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

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Reviews Views Date of last review
262 631889 Apr 4, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
90% of reviewers $2,086.79
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.31
8.68
9.1
ef100_400l_1_

Specifications:
L-series super telephoto zoom lens equipped with an Image Stabilizer. The fluorite and Super UD-glass elements largely eliminate secondary spectrum. The floating system also ensures high picture quality at all focal lengths. The Image Stabilizer has two modes and it is compatible with Extenders 1.4x II and 2x II.


 


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escfreak
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Registered: Apr 7, 2006
Location: Germany
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 23, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,600.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Beautiful colours, push + pull very easy to handle, IS!!!!!
Cons:
Weight!

Well, this is defintely the best lens i've ever had. I got it, tried it out at the zoo nearby and what can I say. It is very easy to handle (even though it's on the heavy side), Push + Pull is kind of easier to handle than the normal zoom ring (faster!) you keep the camera more stabile cause you touch the lens almost in the front.
I am not used to it. but believe me, i had almost no photo to correct with Photoshop. Even with "Picture Style - Neutral" you get fantastic colours.
After trying it at the zoo I now use it to take potrait photos in 150 mm. Who on earth needs 2,8 or less???


Dec 23, 2006
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John H Smith
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Registered: Dec 20, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 81
Review Date: Dec 20, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Generally good image quality. Excellent focal length coverage for wildlife/sports when on foot and shooting hand held. IS makes handholding practical at 400mm. Built like a tank.
Cons:
Some softness at f5.6/400mm. (f8 fine) Any white lens does attract attention in public. Goes MF if you add an extender.

I've used this lens for about 2 years for wildlife and sports (eg. horse cross country eventing). On foot and shooting handheld I haven't seen anything near as good, let alone better. Some slight softness if you shoot f5.6 at 400mm, but f8 is plenty sharp. Extenders turn the lens to manual focus only, but you already have 640mm when it's fitted to a 1.6 crop digital camera, so I don't find extenders essential for what I want the lens for. Image stabilisation works just fine for 400mm at 1/100 handheld. All the white L lenses attract too much attention in public places ("are you the official photographer?") and for wildlife I add a camouflage cover from Wildlife Watching Supplies. Heavy? Not as heavy as a 300 f2.8, and you won't be needing a tripod. I use a padded/stretchy strap over my shoulder, not neck, with a small camera back pack for long walks. I don't find it a problem. The flip side to weight issues is that it is built like a tank. I read a lot about dust in the camera from the push-pull design but I just don't get this. There is a solid piece of glass (a lens element) sealing the back end of the lens, so I just don't understand how it is supposed to be blowing dust into the camera. Certainly, I haven't seen any more dust than with any other lens. Overall: great lens for outdoor work.

Dec 20, 2006
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Dr K
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Registered: Nov 18, 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 17
Review Date: Dec 5, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,670.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: great range, push-pull zoom (yes, it's a good thing), works well with the 1.4x extender
Cons:
weight

Let's start off with the weight - it's way heavy. It's not until you spend a few hours walking around with it do you really notice it. Picking it up for a couple of minutes is not a great test of the strain it will put your arms under.

I took my kit (10-22mm, 24-105 IS, 50mm 1.8, 100-400mm IS, 1.4x) to the zoo yesterday and this was the only lens that I needed.

I never needed to go wider than 100mm, and at 400mm I got head shots of the lions at around 50 metres. The results were very sharp and the bokeh was simply amazing (all handheld, no tripod)

I've read a lot of negatives about the push-pull zoom, but I can't recommend it highly enough. It responds quickly and is a pleasure to use.

I didn't use the 1.4x extender at the zoo, but in other outings it has proved to produce great results when I need that extra length (560mm on a 1.6x crop body is way cool).

The IS works well and really is a must when shooting over 100mm.

I had been considering the 70-200mm F/4 IS over this lens, and even though this was AU$600 more, I think it was well worth it.

Highly recommended!



Dec 5, 2006
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evisione
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Registered: Dec 25, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 8
Review Date: Dec 2, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,350.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: color, sharpness, IS
Cons:
weight, price

This is my all time FAVORITE lens for animals. The 70-200, while being an excellent lens, just didn't have the reach that I wanted/needed for animal shots. THis lens does. It's crisp and sharp -- w/out fail. And the color in extraordinary.

