300mm f2.8 OR 200-400mm f4

Started Jun 20, 2012 | Discussions thread
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mikew Contributing Member • Posts: 593
If doing birds in flight, get the 300.

I have had the 200-400 for 4 years and used it all over the world, from Africa to India and the Antarctic. It has always produced images with all the sharpness you could ask for. But this past April I did some concentrated BIF photography with it and I found I was unable to track flying birds nearly as well as I could with a rented 300 2.8 lens. I think it is the weight and balance of the 200-400 that is hindering me. When shooting still subjects the weight can be a stabilizing advantage. But for flying birds, I got nowhere near the success rate I had with the 300. Not even close. I think it's because I could not alter the speed of the 200-400 as well as I could with the 300. The 300 weighs only a bit less, but the balance is very different.

For static subjects the 200-400 has its own advantages. It focuses very close for great magnification.
Both lenses will produce world class images.

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