Canon 300mm f/4 with canon 1.4 or 2X extender (mk3 vs mk2) or 100-400mm

Started Jul 2, 2013 | Questions thread
dhogaza Regular Member • Posts: 343
Re: Canon 300mm f/4 with canon 1.4 or 2X extender (mk3 vs mk2) or 100-400mm

"I'm so fast, when I turn off the light, i'm in bed before the room gets dark" The great Mohamed Ali.

Actually, that quote's from Satchel Paige, talking about Cool Papa Bell, another star in the old Negro baseball league. Long before Ali's time.

Now, on to lenses. A lot of birders buy the 100-400L and the one thing I note, out in the field, is that invariably the lens is cranked out to 400mm full time. For most, if Canon had a 400/5.6 with IS, that would be a better choice (and that's what they'd be buying, I'm sure).

I went the 300/4, plus 1.4x when needed for my IPC mid-range tele needs (I also own a 600/4).

I'm extremely pleased with the image quality with the TC, and of course even more pleased without.

In the last couple of years, I've been traveling quite a bit for work and end up going to Monterey to photograph whales and dolphins. My local professional photo store had a beat up copy of the 100-400 for sale, from their rental department. They ended up giving it to me for $250. Glass perfect. Everything works. Perfect lens for taking out on a wet boat. Perfect for traveling as when I take the 300 out on a boat, I also take a 2nd body with a 70-200/4 IS L.

I'm extremely pleased with the image quality of this lens, too, though I must admit my expectations were low given some things I've read on the "they can't lie on the" internet "can they?".

So in favor of the zoom: obviously it is more flexible. IQ is fine, not spectacular, but fine.

In favor of the 300/4 + 1.4x: definitely sharper at 300. I think it's a bit sharper with the 1.4x than the zoom at 400, but haven't tested formally. IQ is fine in either case. It's lighter and less bulky, especially less bulky than the 100-400 cranked out to 400.

Looking at small JPEGs compressed for web viewing is a lousy way to judge quality, but this was taken with the 300/4 + 1.4x and looks very nice printed at 16"x24".

Black-Crowned Night Heron, Summer Lake SWA, Oregon, two weeks ago

So is this:

Burrowing Owl with insect prey, 300/4+1.4x, Round Barn, OR, June 1st 2013

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