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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
264 641801 Aug 21, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
91% of reviewers $2,080.05
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.31
8.66
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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dehowie
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Registered: Oct 21, 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 1003
Review Date: Nov 22, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellent all around lens.
Cons:
Lens hood.

I've used this lens for over 2 years now and still find it usefull and good quality even up against my big primes.
My sample is exceptionally sharp aound the 300mm mark and takes wonderful shots in both good and poor light.
IS plays up when panning across the sun but this is a pretty well known problem with the 100-400 but really is not a major limitation.
Overall i have been happy since day 1 and am still happy today.
Excellent lens.
Darren Howie


Nov 22, 2005
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egalon
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Registered: Oct 2, 2005
Location: Spain
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 19, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Incredible sharp, even wide open, from 100 to 350. The most versatile lens i own.
Cons:
None at all

I bought this lens after read the previous reviews to complement my, in the way, 24-105 IS.

After my firsts shots iīm really impressed with the lens. Itīs as sharp as my 300/4 IS and very far from my 70-200 IS. I really think itīs my best buy in Canon lenses. I still prefer the the 300/4 plus 1,4X for focal 400, itīs more sharp, but the 100-400 is much more versatile.

I own a 135/2, 14-70/4, 24-70/2.8, 70-200 2.8 IS, 300/4 IS...
and i think the 100-400 itīs my best lens.

Highly recommended.

Please, excuse my bad english.


Nov 19, 2005
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clx1200
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Registered: Aug 12, 2005
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 1
Review Date: Nov 19, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Shrapness, Image Stabilizer
Cons:
The IS eats battery's, weight, lens hood could be better.(scratchable) f4,5/5,6

This is my favorite lens for zoo photography. I mount the camera and lens on a ball head equipped tripod. Keeping the ball head loose I can follow the animal as it walks around in its enclosure. When the animal holds still for a moment, I fire the shutter. The tripod/ballhead and image stabilization feature of this lens allow me to capture sharp images at much lower shutter speeds than would be possible if I were using a regular lens on a monopod.

if you have a strong arm, you can take @400mm at 1/30 shutter,(only for the lucky one's;-)a good picture...


Nov 19, 2005
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Review Date: Nov 18, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: WOW...What a great lense! I have only had it a short time but I am very pleased. IS is a great feature.
Cons:
F/4.5-5.6



Nov 18, 2005
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ward1066
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Registered: Feb 3, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 2563
Review Date: Nov 8, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: I recently purchased this lens with a 1.4 II converter and I am very suprised how sharp this lens is. The first night I got the lens I was able to handhold @400mm 1/100 sec and it was tack sharp. This with the canon 1,4 converter was also impressive,although the bokea is a little weird. I highly suggest this lens
Cons:
maybe the weight but you get used to it



Nov 8, 2005
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AGeoJO
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Registered: Jul 8, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 12094
Review Date: Nov 4, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, fairly compact, IS works great, great zoom range, etc.
Cons:
A tad on the slow side but that's what you get for that size zoom

I bought this lens used and took it to a trip to South America, which included the Galapagos Archipelago, and came back with tons of sharp, well exposed images. I even used it in combination with a Canon 1.4X MkII TC and the results impressed me. This lens and the 24-70L are the two most used lenses out of five during this trip. As matter of fact, I only took only one lens hood and used the same hood (EW - 83F, the original hood that came with the 24-70mmL) interchangeably.

The previous owner, somebody I know personally on FM, assured me that it is a sharp copy and it is. Apparently, there is a fairly wide difference in optical quality of the lens. Just make sure you get/buy a sharp copy of this lens and you will be happy.



Nov 4, 2005
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Gijs
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Registered: Dec 3, 2004
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 687
Review Date: Oct 30, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,600.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very stable and reliable optical performance; sharp enough at any focal length and aperture! No CA whatsoever. IS is a dream!
Cons:
Weight and size, AF could be faster

This lens may not be the sharpest L, but it's definitely sharp enough and performs very evenly across its range of focal lengths and apertures. Where I'm somewhat hesitant of using some of my other lenses at their widest apertures, with this lens I know that the results will always be good, unless I screw up myself.
By the way, in a quick test I did at the store, this lens outperformed the 300mm f/4 IS with a 1,4x teleconverter in terms of sharpness.

