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Author Topic: 300 f4 w/1.4x or 400 f5.6  (Read 6103 times)

IIIHobbs

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300 f4 w/1.4x or 400 f5.6
« on: May 19, 2012, 09:48:35 PM »
Looking to increase my reach occasionally.

Will adding the 1.4x III to my 300 f4 yield as good (or better) results as the 400 f5.6. Or would the better choice be adding the 400 to my arsenal?

Any feedback based on hands on experience/results is appreciated.

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300 f4 w/1.4x or 400 f5.6
« on: May 19, 2012, 09:48:35 PM »

risc32

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Re: 300 f4 w/1.4x or 400 f5.6
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2012, 10:46:20 PM »
I would think much would depend on how important IS is to you. Under perfect conditions i would very much imagine the 400mm would have better IQ, and I would think better AF action. Those perfect conditions are usually hard to come by, for me at least. But the 300 combo has IS(this could mean the ability to use a stop or 2 lower ISO when compared to the nonIS 400mm), better close focusing performance, and with the 1.4 it's like 2 lenses. Also the 1.4 could live on with you with other lenses in the future, even if sometime down the road you decide the 300mm isn't for you any longer.

Michael_pfh

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Re: 300 f4 w/1.4x or 400 f5.6
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2012, 12:25:04 AM »
2 years ago I was facing the same decision. But after trying both at my local Canon dealer in a mall with not so great lighting conditions I realized how important the extra stop (which you are offsetting by adding a TC) and the IS are.
Have been happy with the 300 F4L but still bought a used 400L last year...   
« Last Edit: May 20, 2012, 12:30:18 AM by Michael_pfh »
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pwp

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Re: 300 f4 w/1.4x or 400 f5.6
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2012, 06:14:01 AM »
Looking to increase my reach occasionally. Will adding the 1.4x III to my 300 f4 yield as good (or better) results as the 400 f5.6?
I would think much would depend on how important IS is to you. Under perfect conditions I would very much imagine the 400mm would have better IQ, and I would think better AF action.

You don't mention what bodies you'll be running this glass with. But you do say that you'd like to increase your reach occasionally. The +1.4III is going to be a lot lighter on your wallet and a lot lighter in your bag. I had a 300 f/4is which I occasionally used with the +1.4II and from memory the results were perfectly fine. Mind you, I had a stellar copy of the 300 f/4is which I'm sure helped.

Why don't you get the +1.4III and see how you go. If you find that 400 (420mm actually) is a focal length that fits your shooting style and f/5.6 just isn't cutting it, that may be the time to take a deep breath and go for a real 400, the 400 f/2.8is. I would expect reasonable numbers of 400 f/2.8is glass to be finding it's way onto the second hand market as sports and some wildlife/bird shooters trade up to the new 2kg lighter 400 f/2.8II.

A pre-owned 400 f/2.8is is a risk free purchase. If you find you're not using it, re-sell and you'll be unlikely to lose a penny on the deal.

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TMan

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Re: 300 f4 w/1.4x or 400 f5.6
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2012, 06:32:55 AM »
Looking to increase my reach occasionally.

Will adding the 1.4x III to my 300 f4 yield as good (or better) results as the 400 f5.6. Or would the better choice be adding the 400 to my arsenal?

Any feedback based on hands on experience/results is appreciated.
From your statement above, it seems that the 400mm focal range will be used on odd occassions. The 300mm plus an extender gives you an option of either 300mm at f/4 or 420mm at f/5.6. And this option is a lot cheaper.
What do you intend taking photos of -- wildlife, BIFs?

danski0224

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Re: 300 f4 w/1.4x or 400 f5.6
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2012, 07:16:49 AM »
The 1.4x slows down the AF.

The change is noticeable.

If you are looking to take action pictures with the 300 and a 1.4x TC, you may not like it.

Interestingly enough, using "seat of the pants" observation, the 7D seems to drive a 300 f4/IS + 1.4x TC faster than a 1D4.

Focus was aimed at the same spot ~15' away, lens focus range was 1.5m - infinity, lens was spun to the far macro range manually each time. "Back button" AF used.

The difference isn't huge, but it is there.
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IIIHobbs

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Re: 300 f4 w/1.4x or 400 f5.6
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2012, 07:55:15 AM »
I am using a 5dIII

The intended use is outdoor daytime sports, so the comments about AF speed are helpful. However, having 420 5.6 in the bag with me for whenever I might need it is the winning comment.

