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Archive 2012 · 400mm: 100-400L vs 70-200II + 2xIII
  
 
jcolwell
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p.1 #1 · 400mm: 100-400L vs 70-200II + 2xIII


In the current thread "Sigma 150-500 vs Sigma 50-500", I speculated that the 100-400L was slightly sharper at 400mm than the 70-200/2.8L IS II + 2x III Extender, see link below.

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1153892/1#11012537

Here's a quick comparison of these two lenses from some photos I took yesterday. Handheld on 1DX at ISO 100, with IS in Mode 1. Both lenses wide open, giving f/5.6, with t = 1/500 sec. A total of three images were taken of the same subject for each lens. A single "best of three" image was selected from each set, and 100% crops from those two images are shown below. In each image, the top two panels show 100% crops from the 70-200/2.8L IS II + 2x III on the left and 100-400/4.5-5.6L IS on the right, with a central panel below showing the CS6 Navigator window, with a red square to show the location of the 100% crops above.

My summary: the 100-400L is slightly sharper, although the 700-200II + 2xIII has less CA on bright edges. In the situation tested here, both produced fine images that could be used for just about any purpose, with minimal PP.
























Oct 04, 2012 at 01:07 PM
Paulthelefty
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p.1 #2 · 400mm: 100-400L vs 70-200II + 2xIII


Interesting, thanks for testing that and sharing.

Paul



Oct 04, 2012 at 01:23 PM
vsg28
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p.1 #3 · 400mm: 100-400L vs 70-200II + 2xIII


I have the Canon 70-200 II and a Canon 2x II but I just bought a 100-400L for mostly the convenience and less weight. Given that the 2x II is worse than the 2x III, it is good to know I will get a better IQ as well. Thanks!


Oct 04, 2012 at 02:06 PM
fraga
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p.1 #4 · 400mm: 100-400L vs 70-200II + 2xIII


Very interesting results.

Thanks for the time and trouble, Jim.



Oct 04, 2012 at 02:16 PM
NCAndy
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p.1 #5 · 400mm: 100-400L vs 70-200II + 2xIII


While I can see the differences, there really doesn't seem to be much between them. How is the AF speed of these two? Is the 70-200 + 2xIII much slower than the 100-400?


Oct 04, 2012 at 02:41 PM
vsg28
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p.1 #6 · 400mm: 100-400L vs 70-200II + 2xIII


I had another question: Is the newer IS on the 70-200 II still translate over with the extender? Or is it now about the same as 2/3 stop IS on the 100-400mm?

I could get about 3 stops of IS if lucky with my 2x II, typically more like 2 stops.



Oct 04, 2012 at 02:45 PM
sperraglia
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p.1 #7 · 400mm: 100-400L vs 70-200II + 2xIII


I came to the same conclusion so thanks for confirming. I also think Petkal tested a few weeks ago and come to the same conclusion that the 100-400 is sharper at 400mm than the 70-200ii with 2xiii.


Oct 04, 2012 at 03:00 PM
pKai
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p.1 #8 · 400mm: 100-400L vs 70-200II + 2xIII


Thanks for sharing......

You're not kidding when you say "slightly"..... almost imperceptible, IMHO.... The shot of the deck gun shows almost nothing between then, whereas the shot of the bow pulpit does show a bit in favor of the 100-400.

I don't have a 100-400 any more (traded it for 400 5.6L long ago) but do have the 70-200 II+2xIII. Mainly use the TC for rented big guns I can't afford to buy. I'm eager to try them together when birding season comes back around down here.

I realize that this was a static subject, but have you played with AF between them? I was never happy with the AF speed on the 100-400 which is one of the main reasons I traded it for the blindingly fast 400 5.6L. AF on the 70-200 II by itself is plenty fast. Any idea how much the TC takes away? Better or even worse than the 100-400?




Oct 04, 2012 at 03:23 PM
jerbear00
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p.1 #9 · 400mm: 100-400L vs 70-200II + 2xIII


Interesting. Thanks


Oct 04, 2012 at 03:34 PM
adamx12m
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p.1 #10 · 400mm: 100-400L vs 70-200II + 2xIII


How is the AF speed of these two?

Perfect timing because I was just going to ask this question about the 100-400. As previously mentioned I'm also curious about the AF speed for sports. So far I find the 1d4 + 70-200 II + 1.4x II is a little slow on the initial focus but tracking seems ok. Obvious softness vs. without the TC. Decided to rent the 100-400 for a week.



Oct 04, 2012 at 03:40 PM
 

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Marco
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p.1 #11 · 400mm: 100-400L vs 70-200II + 2xIII


Obvious softness drop with the 1.4xII?...
I was told that the drop in quality with the 1.4x was negligible, indeed I'm considering to trade my 2xIII with the 1.4xIII just because of IQ issues.
Care to elaborate?

