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Author Topic: The 100-400 or the 70-200 f2.8 II+2x Mark III for wildlife  (Read 17570 times)

dufflover

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Re: The 100-400 or the 70-200 f2.8 II+2x Mark III for wildlife
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2013, 09:23:57 PM »
(Long time CR lurker/reader, first time poster)

I am in the process of making the same decision myself.  I find the image quality to be equivalent in real-world shots, although when I set up my ISO 12233-type chart, the 100-400 fares ever so slightly better at 400mm.  My concern is less about weight, and more about the shorter (retracted) length of the 100-400 compared to the combo.  I intend to go on a few subsequent outings with the 70-200 II and 2xIII to see how the combo handles for routine use.  If it's okay, I plan to sell the 100-400, with the proceeds going toward a 300/2.8 IS II (for times when my 600/4 IS II is too big to bring).

I had+have both, and got the 70-200 II plus TCs as a replacement for my 100-400, which I upgraded to a Sigma 120-300 OS as the main tele and made use of the same TCs. Sold the 100-400 (and 70-200 mk1) to cover some of the cost and obviously don't need to keep them anymore.

For the more travel situations I took the 70-200 II combo and I like using a shoulder bag (Crumpler 7MDH in this case). However the portability advantage of the 100-400mm soon became very apparent. As someone who is:
- more of a walking casual birder
- someone who prefers not walking around with a tele on the streets overseas; but still wanting "local bird shots" there
- just having a camera ready to go, e.g. in the car, or how I used to work next to an airport for the odd plane spotting
...
The constant assembly and dis-assembly of the setup was just annoying. To the point where I eventually picked up the 100-400 again when one came up for a decent price second-hand.

At the 400mm end (my copies anyway) the IQ is pretty much equivalent, slight edge to the 100-400. AF wise the 100-400mm "turns" slightly slower but is far more reliable for me. The 70-200 combo can suddenly just start hunting randomly in all but the best light. Weightwise, well, I've never been one to see the need for a tripod for a 70-200/100-400/50-500 style lens.
Obviously the 7-2 is a killer 70-200 and also a killer 280mm/4. But not exactly doing "wildlife" there typically lol.

TLDR - the portability is the winner for me ... and I do hope any new 100-400 II can maintain that.
Hurry up Canon and do something with your sensors! :P

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Re: The 100-400 or the 70-200 f2.8 II+2x Mark III for wildlife
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2013, 09:23:57 PM »

Krob78

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Re: The 100-400 or the 70-200 f2.8 II+2x Mark III for wildlife
« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2013, 01:08:30 AM »
(Long time CR lurker/reader, first time poster)

I am in the process of making the same decision myself.  I find the image quality to be equivalent in real-world shots, although when I set up my ISO 12233-type chart, the 100-400 fares ever so slightly better at 400mm.  My concern is less about weight, and more about the shorter (retracted) length of the 100-400 compared to the combo.  I intend to go on a few subsequent outings with the 70-200 II and 2xIII to see how the combo handles for routine use.  If it's okay, I plan to sell the 100-400, with the proceeds going toward a 300/2.8 IS II (for times when my 600/4 IS II is too big to bring).

I had+have both, and got the 70-200 II plus TCs as a replacement for my 100-400, which I upgraded to a Sigma 120-300 OS as the main tele and made use of the same TCs. Sold the 100-400 (and 70-200 mk1) to cover some of the cost and obviously don't need to keep them anymore.

For the more travel situations I took the 70-200 II combo and I like using a shoulder bag (Crumpler 7MDH in this case). However the portability advantage of the 100-400mm soon became very apparent. As someone who is:
- more of a walking casual birder
- someone who prefers not walking around with a tele on the streets overseas; but still wanting "local bird shots" there
- just having a camera ready to go, e.g. in the car, or how I used to work next to an airport for the odd plane spotting
...
The constant assembly and dis-assembly of the setup was just annoying. To the point where I eventually picked up the 100-400 again when one came up for a decent price second-hand.

At the 400mm end (my copies anyway) the IQ is pretty much equivalent, slight edge to the 100-400. AF wise the 100-400mm "turns" slightly slower but is far more reliable for me. The 70-200 combo can suddenly just start hunting randomly in all but the best light. Weightwise, well, I've never been one to see the need for a tripod for a 70-200/100-400/50-500 style lens.
Obviously the 7-2 is a killer 70-200 and also a killer 280mm/4. But not exactly doing "wildlife" there typically lol.

TLDR - the portability is the winner for me ... and I do hope any new 100-400 II can maintain that.

Thanks for the feedback Duff!  Hmm, makes me think I should keep both!  I'll just have to do some testing as well... I've been thinking about it for a long time but haven't been able to quite get there...

I hate selling a lens and then wishing I never had! 

