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Thread: Wildlife & some sports photography - long term lens decisions

  1. #11
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    Re: Wildlife & some sports photography - long term lens decisions



    I know It's not on the list, but I would HIGHLY RECOMEND the 600mm f/4. The general rule in wildlife photography is too get the longest lens you can afford. Unless it is out your budget I would get that lens.


    I have a cheapo 500mm f/8 and Minolta 600mm f/6.3 and the differance is quite signifant in terms of reach. You can get away without using a tele-extender more often with the longer lens.


    Something to think about,


    John.

  2. #12

    Re: Wildlife & some sports photography - long term lens decisions



    Just would like to refer to the OP and remind people that the budget sits around the 1-1.5k mark, making 80% of the suggested lenses far out of reach.


    More on topic, I also have a 100-400 and have no complaints whatsoever. Considering its versatility it is a light lens with lots of uses. The IQ I have gotten out of it is very good, certainly L quality if nothing else. If you are looking to spend about 1500 or so, I would say that it is your best option to cover all your bases.

  3. #13
    Alan
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    Re: Wildlife & some sports photography - long term lens decisions



    Brendan says the 300 f/4 with the 1.4 TC is good for IQ, yet neuroanatomist says the 400 f/5.6 is better IQ than the 300 TC combo.


    Which is it? Which has better IQ?

  4. #14
    Senior Member Mark Elberson's Avatar
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    Re: Wildlife & some sports photography - long term lens decisions



    Quote Originally Posted by Alan


    Brendan says the 300 f/4 with the 1.4 TC is good for IQ, yet neuroanatomist says the 400 f/5.6 is better IQ than the 300 TC combo.


    Which is it? Which has better IQ?
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    You decide....


    Comparing 400mm @ f/5.6 vs 420mm @ f/5.6 it's hands down the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS


    Digital SLR and Lens Image Quality Comparison - ISO 12233 Chart 100% Crops

  5. #15
    Alan
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    Re: Wildlife & some sports photography - long term lens decisions



    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Elberson


    Comparing 400mm @ f/5.6 vs 420mm @ f/5.6 it's hands down the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS


    [url="http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=113&amp;Camera=453&amp;Sample=0&am p;FLIComp=1&amp;APIComp=1&amp;LensComp=111&amp;Cam eraComp=453&amp;SampleComp=0&amp;FLI=7&amp;API=0]Digital SLR and Lens Image Quality Comparison - ISO 12233 Chart 100% Crops[/url]
    <div style="clear: both;"]</div>


    Yep. It is. Thanks, Mark.

  6. #16
    Senior Member neuroanatomist's Avatar
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    Re: Wildlife & some sports photography - long term lens decisions



    Quote Originally Posted by Jordan



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    I haven't looked up the ounces here but I was saying that I felt the 300mm f/4 was much lighter than the 100-400mm. Also, the IS on the 300mm f/4 (and the 24-105 which I didn't mention) to be much better than on the 100-400 and other IS lenses I've used.

    I'd agree with the first part - because it's skinner and a bit lighter, the 300mm does feel lighter in the hands than the 100-400mm, especially when you first pick them up, or when the 100-400 is pushed out to 400mm. But, at the end of a day of shooting, I didn't feel any difference between them.


    What other IS lenses have you used? I must say, the IS on theEF 100mm f/2.8<span style="color: red;"]LMacro IS USM completely blows away the IS on either the 300mm f/4L or the 100-400mm, in terms of stabilization and 'feel'. Personally, I really hated the clunk every time the IS on the 300mm f/4 started up. I didn't notice any difference in the relative performance of the IS systems on the 300mm f/4L and the 100-400mm (except that at 400mm f/5.6, 2 stops of stabilization means a faster shutter speed is needed than on a 300mm at f/4). They are the same IS design - the lenses were released one year apart.
    <div>
    Quote Originally Posted by jcrowe87
    More on topic, I also have a 100-400 and have no complaints whatsoever. Considering its versatility it is a light lens with lots of uses. The IQ I have gotten out of it is very good, certainly L quality if nothing else. If you are looking to spend about 1500 or so, I would say that it is your best option to cover all your bases.
    </div>
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    </div>
    </div>


    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Elberson
    Comparing 400mm @ f/5.6 vs 420mm @ f/5.6 it's hands down the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS

    These are the reasons I absolutely prefer the 100-400mm to the 300mm f/4 - more versatility, more reach, and better IQ at 400mm (compared to the 300mm f/4 + 1.4x, not to the 400mm prime, obviously). IQ is usually worse with a TC than with a native lens, although it really seems to me that the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II at 280mm f/4 rivals the 300mm f/4L!


    Derrick - one thing you might want to consider prior to making an investment is renting one or more of these lenses you're considering right now. Minimally, bring your camera to a brick-and-mortar store and try them out!

  7. #17
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    Re: Wildlife & some sports photography - long term lens decisions



    Quote Originally Posted by neuroanatomist
    IQ is usually worse with a TC than with a native lens, although it really seems to me that the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II at 280mm f/4 rivals the 300mm f/4L!

    In the center, maybe. But the prime looks far better to me in midframe and the corners. (As it had better... the day an L prime loses to a zoom + extender is the day I throw said L prime in the trash [] )









  8. #18

    Re: Wildlife & some sports photography - long term lens decisions



    Wow, thanks for all of your responses. This forum rocks! []


    Ok, I'll try to reply to all of your suggestions in order here...


    neuroanatomist,
    I do believe that if I got the 300mm f/4L IS, I'd use it mostly with the 1.4x teleconverter except for sports and nature uses. Though it may be a better choice in the long run if I decide going with the 500mm f/4L IS (200mm difference instead of just upgrading from a 400mm lens). I'm leaning towards either the 100-400 or the 300 with extender right now as they are lenses that will give me a feel for which focal lengths I want for the subjects I shoot. The 100-400, as has been said already in this thread, would be an excellent lens to put on a 2nd body when shooting with a super-telephoto prime.


