70-200 or 100-400

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by simon_t|1, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. I dont know by own experience, I have the 100-400 and i shot with the 70-200. I like them both but i never tested with the tc. Here a link that might help some to make up your mind. http://www.juzaphoto.com/eng/index.php
     
  2. Context is important, since what and how you shoot could make either choice preferable.

    Dan
     
  3. I would get the 70-200mm 2.8L IS II and the 2X TC III. I don't like the 100-400mm 4.5-5.6L IS. 100-400mm is infamous for being a dust pump. Many people complain that the zoom sucks in air inside the lens onto he sensor. But with a 2X TC, you loose about 2 stops of light so the 70-200mm will become a 140-400mm 5.6.
     
  4. I love my 100-400, and I've never had any problems with dust. Considering its zoom range, it is a very sharp lens. Also considering that you'll get nearly the same range out of this lens that you would with the 70-200 with and without the TC, it's more convenient. When I'm using mine, it sure would be a hassle to dismount the lens and add a TC when I realize that I don't have enough reach.
    Just my thoughts.
     
  5. I have both lenses. I use them differently. The 100-400 is a great good light lens. It is not a dust pump. I have used the same 70-200 2.8L since 1997 for sports, wildlife weddings, newspaper work and studio portraits. It is my favorite lens still and I have three other L lenses including the 100-400. There are times when I need the 2.8 I get from the 70-200. I also have a couple of extenders. There is a new Canon 2x III that is supposed to be quite good. Before I got the 100-400 I used the 70-200 with extenders to get salable wildlife pictures. If I had to choose only one it would be a 70-200 2.8 II with the new 2x. I don't know how the lenses compare at 400 since I have never used the 70-200 II or the 2x III. I do know my old 2x ain't so great. The 100-400 works very well when rapidly shifting focal lengths as I have done with sports and wildlife as Mark says above.
     
  6. Jeffrey wrote:
    I would get the 70-200mm 2.8L IS II and the 2X TC III. I don't like the 100-400mm 4.5-5.6L IS. 100-400mm is infamous for being a dust pump. Many people complain that the zoom sucks in air inside the lens onto he sensor. But with a 2X TC, you loose about 2 stops of light so the 70-200mm will become a 140-400mm 5.6.
    I wonder if you have used the 100-400 much? While there is a persistent rumor on the net that it is a "dust pump," those of use who use it really don't find that to be the case at all.
    There are advantages and disadvantages to both of the suggested options, and the best choice really will vary depending upon the photographer and how the lenses will be used.
    If someone really needs a f/2.8 70-200mm zoom and cannot afford to also get a 100-400mm zoom or will use the 200-400mm range only very rarely, the 70-200 plus TC could be OK. However, there are downsides, including the need to remove lens, attach TC, and reattach lens when you want to move between the two zoom ranges. And, of course, you'll also lose the aperture advantage at 400mm and the 100-400 will have a larger aperture at 201mm than the 70-200 plus TC.
    The 100-400 is large and heavy - though the 70-200 is no lightweight! It will be longer fully extended than the 200mm plus TC.
    I use the 100-400 to shoot a wide variety of subjects ranging from sports through birds to landscape. It is really a very fine lens.
    Dan
     
  7. Jeffrey wrote:
    I would get the 70-200mm 2.8L IS II and the 2X TC III. I don't like the 100-400mm 4.5-5.6L IS. 100-400mm is infamous for being a dust pump. Many people complain that the zoom sucks in air inside the lens onto he sensor. But with a 2X TC, you loose about 2 stops of light so the 70-200mm will become a 140-400mm 5.6.
    I wonder if you have used the 100-400 much? While there is a persistent rumor on the net that it is a "dust pump," those of use who use it really don't find that to be the case at all.
    There are advantages and disadvantages to both of the suggested options, and the best choice really will vary depending upon the photographer and how the lenses will be used.
    If someone really needs a f/2.8 70-200mm zoom and cannot afford to also get a 100-400mm zoom or will use the 200-400mm range only very rarely, the 70-200 plus TC could be OK. However, there are downsides, including the need to remove lens, attach TC, and reattach lens when you want to move between the two zoom ranges. And, of course, you'll also lose the aperture advantage at 400mm and the 100-400 will have a larger aperture at 201mm than the 70-200 plus TC.
    The 100-400 is large and heavy - though the 70-200 is no lightweight! It will be longer fully extended than the 200mm plus TC.
    I use the 100-400 to shoot a wide variety of subjects ranging from sports through birds to landscape. It is really a very fine lens.
    Dan
     
