Wildlife/Sports/Airshow Lens

Diverman

I'm New Here
Jan 3, 2013
11
0
Hi all,

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, but I could use some advice/opinions/help on my next lens dilemma. I love shooting air shows and wildlife (not so much birds, but typically longer shots of bears/wolves/etc.), and will have many more sporting opportunities coming up. I currently use a 70-200IS V2 with a 2x extender (or no extender at all when the light is fading quickly). Not a pro at all, just love shooting a variety of things. I have a few options floating around for some more reach. All of these are used.

1. 400mm f/2.8 IS V2 - have an offer on a very good quality lens, $5200
2. 600mm F/4 IS original - good quality, $4500
3. 300mm f/2.8 IS V2 - $3200, good quality. Would get a 1.4x also
4. 400mm f/2.8 IS V1 - $3000, good quality optically, little ugly from use
5. 500mm f/4 IS V1 - $3500, good shape
6. 300mm f/2.8 IS V1 - $2500, good shape
7. 100-400 V2 - $1200, very good shape. Would need to get a 1.4x extender and a new body to focus at F/8.

Do any of these just jump off the page? I’m sure someone has been through the same questions... I believe the 400 V2 might be the best deal from a $ perspective, but I feel like I’m short for most wildlife at 400mm as it is. Will I have enough reach with a 1.4x, and am I going to hate the weight? I am actually renting a V2 next week to see how tough it is going to be. If it matters, I am shooting a 6D and 60D with plans to upgrade to an 80/90/7dii and a 6dii/5div within the next year. Almost all of what I do now is handheld, because I can. I do not have a gimbal, but I was planning to try the rented 400 on my Manfrotto fluid video head to see how that works.

Thanks for your input!
 

Photorex

EOS RP
Nov 19, 2016
266
51
... but typically longer shots of bears/wolves/etc.), -> go for the 600mm F/4 IS original - good quality, $4500
and will have many more sporting opportunities coming up. -> go for the 100-400 V2 - $1200, very good shape.

Would need to get a 1.4x extender and a new body to focus at F/8. -> with plans to upgrade to an 80/90/7dii and a 6dii/5div within the next year.
I would think the answer is already in your question ;)
 

Don Haines

Beware of cats with laser eyes!
Jun 4, 2012
8,262
1,920
Canada
I have no personal experience with it, but I am led to believe that the 400F2.8 plays VERY well with the 1.4 teleconverter, and plays well with the 2X teleconverter. The 600F4 is supposed to be almost as good, but with more reach. Reach is all important with distant wildlife. If it were me, that’s where I would be looking.

so.... those with that combo.....any comments?
 

AlanF

Canon 5DSR II
Aug 16, 2012
6,361
4,541
Hi all,

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, but I could use some advice/opinions/help on my next lens dilemma. I love shooting air shows and wildlife (not so much birds, but typically longer shots of bears/wolves/etc.), and will have many more sporting opportunities coming up. I currently use a 70-200IS V2 with a 2x extender (or no extender at all when the light is fading quickly). Not a pro at all, just love shooting a variety of things. I have a few options floating around for some more reach. All of these are used.

1. 400mm f/2.8 IS V2 - have an offer on a very good quality lens, $5200
2. 600mm F/4 IS original - good quality, $4500
3. 300mm f/2.8 IS V2 - $3200, good quality. Would get a 1.4x also
4. 400mm f/2.8 IS V1 - $3000, good quality optically, little ugly from use
5. 500mm f/4 IS V1 - $3500, good shape
6. 300mm f/2.8 IS V1 - $2500, good shape
7. 100-400 V2 - $1200, very good shape. Would need to get a 1.4x extender and a new body to focus at F/8.

Do any of these just jump off the page? I’m sure someone has been through the same questions... I believe the 400 V2 might be the best deal from a $ perspective, but I feel like I’m short for most wildlife at 400mm as it is. Will I have enough reach with a 1.4x, and am I going to hate the weight? I am actually renting a V2 next week to see how tough it is going to be. If it matters, I am shooting a 6D and 60D with plans to upgrade to an 80/90/7dii and a 6dii/5div within the next year. Almost all of what I do now is handheld, because I can. I do not have a gimbal, but I was planning to try the rented 400 on my Manfrotto fluid video head to see how that works.

Thanks for your input!
Do you shoot hand held or on a tripod? How strong are you?
 

Diverman

I'm New Here
Jan 3, 2013
11
0
I have no personal experience with it, but I am led to believe that the 400F2.8 plays VERY well with the 1.4 teleconverter, and plays well with the 2X teleconverter. The 600F4 is supposed to be almost as good, but with more reach. Reach is all important with distant wildlife. If it were me, that’s where I would be looking.

so.... those with that combo.....any comments?
I’m in the same boat. The 400 would seemingly give me a lot of flexibility... fantastic fast lens at 400mm, I would assume a pretty good 560 f/4, and a good? 800 f/5.6...

regardless I think (and hope) any of the options are going to have a leg up on my 70-200 w/2x.
 
Mar 14, 2012
2,334
216
The 100-400 II is the most versatile and hand-holdable of the bunch. It's easier and sharper than the 70-200 with extenders. I'd start with that first...

and if you need more reach after that, then I'd consider the longer primes. The 400 f/2.8s are heavy. Even with a gimbal, it puts significant restrictions on your mobility that you don't think about when using a 100-400 II or 70-200. 300 f/2.8 IS II or a 400 f/4 IS DO II are hand-holdable, but the longer primes are significantly heavier and are another class altogether. Personally, I tend to use a combination of zooms and primes. 70-200 paired with a 300 indoors, and 100-400 and a DO 400 with extender outdoors.
 

SecureGSM

2 x 5D IV
Feb 26, 2017
1,749
674
Yup, as per above. My thought process:
1. Air shows are typically shot in a reasonably good light - outdoors :)
2. Distance to subject is substantial. Subject to background separation is “out of scope” F2.8 isn’t essential then.

Therefore shooting at F5.6 or even F8 should not be an issue. 100-400 II then?