I have been waiting for two years for this lens to arrive. For the kind of wildlife photography and video that I do, I have anticipated that it may replace several lenses I regularly travel with and let me respond more quickly and compose more precisely in the field. So it was very exciting when yesterday I finally got the call from my local camera gear supplier, Hunts Photo and Video, that my lens was in. I immediately drove down and picked it up and went out this morning and started shooting some test shots.
I was confident the lens would be sharp and perform well as I had already read early reviews. However, since I am often temped to push the focal length by adding extenders, one thing I was very curious about was how it would work with not only the internal 1.4x converter enabled, but also when 1.4 or even the 2x converter is added externally. I went out to one of my local wildlife spots and found a cooperative Great Blue Heron. Here are some of my first shots with this new lens. Needless to say, I am extremely pleased with the results!
HERE IS THE REAL TEST: 200-400 WITH INTERNAL 1.4X ENABLED, PLUS THE EXTERNAL CANON 2X CONVERTER III = 1120 mm focal length.
See for yourself, but my feeling is that even with this 2x converter added, the quality is there. In fact, though I haven’t done the side-by side test yet, I think this looks sharper than using my 600 mm f4 with 2x converter at 1200 mm. Of course I had to manual focus this as at f11, autofocus does not work. But for extreme situations when I really want the reach, this looks totally usable to me, and has actually exceeded my expectation for this lens, so I am extremely pleased with it.