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Canon nFD 400mm 2.8 L
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 12:47 pm    Post subject: Canon nFD 400mm 2.8 L Reply with quote

Even though it is a well known lens among Canonians, there's not so much information about the legendary Canon new FD 2.8/400mm L lens to be found in the internet.

Some days ago i had the opportunity to shoot with both the nFD 2.8/300mm and the nFD 2.8/400mm L as well as the FD 2.8/300mm Fluorite. The two nFD lenses are ivory-colored, the latter (older) FD 2.8/300mm Fluorite ist black.

Both 300mm lenses have a large fluorite lens with an extremely low dispersion (Abbe number of 95.1). The older FD lens has a third element from LD glass (Abbe 70.1), the newer nFD lens however uses UD glass (Abbe 81.6) for its third element.
While the FD lens has a small rest of lateral CAs, the newer nFD is simply free of lateral CAs.

The nFD 2.8/400mm is a huge lens (it dwarfs any 2.8/300mm), it's heavy, and its fun, of course!
It uses no fluorite, but two huge UD glass elements (Abbe 81.7). In contrast, both the nFD 4/300mm and 4.5/400mm have two LD elements (Abbe 70.1), while the nFD 4/300mm L has two UD elements (Abbe 81.6), just as the nFD 2.8/400mm.

As we can assume from the details given above, the nFD will be a bit weaker than the FD/nFD 2.8/300mm when it comes to color correction. In fact there's a remaining rest of lateral and longitudinal CAs, and when using IF film, the focus of the 2.8/400mm L must be adjusted: Its IR marking is at the f11 position (Canons nFD 2.8/300mm and 4.5/500mm do not require any focus adjustment when shooting IR!).

The first image shows a few crops from the extreme corner of a 24MP FF camera (JPGs directly out-of-camera).
The second image is the JPG @ f2.8, direcly out-of-cam.
The entire camera plus lens was laying on a sturdy wall; there was no chance of any movement or vibration. I did use the self-timer and electronic first shutter.

Stephan

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wich lens did you use for this test images?

I own the nFD 300 and 400mm both f/2.8 L. My 300mm lens came with bad fungus, which has left traces in the glass.
The 300 is clearly the better color corrected lens. But sometimes I love to use is, cause its 14cm front lens helps for even more object isolation.
And yes, after using the FD 400 the FD 300 fells really small!


PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ZoneV wrote:
Wich lens did you use for this test images?

I own the nFD 300 and 400mm both f/2.8 L. My 300mm lens came with bad fungus, which has left traces in the glass.
The 300 is clearly the better color corrected lens. But sometimes I love to use is, cause its 14cm front lens helps for even more object isolation.
And yes, after using the FD 400 the FD 300 fells really small!


The test images were, of course, made with the nFD 2.8/400mm (both the FD 2.8/300mm Fluorite as well as the nFD 2.8/300mm L have better CA correction) - as the title of the thread implies.

Stephan

PS maybe you can add here some of your images made with the nFD 2.8/400mm?


PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ZoneV wrote:
more object isolation.


That is exactly what i would like to see from this lens!


PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here an older image:



PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i get this lens for bargain (even if it is fungused a little, i need to make it cleaned or sell it )

The lens is very heavy, i use it twice only :
some good shoots :
https://www.flickr.com/photos/114394093@N05/albums/72157668203297701

The last time is use it for animals in nature i only get bad shoots (not sharp) :

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TrueLoveOne wrote:
ZoneV wrote:
more object isolation.


That is exactly what i would like to see from this lens!


Such images will follow sooner or later.


PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From last week:
Outdoor Portrait by Markus, auf Flickr


PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice!! Like 1 small


PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you!
The 400mm is big and heavy, but I like what it can protuce. But for some things I prefer the 300mm lens with its better correction.
Here another picture from the 400mm lens. Great lens for such portraits / fashion images with more than the face.

On the bridge by Markus, auf Flickr


PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really, really like that last image. Like 1 Happy Dog


PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Today i made a few test shots with the nFD 2.8/400mm at full aperture.

Image 1: Overwiev, re-sized to 1500x1000 px
Image 2: 100% crop from the border
Image 3: 100% crop from the extreme corner

The images are out-of-cam (no post-processing except cropping and saving)

I'm quite surprised about the quality of the 2.8/400mm L at f2.8; detail resolution doesn't really increase when stopping down, and CAs are lowest at f2.8 (i. e. the lateral CAs increase when stopping down!)

Stephan



PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Canon nFD 400mm f/2.8L on Sony A7II:

A Walk On The Beach - Winter Edition by Markus, auf Flickr


PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stevemark wrote:
I'm quite surprised about the quality of the 2.8/400mm L at f2.8; detail resolution doesn't really increase when stopping down, and CAs are lowest at f2.8 (i. e. the lateral CAs increase when stopping down!)