  8. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Context is important, since what and how you shoot could make either choice preferable.
    Dan
    Agree.
    I'll join the chorus of: “it depends how you are going to use the lenses”.
    And I think you should make that choice, by looking at the native lens and not the lens and the adaptations to it.
    So if you predominately want a fast 70 to 200 then get it, but if you more need the reach of 201 to 400 and you also want the facility of a 100mm to 400mm compass and you do not mind the varying maximum aperture, - then get the 100 to 400.
    Personally, I found the 100 to 400 a little soft at about 320 to 400 when used wide open; and I don’t like varying maximum aperture; and I don’t like push pull zooms; and I wanted fast between 100 and 200 - so those are the reason I did not buy the 100 to 400.
    But those reasons of mine, do not make the 100 to 400 a poor lens, but rather just not suitable for me and my uses.
    My other input is that the x2.0MkII used correctly (judiciously) can give more than acceptable results on the 70 to 200F/2.8L - so I would expect that the MkIII version tele-converters and MkII version 70 to 200/2.8LIS lens would be a very acceptable combination, also.
    WW
     
  9. Too little information to advise a choice but - be aware that the 70-200mm has had a (fairly) recent upgrade with improved IS and the 100-400mm is rumoured to be planned for upgrade in 2011.
     
  10. I have both. They are different lenses. If you are into aircraft, wildlife, birds and sports at a distance then use the 100-400, the 70-200 is more a general purpose telephoto. Some don't like the 100-400s push -pull zoom but it is there to allow rapid changes to focal length, if you shoot aircraft, birds, wildlife it will be appreciated. It is NOT a dust pump. I've had mine in Africa and other dusty places, no problems. The 100-400 is more difficult to use effectively, it responds to fast shutter speeds and an additionl stop or two over minimum, and users need to realize that at 400mm the depth of field is pretty short even at f7.1 so I would also recommend using it on a body that has MA. It is also affected by atmospheric turbulence on hot days when the subject is over 100 feet or so distance. If you are unsure about getting either lens get the 70-200, you would know if you needed a100-400.
     
  11. I shoot regularly with a canon user with the 100-400, he's never got a dust complaint yet and he is out shooting several times a month. He is thinking of getting a 70-200 as well though - f2.8 is f2.8.
     
  12. I wonder if you have used the 100-400 much? While there is a persistent rumor on the net that it is a "dust pump," those of use who use it really don't find that to be the case at all.
    I've had my 100-400 for 5 years now, used in many dusty and harsh environments. I've had no problems whatsoever!
    Also had a Vivitar Series 1, 70-210 many years ago which also had the push-pull type zoom. Used it for over 20 years on the FD mount, never a dust problem.
    I shoot alot of aviation and wildlife, the IS on the 100-400, although of the older generation is very effective. (Check out Nathan Gardner's image of the Squirrel on the Canon Thursday thread- Good technique, and shot @ 400mm f/5.6 at 1/20 sec.!) It really is an amazing lens for it's size.
    Although the 100-400 is f/4.5-f/5.6 the 77mm lens barrel & front element draw in considerable light, and is better than "non-user's" think it would be.
    My point is, if you need the stretch of the 100-400 over the 70-200, then that's the one you should get. If the 70-200 will do what you need, then that would be my choice.
    Ideally, . . . I'd like to have both!
     
  13. Art Morris has a interesting Blog on the 70-200II and the 2X converter for 13 Nov 2010.
    http://www.birdsasart-blog.com/ go down to the 13 N0v entery. seems he likes the combination a lot.
    John
     
  14. If you choose the 70-200 2.8 II, buy it now. It's $2069, down from $2499. If you need beyond 200, wait for the new version possibly next year.
     
