Canon 100-400mm V1 or 2X III extender with 70-200mm III for Safari?

Started 3 months ago | Questions thread
Gerharddb1 New Member • Posts: 16
Re: Canon 100-400mm V1 or 2X III extender with 70-200mm III for Safari?

Andy01 wrote:

Wendy6 wrote:

Hello - I just upgraded my camera and had to purchase new lenses. I have the 24-70mm L II and I just bought the 70-200mm L III. We had to postpone or Safari in Tanzania until this coming February so before then, I need to make a decision on which option will be best quality-wise for my safari shots when I need to zoom.

I just don't feel like I'd probably get a ton of use out of the 100-400 and I really can only afford the original version if I buy it. My other option is to purchase the 2X III extender to use with my 70-200mm III lens. I know that I will lose 2 stops in the aperture with the extender so I don't know if things will just sort of equal out using it with my 70-200 or would I get better image quality with the original 100-400mm lens?

I appreciate any thoughts on this. : )

There have been several threads in these forums that compare the 100-400 L ii with a 70-200 f2.8 + 2x TC, and generally the consensus has been that the 100-400L ii is better.

I would also suspect that you will find that the 400mm is often too short, especially if used on a FF body. If you have a APS-C body it might be barely adequate.

I have never been to Tanzania, but I have done many safaris in South Africa (I lived there for 30 years), and most recently was in 2016 with a 70D + 100-400L (original) and a little M3 + 18-55mm. It turned out to be a reasonable combo because I could do anything from an elephant next to the road to a distance subject. I did often wish for longer lens though, even on a 70D. From what I have read the central African game parks (Tanzania, Kenya etc) often have game a bit further away.

A good 100-400L (original) can be very sharp. Mine served me well for years until I upgraded to a Mk ii. Some of the early copies seemed to have some softness, but mine was sharp. When buying used, the biggest issue other than straight abuse is the wear of the zoom tension ring - when that happens you get uncontrolled zoom creep. Other than that the lenses are reasonable bullet-proof (like many L lenses).

Renting can be a good option depending on where you live (not in Australia ) If you can rent, a 100-400L ii might be a better option.

Having a second body with a shorter lens like a 24-70 or 24-105 can be very useful to avoid lens changes in often dusty conditions.


I agree totally with Colin and not only because he lived in South Africa.

I went for a few trips to local nature reserves in South Africa with a only one camera (100-400 Mki on a 7D mkii). Having a second body just gives you more time to enjoy the trip and take photos. In some instances I struggled too much to fit another lens quickly that I ended up missing the photo and the experience.

I got good results on my mk1. Was a bit softish from 350 to 400mm.Would expect mkII to be much better.

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Canon EOS RP Canon RF 24-105mm F4L IS USM Samyang MF 14mm F2.8 RF
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