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Author Topic: Lens Choice.. 70-200 F4 L IS or 70-300 F4-5.6 L IS  (Read 12970 times)

mjbehnke

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Lens Choice.. 70-200 F4 L IS or 70-300 F4-5.6 L IS
« on: January 27, 2012, 06:55:37 PM »
OK, I'm ready to purchase a new lens, but I am wondering if I would be better off with the 70-200 F4 L IS and a TC or the 70-300 F4-5.6 L IS? I read that the 70-200 F4 IS is one of the sharpest lenses that canon makes and I read that the new 70-300 F4-5.6 L IS is Good, but not as sharp.  Has anybody got any thoughts? I use a 60D and shoot alot of senior photos, and I am really starting to enjoy shooting wildlife.

Thoughts please?
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Lens Choice.. 70-200 F4 L IS or 70-300 F4-5.6 L IS
« on: January 27, 2012, 06:55:37 PM »

briansquibb

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Re: Lens Choice.. 70-200 F4 L IS or 70-300 F4-5.6 L IS
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2012, 07:13:03 PM »
OK, I'm ready to purchase a new lens, but I am wondering if I would be better off with the 70-200 F4 L IS and a TC or the 70-300 F4-5.6 L IS? I read that the 70-200 F4 IS is one of the sharpest lenses that canon makes and I read that the new 70-300 F4-5.6 L IS is Good, but not as sharp.  Has anybody got any thoughts? I use a 60D and shoot alot of senior photos, and I am really starting to enjoy shooting wildlife.

Thoughts please?

Sharp?? As in seeing the diiference on a 16 x 10? or bigger? The reviews say that the 70-300 MTF is about the same, contrast is better and comes with the lastest IS - and is smaller.

.... and of course gives an extra 100mm reach

Sounds like another eroneous rumour circulating about the 70-300L and an overstatement of the ability of the 70-200 F/4 IS

Here is a shot from today - 1d4 + 70-300, f/4.5, 140mm,1/200, iso450 - exif is there is you want it

« Last Edit: January 27, 2012, 07:51:06 PM by briansquibb »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Lens Choice.. 70-200 F4 L IS or 70-300 F4-5.6 L IS
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2012, 07:40:38 PM »
Unless you're absolutely certain you need a constant f/4 and cannot sacrifice one stop at the long end, I'd get the 70-300L.
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bklein61

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Re: Lens Choice.. 70-200 F4 L IS or 70-300 F4-5.6 L IS
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2012, 07:40:54 PM »
I have the 70-300L is and it is very sharp through out the zoom range.  The IS is very effective.  Do no think you will be disappointed.

Picsfor

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Re: Lens Choice.. 70-200 F4 L IS or 70-300 F4-5.6 L IS
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2012, 07:42:24 PM »
Having owned the afore mentioned 70-200, i can vouch for the fact that the lens is extremely sharp.

In fact it's as sharp as th 70-300.

Why buy a lens and TC when you can have them all in one body. And that extra 100mm is already enclosed so less dust spot issues from bolting a lens onto a TC then onto the body.

Also, it gives you that extra flexibility witout having to carry a TC around. Did i mention that it sits in my bag upright and occupies no more room than my 24-105? 70-200 is small, but not that compact for putting in a bag/ rucksack.

Nope, it's the 70-300 for me.

DianeK

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Re: Lens Choice.. 70-200 F4 L IS or 70-300 F4-5.6 L IS
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2012, 07:56:07 PM »
I'm another fan and owner of the 70-300L.  I my experience, on my 60D, it does soften a bit at 300mm but otherwise very happy with it. Image below taken at 277mm, significantly cropped.

V8Beast

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Re: Lens Choice.. 70-200 F4 L IS or 70-300 F4-5.6 L IS
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2012, 08:06:21 PM »


Sounds like another eroneous rumour circulating about the 70-300L and an overstatement of the ability of the 70-200 F/4 IS


I couldn't have said it better myself. I loved my 70-200 f/4, and it was my favorite lens for many years. That said, I replaced it with the 70-300L last summer and don't miss it one bit. The the color, contrast, and sharpness of the of the 70-300L sacrifices nothing to the 70-200 f/4, and the extra 100mm of reach sure comes in handy, especially with a FF sensor. The AF locks very, very quickly as well. I've shot quite a bit with the 70-200 f/2.8L as well, and can't distinguish any difference in IQ between it and the 70-300L.

For marginal price difference between the 70-200 f/4 IS and the 70-300L, I don't know why anyone would buy the former. Now if you wanted fast glass to show off in your sig and bulk up your online street cred, the 70-200 f/2.8 would be the obvious choice, but since you narrowed the field down to f/4 and slower glass, you obviously make purchasing decisions based on more practical purposes :)   
« Last Edit: January 27, 2012, 08:19:56 PM by V8Beast »

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Re: Lens Choice.. 70-200 F4 L IS or 70-300 F4-5.6 L IS
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2012, 08:06:21 PM »

V8Beast

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Re: Lens Choice.. 70-200 F4 L IS or 70-300 F4-5.6 L IS
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2012, 08:33:00 PM »
Here are two black subjects that really demonstrate the outstanding color and contrast of both these lenses offer.

The 70-200 f/4 is sharp....


...but the 70-300L is just as sharp



You can't go wrong either way, but I'll take the extra reach of the 70-300L every day of the week.

mjbehnke

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Re: Lens Choice.. 70-200 F4 L IS or 70-300 F4-5.6 L IS
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2012, 09:18:39 PM »
Well, I guess I must be looking at the crops wrong. I was going by the tests on the digital picture's 12233 charts and thinking the 70-200 looked better. But after looking at the photos posted here, I think the contrast is excellent and it is very sharp.

