eBay delivered another auction for “the legendary Canon 400mm” lens this morning.

I’m looking for a prime lens in this range, so I’ve signed up for an email notification whenever one comes up on that site. Actually, I’d like a prime lens with a even more reach* but I can’t justify buying a piece of glass that costs more than my first five cars. Combined.

This lightweight, compact 400mm super telephoto lens is highly portable, enabling the photographer to keep pace with even the most rapidly moving subjects in constantly changing shooting conditions. One Super UD lens element and one UD element combine to effectively control secondary spectrum. A double focus ring facilitates a variety of grips to suit various shooting situations. A pull-out hood, switchable focus range, and detachable ring-type tripod mount contribute to outstanding operability.

The listing says, “Very quick focus, allowing for BIF photos.”


Not grokking BIF photos, I Googled.

I had never heard of Bif Naked before which is what makes this another in the “You Ain’t Gonna Believe This” series.

Bombshell Magee v. Bif Naked

She’s the one on the right.

The 44-year old, heavily tattooed, Canadian singer-songwriter is also an actress and motivational speaker with a bio that sounds like something I would make up: “Bif Naked was born in New Delhi to teenaged parents attending private school. She was subsequently adopted by American missionaries” who moved her to Kentucky, then Dauphin in Manitoba, and Winnipeg. Before launching her solo career, she played with the punk bands Gorilla Gorilla and Chrome Dog. Not bands I had heard of, either (sorry, Bif). Her nickname, Bif, started as a mispronunciation of her real name, Beth Torbert.

Of course, the seller meant Birds In Flight.


Birds do fascinate me. I’m interested in the mechanics of flight and in the grace of these killing machines in a stoop. It turns out I can sit on the beach for hours, just waiting for one of our resident osprey to fly through with dinner. Or for dinner.

Some wags might say I qualified that too much. It turns out I can sit for hours on the beach, period.

I find myself drawn more and more to long lens shots which means I’m cropping more than I like.

Great Egret and Little Red Egret

High Cover

With that nice 400mm lens I’d be able to reach the other end of the Blue Hole. I’d be twice as close to Mars. And, of course, I still hold out hope of seeing Bif on the beach. Or Bombshell McGee, seen on the left (Google likes to juxtapose Ms. McGee and Ms. Bif). It turns out a 400mm makes a good portrait lens, too.

* The EF 600mm F/4L IS II USM or even better the EF 800mm F/5.6L IS USM Supertelephoto. And imagine that with a 2x teleconverter and a high ISO!