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Thread: 70-200 w/ TC vs 100-400 for Juneau?

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    Harpo's Avatar
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    70-200 w/ TC vs 100-400 for Juneau?

    You guys are killing me. Especially you, Colin with your amazing shots taken with your 70-200 f2.8L IS II USM plus teleconverter 1.4 or 2.0.

    A month ago I asked on a couple other forums and the general consensus was to get a 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS USM for an upcoming trip this summer to Juneau Alaska. I was actually steered away from the 70-200 plus TC package by some experienced photographers who know others who stated that when they needed the 400mm reach, it was good, but when they quickly needed a shorter length, disconnecting the TC and reassembling their camera proved to be too cumbersome and lead to lost shot opportunities. (wildlife & airshow pictures)

    I checked out one of the Juneau photo tours and they recommend at least a 400mm reach and a fast lens due to oftentimes experiencing low light conditions.

    I have a T2i and EF-S 18-135mm at this time with future plans to upgrade to full frame. The cheapest way around this (and a happier wife) is to just get the 100-400mm for now at half the cost of the 70-200mm & TC. L A T E R, I would purchase a 70-200mm 2.8 lens. But what Im reading in the recent threads about others debating the 70-200mm lenses has me wondering if I need to put more focus on the 2.8L IS rather than the 4.5-5.6L IS that come with the 400mm lens?

    So my main questions are...
    1) can I get away with good, decent shots with the 4.5-5.6L IS or should I really be considering the 2.8L IS thats on the 200mm lens for Alaska?
    2) Is it really an issue changing out of the TC on the 70-200mm lens?

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    Re: 70-200 w/ TC vs 100-400 for Juneau?

    Sounds like a reason for a second camera with the shorter lens attached. You may tell her I said so, as I think we live far enough apart for me to be safe. (Or, at least, to get a running start. )

    Pops

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    Re: 70-200 w/ TC vs 100-400 for Juneau?

    Hi Mike,

    There's a few things to think about here ...

    1. An EF100-400mm F3.5-5.6L IS USM has a minimum focal length of 100mm. An EF70-200mm F2.8L IS USM II with EF2.0xTC has an effective minimum focal length of 140mm (98mm with a 1.4x TC). So a small difference there, but not one that I would have though would be THAT significant. And "what the heck" - if you're in a situation where you NEED something in the 100-140mm range, just take the TC off. So yes, potential small small small disadvantage there.

    2. On the plus side, were talking about an EF70-200mm F2.8L IS USM II here, not a EF70-200mm F2.8L IS USM. So keep in mind that the II model has considerably sharper optics (even with either TC) than the EF100-400mm F3.5-5.6L IS USM. It also has a superior IS unit ... and - at 70mm - is wider at the short end - and it's constant 2.8 without the converters, and for all intents and purposes, pretty much the same speed with either TC.

    Keep in mind that most of the reviews between the two (with TCs) will be between the 100-400 and the ORIGINAL 70-200, not the new and improved one. The new one (as you can see) is pretty lethal!

    Keep in mind also that the 100-400 is pretty dated now too.

    In terms of taking off a TC ... probably takes about 10 seconds, inc putting both end caps back on.

    Hope this helps

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    Harpo's Avatar
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    Re: 70-200 w/ TC vs 100-400 for Juneau?

    Thanks Colin for your thoughts. It does make alot of sense the way you explain it. Im more interested in the quality of the photo, and I would rather have one lens (with a TC) than two long lenses. That settles it. Im just going to have to rent the 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM II and the 2.0 TC III from Lensrentals.com for this Juneau trip. The money I was going to put towards the 400mm will be put aside and saved up for the 200mm later. Thats a better investment.

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    Re: 70-200 w/ TC vs 100-400 for Juneau?

    Mike...

    What ever lens you choose, ensure that you have a raincover of some type for your camera/lens. It can rain any day of the year in Alaska. I spent two weeks on the Kenai Peninsula July/August 2008 and it rained every single day.

    I used a Kata Raincover which worked perfectly. Here's what it looked like during an Alaskan Summer...

    70-200 w/ TC vs 100-400 for Juneau?

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    Markvetnz's Avatar
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    Re: 70-200 w/ TC vs 100-400 for Juneau?

    I recently had the opportunity to compare these 2 lenses. My son and I spent an evening taking shots of planes coming and going at Auckland airport. The shots taken with the 70-200 IS 2.8L II with 2x TC were at least twice as good as those taken with a 100 - 400mm IS L. They were noticeably better in all respects. Go with the 70 - 200, I have yet to meet someone who doesn't think this is about the best zoom they have evere used.

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    Re: 70-200 w/ TC vs 100-400 for Juneau?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    In terms of taking off a TC ... probably takes about 10 seconds, inc putting both end caps back on.
    FWIW, if the camera is slung around the neck:


    1. Camera drops to lean its back on lower chest - lens points outward.
    2. Right hand removes and holds the lens.
    3. Left hand removes and holds the tele-extender
    4. Right hand replaces and locks lens.
    5. Camera to eye.
    6. Tele-extender stays in left hand palm and LH fingers cradle zoom turret.
    7. Frame shot with Zoom turret.
    8. AF Lock (and recompose, if necessary)
    9. Shoot.

    Less than 5 seconds not rushing and without practicing: just did it three times to check 5 seconds was a reasonable call.

    Yes I know I didn't put the caps on - but I wanted the shot quickly.

    WW

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    Re: 70-200 w/ TC vs 100-400 for Juneau?

    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post
    Less than 5 seconds not rushing and without practicing: just did it three times to check 5 seconds was a reasonable call.

    Yes I know I didn't put the caps on - but I wanted the shot quickly.

    WW
    Pretty impressive Bill, but what I REALLY want to see is you throw the TC high into the air - take the shot - and then catch the TC again!

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    William W's Avatar
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    Re: 70-200 w/ TC vs 100-400 for Juneau?

    AI Servo doesn't keep up with the speed of the tele converter when I chuck it upwards . . . I get the shot but it isn't in focus. . .

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    Re: 70-200 w/ TC vs 100-400 for Juneau?

    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post
    AI Servo doesn't keep up with the speed of the tele converter when I chuck it upwards . . . I get the shot but it isn't in focus. . .
    Finally, a compelling reason to buy a 1D4 eh?

  11. #11
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: 70-200 w/ TC vs 100-400 for Juneau?

    Oh, I have a list of reasons to buy and not continually use the pool 1 Series Bodies . . .
    i also have only one more year of School Fees . . .

    Beautiful Portrait at FL = 35mm which you posted on the 16 to 35 thread, BTW.

    Best to you,

    Bill

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    Re: 70-200 w/ TC vs 100-400 for Juneau?

    I just purchased 70-200 f2.8 II and sold my 100-400. I've only shot 1 day with the lens alone (outstanding IQ) and 1 day with 1.4 and 1 day with 2.0 TCs (IQ not as good as 70-200 alone but better than the 100-400). Save your money to buy the 70-200 f2.8 II. You won't be sorry.

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