Canon 70-200 L IS Versus 100-400L IS

Discussion in 'Canon Lenses' started by Mike K, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. Mike K
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    Mike K New Member

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    I'd love to have both of these and may someday. For now, with the understanding that the 70-200 is sharper than the 100-400, has anyone tried both and have impressions to share? I was originally going to get the shorter lens but am now tempted by the longer lens as an interim solution to having both.
  2. Big Mike
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    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member

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    I can't remember where...but I read a review that showed the 100-400mm as being sharper than any of the 70-200mm options. But on the other hand, I've always heard that the 70-200mm F4 IS, was one of the sharpest zooms in the line-up.

    The big difference between these two (besides the obvious focal length) is size & weight. The 100-400mm is twice the size and probably three times the weight of the 70-200mm F4.
    So how you intend to use the lens, should probably play a factor in which one to get. The 100-400mm is great for wildlife, but it would be a huge pain to lug that thing around when all you want is a leisurely hike. Or if you're going on a serious hike, you may not want to pack that extra size & weight.

    *edit*
    I had it in my mind that you specifically mentioned the F4 IS version.
    As mentioned, there are 4 different versions of the 70-200mm (5 if you count both the new and old versions of the 2.8 L IS).
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2012
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  4. Overread
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    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member

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    Which specific 70-200mm are you referring to? Canon has 5 on the market.

    Personally the only 70-200mm that I'd consider as suitable comparison is the 70-200mm f2.8 IS L MII. That lens (the newest and also most expensive) has improved optics over the original and is an outstanding lens for its 70-200mm range. Furthermore it will take a 2*TC and deliver image quality on par with a good copy of the 100-400mm L (with both also showing marked improvement in optical quality after f7.1/8).
    The other 70-200mm f2.8 lenses will mount a 2*TC, but are not as good - I owned the previous version of the lens and the 2*TC was something I used only once = whereas the MII I'm willing and able to use it all the time without any worries.

    On the other hand the 70-200mm f2.8 MII is heaver than the 100-400mm and more expensive and also has slightly slower AF (when using the 2*TC). If its pure reach you want the 100-400mm would be a good option to consider - also you've the good quality 300mm f4 IS L (+1.4TC) and the 400mm f5.6 L. The 70-200mm f2.8 IS L MII is suitable only if you also want a sharp, fast focusing and excellent 70-200mm lens in its own right.
  5. Mike K
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    Mike K New Member

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    Thanks. I see a comparison a 400mm with a teleconverter on the Canon 70-200. This is the one I saw LensRentals.com - Rent a Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS

    In any case, the 100-400 looks like a contender.

    I was talking about the Canon 70-200 2.8 IS lens.
  6. Mike K
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    Mike K New Member

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    I meant the 2.8 with IS.

    Of course, I want all the best available sharpness, features, and reach though I imagine 80% or more of my use in the 100-200mm range.

    It may be worth noting that I'm using a 60D cropped sensor now and will hopefully go FF but not at least for a year, maybe longer.
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2012
  7. Overread
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    Hmm the currently available is the MII $2200 lens - the Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS L MII. The original version of that lens is now out of production and only sold second hand (far as I know there is no new stock left of it - if there is chances are its selling at an outrageously high price now)
  8. Mike K
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    Mike K New Member

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    Sorry, I didn't edit in time. I got confused and was thinking of the 24-70 version I and II. Just bought a version I on Ebay. Wish me luck.;)

    I meant the 2.8 70-200 with IS.

    Of course, I want all the best available sharpness, features, and reach though I imagine 80% or more of my use in the 100-200mm range.

    It may be worth noting that I'm using a 60D cropped sensor now and will hopefully go FF but not at least for a year, maybe longer.
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2012

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