All the best and welcome to the forum!  :)
Ken

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Re: The 100-400 or the 70-200 f2.8 II+2x Mark III for wildlife
« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2013, 05:14:46 AM »
I went through a similar thought process when the 70-200 MKII first came out. I'd recently purchased a 300 (MkI, the MkII wasn't out) and was using that with a 1.4x extender, so the 100-400 was getting limited use. It didn't quite go to plan though, as the funds form the 100-400 went on a 24 f/1.4 MkII instead, then the next set of funds went on the 5D MkIII :P. Eventually, I did get the 70-200 MkII last January, just before going to Finland and I recently got the 2x MkIII extender. I haven't tested fully, but so far I am happy with the results. My reasoning was that the 70-200 could double up for use in low light (albeit shorter), so was more flexible for my use. I think the weight difference between the two is minimal (especially when used to carrying the 300). When I need to travel a bit lighter, I have the 70-200, if I need higher IQ or more responsive AF, then I have the 300, although, I would like something longer, so that I don't have to use an extender as much, but my funds have been diverted to something else instead.
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Re: The 100-400 or the 70-200 f2.8 II+2x Mark III for wildlife
« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2013, 05:28:08 AM »
I have some funds coming in for an article with pictures I sold. I will use part of those to get the 2x extender to my 70-200 2.8 II. I can't spend too much on gear as it's only a hobby so I will have to make do with that. I travelled last year with that combo, although the MkI 70-200, on motorbike and did fine. I don't mind weight and size very much.

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Re: The 100-400 or the 70-200 f2.8 II+2x Mark III for wildlife
« Reply #19 on: November 10, 2013, 08:35:00 AM »
For the more travel situations I took the 70-200 II combo and I like using a shoulder bag (Crumpler 7MDH in this case). However the portability advantage of the 100-400mm soon became very apparent.

TLDR - the portability is the winner for me ...

When I want portable, I'll often sacrifice 100mm on the long end, and take my 70-300L.
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Rienzphotoz

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Re: The 100-400 or the 70-200 f2.8 II+2x Mark III for wildlife
« Reply #20 on: November 10, 2013, 10:04:37 AM »
I went through the same dilemma ... so I thought and thought and thought, only to end up selling my EF 100-400 L IS and getting 2 Sigma 150-500 OS lenses, one for Canon and another for Nikon ... (don't ask why)
« Last Edit: November 10, 2013, 10:22:59 AM by Rienzphotoz »
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clostridium

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Re: The 100-400 or the 70-200 f2.8 II+2x Mark III for wildlife
« Reply #21 on: November 10, 2013, 08:41:38 PM »
As usual I think it depends really on what you are shooting as far as wildlife.  I have the 70-200/2.8 II plus the 1.4 and 2 TC's and also have the good old 100-400.  I like both of them a lot depending on the application.

There is no doubt that at the shorter end the 70-200 smokes the 100-400 though honestly unless the shot needs the 2.8 or 4.0 you can't tell the difference unless you start pixel peeping a bunch - the biggest difference for me is the AF and the significantly improved IS. 

If you are looking at the longer end (200-400) as others have said the quality of the 70-200 with TC's is very good and probably better with a 1.4x and roughly equivalent with a 2x.  The problem is that once you put the 2x TC on the 70-200 you lose your flexibility on the wide end without swapping out TC's.  If you are in an adverse environment or need rapid flexibility in focal length that could be a real issue.

If the light is going to be potentially lower you are better off with the 70-200 +/- the 1.4x and cropping some.  The wider lens and the better IS makes a big difference in this setting.  On safari trips I make sure I have a body with the 70-200/2.8 mounted in the early morning or late evenings where the 100-400 would struggle to AF and require significantly greater ISO.

Of course if you have a crop body the variables move a bit so bear that in mind.  The 100-400 is the jack of all trades master of none.  It is all about compromises but it has so much flexibility that it stays relevant even 15 years after it was released.  I eagerly await the new version assuming I can afford it which seems unlikely.

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Re: The 100-400 or the 70-200 f2.8 II+2x Mark III for wildlife
« Reply #21 on: November 10, 2013, 08:41:38 PM »

DaveMiko

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Re: The 100-400 or the 70-200 f2.8 II+2x Mark III for wildlife
« Reply #22 on: November 11, 2013, 03:26:22 AM »
I went through the same dilemma ... so I thought and thought and thought, only to end up selling my EF 100-400 L IS and getting 2 Sigma 150-500 OS lenses, one for Canon and another for Nikon ... (don't ask why)

That's out of the question for me. I would never do that. As far as myself is concerned, I think that the logo "Canon" means the foremost quality possible, and that the red ring is almost the equivalent of the Holy Grail. You see, there's a reason why they say: You get what you pay for!!!!
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Re: The 100-400 or the 70-200 f2.8 II+2x Mark III for wildlife
« Reply #23 on: November 11, 2013, 05:01:01 AM »
I sold my 100-400L and 400mm f5.6L after testing my 70-200II LIS and 2x TC together.
Optically, the 70-200 combo is very strong. The IS is better and the AF is a little slower but more accurate.
Generally it's better to use a native lens instead of converters....but with such a sharp lens like the 70-200, it's not a problem. The 70-200 combo is heavier and more bulky.

mhvogel.de

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Re: The 100-400 or the 70-200 f2.8 II+2x Mark III for wildlife
« Reply #24 on: November 11, 2013, 05:25:08 AM »
...What do you guys think?
maybe the comparison (pls. copy the whole link in your browser):

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=687&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=5&API=2&LensComp=113&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=7&APIComp=0

helps you to make the desicion (although it's with the II-version of the extender).

the 1.4 extender clearly is less of a comromise (img-quality-wise), but 280mm might be a little short.

the 100-400 is not a bad lens, especially if we look at the price. resale-value (%) might be bigger then the one of the extender only.

