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Thread started 22 May 2016 (Sunday) 12:47
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70-200 f/2.8 mk1 -vs- 100-400 mk1 for trip?

 
jamsomito
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May 22, 2016 12:47 |  #1

First world problem here. I've had the 70-200 2.8 mk1 for a while now and I'm used to it and understand it's nuances (the few there are), but recently I got a 100-400 mk1 as a hand-me-down from a family member who just upgraded to the mk2. I tried a few shots off my back porch and had pretty good results. After doing some research on it, it seems this 100-400 mk1 is generally good all-around, with the exception of being a little soft wide open at 350mm or longer. I just don't have enough time to fully test it on my crop body and get used to it before my trip. I shoot with a Canon 70D (crop sensor), and I also have a 1.4x mk2 extender I can bring as well. So I pose the question to you - which lens (or both) and/or extender would you take on a trip where you had to carry all your gear all the time? More details below:

I'm taking a 2 week trip to Alaska with the whole family (grandma, siblings, pregnant wife, 2yo son), about 9 days on land, and 4 on a cruise before heading home. I'll be photoing everything - shots around town, typical family snaps, lots of landscapes, and some wildlife (including a river excursion for some eagles). Some shorter hiking, a plane ride to the glaciers, exploring the towns and seeing locals, Denali national park, cruise (shots on the boat, from the deck of the boat, from docks, towns), etc.

I have a 10-18mm for wide, and a 17-55 f/2.8 for my walkaround lens. When I use my 70-200, it's usually at the shorter end - 70mm on a crop body is pretty "zoomed in" already. One concern of mine is the big gap from 55mm to 100mm if I were to only bring the 100-400; however, I'm in Michigan so any kind of landscape photography here is really not over a vast range (flat). As for reach, the 1.4x extender gets me to 280mm on the 70-200, or a whopping 560mm on the 100-400 (but I lose AF on my 70D - annoying but not a deal breaker). Also, the 70-200 is 2 stops faster, which might make a difference (especially if stopping down slightly for sharpness on landscapes), although I'm told this time of year the sun never sets in Alaska, so there may not even be a golden hour or dusk for lower light pics. Having some telephoto range would be nice, possibly for landscapes, but primarily wildlife, and just for fun (e.g. binocular substitute). If I had to pick an order of importance for these two lenses, it would be landscapes first, wildlife second.

I have plenty of space in my pack, so that's not an issue. I just don't know if bringing both lenses would be worth the weight as I'll be carrying all my gear everywhere I go, plus stuff for the wife and kid usually.

Details on my pack and stuff to carry here:
https://photography-on-the.net …showthread.php?​p=18014627
https://photography-on-the.net …/showthread.php​?t=1457801

Thanks in advance for any thoughts.




  
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Snydremark
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May 22, 2016 13:22 |  #2

You'll definitely want the 100-400 for that trip and something wide; if you still have the 10-18, I would take that with you. When I went up there for a week a couple of years ago I had good use of my 10-22, 24-105 and 100-400. Given your gap from 55-100, you *might* want to take the 70-200 as well if you're worried about the f/2.8 - f/5.6 difference, but I doubt that gap is going to be where you run into issues.

With a crop sensor, you aren't likely to be using the 70-200 for any sort of landscape shooting; that's a pretty narrow field of view. You'll be using the 10-18 and 17-55 for that type of shooting; and most anything else you're probably going to want the 100-400 for.

Feel free to scan through this gallery and see what sort of shots came out of our trip: https://flic.kr/s/aHsj​KDHtXj (external link)


- 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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clipper_from_oz
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May 22, 2016 13:44 |  #3

yes I agree.....Definately the 100-400.....and the wide angle.


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jamsomito
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May 22, 2016 14:24 |  #4

Thanks guys. Ill take a look at the album.

What are your thoughts on IQ with 100-400 mk1 on crop sensor?

@snydremark, great shots. Lens looks pretty good @400mm f/5.6 on your 7D.




  
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Snydremark
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May 22, 2016 14:57 |  #5

jamsomito wrote in post #18015245 (external link)
Thanks guys. Ill take a look at the album.

What are your thoughts on IQ with 100-400 mk1 on crop sensor?

@snydremark, great shots. Lens looks pretty good @400mm f/5.6 on your 7D.

The only reason I moved off of the MkI is that the MkII came out. This has been my primary lens for the last 8 years and I absolutely love it. No problems whatsoever; feel free to browse through the rest of my photostream while you're out there. Basically, everything fins/fur/feathers in there is shot with the 100-400 on a crop sensor (40D/7D/7DII).


