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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 10 Jul 2013 (Wednesday) 23:18
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70-200 + 2x extender or 300 + 1.4 extender, that is the question

 
Perfect_10
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Jul 10, 2013 23:18 |  #1

Here's my lens dilemma. Out of the following two affordable combos, What is the best lens/extender for wildlife, a 70-200mm f/2.8 mk2 IS + Canon 2x mk3 extender, or a 300mm f/4 IS + Canon 1.4x mk2 extender?
Please don't suggest the Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS (as I've owned this lens and wasn't blown away by it) or the 400mm f/5.6, as neither of these will give me f/4 at 300mm. I'm also not interested in Sigmas or Tamrons.
I currently own the 70-200 2.8 IS mk2 and both of the listed extenders, so would I feel any benefit adding the 300 f/4 IS to my stable?
I currently shoot mostly with my 5D2, but do use my SL1 if I feel I need more reach or I need to carry a second body.


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ben805
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Jul 11, 2013 00:07 |  #2

definitely go with the 100-400L, you will love it, if budget is a concern then the 400 5.6 will serve you just fine.


5D Mark III, Samyang 14mm, 35LII, 85L II, 100L IS Macro, 24-105L, 70-200L 2.8 IS II. 580EX, AB400, AB800.

  
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kin2son
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Jul 11, 2013 00:11 |  #3
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ben805 wrote in post #16109860 (external link)
definitely go with the 100-400L, you will love it, if budget is a concern then the 400 5.6 will serve you just fine.

lol


5D3 Gripped / 17-40L / Σ35 / 40 Pancake / Zeiss 50 MP / Σ85 / 100L Macro / 70-200 f2.8L II IS / 430 EX II / 580 EX II / Canon 2xIII TC / Kenko Ext. Tubes
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kawi_200
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Jul 11, 2013 00:41 |  #4

I had a 300mm f/4L IS and the 2x TC3 and it was a pretty nice combo. It does well, but I almost always stop down to about f/11. I got the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II and stopped using the 300mm, so I sold it. I never really used the 70-200 with the 2x TC since it isn't impressively sharp wide open. I have to stop down to f/8 to make me happy. I recently bought another 300mm and am having fun again. I've never used a 1.4x TC but I have never heard anyone say that a lens suffers a lot when using a 1.4x, unlike with the 2x almost every lens suffers a bit.

I plan on adding a 1.4x TC just to use with the 300mm. That combo also gets my vote.


5D4 | 8-15L | 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS | 24L II | 40mm pancake | 100L IS | 70-200mm f/2.8L IS mk2 | 400mm f/4 DO IS

  
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blueskyoveraquatic
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Jul 11, 2013 01:19 |  #5

I vote for 300mm f/4 + 1.4xTC combo over the 70-200mm f/2.8 + 2xTC for the following reasons
1) a bit lighter
2) 1.4xTC is a bit better than 2xTC in term of IQ
3) Effective FL and aperture: 420mm at f/5.6

Just a note, 5DM2 looses AF with lenses whose minimum apertures are greater than f/5.6

Tough question...
I use the 50D + 300mm f/4 + 1.4xTC combo with effective FL of 640mm to photograph surfers. I am not sure if 420mm has enough reach for your wildlife photography


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watt100
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Jul 11, 2013 04:05 |  #6

ben805 wrote in post #16109860 (external link)
definitely go with the 100-400L, you will love it, if budget is a concern then the 400 5.6 will serve you just fine.

I agree, the 100-400 is obviously your best option




  
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hoverta
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Jul 11, 2013 15:41 |  #7

watt100 wrote in post #16110146 (external link)
I agree, the 100-400 is obviously your best option

LOL.




  
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moltengold
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Jul 11, 2013 16:26 |  #8

you had the 55-250 in your gear list
just use it with your EOS Rebel SL1 and it will be like 400mm on the FF
save your money ,all the others lenses are big and heavy


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TheLensGuy
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Jul 11, 2013 16:40 |  #9
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Get the 70-200 and use it with the extender. 300mm is not an interesting FL alone unless you are into bird photography.




  
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tommykjensen
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Jul 12, 2013 00:55 |  #10

Perfect_10 wrote in post #16109770 (external link)
I currently own the 70-200 2.8 IS mk2 and both of the listed extenders, so would I feel any benefit adding the 300 f/4 IS to my stable?

I tried the combination of 300 f/4 plus extender and even though the quality is great I rarely ever added the extender simply because of the hassle of mounting it.

A 100-400 replaced that lens.


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Perfect_10
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Jul 12, 2013 08:48 |  #11

moltengold wrote in post #16111826 (external link)
you had the 55-250 in your gear list
just use it with your EOS Rebel SL1 and it will be like 400mm on the FF
save your money ,all the others lenses are big and heavy

WOW .. I'm actually amazed that the IQ of the 55-250 equals that of the 300 L f/4 IS :rolleyes:


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PH68
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Jul 12, 2013 09:04 |  #12

Perfect_10 wrote in post #16113429 (external link)
WOW .. I'm actually amazed that the IQ of the 55-250 equals that of the 300 L f/4 IS :rolleyes:

I have the 55-250 and the 200 f/2.8L
For some pictures the quality is just as good as each other.

The 55-250 can be just as good as the L-lens.
However the L-lens is far better on more occasions, hence why I still use it.

The light-weight, small size of the 55-250 is excellent when travelling light though.


