Approve the Cookies
This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Read More.
OK
Index  •   • New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Register to forums    Log in

 
FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses
Thread started 17 Dec 2014 (Wednesday) 10:12
Prev/next
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as registered member)

EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Review WOW!

 
CyberDyneSystems
Admin (type T-2000)
CyberDyneSystems's Avatar
47,713 posts
Gallery: 78 photos
Joined Apr 2003
Rhode Island USA
Post has been last edited over 1 year ago by CyberDyneSystems. 10 edits done in total.
Dec 17, 2014 10:12 |  #1

Canon EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM First Impressions Review

I received my 100-400mm MkII this morning on a gray dismal day, but was anxious to get out with it and I had time, so I put it on the 1D4 for familiarity, pocketed the 1.4x II just in case, and off to the beach I went.

IMAGE: http://jakehegnauer.zenfolio.com/img/s12/v175/p621620144-5.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://jakehegnauer.ze​nfolio.com/p605089996/​e250d2bb0] (external link)

AutoFocus: Let's start with one of the most important factors for a lens in this category. Unfortunately, for me as a birder, today I was not given an opportunity t use it on birds in flight. That said, the lens offers a very strong impression indeed for all focusing tasks I asked of it today. At the risk of being too enthusiastic I must say that This lens is the fastest most accurately focusing lens I have had opportunity to shoot.*
Okay, so two weeks later and with a good deal more time with the lens, I feel I need to clarify.
In many situations, it is the fastest, going from infinity to near.
It s also very accurate, giving me more keepers than the previous version or any previous zoom I have used.
What have a noticed that changes my initial impression? With birds in flight it is a monster, amazing. and yet, there is something missing. It could be I'm rusty (really, I am) but when I shoot with the 500mm Prime, one of it's abilities that I simply can not explain is it's profound need to always achieve focus on the subjects eye. I don't understand why this happens so effortlessly, but it does. Even with it's much narrower DOF, it appears to pull this off better than the new 100-400mm.
I can not quantify this. It really is like magic on the 500mm, but I have round the world photos that show this. With the 100-400mm I am more likely to get a wing tip or body part.
One more disclaimer, I have not MFAd this new lens yet.

On the 1D4 and 5D3 side by side it has mopped the floor with the otherwise amazing 200mm f/2L! Quicker, quieter, and more confident. In fact the assertion with which this lens snaps into correct focus is absolutely unequaled. Dead silent, it is a quick "snick" sound then it's in focus. I've never seen anything like it. Going from near infinity on a distant house peak to the tree 3 feet in front of me offers ZERO hunt, just the brief blur as it travels from all the way out to nearly all the way in and solid perfectly accurate lock.

It is absolutely faster than the 400mm f/5.6L prime.

It also bested the 200mm f/2 indoors in low light for af speed and lack of hunting on both 1D4 and 5D3.

I am quite sure that when I do the side by side, it will be faster than the 500mm f/4L IS (v I)
(it is)

Folks, I did not believe it was possible for a zoom to focus so fast and confidently. Canon has really made some significant improvements with the MkII designs.

Tracking on the 1D4: I have yet to be able to test it on birds in flight, but it tracked my dogs running through the tall beach grass as well as or better than the 400mm f/5.6L prime.
More on this later.

1.4X T-Con: I tried out the 1.4x MkII when the light was good and the AF did not seem to slow or lose accuracy. This is better than the results I get from any other zoom I have tried, besting the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS (VI) and better than most primes.

Minimum Focus Distance: At approx 3" 6" it is nearly half what the MKI gave us with it's already impressive and useful 6 foot MFD. Compare it to the 400mm f/5.6L prime and it's a shocking upgrade for those that are not always shooting things at long distances. This feature literally multiplies the magnification (and overall flexibility) of this lens over it's predecessors.

