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Canon Lense Recommendation: 400 5.6 (non-IS) -or- 100-400 IS

 
 
Alien Clumps
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      09-20-2004
For my 20D that I intend to purchase, I am having an excruciating,
painful time trying to decide which lense to put into my outfit.

I like the 100-400 in that it has IS, and of course, zoom.

I like the 400 5.6 because it is prime, sharper lense, etc.

I saw numerous pics posted on various websites for each lense. They
are all outstanding (the oustanding ones that i viewed).

I love closeups. I intend to do some birding along with other nature
shots. No sports. No archetecure. Pure nature.

So I need some more opinions on the 2 lenses plus some experience. I
sure do appreciate it!

Thanks
AC
 
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You know who
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      09-20-2004

"Alien Clumps" <no to be @ determined> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> For my 20D that I intend to purchase, I am having an excruciating,
> painful time trying to decide which lense to put into my outfit.
>
> I like the 100-400 in that it has IS, and of course, zoom.
>
> I like the 400 5.6 because it is prime, sharper lense, etc.
>
> I saw numerous pics posted on various websites for each lense. They
> are all outstanding (the oustanding ones that i viewed).
>
> I love closeups. I intend to do some birding along with other nature
> shots. No sports. No archetecure. Pure nature.
>
> So I need some more opinions on the 2 lenses plus some experience. I
> sure do appreciate it!
>
> Thanks
> AC


Well, it's not a fair fight, is it? The 100-400 is nearly one third more
money, has IS and a variable focal length and only 0.20lbs heavier according
to BHPHOTO. I have the 100-400 because I like being able to frame things
close and far, without moving forward or backward. I read on DPREVIEW
comments from those who tried the prime and said it is no sharper than the
zoom. This was after I bought mine so I was glad to hear it (OK, maybe a
little biased here!). That said, I have never had a sharpness issue with
mine, even with a Canon 1.4x TC on a 300D and a 1D.


 
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S Lee
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      09-20-2004
Alien Clumps choreographed a chorus line of high-kicking electrons to
spell out:

> For my 20D that I intend to purchase, I am having an excruciating,
> painful time trying to decide which lense to put into my outfit.
> I like the 100-400 in that it has IS, and of course, zoom.
> I like the 400 5.6 because it is prime, sharper lense, etc.
> I saw numerous pics posted on various websites for each lense. They
> are all outstanding (the oustanding ones that i viewed).
> I love closeups. I intend to do some birding along with other nature
> shots. No sports. No archetecure. Pure nature.
>
> So I need some more opinions on the 2 lenses plus some experience. I
> sure do appreciate it!



This one is a toughie

From Art Morris's site:
http://www.birdsasart.com/faq_1-4is.html
http://www.birdsasart.com/faq_1-4isor4f56.html

I bought the straight 400 after considering the same question. In my
situation though, I already have a 70-200 and just really needed the
extra extra length at 400. The 100-400 is flexible on its own though,
and much less to carry around. I'm still perhaps a little bit
ambivalent, but I like toys
While you can use the 400 without a tripod, if you are planning on having
a tripod along that evens things out a bit between the two lenses.

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Bill Hilton
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      09-20-2004
>"Alien Clumps" <no to be @ determined> wrote
>
> I like the 100-400 in that it has IS, and of course, zoom.
>
> I like the 400 5.6 because it is prime, sharper lense, etc.
>
> So I need some more opinions on the 2 lenses plus some experience. I
> sure do appreciate it!


My wife has the 400 f/5.6 L and I have the 100-400 IS and I've used both a fair
amount. I prefer the 400 for shooting birds in flight since it will autofocus
faster, especially with the Mark II. I prefer the 100-400 for shooting from a
confined area like a viewing platform or shuttle bus in Alaska (though I didn't
take it with me on my most recent trip), and the IS is very useful for when you
have to hand-hold.

I also have the 500 f/4, 300 f/4 and 70-200 f/2.8 L lenses so generally take
the 100-400 only when space is a premium and when I think I'll need to
hand-hold a lot. When I drive I usually leave it home.

For most people I think the 100-400 is more useful and a better all-around
choice, and the IS makes it very handy. With the 70-200, 300 and 400 fixed
lenses I'm pretty well covered over this focal range so when space is not an
issue and I won't be doing much handholding I prefer to take two of those three
(almost always the 70-200 f/2.8 and just one of the others).

Get the 100-400 unless you have good coverage at the shorter focal lengths as
well, I feel. The 400 is more of a speciality lens, not as generically useful
as the 4:1 zoom with IS.

Bill


 
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