100-400 IS for 7D birding?

Started Apr 6, 2011 | Discussions
Satyendra Bhat
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100-400 IS for 7D birding?
Apr 6, 2011

Have read that 400 f5.6 is faster with the AF for BIF.
would anyone recommend 100-400 IS instead of the 400 f5.6?

The primary use will be wildlife and birds.

Note: have recently converted to canon after waiting for ages for the D300s replacement. the AF on 7D actually feels more reliable than the D300s and on par with the D700. very pleased with the purchase (got it refurbished).

THanks in advance mates.
--
saty

fredlord
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Re: 100-400 IS for 7D birding?
In reply to Satyendra Bhat, Apr 6, 2011

The 400 f/5.6 is one of the best BIF lenses there is.

That said, the 100-400L is vastly more versatile for anything else you might want to photograph. The huge deficit in minimum focusing distance is what put me off of the 400 prime. I took the 400 prime to Costa Rica a few years ago and never used it. The 100-400 was my prime walk around lens then and for a total of six years. I upgraded to the 1-Series to enable autofocus when using the 1.4X TC II with the 100-400. I never looked back.

Sadly, I sold the 100-400 a couple of years ago and purchased a 70-200L IS f/2.8 MK I. I have missed the 100-400 terribly on occasion. My next lens is probably the MK II version of the 70-200 or, perhaps, if I can afford it, the new 200-400L.

I would recommend the 100-400 over the 400 prime simply because the 100-400 is able to do BIF while the prime cannot do many of the things that the 100-400 can.

The 7D is an excellent birding camera. You should have great luck with it.

Fred

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tonyjr
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Re: 100-400 IS for 7D birding?
In reply to Satyendra Bhat, Apr 6, 2011

for birding only probably the 400 but where can change it - like in a zoo , your back yard etc

The 400 is cheaper , but for me the 100-400 would be more versiable . How far can you back up to get the frog at your feet or the horse fly ?
I am waiting for the 100-400 to get F2.8 .
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Satyendra Bhat
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Re: 100-400 IS for 7D birding?
In reply to fredlord, Apr 6, 2011

thanks for your comments guys.

any pics taken with the combo of 7D and 100-400 IS would be tremendously welcome.

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saty

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Fabian628
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Re: 100-400 IS for 7D birding?
In reply to Satyendra Bhat, Apr 6, 2011

I used this lens on the long end most of the time. IS did help a bit, but for in flight shots its not so useful.

The 100-400 is more versatile, and smaller (i am not sure if it more expensive though).

I think a great combo might be the 400mm prime, then buy a 70-200 (maybe the 2.8 or f/4 to do with this lens. You will have all bases covered then.)
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James C. Murray
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Re: 100-400 IS for 7D birding?
In reply to fredlord, Apr 6, 2011

fredlord wrote:

The 400 f/5.6 is one of the best BIF lenses there is.

That said, the 100-400L is vastly more versatile for anything else you might want to photograph. The huge deficit in minimum focusing distance is what put me off of the 400 prime. I took the 400 prime to Costa Rica a few years ago and never used it. The 100-400 was my prime walk around lens then and for a total of six years. I upgraded to the 1-Series to enable autofocus when using the 1.4X TC II with the 100-400. I never looked back.

Sadly, I sold the 100-400 a couple of years ago and purchased a 70-200L IS f/2.8 MK I. I have missed the 100-400 terribly on occasion. My next lens is probably the MK II version of the 70-200 or, perhaps, if I can afford it, the new 200-400L.

I would recommend the 100-400 over the 400 prime simply because the 100-400 is able to do BIF while the prime cannot do many of the things that the 100-400 can.

The 7D is an excellent birding camera. You should have great luck with it.

Fred

I own both of them and if I could only own one it would be the zoom. Perhaps the prime is faster at locking on focus although I really don't know how you can determine that. It may be a bit sharper but again how do you know that, other than doing a comparison with static subjects.

Many say that the prime is faster in focus aquisition than the zoom but I am not sure how you determine that.

