300mm f2/8 v 400mm Do

Messages
60
Name
Dean
Edit My Images
No
#1
Hi I have for the last month or two trying to find out if it’s worth getting a 300mm or 400 Do both version 1 to pair up with my 7d mk ii , I already have the 100-400 mk ii but would like a large aperture prime to go with it and one that I could use either 1.4 or 2.0 extender with , what are people’s opinions on theses two lenses and has anyone got any hands on experience with the set up I am looking at , many thanks .
 
Messages
5,476
Name
Robin
Edit My Images
Yes
#2
I don't have ownership experience of the two L lenses you mention but do have long experience of the 500mm F/4L II with both Extenders and I also own and regularly shoot with a 100-400mm L II.

What I can reliably advise is that both your mentioned prime lens options work extremely well with Canon's Extenders but they need to be versions III and the lenses need to be versions II in order to fully exploit what Canon have designed them to offer. I have heard nothing but good reports about these two lenses both with or without either Extender.

The 300mm F/2.8L II is very well established as excellent and has the advantage of F/2.8, whereas the 400mm DO offers more reach and lighter weight but less aperture advantages. As always, choosing the right gear for you depends on what you like to photograph.

Once upon a time I bought a secondhand (from TP Classifieds here) 300mm F/4L with the intention of either keeping it or selling the 400mm F/4L I already owned. But I ended up keeping both! I later sold them both to help fund my 100-400mm L II.

There is no such thing as just one perfect lens nor just one perfect camera body!

HTH
 
OP
OP
T
Messages
60
Name
Dean
Edit My Images
No
#3
Hi thanks for your reply I actually follow you on Flickr you take some great photos , unfortunately I can’t afford version ii of these lenses so would only be the vision i , Do you think it wouldn’t be worth getting either then as a add to the 100-400 ii ?
 
Messages
5,476
Name
Robin
Edit My Images
Yes
#4
Hi thanks for your reply I actually follow you on Flickr you take some great photos , unfortunately I can’t afford version ii of these lenses so would only be the vision i , Do you think it wouldn’t be worth getting either then as a add to the 100-400 ii ?
.... I think it would definitely be worth getting either telephoto prime L lens in version 1 as funds don't allow the ideally preferred versions II.

Two friends have versions 1 of my 500mm L (I have version II) and their best photos are absolutely as good as my best ones - One shoots on 5D-3 and the other on 5D-4. The 5D-3 user is actually a better photographer than the 5D-4 user. Both are secondhand lenses - They do not lose their image quality or durability unless damaged.

I have directly witnessed compatibility limitations happen when you mount a version II rather than III Extender on a version II lens - It was focussing issues on someone else's 100-400mm II + 1.4x II.

IF you buy an Extender, buy a version III anyway so that it is more future proof. The 300mm F/2.8L you are considering is known to perform well with either 1.4x or 2x Canon Extenders.

Thanks for your compliment and encouragement re my photos on Flickr. What's your name on Flickr please?
 
OP
OP
T
Messages
60
Name
Dean
Edit My Images
No
#5
Hi i already have a 1.4x III extender but on the 100-400 ii i have it drops it down to f8 which isn't ideal for low light situations , do you think the 300mm and extender will work ok on the 7d mk ii ? , I will probably get the 5d iv in the future . FLICKR is dean terry , dunes photography , let me know what you think of my pics if you get a chance to look ive only been doing photography the last couple of years so still lots to learn but would appreciate an honest opinion . thanks Dean
 
Messages
705
Name
john
Edit My Images
Yes
#6
My experience of the 400 DO Mk1 was variable! Some are mediocre and some are excellent, though I tried them on 1D4 and 1DX cameras - not a 7D2.

Having said that my 7D2 pairs up VERY nicely with my 300 F2.8 L IS Mk1, with or without extenders. My 7D2 is only fairly good with my 100-400 Mk2 but with the 300 F2.8 it is close to being the "Dog's dangly bits"!
 
Messages
5,476
Name
Robin
Edit My Images
Yes
#7
The 1.4x III will work well on the 300mm F/2.8L and will drop it down to F/4 when mounted.

Have you handled the 300mm F/2.8L physically yet? They are quite heavy.

The 400mm F/4L DO + 1.4x will drop down to F/5.6. I don't know which lens is heavier.

The 7D-2 will work all those EF L lenses very well. I had both the 7D-2 and 5D-4 for a while and have difficulty in saying which i think is best. I liked the 10fps better than the 7fps but slightly preferred the FF image quality for image enlargement which made up for having less reach.

Okay, I'll offer you some honest critique on Flickr in due course.
 
OP
OP
T
Messages
60
Name
Dean
Edit My Images
No
#8
Cheers Robin , do you know if you still get all the focus points on the 300mm f2.8 with the extender on 7d mk ii ? and yeah i realise it won't be light setup but would be on a tripod some times and other options are tamron or sigma 150-600 but i really do like using 3rd party lenses .
 
Messages
5,476
Name
Robin
Edit My Images
Yes
#9
Cheers Robin , do you know if you still get all the focus points on the 300mm f2.8 with the extender on 7d mk ii ? and yeah i realise it won't be light setup but would be on a tripod some times and other options are tamron or sigma 150-600 but i really do like using 3rd party lenses .
.... Yes, as far as I know you'll get all the focus points which the 7D-2 offers but you might not on a third-party lens - I never use third-party lenses but it will depend on the lens and I don't know what a Canon Extender (assuming it fits) will deliver from a Tamron/Sigma to your body.

