In any case, the Canon EF 400 mm f/2.8 L USM IS is still the absolute creme de la creme when it comes to Canon lenses. Even the IS system didn’t affect its remarkable image quality.
I wasn’t the only one with the Canon EF 400mm f/2.8 L USM IS at our wildlife workshop. However, my German colleague spent the whole day waiting for a wolf shot with his lens mounted on the tripod, while I walked through the whole park with this heavy lens.
Once you put this lens on your tripod, you quickly realise it just can't take it. My tripod was anything but cheap, yet it still couldn’t take it. It just couldn’t.
Despite using a tripod, I still had to use very short shutter times, as the tripod was anything but stable.
To those with lighter lenses, the sight of me carrying this huge lens was apparently quite funny. I failed to see the humour.
Even the kind of tripod that's perfectly fine for a more affordable lens is completely useless for the EF 400 mm f/2.8. It just buckles and breaks.
Once you see all those stunning animals up close and personal, you forget all about your aching back and burning hands.
Canon EF 400mm f/2.8 L USM IS + 1.4 Extender. ISO 640, 1/400 s, f/4
Canon EF 400mm f/2.8 L USM IS + 1.4 Extender. ISO 640, 1/100 s, f/4
Canon EF 400mm f/2.8 L USM IS + 1.4 Extender. ISO 640, 1/250 s, f/4
Canon EF 400mm f/2.8 L USM IS + 1.4 Extender. ISO 400, 1/1250 s, f/4
Canon EF 400mm f/2.8 L USM IS. ISO 400, 1/320 s, f/7.1
Canon EF 400mm f/2.8 L USM IS + 1.4 Extender. ISO 500, 1/800 s, f/4
A 100% crop from the shot above. There’s very little depth of field and in 1:1 crop, it’s obvious that despite the short shutter time and the tripod, the shot has a bit of shake-induced blur.
The lens certainly can perform astonishingly well. However, it's a very specialised lens. To use it to its fullest, the shot can't be affected by camera shake. To achieve this, times around 1/1000 s and sturdy tripods are needed, despite the very image stabilisation mechanism.