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Archive 2012 · 70-300L - can it replace 70-200/4 & 300/4 IS
  
 
mco_970
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p.1 #1 · 70-300L - can it replace 70-200/4 & 300/4 IS


I am thinking of replacing my 70-200/4 & 300/4 (both IS versions) with the 70-300L. Will the new zoom be as good at the 300mm end as the prime? How is it wide open at MFD for subjects like butterflies? Anyone using it with extension tubes?

Seems like the IS will be much improved over the 300?

I don't use the 70-200 too often, but I do use the 300 quite a lot for birds, butters, etc. If I can consolidate to one lens, I would like to. For my bird blind shooting, I find 300 is often too much reach since the birds come in close, so the zoom would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts on this subject.



Oct 26, 2012 at 02:47 PM
WebDog
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p.1 #2 · 70-300L - can it replace 70-200/4 & 300/4 IS


If you expect it to equal or better the primes you may be disappointed... still the 70-300/L can produce stunning pictures! It seems this lens is a favourite of Brutus Ostling one of the best wild life photographers...
He mentions how handy it is and its low weight plus the very good IQ...
http://brutusbloggar.blogg.se/
Use Google to translate...
http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=sv&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fbrutusbloggar.blogg.se%2F





Oct 26, 2012 at 03:18 PM
mco_970
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p.1 #3 · 70-300L - can it replace 70-200/4 & 300/4 IS


Wow, WebDog, I like Brutus's site! Thanks for the link.


Oct 26, 2012 at 04:09 PM
mco_970
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p.1 #4 · 70-300L - can it replace 70-200/4 & 300/4 IS


Ok, checked on Photozone.de and it looks like at f/5.6 the zoom should be as sharp or sharper than the prime. Plus quite a bit better IS, plus it is supposed to be one of the lenses that focuses extremely well on 5D3... Also MFD of the zoom is shorter than the prime which is helpful.

All signs are pointing toward 'GO'.



Oct 26, 2012 at 04:43 PM
dcains
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p.1 #5 · 70-300L - can it replace 70-200/4 & 300/4 IS


I've had all 3 lenses concurrently, and for my money and uses, the 70-200/4L IS and 300/4L IS were the way to go. FWIW, I shoot with 1D2n and 1Ds2 bodies. It's not that the 70-300L IS isn't a very nice lens, but the 70-200 is sharper and had better colors, and the 300 is easier to handle. I also use the 1.4x II extender occasionally with both lenses, with little to no ill effects, and the various combinations offer me lots of flexibility. I can see how a single lens solution may be better, though, for some users.


Oct 26, 2012 at 05:05 PM
mco_970
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p.1 #6 · 70-300L - can it replace 70-200/4 & 300/4 IS


Thanks for the input, Dean. I was sure someone had compared all 3.

I think I did read the photozone.de incorrectly - and the prime is a bit sharper!





Oct 26, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Robert Way
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p.1 #7 · 70-300L - can it replace 70-200/4 & 300/4 IS


I think you would be loosing a bit of light with the 70-300. For what I shoot the availability of light is absolutely key. I much prefer using lenses that allow more light to reach the film plane or digital sensor.


Oct 26, 2012 at 06:28 PM
skibum5
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p.1 #8 · 70-300L - can it replace 70-200/4 & 300/4 IS


mco_970 wrote:
I am thinking of replacing my 70-200/4 & 300/4 (both IS versions) with the 70-300L. Will the new zoom be as good at the 300mm end as the prime? How is it wide open at MFD for subjects like butterflies? Anyone using it with extension tubes?

Seems like the IS will be much improved over the 300?

I don't use the 70-200 too often, but I do use the 300 quite a lot for birds, butters, etc. If I can consolidate to one lens, I would like to. For my bird blind shooting, I find 300 is often too much reach
...Show more

It's pretty solid at 300mm, maybe not quite the 300 f/4 non-IS, but very good and quite close. f/5.6 is quite different than f/4 though at 300mm. Wide open 300mm MFD it is a bit soft, sharper than the 70-200 f/4 IS at 200mm MFD wide open by quite a bit but actually just a trace less sharp than that lens 200mm MFD f/5.6.

