November 25, 2017, 04:48:22 AM

Author Topic: 70-100mm VS. 100-400mm Questions?  (Read 5327 times)

kat.hayes

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70-100mm VS. 100-400mm Questions?
« on: October 17, 2017, 01:34:29 PM »
I'm fairly new to photography.

1. I'm wondering, why not just get one long lens like a 100-400mm and use it instead of the 70-100mm if I do not need focal lengths less than 100?

2. How is the 100-400mm VS. a 70-100mm for portrait photography?

Thanks.

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70-100mm VS. 100-400mm Questions?
« on: October 17, 2017, 01:34:29 PM »

Labdoc

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Re: 70-100mm VS. 100-400mm Questions?
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2017, 01:38:26 PM »
You probably mean 70-200 f2.8. The 70-200 is considered "the" portrait lens by many. 100-400 awesome for birds and other wildlife. Also need something more wide angle (24-70) for walking around, events, landscape. Wide to ultra wide angle (less than 24mm) for landscapes, night photo and other effects like fisheye. A lot to learn and buy.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2017, 01:46:57 PM by Labdoc »
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neuroanatomist

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Re: 70-100mm VS. 100-400mm Questions?
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2017, 01:57:54 PM »
I'm fairly new to photography.

1. I'm wondering, why not just get one long lens like a 100-400mm and use it instead of the 70-100mm if I do not need focal lengths less than 100?

2. How is the 100-400mm VS. a 70-100mm for portrait photography?

Thanks.

Assuming you mean 70-200mm, in the context of portraits, the difference is f/2.8 vs. f/4.5-5.6.  The wider aperture gives much better subject isolation.
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Jopa

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Re: 70-100mm VS. 100-400mm Questions?
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2017, 03:02:54 PM »
You can get a Bigma https://www.sigmaphoto.com/50-500mm-f45-63-apo-dg-os-hsm if you don't care about F stop at all.

SkynetTX

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Re: 70-100mm VS. 100-400mm Questions?
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2017, 03:43:57 PM »
In my opinion anyone who is really interested in photography needs at least three lenses.
1. (ultra) wide angle – like the Tamron 10-24mm – for landscapes and some (huge) buildings if you can't get far enough from them.
2. general purpose – like the 24-70mm lenses – for smaller landscapes, buildings and events.
3. medium telephoto – like the 70-200mm lenses – for portraits and (not-that-)wildfile.
And if you are interested in it, you can have a macro lens: about 60mm if you want to shoot mainly flowers OR 100 or 180 mm if you want to shoot small animals.
Superzoom lenses makes no sense as their image quality is not better than the superzoom compact cameras but are much heavier and more expensive.
An f/2.8 lens is much faster than an f/5.6 and can better be used in low light conditions.

AlanF

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Re: 70-100mm VS. 100-400mm Questions?
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2017, 04:17:26 PM »
In my opinion anyone who is really interested in photography needs at least three lenses.
1. (ultra) wide angle – like the Tamron 10-24mm – for landscapes and some (huge) buildings if you can't get far enough from them.
2. general purpose – like the 24-70mm lenses – for smaller landscapes, buildings and events.
3. medium telephoto – like the 70-200mm lenses – for portraits and (not-that-)wildfile.
And if you are interested in it, you can have a macro lens: about 60mm if you want to shoot mainly flowers OR 100 or 180 mm if you want to shoot small animals.
Superzoom lenses makes no sense as their image quality is not better than the superzoom compact cameras but are much heavier and more expensive.
An f/2.8 lens is much faster than an f/5.6 and can better be used in low light conditions.

"Superzoom lenses makes no sense as their image quality is not better than the superzoom compact cameras but are much heavier and more expensive"

Presumably you think that nature photographers are not really interested in photography and sports photographers also lack any interest with their big primes and zooms. The 100-400mms, 200-400mm, 150-600mms and others on a modern FF or APS-C are in a different league from superzoom compacts in terms of IQ and ability to AF quickly, which is why serious nature photographers carry the expensive and heavy lenses.  But, are they all big and expensive? Some are cheaper and lighter than a 70-200mm f2.8.
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Re: 70-100mm VS. 100-400mm Questions?
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2017, 04:53:41 PM »
I'm fairly new to photography.

1. I'm wondering, why not just get one long lens like a 100-400mm and use it instead of the 70-100mm if I do not need focal lengths less than 100?

