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

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Reviews Views Date of last review
18 31583 May 30, 2017
Recommended By Average Price
100% of reviewers $2,074.10
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.67
9.29
9.9
100-400

Specifications:
Focal Length: 100 - 400mm
APS Equivalent: 160 - 640mm
Max Aperture: f/4.5 - 5.6
Min Aperture: f/32 - 40
Diaphragm Blades: 9 (rounded)
Lens Construction: 21 elements in 16 groups, including 1 Flourite and 1 Super UD element; Air Sphere Coating (ASC)
Diagonal Angle of View
(Based on image circle): 24 to 6.2 degrees
Focus Details: Inner focusing; Full-time manual focus and USM; Focus limiter switch; High-speed CPU and optimized AF algorithms
Front Element Rotation: No
Zoom System: Rotary
Closest Focus: 0.98m / 3.2 ft.
Magnification Ratio: 0.31x / 1:3.2
Filter Size: 77mm
Dimensions
(Length x Diameter): 193mm x 94mm / 7.6 in. x 3.7 in.
Weight: 1.64Kg / 3.62 lb


 


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tyreman
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Registered: Mar 14, 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 83
Review Date: May 30, 2017 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great fast focus, IS clean shots, tack sharp lens.
Cons:
A bit heavy but a great lens overall!!!

Can't really go wrong with this lens!
Even better than the series 1 and it was good!


May 30, 2017
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JohnPinette
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Registered: Nov 9, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 57
Review Date: Mar 27, 2017 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Image quality, weight, great tripod collar, useful zoom range, great AF.
Cons:
Everything about the zoom ring, variable aperture (of course I knew this going in)

This review is completely specific to shooting a dance competition for 1 day on a borrowed CPS lens. I sit approx. 20 feet from the stage and usually use a 70-200 f/2.8 IS II with a 1.4x III (at times). The 100-400 seemed like a useful zoom range and have wanted to try this lens for dance.

Overall the lens makes great images, however, the zoom ring was a complete show stopper for me. On the copy I had borrowed from CPS which showed signs of use so I'm sure it had been around the block a few times, the zoom ring was very stiff, grabby and impossible to zoom accurately following a good (fast) dancer. In addition the location so far away from the camera body made it uncomfortable to use whether hand holding or on a monopod, and compounded the problems with the stiffness of the zoom ring.

The tripod collar was excellent. I often quickly rotate from portrait to landscape to capture leaps. I wish Canon would use this design on their 70-200s.

The zoom range was great. I was able to zoom in and get some great facial expressions that I would otherwise not get. Also, for the youngest dancers, I was able to fill the frame even when they were at the back of the stage.

I only used IS to capture some hand held awards shots at lower shutter speeds, so I didn't really get an idea of how well that worked. All dance shots were 1/1250 or faster so no need for IS there.

IQ was exceptional, which is what I expected going in.

Variable aperture was a bit of a pain, but I knew that would be going in. I shoot in manual exposure mode because background is either a brightly lit backdrop or a black velvet curtain depending on where they are on the stage, and AE is useless in this situation. So I had to either adjust shutter speeds on the fly while zooming and changing aperture or set it at a fixed f/5.6, which I'd rather not do.

Unless I got a copy of the lens with a faulty zoom ring, I could not get this lens to shoot dance and be able to live with hit. To bad, because I really liked it otherwise.


Mar 27, 2017
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dalephill2
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Registered: Aug 26, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 859
Review Date: Sep 9, 2016 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,600.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharp as a tack, superb build quality, twist action zoom vs push-pull, hood has lock button to release, also window for adjusting ND filters, Image stabilization is incredible.
Cons:
Heavier than original,

