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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 05 Feb 2013 (Tuesday) 12:13
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Lens Upgrade 100-400L?

 
Hunt-man
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Feb 05, 2013 12:13 |  #1

I have a 7D, a Canon100mm 2.8 Macro, a Canon EFS 10-22 , and the Canon 28-135 kit lens.

I've been looking at larger lenses like the 100-400L EF IS USM. Is this a good choice w/ my 7D?

I shoot mainly nature / outdoor shots and spend a lot of my outdoor time floating down rivers.

Suggestions please.


What fixer should I use on my digital pictures???
Canon 7D, Canon 70-200 2.8 II, Canon 10-22 3.5 USM, Canon 100 Macro, Canon 28-135 Kit. Canon G12. Canon D20.

  
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amfoto1
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Feb 05, 2013 12:32 |  #2

The 100-400L is a nice and convenient lens. It's a "push/pull" type zoom (one ring serves both manual focus and zoom)... some people like those, others don't. Personally I'm not a fan of push/pull, I just have had trouble getting sharp shots with them in the past (haven't used the 100-400 any more than briefly borrowing one, though... IS should help). Push/pulls are fast to zoom. A lot of folks think it's a near ideal lens for fast moving subjects, such as airshow photography. It's a reasonably compact lens considering the focal lengths it covers, has fairly quick focus and helpful image stabilization. It's around $1600-1700 U.S. If you get the 100-400L, resist any temptation to put a "protection" filter on it. A lot of users have found this lens very reluctant to work well with filters.

You might want to consider some alternatives:

I have and prefer using a 300/4 IS, with and without a 1.4X teleconverter. That meets my needs well, for a handholdable longer telephoto. The lenses themselves are close to the same size and weight, the 300/4 and 100-400. I use the 1.4X Mark II, which can be bought for around $250 used. The 300mm costs $1550... so the combo works out to cost about the same.

Another possibility is the Sigma 120-400 OS HSM. It's a more traditional two ring zoom, not a push/pull. It's also black, instead of "Canon white". Some folks really like both these features. It's just slightly larger in size and weight than the 100-400, both use the same 77mm filters, too. It has HSM focus, which is similar to Canon USM. It has OS, which some feel is even better stabilization than the Canon IS version used on the 100-400L. The Sigma seems pretty close in IQ, maybe a little lower contrast and saturation. It costs a lot less, around $1000 U.S. or less.

There is also the Sigma 150-500mm OS HSM. It's bigger and heavier (86mm filters) than either the 100-400L or Siggy 120-400mm. It's also a little slower... f6.3 at 500mm. But it's 100mm longer and a nice price, about $1100 U.S.

Sigma also offers the 50-500mm OS HSM. Nicknamed the "Bigma", it's a fairly big, heavy lens (95mm filter). But some folks really like it, especially at it's longer focal lengths. It's closer to the 100-400L in price... about $1650 normally (currently on sale for just over $1500, there's probably a new version coming soon... Sigma is updating all their lenses with some new features such as allowing users to upgrade the firmware or tweak the focus of the lens themselves).

Canon also offers the 400/5.6L. As a prime lens, it's not going to be as convenient as one of the zooms, but might be the sharpest pencil in this drawer. It also is Canon's longest lens without IS, which helps keep the cost down (about $1500 U.S.), but stabilization sure would be nice on such a long telephoto. There's a pretty big gap between your 135mm and a 400mm! (To keep things reasonably compact and manageable, with about a 22 lb. backpack, I've travelled with a wide angle, either 24-70 & 135/2 and 300mm, or a 28-135 and 300mm, using a 1.4X TC on the 135mm and/or 300mm as needed for 189mm and 420mm equivalents. But I wouldn't want that big "gap" between 135mm and 400mm... I too often need a lens around 200mm and 300mm focal lengths.)

All the above come with some limitations. With the exception of the 300/4, there are some limitations on using 1.4X teleconverters with the other lenses due to their f5.6 and f6.3 apertures. The biggest issue is that auto focus will not work or, at best, will struggle to work. For all practical purposes, they aren't usable with 2X teleconverters. They all mostly going to require good light... And/or a tripod (especially the 400/5.6 might benefit from some support, due to it's lack of stabilization). Due to size/weight of some of these, at least a monopod might be nice during long shoots, to give your arm a rest! (Though I sometimes use the 300/4 on one 7D all day long handheld. The 100-400L and Siggy 120-400 are similar weight.)

The most flexible option would be the considerably more expensive Sigma 120-300/2.8 OS HSM. It's at least double the price of most of the other options mentione (regularly $3200, currently on sale for $3000 U.S.). It's also a lot bigger and heavier than most of them, using a 105mm filter. At 6-1/2 lbs about twice as heavy as some of the other lenses. However, it can be used with both 1.4X and 2X teleconverters and in low light.