  15. "I have used the same 70-200 2.8L since 1997 for sports, wildlife weddings, newspaper work and studio portraits."
    (Wildlife weddings - that sounds dangerous).
    That said I've had no dust problems with my 100-400 but I've always had a UV filter on it. I even get acceptable shots with the 1.4 t/c attached.
     
  16. I've used the 100-400 for a couple of years now, I don't think I've had any dust problems due to the lens. I've used it on a 40D and a 7D, both of which have self cleaners, so that could be why.
    I was wondering whether the 70-200+2x might be a fair bit heavier than the 100-400, but discovered that the 100-400 is no longer on the list of zoom lenses on the Canon web site, so this may be an academic discussion.
    http://www.canon-europe.com/For_Home/Product_Finder/Cameras/EF_Lenses/Zoom_Lenses/index.aspx
     
  17. A couple of thoughts....
    Check out the lenses you want by renting and using before you buy. The choices you mention are very different although some of the zoom ranges are the same.
    I've rented about 8 different lenses from these folks... and they have a good stock of rented-used lenses for sale.
    http://www.lensrentals.com/buy
    If I had a 70-200 and a 2x TC I'd want IS. I don't like looking through the viewfinder at 400 without IS and seeing my shaking around... not to mention the other benefits. (I do a lot of marginal light shooting at 400mm)
    I've used my 100-400 going on 3 years and I like it. I take it deer hunting with me.... up close... 100mm.... deer at 100 yards... 400mm. The talk of being a dust pump is not true and is passed around on the net in discussions like this.
    If you are going to be shooting a lot at the long end consider the 300 f4 IS with a 1.4 TC. I've used that combo and would prefer it over the 400 5.6 (no IS)
    I don't have a 70-200 but I can't see how you could go wrong with such a solid classic.
     
  18. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    "I was wondering whether the 70-200+2x might be a fair bit heavier than the 100-400, but discovered that the 100-400 is no longer on the list of zoom lenses on the Canon web site, so this may be an academic discussion."​
    I dunno why or why not the 100 to 400 is not on the Europe website - it is still for sale new in AUS?
    That aside: on the weight issue. . . I think that the new (EF70 to 200F/2.8L IS MkII) plus the new x2.0MkIII will be a bit heavier.
    The EF 100-400 weighs 1360gms.
    The EF 70 to 200/2.8 IS MkII weighs 1490gms.
    The x2.0MkIII weighs 325gms.
    But more importantly, to me, is the issue of balance.
    I use the 70 to 200/2.8L and that lens is lighter than both the F/2.8L IS and the F/2.8L IS MkII. When the extra 3" of the extender is added the difference in tilt caused by the balance of the lens and camera when cradled in the palm of left hand is noticeable (at least for my grip / zoom / focus techniques). In this regard the 100 to 400 is better balanced for extended periods of hand holding / shooting IMO and the 100 to 400 is better balanced if using a monopod – as too, are the 300 and 400 F/2.8 primes.
    When using a monopod for extended periods with the 70 to 200 + x2 tele-converter I have removed the battery grip to give better balance – the same could be achieved by using an offset mount from the lens’s ring cradle to the monopod mount.
    I would expect this issue of balance to be similar, when the heavier lens is extended by those few inches also.
    These might seem minor issues – but IMO all stack up to being “inconvenient” and that is why I return to the first comments I (and others) have made – think about the native lens and how you will use it – if you really want a 100 to 400 zoom lens, buying the 70 to 200 and the tele converter is not the answer IMO.
    The tele-converters are very good value for money and do a very good job – but for the 70 to 200 series of zooms the tele-converters are in the kit for “the emergency use” and not the “standard day to day issue”
    I carry a set of three kenko rings in my “light weight” bag too – and I have used those often with my 50/1.4 – I get good shots – easy peezy, especially at a Wedding for the Rings or Cake detail I can just carry one extension ring in my pocket – but by the similar token that is NOT a macro rig – it is an “emergency rig” or “convenience rig”.
    So you should look at what your “standard day to day needs” are – and buy a lens to suit those.
    WW
     
