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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 13 Nov 2013 (Wednesday) 00:17
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Which one to get? 300 or 400

 
herculeorama
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Nov 13, 2013 00:17 |  #1

Hi

This has been a very informative forum and have learnt a lot from here. I have gone through the many discussions on 300 f/4 vs 400 f/5.6. My dilemma is a bit different.

I can only afford one lens. Which one of the two? I am aware that for BIF it has to be 400 f/5.6. However when I looked back on my images from last couple of years, I find that I only occasionally do BIF. More often it is perched birds. Then I also do wild-life, macros and landscapes. I need to know which of the 2 lenses can be used more creatively? I am more inclined towards 300 f/4 for i) IS ii) Less MF distance iii) Hence can be used for close-ups of butterflies and insects. I can later get the 1.4x TC to get to 420 f/5.6.

The keyword for me is "creativity". Your opinions please.

Thanks.


5D Mark III | Sigma 24/1.4 A | 50/1.8 | 100/2.8 Macro | 17-40/4 L | 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM | 70-200/2.8 L IS II USM | 400/5.6 L | Canon 1.4x III TC| Canon 2x III TC
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OneJZsupra
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Nov 13, 2013 00:34 |  #2

Do you shoot sports or anything? You can kind of get away with using f4 for low light stuff but 5.6 might be too low.


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herculeorama
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Nov 13, 2013 01:44 |  #3

No I don't shoot sports. I am mainly outdoors for my photography walks.

It's a hobby and a passion. Not a profession.


5D Mark III | Sigma 24/1.4 A | 50/1.8 | 100/2.8 Macro | 17-40/4 L | 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM | 70-200/2.8 L IS II USM | 400/5.6 L | Canon 1.4x III TC| Canon 2x III TC
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OneJZsupra
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Nov 13, 2013 01:50 |  #4

herculeorama wrote in post #16447500 (external link)
No I don't shoot sports. I am mainly outdoors for my photography walks.

It's a hobby and a passion. Not a profession.

In that case you could always get the 300 f4 and then later get a 1.4 extender to give you extra reach.

Or the 100-400 might be worth a look at too.


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1Tanker
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Nov 13, 2013 02:05 as a reply to  @ OneJZsupra's post |  #5

300/4 IS. I use it a lot for creative shots.. nice shallow DOF combined with short MFD and 2-stop IS, make this a very versatile lens. Throw on a 1.4x TC, and it gets more fun.


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herculeorama
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Nov 13, 2013 05:43 |  #6

Thanks. I was leaning towards the 300/4 but wanted to be sure about it.


5D Mark III | Sigma 24/1.4 A | 50/1.8 | 100/2.8 Macro | 17-40/4 L | 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM | 70-200/2.8 L IS II USM | 400/5.6 L | Canon 1.4x III TC| Canon 2x III TC
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OneJZsupra
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Nov 13, 2013 05:52 |  #7

F4 is vs F5.6 non is

At least with the 300 you can add a teleconverter so you can have 300 and almost 400 anytime you want.


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Levina ­ de ­ Ruijter
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Nov 13, 2013 06:14 |  #8

I have both and agree with the others that the 300/4 is your best option. A great lens and very versatile. Plus it takes a 1.4xTC very well for if you need a bit more reach. Go for it. :)


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reheat ­ module
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Nov 13, 2013 06:20 as a reply to  @ Levina de Ruijter's post |  #9

300 f4 all the way for me. It's a stand-alone classic in terms of sharpness and at f4 the extra stop is ideal. Even with the x1.4 added, it's a fabulous f5.6 combination. I love mine.


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herculeorama
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Nov 13, 2013 08:08 |  #10

Thanks again everyone for the quick responses. 300/4 it will be but may take a couple of months before I get it.


5D Mark III | Sigma 24/1.4 A | 50/1.8 | 100/2.8 Macro | 17-40/4 L | 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM | 70-200/2.8 L IS II USM | 400/5.6 L | Canon 1.4x III TC| Canon 2x III TC
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amfoto1
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Nov 13, 2013 12:40 |  #11

Consider getting that 300/4 IS used. A lot of people buy these longer lenses but rarely use them. That's how I got mine... Off Craigslist, the seller claimed he'd bought two or three years earlier for an Alaskan trip and only used it a few times afterward.

If memory serves, I paid $900 US and it looked like new (doesn't anymore!), was complete with case, caps and everything... even had a high quality 72mm B+W filter on it (which I promptly removed, but keep for occasional use when needed). I use it a lot with Canon 1.4X Mark II teleconverter, which can be found used for around $250 US. That TC has minimal effect on focus speed and image quality. And the combined cost if you can find them used might be less than the lens alone, bought new.

I use it extensively with and without the teleconverter... for wildlife:

IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8338/8189467894_488a03323c_z.jpg
300/4 IS + 1.4X II on 7D. f5.6 (wide open), ISO 400, 1/400, handheld.

And various sports...

IMAGE: http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5309/5662609416_c9fb9a40ed_z.jpg
300/4 IS on 7D at f5.6, ISO 800, 1/800, handheld.

The 300/4 with it's IS is definitely a good choice for hiking, handheld shooting. I got it as a backup to my 300/2.8 IS, but ended up using the f4 lens a lot more often thanks to it's portability, especially on longer walks!

