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Thread: Tele Lens comparisons

  1. #1
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    Default Tele Lens comparisons

    There are three lens in question which fall almost same price category. Please comment on your choice and why you would vote for it.

    Canon EF 100-400 L IS USM - Most suggested wild life lens.
    Pros - The range, sharpness through out above 200mm
    Cons - Push-Pull can suck in air and in humid areas such as Kerala it will easily attract fungus. There by limiting the lifetime to 3-5 years. Once can use a digicabi or similar setup as a work around. Cannot use Tele Converters.

    Canon EF 400 5.6 L -
    Pros - Lightweight, Sharpness
    Cons - Build and IQ wise I do not have anything to worry, but the main disadvantage is the aperture on the slower which will limit and you won't be able to use the Tele converters. The lack of IS, as a workaround one can easily carry a monopod.

    Canon EF 300 4 L -
    Pros - Same as above and you can use the Tele Converters(If I'm not mistaken)
    Cons - Compared to the above lens we are losing 100mm focall length.

    The Big reason where I had chosen 100-400 as my first tele is the range available for the lens. In the wild whether that will be a factor or not is another thing, but it surely will count when you are clicking something closeby.

    The Reason for considering EF 400 5.6 is the price and IQ it brings. But in this case we may loose the close by subject(how much a loss that would be I do not have a idea).

    The Reason for considering EF 300 4 is the bigger aperture which will give an option to use tele converters if desired for the cost of 100mm.

    Please pour in your thoughts as well.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krishnadas N Mallya View Post
    There are three lens in question which fall almost same price category. Please comment on your choice and why you would vote for it.

    Canon EF 100-400 L IS USM - Most suggested wild life lens.
    Pros - The range, sharpness through out above 200mm
    Cons - Push-Pull can suck in air and in humid areas such as Kerala it will easily attract fungus. There by limiting the lifetime to 3-5 years. Once can use a digicabi or similar setup as a work around. Cannot use Tele Converters.

    Canon EF 400 5.6 L -
    Pros - Lightweight, Sharpness
    Cons - Build and IQ wise I do not have anything to worry, but the main disadvantage is the aperture on the slower which will limit and you won't be able to use the Tele converters. The lack of IS, as a workaround one can easily carry a monopod.

    Canon EF 300 4 L -
    Pros - Same as above and you can use the Tele Converters(If I'm not mistaken)
    Cons - Compared to the above lens we are losing 100mm focall length.

    The Big reason where I had chosen 100-400 as my first tele is the range available for the lens. In the wild whether that will be a factor or not is another thing, but it surely will count when you are clicking something closeby.

    The Reason for considering EF 400 5.6 is the price and IQ it brings. But in this case we may loose the close by subject(how much a loss that would be I do not have a idea).

    The Reason for considering EF 300 4 is the bigger aperture which will give an option to use tele converters if desired for the cost of 100mm.

    Please pour in your thoughts as well.
    {UPDATE}
    Canon Rumours site have all these lenses listed as the ones for upgrades this year though the dates were not confirmed. An event on March 2nd should see some.

    Prices from the Canon site

    EF400mm f/5.6L USM - INR 79,990.00 (rumoured to be upgraded as f/4)
    EF300mm f/4L IS USM - INR 89,990.00 (rumoured to be upgraded)
    EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM - INR 99,990.00(rumoured to be upgraded as ring focus rather than a push pull and lighter).

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    I can say that every lens has a different quality. I have been using 100-400 mm Lens for last 4 years and it has been great. It gave me the flexibility to shoot mammals as well as birds (if closer). In low light it does become a problem but if you use the right hand holding techniques you can get sharp images at even 1/15 shutter speed.
    So I would suggest you weigh what is the main thing you want from the lens. If you focused more on birds, then go for more focal length (300 f4), if you want more flexibility then 100-400 is the best choice.
    Regards,
    Mrudul Godbole

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrudul Godbole View Post
    I can say that every lens has a different quality. I have been using 100-400 mm Lens for last 4 years and it has been great. It gave me the flexibility to shoot mammals as well as birds (if closer). In low light it does become a problem but if you use the right hand holding techniques you can get sharp images at even 1/15 shutter speed.
    So I would suggest you weigh what is the main thing you want from the lens. If you focused more on birds, then go for more focal length (300 f4), if you want more flexibility then 100-400 is the best choice.
    Have you had any issues with dust and humidity? which part usually you have used this lens?

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    The 100-400 lens is a very good lens and the zoom range gives you a lot of flexibility. When the subject is close and the light is low, the 300mm f4 wins due to the wider aperture.

    You can use a 1.4x TC without losing much quality. That will result in 420 f5.6 lens with IS. So you gain a bit of focal length. You can also check this: Canon 300mm f4 L IS USM or Canon 400mm f5.6 L lens? - Indiawilds: Land of the Tiger. Conservation, Wildlife Photography, Communities

    The 400mm f5.6 L USM lens is also a sharp and light weight lens. Good for handholding. However, if it is your only lens, then it would be difficult for you to click large mammals like elephants when they are close. Also the widest aperture is f5.6 like the 100-400mm lens.

    I use a dry box to control the humidity, so that there is no scope for fungus. Since you are starting new, I don't expect you to invest in a drybox. You can just get a large airtight container and keep some silica gel in it and keep your lens when it is not in use. I have filmed using the 100-400 in rain and haven't faced any issues.

    One other lens to be looked at is the 70-200 f2.8 L IS II USM with a 2xIII TC. This combination would be more expensive than all the previous combinations. You will gain the extra zoom range at the lower end.


    As far as upgradation of the lenses are concerned, Canon will upgrade the lenses. However, they haven't announced when they will do it. There have been supply constraints as well as capacity constraints due to Tsunami in Japan and floods in Thailand etc. So Canon will decide whenever it is right for them to launch these lenses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sabyasachi Patra View Post
    The 100-400 lens is a very good lens and the zoom range gives you a lot of flexibility. When the subject is close and the light is low, the 300mm f4 wins due to the wider aperture.

    You can use a 1.4x TC without losing much quality. That will result in 420 f5.6 lens with IS. So you gain a bit of focal length. You can also check this: Canon 300mm f4 L IS USM or Canon 400mm f5.6 L lens? - Indiawilds: Land of the Tiger. Conservation, Wildlife Photography, Communities

    The 400mm f5.6 L USM lens is also a sharp and light weight lens. Good for handholding. However, if it is your only lens, then it would be difficult for you to click large mammals like elephants when they are close. Also the widest aperture is f5.6 like the 100-400mm lens.

    I use a dry box to control the humidity, so that there is no scope for fungus. Since you are starting new, I don't expect you to invest in a drybox. You can just get a large airtight container and keep some silica gel in it and keep your lens when it is not in use. I have filmed using the 100-400 in rain and haven't faced any issues.

    One other lens to be looked at is the 70-200 f2.8 L IS II USM with a 2xIII TC. This combination would be more expensive than all the previous combinations. You will gain the extra zoom range at the lower end.


    As far as upgradation of the lenses are concerned, Canon will upgrade the lenses. However, they haven't announced when they will do it. There have been supply constraints as well as capacity constraints due to Tsunami in Japan and floods in Thailand etc. So Canon will decide whenever it is right for them to launch these lenses.
    Thanks for the link, Sabyasachi sir.

    So 300mm f4 wins over 400mm f5.6, now comes the ultimate question for this particular scenario.

    The Range given by 100-400 does make it worthy enough for the increased price. I have query related to IQ, how much IQ loss does 100-400 have when compared to 300 f4 @ 300mm?

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