BIF- Cropping EF 100-400 L IS vs Tamron 70-300 SP VC Photos ?

Started Nov 21, 2012 | Discussions
Glenn_Sydney
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Re: BIF- Cropping EF 100-400 L IS vs Tamron 70-300 SP VC Photos ?
In reply to Glenn_Sydney, Nov 22, 2012

Glenn_Sydney wrote:

Wow!! Sharp Sharp Sharp. Thanks for posting. This is no doubt a great lens. Making me thing about this again. I do like the zoom though due to its versatilty. Still!!!!. :).

Is this lens sharp wide open too or does it need to be stopped down ?

Ok the answar to my question was in the EXIF data.Thanks

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Steve Balcombe
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Re: BIF- Cropping EF 100-400 L IS vs Tamron 70-300 SP VC Photos ?
In reply to Glenn_Sydney, Nov 22, 2012

Glenn_Sydney wrote:

How do you find the 70-300 L wide open at 300mm ? My Tamron needs to be stopped down to f8 to get nice and sharp.

The 70-300L is pin sharp at 300 mm f/5.6. The only reason I don't normally use it with the TC is that it makes an f/8 combination and on the 7D autofocus becomes unreliable. I did test it though, when I first had the lens:

1:1 crop

I've shown this image several times in discussions about this lens, but I still marvel at the clean pixel-level detail. It's hard to believe this is a 1:1 crop (and don't forget it's with a TC).

For what you might term 'casual' use, I would recommend the 70-300L over all the other options. Image quality is impeccable, focusing (without the TC) is superb, and the IS is twice as good as either the 100-400L or 300/4L IS. And it's more compact - there are many occasions when I carry this but wouldn't want to carry the bigger lens.

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R2D2
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Re: BIF- Cropping EF 100-400 L IS vs Tamron 70-300 SP VC Photos ?
In reply to Glenn_Sydney, Nov 23, 2012

Glenn_Sydney wrote:

Thanks R2D2. Some magnificent shots in your gallery. wow!!!!.

Hey thanks very much Glenn'.  Birding is such a fun and exhilarating pastime.  I do really like all three of the Canon (mid-level) birding lenses (haven't tried the new 70-300L yet tho).  You can't go wrong with any of them IMO.  The 400 prime does have a bit of an advantage for BIF though.

How much cropping can you do with the 100-400 vs the 500 f5.6 and result in similar and acceptable image quality ?

If you get a really good copy of the 100-400, then IQ will be pretty similar (the slight edge still goes to the prime IMHO).  How much you can crop into an image depends on your output requirements.  For instance if I'm printing say a Super-B 19x13, then I can crop to about 150 ppi and still get an outstanding print.  If I'm only displaying online (generally up to 1280x720 sized images), then I can crop a bit further.

Are the shots in your gallery cropped much?

Most are cropped a bit to taste, and most keep about 75% or more of their pixels.

I sometimes find myself cropping near 60% or so. I guess the extra 100mm reach of a 400mm lens would help in this regard.

Definitely a difference between 300 and 400.  I almost always grab the 400 when birding (even though it doesn't have IS).  I do like the 300 f4L IS for walks through the park though where the critters are more approachable, and it also makes an outstanding zoo lens.  Also if skies are overcast, then the extra stop of shutter speed helps quite a bit for BIFs.

Hope this helps some.  Good luck,

R2

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JohnJ851
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Re: BIF- Cropping EF 100-400 L IS vs Tamron 70-300 SP VC Photos ?
In reply to Glenn_Sydney, Nov 23, 2012

Hi Glenn_Sydney

Try this link, rentalens.com.au, I've rented a couple of lenses from there and had good experiences.

They have most Canon lenses and is as far as I can see the cheapest here in OZ.

JohnJ

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Glenn_Sydney
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Re: BIF- Cropping EF 100-400 L IS vs Tamron 70-300 SP VC Photos ?
In reply to JohnJ851, Nov 23, 2012

JohnJ851 wrote:

Hi Glenn_Sydney

Try this link, rentalens.com.au, I've rented a couple of lenses from there and had good experiences.

