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Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM Lens

Discussion in 'Lens Matters' started by loothapub, Oct 13, 2011.

  1. loothapub

    loothapub Well-Known Member

    Toying with the idea of making this my next lens.

    Does anyone own one ? If so your experiences please.

    This lens has the push pull zoom does it take much getting used to ?

    Any advice is welcome.
  2. Straightarm

    Straightarm Well-Known Member

    Had one for 9 years now. Very happy with it, it's a very useful lens for sports and nature photography.

    The push pull action is no problem; but I was used to that from manual focus lenses. In fact, I'd like more lenses with the push pull action rather than the rotary zoom control. To me, it's a much more natural, intuitive way of operating the zoom control.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2011
  3. jchrisc

    jchrisc Well-Known Member

    I've only had mine for seven years, but I use it a lot. I use it mostly on a tripod with the zoom locked; i.e. I choose the focal length for the situation and use it like a prime lens, so the zooming method doesn't bother me much.

    On the occasions that I do hand-hold it, I find the IS the most effective of any of my IS lenses.
  4. Wheelman

    Wheelman Well-Known Member

    As a theme seems to be developing...

    I have had mine for err um nearly twelve years ( ****** hell is it that long :D)

    It was the reason I bought into the Canon EF range, as at the time there wasn't anything comparible.

    I love mine which has seen an enormous amount of use with my motor sport pics, even more so since changing to digital, and still produces good results. I have no problem with the push-pull as again I came from a manual system where my main zooms were of this type (100-300 FD)

    One thing to be aware of is that there does seem to be a significant variation in quality, and some have found theirs not to be as sharp as others-I think Nick had one he wasn't entirely happy with. I don't know if this is still true of new versions.

    I would still buy the same lens again today, should I be looking.

    I think that mine is also probably due a service and clean as it hasn't been touched since I got it, and while they are at it.....
  5. loothapub

    loothapub Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the helpful comments.

    SInce I posted I have also checked out the reviews on other sites and it seems to get good positive feedback.

    Still undecided tho
  6. loothapub

    loothapub Well-Known Member

    Sorry - Forgot to ask.

    Are there any really good alternatives ?
  7. Straightarm

    Straightarm Well-Known Member

    possibly Sigma's



  8. bob58

    bob58 Well-Known Member

    Sigma's 150-500 seems to well liked.

    I hired the 100-400 for a week, its a lovely lens but I found the push pull a bit awkward, also the friction ring idea I struggled with, the lens kept sliding out when lowering it.
    To be honest a week probably not long enough to get used to it, image quality no complaints, I opted for a 300F4 in the end.
  9. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I thought about the 100-400 but instead I first bought a 70-200 and then, much later, bought the 300 f4 and 1.4 converter figuring that the occasions where I had found I needed something longer than 200 would not just happen by chance - I'd know I would be setting out to use a longer lens. So I have a sort of mental list

    • general out and about - up to 100 mm or
    • intended portraits, sport up close - 70-200 mm or
    • sport/nature at distance 300mm + 1.4
    I might carry a short zoom (24-105) as well as the 300 mm for flexibility but I wouldn't lug a 70-200mm around as well (or carry a short zoom when I am out with that) - too darned heavy.
  10. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    If you don't need to go to 400, the best alternative is the 70-300 L IS. I own both lenses - the 100-400 is good, the 70-300 is absolutely outstanding. I'm surprised to see someone say the IS on the 100-400 is good - it's OK for 2 stops, but pretty poor compared to modern lenses.

    It took me a long time to sort out the friction ring, but once I did, it's pretty good. All in all, it's a decent lens if it's what you need.
  11. loothapub

    loothapub Well-Known Member

    I have the 70-200 f4 IS USM - will there be a significant difference to the 70-300 using them on 5D Mk II ?
  12. bob58

    bob58 Well-Known Member

    Just about sums up how i use my kit, sometimes carry my 17-50 but I am seriously considering purchasing a compact for my pocket when out with 300+1.4 which is my most used combo at the moment
  13. bob58

    bob58 Well-Known Member

    You could add a 1.4 extender to your 70-200 which would give 280mm at the long end
  14. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Rather embarrassingly, I have to own up to also owning this lens and the extender. It's a great lens by itself, and still pretty decent with the extender, but the 70-300 is optically quite a bit better, the AF quicker and the IS better. If it matters, the 70-300 is more compact than the 70-200 plus extender, but weighs more - it's a serious piece of glass. I'll probably sell the 70-200, as it's only advantage to me is the lighter weight. I must say that the 70-300 is pretty much my favourite lens these days.
  15. bob58

    bob58 Well-Known Member

    This lens generally appears to be well regarded.

    Shame on you for owning kit you do not need :rolleyes:;) who owns kit they do not need :p:D
  16. loothapub

    loothapub Well-Known Member

    So I could sell my 70-200 f4 and buy the 100-400 to replace it.

    and then having the 24-105 lens I should have everything covered.
  17. loothapub

    loothapub Well-Known Member

    Will that have AF with that lens ?
  18. Straightarm

    Straightarm Well-Known Member

    Yes. A 70-200 f4 with a 1.4x extender becomes a 100-280 f5.6 and virtually all AF cameras will give AF if the maximum aperture is F5.6 or wider.
  19. bob58

    bob58 Well-Known Member

    Yes but I have never tried it.
  20. loothapub

    loothapub Well-Known Member

    Well after all the hums and ha's I bought the 1.4x III extender which I will use with my 70-200 f4.

    Hopefully it was the right decision and probably the cheaper option.

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