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Thread: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L IS USM or Canon EF 70-300mm f4-5.6 L IS USM

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    Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L IS USM or Canon EF 70-300mm f4-5.6 L IS USM

    Hi everybody,

    I am agonising over choosing between one of these two lens's.

    I Like my wildlife, events, and also would do the odd portrait, with nearly everyting outside so F4 would be fine (besides can not afford F2.8 IS)

    From the way too many reviews I have read, both are "great Lens's"

    Is there anybody who has gone from one to the other, or own both and can give some "real life" reviews.

    I will mention I would probably get the 1.4 x convertor if I got the 70-200.

    Camera to be used on would be 7D.

    Any help in deciding would be greatly appreciated.
    I have this silly idea, that I should actually go and take photos with all this photography gear I have already accumulated, before I collect any more!

    See some of my photos here.
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    Drifter, Racer and Picture Taker
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    I feel for you Dave, as they are both great lenses.

    In some ways, I'd go for the 70-300 for its greater reach and more modern design and newer IS.
    Size and weight are similar to each other too.

    I guess it's down to the speed of the lens and what you want it for.
    I think the 70-300 would be more versatile however, and would make a great zoo lens.
    I believe the 1.4X converter wil also work on the 70-300.
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    Remember that adding the 1.4x TC makes the 70-200 an f5.6 across the whole range.
    I've got the f4L IS and the IQ is stunning. I'm using it on a 400D and a 550D, the AF is fast AND accurate, and I would highly recommend it.
    I have read a post by someone who was using both the 70-200 and the 70-300 for shooting indoor equestrian events, when I find the link I'll post it.

    EDIT: Found it (on another forum), http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum....cfm?t=1687843
    Last edited by unistudent1962; 20-06-2011 at 5:31pm.
    Mark

    Canon 70D w/Grip l Canon 60D w/Grip l EF 100-400 f4.5-5.6L IS USM l EF 70-200 f4L IS USM l EF-S 15-85 f3.5-5.6 IS USM l EF 100 f2.8 USM Macro l EF-S 18-55 f3.5-5.6 IS STM l EF 50 f1.8 II l Canon EF-S 10-22 f3.5-4.5 USM l 430 EX II Flash l Rode Stereo VideoMic l Manfrotto 055XPROB + 498RC2 Tripod l Benro MP-96 M8 Monopod l Lowepro Vertex 200 AW Backpack l Lowepro Pro Runner 300 AW Backpack l PS CS5 Extended l Lightroom 4.3

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    I did a lot of thinking and ended up with the 70-300L and the 1.4 kenko pro 300 DGX and use them on the 7D. What other lenses have you got?

    My 50 1.8 and 100 2.8 Macro is for low light, portrait work and when I am chasing bokeh. I felt that the 70-200 F4 is a bit short for what I wanted and at 200 the 70-300L is at F5, so not a huge difference.
    I am unlikely to ever get a full frame camera, then the 70-200 and a 100-400L would have made sense. Ultimately, I think I would like Canon to make a 50-150 2.8 or F4 L IS USM.

    The IS works really well even with the extender, but focusing speed is slower and once you are at around 270+ it hunts a bit. To work around it I leave it at 270 and then slowly zoom in to 300 or what is in affect 420 using AIServo. That works quite well, exif data is intact and shows the extra focal length.


    My best mate has a 40D and the 100-400L and comparing bird shots of the 7D and the 70-300L means you get roughly the same sized result, you just have to crop the picture more. I guess that is the advantage of 18MP over 10MP. The focus system on the 70-300L is faster. The IS is better and IQ is similar to me anyway. The 40D and the 100-400L actually make a nice combo, but we haven`t compared the 100-400 and 70-300L +extender for Image quality.
    I had learnt the hard way what rain and humidity can do, my Sony and 75-300 got wet, so was keen on a really good weathersealed lens. That and the $$ swayed me in the end over the 100-400L. At the time the kenko extender/converter and the 70-300L added up to the same as the 100-400L.

    I have no regrets, I use it for action shots chasing the kids and bird nerding.

    GalahPortrait by jjockaroo, on Flickr
    Last edited by Max; 21-06-2011 at 2:40pm.
    Canon Powershot S70, Sony A 100+twin lens kit and GN36 flash, Canon 7D 15-85, 50mm 1.8, Canon 100 2.8L IS Macro, Canon 70-300L, 1.4* Kenko PRO 300 DGX, Canon 430EX II

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bennymiata View Post
    I feel for you Dave, as they are both great lenses.

    In some ways, I'd go for the 70-300 for its greater reach and more modern design and newer IS.
    Size and weight are similar to each other too.

    I guess it's down to the speed of the lens and what you want it for.
    I think the 70-300 would be more versatile however, and would make a great zoo lens.
    I believe the 1.4X converter wil also work on the 70-300.
    the 70-300 shares the same IS generation as the 70-200 F4 IS, with 4 stops equivalent.

    I do not recommend the 70-300 as the IQ is not up there with the 70-200 and it is a variable aperture lens - meaning that wacking on a 1.4 teleconverter would reduce it to only being usable in bright outdoor with lots of sun or light, and will handicap the AF system also, when light is falling

    the 70-200 on the other hand, is regarded one of the sharpest L zooms ever made, with better IQ and slightly faster AF than the 70-300. With a 1.4 teleconverter attached it still remains a very usable f5.6 through the zoom range and more versatile in varying light conditions.

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    Have a look here http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consum...ef_lens_lineup at the MTF charts for the two lenses that you are considering. It may be of some help in deciding which to get. It seems to me that the 70-300 is slightly better at 70,, than the 70-200, and is probably almost as good at 300 as the 70-200 is at 200. But then I may be misreading the charts.

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    Thanks everybody for the imput, after reading even more reviews , some in details sharpness tests and even more web searching .

    The common results I am getting is the 70-300 is sharpest at 300 and the 70-200 is sharper at 70 , which is confirmed from the Lens comparison chart

    In a couple of weeks going away for a weekend, wihich will include, sunrise /sunset, maybe some birding and the abbey medieval festival, so have arranged to borrow mates 70-200 F2.8 IS and will see how many time I wish for greater reach, and that will help decide.

    Further comments from anybody with the 70-300 would be welcome, as I am happy with everything I have read and understand about the 70-200, it is just the extra reach of the 70-300 I find appealing.

    Thanks again everybody for their comments.

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    I have read many reviews on the 70-300L what consistently stands out is that it really works well on cropped Body`s. The 70-200 F4 IQ and focus speed maybe be better, maybe be not, how would you prove it anyway. I would suggest in the real world, its too close to call.
    Ultimately its still 100mm longer in reach, shorter in build and a bit heavier. For me personally, its made the 70-200F4 IS on a cropped camera system largely irrelevant. The 2.8 is another matter, that is still the king.
    Then there is the fact that some people just don`t like variable aperture lenses.

    Using the 70-200 with extender is possible, but generally extenders are a pain in the backside.

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