They have most Canon lenses and is as far as I can see the cheapest here in OZ.

JohnJ

thanks John.  Will check out the site.

Glenn

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GeoffE
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Re: BIF- Cropping EF 100-400 L IS vs Tamron 70-300 SP VC Photos ?
In reply to Peter too, Nov 23, 2012

Hi,

Curious on how much PP you did and the software used?

Thxs,

Geoff

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Glenn_Sydney
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Re: BIF- Cropping EF 100-400 L IS vs Tamron 70-300 SP VC Photos ?
In reply to Steve Balcombe, Nov 23, 2012

Steve Balcombe wrote:

Glenn_Sydney wrote:

How do you find the 70-300 L wide open at 300mm ? My Tamron needs to be stopped down to f8 to get nice and sharp.

The 70-300L is pin sharp at 300 mm f/5.6. The only reason I don't normally use it with the TC is that it makes an f/8 combination and on the 7D autofocus becomes unreliable. I did test it though, when I first had the lens:

1:1 crop

I've shown this image several times in discussions about this lens, but I still marvel at the clean pixel-level detail. It's hard to believe this is a 1:1 crop (and don't forget it's with a TC).

For what you might term 'casual' use, I would recommend the 70-300L over all the other options. Image quality is impeccable, focusing (without the TC) is superb, and the IS is twice as good as either the 100-400L or 300/4L IS. And it's more compact - there are many occasions when I carry this but wouldn't want to carry the bigger lens.

wow that is pin sharp.  at 100% crop, Is this degree of sharpness reasonably consistant on average ?  I have heard a lot of good things about the sharpness of this lens.  Pity it lacks the extra reach!!!

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Glenn_Sydney
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Re: BIF- Cropping EF 100-400 L IS vs Tamron 70-300 SP VC Photos ?
In reply to R2D2, Nov 23, 2012

R2D2 wrote:

Glenn_Sydney wrote:

Thanks R2D2. Some magnificent shots in your gallery. wow!!!!.

Hey thanks very much Glenn'. Birding is such a fun and exhilarating pastime. I do really like all three of the Canon (mid-level) birding lenses (haven't tried the new 70-300L yet tho). You can't go wrong with any of them IMO. The 400 prime does have a bit of an advantage for BIF though.

How much cropping can you do with the 100-400 vs the 500 f5.6 and result in similar and acceptable image quality ?

If you get a really good copy of the 100-400, then IQ will be pretty similar (the slight edge still goes to the prime IMHO). How much you can crop into an image depends on your output requirements. For instance if I'm printing say a Super-B 19x13, then I can crop to about 150 ppi and still get an outstanding print. If I'm only displaying online (generally up to 1280x720 sized images), then I can crop a bit further.

Are the shots in your gallery cropped much?

Most are cropped a bit to taste, and most keep about 75% or more of their pixels.

I sometimes find myself cropping near 60% or so. I guess the extra 100mm reach of a 400mm lens would help in this regard.

Definitely a difference between 300 and 400. I almost always grab the 400 when birding (even though it doesn't have IS). I do like the 300 f4L IS for walks through the park though where the critters are more approachable, and it also makes an outstanding zoo lens. Also if skies are overcast, then the extra stop of shutter speed helps quite a bit for BIFs.

Hope this helps some. Good luck,

R2

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Experience comes from bad judgment.
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Thanks R2

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Glenn_Sydney
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Re: BIF- Cropping EF 100-400 L IS vs Tamron 70-300 SP VC Photos ?
In reply to R2D2, Nov 23, 2012

R2D2 wrote:

Glenn_Sydney wrote:

Thanks R2D2. Some magnificent shots in your gallery. wow!!!!.

Hey thanks very much Glenn'. Birding is such a fun and exhilarating pastime. I do really like all three of the Canon (mid-level) birding lenses (haven't tried the new 70-300L yet tho). You can't go wrong with any of them IMO. The 400 prime does have a bit of an advantage for BIF though.

