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Author Topic: 100-400 f4.5-5.6L or 2x extender  (Read 4044 times)

pharmaphotog

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100-400 f4.5-5.6L or 2x extender
« on: April 11, 2013, 09:48:22 PM »
I am planning on spending 2 weeks in Yellowstone National Park this summer with the hope of getting some good wildlife shots. My thought is that I will need to purchase new equipment to gain some reach in order to get the desired shots. My budget does not permit a significant purchase such as an expensive tele-length prime at this time.  I am debating between the 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L or a 2x extender.

The gear that I currently have:
Bodies: 5DM3, 550D
Longest lens:  70-200 f/2.8 IS mk2

Which option will likely yield the best IQ for the gear that I have and the results that I am striving for?  Any insight is greatly appreciated.

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100-400 f4.5-5.6L or 2x extender
« on: April 11, 2013, 09:48:22 PM »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: 100-400 f4.5-5.6L or 2x extender
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2013, 09:58:27 PM »
Your 100-400mmL should  AF nicely on the 5D MK III with the Canon 1.4X TC as soon as the new firmware arrives in a couple of weeks.  I tried the Kenko 300 PRO DGX and my 100-400L focused well with my 5D MK III and even on my old 10D using the TC  That gets you a good image out to 560mm..
I'd recommend the 100-400mmL (I have it and the 70-200 f/2.8 MK II)

bwfishing

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Re: 100-400 f4.5-5.6L or 2x extender
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2013, 10:18:28 PM »
Just my 2 cents...

Why not rent the TC and lens? It may help you decide which one you want to purchase...

Krob78

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Re: 100-400 f4.5-5.6L or 2x extender
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2013, 10:50:40 PM »
Of course if you decide to rent, why not rent a 600mm with a good tripod?  or a 500?   I own the 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II and the 100-400MM L.  I often think about selling the 100-400mm and picking up the 2x tc to use with the 70-200mm but I just have a hard time doing it, I love the 100-400mm almost as much as the 70-200mm, especially on my 5d MK III. 

It's a hard choice but I've heard a lot of people on the forum say that the 70-200mm with the 2x III TC will give you just as sharp and beautiful images as the 100-400mm by itself... I already owned both, before I thought about the TC.  Now I think about getting the 1.4 ver. III TC for my 100-400mm, especially when I think about tossing it on the 7D! 

Difficult choices, but for a wonderful trip like the one your getting ready to take, I'm leaning with BWFishing and thinking renting would be a great option, I'd still rent at least a 500mm though rather than the 100-400mm...

Good luck, hope we get to see some of your images after you get back!
Ken

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Garfield

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Re: 100-400 f4.5-5.6L or 2x extender
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2013, 12:28:15 AM »
Going for a 2x extender should be the best for you, as it is the less expensive and you don't have to carry 2 lenses.
You are more versatile and image quality at 400mm is still quite good compared to the 100-400mm Zoom.

See a side by side comparison:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=687&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=7&API=0&LensComp=113&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=7&APIComp=0

Real life shots can be found here:

http://frontallobbings.blogspot.de/2011/02/canon-ef-100-400mm-vs-canon-ef-70-200.html


Garfield.

vbi

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Re: 100-400 f4.5-5.6L or 2x extender
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2013, 02:46:16 AM »
IMHO use the 100-400...it is a great lens and IQ is good even at 5.6 on the 5D2/5D3. I would rather use the 100-400 on a 7D for more reach than use a TC. The compromise in AF and IQ is less.

So...first prize is the 5D3/100-400 and second the 7D/100-400. With both the 5D3 and 7D paired up with the 70-200 II and the 100-400 you will have fantastic flexibility. I am still trying to resolve the debate of the IQ of the 5D3/100-400 cropped vs the 7D/100-400. There is no coubt the 5D3 picks up a lot more detail, but on the other hand the 7D can get a lot more pixels on the subject.

In low light there is no question...the 5D3 will be best.

Something to look at over the weekend.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2013, 02:48:19 AM by vbi »
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Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: 100-400 f4.5-5.6L or 2x extender
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2013, 03:56:35 PM »
There is one thing in favor of the 2.8L with TC's, I was just playing with mine, using the 1.4X II+ 2X II on my 5D MK III.
 
AF is slow, but does lock in.  The IS works great, it locks the shake out even at 560mm.  IQ is definitely on the iffy side, but if you have to crop to 1:1 as in this image of a small bird from 20+ feet, it is a nice choice to have. I did  apply sharpening and other adjustments to make the image look as sharp as possible.  There was a lot of backlight, which makes it difficult.  The birds refused to pose with a better background.
 
I'll see if they will pose with my 100-400L, but I currently do not have a TC that will AF with it.
 

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Re: 100-400 f4.5-5.6L or 2x extender
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2013, 03:56:35 PM »

K-amps

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Re: 100-400 f4.5-5.6L or 2x extender
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2013, 05:21:44 PM »
I owned both. While the 100-400 mm may be a dedicated lens in it's rage over the 70-200 mk.ii + 2x TC, I could not tell much of a difference... when I tested both. They are very close in sharpness.... The 70-200 had slightly more details in the shaded areas while the 100-400 had a tad more contrast.