Ive read all the reviews, most positive and some not so. The not so's I cannot figure why the negatives, im comming from a 400f5.6prime and the original 100-400is L (is) and is this worth twice what the original is at 700-800, darn right it is, I paid 1,600 used, and had I known it was truly this good I would have paid new, its just that incredible, no comparison over the original, and with my 1.4 mkii extender on it its sharper than my 400 f5.6 prime, just amazing.. when i look at the pics it just blows me away, i can take sharp pics at 1/15 of a sec, at dusk, at sharpness is the same all through the zoom with extender or without, If you have been hanging on the fence as I was just make the jump you'll be blown away. I wished I had just bought this instead of original and the prime, the prime is light, the new 100-400 is heavy but the trade off is getting the best pics you could imagine, it has brought back the excitement of taking pics., I'm using it on a 7dmkII and 5dMKII I'm not getting the same results as I am on the 7Dmkii but it may be cause of the crop factor, showing more detail. bottom line, I am ecstatic .....

Sep 9, 2016
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jrobichaud
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Registered: Feb 21, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 663
Review Date: Jul 10, 2016 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,800.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: I can't believe what Canon has done with this lens, amazing
Cons:
still getting used to the zoom location

I never liked the older 100-400mm, I really tried to, but every image it made would have been better with my 70-200mm 2.8L IS II or 400mm 2.8 L IS II. So I could never bring myself to depend on it even though it was so much more convenient than the 400mm 2.8. A friend lent me his 100-400mm mk II for an NCAA football day game to try out. Used my 2.8 mostly, but tried it when the action got closer like I would have used my 70-200mm. When I reviewed the images, wow! The 100-400mm II had the same color and POP that the 400mm 2.8 II, 300mm 2.8 and 70-200mm 2.8 II had. Except for depth of field, it was amazingly sharp on my 5D III, 7DII and 1Dx. It's one of the best zooms ever made. Check out Ken Rockwell comment when comparing the Canon 100-400mm II to the new Nikon 200-500mm VR:

Ken Rockwell:
"The Canon 100-400mm L IS II is much better; my favorite tele zoom of all time.

The Canon is a breakthrough professional lens that covers ultra-tele focal lengths, and also replaces all 70-200mm and macro lenses at the same time.

The all-metal Canon 100-400 focuses closer than any pro 70-200mm lens (just 2' or 0.84m), so it replaces all 70-200mm lenses as well.

Since the Canon focuses so close and zooms to 400mm at the same time, it's better than most macro lenses since you get the same close picture, but from far enough away to get a better perspective, not pester living subjects and not block your own light.

The Canon 100-400 does nothing for you if you shoot Nikon, but if you're on the fence between Nikon and Canon, I'd get the Canon lens and upgrade to the Canon system instead. Nikon's DX cameras are competitive, while I prefer my full-frame Canons over my FX Nikons."

I can't quite agree with it replacing all 70-200mm's but if you don't need 2.8, then yes. For me, it replaces the 200-400mm f4. Much less expensive, just as sharp (I've compared them) and very much more compact/travel friendly.
If you are thinking about getting one, just do it!


Jul 10, 2016
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Tony_C
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Registered: Jan 25, 2016
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: Jan 25, 2016 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Comfortable using hand held, nice IQ and have found the MFD useful at times. Works great with the 1.4x III.
Cons:
Not a fan of the mount/foot design.

I had the Sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3 and was somewhat pleased except I felt that my images were a little soft. As soon as the 100-400 IS II became available, I picked one up and have been very satisfied with this lens. Great IQ and comfortable hand held. I do most of my shooting with a 5D Mark III and the 1.4x III which I keep attached most of the time. Fully retracted fits nicely in a camera bag.

Jan 25, 2016
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Chris B.
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Registered: Oct 7, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1495
Review Date: Jul 7, 2015 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Superb sharpness, exceptionally fast focusing, ability to take tele-converters with minimal loss of AF and sharpness
Cons:
not a big fan of the new foot design but I replaced the Canon with a Kirk and now it's great! Would have preferred the ability to remove the whole thing

My "go to" 400mm lens for about 6 years was the 400mm f4 DO. It was an exceptional optic but it did have some drawbacks with it delivering low contrast images on cloudy and low light days but easily fixable in post. I had had one of the original 100-400s a long time ago, and loved the capability but ultimately traded up to the DO. When this new 100-400 was announced, it immediately went on the "have to get one of these" list. I wanted the flexibility with some shorter focal lengths that the DO couldn't give me, and I was willing to give up a stop at 400mm to get that. And when I started to see images from some of the "early adopters", that made me want it even more. Sharp as a tack images even with TCs, and exceptional build quality... Now that I have it, I'm enjoying all the benefits: super fast focusing on both my 1D4 and 7DII, great zoom mechanism, even better IS... this will be a keeper!

