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Which telephoto lens to invest in?

Mjump54
Occasional Contributor
I shoot lots of wildlife, landscape and equestrian pictures. I have a Tamron 150-600mm lens but want to invest in good Canon zoom. In your opinion, which would be better - the L series 70-200mm or the 100-400mm? I would also likely pick up the 1.4 extender. Thx.
1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION


@Mjump54 wrote:
I have a Canon 70D and 80D.

You will get very different results using an extender with those two bodies.  The 70D will choke and not AF with the combo that you proposed, but the 80D will still have up to 27 AF f/8 points.

 

I think you are better off saving your money, because you already have a pretty decent 150-600mm lens.  

 

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FULL DISCLOSURE. I have a Sigma 150-600mm “C”, as well as the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 + 1.4x III.  They are both excellent camera/lens combos.  Each has a slight edge over the other.

 

I like the Sigma kit better on a bright sunny day, because I do not suffer from reduction in available AF points.  It focuses a little slower than the Canon.  It is also nearly as sharp in bright sunlight.  Under those conditions, it is my first choice for shooting sports like baseball or football, or bigger subjects.

 

I like the Canon kit better because it is a little smaller, lighter, and fits into my bags while still mounted to the camera body, but I also have a reduced number of available AF points with my 6D Mk II, 27 AF points.  The Canon setup is also better at tracking smaller, or faster moving subjects, which is probably due to its’ faster focusing speed.

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"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."

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10 REPLIES 10

Mjump54
Occasional Contributor
Or would I be smarter in getting a 400mm prime lens?

Well let's see. The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens and the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens really can't be compared to each other.  They are intended for different uses. Already having the big Tammy I would opt for the best in class Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens. Nice combo! 

 

Now the unique Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens.  I say buy it no matter what. It is a joy to use because it is so light and has excellent IQ.  You can hand hold it all day long.  I have owned three of them over the years. It is a lens I consider a must have for every Canon camera owner.

 

I see you are also wanting a 1.4x tel-con.  As a general rule I discourage their use. However they do work very well on a few certain lenses.  The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens is one of them, go for it, and the Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM Lens is another.  Why the 300mil, you say? When I already suggested the Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens?  It gives you all the goodness of the 400mil only with 420mm@f5.6 and IS.

 

Some guys use the 1.4x tel-con on the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens. And, it works, OK.  But it gives you an f8 and is not a native FL to get the 560mm.  You already have a 600mm@f6.3, right?

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

"Now the unique Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens. ... I have owned three of them over the years. ..."

 

Why did I buy three of them? First one I sold to fund the first version of the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens. Not being totally impressed with it, I bought another EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens. Sold the 100-400 zoom. Yeah, Canon came out with a new EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens. It is very good, much better that the original version but I was missed not having the  EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens so I bought another one. I no longer have either of the 100-400 zooms but I have my  EF 400mm f/5.6L. And, I intend on keeping this one.

 

BTW, my favorite and only one I currently own in the 150-600 super zoom class is the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens for Canon. I have not tried the newest Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 for Canon but a friend of mine says it is really good. He has displayed some photos taken with it and they are nice.  I'll get my hands on it soon.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

wq9nsc
Respected Contributor

I second Ernie's recommendation of the EF 400 F5.6 lens; it is one of Canon's best "bang for the buck" choices.  I have shot a lot with mine includinig a lot of daytime soccer.  Lately I have been more frequently using a 300MM F2.8 primarily because I have been shooting a lot of sports in poor lighting but if the lighting is good the 400 5.6 is a fine lens and unlike the 400 2.8 it is easily handheld for long periods of time.

 

The 1.4X does work well with a number of the Canon EF lenses but if you are buying a lens AND plan to use it with an extender the majority of the time then seriously consider whether you need to step up to a longer lens.  I have used the 300 F2.8 with 1.4X on occasion and it produces very nice results but focus speed and quality suffers a bit; I haven't had a chance to really do a head to head comparison between my 400 5.6 and the 300 2.8 with 1.4X but I am going to do a test shot at a spring practice with them to see how they play in terms of focus speed and IQ.  

 

Rodger

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video

"...if you are buying a lens AND plan to use it with an extender the majority of the time then seriously consider whether you need to step up to a longer lens."

 

My thoughts exactly.  Nothing beats native FL.  You give to get with photography, there ain't no free lunch.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

kvbarkley
Honored Contributor

And with some lenses, native FL ain't that hot to start with!

Waddizzle
VIP

@Mjump54 wrote:
I shoot lots of wildlife, landscape and equestrian pictures. I have a Tamron 150-600mm lens but want to invest in good Canon zoom. In your opinion, which would be better - the L series 70-200mm or the 100-400mm? I would also likely pick up the 1.4 extender. Thx.

Using an extender changes the minimum aperture. What camera body do you plan to use?

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"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."

Mjump54
Occasional Contributor
I have a Canon 70D and 80D.


@Mjump54 wrote:
I have a Canon 70D and 80D.

You will get very different results using an extender with those two bodies.  The 70D will choke and not AF with the combo that you proposed, but the 80D will still have up to 27 AF f/8 points.

 

I think you are better off saving your money, because you already have a pretty decent 150-600mm lens.  

 

———————————————————

 

FULL DISCLOSURE. I have a Sigma 150-600mm “C”, as well as the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 + 1.4x III.  They are both excellent camera/lens combos.  Each has a slight edge over the other.

 

I like the Sigma kit better on a bright sunny day, because I do not suffer from reduction in available AF points.  It focuses a little slower than the Canon.  It is also nearly as sharp in bright sunlight.  Under those conditions, it is my first choice for shooting sports like baseball or football, or bigger subjects.

 

I like the Canon kit better because it is a little smaller, lighter, and fits into my bags while still mounted to the camera body, but I also have a reduced number of available AF points with my 6D Mk II, 27 AF points.  The Canon setup is also better at tracking smaller, or faster moving subjects, which is probably due to its’ faster focusing speed.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."

View solution in original post