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Cameras and Photography: Trying to dcide on a lens - Canon 70-300 L or 100-400 L

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TheHackster

TheHackster
Columbus, GA
(Zone 8a)

July 21, 2012
2:55 PM

Post #9213615

I want to replace my Canon 70-300 non-L lens.

At first, I leaned toward a Canon 100-400 L lens (I already have a Canon 400mm prime, a fantastic lens, as long as the subject is out there a ways from you) and then I saw the Canon 70-300 L.

I read that the IQ and AF is better/faster on the 70-300 L, than on the 100-400 L

I know a few birder friends that post pics on the daily bird pics thread and I've seen that the 100-400 is certainly no slouch, the pics they post are tack sharp. But, I don't recall seeing any pics taken with the 70-300 L, nor do I know anyone who has one. I don't know if I'll like the push/pull thing the 100-400 does.

Do any of you have both? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Hack

This message was edited Jul 21, 2012 5:09 PM
nutsaboutnature
Algonquin, IL
(Zone 5a)

July 21, 2012
3:45 PM

Post #9213666

Hi Hack -
Whoa. . .If I was looking at the correct lens, it's pricey!
I don't know anything about that lens, but I was wondering if you've read any reviews on bhphotovideo or Amazon? I assume you already have, but I thought I'd throw that out there, just-in-case you hadn't.

Anyway, Good Luck!
gasrocks
Portage, WI
(Zone 5a)

July 21, 2012
5:15 PM

Post #9213729

Have had both lenses and more. You say you have the EF 400/5.6? Keep it. Better lens than the 100-400 in many ways. The 70-300 is not great. How about an EF 70-200/4 L IS instead? Wonderful lens. Tell us more about what you would use each lens for. First place I would go for a lens review is FredMiranda Reviews. 2nd is probably Photozone.de.

This message was edited Jul 21, 2012 6:20 PM

TheHackster

TheHackster
Columbus, GA
(Zone 8a)

July 21, 2012
6:53 PM

Post #9213821

Thanks nutsaboutnature, I did check out Amazon, but not bhphoto, I'll take a look.

gasrocks FredMiranda Reviews did a good job. I even looked at the review of the 70-200 2.8.

Hack
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

July 21, 2012
7:34 PM

Post #9213880

Hack, the Canon 70-200 f2.8 L is supposedly a fantastic lens. You can also extend its focal length by using a teleconverter. It's not inexpensive. Arthur Morris uses this lens all the time. I don't know if you're familiar with his work, but it's mind-blowing. Check out his website. http://www.birdsasart.com/

TheHackster

TheHackster
Columbus, GA
(Zone 8a)

July 21, 2012
8:43 PM

Post #9213958

Wow, margaret, his pics are great. I had read the same thing about the 70-200 2.8 L being a fantastic lens, but I want the 300 mm reach.

In fact, I just bought a Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM UD Telephoto Zoom Lens for 1207.00 (that includes shipping) from Amazon.

Now, I'll go on eBay and sell my non-L 70-300 lens.

Hack
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

July 22, 2012
4:59 AM

Post #9214105

Good for you, Hack. I hope you love it. I look forward to seeing the photos you take.
nutsaboutnature
Algonquin, IL
(Zone 5a)

July 22, 2012
6:49 AM

Post #9214177

Congrats on your purchase, Hack! Hope you love it. Looking forward to your bird pics!

TheHackster

TheHackster
Columbus, GA
(Zone 8a)

July 22, 2012
7:14 AM

Post #9214196

Thanks Margaret and nutsaboutnature. This will be my 2nd L lens. I'm really looking forward to using it.

Hack

P_Edens

P_Edens
Willis, TX
(Zone 8b)

July 23, 2012
5:37 AM

Post #9215315

Congrats, Hack! I think you made a great choice. I have the 100 - 400 and can only wish I had the 100 - 300. I played with the 100 - 300L when it first came out at a Canon booth at Galveston's Featherfest. I loved it! It was so much faster than the 100 - 400 to focus and even in the low light inside the building. The zoom is super smooth and ditto for the focus. I thought the IS was exceptional even though Ken Rockwell (Edit: It was not Miranda as I originally said - I got confused on who said what.) didn't like it so much in his review. He loved the lens though, just didn't think too much of the IS for some reason. I think he was just having a bad day when he tested it because it worked great when I played with that lens inside a dimly lit conference room.

I don't think I will ever get used to the push/pull zoom on the 100 - 400. It has a ring that you turn to tighten or loosen the zoom, but the ring tightens itself while you are shooting. So over the time of a few minutes of shooting, the zoom gets "sticky" and you have to loosen up the ring again. If you forget to tighten the ring before you throw your camera over your shoulder while mounted on the tripod, if the lens is pointing up, it will slam down from 400 (or wherever you had it) to 100. Most people probably only make that mistake once or twice, but even that can't be good. IQ is quite good, but mechanics of operation are not.

I also have and love the 400 prime. You have two of Canon's best L lenses in my opinion.

Enjoy and let us know how you are liking it!

Patti

This message was edited Jul 23, 2012 8:23 AM

TheHackster

TheHackster
Columbus, GA
(Zone 8a)

July 24, 2012
8:33 AM

Post #9216825

Thanks for the confidence builder Patti. I, too, didn't think I'd like the push/pull of the 100-400. I've seen many bird pics on DG, and know the lens took great pics.

As you know, I already have the 400 prime and didn't need that the reach of the 100-400. I really liked my non-L 70-300, so figured I'd just replace it with the L version.

I'm really looking forward to getting it.

I also bought a Canon 7D to go along with my two 40D's - can't wait to see how the 7D's 18 mpix, compares to the 40D's 10.

Most of my DG time is spent on the "Daily Bird Photos" thread. The latest thread is:
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1270980/

Hack

TheHackster

TheHackster
Columbus, GA
(Zone 8a)

July 24, 2012
8:34 AM

Post #9216826

Patti, how far do you live from Austin? That's where my oldest son lives.

Hack

P_Edens

P_Edens
Willis, TX
(Zone 8b)

July 24, 2012
10:08 AM

Post #9216912

Hack, Wow! A new camera too! One more congrats! That will be a great combo.

I live just SW of Houston, so 170 miles to Austin. I get there a few times a year. I visited Austin when I went to the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge birding festival in April. I love that area.

Patti
wiggiej
Ann Arbor, MI

September 4, 2012
2:07 PM

Post #9264806

Just came across this thread and wanted to add my 2 cents regarding MargaretK's comment regarding the 70 - 200 2.8 L. As you say, it's a fantastic lens, I can't say enough good things about it. But my experience using it with a teleconverter was not good -- the shots weren't even close to what I normally get without. I should add that I've only used a teleconverter a couple times, so perhaps the results were my fault.

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