October 24, 2014, 09:09:30 AM

Author Topic: 70-200 2.8 cropped vs 400 2.8 non cropped vs 200 2.8 with teleconverter?  (Read 6426 times)

wdh777

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So if I use my 70-200 2.8 but it's a little far so I crop it how does that compare to a natural 400 2.8 or for that matter the 200 end of the 70-200 with the 2x teleconverter?  Iq? The 400 2.8 is massively expensive so to spend 11,000 vs a crop or a 2x is a tough decision. Thoughts?

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neuroanatomist

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Just crop, the IQ is the same. Why would anyone use a 400/2.8?
</sarcasm>

The supertele lenses are in a different IQ class.  Cropping reduces IQ, a TC reduces IQ.  There's no free lunch.  The cropped 200mm or the TC might produce an acceptable image, but it would be better with the 400/2.8.
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K-amps

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You get what you pay for.... the 70-200 mk.ii plus 2x TC mk.iii is about par with the 100-400 @400 give or take... which is poor compared to the 400 f5.6 which in turn is quite poor compared to the 400 2.8 etc...
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TrumpetPower!

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If I happen to think of it tomorrow, I'll do a quick-and-dirty comparison.

But there really won't be any. Comparison, that is.

The 70-200 f/2.8 is a wonderful lens, but the 400 f/2.8 is in a league of its own. And cropping away half of the 70-200 f/2.8? That's like asking Pee Wee Herman to go five rounds against Mike Tyson with his hands tied behind his back. And I mean Pee Wee being the one with the tied-up hands.

Cheers,

b&

Frodo

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I have made the following comparisons - sorry not the lenses you are interested in, but perhaps the conclusions might be similar.
- My 200 f2.8 (prime) with 1.4x teleconverter is not quite as good as the plain 200 f2.8 taken from a closer distance.  Resolution is surprisingly close, but chromatic aberration is noticeable with the 1.4x and largely absent without it.  This is with a 5DmkII.  The 1.4x combination would be acceptable for many purposes with careful PP.  I'm taking it with me on a camping trip this weekend.
- An image through my 400 5.6 (prime) cropped to the same field of view as my 7D and upres'ed to the same resolution is surprisingly similar to the image of the 7D through the 400mm.  The 7D has many advantages (especially in AF) so is preferred with shooting wildlife, but I was surprised how good the cropped 5D mkII image was (I did this after Neuro recommended this is another post).

I understand that the 2x TC noticeably affects image quality.

So the 400mm 2.8 will be leagues ahead of the 70-200 f2.8 with 2xTC, to the extent that the latter would not be acceptable to me.

I find the 400mm 5.6 to be a cheap, light-weight option that is sufficiently sharp wide-open.
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MrFotoFool

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The 400 f/2.8 is not only outrageously expensive, it is huge.  Are you really prepared to lug around something that big and use a tripod all the time?  You did not indicate what you are using it for, so maybe this applies to you, but unless you are a professional wildlife or sports photographer, I do not see how a lens like that could be justified.

If you need the reach, I would concur with the previous post to use the 400 f/5.6.  Or perhaps split the difference and get the 400 f/4 DO.

AJ

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I have made the following comparisons - sorry not the lenses you are interested in, but perhaps the conclusions might be similar.
- My 200 f2.8 (prime) with 1.4x teleconverter is not quite as good as the plain 200 f2.8 taken from a closer distance.  Resolution is surprisingly close, but chromatic aberration is noticeable with the 1.4x and largely absent without it...  The 1.4x combination would be acceptable for many purposes with careful PP.

I understand that the 2x TC noticeably affects image quality.


I can confirm both of these observations.

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TrumpetPower!

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If I happen to think of it tomorrow, I'll do a quick-and-dirty comparison.

I thought of it.

There're four attached images from two different exposures. There's one each of the full frame and one each of a 100% crop. The one is with the 400 f/2.8 IS II, the other with the 70-200 f/2.8 non-IS at 200. Both were shot handheld from the same position, and both were exposed at 1/3200 @ f/2.8 @ ISO 100. The 400 is as-is; the 70-200 is cropped to the same field of view as the 400 and then up-scaled to the same dimensions as the 400. Oh -- and it's with the same 5DIII. Autofocus, center focus point on the ColorChecker. Both lenses I've previously AFMA'd with FoCal.

I've done minimal post-processing. Exposure and white balance I normalized with the ColorChecker Passport you see. There is no noise reduction of any kind. I did my usual high pass capture sharpening, the exact same amount, to both files before scaling, and I similarly did the exact same output sharpening to both the scaled-down full-frame shots. The initial TIFFs I output to BetaRGB for all the Photoshop work; at the end, I used ArgyllCMS to do the same gamut-mapped perceptual conversion to all four to sRGB. That's particularly relevant for this shot, as the soup can's red is outside of the sRGB gamut.

I leave it as an exercise to the reader to figure out which is which -- if you can't tell, you need glasses. Though, I will note, if all you're going to do is twit a pix to FaceSpace, the 70-200 does hold up remarkably well for such uses.

