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Customer Discussions > Canon forum

canon 100-400 mm lens

Discussion moved to this forum by Amazon on Oct 15, 2008, 10:41:09 AM PDT.

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Showing 1-16 of 16 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 10, 2008, 4:29:09 PM PDT
I'm thinking about buying this lens. It's a lot of dollars ($1400) and I wondering how much I would use the lens and is it worth the dollars.
I you have one would like to have your comments.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 10, 2008, 4:51:04 PM PDT
Robert, that's really a question that only you an answer. I'm assuming by the price that you're looking at this one:

Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS USM Telephoto Zoom Lens
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras

That lens is a great one, and at the top of its class, but the question here would be what are you going to use it for? You might read the specs and see some of the reviews (and photos) posted here. $1,419.95 is a lot to plunk down on a lens that you're unsure you will use.

You might want to consider this excellent lens as well:

Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens for Canon EOS SLR Cameras

Though the focal length isn't as long, it's a superb and well-respected lens, and highly rated by the pros who have used it. At a price of $545.99, you would save some money and always be able to "trade up" in the future, if you felt it was necessary.

But again, with the brief info you've provided, it's hard to say if either of these would be worth your consideration.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 15, 2008, 10:36:20 AM PDT
Well, to start with, a F Stop of 4.5 means you are going to being using this outdoors most of the time in really good light. That's a lot of money for a very limited range of use. I'd buy the other one J.W. mentioned or even look at some Sigma's.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 15, 2008, 1:26:17 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Dec 4, 2008, 2:29:08 PM PST
Rich Z. says:

I have the 70-300mm F/4.5-5.6 IS USM lens that (J. Willianson) is talking about and like it very much. It set be back about $550. Some of my shots can be seen on under that lens. It's less then twice the price and takes pretty darn sharp pictures for not being of "L" glass. It's also a lot lighter in weight. I don't know what camera you're using but My XSi has a 1.6 crop factor. That makes this lens a 112-480mm. zoom.

If you have a full frame camera The lens mm stands as read, but if your camera has a 1.6 crop factor like mine the lens your talking about 100-400mm would be a 160-640mm, WOW! that's one powerful lens . You have to decide though. With the money you save on the 70-300mm you could purchase a nice wide angle lens.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 15, 2008, 4:31:51 PM PDT
Doug Wagner says:
i have this lens its a great lens but its a primary outdoor lens wildlife,nature,etc. it is not a walking around lens too heavy. should also be used with uv haze filter or a polarizing in right cond. i am a pro photographer and it is a great lens but it has its place. hope this helps.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 9, 2008, 11:23:13 AM PST
As a professional photographer who once was able to borrow this lens to try at a football game, I'll tell you the lens is of high quality and will help you get stunning images, but it is awkward, and is useless in low light.

What others said about shooting outdoors in the sun is true. If that's what you plan to use it for, great. I could see this being used for outdoor day sports, or wildlife shooting.

The size and weight are on the moderately large and heavy side. If you're used to heavy gear, you should be able to get by with this lens. However, it becomes an awkward burden. The lock ring right behind the focusing ring is nice, but far too close. It was a real hassle to lock it to be able to run down the field, then have to unlock it again as I got in position to shoot another play. Very bad for active sports if you intend to move around a lot. A good prime or non-variable length lens would work much better.

I would personally never buy this lens, since a lot of sports games happen indoors or in the evening or night. It was fun to use, but I was so glad to hand this thing back to its owner when I was done borrowing it.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 14, 2008, 2:29:05 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 14, 2008, 2:30:04 PM PST
T. Dollear says:
agree with most on this thread. everything is cost-benefits. the focus is slow, it's pretty heavy, it's max ap is 4.5 (really, 5.6 at 400). Still, at 350mm in decent light, I have not found anything to beat it in sharpness and color saturation. With Image stabilization you get at LEAST 2 extra stops. No help w/ sports maybe but great for landscapes or birding (if they aren't in flight). Maybe I got a good copy, but I think this lens is fantastic.