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hania
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Jul 12, 2013 11:28 |  #13

hoverta wrote in post #16111711 (external link)
LOL.

He specifically said he was NOT going to consider a 100-400: do people not read the post?

I also have not been too happy with my 100-400 (sold) and am also considering the same option (though my 70-200 2.8 is a mark 1)


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amfoto1
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Jul 12, 2013 11:30 |  #14

I do not have the 70-200 Mark II... Am still using the "Mark I". I've tried it and absolutely will not use a 2X on the Mark I... there's just too much loss of IQ. The zoom is okay with 1.4X II, though I rarely use it since I have a couple 300mm lenses. Some people are okay with the latest 2X on the Mark II... Others won't use the combo.

Generally speaking, the weaker the teleconveter, the better. And, generally speaking, teleconverters work better on primes than on zooms.

I do have the 300/4 and 1.4X II and often use the two of them together. Perfect? No. Pretty darned good and usable. Yes. Stop it down a little for best quality. Easily handheld, the prime without the TC is roughly the same size as a 70-200/2.8, and about 3/4 lb. lighter weight than the zooms.

300/4 + 1.4X II at f8, on 5D Mark II:

IMAGE: http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3820/9268150759_0289d8a721_o.jpg

And a detail from the same image, close to 100%:
IMAGE: http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2859/9270933678_42fd3a8306_b.jpg


I like having two focal lengths to work with... 300mm and an effective 420mm... with fast USM and IS... in an easily handheld package (I did happen to use a monopod for the above). Two focal lengths might not be as versatile as a zoom, but works well for me.

I also use both on crop cameras quite a bit, too.

300mm at f5.6 on 50D...
IMAGE: http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2508/3833794941_32a0779b91_o.jpg


300mm + 1.4X II on 50D...
IMAGE: http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3100/3833803575_f473bd80d7_o.jpg

A couple nuances of the 300/4....

In relatively contrasty light, busy out of focus backgrounds can look a little "nervous". It doesn't have as nice bokeh as the 300/2.8. It isn't always a problem (see the mule deer shot above, which was shot in soft, low light). And it can be fixed in post prodution. In the following image, I selectively softened, reduced contrast, and knocked down some highlights in the background.

300/4 at f5.6 on 7D...
IMAGE: http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6020/6011191895_66abff4a52_b.jpg

Also, the 300/4 tends to put a magenta highlight in specular highlights. This is not necessarily a problem in many images and can be fixed in post processing pretty easily, if need be...

300/4 IS at f5.6 on 5DII...
IMAGE: http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2762/4020576990_bccb834338_o.jpg

Detail from above, showing magenta tint in specular highlight...
IMAGE: http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2801/4020587780_e945696bea_o.jpg

The 300/4 IS was one of the first EF lenses to get stabililzaion (1997), and is one of the Canon lenses that the IS should be manually turned off if using the lens locked down on a tripod. It doesn't auto-cancel IS when there's no movement, so actually can go into sort of a feedback loop where it creates movement when there is none. Personally I use the 300/4 handheld most of the time, on a monopod occasionally and can't recall ever using it on a tripod. So this isn't something I've ever had to worry about.

Personally I find the "faults" of the 300/4 IS relatively minor and easy to deal with. I also have 300/2.8 IS and 500/4 IS, along with 2X II. But, frankly, the 300/4 IS and 1.4X see more frequent use. The bigger lenses - nice as they are - get used a lot less often, are more "tripod only", IMO.

You already have the Canon 1.4X II? If not, I'm pretty certain the 1.4X III would give equal image quality (tho it's rather pricey). I've also heard very good things about the Kenko Pro 300 DGX 1.4X (about $250) and even seen some suprisingly good examples from the cheaper Kenko DGX MC4 1.4X (about $150). I don't know how they work with this particular lens, though... and there can be big differences in performance, one particular combo to the next.

With either combo you choose, you'll still have effective f5.6 and your camera will focus just fine.

The 55-250 is surprisingly good for such an inexpensive lens... but of course you won't be using it on your 5DII anytime soon. And it's focus is nowhere near as quick as the USM lens. And it's nowhere near the same build quality. Can't use a teleconverter on the 55-250, either.

Alan Myers (external link) "Walk softly and carry a big lens."
5DII, 7DII(x2), 7D(x2) & other cameras. 10-22mm, Tokina 12-24/4, 20/2.8, TS 24/3.5L, 24-70/2.8L, 28/1.8, 28-135 IS (x2), TS 45/2.8, 50/1.4, Tamron 60/2.0, 70-200/4L IS, 70-200/2.8 IS, 85/1.8, Tamron 90/2.5 Macro, 100/2.8 USM, 100-400L II, 135/2L, 180/3.5L, 300/4L IS (x2), 300/2.8L IS, 500/4L IS, EF 1.4X II, EF 2X II. Flashes, studio strobes & various access. - FLICKR (external link) - ZENFOLIO (external link)

  
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hoverta
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Jul 12, 2013 12:01 |  #15

hania wrote in post #16113872 (external link)
He specifically said he was NOT going to consider a 100-400: do people not read the post?

I also have not been too happy with my 100-400 (sold) and am also considering the same option (though my 70-200 2.8 is a mark 1)

Yup exactly. Hence the LOL. :)




  
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70-200 + 2x extender or 300 + 1.4 extender, that is the question
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