  19. Sorry, got side tracked over dust pumps. I don't have the 70-200 2.8 Mk2 with a 2x converter. I have seen reports of acceptable results using the 70-200 Mk2 with a Mk2 2x but all my attempts with converters have been less than satisfying, I've got better results just cropping. I think I would come down with William on this.
    If you think you will only need 200-400 infrequently then yes, I would go down that way, but would wait to see what people thought of the Canon 2x Mk3 before committing to this. If 200-400 is going to be a regular thing I'd just get the 100-400.
    Lots of rumours about the 100-400 being replaced soon. As Canon is very tight lipped about future products that's all they are, you could wait 10 years or it could be announced next week, nobody really knows.
     
  20. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Neill, I crop too. I'll canvas all methods.
    You might be interested in this field test when I was thinking about cropping vs. other options with the 135/2: http://www.photo.net/photodb/folder?folder_id=978596
    Also, for interest's sake, here are some of the 70 to 200/2.8L + the MkII tele-converters.
    Most images have the shooting specs with them:
    http://www.photo.net/photo/10291553&size=lg
    http://www.photo.net/photodb/folder?folder_id=944717
    http://www.photo.net/photodb/folder?folder_id=971685
    WW
     
  21. I'm in the "Two Different Lenses..." camp, so without knowing how you will use it, there's not a lot that can be offered for advice.
    The advice that has been given is solid however, except for the "dust pump" comment. I've had my 100-400 for a few years now - excellent lens and never a dust problem. I've used it for wildlife and for environmental portraits. I've also used it in a desert environment with strong winds and sand blowing all around me and still never a dust issue.
     
  22. What I am trying to decide is, should I sacrifice the convinience of having the extra focal length of the 100-400 and concentrate on having less focal length but with increadable sharpness.
     
  23. For me, going long is a once a year affair when the annual air show arrives. Absent that, I am no where near 400mm. So, a 70-200 with TC makes sense and avoids a 100-400 closeted 99.9 percent of the year.
     
  24. I was asked my use.
    For closeup subjects that fly away as soon as I try to approach with a 100mm macro lens such as butterflies, distant portraits that are too distant to use my 24-70, throwing bg out of focus obtaining clean soft out of focus bg, in order to bring out the subject. Rarely sea gulls that are not so distant away (above me) and indoor sports.
     
  25. I shoot a lot of swimming meets indoors in badly lit venues. That includes some big time Natatoriums. I use the 70-200 2.8 and I have recently bought (take note WW) an 85 1.8 to do the really dark corners and the egregious back light you get in Boston University's great modern facility (huge north facing banks of windows in direct line with finishing swimmers). BTW "wildlife weddings" are a specialty. I used the 70-200 2.8 for night time high school football. The 100-400 just does not work for these uses IMO. However, on a tripod (shut off the IS on this particular lens) or in good light I handhold it a lot and it works well. It weighs about the same as the 70-200 sans extenders. I am just about to submit a large print for a local show show at 400mm. I do not see any softness as that is one of the reasons I am submitting this picture is that it is quite sharp showing great feather detail on an Oriole.
     
  26. Simon, it does sound like you'd be better served with a 70-200 f/2.8. As others have stated, unless your main purpose for buying the lens is to use it in the 200-400 range, then the 100-400 is probably not what you want. However, don't think that the 100-400 isn't capable of incredible sharpness--it is! In a laboratory under exacting conditions you may be able to see minute gains in sharpness of one lens over the other but out in the field, given conditions that play to the strengths of each lens they are both very sharp.
     
  27. There are better ways to get to 400mm and the 300/4 with 1.4x was mentioned above. Personally for the price of the 70-200/2.8 IS II and 2x III you have quite a few options. Even greater options if you drop the IS requirement. IS is severely overhyped for general photography. IS is great for lowlight non-moving subjects with no flash, and not significantly useful for sports or birds in flight.
    I suggest a used 300/4 non-IS and a 1.4x II, but even if you go for the new IS version and new 1.4x III there is still plenty of budget left for your shorter focal lengths.
    I suggest either a 200/2.8 L to go with your 100mm macro, or the 70-200/4 L non-IS. There is still room in your budget for the 70-200/2.8 non-IS if you get the 1.4x II instead of the III.
    To summarize, at the top end of the budget, you could get the 70-200/2.8 non-IS, 300/4 IS, and 1.4x II, for the same price as the 70-200/2.8 IS II and 2x III. You can get well under budget by buying used. I have bought used lenses (and cameras for that matter) and have been able to buy the best possible equipment for a much more appropriate budget.
     
