November 28, 2014, 06:09:50 PM

Author Topic: Thoughts on 70-200 f/4 vs 70-300 vs 100-400?  (Read 4115 times)

Cory

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Thoughts on 70-200 f/4 vs 70-300 vs 100-400?
« on: August 02, 2014, 11:20:22 PM »
Just tried a new superzoom on a vacation last week to a lot of "blah".  Rented a 100-400 last Summer which was AWESOME.
I have a 70D with indoor sports telephoto needs met with a 100 2.0 and 200 2.8II.
So I'm looking for that one special telephoto zoom for outdoor sports/activities, travel, etc. and am slightly leaning towards the 70-300L.  400mm would be useful at times, but 70-100 might be attractive and the rest up to 300 probably good-to-go 95+% of the time.
70-200 is likely enough most of the time so I'm willing to make a "focal-length" sacrifice for the most image quality possible.
Is there one of the above that really shines above the rest in image quality?  Of course, there's the upcoming 100-400 which is somewhat of an unknown and the 70-200 4.0 non-IS maybe the bargain of the bunch. 
Thanks for any direction even though this has been discussed a lot.  The latest thoughts can't hurt, though, I guess.
Much appreciated.
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Thoughts on 70-200 f/4 vs 70-300 vs 100-400?
« on: August 02, 2014, 11:20:22 PM »

Menace

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Re: Thoughts on 70-200 f/4 vs 70-300 vs 100-400?
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2014, 03:36:21 AM »
If you are not in a hurry then might be worth waiting for the possible announcement of the 100-400L in the near future.

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neuroanatomist

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Re: Thoughts on 70-200 f/4 vs 70-300 vs 100-400?
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2014, 07:15:13 AM »
I find the 70-300L to be an excellent travel zoom.  It's the shortest of the bunch, so it fits 'vertically' in most camera bags (the 70-200/4 IS is lighter, but taller). 
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Cory

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Re: Thoughts on 70-200 f/4 vs 70-300 vs 100-400?
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2014, 08:52:52 AM »
Thanks very much.  Might wait just to see, but the do-it-all size of the 70-300 plus the 67mm threads (matching my 10-18 and 35 2.0 IS) make it the likely winner.  Might order today so that it and the superzoom will cross in the mail and timing its arrival while my wife is at work.
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candyman

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Re: Thoughts on 70-200 f/4 vs 70-300 vs 100-400?
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2014, 09:17:42 AM »
Thanks very much.  Might wait just to see, but the do-it-all size of the 70-300 plus the 67mm threads (matching my 10-18 and 35 2.0 IS) make it the likely winner.  Might order today so that it and the superzoom will cross in the mail and timing its arrival while my wife is at work.

Check this thread : http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=19712.msg374117#msg374117

You may get some tips how to go around it..  ;D

CaiLeDao

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Re: Thoughts on 70-200 f/4 vs 70-300 vs 100-400?
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2014, 11:08:07 AM »
 I cannot comment on the 70-300, but in trialling lenses and tele convertors to shoot at 400mm I found the following.
70-200 F2.8 mark 2 with 2x convertor was sharpest
70-200 F4 with 2X was second
100-400 was third
All at f8, thats what I found.  Having said that my best bird shot ever so far was shot with a 7D and the 100-400 lens.  I was surprised at the quality of the F2.8 and convertor, better clarity as well as colour IMHO against the 400mm zoom.

It was slightly annoying to find that the heaviest lens was the better combo, am selling the 100-400 and building my strength up to lug the 70-200 F2.8 around China later this year.  Don't need 400mm reach on this trip, but do get some great candids.
Enjoy your new lens whatever you choose, understand the compromises you need make and be happy with them.

neuroanatomist

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Re: Thoughts on 70-200 f/4 vs 70-300 vs 100-400?
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2014, 11:26:33 AM »
I cannot comment on the 70-300, but in trialling lenses and tele convertors to shoot at 400mm I found the following.
70-200 F2.8 mark 2 with 2x convertor was sharpest
70-200 F4 with 2X was second
100-400 was third
All at f8, thats what I found.

I find your results surprising.  The 70-200/2.8L IS II with the 2x is similar to the 100-400, likely slightly better in controlled testing but equivalent in the real world.  The 100-400 handles better.  The 70-200/4 (either) + 2x should not be sharper than the 100-400, assuming the copy of the 100-400 is performing properly.  In your case I'd suspect AFMA issues or a bad/damaged copy of the 100-400.
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Re: Thoughts on 70-200 f/4 vs 70-300 vs 100-400?
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2014, 11:26:33 AM »

RustyTheGeek

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Re: Thoughts on 70-200 f/4 vs 70-300 vs 100-400?
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2014, 11:47:21 AM »
I find the 70-300L to be an excellent travel zoom.  It's the shortest of the bunch, so it fits 'vertically' in most camera bags (the 70-200/4 IS is lighter, but taller).

Ditto.  The 70-300L is a wonderful (and fairly affordable) lens that is light, compact and easy to use.  The IQ is excellent.  If you want more reach than 480mm (which is asking a LOT on a crop body) you can always add a 1.4x TC to get over 600mm at the loss of a stop (and some IQ) which isn't a huge problem in daylight.  The 70-200 is great but not as great as the 70-300 for your request (IMHO).
Yes, but what would  surapon  say ??  :D

Haydn1971

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Re: Thoughts on 70-200 f/4 vs 70-300 vs 100-400?
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2014, 12:01:19 PM »
Really happy with my 70-300L, a real step up from the non-L, but it's a shame the trade off in size means it's not compatible with the Canon extenders for the rare times I need longer.  I've still got a 70-200 2.8 II IS in my sights, but feel I'll end up also with a 100-400 once the MkII comes out...  Damn you GAS ;-)
Regards, Haydn

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Re: Thoughts on 70-200 f/4 vs 70-300 vs 100-400?
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2014, 01:03:50 PM »
Have had and used all three quite a lot.

