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100-400 VS 70-200 2x

Nader Sherif , Mar 03, 2005; 01:07 p.m.

Ok, as I search through all of these posts every time someone asks if the 100-400 IS lens is any good, 95% of the people jump in and say ?get the 70-200 IS plus 2x extender!? That?s fine and dandy however, if someone will mostly be using it to shoot at the full 400 then according to the shoot out test http://www.luminous- landscape.com/reviews/lenses/400v400.shtml the 100-400 out performs at F5.6 - F11 which is what you would need to shoot at in low light situations so again why would anyone pay an extra $500 if they are not interested in using it for the 70-200 range? What would be the benefit? And don?t say buy a prime, any prime with that reach with IS will cost $$$$$$ were talking under $2,000 budget.

I am looking for a lens that I can shoot wildlife and surfing pictures with. And no 200mm is just not a long enough for taking surfing pictures as some breaks are very far out.


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Sheldon Hambrick , Mar 03, 2005; 01:18 p.m.

"?so again why would anyone pay an extra $500 if they are not interested in using it for the 70-200 range?"

I don't think they would. I just think that they came to the same conclusion as me - they want IS, 2.8, and OCCASIONALLY have the need to go out to 400mm (and don't want to sacrifice 2.8 to get there).

"And don't say buy a prime, any prime with that reach with IS will cost $$$$$$ were talking under $2,000 budget."

300/4.0 IS + 1.4 extender ~ $1,500.

Mark Chappell , Mar 03, 2005; 01:37 p.m.

The Luminous Landscape review you mention is now rather dated. It used the older version of the 2X extender. If you search this site some more, you'll find claims that the 70-200 IS + 'new' 2X gives a better performance than indicated on the LL review, and may in fact be better than the 100-400 at 400 mm.

I have the 100-400 and it's fine at 400, especially if you shoot at f8-11 or so. I dunno if it's any better or worse than the 70-200 IS +2x, or the 300/4 IS + 1.4X (even if we ignore the intersample variation in such complex lenses). I don't own a 70-200 or a 300. But the chances are that any differences among these three choices are likely to be small and MUCH less important to picture quality than your own skills.

And if you want to include a lot of bird photography in your interests in 'wildlife', I'm going to tell you what you don't want to hear: 400 mm is the absolute minimum for the vast majority of bird photography and most of the time you will be wishing for twice that focal length or more.

Giampi . , Mar 03, 2005; 01:41 p.m.

>> F11 which is what you would need to shoot at in low light situations<<

You may want to rethink that statement...

Within your budget, the BEST *prime* is the suggested 300 f/4L IS + 1.4 TC.

The 100-400 is not a bad zoom except, if you use it mostly at 400 you are paying for focal lenghts (and the zoom feature) that you don't need. So, that brings you to the 300+TC. However, even that resulting focal lenght can be short for the work you want to do. Which, brings you to the $$$$ glass...

Andrew Carlson , Mar 03, 2005; 01:54 p.m.

The only reasons I didn't buy the 100-400 and instead bought the 70-200 were 1. 2.8 & IS, I want to shoot hockey and its perfect for it. 2. I did not like the push/pull zoom of the 100-400. It was awkward for someone familiar with the twist type zoom. I don't have a need for 400mm just yet and I have a cheap solution of a sigma 170-500 which works fine at 5.6-11 even all the way out at 500mm. I've been tempted to try it with a 2x but just for screwing around, not really serious attempts.

The 100-400 is a fine piece of glass, I have a friend that owns one. Its not real good for indoors or low-light. Outdoors, wildlife it should be dead on the right piece of glass. Now imaging that 100-400 with the 2x II TC and those breaks way out there. >grin<

Kin Lau , Mar 03, 2005; 03:16 p.m.

I shoot mostly birds, and did a few surfing shots while vacationing in Hawaii, and used my Sigma 170-500 almost always at the 500mm end with my Digital Rebel. There were a few pro's shooting, and all were using 500mm primes. I was at least 25% closer to the water than the pro's and still never shortened up. Check it out here for an idea of what to expect. Most of my surfing shots were cropped down a little from the 500mm.

Andrew Carlson , Mar 03, 2005; 05:25 p.m.

Nice shots Kin - I never seem to get such opportunities here. All the birds are flying out of reach by the time I see them.

Mark Nagel , Mar 03, 2005; 07:57 p.m.

I did a non scientific test myself. The 70-200 w/ new canon 2x did not out perform the 100-400. Here's a link to the thread.




Mark Nagel , Mar 03, 2005; 07:59 p.m.

Note, I use PS auto levels on all crops. The 100-400 was almost unchanged, without PS, the 100-400 won hands down.


Nader Sherif , Mar 03, 2005; 08:36 p.m.

Thanks Mark, after seeing your shots the 100-400 is the winner in my book! I will be picking mine up next week when the local camera store has there no sales tax day!

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