    My other thought was that if I got the 400mm f/5.6L first (or immediately after the 70-200mm f/4L), it would teach me long-lens techniques and better wildlife photography skills. Even though it doesn't have IS, it might be worth the effort of learning how to shoot these subjects better. It might also be more rewarding (once I learn how to properly photograph wildlife subjects) since the 400 prime is superior in IQ and focusing.


    bburns223,
    I wasn't comparing the 300 f/4 to the 300 f/2.8 and 500 f/4, I'm just wondering if the 300 f/4 or any of my other considerations would be a good starter choice when I know I'll eventually purchase at least one of the super-telephoto lenses.


    Fast Glass,
    I think the 500mm f/4 would better suit me for most purposes since it is hand-holdable, much easier to lug around and travel with, and better performance with TCs. But the 600mm can go into the considerations when I eventually need one of these lenses. Thanks for the suggestion.


    neuroanatomist,
    I agree that renting would be an excellent idea. It's definitely something that I'm keeping in mind.


    I think right now my decision for my starter kit is down to these options:


    1) 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS
    2) 70-200mm f/4L + 400mm f/5.6L + maybe 1.4x TC
    3) 70-200mm f/4L + 300mm f/4L IS + 1.4x TC


    For the 70-200mm f/4L lens, I may be able to get a very good deal. My father is thinking of upgrading to the f/2.8, so he might give me a good price on the f/4. So this lens in addition to one of the primes would be very similar in price to the 100-400L.


    I would like some thoughts on the 400mm f/5.6L versus the 500mm f/4L IS. Is the 500 really that superior and worth the upgrade from the 400 for shooting birds &amp; distant wildlife (for strictly handheld use)? Or should, as Fast Glass suggested, the 600mm f/4 be a better upgrade? I think it may be a better way to go for birds by getting the 400 f/5.6 and eventually the 600 f/4. Then for sports &amp; some wildlife &amp; nature &amp; pretty much everything I could get the 300mm f/2.8L IS. Anyways, all of these are distant dreams at this point, so back to the starter kit.


    I think that if my father gives me a good deal on the 70-200 f/4L, then the 100-400 is out of the running. I'd rather have one of the primes. Will the 300mm be that big of a difference over the 200mm? I think maybe the 400 would be a better combo with the 70-200.


    Ok, that's all for now. Thank you all very much for your thoughts. []


    Derrick

  9. #19
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    Re: Wildlife & some sports photography - long term lens decisions



    Quote Originally Posted by neuroanatomist
    These are the reasons I absolutely prefer the 100-400mm to the 300mm f/4 - more versatility, more reach, and better IQ at 400mm (compared to the 300mm f/4 + 1.4x, not to the 400mm prime, obviously). IQ is usually worse with a TC than with a native lens, although it really seems to me that the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II at 280mm f/4 rivals the 300mm f/4L!

    The 100-400 isn't sharp until at least 200mm wide open. But the real thing for most of us is this:


    the 300 f/4 is as sharp at f/4 as the 100-400 at 300mm f/5.6. Plus, the 300 f/4 is $500 cheaper.



  10. #20
    Senior Member neuroanatomist's Avatar
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    Re: Wildlife & some sports photography - long term lens decisions



    ...but, the 100-400mm achieves 400mm f/5.6 with better IQ than the 300mm + 1.4x TC, and provides the ability to go shorter if necessary.


    Had a great example of that in a nature preserve last week, when a fawn popped her head out of the brush about 8 feet from the path - I had just shot some birds at 400mm, and if I'd had the 300+1.4 on the camera, I'd have gotten great picture.....of the fawn's left eye and part of her ear. She stayed there for all of 5 seconds, then was gone. A quick zoom out to 100mm, though, and I got a great animal portrait in that fleeting moment.


    I think Bryan sums it up rather nicely in his review of the 300mm prime - "...if you can live with 300mm f/5.6, the 100-400 L adds the great versatility of a wide focal length zoom range that includes 400mm. If 400mm is your goal, the 100-400 will give you better results than the 300 f/4 and 1.4x combo."


    I'd also point out that 'most of you' aren't really most - the 100-400mm is a far more popular lens. Roger of LensRentals.com states that the 100-400 is their second most popular lens (behind only the 70-200 f/2.8L IS).


    Quote Originally Posted by bburns223
    300 f/4 is $500 cheaper

    That's a bit of an exaggeration. Check on Amazon.com: the 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS costs $1610, and300mm f/4L IS is $1269 - a difference of $340. If you want 420mm from your prime and add in the 1.4x Extender II at $310, well, now you're talking about only a $30 difference.





    Quote Originally Posted by djzuk


    1) 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS
    2) 70-200mm f/4L + 400mm f/5.6L + maybe 1.4x TC
    3) 70-200mm f/4L + 300mm f/4L IS + 1.4x TC


    For the 70-200mm f/4L lens, I may be able to get a very good deal.




    <div>That makes the decision a bit more difficult, I think. The 70-200mm f/4L is a very nice lens, and will have more uses than just wildlife. I suspect you'll find the 200mm long end of that lens to be to close to the 300mm prime, especially if you do add the TC for a 98-280mm zoom. So if you're getting a great deal there, I'd go with option #2. You may find you really enjoy shooting birds in flight, and keep using the 400mm f/5.6L for that even after you get a long supertele down the line.</div>


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