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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 04 Feb 2013 (Monday) 16:11
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Are newer 100-400 sharper?

 
Trvlr323
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Feb 04, 2013 16:11 |  #1

Hi people. I've owned 4 or 5 copies of the 100-400 in the past. My relationship with them was always kind of love/hate. I found the lens absolutely invaluable for its versatility but I was never happy with the sharpness and I even had one that was so bad out of the box that I sent it back for exchange. That was till recently. I purchased one brand new last month so it is the newest copy that I have owned by at least 5-6 years. I ran all my regular tests on it and I'm stunned at the sharpness. I took a series of shots wide open @ 400mm and couldn't believe how sharp they were even zoomed in 100%. The sharpest copy that I have ever owned by a long shot.

So my question is am I just one of those lucky buyers who happens upon a super sharp 100-400 or have improvements been made in production? Are people still finding new copies that are soft?


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watt100
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Feb 04, 2013 16:49 |  #2

nqjudo wrote in post #15572020 (external link)
Hi people. I've owned 4 or 5 copies of the 100-400 in the past. My relationship with them was always kind of love/hate. I found the lens absolutely invaluable for its versatility but I was never happy with the sharpness and I even had one that was so bad out of the box that I sent it back for exchange. That was till recently. I purchased one brand new last month so it is the newest copy that I have owned by at least 5-6 years. I ran all my regular tests on it and I'm stunned at the sharpness. I took a series of shots wide open @ 400mm and couldn't believe how sharp they were even zoomed in 100%. The sharpest copy that I have ever owned by a long shot.
So my question is am I just one of those lucky buyers who happens upon a super sharp 100-400 or have improvements been made in production? Are people still finding new copies that are soft?


sure, it could be "production" problems or unlucky people or unfortunate camera users getting an earlier copy of a lens or Canon doing some voodoo thing on later 100-400 lens or maybe, just maybe, it could be in another category altogether: users that have learned more about aperture, DOF, shutter speed and shooting with longer telephone lens requires a different technique or something.... I dunno




  
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Leftcoast_Mike
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Feb 04, 2013 16:55 |  #3

I have a UZ and at 400mm mine is as sharp as a butter knife


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Invertalon
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Feb 04, 2013 17:22 |  #4

Leftcoast_Mike wrote in post #15572207 (external link)
I have a UZ and at 400mm mine is as sharp as a butter knife

I see what you did there :p


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b-rice
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Feb 04, 2013 17:58 |  #5

I have a UR that just needed a little microadjust and it's great. I normally don't even take it out unless I can shoot f/7.1 or above. The only time I see the quality of it depreciate significantly is when I slap my 1.4x on, and then it's a real ****show. Tis the story of TC's ;)




  
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Feb 04, 2013 18:44 |  #6

I once tested a UT which was very sharp. Then I tested a UV and it was not, then another UV and it was razor sharp. I kept that one for a year before I bought my Sigma 120-300 2.8 OS.


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Paxonator
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Feb 04, 2013 21:30 |  #7

Yeah I've had a UN date code one that was very sharp. A UV that wasn't that great and have UW that is sharp. If you find a sharp on just keep it.


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haliapsychologika
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Feb 05, 2013 02:00 as a reply to  @ Paxonator's post |  #8

I do not believe the newer ones are better. I tried few of them and the one I decided to buy happens to be the "oldest". When i checked the files coming from it I was surprised to see how close it is in sharpness wide open to the 400 5.6 prime. I completely agree that if you find a good one, you should hang on to it.




  
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londonbairn
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Feb 05, 2013 03:22 |  #9

I had a new one in 2012, tested it thoroughly and it just was not sharp wide open, I had to use it at f7.1 to make it acceptable. Sadly sold it...




  
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samsen
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Feb 05, 2013 03:40 |  #10

How can a lens be different if it has the same design?
That is as long as you exclude the power of abuse from use.


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kouasupra
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Feb 05, 2013 03:49 |  #11

Sent it to me and I'll confirm if its sharp or not. LOL.

On a serious note it is really the luck of the draw. These aren't Ferrari that are hand built.




  
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TSchrief
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Feb 05, 2013 06:52 |  #12
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I got my 100-400L new in April, 2012. It is as good as it gets wide-open at 400mm. Stopping down improves very little. I am happy with it. Well, except for the sucky IS.


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Submariner
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Feb 05, 2013 07:10 |  #13

TSchrief wrote in post #15574319 (external link)
I got my 100-400L new in April, 2012. It is as good as it gets wide-open at 400mm. Stopping down improves very little. I am happy with it. Well, except for the sucky IS.

Hi
Is it the new type of 4 stops IS that automatically compensates for a tripod?

Plus I am really puzzled why the variance in quality for the same product.?

With Sony G lenses (a sort of L lookalike) there are great/ good/ or slightly better than average lenses - just depends on the lens - but if you do your homework you can buy with confidence.

This complete breakdown in The trust in Quality Assurance is the kind of thing that destroys great companies.


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cputeq007
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Feb 05, 2013 07:27 |  #14

Why are people puzzled with product variation? It's called manufacturing variation and tolerances.

You're not going to get exacting QA/testing/adjustment from a mass-produced item such as this, especially at this cost.

Every manufacturer runs into this problem. If you want quality (almost) 100% of the time you get Leica or Zeiss MF lenses (the ZA Sonys don't count).

Everyone else is going to be victim of whatever the tolerances are for all the pieces and parts that make up their lens.

Then you throw in user errors, MA adjustment requirements and camera tolerances, and it's no wonder lenses are variable to the degree they are.


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jra
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Feb 05, 2013 10:24 |  #15

Mine is 5 years or so old and it's a very sharp copy of the lens. I have absolutely no issues using it wide open.




  
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Are newer 100-400 sharper?
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