70-200 f/4 + TC-14e III vs 70-300 E AF-P

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Another interesting observation looking at Jim's test shots again - the 70-200 + TC seems to render the flower slightly larger than the 70-300. So 280mm on the 70-200 + TC seems to be equal to 300mm for the 70-300. Looks like the 70-300 suffers from a little focus breathing? What distance were these taken at, Jim?

Thanks

Mike
 
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Thanks so much for the comparison, Jim!

I can't tell much difference in sharpness from these shots. If anything, the 2nd shot with the 70-200 + TC looks slightly sharper. I can't see the EXIF data but I'm thinking the 1st shot is f/5.6, the 2nd shot f/8 for each lens?

The weight difference is significant on camera, approaching 1 pound... And your scales are accurate, the TC-14e III is 7 oz and the difference in the lens weight is 6 oz. In the bag, however, the difference for me is only 6 oz since I'll be carrying the TC anyway. Still something to think about though, since the 70-300 is also over an inch shorter.

Cheers

Mike
Sorry, I assumed you would be able to see the Exif. Yes, the first of each pair is f/5.6 and the second is f/8.
 
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Sorry, I assumed you would be able to see the Exif. Yes, the first of each pair is f/5.6 and the second is f/8.
Guess I should subscribe to see the EXIF... :)

Thanks for confirming. Would you agree that the f/8 shot from the 70-200 + TC combo looks the sharpest? And that there's a little focus breathing going on with the 70-300?

Cheers

Mike
 
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Another interesting observation looking at Jim's test shots again - the 70-200 + TC seems to render the flower slightly larger than the 70-300. So 280mm on the 70-200 + TC seems to be equal to 300mm for the 70-300. Looks like the 70-300 suffers from a little focus breathing? What distance were these taken at, Jim?

Thanks

Mike
These were all hand-held so there was nothing precise about the framing. There is no way to detect focus breathing in these examples. I was standing 8-10 feet away and trying to visually get roughly the same size image.

One advantage of the 70-200 is that you can add a tripod ring, which I have. But since there is no way to mount the 70-300 directly on a tripod I decided to just do hand-held photos for this comparison.
 
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These were all hand-held so there was nothing precise about the framing. There is no way to detect focus breathing in these examples. I was standing 8-10 feet away and trying to visually get roughly the same size image.

One advantage of the 70-200 is that you can add a tripod ring, which I have. But since there is no way to mount the 70-300 directly on a tripod I decided to just do hand-held photos for this comparison.
Thanks, Jim.

I looked up the data for the 70-300 E AF-P and its predecessor 70-300 G AF-S here.

The G AF-S focuses down to 1.5m with a max. repro ratio of 1:4.
The E AF-G focuses closer, down to 1.2m - but with the identical max. repro ratio of 1:4.

Which means the E AF-P exhibits some amount of focus breathing, which the older G AF-S or the 70-200 f/4 do not suffer from. Might be a consideration in some circumstances...

Thanks

Mike
 
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So to sum up:

Advantages of 70-200 f/4:
  • Slightly better IQ in the 70-200 range
  • Approx. equal performance with 1.4 TC
  • Almost a full stop brighter at 200mm
  • Better weather & dust sealing
  • Better for closeups/no focus breathing
Advantages of 70-300 AF-P:
  • 6 oz lighter (13 oz with TC)
  • 1.5 inches shorter
  • Performance pretty close to the 70-200 f/4
  • $700 cheaper (if you don't already own the 70-200)
  • No need to deal with TCs
  • Faster AF
If I didn't already have the 70-200, getting the 70-300 would be a no-brainer... But adding the 70-300 doesn't seem worth it to me, I'll just have to deal with the extra 6 oz :)

Cheers

Mike
 
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So I actually couldn't resist the current rebate pricing on the 70-300 AF-P and ordered one :)

I kept thinking about the lighter weight, and how it would really make a difference taking the 70-300 on a hike instead of the 70-200 plus one or two TCs... Now we're talking 13 or even 22 oz weight savings, which all adds up... Suddenly the 70-300 made a lot of sense to me :)

I may have to rethink my lens lineup here.

Cheers

Mike
 
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I found that there isn't ONE all purpose lens system/set of lenses.
I found that I need to have several/many lenses in my "tool box."
I have lenses that duplicate each other or their focal length, but are different in other ways.
Then when I shoot a gig I pick the appropriate lens "for that gig" from the tool box.

