fedeleal
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Aircraft Spotting - 100-400mm L Vs 70-300mm L

Thu May 16, 2013 3:25 pm

Good morning guys!

I am about to jump in and become a commercial airline spotter in the near future.

Quick question... I currently have a Canon 7D and about to buy a photo lens. Would you recommend EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens rather than EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM? I can imagine the more zoom, the better, but wondering if at 400mm, that lens would still produce sharp imagery vs a moderated 300 mm.

Have you had the chance to test both on the field?

For a person like me acquiring his first photo lens,
would you have any suggestion on which one to buy first?

Thanks so much!

Fred
 
oly720man
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RE: Aircraft Spotting - 100-400mm L Vs 70-300mm L

Thu May 16, 2013 4:28 pm

I've got the 70-300L and this photo was taken with it


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Andy kennaugh



Can't comment on the 100-400.

It is really going to depend on what you're going to take photos of and will the 70-100 range be more useful than the 300-400mm range.

Other users elsewhere suggest the 70-300L is better than the 100-400L, e.g.

http://www.talkphotography.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=412730
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Moose135
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RE: Aircraft Spotting - 100-400mm L Vs 70-300mm L

Thu May 16, 2013 5:02 pm

I've been using the 100-400L for close to 8 years, and recently moved to the 7D. I'm happy with the lens itself and the combination with the 7D. Since I shoot at airshows in addition to airliners at the airport, the extra reach is useful to me.
KC-135 - Passing gas and taking names!
 
NSMike
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RE: Aircraft Spotting - 100-400mm L Vs 70-300mm L

Thu May 16, 2013 11:23 pm

I have both... the 70-300L is sharper, however the extra reach of the 100-400L is useful sometimes. Depends on what focal length you need to shoot at most. I use the 7-300L most of the time now.
Pearl Snares, Taye Drums, Sabian Cymbals, Remo Heads, Los Cabos Sticks
 
fedeleal
Topic Author
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RE: Aircraft Spotting - 100-400mm L Vs 70-300mm L

Fri May 17, 2013 2:34 am

Thank you so much guys!

BTW, Does anybody know aprox how many linear meters/ft does each lens zoom in at its max?

Have a great afternoon.

Fred
 
oly720man
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Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 7:13 am

RE: Aircraft Spotting - 100-400mm L Vs 70-300mm L

Fri May 17, 2013 8:30 am

Quoting fedeleal (Reply 4):
linear meters/ft does each lens zoom in at its max?

What you are asking has no answer. When at any focal length the lens has a field of view so what can be seen in the field of view depends on how far away it is - a C172 closer will fill the viewfinder like an A380 much further away.

A better way of looking at it is how far away will the [pick a plane] be to fill the viewfinder/image at 300mm and 400mm - not forgetting the 7D is an APS-C camera so there's a 1.6x crop factor which means you're looking at 480mm and 640mm in 35mm terms

At 300mm (=480mm) the horizontal angle of view is 4.29deg
At 400mm it's 3.22deg

An A320 (length = 38m) would be 500m away to fill the viewfinder at 300mm and 675m away with the 400m lens.

An f18 is 17m long, just less than half the A320, so the corresponding distances would be 250mm and 340m or thereabouts.

A lion is 2m long so the respective distances would be 30m and 40m.
wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
 
JakTrax
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RE: Aircraft Spotting - 100-400mm L Vs 70-300mm L

Fri May 17, 2013 1:23 pm

Quoting oly720man (Reply 5):
A lion is 2m long so the respective distances would be 30m and 40m

Never actually been fortunate enough to see one of those taxiing at MAN but I hope to catch one some day.....  Wow!

KLarl
 
dazbo5
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RE: Aircraft Spotting - 100-400mm L Vs 70-300mm L

Fri May 17, 2013 3:40 pm

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 6):
I hope to catch one some day.....

I've had one just off the air strip in tsavo west, Kenya. Luckily, I needed 500mm and not 50mm as he was looking for lunch!



Quoting oly720man (Reply 1):
It is really going to depend on what you're going to take photos of and will the 70-100 range be more useful than the 300-400mm

For me, that's the biggest consideration. I considered a 100-400 when I was looking for a zoom lens but 100mm is too long at the short end for my needs. I think you need to consider what it is you need and whether the 70mm end will give you more of a benefit than 400mm.

Darren
Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX
 
JakTrax
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RE: Aircraft Spotting - 100-400mm L Vs 70-300mm L

Fri May 17, 2013 4:38 pm

I have the 70-200 f/4 and the 100-400. I don't use them concurrently - the 70-200 tends to be my 'summer' lens and the 100-400 my 'winter lens'. 100mm is sometimes a bit close but I have a 24-105 to combat that problem.

Karl
 
arndt262
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Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:09 am

RE: Aircraft Spotting - 100-400mm L Vs 70-300mm L

Mon May 20, 2013 4:37 pm

Fred!

The EF 70-300 L lens has the better reliability when it comes to autofocus (reliability of 98%). I know that the EF 100-400 L has some problems with that... (reliability of about 87% at autofocus, pretty poor for the price)
So the EF 70-300 L should be the lense of your choice.

Arndt
 
JakTrax
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RE: Aircraft Spotting - 100-400mm L Vs 70-300mm L

Mon May 20, 2013 5:40 pm

Quoting arndt262 (Reply 9):
So the EF 70-300 L should be the lense of your choice

Well.....

If you frequently shoot at 350-400mm then it's not the lens of choice. No amount of AF reliability will get you the shot; I'd sooner take the 87%!

 

To be honest I've never really had issues with the 100-400's AF wandering - in my experience it's no worse than any other L lens I've used.

Karl
 
fedeleal
Topic Author
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 6:38 pm

RE: Aircraft Spotting - 100-400mm L Vs 70-300mm L

Thu May 23, 2013 9:02 pm

Thank you all for such enriching recommendations! I truly appreciate them!

I finally bought the EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM. Should get it in about 10 days.

Can't wait to get it and start taking some great shots!

Best.

Fred
 
oly720man
Posts: 5743
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 7:13 am

RE: Aircraft Spotting - 100-400mm L Vs 70-300mm L

Thu May 23, 2013 9:12 pm

Quoting fedeleal (Reply 11):
Can't wait to get it and start taking some great shots!

You won't be disappointed, I'm sure, and it's great for other things besides aircraft as well(!) which is what mine spends most of its time doing.
wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
 
Chukcha
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RE: Aircraft Spotting - 100-400mm L Vs 70-300mm L

Mon May 27, 2013 2:21 pm

I wasn't particularly happy with the EF 100-400L. Before I bought it, I had used the EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM. In the 100-400 I really missed the 70 end, and anything above 300 was too soft anyway.

Finally bit the bullet and replaced it with the EF 70-300L. We'll see...

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