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Re: What is Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS USM used for? Any good for birds photography?


@wq9nsc wrote:

Thanks Wadizzle, this lens has a lot more to provide than what I am getting out of it yet as I figure out the tricks of using it.  As a bonus, learning with this lens will make the 400 seem much easier to manage when shooting fast moving sports. 

 

Rodger


Eh, probably all you need it a spotting scope.

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Re: What is Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS USM used for? Any good for birds photography?

Thanks Ernie and I don't think there is much difference in the framing/following issues between the 600 and 800 so you would do as well with the 800 as you do with 600. The 800 grabs focus very quickly but it still depends upon the operator to put the focus point on the subject before it decides to fly elsewhere Smiley Sad

 

I noticed a bid difference in shooting HS football when I switched between 300 and 400 2.8 glass, with the 300 the majority of the time there is enough open space that cropping is your friend.  The 400 2.8 produces incredible images but there is far less margin for error with the smaller field of view making it easy to lose a critical part of a player or play.  With the 300, I can carry on a conversation with one of the coaches while shooting a game but the 400 requires my full attention.

 

When I first tried shooting high school football with the 400 f2.8 I am really glad that I shot the pre-game warmup because the first few minutes were not good as I adjusted from the 300.  After a few minutes I became comfortable with it but I probably felt like my daughter did driving the pickup a couple of weeks ago.  We went out to get fuel for the tractor and I had her drive it back home on the country roads.  Going from the svelte Cadillac ATS to a 3/4 ton crew cab diesel pickup was intimidating for her and she told me she felt like she was captaining an aircraft carrier and having trouble seeing the road over the hood.  But after a couple of miles she adjusted to it pretty well, more quickly than I do to longer glass Smiley Happy 

 

At some point I will get her behind the wheel of the Corvette Z06 but she is highly intimidated by that snarling beast which is a good thing.  When I took delivery at the Corvette museum during the first full year of Z06 production, the unofficial count was two dozen totaled on the initial drive home from the dealership.  Other than dropping a great white on your toes there isn't much real danger with a big telephoto lens.

 

Rodger

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video
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Re: What is Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS USM used for? Any good for birds photography?

Waddizzle,

 

A spotting scope would definitely be a good addition but reaction time is what I have to improve. I have too many sharply focused shots of where a bird was just milliseconds before and several more with tail feathers just exiting the scene.

 

One would think after shooting a bunch of fast moving volleyball games that reaction time wouldn't be an issue but birds are even less predictable than volleyball players.  They also like playing psychological games with me.  While I was trying to capture some birds at the feeder while using the EF 800 on a monopod, a little Nuthatch landed on the lens hood and stared at me.  Later that day, the pheasant I had been trying to photograph decided to show up in my pasture and as soon as I came back out with the camera he headed into cover along the creek making lots of noise but refusing to show himself until well after sundown. 

 

Rodger

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video
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Re: What is Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS USM used for? Any good for birds photography?

Rodger,

 

Some birds do like to play games.  I had a red wing blackbird who would keep landing 15-20 feet away.  But, he would take when I pointed the lens, and land 15-20 feet behind me.  This happened like 5-6 times, until it finally let me take a whole series of photos.

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Re: What is Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS USM used for? Any good for birds photography?


@Waddizzle wrote:

Rodger,

 

Some birds do like to play games.  I had a red wing blackbird who would keep landing 15-20 feet away.  But, he would take when I pointed the lens, and land 15-20 feet behind me.  This happened like 5-6 times, until it finally let me take a whole series of photos.


He was checking to be sure the camera wasn't actually a shotgun.

Bob
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Re: What is Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS USM used for? Any good for birds photography?

 Hmmm,

 

Sing a song of sixpence,
A pocket full of rye.
Four and twenty red-wing blackbirds,
Baked in a pie.

 

Not quite the same!  Smiley LOL

 

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Re: What is Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS USM used for? Any good for birds photography?