Example, just like in your case, for travel or hiking, I would choose a lighter consumer grade lens, rather than a heavy pro lens. Really good IQ means nothing, if you are so tired and worn out that you don't want to even lift the camera. Been there, done that. :(

Same with tripods. I took my heavy tripod out ONCE. After that trip, it was immediately replaced by a lighter tripod for field use.
 
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I found that there isn't ONE all purpose lens system/set of lenses.
I found that I need to have several/many lenses in my "tool box."
I have lenses that duplicate each other or their focal length, but are different in other ways.
Then when I shoot a gig I pick the appropriate lens "for that gig" from the tool box.

Example, just like in your case, for travel or hiking, I would choose a lighter consumer grade lens, rather than a heavy pro lens. Really good IQ means nothing, if you are so tired and worn out that you don't want to even lift the camera. Been there, done that. :(

Same with tripods. I took my heavy tripod out ONCE. After that trip, it was immediately replaced by a lighter tripod for field use.
You're absolutely right, picking the right tool for the job is super important!

My first thought was to bring the 80-400 on this trip, for the convenience of an all-in-one zoom. However, the 70-300 + 300 PF combo allows me to match or beat the 80-400 for IQ, while also being able to get to 420/500mm with the TCs. The total weight will be about the same in the pack, and I can decide to leave the 300 PF + TCs behind on hikes. Sounds like a great setup for maximum flexibility!

Makes me wonder what I should do with my 80-400 though, as well as my 70-200 f/4 and f/2.8 VR II. I don't shoot the 70-200 lenses in their native range very often, since I don't have many events to cover anymore. Hmm...

Thanks

Mike
 
Joined
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Messages
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You're absolutely right, picking the right tool for the job is super important!

My first thought was to bring the 80-400 on this trip, for the convenience of an all-in-one zoom. However, the 70-300 + 300 PF combo allows me to match or beat the 80-400 for IQ, while also being able to get to 420/500mm with the TCs. The total weight will be about the same in the pack, and I can decide to leave the 300 PF + TCs behind on hikes. Sounds like a great setup for maximum flexibility!

Makes me wonder what I should do with my 80-400 though, as well as my 70-200 f/4 and f/2.8 VR II. I don't shoot the 70-200 lenses in their native range very often, since I don't have many events to cover anymore. Hmm...

Thanks

Mike
If you shoot low light the f/2.8 lens is GREAT. But it is 2x heavier than the f/4 lens, so logistics becomes an issue when used as a GP long zoom.
I use the lighter f/4 lens, because I can't handle the heavier f/2.8 lens for a 5 hour JV+varsity set of games. And as I get older, weight is serious issue.

What do you shoot or want to shoot where you could use the 80-400?

For me, it would be a great day time field lens (football, soccer, lacrosse, baseball, softball).
You don't have to change lenses, and you have the long 400mm reach, and the shorter 80mm short end, with the twist of the zoom ring.

 
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If you shoot low light the f/2.8 lens is GREAT. But it is 2x heavier than the f/4 lens, so logistics becomes an issue when used as a GP long zoom.
I use the lighter f/4 lens, because I can't handle the heavier f/2.8 lens for a 5 hour JV+varsity set of games. And as I get older, weight is serious issue.

What do you shoot or want to shoot where you could use the 80-400?

For me, it would be a great day time field lens (football, soccer, lacrosse, baseball, softball).
You don't have to change lenses, and you have the long 400mm reach, and the shorter 80mm short end, with the twist of the zoom ring.
Yeah, the 70-200 f/2.8 used to be my favorite lens, about 10 years ago... I was shooting a lot of family & friends events back then, and I was also using it for wildlife with the 1.7 TC... Then the 80-400 G arrived and took over wildlife duties, so the 70-200 f/2.8 started gathering a lot of dust. And now both of them are gathering dust since I mostly shoot birds at 500mm, with the 200-500, 300 PF + TC, or lately the 500 PF :)

I mostly take photos while traveling these days, and size/weight are the biggest concern. The 80-400 & 70-200 f/2.8 never make it into the bag these days. They're great lenses, but perhaps I should let go of one or two of them...

Cheers

Mike
 
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