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Thread: Which Lens??? 100-400mm L IS or 300mm f4 L IS???

  1. #1
    Senior Member Jayson's Avatar
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    Which Lens??? 100-400mm L IS or 300mm f4 L IS???



    Just a general question as to a preference for these outstanding lenses. I was looking into getting one of these two in the future and am looking for someopinions. It would be for general outdoor shooting of wildlife and possibly some outdoor sports in a couple of years when the kids get old enough. If I were to get the 300mm, I would definitely have the 1.4x II extender. I already have the 70-200 f4 IS. Let me know what you think.


    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Re: Which Lens??? 100-400mm L IS or 300mm f4 L IS???



    I'd go with the 100-400 just for the versatility. Although at 300 you are tied to f-5.6 as opposed to the f-4 of the fixed 300.


    I have the 100-400 and like (not love) it but I hate to use it on anything but my 5D2 because I know I'm going to have to shoot at a higher ISO and my 40D falls apart around 800-1000 ISO.

  3. #3
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    Re: Which Lens??? 100-400mm L IS or 300mm f4 L IS???



    Well, if you do some reading up on some of the posts below, I think your best bet would be the 100-400mm. Adding extenderds degrades picture quality, slows your aperture, and slows your auto focus. At least the 1.4 isn't as bad as the 2x.


    Plus, you have the zoom ability. If you are going to do sports, I'll tell ya you just won't have time to be fumbling around with adding a lens extender out on the field when you need to catch JR who's coming up to the plate next and you forgot the lineup. haha With the 100-400mm you can actually pan, and not need to worry about trying to run to the correct distance to get the shot you want. Again, extenders also slow your lens auto focus down, which definitely isn't what you want.


    I mean, it's not impossible with a fixed lens, the pros do it all the time at MLB games, but they usually have more than one camera already set up with another lens, and there are like 30 people taking pictures, so someone will get it.


    So when it comes down to it, I think the 100-400mm will not only give you more versatility, but a better quality shot than the 300mm with an extender.


    Hope I helped!


    John

  4. #4
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    Re: Which Lens??? 100-400mm L IS or 300mm f4 L IS???



    I've got what you already have , the 70-200 F4L IS. The route I chose was the 300 F4 IS and the 1.4X. My debate was with what I have now or the 400 F5.6 because it had a great reputation for fast focus. What swayed me was the IS, the flexibility of having 300 F4 or 420 F5.6. The 300 is tack sharp and I find that I'm using the 1.4X on the lens most of the time for the extra reach for wildlife shooting. Image quality reduction with the 1.4X on is hardly noticeable. I really like what I have and if anything, I won't mind extra reach without any loss of quality so gossip of a 500 F5.6L IS has me interested.


    I've never used the 100-400 and never really considered it due to some of the coverage I already have with the 70-200. The 100-400 is a bigger lens to pack around, hold steady,and I didn't like the push/pull zoom like many others out there. I also read some reports that it was soft at the long end but I've also seen some really sharp photos taken with it.

  5. #5
    Alan
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    Re: Which Lens??? 100-400mm L IS or 300mm f4 L IS???



    From someone who has both lenses, I can attest to the tack sharpness of the 300 f/4. But I agree with the other posters that the versatility of the 100-400 outweighs many of the shooting environments you're likely to come across. I'm not a fan of the push-pull, either, but it's really not that bad, once you get used to it. It's more of a matter of adjusting the friction ring properly.


    Go with the 100-400.

  6. #6
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    Re: Which Lens??? 100-400mm L IS or 300mm f4 L IS???



    I shoot a lot of outdoor kid sports with my 100-400mm lens. I've probably shot 25,000 sports photos with it. The zoom allows you to take long shots during play and closer up shots during half-time or after the game. I prefer the push-pull zoom over the traditional zoom action for this situation only. If you are shooting sports with this lens, you have to use a monopod. It's too heavy to hand-hold for the entire game. When it is on a monopod you will have one hand on the trigger and the other hand is free to push-pull the lens. Especially with action sports, I can zoom in and out so much faster with push-pull. If you are hand-holding the camera/lens, push-pull sucks.



  7. #7

    Re: Which Lens??? 100-400mm L IS or 300mm f4 L IS???



    I like 300 more, it's faster and sharper.

  8. #8
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    Re: Which Lens??? 100-400mm L IS or 300mm f4 L IS???



    I have the 300 f4 However, I do sometimes find I'm stuck with too much reach and have to back up away from my subjects! I think you'll have to decide if versatility or the extra speed and sharpness are your priority.

  9. #9

    Re: Which Lens??? 100-400mm L IS or 300mm f4 L IS???



    I have the 70-200 f4 IS and the 100-400 and I actually find myself using the 100-400 more. The 70-200 is definately the sharper lens but I like the versatility the 100-400 gives me most of the time. The lens is great for outdoor sports and places like the zoo. The range you have, especially if your using a crop camera is very useful (a 640mm 5.6 isn't bad at all). I'm sure the 300 will give you sharper images at that focal length but I personally don't want to be tied down to only one focal length.


    The push-pull really isn't that bad and I got used to it fairly quickly. I would go with the 100-400. Just my .02!

  10. #10

    Re: Which Lens??? 100-400mm L IS or 300mm f4 L IS???



    You don't have to do that when you're taking wildlife. 300 would even probably be too short even on APS-C

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