Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L and 2xTC ?? (1 Viewer)

cab1024

Well-known member
I'm sure this question has been asked, but I can't find a good thread using the search engine, so if there is one please let me know. Otherwise...

How would you compare a Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L (USM, but non-IS) with a 2xTC to, say, the Canon 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L ?

I'm not a student, but I have an infant, so funds are very limited. Also the global economy just collapsed...

I have an EOS 40D with the kit lenses: 28-135mm and 18-55mm. My concerns are: Outside of birding the 70-200 f/2.8 has a million uses, whereas the 100-400 does not. The 70-200 f/4, a great lens, will not take a 2xTC for birding, and does not have the bokeh for non-birding portraiture.

All the birders want the 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L -- I get that. But, can I come very close to the IQ and speed of it with the 70-200mm f/2.8L with a 2x teleconverter attached? And if not, what are the limitations people have noticed? How is AF speed?

What would you do to build your photo kit if you didn't want to spend more than $1200US on your next purchase?

Thanks for the help.
-chuck
 

Overread

Hunting birds with a canon
I don't have a 100-400mm to compare to but I hav some test shots of a 70-200mm f2.8 IS lens with a 2* canon teleconverter here:
http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=131014

images are no longer working from my photobucket account so here are the shots on my flickr account:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157613520763508/
there are 100% crops in that set so you can get an idea of fullsize image quality. Its a combo that really does need good lighting and possible flash support as well (for when lighting is not as good) it also benefits greatly from being stopped down as well.
 

cab1024

Well-known member
Thanks for the info and the sample shots. Those were some great shots considering they were handheld at 1/100. My setup will not have Image Stabilization, but I'll shoot up to ISO 1600 if I need to to get above 1/500 to stop blur. For me it would be a walk-around combo, so natural lighting only.

I found this lens comparison, which gives the edge to the 100-400 at 400 wide open (of course), but at f/8 they difference is not that extreme. And when you compare at 200mm wide open for both, you get a lot more options with the 70-200, though not necessarily from a birding POV.
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/...CameraComp=9&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=6&APIComp=2
 

Overread

Hunting birds with a canon
I find that with a 1.4 TC the 70-200mm is a great zoo/wildlife centre lens.
Beyond that a good 70-200mm lens gets a lot of use in many areas - just a bit short for true wildlife work though.

you could also consider a 300mm f4 lens and a 1.4 teleconverter - better image quality and a good solid lens.
 

Roy C

Occasional bird snapper
How would you compare a Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L (USM, but non-IS) with a 2xTC to, say, the Canon 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L ?

-chuck
No contest, the 100-400 will win hands down for IQ from what I have read from people who own both. The 70-200 range are great with a 1.4tc but with a 2x image degradation is just too much. There are very few lenses that take a 2x tc well and all of these are primes.
Sure you will get the occasional decent shot with the 70-200 and 2x when conditions are right and you our close to the subject but for general birding you would be disappointed I am sure.
 
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tjsimonsen

Well-known member
My concerns are: Outside of birding the 70-200 f/2.8 has a million uses, whereas the 100-400 does not. The 70-200 f/4, a great lens, will not take a 2xTC for birding, and does not have the bokeh for non-birding portraiture.

Don't know about that! The aperture is too slow for portraiture - at least in theory, but at 400mm you can really center your subject.
Aside from that the 100-400 has a lost of uses outside birding (though perhaps not a million ;)), and I think that only 50% or so of my pictures are bird shots. Other obvious uses are: wildlife, larger insects, flowers and - landscape. It has literally given me a whole new view on landscape photography.

I would stay away from the 70-200 with a 2x TC. If you want both worlds (and still don't want to pay an arm and a leg), why not buy a Tammy 200-500 and a 3rd party 100/2.8 macro. The last lens will not only give you an excellent portrait lens but also literally open up the door to a whole new world.

Thomas
 

Overread

Hunting birds with a canon
I will admit the 70-200mm is the first step along a very expensive line of wildlife lens collection/kit building. The lens suits me now as I do much of my photography in zoos and the like where animals are much closer to you - however in the field I would idealy like a 300mm f2.8 for a longer lens - and then something even longer probably a 500mm f4 as well (though they might have made an f2.8 by the time I am round to affording the 500mm)
 

Jaff

Registered Member
Don't know about that! The aperture is too slow for portraiture - at least in theory, but at 400mm you can really center your subject.
Aside from that the 100-400 has a lost of uses outside birding (though perhaps not a million ;)), and I think that only 50% or so of my pictures are bird shots. Other obvious uses are: wildlife, larger insects, flowers and - landscape. It has literally given me a whole new view on landscape photography.

