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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 15 Sep 2011 (Thursday) 21:00
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100-400L Question...

 
SlimStyle3
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Sep 15, 2011 21:00 |  #1

Hey everyone, quick question. I picked up a used 100-400 that appears to be in stellar shape and work fine, but after using it for a while here I'm not sure. To start, so I don't get the "you need to learn to hold it properly line" right away, I am a wedding photographer and hand hold my 70-200 2.8 IS version 1 down to 1/60th and below just fine all day long at 200mm. With this lens though, say at 400mm, it is almost impossible for me to get a hand held shot that is perfectly sharp. They either appear slightly soft or like there is camera movement - even at 1/400 or a little faster. I can't even produce images I'm happy with by sticking it on a tripod. Everyone once and a while I'll get one I think is ok, but in general, I'm starting to think this lens is a big white paper weight.

Am I either A - expecting more out of this lens than I should or B - does my lens need to be sent into CPS or C - I really do suck at photography and I just don't realize it... haha.

Yes, IS is ON except when on the tripod, then I took it off. If I'm decent at photography, how slow of a shutter speed should I be able to hand hold this lens on the long end of it?

Thoughts friends? Thanks...


Dave
Website: www.david-grube.com (external link) // www.david-grube.com/blog (external link) // www.facebook.com/david​grubephotography (external link)

  
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JonK
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Sep 15, 2011 21:02 |  #2

You need to realize that 1/focal length works really well, to a point. You don't shake the same amount holding a 200mm lens as you holding a 400mm lens. So, for instance, at 400mm you're at f/5.6. I generally get about 50% keepers on my 400 5.6 at 1/400. With flash I get more because the highlights are defined so some low lights can blur without much effect. Try shooting it 1/1000.


7NE | 7D | 5DII | 16-35/2.8L II | 24/1.4L II | TS-E 24/3.5L II | 50/1.4 | 85/1.2L II | 100/2.8L IS | 70-200/2.8L IS II | 400/5.6L | PIXMA Pro 9500 Mark II
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SlimStyle3
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Sep 15, 2011 21:08 |  #3

Hey Jon,

I do realize that and without a doubt understand that principle. Two things though... 1 - I am holding it at 1/the focal length, as in 1/400 and then there should be IS on top of that, so really, I theoretically should be able to do that I would assume. 2 - I have shot it at 1/1000 and get the same results. Hence my fear that I either expect too much out of it or it needs to go in for work.


Dave
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SlimStyle3
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Sep 15, 2011 21:09 |  #4

Also factor in, I have done this on a tripod, which should take me out of the equation... I hand hold my 85 down to 1/15 and get 50% keepers...


Dave
Website: www.david-grube.com (external link) // www.david-grube.com/blog (external link) // www.facebook.com/david​grubephotography (external link)

  
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JonK
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Sep 15, 2011 21:12 |  #5

Well I mean, if that's all true, then maybe its broken? There's a definitive learning curve regarding shooting long lenses. Can you provide a shot of a high contrast subject tripod mounted IS off w/ the lens @ 400 wide open?


7NE | 7D | 5DII | 16-35/2.8L II | 24/1.4L II | TS-E 24/3.5L II | 50/1.4 | 85/1.2L II | 100/2.8L IS | 70-200/2.8L IS II | 400/5.6L | PIXMA Pro 9500 Mark II
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SlimStyle3
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Sep 15, 2011 21:14 |  #6

Nice work by the way... I like the blog! :)


Dave
Website: www.david-grube.com (external link) // www.david-grube.com/blog (external link) // www.facebook.com/david​grubephotography (external link)

  
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JonK
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Sep 15, 2011 21:16 |  #7

Thx man


7NE | 7D | 5DII | 16-35/2.8L II | 24/1.4L II | TS-E 24/3.5L II | 50/1.4 | 85/1.2L II | 100/2.8L IS | 70-200/2.8L IS II | 400/5.6L | PIXMA Pro 9500 Mark II
check my blog:
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cristphoto
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Sep 15, 2011 21:57 |  #8

Remember that the shutter speed is the effective lens length so if you're using a crop body use a faster speed.


5D MKIV x2, 24L II, 35L II, 50L, 85LIS, 100LIS Macro, 135L, 300LIS, 16-35LIS, 24-70L, 70-200LIS, 100-400LIS

  
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frankk
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Sep 15, 2011 22:00 as a reply to  @ JonK's post |  #9

A

I was in your exact situation recently when I got my 100-400. I unscrewed my 70-200 and attached my new-to-me 100-400. I was disappointed in the results, thinking a calibration was needed.

First thing, move it farther away from your 70-200. Comparing the two or using them in the same time frame will make the 100-400 look like a paperweight.

When you put the 100-400 on a tripod and shoot something fairly close, are the results acceptable? That's how I started. On a tripod, stills of my dog and the moon. Once I got confident (i.e., realized it was not the lens holding me back), I started to enjoy the lens more and more. I'm not yet shooting BIF, but, with the right light, I am able to shoot handheld with lotsa keepers.




  
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phreeky
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Sep 15, 2011 22:07 |  #10

My recommendation, just to be certain, is turn IS off and take a shot in bright light for a good 1/1000s or so. I recommend taking a shot of a scene with things are varying distances, such as something on a patch of grass, so that it can be spotted if the AF is out a bit.

If that works fine then try it with IS on. Make sure you give the IS a couple of seconds to stabilise.

It's not unreasonable to think you may have got a copy that's a bit soft. There are some great copies out there but also some that are not crash hot.




  
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MikeJohn
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Sep 16, 2011 05:27 |  #11

phreeky wrote in post #13110956 (external link)
My recommendation, just to be certain, is turn IS off and take a shot in bright light for a good 1/1000s or so. I recommend taking a shot of a scene with things are varying distances, such as something on a patch of grass, so that it can be spotted if the AF is out a bit.

If that works fine then try it with IS on. Make sure you give the IS a couple of seconds to stabilise.

It's not unreasonable to think you may have got a copy that's a bit soft. There are some great copies out there but also some that are not crash hot.

Agreed,
I'd take the lens outside in good light to determine if the lens is any good. The late model of this lens is very sharp wide opened at 400mm, some earlier models are not as sharp. I'm not sure you can use it like a wedding lens, I just used it for outdoor shooting where I can keep the shutter speeds up.

Mike


Sony RX100, Canon S90, 1DMKIV, 5D MKIII, 16-35 II, 24-105, 70-200 II, 100-400, 300 f2.8, 1.4x III, 580EXII

  
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Reibs
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Sep 16, 2011 06:00 as a reply to  @ MikeJohn's post |  #12

I totally agree... Outside, at high speeds, its a great lens. Indoors, not so much. I use this lens only for airshows and any other outdoor sports. I can't really say I would have ever thought to use it for weddings. But maybe thats just me.




  
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hania
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Sep 16, 2011 06:21 as a reply to  @ Reibs's post |  #13

I was struggling with mine also last year - eventually I shot (centre point focus) a butterfly and the leaf in front of it was sharp so I reckoned it wasn't me.

It needed calibration and is fine now.


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argyle
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Sep 16, 2011 08:00 as a reply to  @ hania's post |  #14

Remove any filters that you may have on the lens...the 100-400L is finicky when it comes to filters.


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gjl711
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Sep 16, 2011 08:15 |  #15

argyle wrote in post #13112516 (external link)
Remove any filters that you may have on the lens...the 100-400L is finicky when it comes to filters.

I'll second this. I have a 100-400 that just plain does not like any piece of glass on the front of the lens. I don't know why but it seems to be something with the IS.


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100-400L Question...
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