RF 100-400mm f/5.6-8 vs RF 70-200 f/4 L with digital zoom?

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trale Senior Member • Posts: 1,152
RF 100-400mm f/5.6-8 vs RF 70-200 f/4 L with digital zoom?
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I'm tempted to possibly pick up the cheap RF 100-400mm F/5.6-8 for $650 right now. But I know that eventually I will buy the expensive RF 70-200 F/4.

If that is the case, does it make sense to buy the RF 100-400mm now? It technically has longer reach, but I wonder if I will get similar quality with the 70-200mm F/4 with digital zoom (or cropping).

The comparison over the-digital-picture.com illustrates what I mean:

https://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=1572&Camera=1508&Sample=0&FLI=4&API=1&LensComp=1529&CameraComp=1508&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=3&APIComp=3

At 400mm, the RF 100-400mm is looking pretty soft, even in the center.

The RF 70-200mm L at 200mm maintains sharpness, so that I am imagining if I take a 200mm image, then crop in to an equivalent 400mm frame, that might make it on par with the cheap lens at optical 400mm.

A similar comparison is against an EF 70-200 f/4 with a 1.4X extender:

https://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=1572&Camera=1508&Sample=0&FLI=4&API=1&LensComp=104&CameraComp=979&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=6&APIComp=2

What do you think? Should I just skip the RF 100-400mm entirely?

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