This is common with many lenses. The optical designer generally tries to get a good balance of all the residual aberrations for the lens working wide open. As aperture is reduced, all aberrations EXCEPT the lateral CA and distortion decrease rapidly, so the residual lateral CA becomes more visible for, say, F11 or F16. See, for example, how is the behavior of a CZJ Sonnar 180mm F2.8 at the right edge, for aperture F2.8 and F11. Note how the lateral CA is far less apparent for wide open.


CZJ Sonnar 180mm F2.8 wide open (100% crop on a Sony A99):


CZJ Sonnar 180mm F2.8 at F11 (100% crop on a Sony A99):


PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another Canon FD 400mm f/2.8L on Sony A7II picture:

Maternity by Markus, auf Flickr


PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Loving the subject isolation on some of these shots. Fantastic. ZOneV, that black and white one is just great. Like 1 small Like 1 small


PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent portrait work Markus!! Like 1 small Like 1 small Like 1 small


PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are a few images from a recent hike in the Swiss Alps.

Canon nFD 2.8/400mm L plus Sony A7RII and Monopod.

The weight of the lens plus its size and the monopod can be a bit tricky when following the animals in steep territory - Sony A900 plus 2.8/200mm APO is much easier to use ... and safer.







And finally here's a 100% crop from the previous image - it shows the enormous potential of the nFD 2.8/400mm combined with the high res sensor of the A7RII:


The images were taken at a hight between 2600m and 2800m above sea level, in the Gotthard region.

Stephan


PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well now - that is good.
Well done
T


PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, i forgot to write ... the images show the Steinbock (Alpine Ibex).

Its poulation, now around 45'000 animals, was down to a mere 100 animals around 1850. Thanks to the first Italian king, Vittorio Emmanuele, the Steinbock was strictly protected, and the number of animals reached 3000 around 1900.

The Steinbock is not an endangered animal any more, but hunting is strictly controlled. Taking images is relatively easy, since the Steinbock is not that shy, and sometimes even quite courious. When trying to find the herds, i usually listen, since the animals make a distinctive sound when walking on loose stones / rocks. Once i hear them, i try to spot the herd. Usually i takes me around one hour to come close to the group, and then fun starts ... it's quite easy to interact with them, and if one shows enough respect, the animals may even decide to walk towards the photographer and have a closer look at him Wink

Stephan


PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice IBEX shots and quite a nice story Stephan! Like 1 small Like 1 small Like 1 small


PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stevemark wrote:
(snip) the animals may even decide to walk towards the photographer and have a closer look at him Wink


No doubt they were admiring your stamina for hiking in the mountains with the 400/2.8 - I would. I took mine out yesterday on a short trip in a dutch and therefore completely flat nature reserve, hunting for a juvenile whitetailed eagle. The lens and its matching tripod made quite an impression on my shoulders..


PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dickb wrote:
stevemark wrote:
(snip) the animals may even decide to walk towards the photographer and have a closer look at him Wink


No doubt they were admiring your stamina for hiking in the mountains with the 400/2.8 - I would. I took mine out yesterday on a short trip in a dutch and therefore completely flat nature reserve, hunting for a juvenile whitetailed eagle. The lens and its matching tripod made quite an impression on my shoulders..


I feel quite at home in the mountains, especially between 2500m - 3500m in the alps. Carrying the weight is not so much a problem, but handling the lens on a monopod in steep (and possibly slippery) territory feels a bit tricky. Certainly not as safe as my A900 plus 2.8/200mm.
In addition the optical viewfinder of the A900 is much better to get into contact with these animals. Observing them throught the Sony A900 optical viewfinder using a decent tele lens is an absolute joy; looking for hours through the (dark!) EVF of the A7RII is exhausting. And having exhausted eyes doesn't contribute to safety either...

Stephan


PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



I was on crane safari last weekend and I had a few opportunities to use my 400/2.8, with a Sony NEX 5n this time. These are seriously shy birds, so some reach is useful. The FD extender 1.4x A is a good option, the Vivitar 2x macro focussing teleconverter acceptable, those two combined is pushing it a bit far (ISO 800 doesn't help either):




PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dickb wrote:

I was on crane safari last weekend and I had a few opportunities to use my 400/2.8, with a Sony NEX 5n this time. These are seriously shy birds, so some reach is useful. The FD extender 1.4x A is a good option, the Vivitar 2x macro focussing teleconverter acceptable, those two combined is pushing it a bit far (ISO 800 doesn't help either)


If reach is needed, the Canon FD converters are a valid option. I have tested the nFD 2.8/400mm with the Canon FD 1.4x, 2x-A and 2x-B converters. Surprisingly, the "long" 2x-A isn't any better than the "short" 2x-B converter. Combinations of FD 1.4x and 2x converters are possible, and one should use them if neccessary (the results are visibly better than simple cropping).

Stephan