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Re: The 100-400 or the 70-200 f2.8 II+2x Mark III for wildlife
« Reply #25 on: November 11, 2013, 09:07:32 AM »
I went through the same dilemma ... so I thought and thought and thought, only to end up selling my EF 100-400 L IS and getting 2 Sigma 150-500 OS lenses, one for Canon and another for Nikon ... (don't ask why)

That's out of the question for me. I would never do that. As far as myself is concerned, I think that the logo "Canon" means the foremost quality possible, and that the red ring is almost the equivalent of the Holy Grail. You see, there's a reason why they say: You get what you pay for!!!!
I agree with you, for the most part ... I prefer sticking to Canon but there are times, when I buy from other manufacturers ... I'm not recommending Sigma to you or anyone else who is willing to pay for the 100-400 L, just sharing what I did ... but, I did get 2 Sigma 150-500 OS lenses for the price of one Canon 100-400 L IS, nevertheless I get around 85% of the image quality of 100-400 L, with the Sigma lens ... so I'd say I got more than my money's worth.
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Re: The 100-400 or the 70-200 f2.8 II+2x Mark III for wildlife
« Reply #26 on: November 11, 2013, 11:00:51 AM »
I personally don't care for the ergonomics of the 70-200 on the 2x.  With the lens and weight so far forward I have to have my hand extended too far to get proper balance and to reach the controls.  This makes it hard to hand hold and it even seems clumsy on a tripod/monopod.

I shoot birds more than anything else so I found I was @ 400 most of the time so I gave up the 100-400 and bought the 400 f/5.6.

Krob78

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Re: The 100-400 or the 70-200 f2.8 II+2x Mark III for wildlife
« Reply #27 on: November 11, 2013, 12:42:31 PM »
400mm isn't often enough reach for me, even with the ability to crop my ff images fairly strong.  Often times, the AF just isn't enough if my subject is a little further. 

Why not an extender on the 100-400mm?  The Mk III now AF's at f/8... has anyone used that combo?  Save some money over keeping all my lenses and buying a 500mm or a 600mm... no?  Would IQ be that much more deteriorated? 

Just wondering!  ::)
Ken

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Re: The 100-400 or the 70-200 f2.8 II+2x Mark III for wildlife
« Reply #27 on: November 11, 2013, 12:42:31 PM »

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Re: The 100-400 or the 70-200 f2.8 II+2x Mark III for wildlife
« Reply #28 on: November 11, 2013, 01:09:30 PM »
400mm isn't often enough reach for me, even with the ability to crop my ff images fairly strong.  Often times, the AF just isn't enough if my subject is a little further. 

Why not an extender on the 100-400mm?  The Mk III now AF's at f/8... has anyone used that combo?  Save some money over keeping all my lenses and buying a 500mm or a 600mm... no?  Would IQ be that much more deteriorated? 

Just wondering!  ::)

Its usable with a 1.4X extender, I prefer that over my 70-200 with two extenders.
 
400mm is often not enough for small birds.
 
Here is one with my 100-400L from fairly close (~20 ft) with a 1.4X and 5D MK III.  Even so, its cropped a lot.
 
There is some movement of the leaves, I think it was wind.  Lens was wide open and 1/500 exposure. ISO 100.  I could have stopped it down or used a faster shutter by jumping to ISO 400, but there was little time, since small birds move around quickly.  I was photographing and comparing a SX50 with my 100-400L + extender when he flew up to our crab apple tree, was there for a couple of minutes.  There were a pair of them around for a few weeks.
 

 
Here is the female taken with the Canon SX50 HS.  If you need portable and have good light, its excellent, but the zoom moves too fast, and its hard to accurately frame a small bird.  I cropped the edges away.
 

Ruined

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Re: The 100-400 or the 70-200 f2.8 II+2x Mark III for wildlife
« Reply #29 on: November 11, 2013, 04:13:42 PM »
Maybe it has already been mentioned, but why not the 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS USM?

Excellent IQ & IS comparable to the 70-200, better than the 100-400 - not quite as much range.  But significantly shorter and lighter than both of the other options you listed.  Could be a more practical lens out in the field.

If I had the cash, I'd use the 70-200 f/2.8 sans TC when the wide aperture is needed, and the 70-300 when more range, less weight/size was needed and aperature less important... They complement each other well.

The 100-400 I think you will always be stuck with a heavier+longer lens even if redesigned, and it doesn't differentiate itself as much from the 70-200 as the 70-300 does (aside from the controversial push-pull zoom).
« Last Edit: November 11, 2013, 04:19:36 PM by Ruined »

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Re: The 100-400 or the 70-200 f2.8 II+2x Mark III for wildlife
« Reply #29 on: November 11, 2013, 04:13:42 PM »