Good Reasons to Own Both XF 70-300mm and XF 100-400mm?

Started Jan 20, 2022 | Questions
sshapiro Senior Member • Posts: 1,132
Good Reasons to Own Both XF 70-300mm and XF 100-400mm?
1

I was able to purchase an XF 70-300mm, discounted by about $100 (USD), when it was first released. I have enjoyed having the lens with me while hiking, and sometimes use it with the 1.4X TC when I need a bit more reach.

Last week, the XF 100-400mm was on clearance from the seller I typically buy from, and I was able to get a new copy, delivered, for under $1000 (USD). I have been testing that lens for a couple of days, and although I notice the weight difference compared to the XF 70-300mm, I have not found the lens uncomfortable to use with my X-T3.

I'm not in a rush to make a decision about getting rid of one of the lenses, but I am curious if anyone here also has copies of each lens. If so, would you be willing to explain your reasons for keeping both? If you have had both but got rid of one of them, I would appreciate if you would explain what factors led to your decision about which one to keep.

Thanks in advance!

ANSWER:
Fujifilm X-T3
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BillCPA Regular Member • Posts: 429
Re: Good Reasons to Own Both XF 70-300mm and XF 100-400mm?

Likewise, I was able to purchase the 70-300 at a local camera store when it first came out, and I really like it.  Good range, fast focusing ... just wish it had a lens foot.  I also have the 100-400 which I purchased 2nd hand for $1200 a couple of years ago.  Although I am not a wildlife photographer, I do use it to photograph egrets and snow geese in the spring, as well as golf tournaments in the summer for local non-profits.  Both lenses pair really well wit the 1.4TC.  I go thru phases in which I think I'll sell the 100-400, then I look at the quality of the images.  Also, I had purchased the Wimberly Monopod Gimbal for it as well as a different foot.  But the reality is I just don't use it all that much, but tough to make the decision to get rid of it.

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vcxz Contributing Member • Posts: 633
Re: Good Reasons to Own Both XF 70-300mm and XF 100-400mm?
3

The types of trips where I use each one are very different along with the kits.

I use the 100-400 for trips more dedicated to wildlife. That can be walks at local nature preserves or more special wildlife trips like Yellowstone. In Mexico bird watching tours are a lot more affordable and I might go on 2-3 there so it's worth the extra bulk. I probably will only take the 18-55 if I bring anything else and most of the time I won't use it, it's "just in case."

I bring the 70-300 for more general trips. In Iceland I needed a general minimalist kit that would go on some longer hikes. I had a work trip to London and I did visit the Wetlands Centre, but that trip was not worth carrying the 100-400 with me at the airport or walking around London. I've come to like 18 and 50 as my main primes and have a 12 and the 70-300 "just in case." If I'm bringing the 16-55 as my main zoom, the 70-300 is its most likely partner.

That being said, being honest, after my Z9 arrives I'm probably getting rid of the 100-400.

On my 100-400 outings, basically 99% of the photos will look like this.

But I'm glad I kept the 18-55 in my bag. This ended up being one of my favorite pictures of the year during cherry blossom season.

When I do use the 70-300 for birds I usually do miss the extra reach

You can still get nice photos of bigger birds...

...or ones that are less shy.

Whale watching was okay with the 70-300 but this is still a decent crop. I have more problems with Fuji taking a bit of time to lock initial focus but that's another story. I brought a 70-300 with a Nikon on other trips and the pictures were a lot clearer (Nikon also doesn't have a good 100-400). But the D850 is almost twice the weight of an XS10 or XE4.

Here I didn't even get my zoom to 300mm because it came out of nowhere. So in this case having the 100-400 wouldn't have helped.

If I have the 70-300, 80% of my pictures are more like this.

The 100-400 would be a bit of an odd pairing with my XE4 and 18mm F2 but I can fit that and the 70-300 very comfortably in a small bag.

The 70-300 is more of a backup for random telephoto.

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pat lmc Regular Member • Posts: 242
Re: Good Reasons to Own Both XF 70-300mm and XF 100-400mm?
2

Sheer indulgence.

I have both, and the 1.4 and 2x teleconverters, will keep both but were I starting out from scratch, and having just bought an X-S10, the 70-300mm would be the one I would buy.

Light, compact and optically very close the combination of the 70-300mm and the X-S10 together with either converter ticks the boxes for me and the 100-400mm is now firmly in the 'carry when needed', static use category or if using in poor weather.

The 70-300mm hits a very sweet spot and whilst I love my 100-400mm and X-T4 combo, my back begs to differ!

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miles500
miles500 Senior Member • Posts: 1,216
Re: Good Reasons to Own Both XF 70-300mm and XF 100-400mm?
1

I have both and will be keeping both of them. Given the cost of the 100-400 I am not sure that I would have bought it, if the 70-300 had been available at the time.  However I aspire to take wild life photos and no matter what the reach of your lens, it never seems to be great enough to capture small birds, so I will be keeping both. The 100-400 is used for trips primarily for taking wildlife but for all other more general excursions and vacations my bag will contain the much lighter 70-300 with TC.
Miles500

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baobob
baobob Forum Pro • Posts: 18,760
Re: Good Reasons to Own Both XF 70-300mm and XF 100-400mm?

I own both The 100-400mm is really better (IQ ) with a better AF and also more reach. But heavy to carry So the 70-300mm is a quite good alternative but clearly the IQ at 300mm + 1.4TC is good not very good and needs a bit of PP to enhance contrast and sharpness. An the AF in dim light is really slow and hunts.

