70-300 G vs 70-400 G1. Any real experience?

Started Sep 3, 2013 | Discussions thread
TheVoid Senior Member • Posts: 1,652
Re: 70-300 G vs 70-400 G1. Any real experience?

I rented the 70-400G1 for 1 week and took it to Yellowstone/Grand Teton, and later returned with my own newly purchased (but used) 70-300G. I found that the animals that were close enough to shoot with the 70-400G were also close enough to shoot with the 70-300G. Either one was great for shooting bison, small birds and mammals, elk, etc.  Neither one was adequate for the bears and wolves that were always too far away for anything except a spotting scope.

So for my purposes the difference in focal length was almost irrelevant - when it did matter, I could crop my 300mm photo and end up with something almost as good as a native 400mm shot.  So then the other differences must be considered: the 70-300G is lighter and easier to stow, and also can be used with a cheaper/lighter tripod, though a very sturdy tripod would still be recommended especially for low light or windy conditions.

Keep in mind the range from 70-200 will be extremely useful even after your trip, but do you really want to be mounting the bulky 70-400G (enormous with hood attached) for day-to-day shooting? For that reason, I have no regrets purchasing the 70-300G, which I got used for a little over $600. I think if I had spent $1000+ for the 70-400G1 (used) I would have a little buyers remorse because of it's portability issues and the conspicuous size/weight of that glass. It's a special purpose lens in my opinion, and can be rented for those rare occasions when you think it will be worth the expense and weight. The pictures certainly won't disappoint from either one.

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