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Thread: 70-300mm f/4-5.6 L IS vs 70-200 f/4 L IS & 1.4x extender

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    70-300mm f/4-5.6 L IS vs 70-200 f/4 L IS & 1.4x extender

    I want a zoom for travelling, and was set on the 70-200 f/4 IS.
    Plan was to add a 1.4x extender for some extra reach.
    Will be used on both a 7D and 5DII.

    But then i thought about the 70-300. It's a little shorter, but fatter and uglier.
    It weighs i think a little less than the combination (70-100 and 1.4x)

    Thoughts on this?
    Obviously you lose constant aperture, but there are certainly benefits of going the 70-300 as long as image quality is still good!

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    I haven't tried one, but the reports I've seen reckon the 70-300L is pretty good, and its IS is the latest version too.

    Having said that, the 70-200L has one of the best reputations around, and I don't think a 1.4X will do a huge amount of damage to the IQ and it will still be a faster combo overall, meaning you can hand-hold it in lowish light.

    I'd go and try each on your camera and see how they feel and which one FEELS like it's heavier/lighter etc.
    Sometimes the point of balance in your hands can be more important than just the measured weight.
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    Ausphotography Regular agb's Avatar
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    There is not going to be much difference between the two. I think Ihave seen a review of these two combinations somewhere, sorry cannot remember where, and the conclusion was I think that there was not much in it. I think that the 70-300 was slightly ahead at the 300 length. That said, the disadvantage of the 70-200 plus the 1.4 is that you have to change lenses to get to the 300mm length. So the 70-300 is really a bit more convenient.
    Is this any help?
    http://dancarrphotography.com/blog/2...0-200-f4-l-is/
    Last edited by agb; 08-10-2011 at 7:53pm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by agb View Post
    There is not going to be much difference between the two. I think Ihave seen a review of these two combinations somewhere, sorry cannot remember where, and the conclusion was I think that there was not much in it. I think that the 70-300 was slightly ahead at the 300 length. That said, the disadvantage of the 70-200 plus the 1.4 is that you have to change lenses to get to the 300mm length. So the 70-300 is really a bit more convenient.
    Is this any help?
    http://dancarrphotography.com/blog/2...0-200-f4-l-is/
    thanks good link/review, though it seems to contradict these results which show the 70-200 is much sharper?
    http://www.the-digital-picture.com/R...mp=0&APIComp=0

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    AF speed will be reduced with the TC. In this situation I do not see a great advanatage of using the 70-200IS with a 1.4 over a 70-300 as you do not gain much (if anything) in terms of maximum aperture on the shorter lens. Id say it depends on how much you think you would be using the TC. If only say 10% of the time then id go for the shorter lens (im not sure what you intend to shoot and how much you would use 300mm )
    1DIII, 5DII, 15mm fish, 24mm ts-e, 35L,135L,200L,400L,mpe-65mm
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    For "travelling", without more information (like what other lenses are you taking?) the 70 to 300L gets my vote, for all the obvious reasons: weight; ease of use; fewer items; no lens changes . . . etc
    Dual Format Cameras, two zooms - 16~35 (or 17~40) and 70 to 300 seems an ideal "travel pack" to me.

    The "comparison", if any, would be with the 100 to 400L and only if you think you will need that extra 100mm reach.

    WW

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    I would get the 70-300 too, when you add the 1.4 convertor your 70-200 F4 it becomes 98-280 F5.6 .
    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!

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    yeah the 70-300 would be more convenient, and the slower autofocus with the 1.4x extender is an issue as i am interested in sport photography, however the quality reduction that is apparent in this comparison is conncerning, and contradicts the review posted by agb:
    http://www.the-digital-picture.com/R...mp=0&APIComp=0

    The other main lens will be the 17-40.
    But i am not happy sacrificing quality for improved autofocus, so it's a matter of more research on this lens to see if that review was accurate depiction of all the 70-300 L's
    Maybe the one in the digitial picture was just a bad version or something

    oh and i just sold my 100-400. too heavy for this trip
    Last edited by pmack; 10-10-2011 at 5:38pm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pmack View Post
    yeah the 70-300 would be more convenient, and the slower autofocus with the 1.4x extender is an issue as i am interested in sport photography, however the quality reduction that is apparent in this comparison is conncerning, and contradicts the review posted by agb:
    http://www.the-digital-picture.com/R...mp=0&APIComp=0

    The other main lens will be the 17-40.
    But i am not happy sacrificing quality for improved autofocus, so it's a matter of more research on this lens to see if that review was accurate depiction of all the 70-300 L's
    Maybe the one in the digitial picture was just a bad version or something

    oh and i just sold my 100-400. too heavy for this trip
    I suspect that the 70-300 is no worse than the 100-400.

    Have you considered maybe a lens like 300mm f/4?

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    Quote Originally Posted by agb View Post
    Thanks, that swayed me back towards the 70-200 f/4 (which I already have atm)

    Quote Originally Posted by fabian628 View Post
    I suspect that the 70-300 is no worse than the 100-400.

    Have you considered maybe a lens like 300mm f/4?
    I'd still need something in the range of 50-300mm if i got a 300mm.
    If i had the 70-200, plus the 300mm, that's an extra 1.1kg, and i'm really battling to minimise weight as it is.
    otherwise a good option

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    i was in the same boat and I wasn't sure. So after not being able to decided on the 100-400LIS and a 24-70mm 2.8
    These fit awesome into my rover pack and while a little heavy not more than my previous combo of about 4 other lenses! Im heading O/seas next month and can't wait with my new L's compared to early this year with all my old kit lenses !
    Hayden

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    Quote Originally Posted by pmack View Post
    Thanks, that swayed me back towards the 70-200 f/4 (which I already have atm)



    I'd still need something in the range of 50-300mm if i got a 300mm.
    If i had the 70-200, plus the 300mm, that's an extra 1.1kg, and i'm really battling to minimise weight as it is.
    otherwise a good option
    why do you need to cover 50-300?

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    I love my 70-300L, but then I like chasing wildlife and was looking for weather sealing. Its definitely sharp, the 70-200 maybe slightly better, but then its slightly better than most lenses. Its nice to use on the 7D.
    To be honest I find extenders painful, they affect focus too much and if you got one on , then its too long. If its not, its too short.
    Painful when chasing fast moving birds.
    But if your main range is in the 70-200 range and weight is an issue, its properly worth putting up with the use of extender for the odd occasion. Still I think I `d rather crop more.
    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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    Take the 200, pop it on the 7D when you need 1.6x!

    You already have the 200, and I take the approach that you need to prove to yourself that you need more before going to 300. So take it, try it, review your photos and situations when you get back home, THEN decide!

    I used to take a 300 5.6 prime travelling with 35mm film cameras and NEVER used it. Maybe 1 shot. then next time packing my bag, I would pack it again. Slow learner!

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