Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS L lens [Archive] - Forum


View Full Version : Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS L lens

Mike Jung
03-06-2008, 07:01 PM
Help someone decide, that PM'd me.
Expert opinion sought on a lens


I remember that you worked at a camera rental shop and you knew of good lenses to get. I have my eye on a Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS USM Telephoto Zoom Lens. The ratings on Amazon are pretty good and the lens is going for about $1300. Do you have any opinions on the lens and/or price? Let me know.

Thanks :)
Ok, here is my thought on this lens...

We do carry this lens at work for rental.
& I do not openly suggest this lens, unless they have a specific need.

I would only suggest this lens if you will be shooting outdoors during daylight hours.
& need the 400mm magnificant.
& it has to be hand holdable.
As it is effectively 400mm at f/5.6; which is the bare minimum that autofocus lens could function.
& autofocus could be slow, or not able to autofocus in lower light levels.
& I don't like the pull/push zoom design.

I would strongly suggest that you rent the lens.
So you can try it out before buying.
See: PDN - Photo Source listings of rental shops in IL ( TAL&STATE=IL&SUBMIT=VIEW+LISTINGS)

Example: Calumet ( has it for rental for $35/day.

If you are going to spend that kind of money...$1410 for a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS L lens.

I would get instead the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS L lens at $1699.
This lens is what the pro's will use more often.
& we rent this lens more often too.
We have like more than 1/2 dozen of these lenses in our rental stock; but only 2 of the 100-400mm lens.

Or check out what Seth got in: Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 IS lens vs Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L lens (
A Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 lens for the smaller CMOS sensor (meaning not full frame sensor like the Canon EOS 5D, 1Ds, 1Ds Mark II, 1Ds Mark III)
PS: Sigma has a newer version Sigma APO 70-200mm F2.8 II EX DG MACRO HSM lens at $799 now.
But note: I do not have 1st hand knowledge on Sigma lens; as our shop does not carry them.

03-06-2008, 07:10 PM
I too would pick the Canon 70-200 IS USM f/2.8L over the 100-400 4.5-5.6. Aperture is not wide enough.

I ended up going with the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8, do not regret the choice one bit. I could not justify the price difference for the Canon L, and really could not justify the price difference for the Canon IS. I am extremely happy with the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8.

Talked to a guy at B&H when I was there on Sunday who was playing with the 600mm on a 5D body and he did not have many good things to say about the 100-400 (asked him what other telephotos he had tried)

03-07-2008, 12:00 AM
I'm the mystery guy. I was browsing Canon's catalog and the 100-400 caught my eye. Specifically because it is a zoom lens. My thoughts are using it for such things as trips to the zoo, or other such outdoor nature shots. Figure most subjects would be anywhere from 10-30ft away. I've heard that if you're looking for that large zoom than the fixed 400mm is a much better choice. But I like the input. Lets hear some more.

03-07-2008, 12:38 AM
10-30 feet away? 400mm is overkill then IMO

Here's some sample pics
First, here's a wide angle @ 17mm to show you where I was in relation to the players

at 200mm w/ the sigma

03-07-2008, 07:03 AM
Hmmm I think you're right. 400 would put you with the outfielders then. If that's 200 I think it'd be more than enough.

03-07-2008, 07:04 AM
I have a 1.6x tele converter as well that turns the lens into a 98-290 f/4.0. the images are not as sharp but still good.

If you got the cash, 70-200 IS USM f/2.8L is the way to go. For half the price you can have the sigma 70-200 HSM f/2.8 , no IS, but I haven't found that I need it in the year or so that I've had the lens