April 26, 2018, 08:17:08 AM

Author Topic: 300mm f/4 L IS vs 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS vs 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II +1.4 TC II  (Read 5237 times)

mrsfotografie

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Currently I've a 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS and a 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II +1.4 TC II in my kit. Both of these cover the (near) 300 mm focal length reasonably well, but...

I'm wondering if a 300mm f/4 L IS would be a useful tool to add to my lens line-up.

The objective is motion-stopping speed for animal photography (mostly in the zoo) and that 3D 'pop' that seems to be lacking from my 100-400 most of the times. 

What are your experiences with these lenses ie would it make sense for me to get the 300 mm prime?
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Canon1

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Unfortunately I think it would be a waste of your money. You already have the 300mm range covered with two very capable lenses. The 300 f4 is will really not get you anything more for IQ. It will give you a little faster AF but thus won't really be a huge benefit unless you are shooting BIF.  Likely your limitations at the zoo are based on where you can shoot from at the animals and the quality of the light while you are there. A new lens will not fix this, especially the 300f4. If you wanted narrower DOF and better bokeh the f2.8 would be a significant upgrade.... But also in price.

mrsfotografie

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Thanks for your advice. The main advantage of the f/4 I think would be to shoot wide open and get sharp results. AF speed is getting more and more important to me. The f/2.8 is out anyway - aside from the impossible price I would find it rather embarrassing to carry that monster around in the zoo :)
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I used to bring the 70-200 II to the zoo with 1.4x and 2.0x extenders.  Then I got the 70-300L and left the 70-200 II home when going to zoos.  The 70-300L is more compact and lighter than either 70-200 II or the 100-400L, which helps a lot.  If you get the 300L, then you'll need to bring multiple lenses, which will make the travel kit heavier than what you already have.

I can see getting the 300L if you plan on using a 2x to get to 600.

neuroanatomist

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70-200 II + 1.4x, that's 280mm f/4 with IQ close to (and likely indistinguishable in real world shots) from the 300/4.

So, buy nothing, of if you want to buy something, the 70-300L is a great lens.

In some cases, particularly shooting through wire enclosures, you'll be better off with 200mm f/2.8 and cropping.
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johnf3f

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Currently I've a 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS and a 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II +1.4 TC II in my kit. Both of these cover the (near) 300 mm focal length reasonably well, but...

I'm wondering if a 300mm f/4 L IS would be a useful tool to add to my lens line-up.

The objective is motion-stopping speed for animal photography (mostly in the zoo) and that 3D 'pop' that seems to be lacking from my 100-400 most of the times. 

What are your experiences with these lenses ie would it make sense for me to get the 300 mm prime?

I have or have had all 3 of these lenses (except my 70-200 ia a Mk1). I tried a 300 F4 L IS against my 100-400 set at 400mm. Despite the extra 100mm I found the 300 F4 could be cropped to the same field of view and still give a better image. As I mainly used the 100-400 at the longer end I simply had no further use for it as the 300 was better in every way than the 100-400 at 300mm +, which is where I used it. More recently I acquired a 300mm F2.8 L IS and, in decent light, the F4 does not give up much to it.
I can't justify having 2 300mm primes but am struggling to bring myself to sell the F4 as it is such a good lens in such a small package.
I believe the 300 F4 is a significantly better wildlife lens and given that performs decently with a 1.4 extender (and can often give usable shots with my Mk3 2x) I find it to be more flexible than the 100-400 for my uses.
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MrFotoFool

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Considering what you already have, no reason to buy the 300.  The 70-200 2.8ii with 1.4x extender will give virtually identical results with the advantage of a zoom.

I shoot zoos extensively and used to have the 300 f4 (non IS) and the very old (black) 80-200 f2.8, which does not take extenders.  The 300 is great, I have stunning shots with it, but it was too much carrying both telephotos and I hated switching so I would keep the 300 on most of the time and some shots ended up cutting off the animal legs because the framing was too tight.

I sold both lenses and now use the 70-200 2.8 (non IS) and 1.4x extender and that is the perfect setup.  Stick with what you have (and if anything dump the 100-400).

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scottkinfw

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I have the 300 F4L IS, and I do wildlife photos.  In Fort Worth and even in Dallas, we have great zoos.  I agree with all above.  For the money, you won't gain a real benefit from this lens.

I don't know about your zoo, but in the above zoos, shooting above 200 will freeze action, as the poor cats don't have much room.  As for other animals, like wildlife photo in general, you have to work with the light and positioning you have.  F4 isn't the fastest, but to get really fast, you will pay for it.

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mrsfotografie

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Considering what you already have, no reason to buy the 300.  The 70-200 2.8ii with 1.4x extender will give virtually identical results with the advantage of a zoom.

I shoot zoos extensively and used to have the 300 f4 (non IS) and the very old (black) 80-200 f2.8, which does not take extenders.  The 300 is great, I have stunning shots with it, but it was too much carrying both telephotos and I hated switching so I would keep the 300 on most of the time and some shots ended up cutting off the animal legs because the framing was too tight.

I sold both lenses and now use the 70-200 2.8 (non IS) and 1.4x extender and that is the perfect setup.  Stick with what you have (and if anything dump the 100-400).

Getting rid of the 100-400 is not an option to me, as it is the ideal motorsports lens :) The 300 mm would be primarily for zoo-work, without an extender though so I guess its between the 70-200 + 1.4 and the 300 mm.

However great for the track, the 100-400 is a little bit disappointing for zoo-work IMHO.  Note I'm not considering a 2x TC here as I don't want to work with a straight f/5.6 lens.
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