It doesn't focus for heck with an extension tube on and used with my 5D3 or 7D, vastly worse than the other two lenses do with extension tubes on. Maybe the new 5D3 firmware will change that

I do like it a real lot though and did replace my 70-200 f/4 IS with it. I used to have a 300 f/4 non-IS but it had to go to help offset 300 2.8 IS cost.

Compared to my 70-200 f/4 IS, wide open, center frame, it was:
sharper at 70mm (although definitely with more CA)
similar at 100mm
less sharp at 135mm
similar to a bare trace less sharp at 165mm
a little bit sharper at 200mm (and with somewhat less CA)
noticeable sharper 201-280mm than the f/4 IS + 1.4x TC III (and with less CA and with 50% faster focusing than that combo)

I don't quite recall the results, but I think relatively similar at the edges.
My 70-300L was sharper at the extremes and less sharp in the middle range I'd guess I'd have to say.
Both are very sharp across the entire range 70-200mm though, 201-280mm the f/4 IS + TC is a bit soft and less contrasty though.



Oct 26, 2012 at 06:45 PM
john_edwards
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p.1 #9 · 70-300L - can it replace 70-200/4 & 300/4 IS


Hand held @300mm this AM on the front steps. Guy was a little sleepy as I think he flew into a window and bounced down here. I walked right by him going up the steps before I noticed, lucky for him I didn't step on him.

See if you can find the Canon Rumors guy write up on this lens from a few years ago. He loves it (so do I as its the only Canon left in the bag)
John




  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II    70.0-300.0 mm lens    300mm    f/5.6    1/50s    400 ISO    -0.3 EV  




Oct 26, 2012 at 07:12 PM
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #10 · 70-300L - can it replace 70-200/4 & 300/4 IS


I have the 70-200/4 IS. And owned the 300/4 IS before. I have been very impressed with the new 70-300 L the few times that I have used it. I will buy it soon and have it as travel tele zoom. For it's price the lens is very good


Oct 26, 2012 at 07:38 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



mco_970
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p.1 #11 · 70-300L - can it replace 70-200/4 & 300/4 IS


Nice sample, John. 1/50 shutter speed is not too shabby.

Thanks for the extensive info, SkiB.

And thanks Lars.

I checked my EXIF for 2012 and of the keeper shots I used the 300mm for - about 500 images - the most were at f/5 - f/6.3 with the lion's share at 5.6. I didn't use it a lot wide open... The shots I did use it wide open were mostly 7D and 1D3, where I was trying to keep ISO as low as possible to reduce noise. Shouldn't be as much of an issue with 5D3.

So it sounds like maybe sell the 70-200, and then keep the 300 prime and evaluate whether the zoom covers it for my use or not?

That would be do-able.



Oct 26, 2012 at 07:45 PM
Imagemaster
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p.1 #12 · 70-300L - can it replace 70-200/4 & 300/4 IS


mco_970 wrote:
So it sounds like maybe sell the 70-200, and then keep the 300 prime and evaluate whether the zoom covers it for my use or not?


Sell them both and get the 70-300. Not only is the IQ great, but it is more versatile in changing from 70-300mm than swapping the other two lenses around.

It also works well with a 1.4x TC:







  Canon EOS-1D Mark IV    EF70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens    420mm    f/8.0    1/1600s    800 ISO    +1.0 EV  






  Canon EOS-1D Mark IV    EF70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens    420mm    f/8.0    1/320s    1600 ISO    -0.3 EV  






  Canon EOS-1D Mark IV    EF70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens    420mm    f/11.0    1/3200s    1600 ISO    -0.7 EV  






  Canon EOS-1D Mark IV    EF70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens    309mm    f/8.0    1/200s    1600 ISO    -0.7 EV  




Oct 26, 2012 at 08:08 PM
Imagemaster
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p.1 #13 · 70-300L - can it replace 70-200/4 & 300/4 IS


Couple more with 1.4x TC:





  Canon EOS-1D Mark IV    EF70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens    420mm    f/8.0    1/800s    400 ISO    -0.3 EV  






  Canon EOS-1D Mark IV    EF70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens    420mm    f/8.0    1/3200s    800 ISO    -0.3 EV  




Oct 26, 2012 at 08:11 PM
mco_970
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p.1 #14 · 70-300L - can it replace 70-200/4 & 300/4 IS


Thanks Tony, those look great.


