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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 09 May 2013 (Thursday) 14:13
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(100 - 400) or (70-200 2.8 + 300 4L+ 1.4x III/ 2x III) for wildlife photography

 
Shilpaksphotography
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May 09, 2013 14:13 |  #1

i have recently bought a 7d and only have the 18-135 that came with the body. i know this question has been done to death but i have only always found a 100 - 400mm compared to either 70-200+1.4/2x or 300 4L+1.4. but im an avid (albeit amateur) wildlife photographer. what would be a better addition to my lens collection in the long run (i intend to upgrade to a full frame at some point much later) especially considering most of the wildlife/safari photography is done in low light conditions (at dawn/ dusk)

(70-200 and 300 f/4 and 1.4x/ 2x)
or
(100-400mm and 1.4x/2x)

i understand the budgets for these two set ups would be a little different but that's not a constraint unless it makes more sense to buy the 100 - 400 for now and save the rest for a 400 2.8 or 500 4 prime.

please advise.
shilpa




  
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BioSci
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May 09, 2013 14:46 |  #2

As you so often hear, "it depends". Certainly, for most wildlife shooting, the reach of the 100-400L at the long end is highly desirable. Since I have both this lens and a 70-200 2.8L II, I can tell you that at 400mm, the 100-400 is better than the 70-200 with a 2x adaptor. Both have the same effective aperture, 5.6. Using the 70-200 with a 1.4x is about the same or slightly better IQ than using the 100-400 at 280mm. And using the 70-200 alone can produce much better images than the 100-400 IF you can get close enough to them. That's the challenge. You may be a good photographer, but how are your stalking skills?


EOS R | 7D | 24-70 f/2.8L II | 70-200 f/2.8L II | 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L | 17-55 f/2.8 | 11-16 f/2.8

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jhayesvw
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May 09, 2013 23:24 as a reply to  @ BioSci's post |  #3

The 100-400 is probably the best all around wildlife lens made by Canon.
its 100mm when you need it and 1 second later its 400mm.
If a larger animal comes into view you can get it or if its a small bird you see
then you have 400mm.
I have 10s of thousands of shots with mine and would not sell it for anything but a new version with even better IS and optics
see my sig for wildlife photos. Almost every shot is with the 100-400L and all the newer ones are with my 7d (got it for christmas).



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Snydremark
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May 10, 2013 00:01 |  #4

For general wildlife and birds, the 100-400 is definitely the way to go if you're going to do it a lot. Paired with the 7D it's an absolutely stunning setup and I'm with Jeremy; except I'm even debating whether I'll switch mine out for a MkII...it would have to be a pretty amazing upgrade to make it worthwhile. I feel that the push/pull gives a much quicker, and more accurate response for framing while zooming on the fly.

With the 7D, you won't be able to AF at all with a 2x TC and may/may not get acceptable AF with a 1.4x [depending on whether it reports to the body or not].

The other options are "ok", if you're not using them frequently for this purpose. Birds/wildlife very rarely sit still for very long; so if you're fiddling around with adding/removing TCs to try and get the right focal length, you're much more likely to miss a shot. Plus, TCs *can* have noticeable, negative impacts on your images. It's generally a better idea to get a lens that covers the focal length(s) that you need than to try and make up for deficiencies with a TC.

While the TCs work with many of the lower echelon lenses, their primary purpose is to be paired with the long, large aperture telephoto, prime lenses; and they tend to be much less spectacular paired with zooms.


- Eric S.: My Birds/Wildlife (external link) (7D MkII/5D IV, Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5, Canon 24-105L f/4 IS, Canon 70-200L f/2.8 IS MkII, Canon 100-400L f/4.5-5.6 IS I/II)
"The easiest way to improve your photos is to adjust the loose nut between the shutter release and the ground."

  
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dannybres
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May 10, 2013 02:07 |  #5

Arghhhh. I have a similar dilemma

I hate the look of the push pull zoom system of 100-400mm.

I want a good telephoto solution, for photographing sports (running and rugby), motorsports, wildlife. I currently have my mind set on a 70-200mm f4L IS, a 300mm f/4L IS and a 1.4x iii to go on my 7D instead of a 100-400mm.


EOS 7D, EOS M, EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM, 430EX II.

  
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Shilpaksphotography
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May 10, 2013 02:43 |  #6

thank you all for the advice. jeremy those are some lovely shots.
to give you some more clarity, i prefer shooting larger mammals than birds; when you go on a jungle safari around south india its mostly bisons, deers, tiger (the whole intent of me picking up photography was to shoot this at somepoint in my life :P) and i do want to use this set for some african safaris (may rent out the 2.8/4 400/500/600 for this specific trip) in the future. birds are only a "if i happen to see them anywhere or during a safari, then will shoot them".

