snecma
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Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 9:29 pm

Canon 100-400 L Is USM Lens

Wed Jul 22, 2009 11:01 am

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
 
wilco737
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Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2004 12:21 am

RE: Canon 100-400 L Is USM Lens

Wed Jul 22, 2009 11:03 am

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:


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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Wilco737



wilco737

[Edited 2009-07-22 04:03:54]
 
cvervais
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Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2003 8:38 am

RE: Canon 100-400 L Is USM Lens

Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:15 am

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.
 
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cpd
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RE: Canon 100-400 L Is USM Lens

Thu Jul 23, 2009 4:20 am

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]
 
aussie18
Crew
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RE: Canon 100-400 L Is USM Lens

Thu Jul 23, 2009 5:12 am



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.
 
Tommy Mogren
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RE: Canon 100-400 L Is USM Lens

Thu Jul 23, 2009 7:36 am

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
Flightdeck Action - Cockpit Videos on Blu-ray and DVD - Flights In The Cockpit- You're Invited!
 
spencer
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Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2004 8:30 pm

RE: Canon 100-400 L Is USM Lens

Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:07 pm

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
 
jgr
Crew
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RE: Canon 100-400 L Is USM Lens

Thu Jul 23, 2009 6:49 pm

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 !
 
Silver1SWA
Crew
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RE: Canon 100-400 L Is USM Lens

Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:22 pm

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.
 
paulinbna
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RE: Canon 100-400 L Is USM Lens

Fri Jul 24, 2009 3:29 am

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
 
chris78cpr
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RE: Canon 100-400 L Is USM Lens

Fri Jul 24, 2009 6:42 am



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
 
jrowson
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Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 7:18 am

RE: Canon 100-400 L Is USM Lens

Fri Jul 24, 2009 3:38 pm

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
 
stu1978
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RE: Canon 100-400 L Is USM Lens

Fri Jul 24, 2009 7:47 pm

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
 
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Moose135
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RE: Canon 100-400 L Is USM Lens

Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:07 pm

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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