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| p.1 #13 · Help with buying a new Telephoto lens. |
MS PHOTO wrote:
I need some input in buying a new lens that I will be using for bird & wildlife photography, I am looking at both the Canon 400mm f5.6 USM or the Canon 100-400mm f4.5 5.6L IS USM. I like the fact that the 100-400 has IS, but most times I will be @ 400. I will be using this lens with my 1D mark IV, What is your thought & why??
Thanks for any input
This question comes up a lot - and sometimes people make it even more complex by throwing one of the 300mm primes plus a TC into the mix!
All of these options are fine and any one of them can be used to produce excellent photographs. I happen to have the 100-400, and I can report that it is a fine performer for my work. The choice, in many ways, comes down more to technical, functional, and shooting style issue than anything else To make it very simple:
The 400mm prime is a top choice if you only need to shoot at 400mm, if you always work from the tripod or otherwise don't see the value of IS, and if you don't mind carrying a large and bulky lens.
The 100-400mm zoom is a top choice if your subjects are not always small or far away and you need to quickly move among various focal lengths, your shooting might benefit from image stabilization on occasion, and the more compact size is valuable for travel and so forth.
For my part, I chose the zoom - though there are clearly reasons for some to choose the prime. I greatly value the flexibility of the zoom, since I'm able to quickly move between 400mm (for shooting that bird) and 200mm (for shooting a group of them or a closer bird) and 100mm (which is often short enough for shots of the surroundings). Without this flexibility, my photography would not be possible in many cases. In addition, since I travel with my gear relatively frequently, the small packed size and flexibility of the zoom lets me cover more ground with a smaller kit when necessary.