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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
261 670531 Aug 31, 2016
Recommended By Average Price
91% of reviewers $2,091.37
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.32
8.65
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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poodlelvr
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Registered: Aug 25, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 516
Review Date: Mar 14, 2009 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: A wonderful range; works with 1.4 TC well; outstanding color, outstanding for everything from eagles to flowers. I actually use this more often than the 70-200 f2.8 that I have. Highly recommend.
Cons:
big, white and somewhat heavy.

Bought this lens used awhile back; took awhile to get used to it but now that I have learned to use and appreciate it I must say that I almost always have it with me for everything from landscapes to wildlife. (Only birds I shoot are eagles--)

Mar 14, 2009
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upn cumming
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Registered: Sep 6, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 193
Review Date: Mar 12, 2009 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,150.00 | Rating: 3 

 
Pros: Great at 100mm
Cons:
Loose as a goose and soft as a baby's butt at 400mm....

Well, I must have gotten the SOFTEST copy at 400mm that was ever produced (from B&H), because my images are really weak at that zoom level of 400mm. In fact I was just in Irvine, CA and dropped off the lens at the Canon Service Center for calibration at 400mm. To be honest, at 100mm the lens is tack sharp, but at 400mm, it is as if I am shooting with a softening filter. I am very disappointed in this copy of the lens.

Oh, and to be clear, I shoot with a 1DS Mark II, and my images through a 16-35mm or a 24-70mm are tack sharp with good clarity. My particular 100-400mm is garbage, and I hope that Canon either fixes it or replaces it under warranty!!!

Oh, and if I hold the camera facing downward, the lens will extend immediately to 400mm without any delay. It is loose as all get out too.

Understand that I love Canon products, but this copy of the 100-400mm is a lemon. It makes me pucker..... Will Canon fix it? We'll see what happens. Wish me good luck.


Mar 12, 2009
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baumgarten0712
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Registered: Oct 12, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 789
Review Date: Mar 10, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: 100-400, IS, Light, Build Quality, Sharp!
Cons:
Slow AF

This is my 3rd copy of this lens. My previous two were very good, but I read reviews saying some were as sharp as their 400 5.6 primes. Third time is the charm. I finally have one that is TACK sharp at 400 5.6 (I can compare to my 300 2.8 IS). The zoom range is awesome and is great for wildlife. If you need one telephoto lens to do the job, this is it. I wish the AF could be a little faster, but there is a lot of glass to move. I use my 300 2.8 for speed.

My previous two copies were still very sharp up through 350mm, but had to be stopped down 2/3rds to gain optimal sharpness. Highly recommend!

Karl


Mar 10, 2009
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franzoi
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Registered: Aug 30, 2008
Location: Italy
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 13, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Best sharpness is a 400mm f/8, Is 2 stop, very light, mettalic body.
Cons:
Non tropicalized.

For me it is very professional and easy to use!!


I had the new Sigma 120-400 but the canon is far superior in clarity, weight and construction.
The lens is metal but it is very light and handy.
the IS with 2 stop working very well, better than the 4 stop the Sigma. The best sharpness is a 400mm f / 8.


For first photo with Canon 100-400


http://www.franzoi.eu/index.php/foto/various/BIRDS1/index


Feb 13, 2009
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Raymond Reimer
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Registered: Feb 1, 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 293
Review Date: Jan 25, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Excellent sharpness throughout the range on my 40D. The Range!
Cons:
Push pull dust issues, although only in theory I haven't had any issues

If I can get back far enough this is my go to lens for portraits and action shots. The range of 100-400 is amazing. As long as you have enough light this lens performs.

Jan 25, 2009
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poodlelvr
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Registered: Aug 25, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 516
Review Date: Jan 22, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very fast AF, clear, crisp images, excellent color, great range. An outstanding lens
Cons:
Heavy for me - I need to use monopod at long end; I have shoulder problems. Big white color pretty obtrusive.

I bought this lens for a specific trip and expected to sell it. After a week of use it is here to stay. Although big, for most people it is well within handholding ability. When I extend it to 350 and above I need a monopod but have no complaints about that. Quite frankly I was astonished at the quality of images this lens produces. WIth minor sharpening they are outstanding. I expected to use primarily for zoo shots, marine mammals, etc, but instead this lens does anything I ask. Very reasonably priced for such a useful lens. I highly recommend it, and find I use a lot.

Jan 22, 2009
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cdryall
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Registered: Mar 19, 2005
Location: South Africa
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 22, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Excellent image quality across the range, fast AF in good light, versatility, build quality, not too bulky to carry, can take a 1.4 TC with a 1 series with not too much effect, IS although older version still invaluable.
Cons:
Heavy, only 5.6 at long end but thats what you pay having the size / veratility mix, friction ring to close to manual focus

I took a while to decide whether to get this or the 400 5.6 prime as really want to use it most of the time at max length. Well to be honest for me the IS and image quality across the range in hindsight made this very much the right choice for the money.

The push pull is very convenient except fot the friction ring, the IQ at 380 - 400mm is still excellent. The one thing I have noticed is that it cannot be used with a UV filter as this seriously degrades the IQ.

I have other L lenses that produce slightly better quality results especially in lower light levels (70-200 2.8; 300 2.8) but strangely enough if I had to get rid of all my equipment this would most probably be the very last lens to go - its that good a mix.


Jan 22, 2009
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Starday
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Registered: Jan 21, 2009
Location: Finland
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 21, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros:
Cons:

I have been using this lens for almost a year now. And I like it! Check my samples:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/pkoskela/


Jan 21, 2009
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markle
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Registered: Jan 16, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 252
Review Date: Jan 21, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: range , quality
Cons:
big when extended, it gets the attention, aperture will force higher ISO

got a new lens (2008) and I can tell the difference with the one that I had 4 years ago. Canon did improve this lens. Better at 400mm , no lockups (due to a newer IS design I suppose) .

