What shutter speeds do you get away with for night time NFL games on a 1dmkiii? I was getting blurry images which I never/rarely got with the 300.
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Israel Shirk, Photographer, Assistant
Boise | ID | US | Posted: 12:28 AM on 09.05.11
->> Usually it's 1/focal length, but this varies if you're panning. So 1/400th will get rid of most of your hand shake. Often you'll still run into some motion from the players moving if you don't pan with them.
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 3:59 AM on 09.05.11
->> If you can hand-hold a 400mm 2.8 (with a pro DSLR body) @ 1/400th of a second shooting football (or anything for that matter) you having been hittIng the weight room and are a much better man than I!

Kidding aside...

I am assuming you mean stopping action and not camera shake and you're using a sturdy monopod?

In my limited experience...I would recommend using the highest shutter speed possible. If it's a night game, obviously it's limiting and you have to bump your iso up, which with the newest pro bodies is not as much an issue as it used to be.

For instance: I shot an NFL pre-season game recently (under the lights) and I shot 1/1000 @ wide open with the iso set to 4000. I still had some frames a little blurry ---a jarring collision that knocked the helmet off the running back (impact had some blur, other frames were sharp) and another play where a DB made a dive to try to knock away a pass for example.

I don't think I would shoot an NFL game under 1/800 of a sec unless I really was forced into it ---meaning the lights must be really bad!

Every photographer has their opinions on what will stop action and what won't.

So pile on!

(Typed on my iPhone ---so forgive the typos and auto-fill errors.)
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Thread Title: 400/2.8- to IS or not, that is the question.
Thread Started By: Daniel Goncalves
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