The Canon 100-400L IS has been around for a number of years and is a solid performer. This was my first “L” lens purchase and even though it was and is not cheap, it’s really worth the investment if you are looking to add the 100-400mm range to your arsenal. High resolution sample images included in the post.
I purchased this lens while on vacation in Hawaii. By sure luck, the Monster Energy drink company was hosting a surf competition. What better way to test the long zoom than surfing the big waves? To be honest, I didn’t have a clue at the time what settings I should use on the camera and I didn’t know what functions the lens had either. Thank fully, there were several very kind professional photographers shooting the event. I approached a couple, who by the way were shooting with 500mm and 600mm prime lenses…drool! The gave me a few pointers and things worked out great. Here are a few sample shots from the trip. I was shooting about 40 feet inland at the time.
This was an amazing experience! I’m originally from the desert and we have the sand…. but we do not have the killer waves. LOL The sound of the waves as the pounded the shore is something I will never forget. Powerful to say the least.
The Canon 100-400L IS is a solid lens like an “L” lens should be. The push-pull zoom design is something which takes a little adjusting to. The weight of the lens isn’t horrible. It’s heavy in the sense that if you were on an all day shoot, I would recommend using a monopod to help reduce the fatigue factor. It’s very easy to shoot hand-held as well. The image stabilization does a nice job reducing camera shake when shooting hand-held.
My copy of the Canon 100-400L IS was sharp through the zoom range up to about 380mm and then it was a little soft from 380-400mm. Not soft to the point the images were not usable, they just required a little more sharpening in post.
Long telephoto lenses are great for capturing sunsets as well.
The versatility of the lens comes in to play when you need to make zoom adjustments while shooting a multitude of subjects. The lens really shined for me when I visited Yellowstone National Park.
The park is amazing and if you enjoy wildlife, you have to visit the park! Here are several full resolution images you can zoom in on to view the details.
Big Bull Elk Canon 5D @310mm ISO 500 *Be sure to toggle to full page*
Two Cow Elk enjoying breakfast in the stream. Canon 5D @170mm ISO 1250 *Be sure to toggle to full page*
Young Coyote checking me out. Canon 5D @100mm ISO 400 he ended up so close I could no longer focus the lens. *Be sure to toggle to full page*
Early morning frost. Canon 5D @400mm ISO 200
The Canon 100-400L is a workhorse of a lens! The lens isn’t fast as it’s a F/4.5-F/5.6 design. That being said, with newer cameras being able to capture super clean files at higher ISO settings, don’t let the slower speed keep you from making the purchase. I’ve used it under numerous conditions and it does a fantastic job all around.
Adjusting to the zoom might take a little time as I mentioned above but it’s very easy to use. A word of caution, always tighten the lock ring while the lens is not in use. I’ve had it rack from 100-400mm a several occasions and it’s not a pleasant experience. Give the lens a try before you buy. I’ve used Lens Rentals in the past and they were great.
All in all… the Canon 100-400L is money well spent in my opinion.
Thank you for the visit.
**I’ve included a video review from Digital Rev as well **