The 100-400 is in a niche of its own, I have looked for an equivalent and the closest is the Nikon 80-400 but even the Nikon owners say that the autofocus could be upgraded. See the Fred Miranda reviews of the lens.

The prime is an excellent lens, great value. I don't think you can get 400mm with the IQ for the price anywhere else. The day Canon produce it with IS, as they did with the 70-200 F/4, I will have my credit card ready.

Fredlord sums it up well.

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PicPocket
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Re: 100-400 IS for 7D birding?
In reply to tonyjr, Apr 6, 2011

tonyjr wrote:

I am waiting for the 100-400 to get F2.8 .

You mean F2.8 at 100 or at 400 end? Because if you are wishing for 400/2.8, it will be an entirely different beast losing most of the versatility and handholding arguments that the 100-400 is known for. In fact the upcoming 200-400 F4 itself is already in a different league (as I would expect too)

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PicPocket
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Re: 100-400 IS for 7D birding?
In reply to Fabian628, Apr 6, 2011

Fabian628 wrote:

The 100-400 is more versatile, and smaller (i am not sure if it more expensive though).

It is heavier though. and not smaller at 400mm setting (but yes, smaller in length at 100mm retracted state). And yes, it is more expensive too
But it is a great lens

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Aurangabadkar
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Its a great combo, here are a few shots for you!
In reply to Satyendra Bhat, Apr 6, 2011

I have the same lens and body, they are both very good.

Enjoy and go for it! You have to get used to the heavy lens and learn the right technique, I have learned a lot from this forum!
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samWebster123
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400 for birding
In reply to Satyendra Bhat, Apr 6, 2011

If you're primary interest is birding then the 400 is the best choice. In fact in most instances you'll wish you had more reach.

I have the 400f5.6, 100-400, 500f4, and 600f4 and when I'm shooting birds I'm using the 600 most of the time and wishing I had the 800mm for the smaller birds.

I agree the 100-400 is a more versatile lens for all round wildlife but if you're interested in birds and want to capture some great BIF shots the 400 is the way to go. Also if you travel by air a lot the 400 is nice and compact...I slip mine into a neoprene wine bottle sleeve and through it in my backpack as my camera bag is full.

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Belasco
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Re: 100-400 IS for 7D birding?
In reply to Satyendra Bhat, Apr 6, 2011

I'm a bird photographer and use the 100-400 almosy 50% of the time and the 500 f4 IS 48% of the time. You can view my bird photography at:

http://belasco.zenfolio.com

The main gallery "Birds and Light" contains photos with those 2 lenses.

The Gallery called "Ospreys" was taken entirely with the 400mm f5.6 prime and this lens is best for BIF. But the 100-400 is better for other bird photography. IMHO

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Satyendra Bhat
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Re: 100-400 IS for 7D birding?
In reply to Belasco, Apr 6, 2011

thanks for your comments guys...
will deliberate.
at the moment can only afford either the 100-400 or the 400 prime...
decisions, decisions

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saty

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Tikibird
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Re: 100-400 IS for 7D birding?
In reply to Belasco, Apr 6, 2011

Belasco wrote:

I'm a bird photographer and use the 100-400 almosy 50% of the time and the 500 f4 IS 48% of the time. You can view my bird photography at:

http://belasco.zenfolio.com

The main gallery "Birds and Light" contains photos with those 2 lenses.

The Gallery called "Ospreys" was taken entirely with the 400mm f5.6 prime and this lens is best for BIF. But the 100-400 is better for other bird photography. IMHO

Wow, those are spectacular! I just bought the 400mm f5.6 prime and started practicing with it this morning, I hope I can some day get shots like yours!

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Scales USA
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Re: 100-400 IS for 7D birding?
In reply to Satyendra Bhat, Apr 7, 2011

Satyendra Bhat wrote:

Have read that 400 f5.6 is faster with the AF for BIF.
would anyone recommend 100-400 IS instead of the 400 f5.6?

