Real Life Canon Lens results

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by scottkifnw, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. scottkifnw macrumors regular

    scottkifnw

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Trophy Club, TX
    #1
    I need advice from people with experience using the following lenses please:

    (Camera- Canon 50D)

    EF 70-200f/4L is usm ( have and love)
    EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L is usm (just got it and hate it)
    EF300mm f/4 is usm prime

    Here is my situation.

    I find the 70-200 is sharp, has pop, and takes excellent photos, however, I am going to Alaska and it doesn't have enough reach, for wildlife, and landscape shots, so..

    I purchased the 100-400 based on excellent reviews, but I find that the focus is soft, and detail is not good. I am going to return it, as I don't want to miss photo ops of a lifetime. I am not sure if this is just a "bad" lens, or just as good as it gets. Note I tried different aperture settings, and picture style settings, but the resolution is not there (compared to the 70-200).

    Finally, I think I want the prime EF 300 based on reviews and reports of "tack sharp) images, with good contrast, color etc. etc.

    So Will the 300 be as good or better than the 70-200 (sharpness, contrast, color, and overall "pop"?

    Thanks for reading this and taking the time to reply, I appreciate it.

    sek
     
  2. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Location:
    Alaska
    #2
    The 100-400 would be a very nice lens for Alaska. A friend of mine has one, and he said that his produced slightly soft images, until he sent it to Canon for calibration. The reason why I said that the 100-400 is a good one for AK is because some wildlife roam around the towns, and often these allow you to get close. In this case you can bring the lens down to 100mm, or somewhere between 100 and 400. I wonder how the calibration feature on your 50D would work with this lens?

    I use a 400mm f/5.6L for small wildlife at closer range (birds and such) or large-size wildlife such as moose. This is a very sharp lens, but primes usually are. Now, the problem with a prime such as this is that sometimes wildlife will be too close, something I can resolve by moving away from it, but having a 100-400 would allow me to stand there and keep on shooting.

    This is the fellow I mentioned above, and he uses his 100-400mm and a Canon 30D. He can probably give you a lot of information about this lens:
    http://www.eddiefisherphoto.com/
     
  3. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #3
    all the white L primes are great. the issue is, 300mm isn't long enough. your best option is to bring a 70-200 and 400/5.6.
     
  4. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #4
    There are other options. Sigma, for instance, makes a lot of telezooms with various focal lengths and speeds. They make a very, very good 100-300 mm f/4 lens which has more reach than your 70-200 mm. This way, you could leave your Canon at home which makes your bag lighter. If you add a 1.4x teleconverter, you are good to go in terms of focal lengths.

    If you need more reach, they also offer a 120-400 mm and a 150-500 mm lens. However, the farther the reach, the more of a compromise people have to make when building such a lens.

    If you want to have better optics, have a look at a (used) Canon 400 mm f/5.6. Given the field of view (the focal length equivalent on a crop sensor is 640 mm!), you will need a tripod.
     
  5. Acsom macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2009
    #5
    It might be your copy, my 100-400 is great (on 40D and 7D).
     
  6. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    #6
    The review you are looking for has been done. I don't remember who did it. At 300mm, the 300f4 IS blows away the 100-400 which blows away the 200f2.8IS w 1.4x teleconverter.
     
  7. Edge100 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 14, 2002
    Location:
    Where am I???
  8. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #8
    Perhaps. On the other hand, I find that people have very different ideas of what is and isn't good. I remember quite a few threads complaining about inacceptable noise in their pictures when most other members saw nothing or very, very little of it. Any lens is always a compromise between usability, weight and price and to have a 100-400 mm lens with spectacular IQ is hard and expensive to build.
     
  9. koruki macrumors 6502a

    koruki

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2009
    Location:
    New Zealand
  10. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Location:
    "No escape from Reality..."
    #10
    ^^^ about to say that's the place to go for questions on this sort of thing...
     
  11. mmoto macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    #11
    This is probably not the review you are referring to because it does not include the 300.
    It compares the 100-400L to the 70-200f2.8L with 2x teleconverter (not the 1.4).

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/lenses/400v400.shtml

    I was convinced to buy the 100-400L after reading this. I've been happy with my results for both wildlife and motorsports.

    -Brad
     
  12. funkboy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2008
    Location:
    elsewhere
    #12
    I'd say that a quick-fix solution to your problem is to get a 1.4x teleconverter. They're not very expensive and can be used with just about any L tele lens. I use it on my 135L all the time.

