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

ef100_400l_1_
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.


 
Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM

ef500mmf_4_1_
Review Date: Oct 27, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $5,800.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Canon's typical L lens quality surpasses itself with this lens. Outstanding focus and IS performance.
Cons:
My Visa card is still smoldering.

I know, everyone moans just a bit about the price of this lens, but it's true you get what you pay for.
I've been shooting motorsports for the past couple years with 1DMkIIn bodies and my long lens being the 100-400IS, adding a 1.4 extender when necessary. I loved the lens except for it's slow aperature, which got even worse when the 1.4 was added. Anything less than a bright sunny day and I was scrambling for a fast enough shutter speed to keep images sharp, even with the IS.
I finally made the plunge for the 500 f4 this year and I'm sorry I waited so long.
Yes, it's heavy, but with the 1DMkIIn body and a good monopod it's a very manageable and the rewards you get from the images are well worth it.
If you think this is the lens you've been waiting for, you're probably right.......go buy it.



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

ef100_400l_1_
Review Date: Sep 7, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,460.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Price, quality, sharpness, zoom range.
Cons:
slow at maximum focal length

Outstanding sharpness and quality for a lens of this price range. Considering that Canon primes in the 400mm focal length are over double the price this is a great deal. I've owned my copy for just over 4 years now, and it's been trouble-free and excellent in quality and ease of use. I'm regretfully selling this lens to a good friend, mainly because of the slow f-stop at 400. I regularly use it for motorsports with a 1.4 extender added, and that combo at 400mm is a minumum of f8. That's great when there's sufficient light but let it get a bit dim and I'm running near the edge.
As long as you have enough light to work with, this is one of Canon's best bargains in an "L" series lens.