When it comes to mid-range telephoto zooms, Canon users have some choices.
The EF 100-400L f/4.5-five.half dozen IS has long been a top selling lens.
Recently, with the launch of the latest Canon EF70-200 f/2.8 IS Ii zoom, and the Canon EF 2x III extender, this combination has been alluring attention as an alternative.
Whilst earlier versions of the 70-200 f/ii.eight, and the older version II extender worked well in tandem, the perception is that the newer lens and new extender combine to create an f/5.six lens that tin friction match or exceed the performance of the tried and tested Canon EF 100-400L IS.
Chris Frylink and I gathered together the two lenses, a 2xIII extender, a 1Dmk3, and a 5Dmk2 in gild to make some comparisons.
|Canon EF 70-200L f/2.8 IS Two with EF Extender III attached, and Canon EF 100-400L f/iv.5-v.half-dozen IS, extended to 400mm.
Side by side, the ii lenses appear quite similar in dimensions. Mounted on camera bodies, the 70-200 plus 2x extender measures 364mm, from the base of the white function of the lens barrel to the stop of the hood.
The 100-400 measures 353mm from lens base (as above) to the end of the hood, with the lens fully extended to correspond its 400mm maximum focal length.
Retracting the lens to its shortest focal length of 100mm, gives a length of 275mm. This is one big reward of the push-pull lens design in that it can be retracted for storage, and also when shooting at shorter focal lengths.
One can remove the extender from the 70-200 lens, but you are still left with two fairly large pieces of drinking glass to carry around.
When it comes to handling it immediately becomes apparent that the 100-400 is substantially lighter at 1380g.
The 70-200 lone weighs 1490g, whilst the 2X extender adds another 325g. This is a substantial deviation, and it results in the 100-400 existence significantly easier to apply, especially when handholding for long periods or for people who are non used to shooting heavy lenses. On a tripod, the heavier seventy-200 plus extender feels more balanced, with an fifty-fifty spread of weight across its length. In this same state of affairs, I find the forepart of the 100-400 to exist and so light when fully extended on a tripod that information technology can be a fleck twitchy and crave more than care to hold dead still.
The 100-400 operates with a push button-pull zoom action, whereas the 70-200 has a zoom ring. Both work smoothly. The 70-200 plus extender does not change shape or size during use, and this results in it having superior weather resistance to the 100-400L. The 70-200 will practise a better job at keeping dust and moisture out of its insides than the 100-400L, chiefly due to the design difference.
The 100-400 will focus every bit shut as 1.8m, whilst the 70-200 plus 2x combination will focus at 1.2m, which is very close for 400mm of focal length and tin requite serious magnification for photographing small subjects.
We compared how the 2 lenses performed past setting them upward on tripod, and shooting the identical targets using the aforementioned photographic camera body, a 5Dmk2, with both lenses.
|Canon EF 100-400, at 400mm focal length, f/v.6. Focus altitude 24m.
|Canon EF lxx-200, plus EF 2X III extender at 400mm focal length. Focus distance 24m.
First upward, we photographed a target at 24m distance. The lenses were shot wide open up, at f/5.vi. Nosotros deliberately shot this test when the calorie-free was low, as such conditions typically prove up differences between eyes more hands than when working in vivid lite. Nosotros also shot at the maximum focal length of both lenses, as that is oftentimes how they are used in real-life situations, for wildlife and sports where subjects can exist quite distant.
Comparison the image quality of the two showed that the seventy-200 with extender showed better dissimilarity throughout the frame. The 100-400 also showed a little more light fall-off on the edges of the frame. The light autumn-off would not be noticeable on camera bodies with smaller APS-C and APS-H sensors. It is also quite like shooting fish in a barrel to set up in processing if demand be.
|Catechism EF 70-200, plus EF 2X Three extender at 400mm focal length. Focus distance 24m, heavy crop.
|Catechism EF 100-400 at 400mm focal length. Focus distance 24m, heavy crop.
