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Old 01-02-2008   #1
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Default 100-400 IS, 70-200 f4 IS or 70-300 IS DO ?

I would like a really high quality long zoom lens for intimate outdoor portraits and 'long scenery & architecture shots'


I only have the money to buy one of the above and would like something not enormous or massively heavy - But a little heavy is ok.

Can anyone comment on the relative picture quality of the above ?

I know the DO is probably the worst quality but it is compact and is it actually that bad or quite good with the right PP ?
Does the 100-400 maintain its quality over the 200-400 range (the advantage to the 70-200) ?

Would appreciate comments from those who have used 2 or 3 of these lenses ...

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Old 01-02-2008   #2
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Default Re: 100-400 IS, 70-200 f4 IS or 70-300 IS DO ?

From what you described you would be shooting, i would go with the 70-200 f/4 IS. The 70-200 in any of its 4 versions is one of the best lenses Canon makes and should really be in anybodies camera bag. The 100-400 is a very good lens too, but it seems a bit "long" for portrait work.

All this is my opinion.
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Old 01-02-2008   #3
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Default Re: 100-400 IS, 70-200 f4 IS or 70-300 IS DO ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Pickles View Post
The 100-400 is a very good lens too, but it seems a bit "long" for portrait work.
Also big & heavy, so that rules it out according to your criteria. Have the 70-200 f4 non-IS and it's an excellent lens.
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Old 01-02-2008   #4
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Default Re: 100-400 IS, 70-200 f4 IS or 70-300 IS DO ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aam1234 View Post
Also big & heavy, so that rules it out according to your criteria. Have the 70-200 f4 non-IS and it's an excellent lens.
...while big & heavy, it balances better on a xxD body than the 70-300DO, which I found VERY unbalanced (probably because it extends a huge bit when zooming ) in it's use...

...but 'opinions only', so 0.02 worth...

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Old 01-02-2008   #5
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Default Re: 100-400 IS, 70-200 f4 IS or 70-300 IS DO ?

Hi colonel!

Quote:
Originally Posted by colonel View Post
I would like a really high quality long zoom lens for intimate outdoor portraits and 'long scenery & architecture shots'

I only have the money to buy one of the above and would like something not enormous or massively heavy - But a little heavy is ok.
...IMO 'heavy' is not all that important, 'balanced' is way more important: the 28-300L IS is a beast regarding weight (3.7 lbs) but balances VERY nice on a 1D Mk3 or 40D w/grip attached...

Quote:
Can anyone comment on the relative picture quality of the above ?
EF70-200F4L IS: A+++++

EF100-400F4.5-F5.6 L IS: A

EF70-300F4.5-F5.6DO IS: A-----

Or:

EF70-200F4L IS is one of Canon's better zoomlenses: VERY sharp over the entire range, from wide open to F22, and from 70mm to 200mm, and very good colour and contrast too. Has latest (4-stop) IS and is weather-sealed

EF100-400F4.5-F5.6 L IS: a very versatile lens due to it's huge range, popular for beginning bird-photographers, children's outdoor sport events, ZOO etc visits, etc...
A decent copy is sharp, but a tad softer (esp. at the longer end) than 70-200F4(IS) at comparable zoom positions. It has an older type (2-stop) IS and is not weather-sealed... Note: if you buy this lens, do it from a reputable dealer with a good return policy: some (even new) 100-400's are too soft at the long end, so need either calibration (Canon Services) or exchange-for-another...

EF70-300F4.5-F5.6DO IS: it's compactness is it's selling point, but also it's Achilles-heel: due to the way it is build, it feels very unbalanced on a camera, as there is a 'huge' portion of glass moving while zooming. It is not the sharpest lens, probably below the 70-200F4L IS and the 100-400, and the DO-character (dreamy bokeh wide open) adds to that, unless you like it... (*I* do not...). It has nice colour and contrast, 3-stop IS and is not weather-sealed...

Quote:
I know the DO is probably the worst quality but it is compact and is it actually that bad or quite good with the right PP ?
IMO it is indeed the least quality lens of the 3, IQ-wise, it is softer and with the very special and specific 'DO'-touch (see above), and that can't be altered in PP, you cannot 'PhotoShop' the dreamy-ness out your images, and the dreamyness actually hinders the sharpening (by creating halos and artefacts...)...