Thanks



Oct 04, 2012 at 03:59 PM
boingyman
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p.1 #12 · 400mm: 100-400L vs 70-200II + 2xIII


Thanks for sharing. I always wanted both lens, but probably makes sense for me to save some $ and just get the 70-200 II + 2xTCIII


Oct 04, 2012 at 04:05 PM
John Caldwell
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p.1 #13 · 400mm: 100-400L vs 70-200II + 2xIII


Marco wrote:
Obvious softness drop with the 1.4xII?...


May I confirm that that the 1.4 series II imposes a non-negligable quality reduction to 70-200 IS II images. I have not used the 1.4 III or the 2 III.

John-



Oct 04, 2012 at 04:32 PM
gocolts
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p.1 #14 · 400mm: 100-400L vs 70-200II + 2xIII


I had the 100-400L, and I loved the weight of it. However, once I got the 70-200 MKII and compared them, I just couldn't justify keeping it. For outside stuff where I use it, mainly at racetracks, it isn't uncommon to be stopping down a little anyways, so the IQ difference really starts to disappear IMO. Granted, I had an older 100-400L, I hear the newer ones are a little sharper.

As for focus tracking, the 70-200 MKII + 2xTCII can track a racecar at 180mph trackside without issue...the birders might have a different opinion on this, but for me it works fine.

In full disclosure, I do also have a 400mm 5.6L that I carry with me, and use for 400mm as well as 560mm with a 1.4TC...if I didn't have this lens, and did a lot of work at 400mm, maybe I'd have a different opinion on this.



Oct 04, 2012 at 04:38 PM
Harry.C
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p.1 #15 · 400mm: 100-400L vs 70-200II + 2xIII


I just got the 70-200 two days ago and immediately did some comparison shots for the 70-200 + 1.4 II versus the 100-400. I would expect even better results with 1.4 III.

Slight difference at 5.6 (negligible softness) but tack sharp at f/8.0:






Large version

[edit]
Here's showing the 70-200 results with f/4.0 in there as well:








Oct 04, 2012 at 04:40 PM
dwweiche
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p.1 #16 · 400mm: 100-400L vs 70-200II + 2xIII


Thanks for the shots. Interesting info on CA which I don't recall seeing demonstrated so obviously.

I also notice a trend I have seen shooting wide open with my 100-400L. It seems like wide open exposure is slightly darker than the 70-200L with 2X. If I stop my 100-400 down to f/6.3, the exposure brightens slightly and is then consistent the rest of the way.

It's almost like the 100-400 is really f/6.3 wide open at the long end when it comes to exposure. This is likely due to the lens being at the most extreme corner of its design and operating envelope.

Still debating selling my 100-400 for a 2X MkIII...



Oct 04, 2012 at 04:50 PM
abqnmusa
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p.1 #17 · 400mm: 100-400L vs 70-200II + 2xIII


now try birds in flight with both lenses. see if 2X slows down AF on 70-200 too much.


Oct 04, 2012 at 08:34 PM
PetKal
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p.1 #18 · 400mm: 100-400L vs 70-200II + 2xIII


Good testing, Jim.
2xTC takes its toll on every lens Canon makes. However, in my experience with f/2.8 lenses, particularly the MkII ones, they fare better than f/4 and f/5.6 lenses.

When using 2xTC mkIII on 400 f/2.8 IS MkII, I was very pleasantly surprised.
When using 2xTC MkIII on 300 f/2.8 IS MkI, the IQ was slightly better than expected, although AF responsiveness took a serious hit.

I also thought 70-200 f/2.8 IS MkII did OK with 2xTC MkIII, although not to the point of clearly rendering 100-400 obsolete.

Other slower lenses with 2xTC MkIII are unsatisfactory to me, and I think such combos are fit for a kennel.

Edited on Oct 05, 2012 at 01:49 AM · View previous versions



Oct 04, 2012 at 09:11 PM
stanj
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p.1 #19 · 400mm: 100-400L vs 70-200II + 2xIII


Interesting. I never tried a 70-200 against a 100-400 because I don't have one, but I tried it against my 400 DO and it could not hold a candle to it. Neither did the 200/2 for that matter. That's the sole reason why I still have the DO, whic quite honestly surprised me.


Oct 04, 2012 at 09:49 PM
Paulthelefty
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p.1 #20 · 400mm: 100-400L vs 70-200II + 2xIII


I do not have a 100-400, so I cannot speak to the AF speeds of that lens. I do have a 70-200mkII, and I rented a 2xIII for a week back in the spring. My experiences (as a rookie birder, so keep that in mind) is that the AF will be inadequate for BIF. If you have a large target, it tracks pretty well, but on a bird, especially flying erratically, it doesn't cut it. If you lose focus, you are done; it will take several seconds to re-acquire while the lens cycles min to max. IMHO, any other use it is quite satisfactory, but not BIF. For BIF, hold out for the 400 5.6 or get your boss to buy you a super tele ( for football at night, of course!).

Paul



Oct 04, 2012 at 10:55 PM
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