Dec 2, 2006
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Astrogeek
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Registered: Aug 11, 2006
Location: N/A
Posts: 13
Review Date: Dec 1, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 4 

 
Pros: Fast focus, quiet IS, great bokeh, zoom range
Cons:
Soft wide open, especially at longer focal lengths

I like the 100 - 400 zoom range for an all around lens, which is what drove me to purchase this lens. I had this lens for a few months but decided to sell it because I never was pleased with the sharpness. I know others have had great results withthis lens, but I honestly believe Canon has some quality variability with this particular lens.

I was a little hesitant to get this lens in the first place because of the push-pull zoom, but I actually found it very easy to use. And the weight didn't bother me at all, even on long walks/hikes. Another great aspect of this lens is the bokeh, which is really nice.

I wouldn't mind having a better quality unit in the future and wouldn't hesitate to buy one that I knew was sharp. Unfortunately, my recommendation is "buyer beware" because there are some lemons out there, regardless of what others may think.


Dec 1, 2006
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Baseball Dad
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Registered: Mar 5, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 124
Review Date: Nov 23, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp and very fast focusing. I have no trouble with following the plays during a baseball game. Excellent bokeh.
Cons:
Weight and slow aperature.

I bought a used copy that was pretty beat up (lots of small paint chips. This made the price extremely reasonable. The lens was serviced by Canon, Irvine prior to my purchase. I get compliments on the color saturation and sharpness of the pictures of the team. Push pull works well on the monopod. I just wish it were a little faster or a little lighter. Overall, my most used lens.

Nov 23, 2006
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gigo
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Registered: Feb 1, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 1367
Review Date: Nov 21, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: extremely versatile focal range, sharp (yep, that's right), IS, push-pull allows for fast framing of moving subjects, best bang for the buck
Cons:
the near-far switch is painful (remembering it's on is painful, also being similar to the af/mf switch and placed somewhere not easy to be quickly reached makes it even more painful) , the lens hood could use a latch to lock it in place, some lenses' plastic baffle ring inside the lens come unglued (cheap glue) - i have seen this happen on two different lenses bought 4 yrs apart



Nov 21, 2006
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aero145
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Registered: Jul 1, 2006
Location: Germany
Posts: 333
Review Date: Nov 7, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp - Image Stabilizer - Solid
Cons:
Left hand arms hurting after shooting one day

I tried this lens out for a whole day, and I had only got one negative aspect; heaviness. I held it all the day (didn't have a neck strap) with my hands, so they begun to hurt slowly.

I tried 2 copies, one with and without an 1.4x Extender, and an other one with and without 1.4x AND 2x Extenders, and I'm a lot surprised that those combos were a success. The quality may not be good, but at least MUCH better than one can imagine. Just sharpen in post-processing! But at full zoom the lens is f/13, so boosting the ISO up to 400 is a must... Mono- or Tripod would be good too. With the Extender combos you must be good in manual focusing!


Nov 7, 2006
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Julius
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Registered: Jan 26, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 918
Review Date: Nov 2, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,359.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very good range and excellent combination with the 24-105L lens. Image quality is superb, lens is well built.
Cons:
I do not like one touch zooms but one can get used to it.

This lens is very sharp, actually it is even sharper than my 70-200 f/4L lens which I thought was very sharp. Image quality is very good even with the 1.4X converter. This is my third copy of this lens (changing systems a couple of times) but this one is probably the sharpest. Even with the 5D full field sensor it is razor sharp from edge to edge and corner to corner at every focal lengths even wide open.

Nov 2, 2006
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Ian Rooker
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Registered: Nov 2, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 2, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Fantastic sharp images.Fairly fast for F4.5-5.6 Solid as a rock
Cons:
Zooming tightening ring . Need to go on a body building course if you are going to use this all day.

I have used this lens for over a year now & overall I am very pleased with the results. The first copy I had did have to go back as the Image stabilizer locked up now & again new copy not a problem.(tempting fate maybe).
The zoom touch adjustment ring can be a pain at times as you can often tighten this up whilst focusing.
Overall I love this lens lovely sharp images and back ground out of focus is fantastic.
Just rember to keep switching shoulders when your out or you are going to end up lope sided.