IMAGE: http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6181/6107369225_c0a9946aef_b.jpg
300/4 IS + 1.4X II on 5D Mark II, f5.6 (wide open). ISO 1600, 1/400, on a monopod.

It can be a pretty nice portrait lens, too, when you have enough room...

IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8182/8004825444_7243cc2478_z.jpg
300/4 IS on 7D at f4, ISO 800, 1/400, handheld.

IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8313/8004822165_d900ff2efb_z.jpg

300/4 IS on 7D at f4, ISO 1600, 1/6400, handheld.

Also works pretty well for BIF...

IMAGE: http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2762/4020576990_92f91d384d_z.jpg?zz=1
300/4 IS on 5D Mk II at f5.6, ISO 800, 1/8000, handheld.

Or perched...

IMAGE: http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5249/5247149798_a8963e6c24_z.jpg
300/4 IS on 7D at f5.6, ISO 3200, 1/640, handheld.

And you are right about it's close focusing ability.... closest of any of the Canon lenses over 200mm.

IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8180/8004813561_3049812755_z.jpg
300/4 IS on 7D at f4, ISO 800, 1/1600, handheld.

When you get it, I hope you enjoy the 300/4 IS as much as I have! I definitely feel the versatility of the 300/4 IS is preferable to the 400/5.6.... With the 300mm plus a 1.4X, you've got both a 300/4 and an effective 420/5.6, both with helpful IS. No doubt the 400/5.6 alone enjoys a bit better image quality than the 300 + 1.4X. The longer prime probably will focus a little faster than the 300 + 1.4X, too. But IMO the shorter lens + TC is suprisingly good in both respects.

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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JeffreyG
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Nov 13, 2013 13:23 |  #12

I recommend the 100-400L.

If that is too much, then the 300/4L + 1.4X TC is second best. You get both 300mm focal lenght plus 420mm focal length, and the lens has IS with is very useful at these kinds of long lenses.

The 400/5.6 is a nice lens, but I would only use it if I was totally sure that I would never want 300mm too, and also if I was totally sure that IS would not be a benefit. To me, that is a narrow set of requirments.

The 300/4L IS takes the TC very well, so while the 400/5.6 might be a little better compared to the 300 with TC, the difference isn't worth worrying about and isn't generally worth losing IS and the flexibility of two focal lengths.


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ed ­ rader
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Nov 13, 2013 13:32 |  #13

JeffreyG wrote in post #16448721 (external link)
I recommend the 100-400L.

If that is too much, then the 300/4L + 1.4X TC is second best. You get both 300mm focal lenght plus 420mm focal length, and the lens has IS with is very useful at these kinds of long lenses.

The 400/5.6 is a nice lens, but I would only use it if I was totally sure that I would never want 300mm too, and also if I was totally sure that IS would not be a benefit. To me, that is a narrow set of requirments.

The 300/4L IS takes the TC very well, so while the 400/5.6 might be a little better compared to the 300 with TC, the difference isn't worth worrying about and isn't generally worth losing IS and the flexibility of two focal lengths.

the 400L is only for very good light or tripod. ie, it is a specialty lens. the 300L is a very good lens but with TC it becomes just okay and you lose AF speed. if you need 400 the zoom is the one to get.


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5D4, 80d, 16-35L F4 IS, 24-70L II, 70-200L F4 IS II, 100-400L II, sigma 15 FE, sigma 14 f1.8 art, tc 1.4 III, 430exII, gitzo 3542L + markins Q20, gitzo GT 1545T + markins Q3T, gitzo GM4562

  
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oscardog
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Nov 13, 2013 16:49 |  #14

I agree with the post above by Ed rader. I have had both lenses and i bought the 400 after i was using the 300 with a tc all the time. If you need the 400 then get it, but it sounds like you could really use the extra versatility of the 300. I thought i would like the close MFD and IS but with my style of shooting i needed more reach and didnt need as fast of a lens.


Gear: 6D, 7d Mark II, Rokinon 14mm 2.8, Canon 16-35 f4 IS, Sigma 24mm 1.8, Canon 70-200 f4 (non IS), Sigma 500 4.5 DG, Kenko 1.4x & 2x converters

  
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watt100
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Nov 13, 2013 17:23 |  #15

herculeorama wrote in post #16447407 (external link)
Hi

This has been a very informative forum and have learnt a lot from here. I have gone through the many discussions on 300 f/4 vs 400 f/5.6. My dilemma is a bit different.

I can only afford one lens. Which one of the two? I am aware that for BIF it has to be 400 f/5.6. However when I looked back on my images from last couple of years, I find that I only occasionally do BIF. More often it is perched birds. Then I also do wild-life, macros and landscapes. I need to know which of the 2 lenses can be used more creatively? I am more inclined towards 300 f/4 for i) IS ii) Less MF distance iii) Hence can be used for close-ups of butterflies and insects. I can later get the 1.4x TC to get to 420 f/5.6.

The keyword for me is "creativity". Your opinions please.

Thanks.

I wrestled with the same thing and owned the 400mm 5.6 prime but eventually found that the 100-400 was more versatile in wildlife, sports, butterflies even portraits

60D
100-400
cropped


IMAGE: http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3793/10101133894_84d30a1411_b.jpg

XSi /450D - 100-400
cropped

IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8476/8421372400_1917976bab_c.jpg



  
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