When choosing a medium telephoto lens, one of the most common comparison is the Canon 300mm f/4 IS versus the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II with 1.4x extender. Few people realize that the Canon 300mm f/4 IS is about the best bang for your dollar in the whole Canon lens lineup. Why?
The Canon 300mm f/4 IS is a very versatile lens: sharp images, very light, fast AF lock, 2nd shortest Minimum Distance Focusing (MDF) and a good Image Stabilization mechanism. This makes it an ideal lens to capture action from a short distance, or from a moving boat.
The female White-necked Jacobin Hummingbird image above is a good demonstration of action stopping the Canon 300mm f/4 IS is capable of. Keep in mind, this image was not created with a fake background at a feeder, as most other Hummingbird images are made. Knowing that Hummers are actually the fastest birds in the World, it leaves one thinking… The AF is very fast and accurate. The biggest strength of this lens is the weight: only 2.63lbs!!
Another stunning action photography example with the Canon 300mm f/4 IS USM. Sold new, the lens is worth $1300 and remains the best value for the money. It was the very first lens I started with. I created numerous professional quality images with it while keeping my gear expenses very reasonable. Especially when coupled with a crop factor camera body such as the 7d mark II, you will have the cheapest pro starter gear possible with a reach of 480mm (1.6 x 300mm).
What to think of the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II then? This lens is widely recognized as the best portrait lens out there. It makes also for a very versatile lens, especially if you are a wildlife photographer who enjoys taking family pictures! Coupled with the 1.4x extender, the focal length is 280mm, very comparable to the Canon 300mm f/4 IS.
It can be quite challenging to create a pleasing blur with the head of the subject sharp. Try to pan at the same speed of the bird!!
Advantages of the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II:
– Zoom lens
– One of the very best portrait lens
Advantages of the Canon 300mm f/4 IS:
– Lighter (2.63lbs versus 4.04lbs for the 70-200mm with extender)
– Cheaper ($700 less)
– Faster AF
– Good macro lens with a MDF of 3.94ft
Image quality being very comparable, I will let you decide on which one to choose!! 🙂
Florida Spoonbills and Shorebirds photography workshop – $990
Feb 20th-21st 2016 / limit 6 people – FULL
Mar 19th-20th 2016 / limit 6 people – FULL
Apr 16th-17th 2016 / limit 6 people – FULL
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to be put on the waiting list for possible cancellations or for 2017. Cancellations do happen, so it is not excluded you might still get to join me in 2016.
Alaska Bald Eagle photography tour – $3900
January 16th-20th 2017 / limit 5 people – 3 open
The very best Bald Eagle tour hands down! Contact me at email@example.com for questions and reservations. $1,950 non refundable deposit to book your spot.
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