This is quite a slow lens in terms of apertures, but faster lenses are soooo much more expensive. IS really works miracles in that regard. It's really true that you can handhold 4x longer shutter speeds with the use of IS.

The lens is rather big and heavy and I've held on to my Sigma 70-300 APO for travelling purposes. Only when I go out for some dedicated telephoto work, like birding, do I bring this lens. Definitely something to think about if you're considering buying this lens.

On the subject of the push-pull zoom design I'm rather neutral. I don't especially love it nor hate it. A positive point is that it allows for fast zooming. A negative may be that the IS on/off switch may be harder to reach when your hand moves away with the extending lens. I haven't noticed any significant amounts of new dust on my sensor after using this lens.



Oct 30, 2005
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malla1962
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Registered: Mar 25, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 2
Review Date: Oct 29, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp images with excellent color and contrast. Image stabilizer is a big plus. Build quality fairly light for the zoom range.
Cons:
Dust sucker, buy plenty of sensor cleaner. A bit slow being F5.6 at the long end. You need plenty of light.

At first I didn't like the push-pull zoom, but have now grown to love it. If you're looking for a good hand holdable 400 mm lens, this is the one to have. Great for action photography.

Oct 29, 2005
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smpetty
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Registered: Feb 20, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1407
Review Date: Oct 23, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp. Range. Image Stabilization.
Cons:
Variability in copies of this lens

I am on my 3rd copy of this lens. The first copy was good but not excellent and was somewhat soft at 400mm. The second copy was very similar to the first. I finally made a switch to primes and sold all of my zooms, the 100-400 included.

More experience has taught me that there is a place for good zooms in my bag, so I made one more stab at this lens.

Wow!

The 100-400 that I've had now for 3 weeks (manufactured in September of 2005) is the sharpest zoom I've ever used. This includes my 10-22, 24-105 IS, and 70-200 f/2.8 IS. This copy is every bit as sharp as my 300 f/4 and 400 f/5.6 primes. It's so good that I'm thinking of selling the 300 f/4 and 400 f/5.6. The IS is superb. The push-pull zoom takes some getting used to but for me has become second nature. The range cannot be beat.

Obviously there are problems with variability in copies of this lens -- I know this from personal experience. I'd recommend you buy from a reputable dealer who will let you return the lens, and try as many copies as it takes to get a sharp copy. Once you do, it's zoom nirvana :-)


Oct 23, 2005
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Michael-M
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Registered: Apr 21, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 2698
Review Date: Oct 22, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Excellent zoom range on my 20D (640mm is perfect), quick AF, very Sharp, IS works perfect, build quality is Excellent, color and contrast is awesome, comes with Case.
Cons:
none

only had this beauty for a day, but my intent was to replace my 300f/2.8L as the prime was not flexible enough for me. i never shot below f.6.3 with the prime so i don't miss the speed.
the 100-400 at 300mm even wide open, is nearly as sharp as the prime (not as, but close), but stopped down to f/6.3, it's close.
some are put off by the push-pull, but i can honestly say that if you haven't REALLY tried it, don't knock it, and as for being a "vacumn cleaner"..........those who make this claim or have problems are probably moving the lens in and out like a POGO stick.
if you need to move it like that, then you really are going to have to back off on the coffee. seriously, this is a very sharp and smooth pice of glass.
i am very happy i sold the prime and bought this lens as it totally opens up the areas of shooting and the first images i looked at from scenes i shoot around the house for testing just totally blew me away. i was expecting soft images at 400mm and soso in between as described by user reviews here, but such is not the case.