- 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)
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ed ­ rader
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May 22, 2016 17:19 |  #6

I shoot FF. 70-300L for landscape based trips and everyday use. 100-400L II for wildlife. either lens cans be used for other duties but that's the way I decide. have no use for a 70-200 anymore.


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jamsomito
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May 23, 2016 07:14 |  #7

I have been curious about the 70-300, it seems like a great compromise between the 70-200 and 100-400, with the exception being low light. I use it once in a while for younger family members' events (graduations, etc), but I suppose it's not a huge deal. I've actually considered selling both of mine and picking up one of those, but the lenses I have now are not all mine so I'd have to check with the previous owner to see if it is ok.




  
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Scott ­ M
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May 23, 2016 09:54 |  #8

I went on an Alaskan cruise/land trip in 2014, and brought along the 100-400L MK1 (since have upgraded to the MK2). You will definitely want the additional length over your 70-200 f/2.8 for the wildlife. Personally, I would leave the 1.4x TC at home if space in the camera bag is tight, as the original version of that lens does not take a TC very well. I got better results cropping the image in post processing (the MK2 version is a different story).

My travel kit for that Alaska trip included a 5D3, 7D, 16-35 f/4 IS, 24-105L, 100-400L, 40mm f/2.8 pancake, tripod and monopod. The 100-400L stayed glued to the 7D, while I used the other lenses on the 5D3. If you are interested, here (external link) is my online gallery from the trip.


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CyberDyneSystems
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May 23, 2016 10:17 |  #9

I've been packing a 100-400mm with me since 2003. Always.
I've taken a 70-200mm with me once or twice.
The 100-400mm is by far more useful in outdoor settings.

A good copy is NOT "soft" wide open compared with lenses of it's generation, but as with most all zooms of it's generation, if you can stop down to f/6.3 - f/8 you will be happier with the results. Compared to the modern zooms, that stopping down will help even the differences in sharpness.

This was THE wildlife zoom lens for close to two decades.

This and a wide angle and your set for outdoor work. Maybe a fast mid to wide prime for indoor stuff should the mood hit


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Scott ­ M
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Post edited over 3 years ago by Scott M. (2 edits in all)
     
May 23, 2016 11:21 |  #10

CyberDyneSystems wrote in post #18016203 (external link)
I've been packing a 100-400mm with me since 2003. Always.
I've taken a 70-200mm with me once or twice.
The 100-400mm is by far more useful in outdoor settings.

A good copy is NOT "soft" wide open compared with lenses of it's generation, but as with most all zooms of it's generation, if you can stop down to f/6.3 - f/8 you will be happier with the results. Compared to the modern zooms, that stopping down will help even the differences in sharpness.

This was THE wildlife zoom lens for close to two decades.

This and a wide angle and your set for outdoor work. Maybe a fast mid to wide prime for indoor stuff should the mood hit

FYI, for our Alaska trip, the wide angle 16-35 f/4 IS was my least used zoom lens. I actually used the 100-400L on the 7D for many more traditional landscape shots than the 16-35 on the 5D3. The 24-105L got much more use on the 5D3 for landscapes. The landscape is so vast, with few opportunities for strong foreground elements, that a wide angle lens tends to diminish subjects like Mt. Denali (it was still officially Mt. McKinley when we were there in 2014 ;-)a ).

I used the 16-35 mainly for interior shots on the cruise ship, when walking around town in Ketchikan, and while touring an historic copper mill in Kennicott -- i.e. when in tight spaces, which there are not a lot of in Alaska.


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May 23, 2016 19:41 |  #11

Thanks everyone, I think I'm convinced to just take the 100-400. I might still bring my TC though, just for fun, not expecting anything (low expectations are always more fun, right?).

Scott, thanks for the examples. Looks like a gorgeous place, and well-suited for a longer FL.




  
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Jun 02, 2016 10:13 |  #12

Ok, I've been playing around for this lens for a little bit, trying to get used to it before my trip. I put some examples below my comments.

I'm experimenting with Manual mode. Before I got this lens, I kind of settled in comfortably to aperture priority to get the depth of field I want, then checking the photo and using exposure comp to adjust. However, unless I set a really high ISO, I'm finding with this long lens that I usually don't have a fast enough shutter speed and I get blurry shots. I don't like shutter priority because I don't like giving up DOF control, and I usually like stopping down a bit for sharpness. So, I set aperture and shutter speed in manual and let the camera choose an ISO, but I also don't like relying on the camera's light meter to determine my exposure. It's usually off quite a bit, especially with things like birds with a bright sky background. With manual mode you lose the exposure comp adjustments (you still see the reading, but you can't set it). In short, this lens is tough to use. Hah. There are lots of things to be cognizant of. I'm way not fast enough for Manual mode, especially with wildlife.

