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.
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.
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.
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/
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.
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.
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.