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Thread: Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS VS Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS

  1. #1

    Default Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS VS Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS

    Hi guys,

    I'm new to photography but have heard so much about L lens. Currently have the
    75-300 III but is quite disappointed with the results. I'm hoping to get the above lens but
    is not sure of their main diff. Could some pro explain to me please? Initially I've thought of
    EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM as its much cheaper but is there any significant difference in image quality over the 75-300 mk. III? Thks for replying!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS VS Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS

    This is a question quite a few people have had when upgrading along the telephoto line. Naturally it would be good to review your needs and wants before jumping in to buy a lens. Hell, even I should start doing the same. Over time it becomes apparent that it is annoying (not to mention the possible loss of money) to continually buy lenses, find that it's not right and have to change for something else.

    As far as I know, there is actually a significant difference in quality between the new 70-300mm IS and the old 75-300mm III. In fact, one source even stated that the 70-300mm IS may be a hidden L lens because of the quality of images it produces. Do be aware though that this lens produces softer images when used in the vertical format because of a glitch. This is something Canon will fix for free, so check it out with the Canon Service Center down at Harbourfront to see if yours needs fixing.

    Now let's talk about the bigger stuff. Both the 70-200mm f/2.8 IS and the 100-400mm are mighty fine lenses with their fair share of followers. The 100-400mm is more geared towards wildlife and maybe outdoor sports in good light, compared to the 70-200mm which many will use for a myriad of purposes...maybe events, weddings and wildlife, provided it is close enough. It will also do indoor sports because of its bright f/2.8 aperture.

    With that out of the way, both lenses feature tremendously different focal length ranges. I've not used the 70-200mm f/2.8 before, but have tried the f/4 version and previously had the 100-400mm. I sold the f/4 in the end because the range wasn't right for me. I'm primarily a landscape and wildlife fanatic and thus need something that zooms very far. That said, I ultimately sold the 100-400mm as well because of a lack of funds and a burning desire to upgrade from the kit lens. I still miss it today.

    In short, think about what range you'll need and then choose from there. Both the 70-200mm f/2.8 and 100-400mm have excellent image quality, but it's a matter of how long you need your lens to be. It is not recommended to attach a 2X converter to your 70-200mm lens. Yes, it will give you a 140-400mm f/5.6, comparable to the 100-400mm, but the image quality will not cut it until you stop down to f/8 or f/11, or at least that's what the reviews show. Try looking here for more info on these lenses:

    www.fredmiranda.com
    www.photozone.de
    www.photodo.com
    www.luminous-landscape.com
    www.the-digital-picture.com

  3. #3

    Default Re: Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS VS Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS

    Maybe you can try surfing some websites for reviews?

    http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/s...&cat=27&page=3

    http://www.the-digital-picture.com/R...ns-Review.aspx

    It's a hidden L... my friend... Just make sure you get the recent lens as they have just fixed the soft portrait position issue.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS VS Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS

    Oh yes...two more for you...very nice tests here:

    http://www.pbase.com/lightrules/teletest

    http://www.pbase.com/lightrules/15lbsd

    Do be aware that there appears to be mixed reviews about the 100-400mm. Now while I'm not trying to sell you the 100-400mm lens, in my experience it has proved to yield very sharp results with proper technique and enough light. Some reviews will show a very poor performance but many will tell you otherwise. I read somewhere that there was a design change in recent years and that may account for the differences in quality between copies. The key is to look for a newer copy of this lens based on the lens code that is found on the back of the lens, on the lens mount. It'll be something along URXXX etc. Look for something that is newer than a UR...eg. US, UT, UU...

    Check here for more on lens codes:

    http://www.the-digital-picture.com/C...ens-Aging.aspx

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS VS Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS

    Quote Originally Posted by Xevox
    Hi guys,

    I'm new to photography but have heard so much about L lens. Currently have the
    75-300 III but is quite disappointed with the results. I'm hoping to get the above lens but
    is not sure of their main diff. Could some pro explain to me please? Initially I've thought of
    EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM as its much cheaper but is there any significant difference in image quality over the 75-300 mk. III? Thks for replying!
    well...what range do you really need....

    I would prefer a 70-200 cause most of the things i shoot all very near only...not sure about you...
    Last edited by westwest1; 10th September 2006 at 10:03 PM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS VS Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS

    i will recommend a 70-200 anytime. nothing beats the bokeh.
    random equipment.
    where are my primes?

