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Anyone Using The Canon EF 100-400mm F/4.5-5.6L Is?  
User currently offlineBrick From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 1589 posts, RR: 7
Posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 6076 times:

I'm about ready to purchase a new lens from Canon. Specifically, the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS. Is anyone in this forum using this lens? If so, what do you think about it? I'm a little bit concerned about the push-pull zoom (the Canon lens I use now is rotate the barrel for zoom) and the weigth of this lens. Is there a learning curve with this lens or would I get used to it quickly?

Also, I noticed the lens is about $100 USD cheaper if I buy an "imported" lens rather than a "USA" one. What's the difference? I'm guessing one has a warranty and the other one doesn't.

Mark Abbott
Denver, CO

[Edited 2003-07-13 22:15:22]


A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man...
25 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineTimdegroot From Netherlands, joined Apr 2002, 3674 posts, RR: 64
Reply 1, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 6015 times:
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Hey Mark,

Many people use this lens including me. I think it's great!
You have to get used to the push-pull system yes, but once you master it, it works fine. I can get very nice fullframe shots with the system. Extended at 400mm the "tube" becomes a bit long though and using manual focus is very difficult I found (never use it anyway)

Weight is not a problem for me, although I found that it's much nicer to use with my dad's 1V than my EOS33. On the cheaper cameramodels you have to support the lens to take some of the strain away from the lensmount. On the heavier cameras you can just let it dangle from your neck. without problem.

Cheers,
Tim



Alderman Exit
User currently offlineRyangooner From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 969 posts, RR: 22
Reply 2, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 6011 times:

I have recently purchased the same lens and my concern was with the push pull but after using it a few times it becomes so natural, the lens is very nice, very heavy at first but once you get used to the weight its fine. basically its an all in one product and im not dissapointed, mine was bought in england witha price tag of £1299.00 which is about $2000.00 U.S.
its not worth the $100.00 reduction, if you get a warranty for $100.00 its worth it!

happy shooting
Ryan



ooh to ooh to be ooh to be a gooner!
User currently offlinePW100 From Netherlands, joined Jan 2002, 2554 posts, RR: 13
Reply 3, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 5995 times:

I would be cusrious as well. I'm about to purchase one myself, although I haven't bought it just yet.
I'm not really worried about the push/pull zoom. I've had a 50-200 push/pull zoom for 15 years, so I think I can handle it. Most people seem get used to it quite quickly.
Some are a bit concerned about dust. However a normal zoom lens with this level of deep zoom would probably have this problem as well. What I read on some other forums, there not too many people ACTUALLY reporting serious dust problems with the 100-400. And those who did have it, also had it with normal zooms in heavy dust like environments.

The weight issue was also a consideration for me. However, if you really want power-zoom or a prime 400mm tele, you'll just have to cope with it.

I'm still considering the 70-200L IS f2.8. However it is considerably more expensive, and combined with a 2x TC [140-400] it would also end up as f5.6 glass, just like the 100-400, but it would be even more heavier.

These are my options at the moment:
Lens
f
weight [gram]
*combined with TC [Tele Converter]
price in Euro


100-400L IS
4.5-5.6
1360 gr
€1995


70-200L IS
2.8 all the way
1570 gr [non IS version 1310 gr]
€2450

*140-400 above with 2x TC
5.6 all the way
1835 gr [non IS version 1575 gr]
€2914


70-200L [no IS!]
4
710 gr
€899

98-280 above with 1.4 TC [won't handle 2x TC, maybe taped it will??]
5.6
930 gr
€1361


300L IS
4
1190 gr
€1799

420 above with 1.4 TC [won't handle 2x TC, maybe taped it will??]
5.6
1310 gr
€2261


400L
5.6
1250 gr
€2180


If weight is all important, the 70-200L f4 would be a good choice, even with 1.4 TC.
I personally would use it a lot to shoot radio-controlled model airplanes, so most of the time I'll be using at the higher end of the zoom range [300-400]. Therefore I tend to go with the 100-400. I seriously considered starting with the 70-200f4, which is a nice lightweigth lens, but since I'll use a TC with it, I would like to have IS.

Still considering my options.....

Kind Regards,
PW100


PS. Here are some previous threads that may help you:
http://www.airliners.net/discussions/aviation_photography/read.main/92620
http://www.airliners.net/discussions/aviation_photography/read.main/91285

[Edited 2003-07-13 23:22:39]


Immigration officer: "What's the purpose of your visit to the USA?" Spotter: "Shooting airliners with my Canon!"
User currently offlineJayDavis From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 2000 posts, RR: 15
Reply 4, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 5967 times:

e-mail me, please...............

jaydavis8@comcast.net

Thanks!

