Canon 70-300 L Vs 100-400 II: A Comparison

Canon 70-300 L Vs 100-400 II: A Comparison


In this article, we will analyze and compare the features, performance, and suitability of these two popular Canon lenses for photography. Whether you are a professional photographer looking for the best option for your wildlife photography expeditions or an enthusiast seeking a high-quality zoom lens for versatile photography, we’ve got you covered! Let’s dive into the detailed comparison of these two fantastic lenses and help you make an informed decision.

Which lens offers superior image quality?

The Canon 70-300 L and the Canon 100-400 II are both renowned for their exceptional image quality. The Canon 70-300 L features an advanced optical design with UD (Ultra-low Dispersion) elements that effectively minimize chromatic aberrations and produce sharp, high-contrast images. On the other hand, the Canon 100-400 II boasts a sophisticated optical formula with fluorite and Super UD glass elements, delivering outstanding clarity, sharpness, and color accuracy throughout the zoom range.

When it comes to resolving power and minimizing optical imperfections, the Canon 100-400 II takes the lead with its superior glass elements and coatings. The lens is also equipped with Air Sphere Coating (ASC) to significantly reduce lens flare and ghosting, ensuring impeccable image quality even in challenging lighting conditions.

Which lens provides better autofocus performance?

Photographers often rely on fast and accurate autofocus performance, especially when capturing fast-moving subjects or wildlife. The Canon 70-300 L incorporates a ring-type USM (Ultrasonic Motor) for swift and quiet autofocus, allowing you to track subjects with precision and reliability. Additionally, the lens features a full-time manual focus override for fine-tuning focus adjustments without switching to manual mode.

On the other hand, the Canon 100-400 II is equipped with an advanced ring-type USM motor along with a high-speed CPU for rapid and accurate autofocus, making it an ideal choice for capturing dynamic subjects with remarkable sharpness and clarity. The lens also offers three different AF modes to suit various shooting scenarios, including AI Servo AF for continuous tracking of moving subjects.

Which lens is more suitable for wildlife photography?

Both the Canon 70-300 L and the Canon 100-400 II are popular choices among wildlife photographers due to their impressive telephoto capabilities and advanced optical technologies. The Canon 100-400 II, however, stands out as a top-notch choice for wildlife photography with its extended reach and superior image stabilization.

The Canon 100-400 II’s versatile focal length range of 100-400mm allows photographers to capture distant subjects with stunning detail and clarity, making it an excellent choice for wildlife portraits and action shots. Additionally, the lens features a 4-stop optical image stabilizer with three IS modes, providing exceptional stability and sharpness even when shooting handheld or in challenging lighting conditions.

Which lens offers better build quality and weather resistance?

Both the Canon 70-300 L and the Canon 100-400 II are constructed with high-quality materials and feature robust build designs, ensuring durability and reliability in various shooting environments. The Canon 70-300 L boasts a weather-sealed construction with dust and moisture resistance, making it suitable for outdoor photography in harsh conditions.

The Canon 100-400 II takes the build quality and weather resistance to the next level with its rugged, magnesium alloy construction and advanced sealing to protect against dust and water intrusion. The lens also features a fluorine coating on the front and rear elements, repelling dust, moisture, and smudges for easy cleaning and maintenance.


In conclusion, both the Canon 70-300 L and the Canon 100-400 II are exceptional lenses with distinct strengths that cater to different photography needs and preferences. While the Canon 70-300 L excels in portability and versatility with its compact design and impressive image quality, the Canon 100-400 II offers unmatched telephoto capabilities, superior weather sealing, and image stabilization, making it a superior choice for wildlife and sports photography.

Ultimately, the optimal choice between these two lenses depends on your specific photographic requirements and shooting scenarios. Whether you prioritize image quality, autofocus performance, telephoto capabilities, or weather resistance, both lenses offer outstanding features and performance that cater to a wide range of photography genres.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can the Canon 70-300 L and the Canon 100-400 II be used for portrait photography?

While both lenses are primarily designed for telephoto and wildlife photography, they can also be used for capturing stunning portraits with their impressive image quality and background compression. The Canon 100-400 II’s versatile focal length range allows for creative portrait compositions, especially when shooting outdoors or in spacious environments.

2. Do these lenses require lens filters for protection?

It is recommended to use high-quality UV or protective filters on both lenses to safeguard the front elements from scratches, dust, and accidental impact. Additionally, using a quality filter can improve the overall image quality and minimize lens flare in challenging lighting conditions.

3. Are these lenses compatible with teleconverters for extended reach?

Both the Canon 70-300 L and the Canon 100-400 II are compatible with Canon teleconverters to extend their focal length reach, albeit with some trade-offs in aperture and autofocus performance. When using teleconverters, it is essential to ensure compatibility and carefully assess the impact on image quality and overall performance.

4. What type of photography benefits the most from the Canon 70-300 L?

The Canon 70-300 L is well-suited for photographers seeking a versatile and lightweight telephoto zoom lens for everyday photography, travel, and outdoor adventures. Its compact form factor, impressive image quality, and reliable autofocus make it an excellent choice for capturing a wide range of subjects, including landscapes, architecture, and portraits.

5. Which lens is more suitable for sports photography?

While both lenses are capable of capturing fast-action subjects with precision, the Canon 100-400 II’s superior telephoto reach, rapid autofocus, and excellent image stabilization make it an ideal choice for sports photography, especially for shooting outdoor sporting events and wildlife action.


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