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Author Topic: Why pick 70-200mm f/4l IS over 70-300mm f/4-5.6l IS?  (Read 7048 times)

Ruined

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Why pick 70-200mm f/4l IS over 70-300mm f/4-5.6l IS?
« on: August 25, 2013, 03:09:08 AM »
OK,
Given one would benefit from the extra range-
So from what I've read the 70-300mm is as sharp as the 70-200mm f/4 IS through 70-200 at the minimum, perhaps even further out.  Also, while the 70-200mm is f/4 constant, again my understanding is the 70-300mm is f/4 up to 200mm.

So, even if the 200-300mm range is ever so slightly less sharp and is also f/5.6, since the overlapping range between the two lenses is basically the same I am not seeing any disadvantage with this lens vs the 70-200 f/4 is... Thoughts?

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Why pick 70-200mm f/4l IS over 70-300mm f/4-5.6l IS?
« on: August 25, 2013, 03:09:08 AM »

pwp

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Re: Why pick 70-200mm f/4l IS over 70-300mm f/4-5.6l IS?
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2013, 03:26:07 AM »
Never thought about it like that. You're right. It begs the question.

Canon f/4L IS USM 
weight: 760g
length: 172 mm (6.8 in)
released: November 2006
Price @ B&H: $1149

Canon EF 70–300mm f/4–5.6L IS
weight: 1050 g
length: 143mm
released: October 2010
Price @ B&H: $1399

Should be an interesting discussion. I don't have either lens, the 70-200 f/2.8isII is my most used lens.

-PW



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Re: Why pick 70-200mm f/4l IS over 70-300mm f/4-5.6l IS?
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2013, 03:41:54 AM »
Also, while the 70-200mm is f/4 constant, again my understanding is the 70-300mm is f/4 up to 200mm.

Sadly this doesn't appear to be true:
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS L USM Lens   
f/4.0   70-103mm
f/4.5   104-154mm
f/5.0   155-228mm
f/5.6  229-300mm

(taken from http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-70-300mm-f-4-5.6-IS-L-USM-Lens-Review.aspx )

rs

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Re: Why pick 70-200mm f/4l IS over 70-300mm f/4-5.6l IS?
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2013, 03:44:25 AM »
The 70-300 is not f4 to 200, it is 70-103mm f4; 104-154mm f4.5; 155-228mm f5; 229-300mm f5.6; so if that is important to you then it could make a difference, as could the 38% more weight for the longer lens.
Yes - so with the 70-200 you gain a faster aperture in most of that below 200mm range, and if you throw a 1.4x TC in your bag, the two are comparable at the long end of the zoom:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=738&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=4&API=1&LensComp=404&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=7&APIComp=1

The 70-200 also benefits from a non extending design, and the combined weight of the 70-200 and 1.4x TC is just a bit lighter than the 70-300L (985g vs 1050g).

However, the 70-300 goes all the way out to 300mm, and if you're splitting hairs, it's slightly sharper there - plus, of course, there's no messing about with fitting/removing the TC to use all that range.
5D II | 24-70 II | 70-200 II | 100L | 40 | Sigma 50/1.4 | 40D | 10-22 | 17-55 | 580 EX II | 1.4x TC II


Ruined

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Re: Why pick 70-200mm f/4l IS over 70-300mm f/4-5.6l IS?
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2013, 04:52:10 AM »
Also, while the 70-200mm is f/4 constant, again my understanding is the 70-300mm is f/4 up to 200mm.

Sadly this doesn't appear to be true:
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS L USM Lens   
f/4.0   70-103mm
f/4.5   104-154mm
f/5.0   155-228mm
f/5.6  229-300mm

(taken from http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-70-300mm-f-4-5.6-IS-L-USM-Lens-Review.aspx )

Ok, so the other review I read was off on the aperture...

Still, will be a tough decision for me.  I currently have the 300mm non-L IS and I frequently zoom to 300mm.  Not sure I'd be able to lose the 100mm or so.

rs

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Re: Why pick 70-200mm f/4l IS over 70-300mm f/4-5.6l IS?
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2013, 06:00:59 AM »
Ok, so the other review I read was off on the aperture...
Another review matches TDP's max aperture values too.

Still, will be a tough decision for me.  I currently have the 300mm non-L IS and I frequently zoom to 300mm.  Not sure I'd be able to lose the 100mm or so.
While you can get a 1.4x TC to extend the 70-200 up to 280mm, the combination will cost more than the 70-300L. If zooming beyond 200mm is likely to be a common occurrence, just get the 70-300L to save all the hassle of mounting/dismounting a TC.