The primary use will be wildlife and birds.

Note: have recently converted to canon after waiting for ages for the D300s replacement. the AF on 7D actually feels more reliable than the D300s and on par with the D700. very pleased with the purchase (got it refurbished).

THanks in advance mates.
--
saty

Birding is not quite descriptive enough. Large birds or Birds in flight versus small birds where the photographer must be up close to fill the frame.

For large birds in flight, the 400mm f/5.6 is excellent. however, for small and sitting birds up close, the 100-400mm L is better.

The 100-400mmL will focus closely, while the minimum focus distance of the 400mm 5.6L is over 15 feet.

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Satyendra Bhat
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Re: 100-400 IS for 7D birding?
In reply to Scales USA, Apr 7, 2011

Ah, Thanks mate,
quite the answer I was looking for,
Saty

Scales USA wrote:

Satyendra Bhat wrote:

Have read that 400 f5.6 is faster with the AF for BIF.
would anyone recommend 100-400 IS instead of the 400 f5.6?

The primary use will be wildlife and birds.

Note: have recently converted to canon after waiting for ages for the D300s replacement. the AF on 7D actually feels more reliable than the D300s and on par with the D700. very pleased with the purchase (got it refurbished).

THanks in advance mates.
--
saty

Birding is not quite descriptive enough. Large birds or Birds in flight versus small birds where the photographer must be up close to fill the frame.

For large birds in flight, the 400mm f/5.6 is excellent. however, for small and sitting birds up close, the 100-400mm L is better.

The 100-400mmL will focus closely, while the minimum focus distance of the 400mm 5.6L is over 15 feet.

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saty

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cumuluskeith
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Re: 100-400 IS for 7D birding?
In reply to Satyendra Bhat, Apr 7, 2011

This zoom can still give good feather details

Western Spinebill taken with 100-400 IS
(although I was lucky to get away with 1/100 sec on such a flighty bird)

Cheers, Keith

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PhillipA
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100-400 feather detail
In reply to cumuluskeith, Apr 7, 2011

1DIII + 100-400L
1/160s f/10.0 at 400.0mm iso3200

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birdbrain
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Re: 100-400 IS for 7D birding? Yes!
In reply to Satyendra Bhat, Apr 7, 2011

100-400 f4.5/5.6 IS L zoom lens is extremely versatile, all these were shot using that lens and a 7D, there may be an odd 300d and 450D shot in there as well.

All of the above were taken at the 400 mm end of the zoom, apart from one, but in my other photographic interest air shows. Then the zoom becomes essential to enable me to frame the subject.

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Phil

I wondered why the ball kept getting bigger, then it hit me.

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tonyjr
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Re: Its a great combo, here are a few shots for you!
In reply to Aurangabadkar, Apr 7, 2011

nice shots
--
1st it's a hobby
7D gripped XTI gripped
Canon - efs 10-22 , 17-55 , ef 18-55 IS
EF 28-90 , 28 @ 2.8 , 50 @1.8 , 28-135 IS
L's 35-350 , 70-200 MK II IS
Quantaray lens 70-300 macro
Sigma 135 - 400
2X III , Life Size converter
KSM filters for all
kenko auto tubes , EF 25

 tonyjr's gear list:tonyjr's gear list
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tonyjr
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Re: 100-400 IS for 7D birding? Yes!
In reply to birdbrain, Apr 7, 2011

nice butterfly
--
1st it's a hobby
7D gripped XTI gripped
Canon - efs 10-22 , 17-55 , ef 18-55 IS
EF 28-90 , 28 @ 2.8 , 50 @1.8 , 28-135 IS
L's 35-350 , 70-200 MK II IS
Quantaray lens 70-300 macro
Sigma 135 - 400
2X III , Life Size converter
KSM filters for all
kenko auto tubes , EF 25

 tonyjr's gear list:tonyjr's gear list
Canon EOS 400D Canon EOS 7D Canon EF 35mm f/2.0 Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM +14 more
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