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Archive 2013 · 70-200 f/4L + 1.4x tc or 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L
  
 
Jarrod
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · 70-200 f/4L + 1.4x tc or 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L


Hi all. I'm a hobbyist, and not a very good one at that. I could use some advice on my setup. I just upgraded my body to the T3i from a 350d. The lenses I have been using (for years - first on an Elan7 film body, then a 350d) are:

EF 28-105 f/3.5-4.5 - my walk-around lens
EF 50mm f/1.8 (mk1 with the metal mount) - my indoor and macro (with Kenko tubes) lens.
EF 70-200 f/4L - my sports and nature lens - purchased after I had the 350d body.
1.4x teleconverter (mk1) - purchased used, for when I need more reach on the 70-200.

Please note that none of those lenses have IS. I have never used this feature, and therefore have no idea how it will actually affect the results I get, given the way I shoot. I do understand what it does, and that it only helps with camera shake and cannot sharpen moving subjects.

So that's where I've been. Where I am headed now is: the recent upgrade to the T3i body has given me the inevitable case of "upgrade-itis". Today I took delivery on a new EF-S 15-85 f/3-5-5.6. I haven't even attached it yet because it's still coming to room temperature. But the favorable reviews and comparisons have me salivating over the sharp photos I'll be able to produce with this new setup...

With the wide-angle zoom out of the way, I'm now pondering the long end. The 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS has caught my eye. Looking at what folks here can do with this lens has me wondering if I wouldn't be better off with it instead of the 70-200 f/4 and 1.4x tc combo. First, the 100-400 has IS - but remember, I only understand this benefit on paper so I have my doubts, especially with this older implementation. It has more reach obviously, but is the IQ any better than the 70-200 with the tc attached? And is it any worse at 200mm compared with the 70-200mm at 200 *without* the tc attached? Also, I suppose the 100-400 would give me 560mm of reach with the 1.4x converter mounted which could be interesting in some circumstances. Of course I already own the 70-200 and extender combo, so cost and sheer momentum is the biggest issue. But with Canon discounting it until Feb 2 the cost factor is slightly reduced. Size and weight would be a big factor to consider as well. I have only held the 100-400mm briefly, and did not have a 70-200 f/4 nearby so didn't get any feel for the difference at all.

Any and all advice and experience with these products would be valued!



Jan 16, 2013 at 12:19 AM
reno.peterson
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · 70-200 f/4L + 1.4x tc or 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L


Just an FYI...Your effective aperture will be 6.3-8.0. The Rebel series, XXD, 7D, and 5D series cameras typically won't achieve auto focus with the 100-400L. However, I'd still take that over the 70-200 f/4L with any TC attached. I have the 100-400L and l often try to make excuses just to shoot with it on my 7D. Eagle days in my neck of the woods are creeping closer, so I'll be doing weekends on the river for opportunities.


Jan 16, 2013 at 01:09 AM
rebelshooter
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · 70-200 f/4L + 1.4x tc or 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L


Unless you are looking at it from a cost standpoint (already having the 70-200 + 1.4 vs having to purchase the 100-400) the 100-400 is the way to go.


Jan 16, 2013 at 01:23 AM
Jarrod
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · 70-200 f/4L + 1.4x tc or 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L


Answered one of my questions for myself. At 200mm, my lens is noticeably sharper than the 100-400: Click here to compare

Sharpness also does well at 280mm with the 1.4x TC mkII in place, compared with the 100-400 at 300. But there is plenty of CA in the corners with the 70-200 + TC: Click here to compare.

AF is a bit slow on my setup in the last example. But I have to say I'm pleasantly surprised at how well it compares in terms of IQ at the focal lengths they both offer. But if I want that last 120mm, there is only one option...though I suppose I could go with a 400 f/5.6 prime.



Jan 16, 2013 at 04:38 AM
 

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Shutterbug2006
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · 70-200 f/4L + 1.4x tc or 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L


Jarrod wrote:
Also, I suppose the 100-400 would give me 560mm of reach with the 1.4x converter mounted which could be interesting in some circumstances. Of course I already own the 70-200 and extender combo, so cost and sheer momentum is the biggest issue.


Your 350D camera is a 1.6 crop model, so you realize that the 100-400mm will give you 160-640mm and the 70-200mm will give you 112-320mm - without the converter.





Jan 16, 2013 at 05:17 AM
Jarrod
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · 70-200 f/4L + 1.4x tc or 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L


I've been shooting crop for so long (in fact I've never shot my 70-200 on anything but) that converting focal lengths into full frame terms carries almost no meaning with me now. Extra zoom is extra zoom.

I suppose I really should spend some quality time with my new 600D body and the 70-200 f/4L that I've had for years before deciding if I want to drop another $1400 on a lens that I may not (probably don't) need. I went back through my sports photos taken at 280mm and was able to find exactly four images where I really could have used the extra reach. And if those had been taken on this new 18MP sensor I possibly could have cropped them and still been left with a reasonable image. So there may be better places to spend. Such as photography lessons, or traveling to places that I can take some interesting photographs :-) If I change my mind and Canon's sale expires, I can always buy a used one.



Jan 16, 2013 at 06:29 AM
cputeq
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · 70-200 f/4L + 1.4x tc or 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L


^ A smart move, especially if you've gone through your images and don't find a huge need for more length.

Granted, if you're constantly finding yourself at the long end of your 70-200 + TC, you might consider the 100-400, because at the end of the day it's still 280mm vs 400mm, which is a sizable difference, especially when converting to FF FOV (448mm vs 640mm)

As for the 100-400 IS capability - it's nice to have I guess, but certainly nothing magical. Old version of IS, not worth a lot of stops, helps sometimes, etc. I disable it if shooting any type of fast panning action, as the kick-in delay of the IS would usually screw up my shot (or maybe I just suck! ).



Jan 16, 2013 at 11:28 AM
StillFingerz
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · 70-200 f/4L + 1.4x tc or 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L


Buy or better yet rent the EF 400 f5.6L, it doesn't have IS, is a bit cheaper then the 100-400, is sharper, a bit lighter and AF is faster...if you need the reach but not the zoom range, get the prime.


Jan 16, 2013 at 01:35 PM





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