I'm trying to keep shutter speed to 1/1000 (1/800 at a minimum), but I find that my ISO needs to be at a minimum of 1600, usually up around 3200. That makes a ton of noise* and I lose detail to that (or NR). I also try to stick around to f/8 for DOF and sharpness. As for focusing, I get better shots in MF, but I don't always have time for it, and if I have to switch between the two I definitely lose the shot, so most of the time I'm in AF. It seems around 200-300mm it'll focus okay, but at 400mm it back focuses. I'm also pretty far away from the subject most of the time (and I still need to crop @ 400mm), making my target focus point pretty small and it doesn't always fill the whole focus square in my viewfinder - maybe that's the problem. I've never done MA on my lenses before, but I'm not sure if I should if it's fine @ 200-300, but rear focuses @ 400. Do you think it's an AF problem, or am I just not grabbing the point correctly?

*sometimes high ISO doesn't give me problems, and other times it's riddled with noise. Surely there has to be a technique to expose properly to minimize noise that I don't know about (or maybe not). Thoughts on this?

Any comments on technique or my editing are much appreciated. Thanks for all the help.

Full album of examples here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsk​Bnx9Vs (external link)

This one was probably 80-100ft away and cropped to almost 100%.

IMAGE: https://c7.staticflickr.com/8/7432/27130658830_30e43951db_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/HkrH​DQ  (external link) IMG_8700 (external link) by J Horton (external link), on Flickr

This one was pretty close as I was only at 275mm and turned out great IMO. Still ISO 3200, but it was raining.

IMAGE: https://c3.staticflickr.com/8/7357/26798345674_67ba6e158d_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/GQ5w​wE  (external link) IMG_8788 (external link) by J Horton (external link), on Flickr

I think this turned out good, but again high ISO even in direct sun. It has a small crop.

IMAGE: https://c8.staticflickr.com/8/7304/27417273015_26641010bd_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/HLLG​4H  (external link) IMG_8972 (external link) by J Horton (external link), on Flickr



  
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CyberDyneSystems
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Jun 02, 2016 10:38 |  #13

Try opening up a bit to f/6.3 or f/7.1 to get a little more light back.

@ 250mm with IS, you might not need 1/1250 shutter need, maybe try to work around 1/750 - 1/800mm even at 400mm which is double your focal length.


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Scott ­ M
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Jun 02, 2016 11:20 |  #14

Whether you use manual, aperture priority or shutter priority is really irrelevant, as you are still going to end up with the same issue with the exposure triangle no matter which method you use to get there. As Jake said, try slowing down your shutter speed a little and consider opening up the aperture. The 100-400L v1 I owned performed very well at f/6.3, and I wouldn't hesitate to shoot wide open at f/5.6 if needed. And I wouldn't be concerned at all with any ISO of 1600 or lower on your 70D as long as you do not underexpose the shot. I would go up to 3200 without hesitation on my original 7D, which had a similar sensor.

While I also used 1/1000sec on a crop body as my starting point with the original 100-400L, I could drop the shutter speed lower when necessary. You may even want to consider a monopod, as it will really help as the light decreases.

One last thing -- there is a lot of light in Alaska. A quick look at many of my shots in and around Denali showed that I was able to shoot quite often around ISO 800 and f/7.1 and still get shutter speeds of at least 1/1250. So, I think you will be fine.

Even on a dreary day in Juneau, this shot was ISO 2500, f/5.6 and 1/1000sec

IMAGE: https://photos.smugmug.com/Alaska-2014/i-2qQQbd4/0/L/IMG_5154-L.jpg

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Jun 02, 2016 11:56 |  #15

Thanks very much guys. I guess I was just looking for the proper technique to quickly get the right exposure when I was talking about Av vs M mode. Someone else I talked to said they prefer Tv. I understand there's some preference here and it doesn't affect the exposure triangle any.

I'll try a bigger aperture and see how it goes.

Unfortunately a monopod is going to be out of the budget, at least for this trip. I have a Joby Gorillapod though. LOL (not intended for this lens)

Good to hear about there being a lot of light where I'm going. I'll be using this lens a lot for landscapes (which I can't really do where I'm at now), and I might be making some big prints from a couple shots (hopefully), so my concern was just getting them as sharp as possible.




  
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70-200 f/2.8 mk1 -vs- 100-400 mk1 for trip?
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