    BTW, Photozone has tested the 300mm f/4L IS & was pleased with it, including with the teleconverter. Personally, if Canon brought it up to date with the same level of quality as their other recent telephoto offerings I'd get one lickety-split, as I'd much rather have something with modern IS if I was going to drop that kind of money on it.
     
  13. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Location:
    Alaska
    #13
    Although I do have a tripod, the 400mm f/5.6 USM (no IS) prime is quite light and easy to shoot offhand for birds and such. But a tripod does help with lower shutter speeds.
     
  14. scottkifnw thread starter macrumors regular

    scottkifnw

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Trophy Club, TX
    #14
    I agree

    I based my opinion on the pictures from my 70-200 compared to the 100-400. I am sending the latter back, I think it may be defective.

    I appreciate your thoughtful inut

     
  15. rouxeny macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    #15
    I went to alaska last year with a 70-200/2.8 and 300/2.8, along with both 1.4x and 2x teleconverters.

    My thoughts....

    I think the 70-200 by itself is very sharp and usable throughout it's zoom range. It does ok with a 1.4 but produces what I would consider unacceptable shots with a 2x.

    The 300 is noticeably better ( sharper) than the 70-200, essentially unchanged with a 1.4 and barely degraded with the 2x.

    I've always heard that the f4 and f2.8 are very similar, so I'm assuming my evaluations are still valid.


    I'm going back this year and will probably bring the same stuff. I might go for the 400 DO.
     
  16. HHarm macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    #16
    The 70-200 f4 IS is sharper. Especially wide open at 200mm the old f2.8 was somewhat soft.

    The new 70-200 f2.8 IS II is very sharp and handless extenders very well. Of course it's considerably more expensive too.
     
  17. Eaton Photos macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    KY
    #17
    OP,

    Personally, I think you bought a lame duck. I had a 100-400, that was rock solid sharp, throughout its focal range. Only reason, I sold mine, was b/c I had too much overlap within those focal lengths. Definitely send it back, and get another one. IMO, the 100-400 gives you flexibility that cannot be matched in the IQ department. The 100-400, is the most used wildlife & Airshow lens.

    Over on FM, Alaska is brought up frequently. The kits have ranged, from light to taking everything one owns. It doesn't matter if one is flying up, then cruising down, or vice versa. Here is the Canon Mount thread on FM, which you can search within the thread specifically, for the 100-400 topics. Also you can search Alaska too.

    Rouxney, hit the nail on the head. With the 7-2/2.8 IS, it does exceptionally well, with the 1.4x, but IMO, it does pretty good with the 2X, when you need the reach in a pinch. On the 300, the TC's are wicked, and the loss of Sharpness/ IQ/ Detail is very little, even with the 2X mounted. My 300 + 2X is a poor man's 600/5.6. :) Being that the 7-2/4 IS has very highly

    Now onto, the subject of Alaska. What is the purpose of your trip. Shoot wildlife, never been to AK and its a once in a lifetime trip, or are you going on business?

    Personally, I would not buy the 300/4 IS. You already have the 70-200/4 IS. There is not that much difference between 200 & 300mm, and if you wanted the additional reach, I would just buy a 1.4x TC, and put it between your body & lens. 70-200 + 1.4 = 280/5.6, with much better IS. Earlier in the thread, I suggested, getting another 1-4, but if your not liking the push/pull/ IQ, then as has been recommended, rent/ buy the 400/5.6. Its a great lens, and is much faster, than either the 300/4 IS with 1.4x or the 100-400 at the 400 end. Also its IQ is the best bang for the buck in its price range. Plus it has better IQ, than anything that competes in the 400mm range, except for the Big White Telephotos ($3,000 & Up Telephotos).
     
  18. scottkifnw thread starter macrumors regular

    scottkifnw

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Trophy Club, TX
    #18
    Thank you all so much

    I have read all your posts, and went to the links. Perhaps I am over-analyzing, but to my eye, the EF 400mm f/5.6 is much crisper than the 100- 400, so I decided to go with the former. I understand the limitations, and am concerned about the lack of versatility, but hopefully, my 70 to 200 will be able to fill in the gap.

    The trip will be with my 18 year old son and I will be interested in landscapes and wild life.

    Any other feedback?

    Thanks again.

    sek



     

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