canon 100-400 L or 70-200 with extender

bournemouthmike

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Hi, I've been getting into wildlife photography and been trying to decide on a new lens. I've got a canon 70-300 f4-5.6 at the moment on a 600D. I like the lens but could do with more reach (sometimes its not great in the evenings or low light tho).
I've been considering either a second hand (£880 ) canon 100-400 L f/4.5-5.6 IS USM. I'm pretty sure this could take an extender in the future. Or, do I get a canon EF 70-200 f/4 L (second hand £750) and get an extender. The 70-200 should be better in the lower light but wont have any reach. I feel I should be going down the 400 route but nearly £900 is a lot of cash to fork out. Any ideas or alternatives? I know sigma do a 100-400 I think.
Thanks, Mike.
 

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Mike drop back and have re-read of this thread : http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/nature-wildlife/330197-new-lens-advice.html

A few points to also add based off what you've said:

1) 100-400mm - this lens will physically fit a 1.4 teleconverter. However this then moves the maximum aperture for that lens at its longest end beyond the f5.6 limit. This limit will mean that the lens will no longer allow autofocusing on Canon cameras except for the 1D series bodies (note however that if you switch to live view mode you can retain auto focus up to a maximum lens aperture of f8 - however live view auto focus is slower and not as accurate as the regular auto focusing modes so at a practical level its not as suitable).
The image quality also takes a hit, I've spoken to people and shot with them who have a 100-400mm and will sometimes use a 1.4TC -but most consider it a setup only good in very good lighting and for record shots only.

2) The 70-200mm f4 lenses are good options, however I'm unsure if any of them can fit a Canon teleconverter (you'll have to check this). Also you could only use a 1.4TC. If you use a 2*TC you'll again hit that maximum aperture limitation and lose your auto focusing. The only 70-200mm I'd use a 2*TC on is the f2.8 IS MII - which sadly is well beyond your current estimated prices.

3) Its a big cost but I'd say that you'd likely want either the 100-400mm or just go straight for the 400mm. If you can see if there is a local camera shop or even camera club where you can get a look at some of these lenses in the flesh and try them out. Most shops will have a couple of those listed in stock so you can have a look at them - and most people at camera clubs are only too willing to help out others.
 

curtyoungblood

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I think another solid option, for your price range, is the 300 f4 with a 1.4 converter.
 

TCampbell

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You really should be considering the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x. In US dollars this is just under $12,000 -- in currency conversion I think that works out to about 7 British pounds. :greenpbl:

On a more serious note, your camera wont be able to perform standard (phase-detection) autofocus unless the lens is able to provide f/5.6 or faster focal ratios.

In other words, if you have an f/5.6 lens, and you add an 1.4x extender, your lens is now f/8 and the camera wont be able to focus.

The 100-400mm f/4-5.6L can't use an extender, but the 70-200 f/4 CAN use an extender and still focus. A 70-200 with a 1.4 extender gives you the equivalent of 100-280mm -- still not as much as the 100-400 -- I'm thinking 100-400 would be the better bet for wildlife shots.

Good luck!
 

Dubaiian

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You really should be considering the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x. In US dollars this is just under $12,000 -- in currency conversion I think that works out to about 7 British pounds. :greenpbl:

On a more serious note, your camera wont be able to perform standard (phase-detection) autofocus unless the lens is able to provide f/5.6 or faster focal ratios.

In other words, if you have an f/5.6 lens, and you add an 1.4x extender, your lens is now f/8 and the camera wont be able to focus.

The 100-400mm f/4-5.6L can't use an extender, but the 70-200 f/4 CAN use an extender and still focus. A 70-200 with a 1.4 extender gives you the equivalent of 100-280mm -- still not as much as the 100-400 -- I'm thinking 100-400 would be the better bet for wildlife shots.

Good luck!

Sorry, have to correct you there Tcampbell. The 100-400 CAN take an extender. I have used mine with the canon 1.4 and 2x mkiii. I agree that there are issues with the max aperture focussing and there is a noticeable degradation in quality, especially with the 2x. I have the lens and the converters.

With my 5diii (upgraded firmware) the camera autofocuses up to f8.
 
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bournemouthmike

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Thanks for all the advice! I've decided to go with a sigma 150-500. It's going to give me plenty of reach for wildlife shots. I just hope it doesn't struggle too much in lower light. It should be able for me - I'm just starting out. I'd love to get a canon L lens but this is a few hundred pounds cheaper and has some good reviews. I'll be sure to let you know how I get on with it! Thanks again.
 

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