2. How is the 100-400mm VS. a 70-100mm for portrait photography?

Thanks.

Assuming you mean 70-200mm, in the context of portraits, the difference is f/2.8 vs. f/4.5-5.6.  The wider aperture gives much better subject isolation.

Even when comparing 400mm @ f/5.6 to 200mm @ f/2.8 ?

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Re: 70-100mm VS. 100-400mm Questions?
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2017, 04:53:41 PM »

Talys

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Re: 70-100mm VS. 100-400mm Questions?
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2017, 05:04:53 PM »
Yikes, what a minefield.

@SkynetTX - I don't think most people would call a 100-400 a superzoom.  Most people consider superzoom lenses as ones that cover from wide angle to telephoto; even an 18-200mm would be more superzoom than 100-400.

To say that superzooms (in the context of wide to tele) make no sense is just inviting controversy.  To say that the 100-400 makes no sense is just nuts, because the Canon 100-400L II is my favorite zoom lens, full stop, and I own the 70-200/2.8L IS II (which is an amazing lens).

@kat.hayes -  I think that a lot of people missed your comment, "if I do not need focal lengths less than 100".

If you don't need a focal length < 100, the main reason to get a 70-200 would be to get f/2.8 -- that's assuming you want 2.8.  But IMO, for portraiture, you may wish to consider a prime 2.8, like 100 or 135.  A 100/2.8L IS has the added capability of macro and it's a whole lot lighter and cheaper than a 70-200/2.8L IS II.

If you don't need 2.8 consider the 70-200 f/4 IS, because it weighs a LOT less and is a lot cheaper.  But it also has a much worse resell ratio, should you wish to upgrade in the future, because 70-200/2.8 is where the money's at.

If you want > 200mm -- though I'm not sure why you'd want more than 200mm for portraiture, the 100-400 is an amazing lens in just about every way you can imagine.  It also has an very short MFD, meaning you can get within about 3 feet of your subject and photograph it at 100mm-400mm, which can let you take pictures of things like bugs.  Back to portraiture, if you are close to your subject, you'll isolate it (blur the background).  So even though you don't have 2.8, you can still get nice bokeh out of a 100-400L II.  This is not the case with some other 100-400's, though.

One thing to keep in mind, though:  70-100mm covers a very useful focal range for portraiture.  If I had to pick one portrait FL and was only allowed 1 FL, I would pick 85mm, but that's just personal preference.

And of course, you need to consider, what do you want to photograph in the focal range between 200-400?  Why buy a $2,000 lens to get that top end of zoom, if you don't want to photograph anything in the top 50% of the tele end?

With regards to SkyNetTX's breakdown, although it generically makes sense, I disagree with the traditional "you need the trinity zoom" thing, because good glass in each of those categories -- just for zooms -- will cost an awful lot ($6000+ for 2.8L's), and why go spend all that if you don't really photograph a lot of things in those FLs?  Or,to put it another way, it's perfectly legitimate to be really interested in ONLY one type of subject.  And it also discounts the use of primes, which I think is just not good advice.

You can get a lot, for example, out of a cheap 50mm/1.8.  If that fixes your hole between 24-70 (because you're willing to just move around for the small number of those shots you get), you'll get super sharp images for $100 instead of $2000, and you can always get something else later.  Maybe an f/4, or whatever.

unfocused

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Re: 70-100mm VS. 100-400mm Questions?
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2017, 05:33:51 PM »
Yikes, what a minefield...

You did an excellent of navigating the minefield and I can't think of anything to add or disagree with. Honestly I never even considered using the 100-400 as a portrait lens. Although it's not any heavier than the 70-200 and does have a shorter minimum focus distance, so I guess it would work.  Personally, I don't generally shoot the 70-200 wide open because I like to get more than one eye in focus so even the smaller aperture isn't a real downside. I guess I think I'd feel a little silly using the 100-400 as a portrait lens, but that's not really a good reason.

neuroanatomist

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Re: 70-100mm VS. 100-400mm Questions?
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2017, 05:35:39 PM »
Even when comparing 400mm @ f/5.6 to 200mm @ f/2.8 ?

That would work.  Just give your subject a walkie-talkie so you can tell him/her when to smile.
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Jopa

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Re: 70-100mm VS. 100-400mm Questions?
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2017, 06:32:23 PM »
Even when comparing 400mm @ f/5.6 to 200mm @ f/2.8 ?

