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Canon 100-400 L Is USM Lens  
User currently offlineSnecma From South Africa, joined Feb 2007, 25 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 13110 times:

Hi. Could anybody tell me about the Canon 100-400 L IS USM lens. Is it a good lens? How is the sharpness and is there any vignetting? I have a Canon EOS 450D camera. Would the two be a good combination?

Jacobus

13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineWILCO737 From Greenland, joined Jun 2004, 8968 posts, RR: 76
Reply 1, posted (5 years 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 13110 times:
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Quoting Snecma (Thread starter):
Hi. Could anybody tell me about the Canon 100-400 L IS USM lens. Is it a good lens? How is the sharpness and is there any vignetting? I have a Canon EOS 450D camera. Would the two be a good combination?

I use that lense and I must say it is great. I used it on the 350D and now on the 40D and it gives me good quality. Most of my pictures here on a.net were made with that lense.

Full 400mm shot:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Wilco737



wilco737

[Edited 2009-07-22 04:03:54]


It it's not Boeing, I am not going.
User currently offlineCvervais From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 610 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (5 years 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 12985 times:

I use this lens as well with a Canon 5D MKI. On a full body camera at 400mm there's a moderate amount of vignetting when shooting a subject with only the sky as a background. On your crop frame body it should be pretty minimal.

Some call this lens a "dust pump" because of it's push/pull design and lack of weather sealing. I've noticed using the lens that this MIGHT be true, my sensor does pick up a fair amount of dust but, the 5D is also known to do this on it's own so *shrug*.

Image stabilizer mode 2 works great for this "sport" it's pretty good at determining how you're tracking the subject and greatly reduces slight motions on the axis perpendicular to the axis you're tracking along.

Also, because of it's size it's a bit of a handful in windy conditions if the wind is blowing perpendicular to the lens.

 alert  Another gotcha I found.... Even if you have auto focus turned on the focusing ring isn't disabled and so you can still adjust the focus. I found out the hard way that you can guarantee getting soft images out of the lens if you grip it at the focus ring.  banghead  So, just don't grip it there and you'll be fine.

But, despite all that I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this lens for spotting. It's very sharp especially at F8-11. I generally shoot at F9 and I get some really really sharp images. Once you get used to the push/pull and set the tension just right for you the zooming becomes second nature.

Anyways, that's my feedback, hopefully you find it useful.


User currently offlineCpd From Australia, joined Jun 2008, 4879 posts, RR: 38
Reply 3, posted (5 years 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 12968 times:

It must be good - every person I see using Canon gear has that lens. There are armies of them.

Quoting Cvervais (Reply 2):
Also, because of it's size it's a bit of a handful in windy conditions if the wind is blowing perpendicular to the lens.

That's not a big lens.   I watched someone using that lens with a 5D2 and he was getting perfectly acceptable results, and not far from my D700 with a 300mm prime lens. So it is a pretty decent lens.

[Edited 2009-07-22 21:21:51]

User currently offlineAussie18 From Australia, joined Jun 2005, 1738 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (5 years 1 week 2 days ago) and read 12957 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
PHOTO SCREENER



Quoting Snecma (Thread starter):

Quite alot of photographers use the 100-400mm IS USM lens,quite a common lens these days around airports,Results are excellent with it.


User currently offlineTommy Mogren From Sweden, joined Dec 2000, 912 posts, RR: 21
Reply 5, posted (5 years 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 12939 times:

Whatever you do, don't use it at F5.6

At least my piece is crap at F5.6

Lovely at F8 or above...

Tommy Mogren



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User currently offlineSpencer From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2004, 1635 posts, RR: 17
Reply 6, posted (5 years 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 12870 times:

f/8 is good. It is a dust sucker unfortunately, I've had mine for 5 years and it's quite full now with a number of specks. They don't show up though, thankfully, on images. The one problem I had, however, was when I used to lock it into position, so as to not fall out to 400mm when I had it on the camera around my neck. What happened was after a year or two of locking it off, the barrel and/or the locking ring became tight and it was quite a handful to use it properly, ie. zooming it in and out. Other than that, it really is a great lens if used properly and it's good value for money too.
Spence.



EOS1D4, 7D, 30D, 100-400/4.5-5.6 L IS USM, 70-200/2.8 L IS2 USM, 17-40 f4 L USM, 24-105 f4 L IS USM, 85 f1.8 USM
User currently offlineJGR From Spain, joined Jul 2006, 129 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (5 years 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 12831 times:
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PHOTO SCREENER

Hi,
After more 2 years with this lens I'm very happy ! Great sharpness even at f/5.6, "L" quality even at 400 mm. = professional lens, no vignetin or very few, good value for money, good results with my 50D...
Also a dust sucker ! you can clean your CMOS and 3 horus later you can see a dust spot. The weight and the minimum. focal lens (100 mm.) could be a problem in some airports.