  28. "What I am trying to decide is, should I sacrifice the convinience of having the extra focal length of the 100-400 and concentrate on having less focal length but with increadable sharpness."
    "Sharpness" is a fine thing, but it isn't the only thing - and choosing a lens primarily because it is "the sharpest" among a group of excellent lenses is letting yourself get distracted by a single aspect of lens performance that may well not be the most important. "The sharpest" lens is not necessarily "the best lens" for your purposes.
    First, what are you doing with the photographs? Are you regularly printing "gallery quality" (for lack of a better term) prints at very large sizes? Or not? If not, the differences in sharpness among a group of good lenses are often completely insignificant and/or invisible. It is quite possible that any of a number of lenses would produce your particular final output with excellent results - in which case small sharpness differences that might be visible at 100% magnification in side-by-side comparisons on the screen won't make any difference at all.
    Second, are you shooting in ways that potentially let you take advantage of the maximum resolution of your lenses? If you shoot from a tripod, carefully (and most likely manually) focus, use a remote release and MLU or live view, choose aperture carefully, and all the rest of it... perhaps. If you shoot handheld or most often shoot active subjects, other factors will affect resolution and make the super sharpness margin from the "sharpest" lens superfluous.
    Third, how important are the functional differences among the lenses. In this case, a most basic question is how often do you shoot in the 100-400mm range vs. how often do you need f/2.8 in the sub-200mm range? If you primarily shoot in the 70-200mm range and really need f/2.8 and IS, then a f/2.8 IS 70-200mm lens seems like a necessary choice. If you imagine that you'll more likely frequently find yourself shooting in the full 100-400mm range and in situations where flexibility and quick response are more important than getting f/2.8 at the sub-200mm focal lengths, the 100-400mm zoom is going to be the far better choice.
    And, are these the only or best options for the sort of shooting that you do? (Notice the obsession with "the sort of shooting that you do..." - this is the fundamental criterion for lens selection, not "what is the best lens out there.") Perhaps a 70-200mm f/4 IS plus a longer prime would be a good choice. (Do you do a lot of landscape photography and wildlife photography?) And so forth...
    Dan
     
  29. Dan. You say it better than I do. I was just an hour ago trying to decide with a gallery proprieter what print I was going to display; He never once talked about sharpness or talked about what lens I used; or what body. He does not care nor do the majority of viewers and buyers of pictures. He decided his selection on his gut. It was the Oriole. It's in my PN gallery. He is a long time artist and when talking what I liked about the Oriole picture I had to explain to him what the word "bokeh" meant. He is not a photographer and gets it with his brush without second thought... He wants stuff that will sell. As Dan has said it all depends on what one is into.
    00XiWI-304103584.jpg
     
  30. For some reasond my jpeg conversion got a little over saturated
     
  31. Anyway it was a 100-400 at 400mm on a tripod (makes a big difference in sharpness) at a normal sunny 16 exposure.
     
  32. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Simon, to cover the tasks you outline this statememt makes incredible sense to me:

    "To summarize, at the top end of the budget, you could get the 70-200/2.8 non-IS, 300/4 IS, and 1.4x II" (John Crowe)
    WW
    Dick - you'll use that 85 a lot - I bet. Best to you.
     
  33. Thanks very much for all your valuable help.
    I was checking the links I placed at the start of this thread, and noticed that the 70-200mm f/4 L IS performance results resemble the ones from the new 70-200mm f/2.8 mark II.
     
  34. Thanks very much for all your valuable help.
    I was checking the links I placed at the start of this thread, and noticed that the 70-200mm f/4 L IS performance results resemble the ones from the new 70-200mm f/2.8 mark II.
     
  35. You can say that again!
     

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