The Amazing Versatility of the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM lens with Internal 1.4x Extender « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

The Amazing Versatility of the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM lens with Internal 1.4x Extender

Day 7 Morning Dry Landing at Peurto Velasco Ebarra, Floreana: Part I

galapagos-tortoise-wide-_a1c9573-peurto-velasco-ebarra-floreana-galapagos

This 3-frame in-camera +/- 2 stop Art Vivid HDR image was created with the tripod-mounted Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens with Internal 1.4x Extender (at 200mm) and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital Camera (Body Only). ISO 800. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop yielded a base exposure of 1/200 sec. at f/4.

Central sensor/AI Servo-Surround/Rear Focus on the tortoises left eye and re-compose. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

The Tortoises

All of the images in this blog post were made with the amazingly versatile Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM lens with Internal 1.4x Extender with and without the TC in place. The Tortoise Center at Puerto Velasco Ebarra, Floreana is a virtual outdoor zoo where a variety of rescued Galapagos Tortoises are kept for educational purposes in a large, natural enclosure. All of the tortoise images here are of the same captive animal and all were made while I was standing or sitting within the confines of a 6 foot diameter circle. To create the wide image above I zoomed out to 200mm and had my back against a large feed container. The distance to the subject was 5.3 meters.

galapagos-tortoise-front-view-_a1c9594-peurto-velasco-ebarra-floreana-galapagos

This 3-frame in-camera +/- 2 stop Art Vivid HDR image was also created with the tripod-mounted Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens with Internal 1.4x Extender (at 300mm) and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital Camera (Body Only). ISO 800. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop yielded a base exposure of 1/200 sec. at f/4.

Central sensor/AI Servo-Surround/Rear Focus on the tortoises left eye and re-compose. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Turning the Zoom Ring

Without moving my tripod—I was still exactly 5.13 meters from the tortoise–I simply turned the zoom ring counter-clockwise with my left hand to the 300mm mark. I did not of course need to look at the zoom setting; I simply turned the ring to achieve the desired framing. Throughout the trip I was continually amazed at how having the ability to zoom in or out made photography so much easier than when working with a fixed focal length lens. You will on occasion still clip a wingtip or cut off the end of a tail when you try to get a bit greedy, but the number of such occurrences will be greatly reduced. One thing is for sure: you will quickly learn to have your left hand on the zoom ring at all times.

galapagos-tortoise-vertical-_a1c9565-peurto-velasco-ebarra-floreana-galapagos

This 3-frame in-camera +/- 2 stop Art Vivid HDR image was also created with the tripod-mounted Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens with Internal 1.4x Extender (at 300mm) and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital Camera (Body Only). ISO 800. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop yielded a base exposure of 1/200 sec. at f/4.

Central sensor/AI Servo-Surround/Rear Focus on the tortoises left eye and re-compose. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Human Zoomin’

Human zooming, moving towards or away from the subject still works well even with an incredibly versatile zoom lens like the Canon 200-400. For the image above I took two steps towards the subject pulled out the front leg of my Gitzo 3532LS carbon fiber tripod for a lower angle of declination to the subject, turned the rig in the tripod collar to vertical, and racked the lens back out to 200mm.

galapagos-tortoise-head-portrait-captive-_a1c9537-peurto-velasco-ebarra-floreana-galapagos

This 3-frame in-camera +/- 2 stop Art Vivid HDR image was also created with the tripod-mounted Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens with Internal 1.4x Extender (this time with the internal TC in place at at 560mm) and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop yielded a base exposure of 1/100 sec. at f/5.6.

Central sensor/AI Servo-Surround/Rear Focus on the tortoise’s left eye and re-compose. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

The Amazing Versatility of the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM lens with Internal 1.4x Extender

Once the tortoise raised its head I knew that I wanted to try for some tight head portraits so I took the time to lower my tripod and sit behind it. I pushed down the lever to engage the internal 1.4X TC, zoomed to the 400mm mark, and went to work. Take a moment to look at and consider the amazingly versatile framing options available with the new 200-400 with the built in TC.

In the next blog post I will share some images of other subjects made on our morning landing at Puerto Velasco Ebarra on Floreana Island.

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1 comment to The Amazing Versatility of the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM lens with Internal 1.4x Extender

  • Hi Artie,

    great shots. My favorite is the 3rd, like the composition.

    The 200-400 is amazing. I have been testing it with Greylag Geese which are very tame here. It takes a while to get used to being able to zoom in/out after years of using almost only prime lenses for birds 🙂
    Zooming is smooth and easy.

    Sharpness is amazing. At f5 and 400mm it looks (in my very simple tests) about as sharp as my 4/600 II. Even with the built-in 1.4x it is extremely sharp.

    Markus