Thomas

I'm in complete agreement here.

With a 100-400mm you're getting an L grade glass in a zoom lens with fast and quiet focussing as well as image stabilisation. If there are so few uses for it outside of wildlife photography I doubt Canon would still be making it. As Roy said, the IQ of the 70-200mm + 2x will be noticeably worse and I doubt the AF speed will be comparable.
If you're looking for a versatile lens to be used in and out of wildlife photography then you can't do much better I'd say.

And one other thing. I've read reviews that suggest the 70-200mm f2.8 has a slightly compromised performance on a crop sensor body (such as your 40D) when used wide open.

Ooh and one very last thing, if you're after a 70-200mm for portrait work then the Tamron 70-200mm gets an excellent wirte up for IQ, AF is noisy and rather slow but that is the only real drawback. If it's not action shots your after consider it, lot's cheaper than Canon too.
Regards. :t:
Adam
 
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cab1024

Well-known member
thinking about the 100-400 again...

Didn't get my lens for Christmas after all. Guess that shows some semblance of responsibility on my part! But now Father's Day and my birthday are coming up on back-to-back weekends -- and I'm starting to favor the 100-400mm Canon over the 70-200mm f/2.8 + TC. The way I figure it is, unless I get an honest 400mm I'm not going to be happy with the magnification. And, most of my posturing about the versatility of the 70-200 is based on having a full-frame sensor, which I don't. I have the 40D. I also realized that the bokeh and shallow depth of field I expected to get with the 70-200, I can actually get even more of (or less...) with a 50mm f/1.4, which is about the same cost as a Canon TC.

So anyone want to help confuse me with other/better suggestions? Any great new lenses out there that I don't know about?

If YOU had it to do all over again, what lenses would you buy, and in what order (based on say, saving for a year for each one)?

[Oh yeah, and with the 100-400 I don't have to give up image stabilization, which I had planned to give up for the 2.8 70-200.]
 
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LeeDavis

Lee Davis Wildlife Photography
Didn't get my lens for Christmas after all. Guess that shows some semblance of responsibility on my part! But now Father's Day and my birthday are coming up on back-to-back weekends -- and I'm starting to favor the 100-400mm Canon over the 70-200mm f/2.8 + TC. The way I figure it is, unless I get an honest 400mm I'm not going to be happy with the magnification. And, most of my posturing about the versatility of the 70-200 is based on having a full-frame sensor, which I don't. I have the 40D. I also realized that the bokeh and shallow depth of field I expected to get with the 70-200, I can actually get even more of (or less...) with a 50mm f/1.4, which is about the same cost as a Canon TC.

So anyone want to help confuse me with other/better suggestions? Any great new lenses out there that I don't know about?

If YOU had it to do all over again, what lenses would you buy, and in what order (based on say, saving for a year for each one)?

[Oh yeah, and with the 100-400 I don't have to give up image stabilization, which I had planned to give up for the 2.8 70-200.]


Hi,

If you are looking for a lens that can give you great images, then there are 3 canon lenses to go for.

1. the 100-400 IS is a great all round lens but has its drawback the Image quality will not be as good as a prime lens and does not take a converter that well ( my experiance ). would be great for taking a landscape then to 400 is a bird lands in front of you, without changing the lens over.

2. would be the 300 f4 IS. andother cracking lens and works quite well with the 1.4 converter will give you great quality but lacks the 100mm but with a bit of field craft you can move in that bit closer and make that 100mm up. not so great for landscapes ETC as i would find this lens too long (mm) so another lens would be needed ( just me )

3. the 400mm f5.6 is a great lens as well, ideal for wildlife, in low light without a tripod ( monopod ) you may struggle below 60th of a sec, as it does not have IS.

The 300 & 400 mm are great lenses and will give you a better image than the 100 400. if you want an all round lens the the 100 400 is the lens to go for as a compromise. in low light as well the IS may help you get a sharp shot over the 400mm. If it was me, i would get the 400mm for my wildlife as this is the main thing I take and get another for my landscapes.


thanks
 

Stephen Fletcher

Yes, i did take the photo of the Eagle
Hi,

If you are looking for a lens that can give you great images, then there are 3 canon lenses to go for.

1. the 100-400 IS is a great all round lens but has its drawback the Image quality will not be as good as a prime lens and does not take a converter that well ( my experiance ). would be great for taking a landscape then to 400 is a bird lands in front of you, without changing the lens over.

