300 f2.8 IS or f4 IS for wildlife and nature photos?

Started Mar 22, 2010 | Discussions thread
Scales USA
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Re: 300 f2.8 IS or f4 IS for wildlife and nature photos?
In reply to pete52, Mar 26, 2010

I've been wrestling with getting a longer lens for my 1d MK III, my 70-200mm F4L IS isn't nearly long enough for small birds, even 10 ft arat with both 2X and 1.4X TC's stacked. This is equivalent to 560mm plus the crop factor.

However, as much as I would like a 500mm F4L lens, I can't afford it, so I looked again at 100-400mm (Sold mine 3 years back), 400mm F/5.6 (Sold mine 1.5 years back), 300mm F4L, and 300mm F/2.8.

I looked at lots of reviews and test pattern shots, and realized it was a severe compromise. The 400mm F/4L was difficult to use handheld, even more so with 1.4 or 2X TC. Yes, it would focus on my old 40D with a 2X non-reporting TC, and the image was quite usable. I had sold the 100mm-400mm because I had difficulty using it, the zoom wasn't smooth, and I didn't like the balance. I have not owned the 300mm F/4, but I felt that putting TC's on it on a regular basis was not something I wanted to do.

Finally, yesterday, I ordered a new 100-400mm L based on comments I've seen about the newer models having smoother zoom and being a bit sharper. I ordered it on ebay from Beach Camera since Adorama had pulled their listings for the holiday. I took the 8% cashback, which arrived in 10 minutes, the ebay bucks, which can be spent after april 3, and the 2% cashback on my Amex card, so the end price was close to $1425, with free shipping.

I've only bought from Beach once before, but they delivered my order promptly and in good shape, so I am anxious to get the lens and test it to see if it is a keeper.

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