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DPChallenge Forums >> Tips, Tricks, and Q&A >> 70-200mm f4 L usm or 70-300mm f4 is usm
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11/30/2005 05:34:01 AM · #1
What is the best lens for wildlife photography Canon 70-200 f4 L USM or the 70-300mm f4 is USM.
11/30/2005 05:49:43 AM · #2
Although I'd generally rather pick the 70-200mm out of these two I'd rather have the 70-300mm lens for wildlife because of the extra 100mm and the IS.
There is a review of it over at photo.net.
11/30/2005 05:59:19 AM · #3
It's 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6, actually. I have seen glowing reviews for this lens on Luminous Landscape and elsewhere. The diffractive optics produce somewhat less acutance or contrast, but it's still sharp and it can be compensated in PP. It's very pricy, but it's far and away the shortest, lightest high end zoom available in its range, a real plus if your trekking after wildlife. 200mm is not really enough for wildlife photography.

R.
11/30/2005 06:01:47 AM · #4
Originally posted by bear_music:

It's 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6, actually. I have seen glowing reviews for this lens on Luminous Landscape and elsewhere. The diffractive optics produce somewhat less acutance or contrast, but it's still sharp and it can be compensated in PP. It's very pricy, but it's far and away the shortest, lightest high end zoom available in its range, a real plus if your trekking after wildlife. 200mm is not really enough for wildlife photography.

R.

I think he's talking about the new consumer 70-300mm lens instead of the DO version.
11/30/2005 06:06:17 AM · #5
Yah, you're right. I was looking in my recent Canon brochure for lenses, I keep it handy :-) That one's not even in it.... The DO lens is one hell of a lens though...

R.
11/30/2005 06:12:00 AM · #6
Originally posted by bear_music:

Yah, you're right. I was looking in my recent Canon brochure for lenses, I keep it handy :-) That one's not even in it.... The DO lens is one hell of a lens though...

R.


I har the 400 f4 DO is not that sharp. Or you have to hunt around for a sharp copy.
11/30/2005 06:21:11 AM · #7
Originally posted by Generyc:

What is the best lens for wildlife photography Canon 70-200 f4 L USM or the 70-300mm f4 is USM.


70-200 f4 L - very sharp crisp lens, too short for wildlife
70-300 f4 USM - consumer lens which means the glass is not as good as the 'L', slightly soft at the 300 end of the zoom, still a little short for wildlife though in my opinion
11/30/2005 06:38:18 AM · #8
buy the 100-400mm!
11/30/2005 07:00:04 AM · #9
Originally posted by alexsaberi:

buy the 100-400mm!


I agree if you have the cash then go for this lens. If you don't have the cash then .... wait ;-)
11/30/2005 07:06:05 AM · #10
It should be noted that the old 75-300mm was quite soft at 300mm but the new 70-300mm is actually pretty good. Comparable to the old 100-300mm f/5.6 L lens if not slightly better even.
I wouldn't hesitate to use the 70-300mm FWIW. Two things bug me about it though, the less than optimal build-quality and the lack of full-time-manual-focus (e.g. you can't fine tune the focus by manually turning the focus ring after the autofocus has locked - this is possible with the 70-200mm lens and most other USM lenses).

The 100-400mm lens would be excellent for wildlife though but sadly it's twice as expensive. It would be my choice or perhaps the 300mm f/4 IS were I buying a lens for wildlife-shooting.
11/30/2005 07:24:09 AM · #11
Thanks for your replies, thinking of the 70-200mm f4 L for crispness how does it perform with the 1,4 extender.
11/30/2005 03:13:34 PM · #12
Originally posted by Generyc:

Thanks for your replies, thinking of the 70-200mm f4 L for crispness how does it perform with the 1,4 extender.


Pretty good, optically, but it gets SLOW. YOu'll need a tripod for sure witht he extender.

R.
11/30/2005 03:36:42 PM · #13
Originally posted by Generyc:

Thanks for your replies, thinking of the 70-200mm f4 L for crispness how does it perform with the 1,4 extender.


This shot was taken handheld with that combo, probably at full telephoto.

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11/30/2005 03:53:37 PM · #14
thanks Scalvert, that helps, what sort of distance were you from the subject.
11/30/2005 03:59:32 PM · #15
I was about 25-30 feet away, with a chain link fence 4 feet in front of me. The f/5.6 aperture was just enough to blur out the fence. This is a pretty serious crop from the original FWIW.
11/30/2005 04:02:39 PM · #16
I used the 70-200 f4L with a 1.4x teleconverter for the last year; however, I just sold the combination and bought the new 70-300. The IS on the 70-300 is awesome and I don't miss the 70-200 f4L at all. The 70-300 is almost as sharp and way more useable.

Originally posted by Generyc:

Thanks for your replies, thinking of the 70-200mm f4 L for crispness how does it perform with the 1,4 extender.

11/30/2005 06:03:37 PM · #17
Originally posted by scalvert:

Originally posted by Generyc:

Thanks for your replies, thinking of the 70-200mm f4 L for crispness how does it perform with the 1,4 extender.


This shot was taken handheld with that combo, probably at full telephoto.

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And as you can clearly see, the lens distortion with that set-up is horrible. I mean, just look at the photo. The lens has distorted it so badly that the tail is not even in the right place anymore...

[[[ BTW...I love that shot Scalvert...but I'm partial to cats.]]]

12/01/2005 01:23:52 PM · #18
photozone.de has review of the 70-200 f4L, not as sharp as I thought.
someone at DPReview has posted a link from photozone of the upcoming 70-300IS review's MTF chart and it appears to be sharper than the 70-200 F4. For wildlife, I'd say 300mm is a minimum. If you shoot at 200mm and crop to get closer, then that would really degrade you image quality.

Bob Atkins also has an informal review of the new 70-300IS as well.
good luck.
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