Nov 2, 2006
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FighterPilot
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Registered: Dec 21, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 47
Review Date: Oct 27, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,800.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp Optics, Full Time MF, Build Quality (She's built Like an Abrams!), Perfect For What I Use Need It For.
Cons:
Addicted To L Glass Now

Bought this lens for aviation Photography. Very impressed with it, can't wait to get out and to some real spotting with it. It's my first lens I've bought separately, and now I'm addicted to L glass! Perfect for aviation photography. Don't see why people think Push/Pull is a negative.

Cal


Oct 27, 2006
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pilot371
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Registered: May 27, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 1
Review Date: Oct 17, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fabulous Lens - My first L series lens purchased for outdoor sports photography - mostly football! It is excellent!!
Cons:
none

bought lens for sports photography, mostly football.
Images are sharp as a tack, more than fast enough - did almost all my shotting on overcast day. used iso 400 on my 30D camera body and got excellent shots!!

Very Happy with purchase!!


Oct 17, 2006
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tasos_at
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Registered: Aug 22, 2005
Location: Greece
Posts: 273
Review Date: Oct 13, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: I stabilization is incredible, focusing fast, great color, sharp images except at 400.
Cons:
Slow aperture

I have seen several unfavourable reviews of this lens ,this is my


http://mypalm.ath.cx/enigma/index.php?topic=893.new#new


Oct 13, 2006
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Ross T.
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Registered: Dec 14, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 191
Review Date: Oct 11, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: GREAT LENS....FANTASTIC RANGE!!
Cons:
None

Just a GREAT LENS...Image Stabilization works Great....Fantastic Zoom Range...Just Go Slow with the Push-Pull Zoom so you don't suck dust into your lens.....Very Sharp Lens....It does SO MUCH!!!! :^)

Oct 11, 2006
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jamach
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Registered: Jan 31, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 6104
Review Date: Oct 6, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,389.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: With 5D it is very sharp at all apertures. Very fast focus. Nice Bokeh. Focus range limiter. Built like a cannon.
Cons:
tripod collar removal could be improved via new ring. The lens has small screws protruding that help mount the ring.

I do not have anything but praise for this lens. With the 5D the results are stunning. It focuses very fast, colors are superb, very nice bokeh, and it is flexible - just pull or push and the lens responds. I have not had any problems or glitches, am a happy camper. I forgot to add that my copy is sharper than what many reviewers admit, it is very sharp. If I had a quibble it would be my wish that the lens have a lens hood like the 400m F5.6L. The price paid was not too bad for this level of quality and today's market. I should have bought this lens a long time ago.

Oct 6, 2006
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tjsimonsen
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Registered: Aug 14, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 6
Review Date: Aug 14, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp stopped down, good bokeh, fast AF, full time MF, IS, great versitility.
Cons:
Soft wide open, long and slightly off balanced at 400mm, push-pull zoom, price

After having owned this lens for a while and tested it in quite different conditions, my conclusion is that it's a great all-round wildlife lens.
It is, however, NOT a prime. And wide open at 400mm it's considerably softer than the 400/5.6, stopped down to f8, it becomes a pretty sharp lens. It may still be a bit softer than the prime (at the same apature) if you pixel-peep, but I doubt that the difference will be visible even on a 12''*18'' print. The excellent bokeh, the close-focus distance of 1.8 m (at 400mm) and the floating lens element-group doubles the lens as a good close-up lens for butterflies and dragonflies as well (though by no way a hidden macro as some indicate).
The overall build quality is excellent: it's build like a tank and the AF is very fast. It is, however, slightly off balance at 400mm and the push-pull zoom will NEVER be my cup of tea - I'm getting used to it, but I'll never love it! The IS works well and it's a usefull tool, but not a life-saver - you still need your basic telephoto skills.
All in all, it's a great allround lens within it's limitations, by in my opinion at bit over-prized (not a word from me about it being f5.6 - if it was an f4, it would have been three times the weight and five times the prize!).


Aug 14, 2006
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Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
262 631889 Apr 4, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
90% of reviewers $2,086.79
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.31
8.68
9.1
ef100_400l_1_


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