IMAGE: http://jakehegnauer.zenfolio.com/img/s6/v135/p615014680-5.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://jakehegnauer.ze​nfolio.com/p605089996/​e24a86118] (external link)

IMAGE: http://jakehegnauer.zenfolio.com/img/s/v-2/p1400690162-5.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://jakehegnauer.ze​nfolio.com/p605089996/​e537cd5f2] (external link)


IMAGE: http://jakehegnauer.zenfolio.com/img/s/v-2/p1230487447.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://jakehegnauer.ze​nfolio.com/p605089996/​e4957bf97] (external link)
Image Stabilization: Once again, it appears to be the best I have had opportunity to use. It is fast to engage and quieter than any other IS system I have used, besting the 500mm f/4L IS, and 200mm f/2L IS handily. I was shooting @ f/16 to get 1/10th of a second shots hand held and was rewarded with dead on sharp images. This IS system will be a lifesaver. Clearly one of the best implementations available and LIGHT YEARS ahead of the 1st Generation IS that is installed in the older MkI 100-400mm.


Image Quality:
Well frankly again I am amazed. I have not had opportunity to use the new MkII 70-200mm, or the 70-300mm L, but I have seen images and heard a lot of good things. Clearly this lens is in that class of new "primelike" zooms. It is a significant improvement over the VI 100-400mm and any other zoom I have shot with other than ones costing much more.

IMAGE: http://jakehegnauer.zenfolio.com/img/s12/v175/p716423295-5.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://jakehegnauer.ze​nfolio.com/p605089996/​e2ab3c07f] (external link)

For the pixel junkies, here are some 100% crops and a link to what I have uploaded so far.
(NOTE: The un-cropped images I have uploaded were in camera small jpegs from the 1D4. The crops are taken from RAW files with everything zeros to default using Capture 1 v7)
http://jakehegnauer.ze​nfolio.com/p605089996 (external link)

Grommett

IMAGE: http://jakehegnauer.zenfolio.com/img/s6/v149/p813914568-5.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://jakehegnauer.ze​nfolio.com/p605089996/​e308359c8] (external link)

100% crop with detail of fur. This is ISO 200 f/5.6

IMAGE: http://jakehegnauer.zenfolio.com/img/s7/v159/p1067333790-5.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://jakehegnauer.ze​nfolio.com/p605089996/​e3f9e389e] (external link)

Portrait lens replacement? 135mm f/5.6

IMAGE: http://jakehegnauer.zenfolio.com/img/s10/v107/p1059930478-5.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://jakehegnauer.ze​nfolio.com/p605089996/​e3f2d416e] (external link)


Handling:
It weighs a bit more than the VI, more along the lines of a 70-200mm, and certainly feels more "beefy" than the VI. The focus ring is smooth and placed for ease of access (too easy?, more on that later)
All the usual switches are there and within reach, with some additions over the previous model including additional IS modes.

Zoom Control: Well, this review had to have some detraction, and this is the biggest one. To those of you that have read my posts on this forum it may come as no surprise that the switch from the "one touch" push pull zoom of the VI to a rotating zoom mechanism is not going to go over well for me. Now the preference for rotating zoom vs. push pull is obviously a personal one. But preferences aside, it is also an impersonal fact that one touch zooming made the 100-400mm L IS VI the fastest lens available when it comes to accurately zooming to recompose. No rotating zoom can compete. And this where I question Canon's understanding of how THIS lens is used most. It is an action lens. And fast action is aided by the push pull zoom. Nearly (you'll see, wait for it) everything else about the changes made to upgrade this VII lens aid the action shooter. Speed all the way. The internals of the rotating zoom also = weight. This lens is heavier specifically because of this switch. Is it too heavy? No I will manage easily but again, I would have preferred the lighter weight of the VI.

And then there's that Tension Ring? I can just see the designers considering this feature. "Well the old one had it" And the old one needed it. It was a one touch "push pull" zoom. What on earth do we do with the tension ring on a twist zoom? The zoom ring as it is , is a bit on the stiff side when you open the box. I am sure it will soften up, in fact today I already was aware of it,. but I just can't see the need for this tension ring.
And as some others have mentioned, in it's current state of stiffness, I could not use it as a push pull in a way that was smooth enough to use.