@eric - will only be adding the tc to a prime and never to a zoom i think.

@danny - im completely ok with the push - pull mechanism of the 100 -400; dont see that as a problem for me.




  
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piXelatedEmpire
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May 10, 2013 04:44 |  #7

I shoot wildlife (mostly birds) with a 7D and a 100-400mm, and love the combo. Check out my website in my signature for pics, most of the recent ones are with this combo.

I actually love the push/pull zoom!


piXelatedEmpire.com (external link) | Bird & Wildlife Photography
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Canon 7D | EF 24-70mm f2.8L USM | EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS USM | EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS USM | EF Extender 1.4x III | 580 EX II

  
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Shilpaksphotography
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May 10, 2013 05:07 as a reply to  @ piXelatedEmpire's post |  #8

hey thank you, one of your photos reminds of something i had taken a loooong time back with a canon s2 is, seems like the same species (pardon the quality, pulled it out of my facebook album).


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Shilpaksphotography
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Hatchling
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May 10, 2013 05:10 |  #9

Thank you everyone, guess my vote goes to the 100 - 400 as an immediate buy. i will buy the 70-200 at some point later (it seems like a good general walk around lens) and save up to buy a 400 2.8 or a 500 4 at some point.




  
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Milutiche
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May 21, 2013 03:15 |  #10

I had a 100-400 and I was never overly happy with it when paired up with my 7d, the results needed too much work, I have since sold it and purchaced a 70-200 f2.8 mk2 and it amazes me every time I get it out of my bag, the loss of reach is certainly overcome by the increased speed and focus accuracy as well as the clarity of the images. If you think you might be able to afford the 70-200 do it.


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Tapeman
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May 21, 2013 08:44 |  #11

Buy what you will use most now and get the other(s) later. I try to buy what I will not have to upgrade, so often it is a long time between purchases.


Canon G1X II, 1D MKIV, 5DSR, 5DIV, 5D MKII, 16-35/2.8L II, 24-70/2.8L II, 70-200/2.8L IS II, IS, 100-400/4.5-5.6 L IS II, 500/4 L IS II, 24-105/4 IS, 50/2.5 macro, 1.4x MKII, 1.4X MKIII, 2X MKIII,580EX II, 550EXs(2), ST-E2.
Gitzo 1228, 1275, 1558, Lensbaby 3G. Epson 3880, Bags that match my shoes.:)

  
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gasrocks
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May 21, 2013 10:28 |  #12

I have never been a fan of the 100-400. I say EF 400/5.6 on a monopod. I have even used it with a 1.4x TC and a 2x TC and gotten great results. Gene


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Pauhana
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May 21, 2013 19:33 |  #13

I own both the 400 5.6 and recently added a 100-400 for use on my 7D. Both are excellent lens. I do shoot birds almost exclusively. For wildlife would think the 100-400 would be a good choice as others have noted.


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Canon Canon 7D II, Canon 7D, Canon 100-400 II, Tamron 17-50 non-VCR

  
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jhayesvw
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May 21, 2013 23:00 as a reply to  @ Pauhana's post |  #14

Milutiche wrote in post #15952219 (external link)
I had a 100-400 and I was never overly happy with it when paired up with my 7d, the results needed too much work, I have since sold it and purchaced a 70-200 f2.8 mk2 and it amazes me every time I get it out of my bag, the loss of reach is certainly overcome by the increased speed and focus accuracy as well as the clarity of the images. If you think you might be able to afford the 70-200 do it.

The 70-200 2.8 mk2 is a great lens but I have 2 friends with them that shoot with me and they absolutely can not touch the 100-400 at anything over 300mm. They require too much cropping where the 400 requires very little.

gasrocks wrote in post #15953061 (external link)
I have never been a fan of the 100-400. I say EF 400/5.6 on a monopod. I have even used it with a 1.4x TC and a 2x TC and gotten great results. Gene

The Original Poster has said that he will shoot mostly large subjects and therefore the 400 prime makes little sense. Especially when he mentioned the Africa Safari. Many of these animals will be close and 400 wont necessarily allow the composition you want.



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JuliusUpNorth
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May 22, 2013 22:08 |  #15

I love my 100-400, though it sits on a 50D. I have heard about problems with the 7D/100-400 combination, but would really like to know if those difficulties were exceptions rather than the rule. On my 50D, the lens shines.

Julius




  
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(100 - 400) or (70-200 2.8 + 300 4L+ 1.4x III/ 2x III) for wildlife photography
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