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Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS vs EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II (with 2x converter), which one is better?

Tony Northrup on YouTube compares the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM with the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM (mounted on a Canon 2x teleconverter).

Which is better? If you get the Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8 L IS II lens and add the Canon 2X III teleconverter, you’ll be able to use the 70-200 at f/2.8 when you need to and two stops more light (and background blur) in that range than you can with the 100-400 II. When you need the extra reach, you can add the teleconverter and jump to 140-400mm f/5.6. The total cost is pretty similar, so which is better? Will the teleconverter make the 70-200 noticeably less sharp at 400mm?

Watch the video review to learn how the two lenses compare.

EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II

[via ISO 1200]
  • Moulyneau

    Sometimes he’s quite OK trying to optimize gear recommendation but this time, he’s not! He just forgot that the 100-400 can also be added with a 1.4 ext. And that means a lot because it still working like a charm at 560mm, AF and sharpness. He also forgot to mention much slower AF and quite a long MFD. The 100-400 can even do macro!

    Maybe I have a stellar copy – though I had to AFMA +5 on the long end – but the new 100-400 really rocks. I don’t know it’s because of the new coating, optical formula or both, but, save for the slower aperture, I find it even better for colors and micro contrast than the 70-200 f/2.8 Mk II which is really no slouch in this department. To the point that I’m just wondering whether we’re not going to see a new 70-200mm f/2.8 Mark III in a not so distant future…

    • Marus

      i don´t see better microcontrast on the new 100-400mm.
      in fact the contrast on the 70-200mm f2.8 II is imo better.
      the 100-400mm is good but when i only judge the image quality i can get the same for less money. at least on the 400mm end.

      i have both the 70-200mm f2.8 and the new 100-400mm.
      i also have the tamron 150-600mm.

      at 300-400mm the tamron beats my new 100-400mm.
      that is a bit disappointing to be honest.

      don´t know how DXO can say the tamron is best at 150mm as all reviews i have read and my own experience show it´s sharpest around 300-400mm. 600mm is a bit soft. 150mm is good but not as good as 300-400mm.

      • Moulyneau

        Well, maybe I should have said “imo, I find it slightly better…” I have the 70-200 II, it’s one of my workhorses and I love this glass for its IQ, very useful range and aperture. Now, I’m not going to make a side by side comparison but I stand by what I said. Been using the 100-400 almost only at 400 and for me, it’s a wow factor with that baby. Whatever the reason, lucky copy, CA, bokeh fringing, I’m amazed. I comment on contrast because I find the image to pop so clear with just a little of sharpening.

        Honestly, I’m surprised with your experience with the same glass. Maybe worth a return or an adjustment, I don’t know. Can’t comment on the Tamron but I could on DXO…:)

  • Marus

    i sure don´t ask dumb and dumber what is better…..

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