Also, the push/pull is awkward at first but after 6 mos I prefer it. You can lock the zoom and it's not a big deal to slide it in or out.

to each his own.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 14, 2008, 3:33:01 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Aug 23, 2016, 6:48:28 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2008, 2:47:29 PM PST
This depends on what you're going to use it for. Having tried it at an OUTDOOR sports event, I was not pleased. It's a little tricky to get the zoom 'carriage' to flow back and forth without sticking, and the image quality was so-so. Versatile, of course. Quality of image is where it suffers. Not for sports, that's for sure. Rent before you buy, test it out over the weekend and you're out $30. Buy it and not like it, that $1400 will hurt.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 19, 2008, 4:28:52 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 19, 2008, 4:29:34 PM PST
S. Fleming says:
If it were me I would consider buying the 70-200 F2.8L lens(not the IS version) and a multiplier. Then you have the advantage of one of the best lenses that Canon makes that can focus and shoot fast, even in low light situations. With the 2.0X multiplier then you have your a 140-400mm lens with a F-stop of 5.6. You would definitely get more use, and enjoy that lens much more. Personal opinion, but many if not all pro photographers would agree.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2008, 1:44:04 PM PST
Louis H. says:
I am an amateur so I apologize if I am wrong. In response to poster S. Fleming, my understating is that a 2.0x multiplier on a 200mm lens is not the same as shooting with a 400mm lens. Meaning that all the 2.0x multiplier does is the equivalent of viewing your image at 200% on your computer rather than getting a shot of the same sharpness and quality as a 400mm lens.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2008, 2:22:54 PM PST
T. Dollear says:
this is actually not accurate, but it's a good point because S. Fleming is also not totally correct. There ARE definitely comprimises that you make with te 2.0 teleconverter. you will lose two stops on maximum aperture so it's no longer a 2.8, now it's a 5.6 (just like the 100-400). I have also heard that you lose some image quality, but how much varies on who is talking and what their agenda is.

My guess (and it's a guess) is that focus would be similar on a 70-200 w/ a 2.0 tc as a 100-400, but that is a guess. the 70-200 is a great lens but if you know you want 400mm, you can't just get a 2x and all is perfect. if that were true, who would buy the 100-400?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 30, 2008, 2:18:11 AM PST
Ken says:
I have used this lens on wildlife for many years. It is an excellent lens with sharpness that is near perfect. The push pull zoom feature takes a bit to get used to but I have found it to be an asset. As far as the prior posters note that it sticks when zooming I have never found that to be true with mine. It has an excellent friction adjustment to set the push/pull effort. It also can be locked at any focal length with a quick turn of the friction control as well. I have used it on both a full frame sensor and a 1.6 crop sensor with excellent results on either camera. I have taken images of Lions and other dangerous creatures that have been enlarged to 24x36 with no visible noise or edge distortion.

I have also used this lens when shooting models as it enables me to move back from the subject which can make them more comfortable sometimes. Since the lense is an F4 it is a bit slow but when I am outdoors it has never been an issue and when I shoot with models I am always using additional light sources so again it has never been an issue.

Remember that a single sharp L series lens is better than several different lenses. I used to have at least a dozen different lenses of the pro-sumer grade but after purchasing an L series I found that my images quality improved so much that I now carry just 3 lenses. They are the 17-40, 24-105 and the 100-400. With these lenses I can cover any shooting situation and have superior image quality with each. In my 39 years of photography I have found that I shoot most people shots around F5.6 and most outdoor shots are between F8 and F22 so the need for a faster lens would be if you are shooting fast action sports or indoors where you cannot fire a flash or use other controlled lighting. With the quality of the image sensors in the current digital cameras I can shoot with an ISO as much as 1600 with little or no noise even at poster size prints. With this as a factor in mind it is hard to justify the added expense and weight of the F2.8 or faster lenses unless perhaps it is to buy a specific portrait lens.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 4, 2008, 11:11:01 AM PST
PaddyARyan says:
I don't know what you are talking about with regard to using this lens in low light. It has everything to do with the quality of the autofocus on the camera you use. I got excellent autofocus results when shooting tarsiers at dusk in Sulawesi. But I take your point about running downfield ... not usually a problem with wildlife shots.

Check out:

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 24, 2012, 8:32:12 AM PST
Stephen says:
I would like to correct this statement....the crop factor of the camera body's image sensor does not change the reach of the lens. It simply changes the field of view. The only thing that can change the reach of a lens is a teleconverter.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 24, 2012, 10:21:10 AM PST
It's been FOUR YEARS? I doubt anyone was interested in the thread...
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Discussion in:  Canon forum
Participants:  15
Total posts:  16
Initial post:  Oct 10, 2008
Latest post:  Dec 24, 2012

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