To bear witness the detail that each lens is capturing, we made two identical heavy crops of the two images above.
Upon close inspection of these two images, information technology tin be seen that the 70-200 and 2X extender is capturing slightly sharper images at this focal length, and wide-open up, aperture setting.
We then shot some images with our subject merely 8m abroad.
|Catechism EF 100-400L, 400mm focal length, f/viii.0. Subject distance 8m.
|Canon EF 70-200L plus 2x Extender, 400mm focal length, f/eight.0. Subject field distance 8m.
At f/5.half-dozen, the seventy-200 and 2X extender was still slightly sharper. We airtight the discontinuity downwardly to f/viii.0, and shot once again.
At this aperture setting, the two lenses were producing results that are identical in sharpness. There is very footling low-cal fall-off visible in the images from the 100-400L equally well. The but visible difference is that the 100-400 epitome does not quite have equally much contrast and is a little darker. It is simple plenty to correct that in processing.
For our last epitome quality test, we shot a subject field that was just 4m abroad. This fourth dimension, the 100-400L was slightly sharper of the two lenses.
Both lenses that we used for the examination, and the camera bodies, have not been calibrated or micro-adjusted to specifically work with 1 another. It is possible that sharpness results may differ if such adjustments were carried out.
To exam AF speed we fabricated utilize of a bailiwick 4m away, and a further subject that was over 60m distant. We shot in bright lite, and in low lite. We would repeatedly focus on the nearest subject, then lift up the lens, and focus on the distant subject area. Using this method, and judging independently, both Chris and I felt that the 70-200 plus extender 2X was able to focus noticeably quicker than the 100-400. The departure was slight, but existent.
We performed this test again and over again, with both a 5Dmk2 and a 1Dmk3 attached to the lenses. AF response is pretty expert for both lenses. However, their maximum apertures are quite small, and they exercise require some idea in use if you want to get the best out of them. Finding the part of your subject with the about contrast, and placing the AF sensor over information technology before y’all printing the shutter to begin AF, will give you accurate and quick acquisition, On the other mitt, if y’all try and focus on areas of low contrast, it is like shooting fish in a barrel to get both lenses quite securely out of focus, and this tin can be frustrating and time consuming.
Both lenses volition focus fast enough for most types of photography, although there are better options out there for birds in flight.
The 100-400 has a minimum focus altitude of 1.8m. When the lens is set up to AF from 1.eight to infinity, AF response was slowed. Setting the lens to the minimum distance of 6.5m to infinity sped up AF response. When using this setting, exist enlightened that if a discipline comes closer than 6.5m, you need to change the switch on the side of the lens or it will not focus.
The seventy-200 plus 2X extender has a minimum focus distance of simply 1.2m. For subjects that are further away than this, setting the minimum altitude of 2.5m to infinity immune it to piece of work at its fastest. The 4m difference in shut focus to infinity setting is a real-earth advantage that the 70-200 holds over the 100-400.
The 70-200 has the latest version of Canon’s epitome stabilization system, and is constructive for 4 stops of shutter speed, compared to just 2 for the 100-400L.
The switches on the 70-200 along the side of the lens are better contoured inside their housing, and harder to accidentally bump.
The lens hood on the seventy-200 is more robust, and mounts way more firmly than the older mode hood on the 100-400.
When choosing between these 2 lenses, accept the following into business relationship:
Lighter weight, easier to handle and conduct.
Smaller concrete size when the lens is retracted.
User-friendly, all-in-one construction means less lens-changing required.
Cost, significantly cheaper than the latest f2.8 lens and extender.
EF seventy-200 f/2.8L IS II plus EF 2X Extender
Slightly superior image quality and dissimilarity, particularly at wide-open up apertures.
Slightly faster AF response.
More useful and forgiving altitude limit switch configuration.
Higher degree of weather-sealing.
More than robust construction, including lens hood.
Remove the extender and enjoy benefits of large aperture, fast 70-200mm zoom.