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Archive 2011 · 70-300 vs 100-400
  
 
rprouty
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p.1 #1 · 70-300 vs 100-400


I'm thinking about trying to trade our 100-400 for a 70-300. They're about the same price new. I'm thinking the 70-300 would make a better walking around lens being smaller and lighter. We have a 70-200 f2.8IS II, the 100-400, and 400 f/5.6.
Does anyone here have both the 70-300 and 100-400 and if so how do they compare?
Any help or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks



Jul 19, 2011 at 08:37 PM
kevindar
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p.1 #2 · 70-300 vs 100-400


the 100-400, goes to 400, and thats about where its advantage ends. but thats not a minor advantage. the 70-300 is lighter and smaller and has a much better IS. in the over lapping range (100-300), it is also sharper with better microcontrast. however, I often find myself on the 400mm end of 100-400, so the extra 100mm is a big plus to me. If you can live with using the 400 5.6 (which with the exception of lack of IS, is a great lens) for occasions you need extra reach, the 70-300 makes a lot of sense. of course if you end up carrying both, (70-300 and 400 5.6) then you are better off sticking to 100-400


Jul 19, 2011 at 09:33 PM
Pixel Perfect
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p.1 #3 · 70-300 vs 100-400


Why would you want a 70-300L when you already have a 70-200 f/2.8L II which even with 1.4x attached be at least as good? 100-400L is imo a much more useful lens if you shoot wildlife than 70-300L. It's only real advanatge is IS and weight. Price is dearer since it doesn't include the tripod ring as standard. My 100-400L IQ is about the same as my 400 f/5.6L, which is why I sold the latter.

Keep what you have, it's already a superb combo.



Jul 20, 2011 at 01:03 PM
rachelsdad
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p.1 #4 · 70-300 vs 100-400


If I had a 100-400 I am not sure I would have bought the 70-300L, but since I did not I went for the 70-300L. My reasons were size and wieght. I like the IS on the 70-300 better and it is a sweet lens. Steven


Jul 20, 2011 at 03:34 PM
Fr3d
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p.1 #5 · 70-300 vs 100-400


Pixel Perfect wrote:
Why would you want a 70-300L when you already have a 70-200 f/2.8L II which even with 1.4x attached be at least as good?


Because it's much lighter and goes to 70mm and 300mm (not 280) at the same time.
I bought the Tamron 70-300 VC to replace my 70-200 II in some situations for exact this reason.



Jul 20, 2011 at 04:56 PM
gtjohnson
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p.1 #6 · 70-300 vs 100-400


Funny you started this thread. I was just thinking why anyone would buy a 70-300L instead of the 100-400L. Now I'm seeing why ...

Having never held or shot with the 70-300 I couldn't know how much lighter it is, but I've never felt the 100-400 was heavy by any stretch. It's also one of my sharpest zooms, and one of the few that reaches to 400. Only losing 30mm on the short end vs gaining 100mm on the long end doesn't seem worth a switch to me. How much shorter is the 70-300 vs the 100-400 fully retracted? Based on what I've read about the 70-200II, I'd simply add a 1.4x when you need a little extra reach and keep the 100-400 for the longer stuff. The 400 5.6 seems a little redundant to me ...

Gary



Jul 20, 2011 at 06:02 PM
rprouty
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p.1 #7 · 70-300 vs 100-400


I guess I'll stay with what I have and save some money
Thanks for the replies.



Jul 20, 2011 at 06:13 PM
rd4tile
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p.1 #8 · 70-300 vs 100-400


If you seriously care about "smaller & lighter" per your OP you might want to give the 70-300L a try. As a current 70-200V2 owner and longtime 100-400 owner there is something very addictive/attractive about the 70-300L. it's just the complete package for what it was designed to be used for. Until you try one it's tough to convey but you'll rarely see a 70-300L owner that doesn't feel the same. The 70-200 isn't seeing much use since I picked one up.


Jul 20, 2011 at 06:34 PM
 

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skibum5
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p.1 #9 · 70-300 vs 100-400


Fr3d wrote:
Because it's much lighter and goes to 70mm and 300mm (not 280) at the same time.
I bought the Tamron 70-300 VC to replace my 70-200 II in some situations for exact this reason.