I doubt very much that I would ever opt for the 400 2.8 for the frequency I need the focal length, but I may consider a 200-400 f4 zoom. It's not the money as much as the need and frequency of use. I have purchased a number of lenses through the years only to sell them, not for poor results, but because they are rarely on my camera.

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Re: 300 f4 w/1.4x or 400 f5.6
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2012, 07:55:15 AM »

danski0224

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Re: 300 f4 w/1.4x or 400 f5.6
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2012, 08:12:40 AM »
Just some "out of the box" thinking:

A 100-400 zoom is $1589 right now.

The EF 400 5.6 is $1339 right now.

A new 7D is $1549 right now.

A used 7D is hovering at the $1100 mark on craigslist in my area.

Attaching your 300 to a 7D gives you 480mm with no loss of AF speed, no loss of f4 and no TC related IQ issues. I'd take f4 over f5.6 any day as a starting point.

Given good lighting, low ISO and a fast shutter speed, the 7D seems to do just fine.
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neuroanatomist

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Re: 300 f4 w/1.4x or 400 f5.6
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2012, 09:11:20 AM »
The intended use is outdoor daytime sports, so the comments about AF speed are helpful.

Just to put numbers on it, the 1.4x TC will decrease AF speed by 50%, the 2x TC by 75%.
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pwp

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Re: 300 f4 w/1.4x or 400 f5.6
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2012, 08:07:43 PM »
Just some "out of the box" thinking:
Attaching your 300 to a 7D gives you 480mm with no loss of AF speed, no loss of f4 and no TC related IQ issues. I'd take f4 over f5.6 any day as a starting point.

Love your line of thinking. This will be a super valid viewpoint when the last +1.3 crop APS-H Mk IV ships, leaving a number of long lens shooters feeling stranded. If the rumoured 7DII specs become a reality your argument becomes watertight. I'm with you. Get a 7D! Or a pre-owned MkIII or MkIV.

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wickidwombat

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Re: 300 f4 w/1.4x or 400 f5.6
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2012, 08:20:18 PM »
i love my 300 f4L and also consider saving some cash and get the kenko 1.4 its half the price of the canon and equalt quality, since the lens isnt weather sealed its a non issue. plus you can use the kenko TC on macro lenses too for more zoomification of little stuff ;)
for some reason the 300 f4L seem to go really cheap second hand, I picked mine up for 800 bucks
also the IS is quite clunky and noisey but its still a solid lens that works really well
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Razor2012

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Re: 300 f4 w/1.4x or 400 f5.6
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2012, 08:24:46 PM »
Good thread, I've also been wondering about the 300 f4 and the 400 f5.6.  I had started another thread about a 1.4 & 2x with a 700-200.  Sure if a guy had the extra cash, I'd get a 3 or 400 2.8, but unfortunately not in the near future.  Both of these lenses are reasonably priced, it's too bad the 400 didn't have IS.
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wickidwombat

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Re: 300 f4 w/1.4x or 400 f5.6
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2012, 08:49:09 PM »
APS-H Fanboy

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Re: 300 f4 w/1.4x or 400 f5.6
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2012, 08:49:09 PM »

Mencho(22)

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Re: 300 f4 w/1.4x or 400 f5.6
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2012, 08:58:36 PM »
I never had a 400 5.6 but I do use a 300 with 1.4x III and with 2x III

And let me tell you the Image Quality is really really good. For my own use, I do prefer the IS.

risc32

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Re: 300 f4 w/1.4x or 400 f5.6
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2012, 09:09:52 PM »
Well i don't follow that outside the box thinking. Get a 7d when you have a 5dmk3? So with the 7d he'll get twice the DOF, thats not going to help isolating people in sporting situations. Then he'll be demoted to 18mp and lose, what, 2 stops of ISO performance, and get a much weaker AF system, less spiffy LCD etc. If you have a 300mm and a 5dmk3 and you think you would like a longer setup occasionally, I would get the 1.4 tele and if that doesn't get it done, crop. Or just crop now and buy nothing. I get amazing prints from my 13mp original 5d. so with my newer mk3 with 23mp to burn i see that as a built-in 2x ext when neeed This setup isn't to far removed from mine and I've got no complaints. I run the mk3 with a 300is2.8 and sometimes slap a 1.4 ext on it. Unless of course you really need 23mp files for some reason, or want to purchase, learn, and haul around another camera body, with a back up battery.

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Re: 300 f4 w/1.4x or 400 f5.6
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2012, 09:09:52 PM »