Lens Collar: So what else is NOT an improvement for the intended use of this lens? The non removable lens collar. The things is very well designed. The removable foot as a concession works well, and as a built in part it rotates smooth as a dream in its built in collar just like the big primes. I like the idea and execution, but .. and here's that question for Canon re: intended use. "Just who do you think it going to use this new feature?"
On THIS lens it makes no sense. Give use the removable collar and 98% of us will put it in the box upon receipt of the lens and never use it again. This is a HAND HELD lens and is was in no urgent need to have an improved rotating collar, let alone one I can't just take off.

The Hood: It works like any other hood with the addition of the little window to allow you to adjust a rotating filter like a polarizer without having to remove the hod. Nice.

In Summary:

This is the new Must Have action zoom lens for all manner of subject matter. Wildlife and sports, anything that you do in the great outdoors that requires fast auto focus, good zoom range and 400mm max focal length. This is the new standard.
Superior image quality in a flexible zoom, that has some of the best Auto focus and IS ever installed in a lens.
Excellent compatibility and useability with a 1.4x T-Con makes it even more flexible.

GEAR LIST
CDS' HOT LINKS
Jake Hegnauer Photography (external link)

LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as registered member)
CyberDyneSystems
THREAD ­ STARTER
Admin (type T-2000)
CyberDyneSystems's Avatar
47,713 posts
Gallery: 78 photos
Joined Apr 2003
Rhode Island USA
Post has been last edited over 1 year ago by CyberDyneSystems. 5 edits done in total.
Dec 17, 2014 10:12 |  #2

UPDATE March 2015:

It may come as no surprise that this continues to amaze me in it's overall flexibility.

Further, after more time with it I have become absolutely convinced that the new MkII 100-400mm Zoom beats the fantastic 400mm f/5.6L at it's own game, ie: AF speed, and IQ.

IMAGE: http://jakehegnauer.zenfolio.com/img/s11/v37/p1400689798.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://jakehegnauer.ze​nfolio.com/p605089996/​e537cd486] (external link)

IMAGE: http://jakehegnauer.zenfolio.com/img/s7/v152/p1159135407.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://jakehegnauer.ze​nfolio.com/p598377313/​e451700af] (external link)

IMAGE: http://jakehegnauer.zenfolio.com/img/s12/v185/p1230487495.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://jakehegnauer.ze​nfolio.com/p605089996/​e4957bfc7] (external link)

There is no reason to own both anymore, and yes, as of today I only own the new zoom having just sold my old standbys, the 400mm f/5.6L Prime and the original 100-400mm.

IMAGE: http://jakehegnauer.zenfolio.com/img/s12/v182/p1230487485.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://jakehegnauer.ze​nfolio.com/p605089996/​e4957bfbd] (external link)

GEAR LIST
CDS' HOT LINKS
Jake Hegnauer Photography (external link)

LOG IN TO REPLY
CyberDyneSystems
THREAD ­ STARTER
Admin (type T-2000)
CyberDyneSystems's Avatar
47,713 posts
Gallery: 78 photos
Joined Apr 2003
Rhode Island USA
Post has been edited over 2 years ago by CyberDyneSystems.
Dec 17, 2014 10:13 |  #3

O-kay the light sucked, but here's my duck just to remain within the regulations of POTN!

IMAGE: http://jakehegnauer.zenfolio.com/img/s6/v151/p853180641-4.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://jakehegnauer.ze​nfolio.com/p605089996/​e32da80e1] (external link)

GEAR LIST
CDS' HOT LINKS
Jake Hegnauer Photography (external link)

LOG IN TO REPLY
Perfectly ­ Frank
Goldmember
Joined Oct 2010
Dec 17, 2014 10:32 |  #4

Sounds like it will make a fantastic air show lens. Thanks for your evaluation.

What's with this Hiatus thing?