The third-party lenses offer very good value for money and the Sigma Art series in particular are highly praised.

The optics of a Canon prime L lens are going to be superior to a third-party zoom lens, and probably even a Canon L zoom, and the resale value of a Canon prime will be higher too. This doesn't mean that you can't get excellent results with a third-party lens - The camera takes the photo, but the photographer makes the photo.

As I expect you already know, having high-end gear doesn't guarantee you better pictures but it does better enable you to reach your potential.
 
Messages
5,476
Name
Robin
Edit My Images
Yes
#11
Cheers Robin your advice is much appreciated I think I will get the 300mm and go from there , thanks
.... I'm glad when I'm able to help.

As it happens, when I was considering buying my Canon 500mm I had a go with both a 400mm DO and a 300mm F/2.8L but decided that the 100-400mm L II I already had, covered the reach of the 400 DO and had a much shorter MFD (Minimum Focus Distance) which suited dragonflies etc. But for my purposes the 500mm F/4L II suited me better.

I have heard nothing but great reports about the 300mm F/2.8L and seen other photographer's excellent results on it too. It's also well known for how well it performs with Canon Extenders. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

IF you ever want to in effect give yourself the option of shooting at 600mm @ F/5.6, then a Canon 2x III would offer that very well. In case you are interested I would recommend HDEW who I have bought lots of gear from, together with Wex who I also strongly recommend.

https://www.hdewcameras.co.uk/canon-extender-ef-2x-iii-2161-p.asp

Sorry! :D but I am quite good at spending other people's money as well as my own!
 
Last edited:
Messages
5,476
Name
Robin
Edit My Images
Yes
#13
Messages
705
Name
john
Edit My Images
Yes
#14
Note with the Canon 2 x extender the 300 F2.8 becomes a 600 F5.6 with fairly quick AF - it is what I use for smaller aircraft at Airshows.
With the 1.4 extender I found little (if any) difference between the Canon Mk2 or Mk3 extenders - both are excellent. With the 2 x extender I found the Mk3 to be well worth the extra pennies, significantly better IQ and faster/more accurate AF. This is interesting because Canon say there is no AF advantage with the 2 x Mk3 extender with the the cameras I have/had and the lenses I have/had - but there is! Not a lot but the 2 x Mk3 is better even on the Mk1 IS lenses.
 
Messages
4,410
Edit My Images
No
#16
do you have a photos anywhere that i could view with this combo . thanks

I used the 300mm f/2.8 IS and 2x (MKII) for a while on a 7D MKI ... af was pretty good actually but it's not a light combo. I sold the lens some time ago along with the converters (I bought the MKIII 1.4x and 2x which I currently have for sale in the classisfieds) but before doing so I tried the MKIII on it and tbh there wasn't that much difference as I believe you need the MKII lens to take full advantage.

Anyway, a few shots to give you an idea. These were all handheld but could have benefited from the use of a tripod


Alenia C-27J Spartan RIAT 2014 (C)
by Mike.Pursey, on Flickr


Moon
by Mike.Pursey, on Flickr


Zespot Akrobacyjny Orlik PZL-Mielec PZL-130TC-II Turbo Orliks (Polish AF) RIAT 2014
by Mike.Pursey, on Flickr


The Breitling Jet Team Aero L-39C Albatross (Apache Aviation, France) RIAT 2014
by Mike.Pursey, on Flickr
 
OP
OP
T
Messages
60
Name
Dean
Edit My Images
No
#17
Hi mike nice shots , are you still using the combo or did you swap it for something else as you said you only used it for a while
 
Messages
1,770
Name
paul
Edit My Images
Yes
#18
Hi mike nice shots , are you still using the combo or did you swap it for something else as you said you only used it for a while
I bought the 300 F2.8 IS Mk1 last year for a safari to pair with my FF 5d mk4 and 5Ds and have to say it was fabulous lens. While I struggled with wildlife photography, I had some very good results and very impressed with it. So impressed I’ve kept the lens and just need to sort another safari out.
 
Messages
1,770
Name
paul
Edit My Images
Yes
#20
Hi Paul did you use any extenders with it
For some of my images I did use the 1.4 and 2, both mk3. I had some success with them but as I say wildlife isn’t my first choice of photography and was my first time using the combinations. I was still very happy with the results.
 
Messages
1,634
Name
Jason
Edit My Images
No
#22
I have the 300 2.8 l is and its fantastic, bare or with converters, I use the mk ii 1.4 and the mk iii 2x but I rarely use that combo as I have the 600 f4 which I do use the 2x on, and get excellent results.. plenty of images on my Flickr
 
OP
OP
T
Messages
60
Name
Dean
Edit My Images
No
#23
Hi , how does the 2x iii fair on the 300m are the images sharp and is there a reason you use the mk ii 1.4 instead of the iii , thanks oh and what’s your Flickr name
 
Messages
4,410
Edit My Images
No
#27
Obviously at 300mm there is no comparison, with the 1.4x the Canon still wins and you get f/5.6 with the the 2x but if you were to shoot both at f/8 then you would be hard pressed to tell the difference imo and for me having a zoom outweighs the f stop gain. Put it this way I also have the Sigma f/4 sport but it rarely gets chosen.

I have also just changed over to Nikon and recently bought another 150-600 sport so the Canon version will be going up for sale soon.
 
Top