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FORUMS Gear Reviews Lens Reviews
Thread started 01 Dec 2014 (Monday) 23:01
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Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM, reviewed by Reservoir Dog

TOGGLE RATINGS BETWEEN ALL AND Reservoir Dog (showing now: Reservoir Dog)
Overall Rating8
Overall Image Quality8.5
Value for Money7
Bokeh8
Sharpness8.5
Contrast8.5
Focusing7.5
Must Have5
Suitability to Intended Use9.5
Got What I Expectedn/a
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List all reviews of Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM
 
Reservoir ­ Dog
A Band Apart
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Joined Jan 2013
Out of the pack
Dec 01, 2014 23:01 |  #1

It's a very long time a have it now, and still unhappy this pump system vmad
What was thinking the engineers which develop this lens ??? seriously the most un-ergonomic IMO (total opposite to ergonomic) lens i ever used !
Anyway, i use it at 99% at 400mm.

Image quality is very good, sharp, plenty of contrast, the AF can be quite slow some time, but very accurate and spot on
There is an urban legend about getting some dust inside, personally i don't have dust inside after ... a decade may be.

I just regret to not have bough the prime 400mm f/5.6 instead, because whatever you are thinking > you will be most of the time at 400mm, and even often it's too short.


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alexvtr
Member
Joined Nov 2012
Montreal, QC
Dec 02, 2014 07:46 |  #2

Reservoir Dog wrote in post #17303191external link
It's a very long time a have it now, and still unhappy this pump system vmad
What was thinking the engineers which develop this lens ??? seriously the most un-ergonomic IMO (total opposite to ergonomic) lens i ever used !
Anyway, i use it at 99% at 400mm.

Image quality is very good, sharp, plenty of contrast, the AF can be quite slow some time, but very accurate and spot on
There is an urban legend about getting some dust inside, personally i don't have dust inside after ... a decade may be.

I just regret to not have bough the prime 400mm f/5.6 instead, because whatever you are thinking > you will be most of the time at 400mm, and even often it's too short.

I agree with you... I never got used to the pump system. And for the times you quickly need something between 100 and 400, it's difficult to reach the length needed with precision. I always ended overshooting what I wanted. Lots of wasted time having to zoom back to 100, recompose and re-zoom because the zoom system isn't as smooth as a regular zooming mechanism.


Canon EOS 60D | Canon EF 35mm f/2, EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM | Canon Speedlite 430 EX

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Archibald
You must be quackers!
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Joined May 2008
Calgary
Dec 05, 2014 18:28 as a reply to alexvtr's post |  #3

I use this lens for birding. It is a joy to use. Often it lives on my camera for weeks on end. Focus is accurate and fast.

I am used to its trombone action for zooming and like it. Once in a while I have to zoom very quickly and the tightening collar happens to be too tight and the lens won't zoom. That can be frustrating, but I don't know if there is a good solution (other than being patient and loosening the tightener). That collar serves a very useful purpose in preventing zoom creep.

I've taken thousands if not tens of thousands of pics with this lens and would look forward to taking many more with it - except I have Version II on order.


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Didereaux
Senior Member
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Joined Jun 2014
Upper Texas coast
Dec 05, 2014 19:03 |  #4

Archibald wrote in post #17314801external link
I use this lens for birding. It is a joy to use. Often it lives on my camera for weeks on end. Focus is accurate and fast.

I am used to its trombone action for zooming and like it. Once in a while I have to zoom very quickly and the tightening collar happens to be too tight and the lens won't zoom. That can be frustrating, but I don't know if there is a good solution (other than being patient and loosening the tightener). That collar serves a very useful purpose in preventing zoom creep.

I've taken thousands if not tens of thousands of pics with this lens and would look forward to taking many more with it - except I have Version II on order.


1X I second all of that. I have it, the 70-200, and the 24-105. Shoot wildlife and birds mostly. The 100-400mm is hard to beat, and the slide action is simply a matter of using it to get used to it. If you rarely pick it up, and use the std zoom lens's then yeah, you might find it not great. But wildlife. sports shooters all seem to like it. Check out the sidelines and you'll see a lot of them.


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Reservoir ­ Dog
THREAD ­ STARTER
A Band Apart
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Joined Jan 2013
Out of the pack
Dec 05, 2014 22:17 |  #5

The problem is whatever how you set the ring to be smooth or stiff, it's not the same smoothness/stiffness all the way, near 100mm it a bit more loose and when you arrive near 300-400mm it's more stiff ...
When i push it, it can be ok (getting a bit stiffer is ok), but when i pull back, i "bang" always the 2 barrels !