My flickr albums (external link)
My Best Aviation Photos (external link)

LOG IN TO REPLY
Harvey_G
Cream of the Crop
Harvey_G's Avatar
5,375 posts
Joined Mar 2007
Cobourg, Ontario, Canada
Dec 17, 2014 10:36 |  #5

After reading this and seeing some of the images posted by others, I am seriously p!ssed.

My lens was to be delivered today and now Canada Post has pushed it out another day. I think we pay for storage and not for actually moving the mail.


-Harv-
Residing in Cobourg, Ontario, Canada
Shooting with more great Canon gear than I deserve. :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
I don't need a second childhood. I'm not finished yet with the first one. :lol:
http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=764587

LOG IN TO REPLY
aviography
Member
128 posts
Joined May 2008
Toronto, Canada
Dec 17, 2014 11:10 |  #6

I noticed last night while admiring this lens I just got, that there isn't a date code printed or engraved on the lens mounting side unlike all other Canon lens I have? I looked pretty hard around that area but did not see any......

Has anyone else noticed this?


Unwavering Canon shooter for the last 35 years.

LOG IN TO REPLY
ed ­ rader
"I am not the final word"
ed rader's Avatar
22,671 posts
Gallery: 2 photos
Joined May 2005
silicon valley
Dec 17, 2014 11:12 |  #7

I knew it. the new benchmark. a reason to own canon :lol:


http://instagram.com/e​draderphotography/ (external link)
5D4, 80d, 16-35L III, 24-70L II, 70-200L F4 IS, 100-400L II, sigma 15mm FE, 430exII, gitzo 3542, markins Q10, kirk, really right stuff

LOG IN TO REPLY
ed ­ rader
"I am not the final word"
ed rader's Avatar
22,671 posts
Gallery: 2 photos
Joined May 2005
silicon valley
Dec 17, 2014 11:13 as a reply to aviography's post |  #8

canon hasn't done date codes for awhile. no mas.


http://instagram.com/e​draderphotography/ (external link)
5D4, 80d, 16-35L III, 24-70L II, 70-200L F4 IS, 100-400L II, sigma 15mm FE, 430exII, gitzo 3542, markins Q10, kirk, really right stuff

LOG IN TO REPLY
John_T
Goldmember
John_T's Avatar
Joined Jun 2003
Switzerland
Post has been edited over 2 years ago by John_T.
Dec 17, 2014 12:31 as a reply to ed rader's post |  #9

Mine just got here too...

...and it's raining. :cry:


Canon : 5DIV : 5DS R : 5DIII : 7DII : 40 2.8 : 50 1.4 : 35L : 85L : 100L IS Macro : 135L : 16-35L II : 24-105L IS II : 70-200L II : 100-400L IS II : 1.4x & 2x TC III : 600EX-RT : 580EX : 430EX : G1XII : Markins Q10 & Q3T : Jobu Gimbal : Manfrotto Underware : etc...

LOG IN TO REPLY
Archibald
You must be quackers!
Archibald's Avatar
Joined May 2008
Calgary
Dec 17, 2014 12:39 |  #10

John_T wrote in post #17337919external link
Mine just got here too...

...and it's raining. :cry:

Isn't it rainproof?


Pentax Spotmatic F with 28/3.5, 50/1.4, 50/1.8, 135/3.5; Canon digital gear
C&C always welcome.
Picture editing OK

LOG IN TO REPLY
John_T
Goldmember
John_T's Avatar
Joined Jun 2003
Switzerland
Dec 17, 2014 13:01 |  #11

Archibald wrote in post #17337940external link
Isn't it rainproof?

Yeah, but it's pitch dark outside.

...guess I'll go shoot rubber ducks in the bathtub.  :p


Canon : 5DIV : 5DS R : 5DIII : 7DII : 40 2.8 : 50 1.4 : 35L : 85L : 100L IS Macro : 135L : 16-35L II : 24-105L IS II : 70-200L II : 100-400L IS II : 1.4x & 2x TC III : 600EX-RT : 580EX : 430EX : G1XII : Markins Q10 & Q3T : Jobu Gimbal : Manfrotto Underware : etc...