Not having to add and remove the TC all the time will save on dust... not something I thought about. I picked these lenses as they are what is in my price range (1000 - 1300ish US$) - give or take.

Thanks very much for the replies. I think I will go with the 70-300 and save the money that I would spend on a TC and maybe get the battery grip. This is a great site for help and I appreciate it very much!

Matthe
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michi

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Re: Lens Choice.. 70-200 F4 L IS or 70-300 F4-5.6 L IS
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2012, 09:21:15 PM »
I'm risking getting in trouble here, but I tried the 70-300 L as soon as it came out after I sold my 70-200 L non-IS.  It went back to Amazon a few days later.  The sharpness in the corners was pretty average, and there was pretty bad chromatic aberration.  I then got the 70-200 L IS instead and love it.  True, it's bigger and not as versatile, but I don't need the long reach, and I find the quality to be much better.

If you compare images here, it does seem the 70-200 L IS is a tad better:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=404&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=4&API=0&LensComp=738&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=3&APIComp=1

Sure, it's also true that in most applications you don't really see the difference, but if I spend that much money, I do appreciate getting the sharpest lens possible.

neuroanatomist

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Re: Lens Choice.. 70-200 F4 L IS or 70-300 F4-5.6 L IS
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2012, 09:49:11 PM »
Sure, it's also true that in most applications you don't really see the difference, but if I spend that much money, I do appreciate getting the sharpest lens possible.

The OP was asking about the 70-300L vs. the 70-200/4L IS + 1.4x TC.  What does the comparison at ~300mm f/5.6 look like?
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V8Beast

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Re: Lens Choice.. 70-200 F4 L IS or 70-300 F4-5.6 L IS
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2012, 09:57:15 PM »
I'm risking getting in trouble here, but I tried the 70-300 L as soon as it came out after I sold my 70-200 L non-IS.  It went back to Amazon a few days later.  The sharpness in the corners was pretty average, and there was pretty bad chromatic aberration.

So you tried the 70-300L, you didn't like it, and it didn't suit your needs. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. I respect the fact that you actually tried both lenses out before selecting the one that works best for you.

OTOH, until I can convince someone to pay me to shoot ISO 12233 charts, I'll have to base my assessments by shooting things that pay the bills :)

Michael_pfh

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Re: Lens Choice.. 70-200 F4 L IS or 70-300 F4-5.6 L IS
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2012, 11:35:57 PM »
I used to own the 70-200 F4 L IS before upgrading to the F2.8 L IS for the extra stop. The F4 was indeed very sharp and I loved it from day 1, definitely also due to its constant aperture. In those situations when I needed the extra reach I was using the 1.4x which works great on that lens. Later on I bought the 300 F4 in order to also have F4 at that focal length.

I have not yet tried the 70-300 L but have heard only good things about it. It is very compact which gives it an advantage over the 70-200 however for the 100-200 mm range you only got F5.6 which in my opinion is too slow if you want to use it in not so perfect lighting conditions without a monopod/tripod.

My advice would be to borrow/rent both lenses and to compare them side by side before you make your decision.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2012, 11:41:57 PM by Michael_pfh »
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Re: Lens Choice.. 70-200 F4 L IS or 70-300 F4-5.6 L IS
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2012, 11:35:57 PM »

briansquibb

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Re: Lens Choice.. 70-200 F4 L IS or 70-300 F4-5.6 L IS
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2012, 04:57:03 AM »

I have not yet tried the 70-300 L but have heard only good things about it. It is very compact which gives it an advantage over the 70-200 however for the 100-200 mm range you only got F5.6 which in my opinion is too slow if you want to use it in not so perfect lighting conditions without a monopod/tripod.

Well I guess my post using 140mm @f/4.5 proves that statement wrong.

f/4: 70-103
f/4.5: 104-154
f/5: 155-228
f/5.6: 229-300

The 4 stop IS will probably mean that you dont need a tripod/monopod

If you are shooting in low light then I would suggest the f/4 will be too slow as well - so a f/2.8 would be better or prime f/2 even more so

Or like me a body that is happy at high iso

Another possible benefit is that the 70-300L is under 6 inches long, whereas the 70-200 is nearly 7inches


Tijn

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Re: Lens Choice.. 70-200 F4 L IS or 70-300 F4-5.6 L IS
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2012, 05:38:06 AM »
The 70-200 f/4 IS has pretty much the same image quality. It has the biggest aperture at 200mm (f/4 vs f/5), but lacks the extra 100mm on top of that. The 70-200 f/4 IS focuses internally (meaning it's bigger, but also sexier). It's also less heavy (70-200 IS is 760g, the 70-300 is 1050g).

Personally I also considered both lenses. The 70-200 f/4 IS was also cheaper than the 70-300 where I live; 200-250eu cheaper to be precise). I decided to go for the 70-200 f/4 IS, because I don't need the extra 100mm so much. I required IS, I like somewhat shallow DOF, but I'm on a budget and I didn't want a heavy lens. I'd use it mostly for (candid) portraits, nothing requiring over 200mm (I'm on a crop body).

I can see many people would go for the 70-300. It's just that bit more versatile. Anyways, IQ should not be a differentiator between the two; but like I said, there can be others (namely weight, price, and largest-aperture difference or constant aperture benefit).
« Last Edit: January 28, 2012, 05:48:15 AM by Tijn »

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Re: Lens Choice.. 70-200 F4 L IS or 70-300 F4-5.6 L IS
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2012, 05:38:06 AM »