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

Started 3 months ago | Questions thread
John Sheehy Forum Pro • Posts: 25,118
Re: Canon 100-400mm V1 or 2X III extender with 70-200mm III for Safari?

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 think that it's best not to think of a TC as causing "light loss" except for AF speed in low light, because there is no loss of total light from any object that is still in the frame, from the same distance, with the same shutter speed.  The light lost is light that you would have discarded anyway, by cropping without the TC.  Regardless, both options you mention are 400/5.6 at the long end, so no "light loss" by any definition, compared to the other option, either way.

I appreciate any thoughts on this. : )

Other than the trombone zoom (if you want that), I can't think of much that would be better on the v1 100-400, except the fact that the 70-200 will be f/5.6 at all focal lengths with the 2x TC on it, while the 100-400 v1 will drop to f/5 and f/4.5 as you zoom out (but are probably softer wide open).  This gives you shallower DOF and more light, plus you can zoom out to 100mm with the 100-400, and only to 140mm with the 70-200, if you don't remove the 2x.  The 70-200 without the TC will, of course, have f/2.8 over its entire range, better than the 100-400 in the overlapping range of 100-200mm.

The AF speed and IS are substandard on the v1 100-400 compared to any mark II or mark III lens, and the v1 at 400/5.6 probably has as much aberration or more than 200/2.8's aberrations magnified 2x.

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