Jay


User currently offlineCfalk From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 5954 times:

I have had the 100-400 for a couple of years now, and it's always done a good job for me. Check out my pictures over the past couple of months - I've been mentioning in the remarks which pictures are with that lens at which settings.

http://www.airliners.net/search/photo.search?nr_of_rows=72&maxres=1000&keywords=100-400mm%20f%2F4.5-5.6%20Charles%20Falk&keywrange=all&first_this_page=0&page_limit=60

I do not particularly like the push-pull mechanism, and it is certainly to zoom in and out smoothly on moving targets, compared to a twist zoom, but it is manageable.

Charles


User currently offlineCx flyboy From Hong Kong, joined Dec 1999, 6625 posts, RR: 55
Reply 6, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 5943 times:

I agree with Charles, I don't like the push/pull thing. I have been using it a year now, and I still find I sometimes zoom in a little too much, or zoom out a little too much at the critical moment. I used to use a Sigma 170-500mm, and although the Canon lens is of superior quality, I do miss the ability of having 500mm at my disposal, although in general I find this lens more versatile having the 100mm.

Having said all that, it is still an excellent lens, and let's face, it there's isn't THAT much choice out there when it comes to lenses like this.


User currently offlineCkw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 763 posts, RR: 16
Reply 7, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 5912 times:

I did have one, and it if you can only have one lens for airport work, I'd say this is the one to have - very good quality, very versatile (perfect zoom range for, say, airshows) and an effective IS puts it in a class where the Nikon 80-400 VR is the only other option.

But, it is heavy, and a little clumsy to use. I sold mine, but only because a 2nd body gave me the versatility I was after ... prior to that the 100-400 was my standard lens.

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlineF27 From Australia, joined Oct 2001, 212 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 5905 times:

I have had one for three years now and love it. Works well on the 1V all day every day. I also use it on my D60 and my EOS5.

User currently offlinePW100 From Netherlands, joined Jan 2002, 2554 posts, RR: 13
Reply 9, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 5874 times:

@Charles

Great pics you have there! I really do like the big zoom shots @400mm!
Just one question though. I noticed that most of your shots have pretty heavy shutter speeds [1/800-1/1250], while keeping the 100-400 fully closed @ 5.6. Wouldn't the IS allow you to go down to 1/500 or even lower speed @400mm? I've read that the 100-400 is best when the 5.6 [and preferably 6.7] is avoided, at least at deep zoom. What are your thoughts?

BTW How do you guys like the IS on this lens? Is the panning mode useful for approach and departure traffic?

PW100



Immigration officer: "What's the purpose of your visit to the USA?" Spotter: "Shooting airliners with my Canon!"
User currently offlineSkymonster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 5881 times:

I have the 100-400L-IS and I love it - wouldn't be without it now. Very heavy, but you get used to it. Different because of the push-pull, but you get used to it (many years ago I had a push-pull, changed to a rotate to zoom, and am now back where I started)! Excellent results, but I would strongly recommend running it at F8.0 if you can, rather than wide open where I find it a bit soft. I often shoot in aperture priority at F8.0 now, let the camera sort out the shutter speed, and let the stabiliser sort out any low shutter speeds - works a treat!

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Andy


User currently offlinePW100 From Netherlands, joined Jan 2002, 2554 posts, RR: 13
Reply 11, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks ago) and read 5839 times:

And the plugs just keeeeep on coming . . . .
No problem though Andy. I love them all. Though the Virgin is just absolutely fabulous!

PW100



Immigration officer: "What's the purpose of your visit to the USA?" Spotter: "Shooting airliners with my Canon!"
User currently offlineCfalk From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (11 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 5808 times:

PW100,

As I frequently use the lens at full extention (400mm), and with the 10D's multiplier of 1.6 (giving an effective 640mm or so), and if the target is moving fast (like takeoff), I think getting as much speed as you can is a good idea, IS or no. So I'll put it in Av priority mode and push open the aperture. But you are right - you do get a little softness.

Andy, what's your rejection rate like when you close down to f/8? Do you get a lot of blurred shots, or does the IS manage to keep up pretty well? Do you generally use IS Mode 1 or 2 (I generally use 2)? I suppose I should experiment some more - I've only had the 10D for a little while, and such experimentaion with film cameras is rather expensive - I'm so used to that fact that maybe I'm over-conservative.

Charles

[Edited 2003-07-15 17:45:51]

User currently offlineSkymonster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (11 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 5808 times:

Charles,

As I said, I almost always use the 100-400 at F8.0 - only when the light goes very low do I drop down to F6.7 or as a last resort to F5.6. I find the IS fairly reliably sorts things out down to about 1/125@F8.0 at 400mm - below 1/125 at 400mm I tend to start opening the lens up. That's not to say I've never hand held it slower, its just that I find the risk of shakes is more likely below 1/125 at 400mm, even with the IS.