Cheers,

b&

AlanF

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You get what you pay for.... the 70-200 mk.ii plus 2x TC mk.iii is about par with the 100-400 @400 give or take... which is poor compared to the 400 f5.6 which in turn is quite poor compared to the 400 2.8 etc...

I have owned both the 100-400mm L and the 400mm f/5.6. Their IQs in the centre were very similar. Photozone MTFs show the 100-400mm slightly sharper in the centre as do the Canon MTFs, and SLRgear has them very similar. So is the 100-400mm really poor compared with the 400mm f/5.6?
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Frodo

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I have owned both the 100-400mm L and the 400mm f/5.6. Their IQs in the centre were very similar. Photozone MTFs show the 100-400mm slightly sharper in the centre as do the Canon MTFs, and SLRgear has them very similar. So is the 100-400mm really poor compared with the 400mm f/5.6?

There is a comparison here: http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=113&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=7&API=0&LensComp=278&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0

Shows the centre similar but the 400 f5.6 slightly better.  The prime appears significantly better halfway to the corner and at the corner
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AlanF

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I have owned both the 100-400mm L and the 400mm f/5.6. Their IQs in the centre were very similar. Photozone MTFs show the 100-400mm slightly sharper in the centre as do the Canon MTFs, and SLRgear has them very similar. So is the 100-400mm really poor compared with the 400mm f/5.6?

There is a comparison here: http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=113&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=7&API=0&LensComp=278&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0

Shows the centre similar but the 400 f5.6 slightly better.  The prime appears significantly better halfway to the corner and at the corner

I don't think that it is justified to say that the 400 f/5.6 is slightly better in the centre. A problem with the TDP site (which I defended strongly in the thread of the Most and Least Objective Reviewer) is that the iso12233 photos it shows are qualitative and it is difficult, if not impossible to detect small differences. Attached is the collated downloads of the central sections from tests of the 100-400mm at 400mm f/5.6, 400mm f/5.6, 300mm f/2.8 II + 1.4xTC III at 420mm and f/4 and the 400mm f/2.8. They all look absolutely identical! We know from the MTFs that the centre of the 400mm f/2.8 is better than the 420 mm, which is better than the 100-400mm which is slightly better than the 400mm f/5.6.

When you are taking bird photos, the most difficult cases, and the most common, are for subjects that occupy a small part of the centre. I know from experience that in practice for the extreme cases when the avian is a small dot in the centre, the 420 combo is much, much better than the 400 f/5.6, which is about the same as the 100-400mm. If you can get the bird to fill the full frame, then all the lenses are good enough. I use the 300 series when I can, and when I travel light I take the zoom - it is still very good. You just have a greater range of possibilities with the best lenses and occasionally you can get those must have shots that are beyond the limits of the lesser lenses.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2013, 06:44:28 AM by AlanF »
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Frodo

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Hi AlanF
I said "slightly".  The advantage of the TDP site it that it allows you to toggle back and forward, which isn't possible with pasting crops side by side. To me that shows a slight improvement for the prime.  And doing the comparison with the 300mmF2.8 II with 1.4x, shows the latter combination to be slightly better (impressive for a lens with TC).
But as you note, long teles tend to be used for taking photos of subjects in the centre of the frame so corner resolution is not critical.
I think that the biggest advantage of the zoom over the prime is the IS.
Cheers
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9VIII

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http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/lenses/forgotten-400.shtml

Just in case anyone wants to be more confused this is the review that pushed me to getting the 400f5.6.
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cocopop05

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Not your lenses but the principle still applies.  I took a photo with the 300mm f/4 then took the same photo with the 24-105mm at 105mm and cropped it to match the photo taken with the 300mm f/4.  The difference was massive, the photo taken with the 300mm had way more detail, mush sharper image and had less noise.  I cannot post the photos as I am away on business for the week, but I can post the photos when I return.

Mt Spokane Photography

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You get what you pay for.... the 70-200 mk.ii plus 2x TC mk.iii is about par with the 100-400 @400 give or take... which is poor compared to the 400 f5.6 which in turn is quite poor compared to the 400 2.8 etc...

I have owned both the 100-400mm L and the 400mm f/5.6. Their IQs in the centre were very similar. Photozone MTFs show the 100-400mm slightly sharper in the centre as do the Canon MTFs, and SLRgear has them very similar. So is the 100-400mm really poor compared with the 400mm f/5.6?

The 70-200mmL + 2X TC, the 100-400mmL, and the 400mm f/5.6L  are so close in the center that sample variation could push one ahead of the other.  I've had them all,  and they are are good buys.  I've also had a 600mmL, it is definitely better, unless you factor in weight and cost ;)
 
The 70-200 f/2.8 MK II IS is very good, it gives rock solid stabilization with a 2X TC, or even with 1.4X and 2X TC's stacked.  Noticibly better IS  than the 100-400L without a TC.  For handheld shots at ordinary shutter speeds (1/400sec or less), the IS can help produce a sharper image of a still subject.  I find that 1/800 sec for a 400mm lens is a better choice when adequate light is available.  .

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