Need help with Canon lens consideration

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by dwilli19, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. dwilli19

    dwilli19 TPF Noob!

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    Hello all,
    I'm new to SLR's and I just got a Canon 40D and will primarily be focusing on waterfowl/birds both in flight and stationary. I am considering either the Canon 100-400mm L f/4.5 or the Canon 70-200mm L f/2.8 and a 2x EF extender. Any thoughts on which might be better for my application? Thanks.
    David
     
  2. Ls3D

    Ls3D TPF Noob!

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    I hear the 1 -4 hundred pumps dust. 70-200 IS, now were talking... versatile, huge aperture,.. Remember it is a 320mm on your camera body. The extenders look pretty good from what I have seen, there are samples up here.

    -Shea
     
  3. davebmck

    davebmck TPF Noob!

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    That's nonsense about the 100-400 sucking dust. That myth comes from the way the lens zooms. You push and pull it instead of twisting it. In any case the lens has to extend to zoom so one method doesn't have any more tendency to pull in dust than the other. I've never had any such problem with my 100-400.

    Now back to the OP's question. I shoot a lot of birds and you don't want to consider anything less that 400mm. I'm wishing I could afford a 600mm lens.
     
  4. LarryD

    LarryD TPF Noob!

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    I have and use the 70-200 f2.8, and it is an excellent lens.....but I am not a bird shooter. However, even with a 1.4 II extender on it, it is just not a bird lens..

    Go with the 100-400 IS for the reach and excellent bokeh, and a converter of you need it (and you will); the birds just do not come to you when you call.
     
  5. davebmck

    davebmck TPF Noob!

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    Unfortunately, you cannot use a teleconverter with the 100-400 (I tried). Any lens with a maximum aperture smaller than f/4 will not autofocus with the 1.4 teleconverter. There is a tape mod you can do to the teleconverter that will allow autofocus, but the lens will just hunt even in good light.
     
  6. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    I have the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM and I would say that for shooting birds it's a little under powered.

    I haven't heard very flattering things about the 2x teleconverter based upon what I've read on the Canon forums. The 1.4x is usually considered better for image quality, or so it's my understanding.

    While it's true you get the effect of having a 320mm lens with the 1.6x crop sensor with a 200mm lens, you really don't have 320mm, you just have the field of view of a 320mm lens - you still only have 200mm of zoom. All that's happening is your not capturing the full image as some of it is wasted because it's larger than the crop sensor. This image should help you visualize what's going on.

    [​IMG]

    As you can see the crop sensor is pretty small compared to the full frame sensor so a lot of the image is lost.

    The image quality of superb on the 70-200mm f/2.8 though. :) Perhaps your best bet is the 100-400mm to start off with. The nice thing about Canon lenses is that they hold their value pretty well. You can always sell it and upgrade later once you're sure you want the more expensive lenses... although those fixed 400's are pricey buggers.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2009
  7. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    well first of here is an example of the 70-200mm f2.8 IS working with a 2* teleconverter:
    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/nature-wildlife/151426-little-garden-birds.html

    note I am no pro at shooting so take those shots as you will - I also have no crop shots of a 100-400mm in use at the 400mm end (ain't got one).

    As for ranges I have this to say - the 70-200mm f2.8 with a 1.4TC is a great lens for zoos and wildilfe parks, places where the wildlife is closer - when you move to the field or for small birds the lens does come up short - its not a complete wildlife setup on its own. Combined with a 300mm f2.8 lens (idealy though an f4 would work well) you have the startings of a good solid wildlife setup and that is my aim and the reason I avoided the 100-400mm lens

    For you and birds I would say look at the following setups:
    400mm f5.6 - not as fast as many but good strong image quality and its got the range for birds
    some examples of the 400mm in action here: Birds - a set on Flickr

    300mm f4 + 1.4 teleconverter- shorter range without the TC, but decent image quality - however the 400mm lens above will beat it for image quality with a TC.
     
  8. davebmck

    davebmck TPF Noob!

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    Here's a pic I took with my 100-400. The bird was about 15 feet away. I still cropped this by at least 50%.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2009
  9. davebmck

    davebmck TPF Noob!

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    I can't seem to get the link to Flicker to work so I will use the attachment feature.
     

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  10. dwilli19

    dwilli19 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks guys for all of the insight. I think I am leaning towards the 100-400 for now, and see how it goes from there. Hope y'all don't mind. but I'll probably have a lot of questions for ya. I'm trying to find a photography course to take to come up to speed on a lot of this stuff. Thanks again.

    David
     
  11. Ls3D

    Ls3D TPF Noob!

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    Yes, it zooms like a bicycle pump. :sexywink:

    -Shea
     
  12. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    400mmF5.6L is a better lens 100-400 very slow focus
     

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