February 9, 2016 at 8:40 pm #15790
I am seriously thinking about upgrading my 75-300 III USM. My options are the 70-200 f4 or the 70-300 IS (Not the L version). I know the 70-200 f4 has a better image quality, but I’m mainly interested in wildlife photography, so I am afraid 200mm would be too short. So here is the question: Is it better to have a sharper photo and crop it, or to have a softer picture with less or no cropping? I am shooting with a 7D (18 megapixels).
Of course, with the 70-200, I could always add an extender later, but I will lack the IS that the 70-300 offers.
Any insight?February 10, 2016 at 12:41 pm #15794
Well, what do you know! Just yesterday I saw someone post that they are selling their Canon 70-300 IS USM lens! I would definitely contact him if you’re interested!February 10, 2016 at 2:08 pm #15796
Thank you for the link!
Sadly, right now the exchange rate is not profitable for me.February 10, 2016 at 2:21 pm #15797
You’re welcome! What were you thinking of spending on a 70-300 IS USM? Is this a little bit closer to your budget?February 10, 2016 at 2:40 pm #15802
Well, I was thinking about 300$Can. I saw one for that price.
The problem is that I’m not sure about a 300$ 70-300 IS or a 500$ 70-200 f4…February 10, 2016 at 3:28 pm #15803
I see. In regards to sharp crops vs. blurry originals, it can work the other way too. If you get a longer lens that isn’t quite as sharp, you can always down-sample and sharpen to get better looking results… You’ll still end up with the same resolution. (Cropping from 18MP to 12MP, or re-sizing from 18MP to 12MP)
I found a really good deal on a Pentax HD 55-300 WR just a couple of months before I left for Africa last year, so that’s what I used for all the wildlife shots.
I’ll use a picture that I took with it in Africa last year for an example: This is a 100% crop of a photo of a large male kudu. As you can see, the focus wasn’t quite on…
Here’s the same photo resized to 1000px across and sharpened:
Not too bad, huh? 🙂
By the way, I often wished that I had more than 300mm… I can hardly imagine being limited to 200mm!February 10, 2016 at 5:45 pm #15805
@buddingphotographer, I assume you’re shooting with an APS-C sensor? I have had a prime 200mm for years and just recently acquired a 55-300mm. I haven’t had much opportunity to try it out yet, but I’m planning a trip out west later this year and hope to be able to do some wildlife photography. I’m wondering if it would be worth investing in a 2x converter. And BTW that’s a great shot of the Kudu!February 10, 2016 at 7:32 pm #15808
I echo @dan-cope, that’s an awesome picture that you have here!
I think I will try a 70-300 IS. I know the 70-200s are awesome, but for my goals, it would probably be too limiting. I guess it’s better to have a good lens that serves you well than having an awesome lens that is seldom used.
February 10, 2016 at 8:02 pm #15811
- This reply was modified 2 years, 11 months ago by Mr. Quebec.
Thanks! I guess I should thank the kudu for standing still that long! 🙂
@dan-cope, yes I’m a crop sensor shooter!
Just curious, was/is your 200mm a “fast” lens? f/4 or lower? If so, you’re better off putting your 2x converter on it to get 400mm. The problem with TC’s is that they increase your effective aperture. For example, if you have a 100mm f/4 lens and add a 1.4x teleconverter, it will increase the aperture to f/5.6 If you add a 2x converter to an f/4 lens, you’re going to get a maximum aperture of f/8! That’s not very fast! 🙂
So, I’m just guessing your 55-300 lens has a maximum aperture of f/5.6 on the long end. Just say you add a 2x converter to that, you’ll be turning it into a 600mm f/11 lens! That’s really slow! Your camera won’t even be able to auto-focus through that. It will have a hard time even with a 200mm f/8 lens (100mm f/4 + TC). That is, unless you have the new Canon 1DX II pre-ordered. It will AF with all the focus points at f/8! Most cameras will only AF at f/8 with the center focus point.
Another thing to remember is that adding another piece of glass will inevitably decrease your IQ. A 1.4x TC is a compromise between not using one at all, and going too far with a 2x converter. Unless you have really good glass, you’re just as well off cropping probably…
So the short answer is: No, a 2x TC on a consumer zoom lens won’t work very well.February 10, 2016 at 8:18 pm #15812
I guess it’s better to have a good lens that serves you well than having an awesome lens that is seldom used.
Very true, especially since you’ll have to pay more for the lens that you won’t use as much! 🙂
You’ll be glad for the IS too, I imagine.February 10, 2016 at 8:33 pm #15813
Thanks @buddingphotographer for your insightful response! I’m aware of the affect that a TC has on the aperture but I have never actually used one. Your detailed information helps to put it all in perspective. My 200mm prime is an f/4.February 10, 2016 at 8:46 pm #15814
You’re welcome, @dan-cope!
Now you’ve got me curious, what 200mm lens do you have? It’s not the Nikon 200mm f/4 macro is it?February 10, 2016 at 9:21 pm #15815
No. I wish it was! It’s an old lens that I bought used when I was a teenager back in the 1980’s. It has no autofocus and I can only shoot in full manual mode when I use it. It’s still a great piece of glass but I find it difficult to nail the focus at wide apertures. My old film camera had a split circle in the center of the mirror that showed you when you were in focus. But without that it’s much more of a challenge. Perhaps the problem is partly my aging eyesight 🙂February 11, 2016 at 9:40 am #15816February 11, 2016 at 10:13 am #15817
Thanks. That may be worth doing if I ever find myself wanting to use that lens a lot.
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