Like a previous poster said I too use a fanny pack to carry it

the push-pull is not a problem at all , if not for the fact that when extended this lens will attract the attention. It is kinda embarrassing (to be honest) like having a lens getting super excited or something... it's a joke (of course) but there is some truth in it Smile

the quality is good, very good. The bokeh at 5.6 is good enough but not superlative: still good enough.

the stabilization works but still you must watch the shutter speed and increase the ISO: you don't do that and keep 100ISO and 1/125 or even 1/250 and you get shakes, unless you shoot in a burst.

5.6 (or 4.5) are not enough in low light. Not much to add about that. I did try a monopod and I can get the shot but still it requires a lot of work and a lot of ISO (in low light I mean)

in the end this lens makes the 70-200 2.8 look like a "limited range" lens after 10 minutes you use the 100-400 Smile


Jan 21, 2009
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disegno-s
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Registered: Jun 15, 2008
Location: Belgium
Posts: 54
Review Date: Jan 12, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Massive zoom range, 400mm at this price is amazing, very sharp.
Cons:
None

I have bought this lens to have more reach compared to my 70-200 f/2.8 IS USM, and it performs beyond my expectations.

It does need more light naturally, but you know that when you buy it, the other option would be a 400mm 2.8 ... but did you see the price on that one ! I did use a 1.4 TC on the 70-200, but still hadn't enough mm's at some tracks.

In my opinion this is the best 400mm for the money, my copy is tack sharp right up to 400mm, it is brand new judging by the serial number, so I guess that the new units are better than the old ones you read about becoming soft above 300mm.

The range is amazing when you are standing along a race circuit and still want a safe distance between you and the cars.

Johan
www.CarPhotoTutorials.com
Automotive photography made easy


Jan 12, 2009
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Don Price
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Registered: May 3, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 428
Review Date: Dec 28, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Range fits my needs(100-400+1.4tele) on the 5DmkII, can count on the image sharpness and contact IS works great and makes up for low light. Lot of lens for the Bucks.
Cons:
White color is a flag, weight-weight,but if you lift barbells you won't notice it so much. Better images without a UV filter, there is a difference.

This fills the needed range with my 17/40-24/105-100-400+1.4.
I have found a fanny pack that will hold these lens that will let me carry the full range when in the field (Arizona, lots of walking).
Since the 5DmkII has upgrades my old 20D and I sold all the other lens. My life will be better having the 100-400 take over the Tele end for me instead of leaving it in the car and wishing I had room and had a stronger back to carry it in the big bag.
Don
I may get a 4" brush and paint it black (;-)


Dec 28, 2008
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albertino
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Registered: Dec 22, 2007
Location: Italy
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 18, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $100,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Versatile-ottima di escursione-ottimo stabilizzatore-molto nitido 100mm a 300mm un pò meno a 400mm ma sempre buono
Cons:
nessuno

L'ho acquistato e rivenduto per ben 4 volte nella speranza di trovare un sostituto ma, sono di coccio, ci sono ritornato ancora e credo, questa volta, di non rivenderlo più.

Dec 18, 2008
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DennisW1
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Registered: Sep 6, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 49
Review Date: Oct 27, 2008 Recommend? | Price paid: $1,500.00

 
Pros: Unique zoom range makes this a very versatile lens. Canon's typical L glass quality. Light weight for what it is.
Cons:
f4.5-f5.6 is a bit slow for anything less than ideal lighting conditions especially if you're shooting sports.

I just regretfully sold my copy of this lens. I shot motorsports for the past few years with this as my primary lens on a 1DMkIIN, occasionally adding a 1.4 extender as necessary. I loved the images but anything than bright sunny days with the extender had me scrambling for fast enough shutter speeds to keep capture action and keep images sharp.
All things considered, including the excellent price this lens goes for, it's great. If I could have afforded to keep it AND the 500 f4 IS I replaced it with, I would have.


Oct 27, 2008
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tawood
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Registered: Oct 26, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 26, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very sharp, excellent quality, good value.
Cons:
You will stand out! I do not like the BOKEH.

Superb build quality, very sharp, and I like the push-pull zoom.
Overall this is an excellent lens with only two issues, one issue is major to me, one is minor.
First the major: the BOKEH (background blur) has a very unusual look to it...I've noticed it on not only my pictures but anyone's pic with this lens and a large apeture. I'm not sure how do describe it, other than the bokeh looks almost fake, like it was produced in photoshop (Actually, I think photoshop does a better job!).
Then the minor: you WILL get noticed while using this lens. Nearly every time I use it someone has to comment on it.


Oct 26, 2008
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DutchinSpain
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Registered: Sep 18, 2008
Location: Spain
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 19, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Range, stabilization, build quality
Cons:
Watch out with UV filters

I´ve had the lens for a month now and was using it with a UV filter attached to prevent possible damage to the front element.
I bought the lens for the extra range it would give as an addition to the 70-200 I have.

Was about to return the lens as all pictures seemed out of focus. With the 50D results seem to become better with a backwards adjustment of +20. However, quality was not close to the 70-200 F4 IS I have. Before bringing it to the shop, I repeated testshots I made earlier for the micro adjustments, but now without the UV filter, and the lens now produced sharp images.

After further test shots (birds, buildings etc.) I am very happy with the lens. Lens is build like a tank, and the push pull system is very easy to get used to.


Oct 19, 2008
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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
261 670531 Aug 31, 2016
Recommended By Average Price
91% of reviewers $2,091.37
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.32
8.65
9.1
ef100_400l_1_


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