Everything else goes way, way up in price: Canon 300/2.8L IS, 400/4L DO IS (not very usable with teleconverters), 400/2.8L IS, 500/4L IS, 600/4L IS and 800/5.6L IS. The not-yet-released Canon 200-400/4L 1.4X has a built in teleconverter, but is likely to have a five figure price tag. Most of these are also a lot bigger and heavier.


Alan Myers (external link) "Walk softly and carry a big lens."
5DII, 7DII(x2), 7D(x2) & other cameras. 10-22mm, Tokina 12-24/4, 20/2.8, TS 24/3.5L, 24-70/2.8L, 28/1.8, 28-135 IS (x2), TS 45/2.8, 50/1.4, Tamron 60/2.0, 70-200/4L IS, 70-200/2.8 IS, 85/1.8, Tamron 90/2.5 Macro, 100/2.8 USM, 100-400L II, 135/2L, 180/3.5L, 300/4L IS (x2), 300/2.8L IS, 500/4L IS, EF 1.4X II, EF 2X II. Flashes, studio strobes & various access. - FLICKR (external link) - ZENFOLIO (external link)

  
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watt100
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Feb 05, 2013 12:43 |  #3

Hunt-man wrote in post #15575252 (external link)
I have a 7D, a Canon100mm 2.8 Macro, a Canon EFS 10-22 , and the Canon 28-135 kit lens.
I've been looking at larger lenses like the 100-400L EF IS USM. Is this a good choice w/ my 7D?

I shoot mainly nature / outdoor shots and spend a lot of my outdoor time floating down rivers.
Suggestions please.

the 100-400 is the sharpest of the 400mm zooms and has the best "IQ" but it's also the most expensive. I use the 100-400 for sports, wildlife, birds, etc. but "floating down a river" ?




  
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Hunt-man
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Feb 05, 2013 12:52 |  #4

amfoto1 wrote in post #15575317 (external link)
The most flexible option would be the considerably more expensive Sigma 120-300/2.8 OS HSM. It's at least double the price of most of the other options mentione (regularly $3200, currently on sale for $3000 U.S.). It's also a lot bigger and heavier than most of them, using a 105mm filter. At 6-1/2 lbs about twice as heavy as some of the other lenses. However, it can be used with both 1.4X and 2X teleconverters and in low light.

Thanks for the great response. I'm going to reread it a few times. I will look at that Sigma as the low light ability is appealing.


What fixer should I use on my digital pictures???
Canon 7D, Canon 70-200 2.8 II, Canon 10-22 3.5 USM, Canon 100 Macro, Canon 28-135 Kit. Canon G12. Canon D20.

  
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Hunt-man
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Feb 05, 2013 12:55 |  #5

watt100 wrote in post #15575353 (external link)
but "floating down a river" ?

I have a drift boat and I use it to camp / float down the Deschutes river here in Oregon. I do a lot of fly fishing for trout and steelhead. No matter what I get I am going to need a good waterproof case or a dry bag. It can get wet out there in the rapids.

Sounds like the 100-400 would be a good choice but I'm going to check the Sigma out before I decide.


What fixer should I use on my digital pictures???
Canon 7D, Canon 70-200 2.8 II, Canon 10-22 3.5 USM, Canon 100 Macro, Canon 28-135 Kit. Canon G12. Canon D20.

  
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Andrushka
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Feb 05, 2013 13:11 |  #6

The 300 f/4 is a great lens if you are usually hovering around that focal length. I sold mine and moved over to the 400 5.6 for the reach for surf photography since I pretty much ALWAYS need MORE reach and there is generally a lot of light. But the 300 f/4 would give you IS, and the larger aperture PLUS the ability to go to 420mm with a 1.4x and still retain AF.

From my own research it seems that in the $1000 range (used) the 300 f/4 and the 400 5.6 are the sharpest & fastest focusing tele's available. But if a prime lens isn't flexible enough for you, that is a different story all together. I skipped over the 100-400L for my telephoto needs because I was going to be at the 400mm end 99% of the time. I have rented one in the past and its a great lens as well.

But obviously if you have a more substantial budget your options definitely widen. Is there are reason you haven't considered the new 70-300L? By observation it appears to be very sharp and more compact than the 100-400 or the big Sigma zooms.


http://www.paradigmpho​tographyoc.com (external link)

  
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Hunt-man
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Feb 05, 2013 21:30 |  #7

I will try to get a look at the new 70-300L. Smaller and lighter would be nice. I like to hand hold and feel happiest with a variable lens.

Sounds like I would not go wrong with a 100-400 or the 70-300.


What fixer should I use on my digital pictures???
Canon 7D, Canon 70-200 2.8 II, Canon 10-22 3.5 USM, Canon 100 Macro, Canon 28-135 Kit. Canon G12. Canon D20.

