Old 12-18-2012, 02:12 PM   #1
sd9
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Anybody have an opinion on Cannons EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens?
I already have a 24-105mm f/4L and I'm looking to get a little more reach
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Old 12-18-2012, 02:16 PM   #2
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That's a lot more reach. You might want to consider a f4L 70 to 200 mm. With the crop factor, that'd get you to 320 mm. And without looking at the prices, I bet it's a lot cheaper.
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Old 12-18-2012, 04:58 PM   #3
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Canon has good sale right now on both the 100-400 and the 70-200 4L IS. Lots of people here and elsewhere use the 100-400 and like it. That's more reach than I usually need here in TN where there is brush everywhere, so I have the 70-200 4L IS. Sharpest, best telephoto lens I've ever owned. IQ is great. Never owned the 100-400 so can't comment on it, but it is on my list...
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Old 12-18-2012, 05:05 PM   #4
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I have been using the 100 to 400mm lens for about a year. I have had good results with it while out photographing trains. I primarily bought this lens for shooting air shows and my daughter's swimming action.

Here are a couple examples of shots with the 100 to 400 lens:

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Before getting the 100 to 400mm lens, my main lens for rail photography was the 70 to 200mm f/4 lens that Joe recommended. It's a great lens and less expensive that the 100 to 400mm lens. Unfortunately, my 70 to 200 f/4 lens rolled of a table and landed on the pool deck. I have since purchased a 70 to 200mm f/2.8 lens. I like shooting in low light.

A couple examples of shots with the 70 to 200mm f/4 lens:

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Old 12-18-2012, 05:47 PM   #5
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I used to have the 100-400, and now I have a 70-200. It's a LOT of reach. It's also a lot of weight, it's a pain to lug everywhere, so you'll find yourself only taking it if you plan on using it, and because you don't use it that much you'll take it less...

Anyway, during the time I had it I used it rarely for train photos, it's better suited to wildlife. Most of the time 200mm is more than enough, and you can get away cropping to 300mm equivalent pretty easily!

You may find yourself doing a basic telemash often, which gets old really quick.
Here are some shots I took at 400mm:

The basic telemash that, because of a wonderfully rolling 2.2% grade, made the CP calendar:
Image © Matthew Hicks
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The "I can't hear you over the obstructing foliage I couldn't see from half a mile away"
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The 'I live RIGHT IN the mountains. Seriously."
Image © Matthew Hicks
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And finally, the 'This lens can do art, too!'
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Old 12-18-2012, 06:31 PM   #6
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Being a Sony user, I can't speak for Canon, but 400 mm is indeed a lot of reach. I use a 70-200 f/2.8 and a "regular" 70-300, and it's rare that I max them out or feel the need for more reach.
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Old 12-18-2012, 07:13 PM   #7
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How important is the IS to you? If you're willing to do without, you can get a good deal on a used 70-200 f2.8/L and a used 2x EFII lens extender and still come in under the price of the 100-400, plus have a faster lens.

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Old 12-18-2012, 10:32 PM   #8
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I've heard good things about the 100-400. However, you may find the versatility of a 70-200 to be more useful. The Canon 1.4x teleconverter should also be considered.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._1_4X_III.html
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trainboysd40 View Post
I used to have the 100-400, and now I have a 70-200. It's a LOT of reach. It's also a lot of weight, it's a pain to lug everywhere, so you'll find yourself only taking it if you plan on using it, and because you don't use it that much you'll take it less...
You wimpy photographers make me laugh. I'll tell you what, it's easy to forget about the weight of the lens when you are a serious shooter. If you have problems with lens weight while carrying your gear, you need a better camera bag or you need to stay off the hiking trail.

I've had the 100-400 for 5 years and I can't recall one time when I thought to myself, "Gee, this is a pain in the ass to lug around." The shots I've taken with it have FAR outweighed the negligible weight difference from the rest of my lenses.