Waddizzle,

 

Red wing blackbirds are so over the top with aggression that they are generally fun to watch.  I regularly see them harassing hawks to run them out of their territory.

 

But I did have a run in with one two years ago.  As you know, they are extremely territorial and one had staked out his spot near the 2 mile point on my favorite running route.  For around 200 yards he would continuously swoop down and rake his claws through my hair and he was so aggressive that the wife of the farmer started driving instead of walking to bring her husband stuff from the house because the bird would always attack her. 

 

I tried carrying a water gun with me to discourage him but that did no good and I finally grew tired of his/her antics.  I could watch the shadow we both cast as it attacked and I caught it during its strafing run and carried it with me for another mile before releasing it.  If anybody had seen me running carrying a red wing they really would have wondered what was up with the crazy prof this time Smiley Happy  It still inhabits the same territory but now it just looks at me so we came to a mutual understanding.  I am used to red wings doing flyovers and I don't blame them for enforcing their territory and I stay well away from their nesting spots but this bird needed a little attitude adjustment.  Surprisingly, once I caught it there was no struggle and it didn't seem to mind the little trip going running with me.  Maybe it thought it had trained me to be its personal UBER ride.

 

Rodger.

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video
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Re: What is Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS USM used for? Any good for birds photography?


@wq9nsc wrote:

Waddizzle,

 

Red wing blackbirds are so over the top with aggression that they are generally fun to watch.  I regularly see them harassing hawks to run them out of their territory.

 

But I did have a run in with one two years ago.  As you know, they are extremely territorial and one had staked out his spot near the 2 mile point on my favorite running route.  For around 200 yards he would continuously swoop down and rake his claws through my hair and he was so aggressive that the wife of the farmer started driving instead of walking to bring her husband stuff from the house because the bird would always attack her. 

 

I tried carrying a water gun with me to discourage him but that did no good and I finally grew tired of his/her antics.  I could watch the shadow we both cast as it attacked and I caught it during its strafing run and carried it with me for another mile before releasing it.  If anybody had seen me running carrying a red wing they really would have wondered what was up with the crazy prof this time Smiley Happy  It still inhabits the same territory but now it just looks at me so we came to a mutual understanding.  I am used to red wings doing flyovers and I don't blame them for enforcing their territory and I stay well away from their nesting spots but this bird needed a little attitude adjustment.  Surprisingly, once I caught it there was no struggle and it didn't seem to mind the little trip going running with me.  Maybe it thought it had trained me to be its personal UBER ride.

 

Rodger.


What a great story.

 

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Re: What is Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS USM used for? Any good for birds photography?

Thanks California Dream!  I am very animal friendly but they do like to interact with me when running.  Around 10 years ago I was enjoying a nice late afternoon run in early June listening to some classic CSN&Y on my iPod when a doe popped out of the grassy ditch by the side of the road and froze right in front of me.  I  had to push off of her shoulder to avoid running into her.  She looked at me for a moment and then gracefully ran across the field.  No harm to either of us but for months afterward I was on guard for another appearance of Bambi.

 

Then 4 years ago I was running down another road past a mature corn field in late July and a buck emerged from the field heading across the road at full speed.  I mostly dodged him with just a slight blow sending me rolling down the steeply banked roadside into a fortunately dry drainage ditch.  I was fine but I hope that was my last close encounter with a deer.  Fortunately I have never hit one in a vehicle or been hit by one.  Once they decide on a running course, they are like a WWII torpedo and stay on that course until they clear it or hit something and detonate.

 

Rodger

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video
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Re: What is Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS USM used for? Any good for birds photography?

I know this is a photo forum but I just can't help it.  I was stream fishing about 40 off and below a road.  A deer came out of the woods and started across the road.  When it came to the white line in the road it bent down and smelled it.  It then walked down the road about 50 yards along the white line then back and walked the other way about 50 yards.  It then walked back to is's starting point, jumped up about 8 feet over the line and continued across the road. 

 

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