Canon 70-200mm mkII f/2.8L IS and 100-400mm mkII f/4.5-5.6L

Discussion in 'Canon Lenses' started by TonyUSA, Dec 9, 2017.

  1. TonyUSA

    TonyUSA No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hello all,

    Which lens would give me better image quality?

    1. Canon 70-200mm mkII f/2.8L IS
    2. Canon 100-400mm mkII f/4.5-5.6L

    Thank you,


     
  2. weepete

    weepete TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I don't think the two are directly comparable, meaning that the 70-200 f2.8 is a great low light medium to long telephoto sports lens, the 100-400 f4.5-5.6 is a great wildlife and general long telephoto lens.

    Both are optically are excellent. If you need low light capability go for the 70-200, if you need reach go for the 100-400. If you need low light and reach there is the 600mm f4 L
     
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  3. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I see it this way: the 70-200 lens is for closer-range subjects, like sports, portraits, events, news, action, and is a fantastic landscape lens; I LOVE a 70-200mm lens for landscapes! And for portrait sessions and events, it's really,really handy!

    The 80-400 (Nikon shooter here mostly) stabilized lens I owned for 15 years or so was FANTASIC for long-range shooting on a crop-sensor body; for me at least, its long and stabilized nature made it _awesome_ shooting from a fishing boat, where typical camera ranges were 40 to 300 meters, to as much as one mile...in other words, a longer-distance type lens. I LOVED it for shots at the beach, and for shots from the grandstands dow to the football field (65 to 150 meters I would guess,typical distances).

    The way I look at it, the longer lens gives better pictures (not higher image quality, per se, but better 'pictures') because it frames things in a very tight way...it shows a nice, zoomed-in look, especially on a 1.5x type APS-C sensor.

    Is it slower, aperture wise? YES. Does that cause you to need higher ISO levels earlier in the afternoon or in the winter months? YES. But still...the two are different tools.

    Better image quality is not the same thing as better pictures. For example, at the beach, or when shooting long-range stuff, I think the more-telephoto lens can lead to a better picture, even if the technical image quality is lower than with a shorter lens that has a higher technical, optical quality.

    Better pictures do not usually depend on optical quality, they depend on having the right picture angle of view, the right framing, and on showing the best part of the scene in front of the camera.
     
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  4. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You're not really asking the right question here.

    You need to define what you mean by better image quality because you've listed two very different lenses that cover two different focal length ranges. What do you want the lens to do; where do you want to use it; what situations and types of shot are you after.

    Also your gear list says you own both these lenses so I'm further confused as surely you can see the results for yourself?
     
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  5. photoflyer

    photoflyer No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have the 70-200 2.8 m ii L USM. Wow, what a lens! I also have the most recent 2x teleconverter giving me, effectively, a 140-400 5.6. I was pleasantly surprised at the optical quality with the teleconverter installed. I shoot on a 6D Mark II.

    But, as others have pointed out, both of the lenses you identified are optically very high quality. The question is which is right for the job at hand. The 70-200 is, for example, great for indoor sports where there is less light and outdoor sports when I can get relatively close to the action. The 100-400, for me, is too slow for indoor sports but better for daytime outdoor sports when the action is farther away.

    What really impressed me about the 70-200 when I made the plunge and got it, was how fast and tight the autofocus with it on the 6D mii. The best optical quality is worthless if you cannot quickly and accurately get the subject in focus.

    So I would get the best lens for the missions you plan to use it on. The L series lenses all have excellent optical quality.
     
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  6. TonyUSA

    TonyUSA No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thank you everyone for your input. The lens will be mainly use for outdoor swim meet. Been using 70-200 on 50D for while and got used to the zoom power of 1.6 APS-c sensor. After switched to 5DIII and I missed 1.6 extra power so I bought 100-400. I mostly shoot 70-200 at f2.8 and really love the sharpness of the main object as a swimmer and background blur but I can not get good background blur from 100-400mm due to aperture. Please advise.
     
  7. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    YES! The 80-400 or 100-400 does not give that sharp foreground/blurred backdrop on shots where the main subject is 30 to 100 feet away...the camera-to-subject distance with the aperture at f/5.3 or f/5.6 means that there is NOT much "blur" to the background, because the camera is relatively far away from the subjects.

    How CLOSE the camera is to the subject, and how far away the background is behind the subject, are big DOF factors. Aperture is another factor. You already know that with the 70-200 wide-open at f/2.8, you can get more subject/background separation (blur is what I mean by separation).

    If you want more blurring, you need to shoot from closer to the people, with the 70-200 lens at f/2.8 or f/3.2. When _you move_ closer to them, that will make the background, relative to their location, father away; if you stay wayyyy far away, like in the stands, and shoot with the 100-400 zoom wide-open, there will be very little background blur, because THEY will be far from the camera, and the background behind them will be far away from the camera too, and you'll have more in-focus behind them than if you had used the 70-200 from closer to them.

    A 200/2 or 300/2.8 can give nice background blurring, but limits your composing, and forces you to work from a narrower range of distances than the 70-200 does. The zoom is much,much handier!
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2017
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  8. TonyUSA

    TonyUSA No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thank you, Derrel.
     
  9. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The other option is the Sigma 120-300mm f2.8; it gives you the aperture and zoom features you want as well as the 300mm long reach. The AF isn't as fast as on the 70-200mm, but its no slouch.

    Otherwise a 300mm f2.8 prime, canon has the L MII which is very expensive and oustanding; though the older MI version is still very high quality, but still not cheap.
     
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  10. TonyUSA

    TonyUSA No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thank you, Overread. I was thinking to get rid of my 200mm f2 IS that I hardy used and get 300mm 2.8. All my lens bought brand new but since I am going Japan next month and might pick up used Canon 300 2.8 from Japan. I have no experience what to look for as used one but will give it a try since most Japanese shop are very honest.
     
  11. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    As long as the lens works well; focusing is smooth and fast and that you check (look through it) to make sure there's no mould or damage to internal glass. Then just check it by focusing on different ranged objects to ensure it focuses sharp and clear from near to far.
     
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  12. TCampbell

    TCampbell Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I have all three lenses... 70-200 f/2.8 II, 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 II, and the 300 f/2.8 I.

    Of these, the 300 f/2.8 definitely wins in the background blur contest. If that's what you're after and you've established that a 300mm focal length would be about right for your full-frame camera, then this is probably the lens for you.

    I don't have any swimming shots, but here's a sample from the 300mm lens at f/2.8

    [​IMG]

    You can find a larger version here: VO3A4351.jpg

    This is the original version I of the lens... it's now on a version II (considerably more expensive) and I see Canon Rumors says Canon recently filed some patents on new big white lenses and there is another new design on a 300mm f/2.8 among them (so possibly there will be a version III on the way.)

    I do love the 70-200 and the 100-400... and I use my 70-200 most of the time. But if you're at a swim meet and the 200mm end of the zoom range isn't enough... and the 100-400 is enough, but you're not getting the blur, then you've got to consider if the 300mm focal length solves the problem. As long as 300mm is a good focal length, then the optical quality and blur quality wont be a problem.
     
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