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 Post subject: 70-300L vs. 100-400L
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:12 pm 
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From another thread...

maxjj wrote:
Hi Popo, cannot remember if I have asked this before or you have answered before, but how do find the 100-400L vs the 70-300L.

I love the size and portability of the 70-300L, but sometimes want more reach.


Up front, I'd say if I could only have one, it will be the 100-400L without question. I could repeat the stats and their differences you see in all the reviews but wont. There's little details you don't really see in a review which may swing it.

Something you may not see in the average review is the 70-300L isn't parfocal. That is, as you zoom, the focus changes. The 100-400L doesn't noticeably suffer from this, and I think this helps contribute to AF tracking if you're zooming at the same time. The 100-400L also resists focal length shrinkage as you focus closer, which the 70-300L does much more noticeably.

Handling wise, the push-pull is just a lot faster and more accurate, all the more so since I don't like the reversed ring layout and would prefer the zoom to be closer to the body for better balance. The weaker IS can be a disadvantage if you're going for a longer exposure, but generally for wildlife you need to keep it somewhat fast anyway to avoid motion blur. Image quality, if you pixel peep you might be able to find differences, but to me they're both equally usable wide open.

Of course, I still got a 70-300L. It has better weather sealing, and is smaller and lighter although to me the difference there isn't significant over the 100-400L in 99% of situations.

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Canon DSLRs: 7D2, 7D1, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 10-18, 15-85
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 50/1.4A, 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS
Compacts: Sony HX9V, Fuji X100.


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 Post subject: Re: 70-300L vs. 100-400L
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:19 pm 
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Hi popo,

Interesting comparison, thanks! It might come in handy for whenever I get the money to afford either lens :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: 70-300L vs. 100-400L
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 2:54 am 
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cheers, just the review I was hoping for.
I have used a 100-400L, it was on the mates 40D, he had a lot of trouble with dust. His is one of the early ones and he used it at a lot of airshows, a very dusty environment here. He has had it back to canon a couple of times. My Sony and lens gave me trouble in humid conditions, so I was keen on a more weather proof set up.
Hence why I bought the 70-300L and a 7D.

The IS on the 70-300L is very good. Even with extender its still very good, but don`t use the extender much as IQ drops off more than I would like. Need to experiment more, but don`t like using extender much.

When we compared shots, the extra reach of the 100-400L over the 70-300L was almost neglected due to the bigger sensor on the 7D. When cropped they are pretty similar. For the bird shots we took, the dof didn`t really make any noticeable difference.

Without wanting to start arguments, I found that 70-200 F2.8 L II was out of my budget and the 70-200 f4 pointless as the 70-300L basically covered that range at close enough to the same aperture.Anyway, weighed up pros and cons I bought the 70-300L and it still suits my needs nicely.


However I would like a bit more reach, so I am revisiting the 100-400L. IF canon gave it a refresh with a more efficient IS and maybe a few bits and pieces to improve IQ and weather sealing , I would get one. Or alternatively an upgraded 400L 5.6 prime, with IS.

I would consider another lens even a prime that would offer me that range, but not sure where to go.

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 Post subject: Re: 70-300L vs. 100-400L
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:39 pm 
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The dust myth of the 100-400L never goes away does it... it is no worse than any other extending zoom lens. I very rarely need to clean any sensor, perhaps once every few months at most. And I am very relaxed about changing lenses in the field too - no paranoia there.

Sensor sizes - the 7D is bigger than what? The 40D is the same size. For a distant subject, 400mm vs 300mm is only 33% more, so it may not seem too radical.

Other lenses to consider? It'll push the budget, but if reach if the main thing, that's where I got a Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 OS. Stick a 2x converter on that for 600mm with AF. It is rather heavy though...

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Canon DSLRs: 7D2, 7D1, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 10-18, 15-85
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 50/1.4A, 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS
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 Post subject: Re: 70-300L vs. 100-400L
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:01 am 
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so had a little play with the 1.4 extender and the 70-300L, it appears that I need to adjust microfocus to 0 . I have it on +3 normally for that lens, other wise the 70-300L front focuses.
Now just need to find time for some tests.

I don`t find the lack of parfocal an issue with the 70-300L, I guess its because I generally use it only in AI Servo and constantly track the subject. Zooming in or out doesn`t cause me any grieve, but its what I am used to. When I loose the subject I just release shutter button and hit it again, seems to find subject again pretty quick, if you keep the AI servo going it can hunt, as its looking for subject.

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 Post subject: Re: 70-300L vs. 100-400L
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:30 pm 
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I'm also in servo most of the time. The parfocal-ness, or lack thereof, may contribute to a reduction in its ability to track an already moving subject is what I was trying to say. The body not only has to try and keep tabs on where the subject is, but you're than also introducing another variable. For slower moving subjects it probably doesn't make a difference, but it could for faster ones, especially as neither lens are the best for focus speed.

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Canon DSLRs: 7D2, 7D1, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 10-18, 15-85
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 50/1.4A, 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS
Compacts: Sony HX9V, Fuji X100.


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 Post subject: Re: 70-300L vs. 100-400L
PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:06 am 
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Also I think it's worth to mention that if you shoot video with your DSLR, parfocal lenses are very helpful when zooming in or out so you don't lose focus.

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 Post subject: Re: 70-300L vs. 100-400L
PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 3:40 am 
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Now I have been told but not heard it here at Cameralabs from regular users of the 100-400L that it has a natural tendency to be soft, is that the case?

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 Post subject: Re: 70-300L vs. 100-400L
PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:57 am 
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Soft compared to what? Of course there may be sample variation, but I have no hesitation using mine at any setting. It's slightly better than the 35-350L, and about the same as the 70-300L.

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Canon DSLRs: 7D2, 7D1, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 10-18, 15-85
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 50/1.4A, 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS
Compacts: Sony HX9V, Fuji X100.


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