Oct 26, 2012 at 08:39 PM
dcains
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p.1 #15 · 70-300L - can it replace 70-200/4 & 300/4 IS


mco_970 wrote:
Thanks for the input, Dean. I was sure someone had compared all 3.

I think I did read the photozone.de incorrectly - and the prime is a bit sharper!



Just my personal opinions, but I will confess the 70-300L was quite a bit better than I had expected it to be. I picked one up on craigslist for $750 about a year ago, in mint condition with a 2-month old receipt from B&H, so it was a genuine steal. In retrospect, I probably should have held on to it, all things considered.



Oct 26, 2012 at 10:09 PM
geniousc
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p.1 #16 · 70-300L - can it replace 70-200/4 & 300/4 IS


so it was a genuine steal

And off Craigslist it probably was



Oct 26, 2012 at 11:43 PM
dcains
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p.1 #17 · 70-300L - can it replace 70-200/4 & 300/4 IS


Disgruntled Canon guy switching to Sony. Picked it up at his house, and that address was on the B&H receipt. He's probably a Nikon guy by now - seemed more like a gear-head than a photographer.


Oct 27, 2012 at 12:23 AM
M.P.R.
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p.1 #18 · 70-300L - can it replace 70-200/4 & 300/4 IS


mco_970 wrote:
I am thinking of replacing my 70-200/4 & 300/4 (both IS versions) with the 70-300L. Will the new zoom be as good at the 300mm end as the prime? How is it wide open at MFD for subjects like butterflies? Anyone using it with extension tubes?

Seems like the IS will be much improved over the 300?

I don't use the 70-200 too often, but I do use the 300 quite a lot for birds, butters, etc. If I can consolidate to one lens, I would like to. For my bird blind shooting, I find 300 is often too much reach
...Show more

I did exactly this after testing all 3 lenses. I didn't expect the 70-300L to do well, but it was a pleasant surprise. Don't miss the other two lenses at all, even though the 70-200f4 used to be one of my favorite lenses.

With the 70-200f4 and 300f4, I often had to decide between the two, and which wides to bring along with me. Now the smaller 70-300L does the job of both larger lenses and really well. The IS on the 70-300L blows away the older 300f4 IS, so that trade off for me, makes up for the one stop difference. It fits in a small bag so I have it on me always. Convenience is what makes this lens really kick butt.

Frank

Here are some butterflies with the 70-300L.

















Oct 27, 2012 at 01:26 AM
Kathy White
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p.1 #19 · 70-300L - can it replace 70-200/4 & 300/4 IS


Imagemaster wrote:
Couple more with 1.4x TC:


Tony, I just got the 70 300L. I am using it for kids sports and it is doing a super job. I would like to use use a 1.4 TC with it and have a Canon one, but I had read it did not work with it. Are you using a off brand? and if so which one? Your images are fabulous as usual.
I think the 70 300L with a pancake and a 1.4 would be a super travel combo. 40 to 420 in a small bag.

thanks,

Kathy



Oct 27, 2012 at 04:17 AM
StillFingerz
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p.1 #20 · 70-300L - can it replace 70-200/4 & 300/4 IS


A question to all that are using the 70-300L...how do you like the focus/zoom rings being reversed?
2nd, for daytime with good light it seems worthy, but is the loss of a stop, for lower light shots, worth the better IS?
3rd, what 1.4x T/C is being used for the above shots? I have the Canon vII...

In the shots posted color, sharpness and IQ look fine, a lighter one lens solution sounds interesting. I often carry both the 70-200 and 300 f4L IS with me to day and evening kids soccer games (switch between one body, a 50 f1.4 or 85 f1.8 on a second 2nd body), but currently only have older crop bodies 40/50Ds, whose ISO above 1600 is unusable for me, a 6D or 5D3 are on next years buy list so higher ISOs will be okay to use...but that's 6-to-9 or more months away.

Jerry



Oct 27, 2012 at 05:30 AM
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