Bill, if you can afford it, I highly recommend it if you want a LOT of reach and aren't a wimpy photographer.
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
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You wimpy photographers make me laugh.
Pfft. Try working in TV, especially with the shoulder mounted cameras that weigh about twenty five pounds, a heavy tripod that weighs nearly that, a camera bag that includes two of those heavy batteries to power those heavy cameras.
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:33 AM   #11
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Pfft. Try working in TV, especially with the shoulder mounted cameras that weigh about twenty five pounds, a heavy tripod that weighs nearly that, a camera bag that includes two of those heavy batteries to power those heavy cameras.
Exactly the reason why I'd never see you complaining about the weight of a DLSR camera lens.
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:39 AM   #12
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I have the 100-400 and the 70-200 f4L. Both great lenses but I tend to use the 100-400 more often. The weight is not an issue, especially if you own this system: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jph91t3MozM . I keep the 5D with a 24-105 on the hip connection and the 40D with the long lens on the chest plate. That way I can shoot with the long lens as the train is in the distance then drop that one and grab the other for closer work as it approaches. just one thing, make sure to use the tether straps (not seen in the video, but included with the system package)! Last time out I didn't check the tethers and dropped the 40D with lens in the snow when I let go of it! No damage, but it could have been disastrous if I was leaning over a cliff or it fell lens-first onto a rock!
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Old 12-19-2012, 01:22 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimThias View Post
The shots I've taken with it have FAR outweighed the negligible weight difference from the rest of my lenses.

Bill, if you can afford it, I highly recommend it if you want a LOT of reach and aren't a wimpy photographer.
Well, after seeing some examples from Ken and Matt, reading the positive comments and........since I'm not a wimpy photog
I'm thinking as I'm Christmas shopping I might as well get myself something..a few clicks on the B&H site, it's a done deal! it was on sale along with free shipping too!


Thanks for all the help
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Old 12-19-2012, 01:26 AM   #14
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Merry Christmas to you and your new lens, Bill. Time to celebrate!
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Old 12-19-2012, 03:01 AM   #15
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Lightbulb Whimpy, whimpy.

The 100-400 is great lens and I use it all the time, and not always for far away subjects.

The 70-200 is good for shooting the kids birthday party indoors without a flash.

Works good for trains if you have it, but not the neat all end all.

As for the wimpyness factor, a 5D with a battery grip, 2 batteries and the 100-400 lens is still lighter than a 30.06, and it is much easier to hike with.

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Old 12-19-2012, 05:46 AM   #16
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I wish Nikon made a 100-400..
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Old 12-19-2012, 06:55 AM   #17
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Lightbulb Misc. Photos with the 100-400.

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Old 12-19-2012, 06:56 AM   #18
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Old 12-19-2012, 04:54 PM   #19
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Quote:
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I wish Nikon made a 100-400..
Nikon sucks.

Of course, I wish I had the money to spend on a 100-400.

Jon
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Old 12-19-2012, 10:01 PM   #20
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Default Funny you should mention the Canon 100-400...

I rented one of these monsters for a day of photography (not trains - MN Twins baseball) and was very impressed. I ended up ordering one last week, and I just unpacked it a few hours ago, as a matter of fact.

I did ALLOT of research before I purchased this lens. For long reach, I had been using a 70-200 f4 (non IS) coupled to a 1.4x II, and was never very happy with the results. The 70-200 is probably the sharpest lens I own, but it does not behave well with a teleconverter.

There are dozens of Canon 100-400 lenses for sale on the used market. The earlier models apparently had a problem with soft focus, and getting a sharp copy was a challenge 4-5 years ago. I spent a little more and purchased a brand new lens rather than risk buying someone's lemon. The build date is Sept 2012, and the few test shots I took this afternoon look razor sharp on the monitor.

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Old 12-20-2012, 12:13 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnohallman View Post
Nikon sucks.

Of course, I wish I had the money to spend on a 100-400.

Jon
They have their moments. Like when I bought a SB700 flash, and a year later after the warranty expires the zoom function on it quits working. They make a 200-400 f/4 but it costs about as much as a nice used car...
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Old 12-20-2012, 12:56 AM   #22
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They make a 200-400 f/4 but it costs about as much as a nice used car...
At least the lens has a 4-digit price ($6750)! The rumored Canon 200-400 f/4 (with a built in 1.4x converter) is projected to come out at $11k !!!
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Old 12-20-2012, 01:30 AM   #23
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At least the lens has a 4-digit price ($6750)! The rumored Canon 200-400 f/4 (with a built in 1.4x converter) is projected to come out at $11k !!!
Wow, that is some serious money! Nikon's 600mm f/4 is only $9k.
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Old 12-20-2012, 01:54 AM   #24
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Wow, that is some serious money! Nikon's 600mm f/4 is only $9k.
See? Nikon is a bargain! The Canon 600 f/4 is $12.8k!

Amazon has generously knocked $200 off the price of $13k
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Old 12-20-2012, 02:45 AM   #25
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See? Nikon is a bargain! The Canon 600 f/4 is $12.8k!

Amazon has generously knocked $200 off the price of $13k
Geez, and I thought Nikon's lenses were expensive.
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