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From Pentax to Canon 7D + 400mm/5.6 L for wildlife.

I’ve been a Pentax user for the last 25 years and really like their cameras and lenses, but currently there isn’t a 400mm lens that is available with fast AF and also there is no autofocus TC-1.4X available . After some long thinking i finally decided to sold my Pentax-67 M*400mm/4 EDIF, which is a great lens but it’s a fully manual lens and quite heavy at around 3700 gr. I wanted a lighter lens with fast AF  and a TC-1.4X, so i choosed the Canon 7D and the 400mm/5.6 L, the Canon 400mm/5.6 L  is only 1250 gr, so it is 3 times lighter than my Pentax 400mm lens was.

I went to the Ecomuseum of Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue (on the western side of Montreal), it’s like a Zoo but the animals are either injured or born in captivity so they can’t be released in the wild, they use them for education.  I like that place to test a new camera, lens or TC that i will use for wildlife. I tried different ISO settings and aso the TC-1.4X II, wanted to know if my kit had BF or FF problems.

Good news, looks like my combo don’t need any AF adjustment. The 2nd photo is a crop of the 1st one.

ISO 500, 1/800 sec. at f/5.6, tripod.

Testing the TC 1.4X II, taken W/O at f/5.6, sharpness is still very good !

ISO 800, 1/320 sec. at f/5.6, tripod.

It’s little cousin had something to say.

ISO 640, 1/500 sec. at f/10, tripod.

Miam ! Miam !

ISO 500, 1/1250 sec. at f/6.3, tripod.

Close-up of the Wolf.

ISO 320, 1/1000 sec. at f/6.3, tripod.

Ducks on Ice.

ISO 500, 1/500 sec. at f/6.3, tripod.

Sleeping time for the River Otter.

ISO 640, 1/320 sec. at f/11, tripod.

First impressions

– The AF is fast and accurate, no needs to adjust it.

– IQ of the 400mm/5.6 L is at least as good as my Pentax-67 M*400mm/4 EDIF.

– ISO performance is about the same as my K20D, need more experience with the 7D to draw more definitive conclusions.

– The IQ with the TC-1.4X II is very good even W/O.

– I will need some times to get faster using the 7D, but it’s easier than i thought it would be considering the differnt disposition of the buttons and menu with a Pentax DSLR.

– I like the silent mode and 8 Fps.

– I prefer the pad on the Pentax DSLR, with the 7D you have to turn the pad (like my NEX-3), i guess i will get use to it.

– The weather sealing is not as good as with Pentax but i ordered a waterproof sleeve for my kit.

– The lens release button should be on the other side of the lens mount, it doesn’t feel right on the left side ?!?!

I think i will like that combo for wildlife photography, needs some times to really get fast and efficient with it but i’m already pleased with it.

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4 responses

  1. Jerry

    Great post! I’m also a photographer who shoots with Pentax and Canon gear. I know exactly what you’re saying about the lens release. There are several things I like about my Canon gear (the flash system, third-party accessory availability, and the lens selection are the main ones) but I hate how I have to move my right hand away from the shooting position to change lenses. I can keep my right hand on the camera grip and shutter ready to take a shot when I swap lenses on my Pentax gear.

    March 11, 2013 at 12:22 am

    • There is Pros and Cons to every system, but i’m willing to deal with two systems for the moment and take advantage of each system strength.

      March 11, 2013 at 9:58 pm

  2. Steve Nason

    Well living in New Brunswick Canada and shooting with a Pentax makes you the odd man out. The first thing is that used lens or a local user group is out to question. I am shooting with a K10 and love it but my have to make the leap to Canon or Nikon just not there yet.

    March 24, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    • Hi Steve,
      well, you will not be the only Pentax user this summer, we are going in vacation in New Brunswick and PEI. I waited but the Canon won because of AF speed and lens choices in the long telephoto lenses.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:23 pm

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