Ex. at ISO 320, f/5.6, 1/50 s. @ 400 mm. with crop 2:1 :


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Javier Gonzalez - Iberian Spotters



By far better than 70-300 IS USM, etc. 100-400 offers a very good quality but of course isn't a prime lens.
Regards,
Javier



Airbus A380-881 for 1.000 passengers !
User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4772 posts, RR: 26
Reply 8, posted (5 years 1 week 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 12817 times:
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Beware...there are bad copies of this lens out there. I think I got one. I still have not sent mine in for inspection/adjustment. I have had some great results with this lens but I often feel like I have simply figured out how to work around my lens issues. Some will say this goes with any large zoom but mine is very sharp aroun 200mm but gets very soft, almost blurry at 350-400mm. It is not, however, as sharp as my 24-105L in any zoom length. Sometimes it just looks like a focus issue and is something that happens when used with both of my bodies. My experience is a little different than other testimonials including some in this thread. So just watch out for that. It might require a trip to canon.


ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlinePaulinbna From United States of America, joined Feb 2003, 1114 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (5 years 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 12766 times:
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I love this lens all of my non closeup shots on here are with this lens. The push pull zoom takes a little getting used to but once you have mastered it I think one can zoom faster with the 100-400.

If any indication of how good the lens is just look the next time when you are the airport, If people are using a canon they will most likely have a 100-400 as a lens.



Canon 50D user; 100-400 MM L IS 10-22 MM, 60MM Macro
User currently offlineChris78cpr From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 2819 posts, RR: 51
Reply 10, posted (5 years 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 12744 times:



Quoting Cpd (Reply 3):
watched someone using that lens with a 5D2 and he was getting perfectly acceptable results

That surprises me. I have a 5D2 and 100-400 and find the combo unuseable due to the vignetting effect. It is not a minor problem either, shooting with this combo for an hour earlier in LA this year rendered all the shots useless.

The 100-400 does work perfectly fine with all my other cameras 1.6x and 1.3x and my 5D has not exhibited this problem with any other lenses so i have to put it down to the 100-400 not working too well with full frame. However i have seen people such as Michael Richeman use the 100-400 successfully on 1Ds type cameras.

Back to the main topic, the 100-400 is a very good lens if you learn it's limitations and learn how to work around them. Like Spencer said, it really needs to be stopped down to F8 for shooting aviation if uploading shots is your goal. It does suck dust but with a 450D you have a dustwave system i think which will help combat it. 400mm will always be just a bit soft but like people have shown you, it's perfectly workable with the right editing.

Good luck with your purchase!



5D2/7D/1D2(soon to be a 1Dx) 17-40L/24-105L/70-200F2.8L/100-400L/24F1.4LII/50F1.2L/85F1.2LII
User currently offlineJRowson From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 351 posts, RR: 12
Reply 11, posted (5 years 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 12698 times:

It's a good lens, very flexible. I was one of the unlucky ones though with mine (and numerous others) with focus problems and IS problems. My IS failed 6 months after new (replaced under warranty) and then after the warranty had run out it had a focus issue where it appeared blurry on the left hand side in every shot. The AF was replaced and re-calibrated at considerable cost which solved the problem, but by this time I had lost faith in it. Mine was pretty soft over 300mm also. I'd picked up a 70-200 and 1.4x in the mean time which provided much more consistent results, particularily in the sharpness. I eventually traded mine in for a 300mm prime. I do miss the extra zoom occasionally but don't miss it's dust pump nature. My sensor is alot cleaner these days.


James Rowson. Canonite and lover of all things L. JAR Photography.
User currently offlineStu1978 From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 125 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (5 years 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 12670 times:

I also had two copies of this lens ... both turned out to be bad ones ... and since have sold them and not risking fate by going for a third on the hope its a good one ...

Stu


User currently offlineMoose135 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2301 posts, RR: 10
Reply 13, posted (5 years 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 12667 times:

I've had one for about 4 years now, and am very happy with the lens. It's funny that the one "issue" many people bring up is getting used to the push/pull zoom - I shot with a Yashica SLR for 25 years, and my "long" zoom was push/pull, so I'm much more comfortable using it as opposed to a twist zoom.


KC-135 - Passing gas and taking names!
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