canon 70-200 2.8 is II with 2x tc vs 400 5.6

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by SHaller, May 30, 2011.

  1. SHaller
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    SHaller New Member

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    I am planning on buying a lens setup for up to 400mm within the next couple weeks and i ran into a little dilemma. I had my heart set on 400mm 5.6 until i ran across rave reviews about the 70-200 2.8 is II with the newest 2x tc. Everyone seems to love it including arthur morris, and recommends it over the 100-400, but I haven't seen it much compared to 400 5.6. Since i already own the 70-200 2.8 non is, I could sell it to make up the difference in price between the two. If anyone could show me 400mm test shots of both, I would be able to make up my mind.
  2. Stryker
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    Stryker New Member

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    +1000 points for the 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II. Its the best telezoom lens in the planet. Wish I have the money to buy one. Regarding the 400mm, I found the 300mm IS a lot better. The IS allows it to be used even hand held
  3. SHaller
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    SHaller New Member

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    I ruled out the 300 for the slower focus compared to the 400 5.6 along with the fact that the lens would probably be tripod mounted or on a beanbag the majority of the time.
  4. Overread
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    The 70-200mm f2.8 IS L M2 is a fantastic lens and fantastic enough that it can take a 2*TC and get a 140-400mm L lens. However its raw image quality is only on par with the 100-400mm lens (the two are pretty much identical, with the 100-400mm only showing up a slight advantage in test shots, in teh field you can't tell them apart). and the 400mm f5.6 is far sharper than the 100-400mm at the 400mm mark.

    I don't have any to hand but there are a good few reviews google and throw up for comparisions between the 100-400mm and the 400mm f5.6

    In short you've got to decide - do you want a prime or a zoom lens - both are top of the range options (for their price point) and both work to a pro level. If you want prime the 400mm is the best to go for - if you want a zoom then the 70-200mm gives you not only an outstanding 70-200mm but also the pro quality of a 140-400mm zoom lens.
  5. gsgary
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    gsgary Well-Known Member

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    The 70-200 and 2x will not match the 400, but without the 2x you have F2.8 which is great when it gets dark
  6. GooniesNeverSayDie11
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    GooniesNeverSayDie11 Well-Known Member

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    It will not match the 400mm. I used to have the 70-200 Mark I and the 2x extender and while it was alright, I didn't realize how terrible it was at 400mm until I got the 400mm 5.6. Now granted the mark II 70-200 is a bit sharper, there is still no way it will be as sharp once you slap that 2x extender on. Some people tout the 300mm f/4 because it has the IS feature and you can put a 1.4x extender on it and ratain AF, but if you want distance, you will never be satisfied with only 300mm, plus once you slap the 1.4x extender on it, you lose quality as well. The 400mm is decent for hand holding if you have decent light and decent ISO capabilities. Its well balanced and fairly light for its size. I would keep your non-IS 70-200 and get a 400mm 5.6.It would be a lot cheaper that way. The other suprising thing is that the 400mm is like 13 years old or something with out an update, yet they still fetch about 75% of their current new price on ebay. So even if you sold it down the road, you could probably get some decent coin for it.
  7. Overread
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    Just to counter a little the M2 version of the lens isn't just a bit better, with the 2*TC is a heck of a lot better:

    Photos (with 100% crops) from the original 70-200mm f2.8 IS L + 2*TC
    little birds photos test - a set on Flickr

    Photos (with 100% crops) from the 70-200mm f2.8 IS L M2 + 2*TC
    70-200mm f2.8 IS L M2 test - a set on Flickr
    Minsmere - a set on Flickr

    Just to note that I used the first combo about 3 or 4 times the whole time I owned the lens, it just didn't perform fantastically, good in a pinch but not ideal. The new version I'm quiet happy to leave the 2*TC on the lens as long as I need the reach without any worries at all.

    Remember its not beating the 400mm f5.6, that is worlds sharper, but I consider the new lens to give a very suitable and usable level of image quality
  8. GooniesNeverSayDie11
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    GooniesNeverSayDie11 Well-Known Member

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    Fair enough, but the point still stands, that its not going to be as good as the 400mm 5.6. Now if the OP didn't already have a 70-200, then I would advise the combo he was considering because frankly I think the 70-200 is a much more versatile lens and gets used much more ( atleast mine does. ).
  9. SHaller
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    SHaller New Member

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    Thanks for the responses. Looks like i'm just going to stick with the the 400mm prime. I have no doubts that I will love it
  10. Renol
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    Renol New Member

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    You will love the 400mm. My experience with it was limited (rented it for a week) but I had a lot of fun with it and plan to get it when I have the $$.

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