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Old Oct 9, 2007, 7:21 PM   #1
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I got a good deal on a used copy of this lens. It's as sharp as I had hoped, but the IQ is much better than I expected. I took my kayak to a local lake today and found this great blue heron. I was worried about my "keeper" rate going down compared to the Sigma 80-400 with IS. Boy did I have that backwards - my keeper rate went up! I just plain figured the combination of no IS and the moving kayak would give me lots of blurry shots. Anyway, one of my favorites is below.
I followed the heron around for about 30 min. During that time it caught a number of fish too small for me to identify as well as i bream, one bass, and this catfish. The heron would catch the fish, move it around to get it in the right position to swallow, swallow it, and then dip it's beak in the water. However, with the catfish, it kept on putting it in it's mouth and taking it out. Then it would dip it in the water and try again - must have done this 5 or 6 times before swallowing it. Then it kept dipping it's beak in the water - over and over. I wonder if it had anything with the fact that catfish have stinging barbs on 3 fins? Did it get stung in the mouth? I know from experience that it's very painful, and long lasting. Anyway, here's the shot:


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Old Oct 9, 2007, 8:35 PM   #2
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Congratulations! The 400 will surely offer you years of excitement on avian photography. It is my dream lens but a pity that the Nikon does not have it in its lens collection.
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Old Oct 9, 2007, 9:11 PM   #3
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Don't they make a Nikon to Canon Lens adapter?
Ron
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Old Oct 9, 2007, 10:54 PM   #4
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achieving infinity focus will not be possible with canon lens on nikon body. nikon lenses will work on a canon though, the distance from the camera mounting flange to the sensor plane is closer than nikon dslr's. a canon lens on a nikon would be like using the Canon lens with an extension tube on a Canon body.

that said nikon has many models of 400mm lenses including an f5.6 version.
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Old Oct 10, 2007, 7:21 PM   #5
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Great shot, the lens is a bit of an enigma with me, I've had fabulous shots with mine and poor shots, the 300/4 IS seemed to take over my "use" list until I picked up the 100-400, which seemed to do for me what both of the primes did. I loved the lens but was bothered by it's restrictions of both zoom and the 3.5 meter minimum focus, even though the results of shots in that area were excellent. I hope that you don't find yourself feeling restricted by the focus limitations of this lens or the lack of IS. It's an excellent lens if one is able to deal with those things. You prove well that the lens can perform, that's a given. :-)
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Old Oct 10, 2007, 7:49 PM   #6
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Thanx Norm. I figured it would be sharper than the Sigma, but the image straight out of the camera is better than the Sigma with post work. This is with the 40D though, and I did not shoot very much with the 40D/Sigma combo before I got this lens, so I guess the body may help some, but I am very pleased with it - and my "keeper" rate going up is like icing on the cake.
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Old Oct 10, 2007, 7:57 PM   #7
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Ron, results are always best, and you are getting results. Congrats on the lens and the great shots.
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Old Oct 11, 2007, 7:50 AM   #8
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Ive had mine two weeks and love it. i did have to get used to the shallow DOF and the limitations. Ive never had IS so don't miss it. Im getting shots of birds I just could not get with the 70-200 F4 with a TC on. There are some birds that just seem to stay just out of reach.
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Old Oct 11, 2007, 12:32 PM   #9
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I have beenusing the 400L 5.6 almost exclusively for a good while.Of course, all of mine aren't perfect but it is sharp and IQ is great when everything comes together.

Just wish it was F4 instead of 5.6

You're off to a good start with yours.
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Old Oct 11, 2007, 11:26 PM   #10
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fantastic gbh shot ron. getting a pic with a catfish in it's mouth is a bonus! i'm glad that you are having fun with the canon ef 400mm f5.6. its an amazing lens in my opinion. pairing it up with the new canon 40d has gotta be a killer combo. looking forward to seeing more of your shots.

- hung
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