Exactly, when i was doing a lot of sports and needed am f/2.8 70-200 I also had a 70-300 IS non-L for general run-around/general travel. Some days you are running all over, sometimes doing serious shooting along the way, the next minute eating at a cafe, then the zoo, then the forest, then a restaurant, the museum, then.... long tiring days perhaps, the 70-200 2.8 are bulky for that, too big to stash about, the weight gets annoying all day long doing that sort of thing.

(Speaking of 280mm vs 300mm though....
That said, I am getting more and more the feelign that the 70-300L cheats on the focal length a bit. Part of it is due to the rear focusing group (at 3' to target 300mm turns into 200mm and even at 10' 300mm turns into like 260mm and even at 25' 300mm turns into like 282mm and more surprisingly even at over 50' yesterday it still had less reach than the tamron at 300mm. I'm not sure it quite makes it to even 290mm ever, maybe if you focus on the moon. OTOH the 70mm on it also tends to give you a wider FOV over most distances than 70mm on the tamorn or canon 70-200s which might be helpful at times.)

I wonder about the comment that the 70-200 2.8 II even with 1.4x TC at 280mm is at least as good as the 70-300L too. Some say the f/4 IS is slightly better at 200mm then the f/2.8 IS II and the 70-300L appears to be a trace better than the f/4 IS at 200mm, at least at f/5 and f/5.6, if probably not at f/6.3 and up. So why would adding a TC reverse that? And comparing the 70-300L at 300mm to the f/4 IS + 1.4x TC the 70-300L is better. And swapping TC on and off is a pain. Granted the 70-200 2.8 IS II is as good as it gets on the wider to middle of the range perhaps even with TC it could match the f/4 IS or 70-300L although I'm a little doubtful. But really the main thing is the bulk of it.



Jul 20, 2011 at 06:40 PM
DLP
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p.1 #10 · 70-300 vs 100-400


If small and light was the order of the day the 70-300 DO would be worth consideration.
Do you ever use the 100-400L at any thing other than 400? If so then sell the prime, if not the 100-400L is the one I'd cull from the herd.
If weight was really a primary issue I would not have chosen the 70-200 MKII over the f4IS. The 70-200 f4IS is a dream travel lens and even with the 1.4x its razor sharp and you only loose 20mm compared to the 70-300.



Jul 20, 2011 at 06:50 PM
rachelsdad
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p.1 #11 · 70-300 vs 100-400


Sorry, I have never had any good experience with a 1.4 extender. Maybe it is just me, but the focus gets slow and the IQ goes south at least for me. I have used the Canon extender with both the non-IS F4 and F2.8. Also the 70-300L is shorter than the bare 70-200.


Jul 20, 2011 at 07:39 PM
johnsarra
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p.1 #12 · 70-300 vs 100-400


I borrowed a 70-300 L from Canon recently. What I liked was that it fit upright in my camera bag, which neither my 70-200 f4 or 70-200 f2.8 do. What I found awkward was zooming as the zoom ring is in front of the focus ring.


Jul 20, 2011 at 07:41 PM
kevindar
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p.1 #13 · 70-300 vs 100-400


70-200II, 60D (high density crop camera), kenko 1.4x dg 300, 280mm, f4 (wide open)





100% crop





I would say the 70-200 2.8 II with 1.4 x is excellent, except for the weight. to your original question of a traveling size and weight option, 70-300 is better.



Jul 20, 2011 at 11:23 PM
skibum5
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p.1 #14 · 70-300 vs 100-400


DLP wrote:
If small and light was the order of the day the 70-300 DO would be worth consideration.


The problem there is then you have to be willing to trade away a fair amount of image quality and yet pay ball park as much as the f/4 IS or 70-300L. But if you really want compact and light above all else and to extreme degree, than that is it.


The 70-200 f4IS is a dream travel lens and even with the 1.4x its razor sharp and you only loose 20mm compared to the 70-300.

it is, I'm testing to see if the 70-300L can replace it though. 300mm without swapping TC on and off is nice. So far:

the 70-300L compared to the f/4 IS appears to be:

noticeably better at 280mm (f/4 IS + 1.4x TC III);

better by a little bit at 200mm f/5-f/5.6 and worse by a tiny, tiny little bit f/6.3+;
(even in the center frame the f/4 and f/4.5 shots look a little darker than the either lens at f/5 so in terms of noise performance it is probably not a full 2/3 stop advantage over the 70-300L, maybe more like just over 1/3 of a stop, that said it does seem to deliver near the full 2/3 stops more background blur which is nice)

worse at 165mm;

a tiny bit worse at max mag ratio MFD (the f/4 IS is awful there wide open but once you are down to the f/5.6 the 70-300L can do then it seems to do tiny bit better, OTOH I get the feeling that the 70-300L is actually a 1/3 stop faster than rated there so that might change the results as they should be compared, maybe make it even);

testing more but it is probably worse at 135mm, similar to a trace better at 100mm and better at 70mm.