Since they were so close in IQ, I sold the 100-400. (Mind you, get the 2x Mark. iii) it is much better than the Mark ii. If you need more than 400 mm reach then that's a different discussion.
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Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: 100-400 f4.5-5.6L or 2x extender
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2013, 06:03:04 PM »
I was able to catch some birds on my front porch and take photos a few minutes apart with my 5D MK III using my 70-200mm with 2X MK II TC and my 100-400L.  The lighting was apparently a little brighter for the image from the 100-400, its almost impossible to get identical images in our wind overcast weather. The IS of the 70-200L was a definite plus. Sharpening of the images was the same, but the colors were noticibly different.
 
I don't see how you could go wrong either way.
 
here is a crop from the 70-200mm f/2.8L MK II with 2X TC  Both lenses were wide open with 1/400 sec ISO 400 exposures.

 
 
The 100-400mmL
 

 
 

AlanF

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Re: 100-400 f4.5-5.6L or 2x extender
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2013, 07:07:51 PM »
I was able to catch some birds on my front porch and take photos a few minutes apart with my 5D MK III using my 70-200mm with 2X MK II TC and my 100-400L.  The lighting was apparently a little brighter for the image from the 100-400, its almost impossible to get identical images in our wind overcast weather. The IS of the 70-200L was a definite plus. Sharpening of the images was the same, but the colors were noticibly different.
 
I don't see how you could go wrong either way.
 
here is a crop from the 70-200mm f/2.8L MK II with 2X TC  Both lenses were wide open with 1/400 sec ISO 400 exposures.

 
 
The 100-400mmL
 


Thanks for those. I downloaded them for careful comparisons. The 100-400mm is soft, at the level of my new SX50, whereas the 70-200x2 is noticeably sharper. For some odd reason, the software says the iso for the 70-200x2 was 250 and for the 100-400 125, not 400.

Based on your useful contribution, although it is a one off, it would be much more sensible to buy the 2xTC if you already have the 70-200 f/2.8 II as it appears at least as good the 100-400, is much cheaper and saves having to carry a second heavy lens around.
5D III, 70D, Powershot SX50, 300/2.8 II, 1.4xTC III, 2xTC III, 70-200/4 IS, 24-105, 15-85, Sigma 10-20, Tamron 150-600.

jcns

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Re: 100-400 f4.5-5.6L or 2x extender
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2013, 07:32:01 PM »
this site should help you decide
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/lenses/400v400.shtml
I went with the 100-400.

AlanF

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Re: 100-400 f4.5-5.6L or 2x extender
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2013, 08:17:10 PM »
this site should help you decide
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/lenses/400v400.shtml
I went with the 100-400.

That review was for the series I IS lens. The series II is much, much better. The series I was famous for being bad with the 2xTC, unlike the series II, which works well.
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pharmaphotog

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Re: 100-400 f4.5-5.6L or 2x extender
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2013, 09:06:32 PM »
Thank you all for your valuable input. It seems like both are viable options for this trip.  Perhaps I need to evaluate the best option for uses beyond my YNP trip.  I do a lot of travel photography abroad as well as landscape shooting. My trip to YNP will be my first experience shooting wildlife.

Another consideration for me is using this on my crop body (550D). I understand that AF is considerably compromised when using a TC. If I want the extra reach from my crop body, I am wondering if the 100-400 is better suited for this.

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Re: 100-400 f4.5-5.6L or 2x extender
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2013, 09:06:32 PM »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: 100-400 f4.5-5.6L or 2x extender
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2013, 10:01:26 PM »

 
Thanks for those. I downloaded them for careful comparisons. The 100-400mm is soft, at the level of my new SX50, whereas the 70-200x2 is noticeably sharper. For some odd reason, the software says the iso for the 70-200x2 was 250 and for the 100-400 125, not 400.

Based on your useful contribution, although it is a one off, it would be much more sensible to buy the 2xTC if you already have the 70-200 f/2.8 II as it appears at least as good the 100-400, is much cheaper and saves having to carry a second heavy lens around.

I misread the ISO in lightroom, it was right next to the 400mm focal length.  They are indeed 250 for the 70-200 and 150 for the 100-400.
 
I'm curious how you compared them with a 1200mm focal length.  Going further than a 1:1 image is going to result in horrible results.
I did not link the raw image, so your perception of sharpness is based on a cropped, compressed and possibly reduced size jpeg.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2013, 10:04:13 PM by Mt Spokane Photography »

AlanF

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Re: 100-400 f4.5-5.6L or 2x extender
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2013, 10:39:20 PM »
Based on experience of taking and editing 1000s of photos of birds. The 100-400 L is a great lens, and I use it for travel. But, it is soft compared with the big whites, and you have to get in closer to get acceptably sharp images. There is good reason why people spend £5,000-£10,000 for the best lenses and extenders. For an experiment, I got the SX50 for travelling light. So far, the IQ under reasonable conditions of it set to an equivalent of 1200mm is similar to that of the 100-400L on my 5D3 after you have reduced the SX50 to the same size as the 100-400mm L. We have discussed this in http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=14011.15 where I posted some photos.
5D III, 70D, Powershot SX50, 300/2.8 II, 1.4xTC III, 2xTC III, 70-200/4 IS, 24-105, 15-85, Sigma 10-20, Tamron 150-600.

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Re: 100-400 f4.5-5.6L or 2x extender
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2013, 10:39:20 PM »