70-300 or 300 fixed?

Started May 3, 2012 | Discussions thread
R2D2 Forum Pro • Posts: 17,013
Re: 70-300 or 300 fixed?

SmallTownUSA wrote:

I am an enthusiast photographer, mostly landscape and wildlife.

Since you have the 18-200mm range already covered, I'd recommend getting the prime. It's definitely more capable at 300mm (and 420mm) than the zoom (that extra stop of light can mean a Lot when shooting wildlife). It's very sharp, got great color, and is actually quite compact.

By way of example, the following was shot with the 300mm f4L IS at 1/3200 sec (wide open at f/4, ISO 800) on my 50D...

Now I can practically guarantee that the same shot at f5.6 and 1/1600 sec shutter speed would not have been as sharp (the reason I didn't take my 400mm f5.6L out in the first place that day). Due to the less than ideal light levels (for BIF), I knew that I needed the extra shutter speed, and the chances of getting a razor sharp image at 1/1600 sec were much lower. Not that it couldn't be done at that shutter speed, but that the chances of succeeding to that level of IQ were lower.

So that's just one example where the extra f stop can really make or break the shot. Other times, in good light, then f5.6 is entirely capable. In fact, I'll always grab the 400 f5.6L to take birding when given the choice (in good light).

More samples from both of these primes in my galleries (in my sig)...

Best of luck,

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Good judgment comes from experience.
Experience comes from bad judgment.


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