Quote:
Does the 100-400 maintain its quality over the 200-400 range (the advantage to the 70-200)
Yes, very much so.

Since these 3 lenses are very different, but could all 3 work for your application, you have to ask yourself some more questions: do you need the compactness of the 70-300DO ?? do you need the range of the 100-400 ?? if the answer to any of these questions is YES, you know you need THAT lens, if the answer to both questions is NO, then the 70-200F4L IS is probably your best choice.

Hope this helps some, a lot of typing, but only *my* 0.02 worth of an opinion...

Kindest regards!

Max@Home
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Old 01-02-2008   #6
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Default Re: 100-400 IS, 70-200 f4 IS or 70-300 IS DO ?

Colnoel; Of the lenses you suggested, the 70x200 is going to be the best lense fot the subjects you are talking about.
The 100x400 is not quite up to the 70x200 in overall sharpness. It is a very good lense, and most would not see the fifference, but when enlarging or where you want very fine detail, the 70x200 will be you better buy.
The only thing better would be a fixed lense.
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Old 01-03-2008   #7
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Default 70-200 f4 IS is alsolutely great!

The 70-200mm f/4L IS lens is probably the best general purpose long lens manufactured by Canon! The 100-400mm IS lens is also a good lens but, is IMO more specialized than the 70-200mm f/4L IS and is also not quite as sharp as the 70-200mm f/4L IS. The 100-400mm IS lens should be considered for wildlife when you absolutely need longer than the 200mm end of the 70-200mm f/4L IS! The 70-300mm DO is (again IMO) not quite up to the IQ standards of the 70-200mm f/4L IS.

I switched from the 70-200mm f/4L (non-IS) lens to the IS version and I have not looked back. I use the IS lens 3-4x more often than I was ever able to use the non-IS version because of the increased ability to hand-hold the lens due to the wonderful IS.

I also occasionally use my 70-200mm f/4L IS lens along with the Canon 1.4x TC. This gives me a 320mm f/5.6 lens (512mm equivalent) with very good imagery and ability to autofocus.

The 70-200mm f/4L IS lens makes an excellent partner with the newer 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens. The focal range between 55mm and 70mm that is missing from this combination is not all that critical. The combination of the above two lenses will give you excellent imagery and almost instantaneous AF.

Although, this lens combination is not inexpensive... It is (IMO) one of the best two lens combinations available. The combimation works wonderfully with one body but is even handier when each lens has its own body. That way, you don't have to switch lenses in the field and incur the problems connected with lens switching: 1. missing a shot while switching, 2. dirty sensor due to switching and 3. physical damage to the lens (dropping, etc.) while switching.
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Old 01-03-2008   #8
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Default Re: 100-400 IS, 70-200 f4 IS or 70-300 IS DO ?

A question from me.

It seems people, including me, swear by the 70-200 (in any of its variation), but do people actually use that lens/range. I'm asking because I have the f4 non-IS and only used it like 5 times since I bought it, and it was the first lens I bought.

Just wondering.
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Old 01-03-2008   #9
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Default Re: 100-400 IS, 70-200 f4 IS or 70-300 IS DO ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aam1234 View Post
A question from me.

It seems people, including me, swear by the 70-200 (in any of its variation), but do people actually use that lens/range. I'm asking because I have the f4 non-IS and only used it like 5 times since I bought it, and it was the first lens I bought.

Just wondering.
Outside of the studio, for candids and model shoots, it's the only one on my 40D.

I'm shooting a wedding next week, photojournalist style, and it will be used extensively during the relatively low light ceremony. If I had to keep just one lens, my 70-200/2.8L IS would be it.
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Old 01-03-2008   #10
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Default Re: 100-400 IS, 70-200 f4 IS or 70-300 IS DO ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aam1234 View Post
It seems people, including me, swear by the 70-200 (in any of its variation), but do people actually use that lens/range.
No, them White L's are wayyy too heavy and farrr too expensive to take pitchas with, but we use them as table legs instead with great success...



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CANON] [EF24-70F4.0L IS] [EF70-200F2.8L IS II] [EF70-300L IS] [EF40F2.8 PanCake] [EF85F1.2L II] [EF100F2.8L Macro IS] [270ex II] [430ex II] [600ex-rt] [ST-E2] [EOS 5D MkIII w/ BG-E11][PowerShot G1 X MkII]
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