I use it also only for birds and wildlife (a lot !), don't make me wrong the IQ is very good, surprisingly good !
But to zoom in / zoom out, it does not keep the same smoothness all the way, making this system a nightmare for me, this system oblige me to control the amount of force i need to use which is different at every focal length ...
If it was the exact same smoothness all the way, you might never read this comment, but it's not the case at all ;)

But i understand that some people like this system, the idea is good to have the fastest possible zoom in / zoom out when needed ;)


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umphotography
grabbing their Johnson
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Joined Oct 2007
Gig Harbor, Washington
Dec 06, 2014 11:57 |  #6

I must be the Odd Ball. I love the push pull. Really keeps me balanced when im tracking BIF's. The 100-400 is a great lens if you have enough light


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Reservoir ­ Dog
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Post has been last edited over 3 years ago by Reservoir Dog with reason 'Add some pictures'. 2 edits done in total.
Dec 06, 2014 18:53 as a reply to umphotography's post |  #7

No Odd Ball, i don't like the system, others like it a lot, it's just a matter of taste ;)
I agree with you, it's a great lens, not a fast one but it's a great one which produce very nice image quality.

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STIC
Goldmember
Joined Oct 2012
Palmerston North, New Zealand
Apr 22, 2015 02:37 |  #8
banned

I find it a great motorsport lens. Had it around 8 years now...paper long gone and slides down to full extension all the time, but still pretty good.
Brought it new with a 7D, so pretty good reach on a crop (160-640 effective) and with the 8fps, it's a good combination for sport or movement...


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Not bad as a (slightly stalky) street lens either...

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7D MarkII l 50 1.8 STM l15-85 IS USM l 100-400 IS L l 2x converter l 580EX II l Wireless remote l A computer l Some software l A vehicle to get me around...;)

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Black ­ Bart
Member
240 posts
Joined Aug 2009
May 03, 2015 13:07 as a reply to umphotography's post |  #9

I agree I prefer the push pull over the twist type I can lay it in the palm of my hand and go from 100 to 400 and still have my arm in the same position but when I have to twist I wind up with my elbow sticking up at a uncomfortable position and have to relocate in order to hold it steady.
I leave the locking ring loose so I can instantly change it.
Most of the time I have a 1.4 tc on mine with my 1D it will still AF and the 140-560mm is great for birding.
I wish my other lens were a push pull also.




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STIC
Goldmember
Joined Oct 2012
Palmerston North, New Zealand
Jul 13, 2015 04:06 |  #10
banned

This shot is with a 2x converter on a 7D...

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7D MarkII l 50 1.8 STM l15-85 IS USM l 100-400 IS L l 2x converter l 580EX II l Wireless remote l A computer l Some software l A vehicle to get me around...;)

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GregDunn
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1,280 posts
Joined Mar 2013
Indiana
Jul 14, 2015 17:27 |  #11

alexvtr wrote in post #17304120 (external link)
I agree with you... I never got used to the pump system. And for the times you quickly need something between 100 and 400, it's difficult to reach the length needed with precision. I always ended overshooting what I wanted. Lots of wasted time having to zoom back to 100, recompose and re-zoom because the zoom system isn't as smooth as a regular zooming mechanism.

Seems like you'd want to get focus at 400mm and then zoom out to compose; that way you'd reduce the potential focus error even if you're using AI Servo. That's how I always do with my 24-105 and 70-200.


Canon 1Dx | 5D3 | 7D2 | 6D | 70-200L f/2.8IS | 70-200L f/4 | 24-70L f/2.8 | 24-105L f/4IS | 100-400L f/4.5-5.6IS | 17-55 f/2.8IS | 50 f/1.8 | 28-105 f/3.5-4.5 | 4x Godox AD360

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Reservoir ­ Dog
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Joined Jan 2013
Out of the pack
Post has been last edited over 2 years ago by Reservoir Dog with reason 'Add youtuvideo example'. 2 edits done in total.
Jul 14, 2015 19:01 |  #12

GregDunn wrote in post #17631714 (external link)
Seems like you'd want to get focus at 400mm and then zoom out to compose; that way you'd reduce the potential focus error even if you're using AI Servo. That's how I always do with my 24-105 and 70-200.

You cannot compare the zoom system...
The 100-400 is a zoom pump system, it have nothing to do or compare with a regular zoom system, here on the 100-400 to zoom in or out you push or pull (no ring to turn) ;)



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Ccugolf
Hatchling
3 posts
Joined Apr 2015
Jul 16, 2015 19:17 |  #13

When mounted on a monopod I liked this for shooting lacrosse. The pump allows for much quicker zoom on moving subjects.




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chaturanga
Member
58 posts
Joined Jul 2015
Jul 23, 2015 07:56 |  #14

Very nice photos.. Thanks for review




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Labmonkey
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Joined Aug 2015
Sep 21, 2016 20:31 |  #15

I like the image quality of this lens, it does seem pretty sharp. The pump system takes some getting used to. Maybe I just haven't used it enough.

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Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM, reviewed by Reservoir Dog
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