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Tim van der Leeuw Senior Member • Posts: 1,397
Re: Good Reasons to Own Both XF 70-300mm and XF 100-400mm?
1

I have the 70-300mm Fuji and a Sigma 100-400mm. The 100-400mm is larger and heavier, so I'll bring that when I know that I want the extra reach.

I'll bring the 70-300mm when I want to go lighter.

Ultimately I'd like to have more reach than 400mm though so I'll eventually go for a 150-600mm I think!

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vhimste Junior Member • Posts: 26
Re: Good Reasons to Own Both XF 70-300mm and XF 100-400mm?
1

I also recently got the 70-300 while i already had the 100-400, that is used mostly on safari or birding. And i see a lot of images are taken at 400mm (with or without 1,4x TC).

My plan is to stick to both (one for general travel, the other for wildlife/birds) and to wait for the 150-600. Then i will probably sell the 100-400 for the extra reach ... but seeing the Fuji speed that lens will nog be in the shops this year ...

And then we can only wait fora  'Kaizen better AF' release on our X-T3/4/S10.

LarsPolarBear
LarsPolarBear Contributing Member • Posts: 603
Re: Good Reasons to Own Both XF 70-300mm and XF 100-400mm?
2

I also own both lenses, bought the 100-400 mm together with the X-S10 while moving from m43 to Fuji a little over a year ago. At that time I was unhappy, that Fuji only offered this heavy lens, but was looking forward for its IQ.

I received the 70-300mm as an early Christmas gift in November and immediately loved the light weight, it reminded me of my old m43 gear. As some of the others commented, if it would have been available a year ago, I might have not gotten the 100-400mm.

However, during the past three months, I have struggled a little with the 70-300mm, it is too short for birding and most other wildlife, therefore I use it mostly with the 1.4x extender, which makes it too slow for anything but bright daylight. Again, as others have mentioned, it is also noticeable slower to focus and I am also struggling to get the IQ, that I am getting from the 100-400mm.

Therefore, I will keep both lenses, the 100-400mm for wildlife around my home or where I don’t have to schlepp it up a mountain or for 20 km. The 70-300 plus the 1.4x extender is my travel and hiking solution - I really enjoy its light weight, makes me happy every time I use it.

So, there you have it, my reasons to keep both. I would be unhappy with only one if them!

Hope that helps.

Cheers,

Lars

Jazz1
Jazz1 Contributing Member • Posts: 782
Re: Good Reasons to Own Both XF 70-300mm and XF 100-400mm?
1

LarsPolarBear wrote:

I also own both lenses, bought the 100-400 mm together with the X-S10 while moving from m43 to Fuji a little over a year ago. At that time I was unhappy, that Fuji only offered this heavy lens, but was looking forward for its IQ.

I received the 70-300mm as an early Christmas gift in November and immediately loved the light weight, it reminded me of my old m43 gear. As some of the others commented, if it would have been available a year ago, I might have not gotten the 100-400mm.

However, during the past three months, I have struggled a little with the 70-300mm, it is too short for birding and most other wildlife, therefore I use it mostly with the 1.4x extender, which makes it too slow for anything but bright daylight. Again, as others have mentioned, it is also noticeable slower to focus and I am also struggling to get the IQ, that I am getting from the 100-400mm.

Therefore, I will keep both lenses, the 100-400mm for wildlife around my home or where I don’t have to schlepp it up a mountain or for 20 km. The 70-300 plus the 1.4x extender is my travel and hiking solution - I really enjoy its light weight, makes me happy every time I use it.

So, there you have it, my reasons to keep both. I would be unhappy with only one if them!

Hope that helps.

Cheers,

Lars

I only own the 100-400mm purchased (used). So I really can't directly address the 70-300mm vs. the 100-400mm buying/keeping one over the the other decision. But this topic is a good one!

I initially wanted the 70-300mm, but could not find one for sale. At that point a used 100-400mm seemed like the way to go, as I already own a 50-140mm (and have the 1.4X and 2.0X teleconverters). BTW I'm not a fan of the 2.0X, but in good light it seems to work okay with my XH-1.

Yes, even used there is a huge price difference between the 100-400mm vs. the 70-400mmm, unless of course you got the bargain the OP got  Congratulations on that price OP!!!

In the end I have to say I do not think I'll be tempted to either sell the 100-400mm and/or purchase the 70-300mm even when it returns to the shelves. Maybe only applicable to me, my personal reasoning below:

1. I like the extra reach of the 100-400mm with or without the teleconverters.

2. I like the build quality of the 100-400mm and I'm not sure if the 70-300mm matches that (comments welcome)

3. I've got the 50-140mm that truly is my favorite zoom and I can use that will teleconverters as smaller/lighter compromise alternative to the 100-400mm.

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BillCPA Regular Member • Posts: 429
Re: Good Reasons to Own Both XF 70-300mm and XF 100-400mm?

I agree about the 50-140 .. my favorite zoom .. mainly use for indoor events.

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OP sshapiro Senior Member • Posts: 1,132
Re: Good Reasons to Own Both XF 70-300mm and XF 100-400mm?
2

I want to thank everyone for your input. I am going to keep both lenses for now. My thoughts on how to use each lens aligns with several of the posts from people who also own both of them.

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