Jul 7, 2015
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fouroaks
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Registered: Sep 8, 2014
Location: South Africa
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 19, 2015 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Close focusing distance, image quality, IS, bokeh, build quality
Cons:
price?

An excellent lens in just about every way.

No need for a 70-200 if you have this lens. What you lose on the short end is minimal but what you gain is extra length, beautiful blurred backgrounds if zoomed to long end and excellent IQ.

This lens comes very close to replacing a macro lens due to the close focus distance.

Also makes an excellent portrait lens.

I now only carry two lenses in my bag - this one and my 24-105L.

See my mini review at http://www.fouroaksonline.co.za/blog/2015/5/canon-ef-100-400mm-f/4-5-5-6-l-is-ii-usm-lens-review for more details


Jun 19, 2015
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ThomasGermany
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Registered: Mar 28, 2006
Location: Germany
Posts: 2
Review Date: Jun 14, 2015 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: very sharp, fast AF and a wonderful bokeh
Cons:
missing push/pull when birding

I bought the new 100-400L II because everybody told me, it is better than the old on. And yes, the Pictures are even better. Sharper and the bokeh of the new lens is simply wonderful. I got the Chance to use it for birding on Helgoland and got phantastic Pictures. The AF is fast and combined with case 2 (5DMK2 AF Settings) and stabilizer mode 2 I got a lot of sharp Images.
One negative aspect: For birding I definitely miss the old push/pull. It was better to handle when birding because with push/pull it is much easier to zoom on a flying bird.
But nevertheless, it dont regret that I bought the new one.


Jun 14, 2015
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Lux Lux
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Registered: Sep 14, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 350
Review Date: Jun 8, 2015 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Well balanced with 5D3 for hand-held shots. Even with 1.4X III, the balance was intact.
Cons:
Hand- holding is a bit tiresome, and my right hand under the ring-foot does not feel really comfortable due to its not-so-light weight.

For the past a couple of months, most of the time, I used this with 1.4X III on 5D3 body. I did not see noticeable differences in terms of IQ, between this set up and the one without the 1.4X III extender attached.

Almost all of my shots were at 400mm end (560 with 1.4X III).
Very seldom it hunted a tiny bit seconds when there were not enough daylight to shoot in with 1.4XIII.

I used to shoot with 600/4 IS original on 5D2 and 7D original, so in comparison with those shots, this 100-400 IS II on 5D3 with 1.4X III has produced a bit less clear IQ pictures to be precise.

But I am very much satisfied with IQ produced with this new lens on 5D3 and 1.4X III combo set up.

To protect the lens with its cover while the hood is on, I purchased a large size Op/Tech cover. Thus a thin version C-POL filter can stay always on the lens with hood without worrying about sticky dust specks on the front of the C-POL filter.


Jun 8, 2015
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GABarber
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Registered: Apr 5, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 91
Review Date: Jun 4, 2015 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,199.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Just can't say enough about this lens - makes previously impossible shots possible. Tack sharp - focuses quickly - the 4 stops of IS really works. Permanently attached to my 7DII. (Does focus with my original 1.4X - if slightly slower)
Cons:
A touch heavy..but well built.

Ive been using this for Birds and wildlife for the past month and it has transformed my photography. Simply one of the best products Canon has produced in years.