Coincidentally, they say that a rule of thumb is you can hand hold at 1/focal-length, so say 1/500 at 400mm. They also say that the IS saves two stops - two stops down from 1/500 is 1/125 which is about as slow as I'd go and feel comfortable with hand held at 400mm.

Andy


User currently offlineCfalk From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (11 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 5795 times:

Andy,

That rule of thumb is supposed to apply to stationary objects. How about a plane at 180 knots moving at you at a tangient?

Charles


User currently offlineFly-K From Germany, joined May 2000, 3158 posts, RR: 51
Reply 15, posted (11 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 5783 times:
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I'm using it for eight months, and it has brought me so much pleasure since.

I'm not too crazy about the push-pull, but can work with it, it works smoother now that in the beginning.

What I still need to do is exchange the hood - it's radiating very fine dust particles which could creep into the lens. But with my B&H guarantee, I'm afraid I will just have to buy a new one here.

Tim, are you sure you can let it "dangle" with heavier cameras? I've been reluctant so far, but maybe the 10D doesn't belong in the heavy category anyways.

Konstantin



Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been...
User currently offlineSkymonster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (11 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 5785 times:

Charles,

Still fairly comfortable down to 1/125. But, I'll look at some of the EXIF data on some low-light shots when I get home tonight and give you a more informed judgement.

Andy


User currently offlineTimdegroot From Netherlands, joined Apr 2002, 3674 posts, RR: 64
Reply 17, posted (11 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 5779 times:
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are you sure you can let it "dangle" with heavier cameras
================================================
With the 1V I found it to be no problem although I lock the zoom at 100mm. T
On my EOS33 I always hold the lens when I'm not using it, the 10D is based on the eos30 right?, so I guess it's better to hold the lens with it as well.

Tim



Alderman Exit
User currently offlineFly-K From Germany, joined May 2000, 3158 posts, RR: 51
Reply 18, posted (11 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 5734 times:
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I guess as a precautionary measure I'll continue to hold it - saves me a day in the gym too!

Konstantin



Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been...
User currently offlineWietse From Netherlands, joined Oct 2001, 3809 posts, RR: 55
Reply 19, posted (11 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 5678 times:

Well since my own arrived just today, I cannot comment on my own 100-400, but in general, the ones I tried are superb, mainly for the reasons given above.

Wietse



Wietse de Graaf
User currently offlineAKE0404AR From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2535 posts, RR: 45
Reply 20, posted (11 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 5665 times:

K,

since when have you been working out.......?  Big grin Big grin

V.



User currently offlineBrick From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 1589 posts, RR: 7
Reply 21, posted (11 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 5639 times:

Thanks everyone for your comments! They have made me feel much better about plunking down this much money... I've scored a business trip to LAX at the end of this month, so I want to have this new lens by then. Now all I need to decide is if I am going to purchase it new (about $1400USD w/warranty) or pick one up off E-Bay (about $1000-$1200USD w/o warranty). I think saving $400 by buying it used is probably the best. I'll probably never need the warranty. Plus, I'd like to have the extra cash to buy a new camera case. The case I currently use won't accomodate a lens this size.

Mark Abbott
Denver, CO



A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man...
User currently offlineFly-K From Germany, joined May 2000, 3158 posts, RR: 51
Reply 22, posted (11 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 5626 times:
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Now that was mean Vasco...
Well I don't have to, thanks to my L lens!

K.



Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been...
User currently offlinePW100 From Netherlands, joined Jan 2002, 2554 posts, RR: 13
Reply 23, posted (11 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 5596 times:

I noticed some [marginal] play between my 10D body and the 100-400, mainly from the camera lens mount. I'm not sure if I should be worried about it. Is this normal?
It definately convinced me [after reading some posts here] that it is not a good idea to have the combination dangled around my neck.

Is there something out there that allows me to somehow connect the neckstrap onto the tripod mount? If not, maybe I'll make something myself.

Harm



Immigration officer: "What's the purpose of your visit to the USA?" Spotter: "Shooting airliners with my Canon!"
User currently offlineTimdegroot From Netherlands, joined Apr 2002, 3674 posts, RR: 64
Reply 24, posted (11 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 5592 times:
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Harm, the play is normal don't worry about it. Every camera I tried my lens on had it.

Tim



Alderman Exit
User currently offlineBrick From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 1589 posts, RR: 7
Reply 25, posted (11 years 4 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 5504 times:

Well, I've been trying to pick one up on Ebay the past few days for around $1000USD and I've gotten outbid until tonight. I finally won an auction for this lens for $1100USD. The party I'm buying it from lives locally, so I shouldn't waste anytime before trying it out.  Smile

Now I just gotta get a new camera bag...

Mark Abbott
Denver, CO



A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man...
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