  7. #7

    Default Re: Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS VS Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS

    Quote Originally Posted by wanzw
    i will recommend a 70-200 anytime. nothing beats the bokeh.
    You are really addicted. Logging in school?????

    The 100-400 is too long and too slow for dimly light concerts. However, its very good for birding and outdoor sports, only prob is that at that price, its better to buy a 70-200 IS not only for bokeh but for taking portraits as well

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS VS Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS

    Personally i will choose 70-200mm f2.8 non is...
    people are saying that IS of 70-200mm has reduce the sharpness of the pic, and i found it true also...The cost is also 1k different between IS and non-IS..
    save the 1k,get a carbon fibre monopod and a good ligh weight ball head.
    And u get shaper pic too...

    just 1 cent worth....
    1Dmk3,EF{16-35/24-70/70-200/300IS}F2.8L|100-400IS|TSE24F3.5L|MPE65|180F3.5L|50F1.4|35F1.4L|100 F2.8}

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS VS Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS

    Quote Originally Posted by Xevox
    Hi guys,

    I'm new to photography but have heard so much about L lens. Currently have the
    75-300 III but is quite disappointed with the results. I'm hoping to get the above lens but
    is not sure of their main diff. Could some pro explain to me please? Initially I've thought of
    EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM as its much cheaper but is there any significant difference in image quality over the 75-300 mk. III? Thks for replying!
    I would like to ask:

    What will you be shooting that warrants the 70-200 VS 100-400.

    From there i'd think more people would be able to advise you accordingly which one to buy rather than having a "general" discussion on which is better ... yadayadayada ... then later on it heats up and becomes a "which is better 70-200 IS + 1.4x TC VS 100-400" thread

    I've been there before. I own the 70-200 IS, but thing is, this lens is a stunner in its own class which can be used for motorsports/portraits/events/nature. (IS or not as cherkel has mentioned is a subjective matter as the IS mechanism takes time to spin up hence getting a blurred image. So far, i don't have such issues, only happens to the 100-400.) Since you're starting from scratch (i was the same as you - using a 75-300 MK2), go for some outings, try out members' lenses in the group to get a feel of the lens and see which suits you and which you prefer. Don't let only opinions hinder your decision. Its a long time investment and i'd rather buy now then regret later.

    The 100-400 is quite the opposite, you can only use it when there is good light. Else you need ample support (monopod). I use the lens mainly for motorsports / sports / nature.
    Last edited by dEthANGeL; 11th September 2006 at 02:28 PM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS VS Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS

    Hi guys,

    Thks for all the opinions. I like to shoot almost everything since i'm a beginner . Perhaps as time goes by, I will really stick to a particular field of interest. I will be going on a trip to Korea in Nov and i'm trying to brush up my skills asap and get a good lens b4 i go there. Guess will be taking more of landscape & portraits. (Considering the Canon 10-22mm as well)

    Image quality will be my priority and I dun really mind spending more on a quality lens than to regret later (like the disappointment of 75-300 Mk III). Hate to use the tripod too as its too cumbersome to set it up, unless i'm trying to shoot in low light. Guess the 70-200 will be more appropriate for me?

    Once again, would like to thank all of you for your valuable comments as it certainly helps to make my decision easier!

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS VS Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS

    I was once like you - everything also shoot

    Anyway, shoot more to know the handling of your camera and lenses, what you want out of your shots. From there, you can determine what range of lens to get.

    If you feel that you don't want to be burdened by the EFS mount, you can get the Tokina 12-24 which also is a stunning performer.

    Portraits can be done with a 50 F1.8 prime... a cheap and good solution.

    You mentioned the 70-200, but are you willing to bear the weight? - considering its the IS model. For certain situations you cannot escape bringing a tripod seriously.

    As a general walkabout lens, the 24-105 IS will not disappoint. Unless you're willing to go all the way for the 2.8 counterpart - 24-70 which also is a decent performer for walkabout and portraits.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS VS Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS

    Quote Originally Posted by Xevox
    Hi guys,

    I'm new to photography but have heard so much about L lens. Currently have the
    75-300 III but is quite disappointed with the results. I'm hoping to get the above lens but
    is not sure of their main diff. Could some pro explain to me please? Initially I've thought of
    EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM as its much cheaper but is there any significant difference in image quality over the 75-300 mk. III? Thks for replying!
    The 70-200/2.8 IS is one of Canon's best zoom lenses. It has the sharpness of primes, a fast f2.8, and IS to allow sharp shots under challenging conditions. Only issue is cost and weight. It is an excellent and versatile lens.

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