  
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Snydremark
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Feb 05, 2013 22:58 |  #8

I'm definitely a strong proponent of the 100-400; the only way I'd trade it for anything else is if they rev it to a MkII or they finally release the 200-400 f/4L...or, I finally give up and fund a 500 f/4.

It's got great flexibility with the zoom, IS (even if it *is* an older version), a decent minimum focus distance and it's built like a tank. That thing's fallen down hills and off of snowmobiles with me and still works like a champ :p


- Eric S.: My Birds/Wildlife (external link) (7D MkII/5D IV, Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5, Canon 24-105L f/4 IS, Canon 70-200L f/2.8 IS MkII, Canon 100-400L f/4.5-5.6 IS I/II)
"The easiest way to improve your photos is to adjust the loose nut between the shutter release and the ground."

  
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Hunt-man
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Feb 06, 2013 00:40 |  #9

Looks like the 70-300 L can be had for $1399 or the 100-400 L used for around 1K. All the reviews on the 100-400 look good.

On the 7D the actual focal length is 1.6 x ____ Right?


What fixer should I use on my digital pictures???
Canon 7D, Canon 70-200 2.8 II, Canon 10-22 3.5 USM, Canon 100 Macro, Canon 28-135 Kit. Canon G12. Canon D20.

  
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pdrober2
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Feb 06, 2013 06:44 |  #10

my 70-300L was sharper wide open than my 100-400L. Both were great, but the 70-300L really amazed me.


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Whig
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Feb 06, 2013 06:48 as a reply to  @ pdrober2's post |  #11

I like my 100-400 a lot even that I would love to get longer zoom =(
Most of my nature photos are shot with 100-400:
http://www.flickr.com/​photos/whig/sets/ (external link)
So I can say that it's my favorite lens =)

IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8336/8130389637_760e3122b2.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/whig/8130389637​/  (external link)
Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) (external link) by Petri Lopia (external link), on Flickr

Lightnings, Galapagos, Kenya, Ecuador, South-Africa, Finland and so on photos... (external link)

  
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Littlejon ­ Dsgn
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Feb 06, 2013 08:28 |  #12

Hunt-man wrote in post #15577862 (external link)
Looks like the 70-300 L can be had for $1399 or the 100-400 L used for around 1K. All the reviews on the 100-400 look good.

On the 7D the actual focal length is 1.6 x ____ Right?

On the 7D the 100-400 is still 100-400 the camera just crops for you by 1.6 It does not change the focal length of the lens :)




  
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Hunt-man
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Feb 09, 2013 11:33 as a reply to  @ Littlejon Dsgn's post |  #13

I've been struggling to decide between a few choices:

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM II
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM
and in distant third:
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

I'm leaning toward the 70-200 and a 1.4 or 2.0 converter. That is what I have it narrowed down to now. (and a 40mm 2.8 pancake)


What fixer should I use on my digital pictures???
Canon 7D, Canon 70-200 2.8 II, Canon 10-22 3.5 USM, Canon 100 Macro, Canon 28-135 Kit. Canon G12. Canon D20.

  
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michgirl
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Feb 09, 2013 11:43 |  #14

Best Buy does have the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS on sale (online) right now for $1,388.00. A great price when compared to other zooms in this price range.

Just more to think about.... :-)


Robin
Canon 6d / EF Lens: 24mm-105mm / 40mm f/2.8 / 28mm f/1.8 / 50mm f/1.8 / 85mm 1.8
Canon T6i / EFs Lens: 24mm Pancake / 18-55mm STM / 18-135mm STM / 55-250mm STM

  
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C ­ Scott ­ IV
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Feb 09, 2013 12:37 |  #15

When I started getting serious about photography I purchased a barely used 28-300L because it covered landscapes and wildlife/zoo well. It has been a good all around carry lens. The 28-300L is not as soft as many say it is. It should not be compared to something like the 70-200L in IQ because the 28-300L is covering an zoom range of 11X. I mention it as an option.

If you don't really need the 400mm reach the 70-200 and 70-300 are probably better choices for IQ than the 100-400L. The 70-200 2.8L will give you more options in low light then the 70-300L and is notorious for great IQ. So of those two... do you need more light or more reach? If you need both, the 70-200 2.8L and an extender may be the ticket.

Since I started kayaking and photographing birds and wildlife from the kayak I found myself wanting more reach. Yesterday I ordered the 100-400L because sometimes even 300mm is too long when floating by larger birds. I realize I will no longer be able to take pictures of the frogs that jump on the kayak and ride along due to losing 3.5 ft. of minimum focus difference. The extra 100mm and potential 1.4x should be well worth it.

Good luck with your decision. It is a tough one.


Charles
www.CScott4.com (external link) | Instagram (external link) | Facebook (external link) | Gear | Image Editing OK and critique welcome
"Dodging and burning are steps to take care of mistakes God made in establishing tonal relationships." Ansel Adams

  
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