That would work.  Just give your subject a walkie-talkie so you can tell him/her when to smile.

LOL that's so true. Especially when taking a full body pic of an adult. You're getting a pretty unique "compressed" look, but the lighting should be also appropriate otherwise people's faces start looking weird.

privatebydesign

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Re: 70-100mm VS. 100-400mm Questions?
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2017, 09:05:52 PM »
Even when comparing 400mm @ f/5.6 to 200mm @ f/2.8 ?

That would work.  Just give your subject a walkie-talkie so you can tell him/her when to smile.

LOL that's so true. Especially when taking a full body pic of an adult. You're getting a pretty unique "compressed" look, but the lighting should be also appropriate otherwise people's faces start looking weird.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebz6Kow-ywc

Mind you I hate the term compression when people really mean perspective, but that's another thread.......
Too often we lose sight of the fact that photography is about capturing light, if we have the ability to take control of that light then we grow exponentially as photographers. More often than not the image is not about lens speed, sensor size, DR, MP's or AF, it is about the light.

MrFotoFool

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Re: 70-100mm VS. 100-400mm Questions?
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2017, 11:20:00 PM »
I will tell you my experience with both lenses, but your experience and needs may differ. I have owned the 70-200 f2.8 (non IS) for a few years and briefly owned the 100-400 ii before trading it in last month.

Both are sharp, pro lenses and both are about the same size physically (at least when 100-400 is not zoomed out). The 70-200 (assuming you mean the f2.8 version) has an aperture that is significantly larger which allows for faster shutter speeds (and better blur when the focal lengths overlap).

The larger aperture also allows for a more responsive autofocus. I was surprised at the difficulty the 100-400 had when shooting dark subjects or cluttered situations (looking through a fence at the zoo). Scenes in which my 70-200 had no trouble at all were difficult to impossible to get with the 100-400.

The 70-200 maintains the large 2.8 aperture as you zoom out, while the 100-400 will change from 4.5 to 5.6 as you zoom out. Also the 70-200 is internal zoom, so that it physically does not extend when you zoom out. The 100-400 gets physically longer when you zoom out. Having gotten used to my 70-200, I found the physical extension mildly annoying.

When I walked around with the 100-400 attached, I was surprised at how much I missed being able to zoom back to 70mm. It seems like a small difference, but it is huge when trying to grab a more general view without changing lenses. Since I only have room in my backpack for one of the two telephotos, I finally got rid of the 100-400 because I would invariably take the other lens.

However, if you do a lot of birds or wildlife you still may find the extra reach of the 100-400 more practical for you.

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Re: 70-100mm VS. 100-400mm Questions?
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2017, 11:20:00 PM »

Jopa

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Re: 70-100mm VS. 100-400mm Questions?
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2017, 02:11:12 AM »
Even when comparing 400mm @ f/5.6 to 200mm @ f/2.8 ?

That would work.  Just give your subject a walkie-talkie so you can tell him/her when to smile.

LOL that's so true. Especially when taking a full body pic of an adult. You're getting a pretty unique "compressed" look, but the lighting should be also appropriate otherwise people's faces start looking weird.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebz6Kow-ywc

Mind you I hate the term compression when people really mean perspective, but that's another thread.......

I mean what I mean ;)  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perspective_distortion_(photography)
"Perspective distortion takes two forms: extension distortion and compression distortion". Has nothing to do with the lens but the distance to the subject.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2017, 03:15:36 AM by Jopa »

GMCPhotographics

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Re: 70-100mm VS. 100-400mm Questions?
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2017, 04:53:10 AM »
The mkII 100-400mm LIS is an excellent lens. It's one of the newest long lenses from Canon so it's AF and IS are spookily good. The IS is easily the best I've seen or used, you can literally shake the lens when it's engaged and the viewfinder doesn't move much. The AF is a massive upgrade from the older mk I model and is worth the upgrade for those two features alone. The new detachable lens mount is appalling and a bit of a joke. After market feet are essential for tripod work in poor weather. Optically, there's not much between the mkI and mkII in realy world use.
It's surprising how well a 70-200 f2.8 LIS II and a 2x TC  fares against the 100-400 LIS II. The dedicated zoom has a fast AF system, is slightly sharper and the IS unit is better. But the 70-200 does very very well and can be easily considered for occasional or even frequent use.

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Re: 70-100mm VS. 100-400mm Questions?
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2017, 04:53:10 AM »