I have a 70-200 II and a 1.4x TC, and as good as the lens is with the TC, at a fast moving event its too much hassle to mount the TC for one quick shot where I need more than 200mm.
5D II | 24-70 II | 70-200 II | 100L | 40 | Sigma 50/1.4 | 40D | 10-22 | 17-55 | 580 EX II | 1.4x TC II

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Re: Why pick 70-200mm f/4l IS over 70-300mm f/4-5.6l IS?
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2013, 06:00:59 AM »

vlim

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Re: Why pick 70-200mm f/4l IS over 70-300mm f/4-5.6l IS?
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2013, 06:09:39 AM »
if i read correclty your question my answer is inner zoom, better bokeh and abitility to use a converter... but the 70-300 is definitely a great lens 8)

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Re: Why pick 70-200mm f/4l IS over 70-300mm f/4-5.6l IS?
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2013, 07:05:47 AM »
I have the 70-200 f4 IS USM lens and I love it. I have used it with both the 1.4 & 2X vs2 Extenders, but not both extenders at the same time. The 1.4 @ f5.6 I see no image degradation. The 2X images were softer and not as crisp but still could be sharpened enough in PS to give sharp images for printing. See Page 73 of "Show Your Bird Portraits"

http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=1280.1080

I use the pic of the two Eagles as my desktop pic on my iMac while my wife uses a pic of two Canada Geese landing taken with the 70-200 and 1.4 Extender as her desktop pic. I bought the 100-400 f4.5-5.6 this spring because I wanted more reach and couldn't wait for vs 2 of this lens. I have yet to try extenders with this lens. I find the images taken with the 100-400 sharp enough for me.
Good Luck with your decision.
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neuroanatomist

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Re: Why pick 70-200mm f/4l IS over 70-300mm f/4-5.6l IS?
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2013, 08:43:08 AM »
I think the main reason to consider the 70-200/4L IS is if keeping weight low is your primary concern.  Personally, I prefer 70-300L for the zoom range and the more compact (retracted) size - the 70-300L fits vertically in many bags where the 70-200/4 would need to lay down and effectively take two lens spaces.  The 70-300L is a better choice if you regularly use 300mm (better IQ and much more convenient than 70-200 + 1.4x).
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Ruined

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Re: Why pick 70-200mm f/4l IS over 70-300mm f/4-5.6l IS?
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2013, 10:08:04 AM »
Since I'm starting fresh here and don't own the 70-200 already I'd rather not buy a teleconverter.  I'm just not a fan of an adapter like that if there is a better option, since I'd probably leave it on all the time...

Maybe by the time I am ready to pull the trigger there will be another option :)

Pi

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Re: Why pick 70-200mm f/4l IS over 70-300mm f/4-5.6l IS?
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2013, 10:10:53 AM »
OK,
Given one would benefit from the extra range-
So from what I've read the 70-300mm is as sharp as the 70-200mm f/4 IS through 70-200 at the minimum, [...]

TDP shows the 70-200 to be sharper at 200/4 than the 70-300 at 200/5.

To me, the 70-200/4 IS is a no compromise lens, aside from the bokeh. Its only weakness is close to MFD. You do not have "better" and "worse" FL in terms of IQ and speed. It fits vertically in my bag (which is different from Neuro's, apparently) and it takes as much space there as the 135L or the 24-105 because it is not fatter.

Still, if 300mm is a priority, I would probably get the 70-300.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2013, 10:14:01 AM by Pi »

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Re: Why pick 70-200mm f/4l IS over 70-300mm f/4-5.6l IS?
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2013, 10:30:19 AM »
It fits vertically in my bag (which is different from Neuro's, apparently) and it takes as much space there as the 135L or the 24-105 because it is not fatter.

It would fit vertically in my large pack, too, but not my smaller ones (which is why I stated many bags, not all or even most).  The 70-200/4 IS is ~7" long, an inch longer than the 70-300L and over 2" longer than a 135L or 24-105L. A gripped or 1-series body is ~6" deep, and many bags are sized ~6" deep for that reason, meaning fitting a 7" lens vertically is difficult or impossible.

Its only weakness is close to MFD.

Canon addressed that in the 70-300L with a floating focus system that yield better sharpness with close subjects.

The bottom line is that both are excellent lenses, and the deciding factors should really be focal length (is 200mm long enough?) and weight (the 70-300L is compact but heavy). 
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Re: Why pick 70-200mm f/4l IS over 70-300mm f/4-5.6l IS?
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2013, 10:30:19 AM »

Ruined

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Re: Why pick 70-200mm f/4l IS over 70-300mm f/4-5.6l IS?
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2013, 11:38:01 AM »
Given I have an APS-C body and plan to use an APS-C body for the forseeable future, I think the ideal would be

70-300 F/4-5.6L IS for daylight/birds/general/etc (or an update of the 100-400 if they come out with one)
*and*
70-200 F/2.8L IS for low light, indoor events, etc

I am guessing at times the f/4-5.6 range may be an issue for low light since I have an APS-C sensor and things might get ugly... But there will also be times I don't want to lug around the 2.8L IS.

The 70-200 F/4 is nice but given I have APS-C I think I'd run into similar problems that I would have with the 70-300 and have less range to boot.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2013, 12:06:58 PM by Ruined »

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Re: Why pick 70-200mm f/4l IS over 70-300mm f/4-5.6l IS?
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2013, 12:39:24 PM »
Quote from: Pi link=topic=16611.msg306099#msg306099 date

To me, the 70-200/4 IS is a no compromise lens, aside from the bokeh.

And aside from it being f4  :P

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Re: Why pick 70-200mm f/4l IS over 70-300mm f/4-5.6l IS?
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2013, 12:39:24 PM »