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  1. #1
    ElCapitan is offline dPS Forum Member
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    Default Ultimate Canon Wildlife Lens?

    I am looking to step up from my current 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 and get something better for my full frame sensor and something great for wildlife.

    I am planning on spending some time in Yellowstone within the coming year and want a great lens for photographing bears, wolves, and other Yellowstone wildlife.

    My thoughts are:

    1) 70-200 f/2.8L II IS
    2) 300 f/2.8L IS
    3) 100-400 f.4.5-5.6L IS

    I know each have their pro and cons, but I also like to shoot sports and shows, and would love to have a lens that could be used for that.

    My thoughts are as such:

    100-400 gives me a huge range in focal length, but looks like when using the x1.4 teleconverter there may be no AF when used with the 5D MkII... unless I am looking at an old compatibility list.

    70-200 has a wider aperture and can be great for when a little closer and has the option of using the x2 teleconverter bumping it up up to 400 f/5.6

    300 is fixed, but I hear it is just an incredible lens and with the x2 teleconverter is bumped to 600 and suffers little loss of IQ

    As far as IQ and focal length go, what would some of you consider the best option? Is it better to go with the 100-400 with the smaller aperture, or going with the 70-200 with an option to shoot wide and attach the teleconverter, or to go with the fixed 300 and being able to bump it up to 600?


    I know there is no best, and it all depends on the situation, but you have to start somewhere and getting opinions is a great start.

  2. #2
    RichardTaylor is online now dPS +1000 Club
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    In what lighting conditions will you be shooting sports and shows?

  3. #3
    ElCapitan is offline dPS Forum Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichardTaylor View Post
    In what lighting conditions will you be shooting sports and shows?
    I guess lets just look at them for wildlife and wildlife only. Sports could be at night, though I would like to shoot snowboarding and skiing, as well as some mountain and rock climbing and those would be during the day.

    I suppose I should look at the best lens possible just for wildlife.

  4. #4
    Prasad456 is offline I'm new here!
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    Default Sony DSC H 50

    Are the additional lenses good Tele & wide for sony DSC H 50. Is it worth to invest in it
    considering the wildlife photography
    regards
    Prasad Photographer

  5. #5
    gturner is offline dPS +1000 Club
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    300 F2.8 is insane, as is the 400mm, but they are 4 times the price of everything else.

    they are also massive lenses.

    If you want a really good all rounder - 100-400.

  6. #6
    RichardTaylor is online now dPS +1000 Club
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    I have used a Canon 100-400 F4.5-F5.6 IS L for the last 2-3 years for mostly urban wildlife & motor sport.
    It is a very versatile good light lens. It is my most used lens, but not my favourie (that's a 135 F2 L).
    The only downside is that it is relatively big & heavy for a general purpose lens - bit no more than one of the 70-200 F2.8s.

    For maximum flexibility a 70-200 F2.8 + TC would be the way to go, although I am not sure how good the IQ is with a 2xTC.
    Last edited by RichardTaylor; 11-25-2010 at 08:34 AM.

  7. #7
    gturner is offline dPS +1000 Club
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichardTaylor View Post
    I have used a Canon 100-400 F4.5-F5.6 IS L for the last 2-3 years for mostly urban wildlife & motor sport.
    It is a very versatile good light lens. It is my most used lens, but not my favourie (that's a 135 F2 L).
    The only downside is that it is relatively big & heavy for a general purpose lens - bit no more than one of the 70-200 F2.8s.

    For maximum flexibility a 70-200 F2.8 + TC would be the way to go, although I am not sure how good the IQ is with a 2xTC.
    It is a little soft at 400 - I use mine on a canon 2.8 IS L
    BUT
    it is a shed load cheaper and takes up a lot less space than a 100-400. I also very rarely use the 400 range.
    If I needed the crisp images at 400 on a weekly basis I would get the 100-400.

  8. #8
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    sk66 is offline Lovable Contrarian
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    Personally, I consider anything under 400mm too short for wildlife/birds. Especially on a full frame body. Of the lenses you mention I'd say probably the 100-400 w/ tc's. I would think you can get autofocus but might require older tc w/ screw drive coupling....or Kenco Telepro TCs.

    You will be somewhat limited by good light.

    In big Tele's I highly recommend third party. You may give up a little in image quality, but you get a lot more for the same dollar.

    Personally I had a Tamron 200-400 nice image quality, cheap-ish lens. I currently own Sigma 50-500mm- Great versatility and portability for good light good image quality but I don't use it much at all anymore (If I'm "compromising" I'll put a 1.4 on my 28-300). Sigma 500mm f/4.2 Good long/fast lens but limited versatility. Sigma 300-800mm f/5.6- my "favorite" wildlife/bird/motorsport lens but it has 3 major drawbacks: it's HUGE, HEAVY, and EXPENSIVE.

    I'm using a Nikon D3...In many ways, a good crop body is a cheaper/ better way to get more "reach". It will generally work as well or better than a tc or cropping.

  9. #9
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    inkista is offline Gear Geek Girl
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    You do realize that the 300/2.8L costs about 3x what the 100-400L does, right? (and that's just the Mark I. The Mark II is probably even more). It's also one big lens. While I'm sure there are some hardy souls who can handhold it, that seems more like one of the Great Whites that comes with its own hard-sided case and that forces you to shell out the bucks for a Wimberly head. Most of us can't afford to go there.

    I think what you might have meant is the 300/4L IS, which if you use it with a 1.4x will get you to 400/5.6 if you need it. So, a better mostly-sports solution.

    But I'm with the others who argue for a 100-400L for wildlife. It's probably going to be the best bang-for-the-buck for what you want to use it for. If you're solely doing birds in flight, then the 400/5.6L is another possibility, but it's not faster than the 100-400L.

    There are the Sigma alternatives, like the 120-400 OS, 150-500 OS, and 50-500 (both OS and non-OS versions), but the repair rate on the first two is not great, according to lensrentals.com, and the Bigma OS (50-500) is about as expensive as the 100-400L and harder to handhold due to weight.

    Were you planning on using this lens handheld?
    Last edited by inkista; 11-25-2010 at 07:22 PM.
    I shoot with a Canon 5DmkII, 50D, and S90, and Pansonic GX-7. flickr stream and equipment list

  10. #10
    ElCapitan is offline dPS Forum Member
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    I plan on sticking with Canon, but I am still trying to decide between the 70-200 f/2.8L and the 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L lenses.

    Taking price out of the equation, it all comes down to quality and usefulness. With the 70-200, I can get the x2 converter and have a 140-400 f/5.6. So with that I essentially have 2 lenses in 1. With the 100-400, that's all I get.

    Can anyone tell me if the 70-200 suffers much loss in quality and sharpness with the x2 converter? If it is hardly noticeable, then I think I may go that route.

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