How much cropping can you do with the 100-400 vs the 500 f5.6 and result in similar and acceptable image quality ?

If you get a really good copy of the 100-400, then IQ will be pretty similar (the slight edge still goes to the prime IMHO). How much you can crop into an image depends on your output requirements. For instance if I'm printing say a Super-B 19x13, then I can crop to about 150 ppi and still get an outstanding print. If I'm only displaying online (generally up to 1280x720 sized images), then I can crop a bit further.

Are the shots in your gallery cropped much?

Most are cropped a bit to taste, and most keep about 75% or more of their pixels.

I sometimes find myself cropping near 60% or so. I guess the extra 100mm reach of a 400mm lens would help in this regard.

Definitely a difference between 300 and 400. I almost always grab the 400 when birding (even though it doesn't have IS). I do like the 300 f4L IS for walks through the park though where the critters are more approachable, and it also makes an outstanding zoo lens. Also if skies are overcast, then the extra stop of shutter speed helps quite a bit for BIFs.

Hope this helps some. Good luck,

R2

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Experience comes from bad judgment.
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thanks R2

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foggy
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Re: BIF- Cropping EF 100-400 L IS vs Tamron 70-300 SP VC Photos ?
In reply to Glenn_Sydney, Nov 23, 2012

I just bought the 400 5.6 prime, prior I was shooting a 70-200 4 non IS on a 60D with a 1.4 teli and with the 1.4 is just short of your Tamy giving me around 450mm plus at 5.6 I could shoot BIF all day with no problem coming up with tack sharp images. Getting the 400 prime or 640 on a crop body was like stepping through a door for me. I would come up with so so sharp images enough so I was wondering if there was a flaw in the 400 I then backed up in my pursuits a little and started shooting birds and other small animals as they fed as long as I shot with a shutter speed up around 1/250 to 1/500th the shots were tack sharp so much so that I could go almost into the photos 200% or so and see really sharp detail (so much for the flaw in the lens).

I live in the NW US in a rain forest and it's always raining or overcast here. The overcast causes light loss and with a 5.6 long lens you have to push the ISO up to get decent shutter speed. For BIF I've been shooting at the wildlife refuge just north of Vancouver Washington and the blue herons and other large birds depending on the season can be 100 yards or longer away. They will lift off or land right in front of you. Each outing is different as to what you see but for me the 400 just is long enough better with a 1.4 on it but no AF So in your situation are you going to need the zoom or are you always shooting at the long end..? If you have other uses for the zoom ok otherwise keep the Tamy and get the prime which is lighter and not a dust pump like the zoom.

We've already come to the problem with my photos as my learning curve with the long lens. You have prior experience with the 100-400 the 400 prime would be a walk for you why not rent one for a shoot and see..?

Foggy

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Steve Balcombe
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Re: BIF- Cropping EF 100-400 L IS vs Tamron 70-300 SP VC Photos ?
In reply to Glenn_Sydney, Nov 23, 2012

Glenn_Sydney wrote:

wow that is pin sharp. at 100% crop, Is this degree of sharpness reasonably consistant on average ?

Absolutely, yes.

I have heard a lot of good things about the sharpness of this lens. Pity it lacks the extra reach!!!

Well, this is true and the one thing you must keep in mind is that this is a relatively small lens - a stop smaller than the 100-400L, 300/4L IS or 400/5.6L. If you need a better lens, look no further. But if you need a bigger lens, it will have to be one of the others.

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R2D2
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Re: BIF- Cropping EF 100-400 L IS vs Tamron 70-300 SP VC Photos ?
In reply to Steve Balcombe, Nov 23, 2012

Steve Balcombe wrote:

one thing you must keep in mind is that [the 70-300L] is a relatively small lens - a stop smaller than the 100-400L, 300/4L IS or 400/5.6L. If you need a better lens, look no further. But if you need a bigger lens, it will have to be one of the others.

Well put.  An important way of looking at it.