2. would be the 300 f4 IS. andother cracking lens and works quite well with the 1.4 converter will give you great quality but lacks the 100mm but with a bit of field craft you can move in that bit closer and make that 100mm up. not so great for landscapes ETC as i would find this lens too long (mm) so another lens would be needed ( just me )

3. the 400mm f5.6 is a great lens as well, ideal for wildlife, in low light without a tripod ( monopod ) you may struggle below 60th of a sec, as it does not have IS.

The 300 & 400 mm are great lenses and will give you a better image than the 100 400. if you want an all round lens the the 100 400 is the lens to go for as a compromise. in low light as well the IS may help you get a sharp shot over the 400mm. If it was me, i would get the 400mm for my wildlife as this is the main thing I take and get another for my landscapes.


thanks

Again, i dont know where you get your info from, but you are misinformed, the 100-400 is as sharp as any Canon lens covering its range ( excluding the 2.8s of course )
 

Overread

Hunting birds with a canon
The difference is small, but in tests the 300mm f4 comes out ahead of the 100-400mm in sharpness - the same is true of the 400mm (it might even be a little ahead as most zooms get a little softer at their longer end)
http://www.juzaphoto.com/eng/articles/canon_300_4-sigma_100-300_canon_100-400.htm

This is not to say the 100-400mm is soft - though there is the quality control issuse with that lens - do test before you get. I have known people have 2 of these lenses and both have been fantastic copies - and I have known people have two over time which were disasters - though I will say that results now are far better than when the lens was first released.
 

cab1024

Well-known member
Thanks guys. Regardless of whether the 100-400 is as sharp as the primes, it's going to be far better IQ than any lens I've ever owned.

And last night I was thinking about something I said earlier, that the 70-200 f/2.8 had a million uses, but the 100-400 did not. I'm not sure what I was thinking. The 100-400 also has million uses, though not necessarily the same million as the 70-200, and one difference being hand holding in low light. Though the 100-400 has IS, whic might actually help with that.

The 100-400 doubles the long end and only loses 30mm of the short end. The vast majority of time I'm shooting with a 70-200-ish lens I want it to be longer, not shorter.

I've completely sold myself on the 100-400. Now if only I can convince my wife I'm worth it!
 

JohnZ

Well-known member
Again, i dont know where you get your info from, but you are misinformed, the 100-400 is as sharp as any Canon lens covering its range ( excluding the 2.8s of course )

No it isn`t ! The mere complexity of assembling a zoom lens dictates, to me at least, that compromises have to be made. And they are !
 
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cab1024

Well-known member
No it isn`t ! The mere complexity of assembling a zoom lens dictates, to me at least, that compromises have to be made. And they are !

Well, in any case, I want the 100-399mm as well -- all of which will have far superior image quality than any lens I've previously owned.

There's a good chance I'm placing the order tomorrow!
 

tjsimonsen

Well-known member
No it isn`t ! The mere complexity of assembling a zoom lens dictates, to me at least, that compromises have to be made. And they are !

Not really. It dictates that greater care has to be taken and a greater general effort is needed in the production to assure the same quality.

Look at the IQ from the Sigmonster: as good as any 500mm, 600mm or 800mm.

Thomas
 

JohnZ

Well-known member
Not really. It dictates that greater care has to be taken and a greater general effort is needed in the production to assure the same quality.

Look at the IQ from the Sigmonster: as good as any 500mm, 600mm or 800mm.

Thomas

Thomas, That is all well and good IF the greater care you mention is in fact taken.
There is another thread here somewhere where it is mentioned that, Romy Ocon, had to search quite a lot to get a satisfactory 100-400mm lens.

It is Post #31 of Richard G`s thread.
 
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cab1024

Well-known member
Alright, I ordered the 100-400 yesterday. Should be here next week in time for my birthday. I'll report back with my first impressions.
 

bob_r

Active member
Alright, I ordered the 100-400 yesterday. Should be here next week in time for my birthday. I'll report back with my first impressions.

Congrats and I think you made a wise choice. I've had a 70-200 f/2.8, a 400 f/5.6L and the 100-400L. I still have the 100-400 and my copy is as sharp as either of the other two. I think you're going to love it.
 

cab1024

Well-known member
First impressions

Awesome lens. Incredible clarity, resolution, and vividness.

Through two panes of glass I could almost read the name of the book that was open on the desk in the window across the street from my office. From the 6th-floor balcony of a friend's downtown San Francisco hotel room I could read the writing on the side of a bag of sourdough bread next to someone sitting in the grass.

I started another thread about the only issue I had with the lens, but I'm not so sure it is with the lens itself, or just that I'm finally able to get a shallow enough depth of field that I can see the weird bokeh effects that occur with blurred hard edges.

I'll start myself a gallery soon and start uploading my better shots.
 

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