LOG IN TO REPLY
Scott ­ M
Goldmember
Joined May 2008
Michigan
Dec 17, 2014 13:09 |  #12

Thanks for the initial impressions, CyberDyne. Reports like these are going to make it very difficult for me to wait a few months before ordering one. I do not have much use for a telephoto this time of year, so planned on accumulating some extra Amazon points on my credit card to help supplement the purchase.

Must stop reading these threads. Must show patience.


Photo Galleryexternal link
Gear List

LOG IN TO REPLY
Submariner
Goldmember
Submariner's Avatar
3,028 posts
Joined May 2012
London
Dec 17, 2014 13:37 |  #13

I wish you were not so experienced! - as I had hoped to survive with my 70-300 L 4.5 to 5.6 IS USM.
But that kind of endorsement is hard to ignore.

When you say it focuses faster than anything you had before; I am trying to equate the speed - to say my 70-200 F2.8 L USM II. Your verbal description, pretty much equates to how I feel about the 70-200 F2.8 L II on my 5D3.
Even on grey overcast days it basically seems to focus, as fast as the lens can move, and locks instantly ( even when its so dark my eyes have a bit of a struggle )
I notice you have the same lens - is your 70-200 the Mk II? If not have you tried the Mk II and how would you compare them.

Dont get me wrong I am very, very pleased with the AF speed on the 70-300L But its just not as fast or confident ( probably yue wrong word for instantly finding the focus spot first time) as the 70-200 mk II is.

Glad you are pleased with it.

Also nice to hear of Canon succeeding as opposed to the 7DII LOL ;)


Canon EOS 5DS R, Canon EF 70-200 F2.8 L Mk II IS USM, Canon EF 70-300 F4-5.6 L IS USM, EF 40mm F2.8 STM , RC6 Remote. Canon STE-3 Radio Flash Controller, Canon 600 EX RT x4 , YN 560 MkII x2 ; Bowens GM500PRO x4 , Bowens Remote Control. Bowens Pulsar TX, RX Radio Transmitter and Reciever Cards. Bowens Constant 530 Streamlights 600w x 4 Sold EOS 5D Mk III, 7D, EF 50mm F1.8, 430 EX Mk II, Bowens GM500Rs x4

LOG IN TO REPLY
Northwoods ­ Bill
Goldmember
Joined Jun 2012
Dec 17, 2014 13:53 |  #14

Will be ordering mine in a couple of days, selling off a couple of other lenses to do it. I just spoke with Adorama and they are backordered until sometime in January! :-(:-(:-(

I want it NOW!!! vmadvmad


Bill R
Web:https://www.flickr.com​/photos/whitebirch/ (external link)

LOG IN TO REPLY
robert614
Senior Member
Joined Jul 2013
Dec 17, 2014 14:32 |  #15

Northwoods Bill wrote in post #17338102external link
Will be ordering mine in a couple of days, selling off a couple of other lenses to do it. I just spoke with Adorama and they are backordered until sometime in January! :-(:-(:-(

I want it NOW!!! vmadvmad

Best Buy has it in stock if your interested.

Regards,

Robert




LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as registered member)

1,538,199 views & 15654 likes for this thread
EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Review WOW!
FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses


Not a member yet? Click here to register to the forums.
Registered members get all the features: search, following threads, own gear list and ratings, likes, more forums, private messaging, thread follow, notifications, own gallery, settings, view hosted photos, own reviews and more...


AAA

Send feedback to staff    •   Jump to forum...    •   Rules    •   Index    •   New posts    •   RTAT    •   'Best of'    •   Gallery    •   Gear    •   Reviews    •   Polls

COOKIES DISCLAIMER: This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Privacy policy and cookie usage info.

POWERED BY AMASS 1.4version 1.4
made in Finland
by Pekka Saarinen
for photography-on-the.net
Spent 0.00688 for 6 database queries.
PAGE COMPLETED IN 0.13s
Latest registered member is Ranga
1002 guests, 527 members online
Simultaneous users record so far is 6106, that happened on Jun 09, 2016