R2

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Wyville
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Re: BIF- Cropping EF 100-400 L IS vs Tamron 70-300 SP VC Photos ?
In reply to Glenn_Sydney, Nov 23, 2012

I have no idea of the Tamron lens, but the 100-400L is now stuck on my 7D. I love the combo and can get really good results with it, even though I'm not the most talented bird photographer.

In my galleries there are some of my early test images which include a 100% crop of a finch at ISO 1,600 (some pp work), and a low ISO 100% crop of a pigeon (which was oversharpened for a forum discussion). I have better results, but haven't uploaded those images, so they're not representative of what the lens is capable of, more to give an impression for what it can do when used casually.

What I will say is that at the moment I am also thinking about the 400/5.6L. Not as a replacement, but specifically for BiF. The 100-400L can do BiF, but I would like something that can focus faster and is easier to hold. The two would make a great pair!

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Peter too
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Re: BIF- Cropping EF 100-400 L IS vs Tamron 70-300 SP VC Photos ?
In reply to GeoffE, Nov 23, 2012

The previously posted version of the photograph was converted from DPP with no noise reduction and transferred to Photoshop Elements where a small amount of noise reduction was carried out with Topaz De-noise and then a touch of unsharp mask.

This is the original image after conversion to jpg by DPP with sharpen set to 10, saturation to 4 and brightness to -1.5. PE was used only to reduce the dimensions from 5184 x 3456 pixels to 1200 x 800.



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Glenn_Sydney
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Re: BIF- Cropping EF 100-400 L IS vs Tamron 70-300 SP VC Photos ?
In reply to Wyville, Nov 24, 2012

Wyville wrote:

I have no idea of the Tamron lens, but the 100-400L is now stuck on my 7D. I love the combo and can get really good results with it, even though I'm not the most talented bird photographer.

In my galleries there are some of my early test images which include a 100% crop of a finch at ISO 1,600 (some pp work), and a low ISO 100% crop of a pigeon (which was oversharpened for a forum discussion). I have better results, but haven't uploaded those images, so they're not representative of what the lens is capable of, more to give an impression for what it can do when used casually.

What I will say is that at the moment I am also thinking about the 400/5.6L. Not as a replacement, but specifically for BiF. The 100-400L can do BiF, but I would like something that can focus faster and is easier to hold. The two would make a great pair!

Thanks for sharing this information

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Glenn_Sydney
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Re: BIF- Cropping EF 100-400 L IS vs Tamron 70-300 SP VC Photos ?
In reply to foggy, Nov 24, 2012

foggy wrote:

I just bought the 400 5.6 prime, prior I was shooting a 70-200 4 non IS on a 60D with a 1.4 teli and with the 1.4 is just short of your Tamy giving me around 450mm plus at 5.6 I could shoot BIF all day with no problem coming up with tack sharp images. Getting the 400 prime or 640 on a crop body was like stepping through a door for me. I would come up with so so sharp images enough so I was wondering if there was a flaw in the 400 I then backed up in my pursuits a little and started shooting birds and other small animals as they fed as long as I shot with a shutter speed up around 1/250 to 1/500th the shots were tack sharp so much so that I could go almost into the photos 200% or so and see really sharp detail (so much for the flaw in the lens).

I live in the NW US in a rain forest and it's always raining or overcast here. The overcast causes light loss and with a 5.6 long lens you have to push the ISO up to get decent shutter speed. For BIF I've been shooting at the wildlife refuge just north of Vancouver Washington and the blue herons and other large birds depending on the season can be 100 yards or longer away. They will lift off or land right in front of you. Each outing is different as to what you see but for me the 400 just is long enough better with a 1.4 on it but no AF So in your situation are you going to need the zoom or are you always shooting at the long end..? If you have other uses for the zoom ok otherwise keep the Tamy and get the prime which is lighter and not a dust pump like the zoom.

We've already come to the problem with my photos as my learning curve with the long lens. You have prior experience with the 100-400 the 400 prime would be a walk for you why not rent one for a shoot and see..?

Foggy

Foggy, thanks for sharing your experience.  I am now thinking of the 400mm prime as well now.  Phew!!! Decisions decisions!!!. 

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