Oct 22, 2005
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dwolfbearer
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Registered: Oct 4, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 946
Review Date: Oct 11, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Range, L, quality, size, IS
Cons:
Sharpness, quality control, aperture, focus speed

The quality control on these lenses seems to be not up to snuff. My copy was sharp in some cases and not as sharp in others, possibly due to front/back focus. Regardless, it did not compare at all to my 200 2.8 and was of similar quality as the 200 2.8 + 2x extender at 400mm. The IS works well and is very useful in this range, but that is no compensation for the slow speed of the lens and the lack of total sharpness. In addition, the canon hood sucks - it is a pain to put on and use at all. I do, however, enjoy the push-pull - it is useful for this range, as it allows for target acquisition. However, I simply did not find the focus speed to be adequate for shooting birds in flight, which was a large part of the reason for the purchase. Sold it and bought a 300 f/4IS instead and hope that works out better.

Oct 11, 2005
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richardho11
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Registered: Jun 9, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 10, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: 400mm! Tack Sharp, Very nice build, Image Stabilization, Very Nice Colors and Super Fast USM!
Cons:
None

If your in need of reach, this is the absoulte best zoom lens that you can purchase! There is no other competition! The push pull zoom is nice and smooth, it has a very large range from 100-400mm. Its TACK SHARP! The focusing is fast and silent as well. I use this lens when I go to the zoo or ball games. At first I was using my 70-200L but found out quickly that it did not have enough reach, so I bought this big gun! I have no regrets and would not be hessitant to reccommend this lens to anyone! This is the best zoom lens in the range PERIOD!

Oct 10, 2005
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JimGriggs
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Registered: Sep 10, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 10, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Quality of build, sharpness. IS, fast focusing, hand holdability, zoom range
Cons:
dust leaks in when you zoom a lot

Bought this lens prior to a trip to Africa after a dinner conversation with George Lepp. he was right! This is the ideal safari lens. It has been to Africa, the Galapagos Islands, Alaska, Hawaii and Jasper NP in Canada in addition to heavy use here in the mainland USA. After 5 years of heavy, heavy use it had to be sent in to Canon for repair (aperture mechanism was stuck). It would still shoot wide open but would not stop down (error99 on the 10D and 20D). Came back looking like new and working better than new.

Push-Pull zooms act like big air pumps and suck a lot of dust into them. I try not to zoom unless I need to. Minimizes dust inside. This and my 16-35L are my standard lenses now. Will be looking at the 10-22 since switching to digital last year.


Sep 10, 2005
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babylonboots
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Registered: Jul 23, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 93
Review Date: Sep 8, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: IS, sharpness and fast focus
Cons:
None

I was contemplating the Sigma 50-500, which I've owned before. This lens is much better, both in quality and features. The IS really is a plus. Fast focus (much faster than the 50-500). It is helpful that the filter size is same as my 28-70 so I can interchange polarizers, etc.

I keep a quick mount on the lens so I can install quickly on my Bogen tripod head.



Sep 8, 2005
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lb311
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Registered: Aug 24, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 2
Review Date: Sep 5, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,350.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Beautiful contrast and color; IS provides good handheld results, even zoomed!
Cons:
The push-pull zoom; Can be a dust magnet;.

I traded a Tamron 200-500 for this lens and have never looked back. This lens absolutely can't be beat for fast-moving situations that require hand-holding a telephoto. If you shoot wildlife or sports, you will likely "get the shot" with this lens versus those that don't have IS and L glass. The color saturation and sharpness are simply unmatched for zooms in this range.

While I didn't really believe the debate about whether or not the push-pull mechanism. attracts dust, after using this lens a short while, I started seeing much more dust on my sensor than I'd ever seen before, so true or not, the zoom mechanism does seem to attract dust.

Still, I wouldn't be without this lens. Absolutely love it!


Sep 5, 2005
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rawp123
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Registered: Dec 17, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 129
Review Date: Aug 20, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: My copy is quite sharp even wide open, USM very fast on my 300D, IS, lens hood is good despite other reviews (maybe a little flimsy but it gets the job done,) this lens also attracts a lot of unwanted attention!
Cons:
Heavy, haven't gotten used to the push-pull yet.

Despite many reviews, my copy is quite sharp and contrasty. The build quality is great but it is quite heavy jsut make sure you carry a monopod. I bought it over the 80-400mm sigma because of the USM. I'm not sorry I made that decision.

Aug 20, 2005
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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
264 641801 Aug 21, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
91% of reviewers $2,080.05
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.31
8.66
9.1
ef100_400l_1_


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