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70-300l is v 100-400l is

andypitstop 16 90 United Kingdom
21 Jan 2011 12:07PM
Hi Guy's n Gals,
not seen any threads on this one so hope i'm not covering old ground....anyone have any experience or views on the new 70-300l is lens compared to the older 100-400l is marmite lens...i know the 100-400 debate has been done to death but i still find myself drawn to needing a " one does mostly all lens !" subjects are mainly airshows and motorsports...currently i have things covered by 17-40...70-200 f4...1:4 converter to fill the gaps and 400 5:6 prime
JackAllTog Plus
12 6.3k 58 United Kingdom
21 Jan 2011 1:30PM
They are virtually the same price (though the newish 70-300 may drop in time?), 4 stops of IS, both white. Both f4.5-5.6L IS USM.

So Push-Pull vs Rotate Zoom ?
& 300vs400mm max - do you frequently shoot at the 400mm end?

For the same price you can get a "Canon EF 300mm f/4.0L IS USM" a tad faster and get 420mm with the 1.4x

I want the reach of the 400 and the new optics of the 300.

This site is a bit fiddly but compares the IQ of lenses - the 300 is noticibly sharper at f5.6.

I think i'd go for the 300, but its a close call. NO actually the 400 as it very crisp at the 400mm end where you probally want it. (almost a crisp at the 300 at the 300 end.)

21 Jan 2011 2:18PM
I've contemplated the 100-400 a few times, but always got put off at the point the review states something along the lines :

"One important note for digital shooters: the barrel of this zoom moves in and out a lot while zooming. When combined with its large diameter, this means there's a lot of air (and dust) moving in and out of the back part of the lens and the mirror box of the camera it's attached to. It's definitely not dust-sealed, so it may not be the best choice for digital shooters in the middle of a dust storm."

Given how much I get plagued by dust at small apertures - I don't want to encourage the stuff!

So far, everything I've heard about the 70-300 L is positive and I'm probably going to get one before my next major photo trip as the 70-200 f4 L just doesn't have enough reach used on full-frame without the 1.4TC.
strawman 17 22.2k 16 United Kingdom
21 Jan 2011 2:33PM
To be honest the 100-400 has never given me a dust problem, but then no lens has given me a big dust problem. On my old 300D you would clean every 3 to 6 months, on my newer camera about once a year. And if it is blowing air think on a few things. First your camera manual tells you to clean it by blowing air onto the sensor. Next when you are zooming the mirror is down and the shutter is closed.

So in reality is it an issue? not in my experience.

But to the lens in many ways it sounds great but to be honest I would have thought the design money would have been better spent making a 100-400 MKII, as this design is to optically slow for a 1.4x converter in my eyes as most Canon bodies will not AF it.

so if you have a 70-200 f4 and a 1.4x converter do you need this lens. Or sell the 70-200 and get this lens to fill the gap and keep the 400 prime. Me I accepted the compromises and bought the 100-400 never going to be best, or worst.
XxPaulxX 15 265 England
21 Jan 2011 2:52PM
Have you considered the Sigma 120-300 F2.8? With a converter you'd get 420mm at F4, and have a nice fast lens if conditions required it! Just a thought.
brian1208 18 11.8k 12 United Kingdom
21 Jan 2011 3:31PM
A lot depends on you own criteria. If a lighter, more compact lens is of no value to you then the 100-400 LIS would probably be your best bet (but do make sure you get a good one)

I went through this debate before ending up with the 70-300 LIS. I really wanted to like the 100-400, to the extent that I borrowed one from a wildlife photography friend with a view to buying it.

I tried it for several weeks but in the end gave it back as I just couldn't get it to perform the way I wanted (I never got a really sharp & crisp image but it was also too heavy for me to hand-hold for long as I'm a bit arthriticky these day). Knowing that others have produced superb images with their copies is why I suggested that you check you get a good copy.

In the end I traded in my 70-200 LIS f4 and 300 LIS f4 for the 70-300 LIS (the price had dropped by then and I got a cracking deal Smile ) and it suits me fine


you really need to get hands on with both lenses on front of whatever body you have, they do feel and handle totally differently (but are each capable of superb results - with the right photographer! Wink )
andypitstop 16 90 United Kingdom
21 Jan 2011 6:21PM
Thaks for all the replys, glad to see i am not the only one to have had this problem.....the camera it will be on is a 7d... i have been so close so many times to buy the 100-400 but just cant convince myself..sometimes to much info is a bad thing, makes choosing much harder.made even worse by canon bringing out this 70-300l is before it was only one to choose from. there were also rumours of a new 100-400 last year if i remember right...ohh yes by the way 400mm end is most used, but i feel i would get more variety of shots at less length...Andy
colin beeley Plus
18 1.2k 10 England
22 Jan 2011 8:54AM
looked at your PF ,what you need is a canon ef 300 f/2.8 L IS sharp as a tack even with a 1.4 extender. look on ebay & get saving.Tongue
SteveCL 14 13 England
25 Jan 2011 11:48PM
I've had the 100-400 for a couple of years and have used it on a 30D, 50D and a film EOS3. The 'dust' issue has never existed. To me it's all a bit pointless comparing lens sharpness unless you will be using a tripod all the time but I'm sure it wouldn't be as sharp at 400m as your prime.

The IS is great-I bought the lens to go to the Galapagos and I knew I would be shooting from a dinghy sometimes so I was concerned about camera shake. The lens performed really well. The lens hood is easily marked and although light, very bulky. However, it can fit on the lens in reverse for storage.

If you do decide to get one, one tip -don't use a filter at 400mm -the image quality suffers noticeably. I was told this and didn't believe it until I did a test on a tripod - this doesn't seem to be an issue at shorter lengths though.

I've been very pleased -the picture of the Blue Tit in my gallery was taken on this lens hand-held at 1/15th sec through a plate glass window at 180mm and is about a 50% crop.

Oh -finally - the tripod mounting ring and the lens hood are unbelieveably expensive if you lose/break them.
f1reblade99 15 29 1 United Kingdom
8 Feb 2011 9:16PM
i am using the 100-400 for sport, mainly football and yes at the higher end, especially with a 1.4 tc, it isn't very sharp, so I am considering what to get, either the 200-400 2.8 sigma, or bite the bullet and go for a second hand 300 2.8.

Interesting point about the filter at 400mm though, will try it at the weekend without!
andypitstop 16 90 United Kingdom
9 Feb 2011 8:14PM
Hi f1reblade, thanks for the reply ,if only money was no object then we would have no problems lol I think the whole one does all idea is wishfull thinking.... the more i think about it a second camera is the plan...keep the 400mm 5.6 on one then 70-200 with or without the 1.4 tc on the other. still fancy the 70-300l is though.....shame the 5.6 appeture .....would love to here from anyone who has one regarding image quality and speed issues..........Andy
tomcat 16 6.4k 15 United Kingdom
9 Feb 2011 8:38PM

Quote:Have you considered the Sigma 120-300 F2.8? With a converter you'd get 420mm at F4, and have a nice fast lens if conditions required it! Just a thought.

Had one & used it with the TC also
Long gone.
It just couldn't live with my Canon 400mm 5.6

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