So I have had the combo for 2 weekends / 10 days, and it time for me to decide. Keep them, take one, or both back.
Canon 100-400mm IS Mark ii:
I wanted something lighter than my 500mm to hike deeper into the mountains and also have a back up to the 500mm. I wanted a more compact travel lens that I would count on and not be forced to feel like I left something home going without my trusty 50mm. Mission accomplished. The lens is extremely well built. On par with the mark ii version of the 70-200 IS. The lens focused and tracks well on both bodies I used it on. It is slightly slower to lock on that my 70-200mm or my 500mm prime. But then again I would expect it to. It held focus really well. The IS is very quiet and smooth. A definite improvement over a handheld Canon 400mm 5.6 without IS. The over size of the lens is shorter than the 70-200 and will be making a home in my camera bag!
Canon 7D Mark ii and Canon 100-400mm IS Mark ii combination:
It is like this pair was designed at Canon to be paired together. The combo is incredible!
One of my favorite Eagle photos came from this combo during my field testing.
Captured under perfect light and perfect conditions!
This combo is perfect for sports and or wildlife. I didn’t have the chance to shoot any sports with it, but it might be limited by the f5.6 @ 400mm on a game under the lights. It should perform well on daytime games. My keeper rate on birds in flight was higher than normal with this combo. I am accrediting this to the lighter weight and being able to hand hold verses shooting from a tripod and gimbal. If you are looking for a really solid pair, the search is over. If you are coming from anything other than a Canon 1DX, you will be very happy with the performance and results from this combination.
I was also asked to test the 7D2 + 1.4 TC + 100-400 2 = 896mm. This combination is a ton of reach for the money. I did find it to be too much zoom to effectively handhold. I shot it off my gimbal and got decent results. Softer and slower to track. Here is a sample result.
Canon 7D Mark ii Body
What got me interested in this body is a couple things. First I used to have two matched gripped 7D’s. I shot weddings and wildlife successfully with them. I finally saved up enough to buy a 1DX for Christmas 2013. Right away I sold one of the 7D’s and held the other one for a backup. I never picked up my backup 7D once. Once rumors of the new 7D2 were flying I sold my second backup 7D before the used market prices fell.
So I have been shooting without a backup body for 6 or 7 months and my camera fund had grown enough to start shopping. My son upgraded one of his 7D’s to a 5DMKiii. I have really enjoyed shooting with his 5D3. I was torn between staying fullframe and getting a 5D3, or trying out the 7D2. So that brings up to the past 10 days and my field testing.
If this combo would have been around before I bought my 1DX, I would be owning 2 of them. One gripped and one without a grip. But I already own and have mastered my Canon 1DX, so I find the 7D2 a step down and the body will be returned.
The 7D2 body MSPP is 1800, the Canon 1DX MSRP is 6800. It wasn’t ever fair for me to compare the the two. I was hoping for 80% of the 1DX for 38% of the price. Dont get me wrong this is a SOLID body and WAY better than the 7D1. I am blessed and can afford the 1DX for my hobby. I will be picking up a 5D3 or a second 1DX if when the price falls.
I really hope people don’t take my review in anyway of bashing the 7D2. I just don’t need a second wildlife camera, and really needed more of a landscape / portrait camera body.
If there is interest, I’ll do another review of the 5D3 after she arrives. Hope the past 10 days worth of blogs have been worth your time, but I figured tons of other people are struggling with the same question: where is the best bang for the buck?
Keeping the 100-400 mkii, returning the 7D2 body.
I would also like to take a moment to thank all my new blog followers and supporters!
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Thanks for stopping by, Life is good, and I am blessed!