Jun 4, 2015
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Peter Kirk
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Registered: Sep 25, 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 312
Review Date: May 11, 2015 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Image quality, balance, IS
Cons:
$$

After owning the version I, this is a pleasant surprise. I prefer this layout for the zoom, rather than push pull. The image quality of version I was very good, this takes it up a few notches to EXCELLENT. I also love the extra mode on IS, very ingenious. I have replaced a few lenses with this one beauty. Brilliant!!!

May 11, 2015
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R.E. Simmons
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Registered: Jul 26, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 92
Review Date: May 3, 2015 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,199.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp, focuses quickly, great IS
Cons:
Can only remove the foot of the tripod mount, not the complete mount. Lens hood's filter door needs a bit more tension to hold it in place where you want it

Got into the pre buy queue late so I had to wait for this lens. Waited a while but B&H got it to me as soon as they could and they were really great.

At first I thought I might have gotten a poor copy but I was wrong. After correcting my crappy technique and learning how to use the lens I am VERY impressed with it's image quality. I held out for this new version because I am not a fan of push/pull zoom lenses.

One thing I really like on this lens is the sloping shoulder on the focusing ring. I can catch it perfectly with my ring & pinkie finger and make focus adjustments when needed. The lens is very well made, it's a bit heavy but balances beautifully on my camera bodies.

I find that the lens hood's filter door likes to come open a bit on it's own. Wish there was a tad more friction to keep it's position where I place it rather than where it decides to be.

I am very pleased with this lens, it delivers the images after my learning curve with it. I am very happy with and glad that I purchased this lens.


May 3, 2015
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wfr2
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Registered: May 14, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 1402
Review Date: Mar 12, 2015 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,095.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Let me first say that I hated the old 1-4 and never thought it deserved a good rating. However, I have been blown away by each of the new Canon lenses and the new 1-4 is no exception. Nice and sharp at all zoom settings right out of the box for me. Needed a bit of AF calibration on my bodies (1DXs) when using the 1.4x tele-extender but is sharp now with that too. Focus is fast even with the tele-extemder. The new image stabilization is fantastic, Realy is 4 f-stop effective.
Cons:
Will not focus with 2x tele-extender. I know it is not supposed to but given how well it works with the 1.4x I thought it might. Would love a fixed 4.0 f-stop but I guess that would increase the weight/bulk too much. It is really hard to come up with a con.



Mar 12, 2015
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webman06
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Registered: May 21, 2004
Location: France
Posts: 50
Review Date: Feb 21, 2015 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,250.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great focus speed, very effective IS, very sharp as expected
Cons:
Cannot remove the tripod collar (to say something...)

A stellar performer that replaces the venerable 100-400L in my bag. Just got it yesterday but from my first test, a great image quality. Can't wait to push it to the limit on a fast moving animal !
Will complete this review asap.


Feb 21, 2015
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Venus
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Registered: Aug 15, 2005
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Posts: 629
Review Date: Jan 25, 2015 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,000.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Finally, I have found a lens to replace my beloved 400/5.6L with confidence. The bonus is the zoom, the IS and the close focus. By the way, this lens is sharper at the 400 end than my prime! This stellar telephoto zoom has fulfilled all my requirements as an all-in-one safari lens.
Cons:
What not to like?

Super fast AF! Great for any action photography and brutally sharp.

Jan 25, 2015
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PetKal
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Registered: Sep 6, 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 29755
Review Date: Dec 27, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: The lens has met all of my key expectations.
Cons:
The tripod mount foot is a poor design, the zoom ring is misplaced on the barrel.

The lens is a worthy successor to the venerable and very popular 100-400 MkI. The MkI is a sharp lens, the MkII is at least as sharp.

The AF drive control has been done particularly well, and its 4 stop IS works as specified.

On the negative side, Canon have succeeded in their effort to design the lens tripod mount foot to be even worse than traditionally useless feet for the big white lenses.

The distal positioning of the zoom ring on the lens barrel is an irritant in lens operation.


Dec 27, 2014
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Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
18 31583 May 30, 2017
Recommended By Average Price
100% of reviewers $2,074.10
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.67
9.29
9.9
100-400


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