70-200 f/4 IS L is clearly the best of the three. Its simply the best zoom lens in the world - now only matched by the 70-200 f/2.8 IS L II. Get it for amazing shots. Can be used with a 1.4x with good results when needed. Handles very well and has a nice small size.

The new 70-300 IS L and the old 100-400 IS L are two excellent zoom lenses. Very capable and both have a wider zoom range. Optically, neither quite match the 70-200 f/4 IS L which is truly tack sharp wide open - and with a great bokeh to match. Specifically, the 100-400 IS L suffers from "nervous" bokeh occasionally and an old IS implementation, while the 70-300 light fairly quickly drops off (already to f/5 at something like 180mm), it also takes a drop in quality at 200mm/300mm -where most people will be using it most of the time.

Also, handling is somewhat better with the 70-200 f/4 IS L than with the two other lenses - especially the pull/push zoom of the 100-400mm gets critique (never an issue for me) and the reverse placement of zoom and focus rings on the 70-300 (also affects me). Finally, the front element of both lenses extends - a lot - when zooming.

Good luck with your choice!

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Re: Thoughts on 70-200 f/4 vs 70-300 vs 100-400?
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2014, 01:11:19 PM »
It comes down to what you value more:  sports vs. travel; and IQ vs. weight.  The 70-300L is a good choice for travel.  It loses a fractional stop compared to the 70-200 f/4 IS, and it's shortness helps for travel.

But if you favor sports over travel, then I would suggest looking into the 70-200 f/2.8 IS II.  Add a 1.4x TC, and it's IQ at 280mm nearly matches the 70-300L at 300mm while being a stop faster.  Add a 2x TC, and it's IQ at 400 is only slightly worse than the 100-400L's although it does focus significantly slower.  The 70-200 f/2.8 II IS might also make your 100 and 200L expendable, depending on how you use them.

The 70-300L is a good lens, but it seems like many people in this forum that have it also have multiple telezooms.  It is the best choice for travel, but if I could only have 1 telezoom, I'd choose the 70-200 f/2.8 II IS and its IQ and advantages in portraiture and sports over its increased size/weight/worse handling and slower AF with TCs attached/etc.

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Re: Thoughts on 70-200 f/4 vs 70-300 vs 100-400?
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2014, 03:29:28 PM »
I find the 70-300L to be an excellent travel zoom.  It's the shortest of the bunch, so it fits 'vertically' in most camera bags (the 70-200/4 IS is lighter, but taller).

In addition, I found the 70-300L to feel lighter on the camera than the 70-200/4L IS, despite its extra weight. That's because the weight is closer to the body. I also decided that 300mm without TC was a far better option than 280mm with TC. I cannot fault my 70-300L.

I had ruled out the 100-400 because of it's older IS. But that may possibly change soon.
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Re: Thoughts on 70-200 f/4 vs 70-300 vs 100-400?
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2014, 03:34:46 PM »
I've owned the 100-400 for over 8 years. Great lens, very versatile. Rented 70-200 2.8/II and 70-300 for different events. Similar comments I guess to others on this thread.

70-300 is a versatile lens, ideal for travel, as long as you don't want more reach. I know that the Kenko 1.4 works with it but haven't tried it. 

70-200, awesome lens but very heavy. Used with a 1.4 and 2x, it is still more than acceptable but not dramatically better IQ than the 100-400.

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Re: Thoughts on 70-200 f/4 vs 70-300 vs 100-400?
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2014, 03:34:46 PM »

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Re: Thoughts on 70-200 f/4 vs 70-300 vs 100-400?
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2014, 03:42:11 PM »
I own and use both the 70-300L and 100-400L. Never had a 70-200 of any form as to me, they're fitting a different niche than my interests. For practical purposes the 70-300L and 100-400L are near enough the same on their long ends, and if you get either that's where you'll probably be spending much of your time. Speed of handling on the 100-400L is great thanks to the push-pull. Older IS system often not that significant if you're shooting a moving target with it, and would need a faster shutter speed anyway to prevent motion blur. Against it, there is a bit more weight than the 70-300L. On that note, the 70-300L does have the newer IS system which can help if you're shooting static subjects, is supposed to have better sealing, and is smaller and lighter. As such I find myself taking this more if I can only take one small(er) bag on travels.

In summary, decide what range you want to use, and pick accordingly. While I haven't used the 70-200 specifically, I have also got the Sigma 120-300 f2.8. For those times I want to change range on it with teleconverters, it isn't a fun thing to do in the field. So this may apply to the 70-200s also, in that is may be best to have what you think you need in one range than to mess around. If you find the 100-400L a bit heavy, use the 120-300 for a bit. The 100-400L suddenly becomes a lot lighter!
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Re: Thoughts on 70-200 f/4 vs 70-300 vs 100-400?
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2014, 04:13:27 AM »
The 70-300 is a fantastic travel lens, but it is also capable of doing anything else in good light, wildlife, sports, architecture, landscape.  :D I love mine and do appreciate the smaller size and weight against the 70-200/2.8 +1.4x, as I often need 300mm/280mm. I also found the 70-100mm area to be very fundamental in travel. Take the 70-300L!  ;)
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Re: Thoughts on 70-200 f/4 vs 70-300 vs 100-400?
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2014, 04:13:27 AM »