------------------------

The 70-300L has a fair amount more CA on the widest end but a bit less on the longer end.
-----------------

(The 70-200 f/4 IS appears to peak somewhere in the middle range, both just compared to itself and relative to the 70-300L. Rising up from 70mm or falling down from 200mm the f/4 IS seems to improve a bit. At f/5.6: Very tentatively, so far, the 70-300L seems to get better as you go 300mm to 200mm and then slightly worse as you head down to 165mm not sure the rest of the story. The Tamron 70-300 VC seems to get better just going merely from 300mm to 280mm but then seems to stay sort of put down to at least 165mm. The Tamron seems to hold it's own best either at the edges or when stopped down 2/3 of a stop.)

------------

The 70-300L does weigh a bit more though. No focus limiter. It seems like the two focus at a similar speed on a 5D2, maybe a tiny trace faster for the f/4 IS on a 7D. AF speeds for the two seem similar on the 5D2 vs 7D though. All very close.
The f/4 IS + 1.4x TC III does focus more slowly, so 201mm-280mm that combo definitely focuses more slowly than the 70-300L. The 70-200 f/4 IS + TC combo seems to have same AF speed as the bare Tamron 70-300 VC. With no limiting ring the 70-300L is more prone to get lost though under bad scenarios I'd think, no clue why they left the limited off the 70-300L. Focusing ring is even smoother and IS is quieter on the 70-300L vs f/4 IS.

-----------------
(The Tamron 70-300VC has more reach than either with its true 300mm vs 280mm for the f/4 IS+TC and a seemingly less than 300mm for the 70-300L, at least at most target distances. Then again the 70-300VC is blurrier than the 70-300L at 300mm so that mitigates most of the small reach advantage and even when reach limited the 70-300L results still tend to look a bit more pleasing and it's certainly better when you intend to use the entire frame at 300mm, at least at 25' distance, some say the Tamron does great at 300mm at 100' and over, not sure yet.)
------------------------------
Not needing to swap a TC on and off is joy.



Jul 20, 2011 at 11:55 PM
john_edwards
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p.1 #15 · 70-300 vs 100-400


Shot this yesterday (handheld, shooting through my deer fence) 100% crop.1/60 sec at 300mm. Tripod ring is not needed as lens is light and the IS is GOOD. This lens and the 24-70L are my only zooms, who needs more? Although I may buy a third party extender since the Canon one won't fit, but I'll probably loose some image quality.

John







Jul 21, 2011 at 12:17 AM
Lethal_weapon
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p.1 #16 · 70-300 vs 100-400


I 've owned 2 copies of the 100-400 and it has been around Greece with me for all my trips. Its not heavy for a long haul in the 40 degree weather and is pretty good 90% of the shooting I do on my hikes with the wife. IS is adequate and I have many keepers using it. Hopefully u have a sharp copy as they can vary in IQ. The push pull does not bother me but it if anything it is kind of long in the bag but not terribly. The lens was Ok for BIFS but I wished it was a bit snappier at times.
I picked up the 70-300L in Hong Kong and it pretty much stayed on the lens for the entire trip. Very Sharp, Great walkaround (I was using 5D MKII) and took a lot of Action shots with it that very pretty good for a non prime (I had my 400 5.6 with me as well) It is small and compact and despite the weird zoom ring near the end I got to like it.
Heading back to To Greece shortly and despite the 100mm loss on the long end, Cropping is my friend and with the sharpness of the lens, I am not worried! I use my 400 5.6 with a 1.4TC and get great results (of course a monopod or good tree is your friend... ) for those more elusive feather friends.

Shot this off a boat, Pretty Wax Wing





  Canon EOS-1D Mark III    300mm    f/5.6    1/160s    800 ISO    0.0 EV  




Jul 21, 2011 at 01:20 AM





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