View Full Version : Long lens options / prefs

21st of April 2004 (Wed), 20:36
I have the opportunity ($$ windfall) to buy a long, fast lens (300+ F2.8) and was wondering what the general thoughts are on the 300 F2.8, 400 F2.8 lenses. I've noticed most folks I've run into seem to be using the 300, but haven't determine if its because of fiscal limitations or if there is something about the 400s that people shy away from (besides price). Any thoughts on this? I'm more interested in hearing any known issues relating to quality/manufacturing/etc. This isn't meant to be a "best lens for XX" question.


21st of April 2004 (Wed), 20:42
The 400mm f/2.8 is like Spinal taps Amplifiers.. It's a 300mm f/2.8 .. that goes to eleven... :)

It's a little extra distance really... but whether you need that "extra push over the edge" or not depends on your application.

The 300mm f/2.8 is THE preferred lens for sports,. not just because of the f/2.8 however,. also because 300mm seems to tbe the best all around focal range.

Also,. the 300mm f/2.8 mounted to a "1" chasis.. will give the shooter the fastest AF on the planet...

If sports is your thing,. the 300 is really the likely choice in more circumstances than the 400mm... but I don't know your circumstances..

Also,. If sports isn't your thing.. and you like say.. wildlife photography,. than in that case,. no ens is ever long enough.. so the 400mm f/2.8 becomes better not only because of the extra 100mm but also the even longer distances available with the teleconverters.

22nd of April 2004 (Thu), 00:46
How about iif I want to photographing animals in the zoo? what is the most ideal focal lenght? is it 200mm? 300mm? or 400mm?

thanks & regards,


22nd of April 2004 (Thu), 00:49
Animals in a zoo?

Think about it!

It isn't going to take the same lens to shoot an African elephant as it takes to shoot a mouse. If you are going after a small subject over a long distance, then you better have one hell of a long lens. If you are shooting the large subject as it is charging you, then you better have a very wide lens.

It just depends.

I refuse to carry many lenses around with me when I have to walk all day long, so I tend to use a zoom lens with a wide-to-long range on it.

---Bob Gross---

ron chappel
22nd of April 2004 (Thu), 01:12
I have heard (several times) that the earlier 400/2.8's were not as stunningly good as the other L primes
Other than that-any of the latest versions are unbelievabley good

22nd of April 2004 (Thu), 01:39
Yes Bob, agree with you.

I only will carry one lens on my drebel, then I must decide what lens to buy. I'm thinking about EF 75-300 IS USM, not too expensive, but have IS feature, so it will give me more chance to shoot good-sharp picture by hand holding it.

So, is 75-300 IS USM a good choice for me? or you have another idea about this? since i'm only shoot animals in the zoo (inside a cage, or inside an isolation place), not in the wide-open jungle.

please advise.

Thanks & regards,


ron chappel
22nd of April 2004 (Thu), 05:04
The 75-300 IS has the same image quality as the other 75-300 models -see my list above
And you are right-the IS feature WILL imrove the overall strike rate with a long lens.It's by far the biggest problem i had with the 75-300's i used.
So that lens could be a winner for you.
I'm trying to afford one myself ..... :D

22nd of April 2004 (Thu), 07:11
Yes Ron, but the price is twice the non IS version :cry: