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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 28 May 2012 (Monday) 04:58
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Zoom lens advice: Canon EF 100-400mm L IS

 
Nish-ZA
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May 28, 2012 04:58 |  #1

Hi All,

I have a Canon 60D and my current zoom is the 55-250...I love this lens and is a really good value for money...takes decent pics as well.

I enjoy bird and wildlife photography and need something with more reach.

I am considering the Canon 100-400 but wont be anytime soon as I still need to save for it and (or) find a good used deal.

Is this a good lens or is there anything else I should be considering?

All advice is appreciated.




  
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FlyingPhotog
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May 28, 2012 05:10 |  #2

Just one opinion but the 100-400 is hard to beat from a reach Vs portability Vs IQ Vs dollars point of view.

Sigma offers three contenders:
- 150-500
- 50-500
- 120-300 (pricey)

There is also the Canon 400mm f/5.6L which by most accounts is a stellar performer (but obviously, you're stuck with one focal length.)

FWIW, I'm fortunate to have both the 300mm f/2.8L IS and the 500mm f/4L IS in my arsenal but the 100-400 always goes with me as a lightweight, rapid response tool for use whenever the "big guns" aren't the right solution (and yes, it does happen...sometimes)


Jay
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watt100
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May 28, 2012 05:58 |  #3

Nish-ZA wrote in post #14494588 (external link)
Hi All,

I have a Canon 60D and my current zoom is the 55-250...I love this lens and is a really good value for money...takes decent pics as well.

I enjoy bird and wildlife photography and need something with more reach.

I am considering the Canon 100-400 but wont be anytime soon as I still need to save for it and (or) find a good used deal.

Is this a good lens or is there anything else I should be considering?

All advice is appreciated.

yes, it's a good lens. The 100-400 is a nice upgrade from the 55-250IS, sharp, good "bokeh", etc. it's my most used lens for wildlife and sports and events

XSi (450D)
Canon 100-400
at 400mm

(cropped 50%)


IMAGE: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7241/7298382970_f8d8bfdd62_b.jpg



  
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sambarino
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May 28, 2012 07:03 |  #4

You could consider the Sigma 120-400. I agonized over the choice between this and the 100-400L. The Sigma 120-400 is about $1,000. The Canon is $1700. I went with the Canon for the best IQ at 400mm. Lots of reviews said the Sigma is good at 400, but needs to be stopped down to f/8. I get really good shots at 400mm & f/5.6 with the Canon. Be advised, both of these lenses weigh over 3 pounds. Heavy.




  
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MCAsan
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May 28, 2012 07:05 |  #5

It is very hard to beat 100-400 for the combo of size, weight, quality,focal range, quality, and cost. When we are on shooting wildlife, it is our default lens for 85% or more of the shots. We loved using it at Kruger Park in 2010 and down at the Cape of Good Hope. We are headed back to Kruger in 3 weeks. Indeed the 100-400 is at the top of the packing list.

When Canon USA has them in stock, the refurbed ones are just under $1400. You might be able to find a nice used one for similar in Johannesburg or Cape Town




  
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Scott ­ M
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May 28, 2012 07:17 |  #6

The 100-400L is a terrific lens for different types of wildlife. The 400mm f/5.6 prime is less expensive, but you lose image stabilization and the versatility of the zoom. If you are shooting a variety of wildlife of different sizes, the zoom is a must. If the lens is for birding only, then the prime would work well.

I picked up the 100-400L during one of Canon's rebate promotions, as a double rebate combined with the 7D a couple of years ago. That lens + body is a killer wildlife combo.


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Nish-ZA
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May 28, 2012 07:24 |  #7

Thanks for all the advice - much appreciated - any idea if there are plans to replace it anytime soon?




  
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Skul
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May 28, 2012 07:29 |  #8

Use mine all the time for wildlfe.
The push-pull zoom takes a bit getting used to, however.
Remember, if you wish to use an extender with a 100-400L, the AF will not function unless you employ the "tape" trick.
Even using the tape results in often slow AF, and hunting.




  
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DC ­ Fan
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May 28, 2012 07:31 |  #9

The Sigma 150-500mm optical stabilizer lens,which generated these images,might be worth considering.

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MCAsan
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May 28, 2012 10:14 |  #10

any idea if there are plans to replace it anytime soon

None I have heard about. It is too much of a workhorse in the product line.




  
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paulkaye
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May 28, 2012 17:23 |  #11

Optical, it's ok. Not the sharpest tool in the box (esp at 400mm), but good enough for most. The push/pull zoom action is for many a negative rather than positive, but you get used to it. It's a heavy lens.
A quirk worth mentioning is that it's not happy with filters - it loses sharpness.


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sambarino
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May 28, 2012 18:28 as a reply to  @ paulkaye's post |  #12

Ditto on the filters. I have gotten some sharp shots with a UV filter. I think it throws off the focus a bit, because I do get about 15-20% good shots with a UV filter. That is too low to leave it on. Without the filter, I get upwards of 90% good shots, when I do my part.

I am weird, I suppose. I like the push-pull zoom. I have had many more of this type than the twisty type. Age is the factor, I suppose. I got my first camera in the 1960s, a Brownie Hawkeye Flash (nothing but the best). I bought my first zoom for an SLR, Yashicia FX-2, in about 1975. Push-pull. Both my Vivitar Series ONE (C/Y) lenses are push-pull. It just seems more natural to me. Whatever you get used to.




  
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RobDickinson
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May 28, 2012 19:23 |  #13

I like the lens, the one I tried (a 2003 one) was nice and sharp at 400/5.6 on a 7D if you managed your long lens technique. The Is system isnt the best and IMO needs a goof half to one second to settle before you take the shot, so I tended to shoot with it disabled and make sure I had enough shutter speed.

I wrote a blog post a whole ago on it
http://zarphag.com/200​9/12/birding-with-an-l/ (external link)


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sambarino
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May 28, 2012 19:32 |  #14

RobDickinson wrote in post #14497383 (external link)
I like the lens, the one I tried (a 2003 one) was nice and sharp at 400/5.6 on a 7D if you managed your long lens technique. The Is system isnt the best and IMO needs a goof half to one second to settle before you take the shot, so I tended to shoot with it disabled and make sure I had enough shutter speed.

I wrote a blog post a whole ago on it
http://zarphag.com/200​9/12/birding-with-an-l/ (external link)

Ditto. My experience exactly. Keep the shutter speed above 1/640, the faster the better, and turn off IS if in a fluid, moving environment.




  
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artyman
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May 29, 2012 02:43 |  #15

The Sigma 150-500 is a cracking good lens for birds, an extra 100mm over the Canon, comparable IQ and cheaper. I'd buy another one in preference to the Canon 100-400


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Zoom lens advice: Canon EF 100-400mm L IS
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